Myers-Briggs at the Faire

This week’s post is written as a hypothetical adventure at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, in celebration of opening weekend. The characters represent the 16 Myers-Briggs types.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

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I enter the gates ready for my magical adventure. First stop, the Glass Blower, to admire the detailed artistry of the pieces and pick out a gift for a friend. As it’s afternoon, it’s time for my first beer of the day, so I head to the White Hart Tavern, where a Bard is entertaining the crowd with a highly original and funny story—you never quite know what to expect from Bards. Nearby at the Royal Stage, the Jester is adding his own brand of entertainment to the day by amusing both the adults and kids with his easy, light-hearted hijinks. Next, I pass by the climbing wall where a Mentor, the mother of one of the kids climbing the wall, is providing moral support for the youngster struggling to make it to the top.

Lunchtime! I think I’ll have some fried cheese, and maybe some fried green beans or a fried pickle. Then, after way too much fried food, time to rest and recover a bit with a reading from the insightful and intuitive Tarot Reader on Mary’s Dale Way.

Then, I decide to check out a pirate show at Fortune Stage, and am immediately attracted to the Swashbuckler, with his physical prowess and charm, seducing all the women from the stage.

After the show, I go to check out the moccasin shop and discuss special ordering a new pair of moccasins with the head Craftsmith there, because his skills surpass most other shoemakers due to his attention to detail and years experience with his craft.

Time for a privy stop before the jousting. Oh, good, there is a Maintenance Person, ever mindful of our needs, handing out soap and papertowels. I meet my friends on the top row of seating and prepare for a good match. The Fighters are very dominant, capable, and skilled, and the Judge seems decisive and absolute in his determination of the winners. However, on the last round, one of the fighters unfortunately falls off his horse and is taken to the caring Healer, who both treats the minor wounds and eases his concerns of any serious problem.

Hey, I think that was Henry VIII that just walked by, the Ruler of these lands—an authority figure and anti-establishment leader. I think I’ll follow behind because I heard him say he was going to talk to the reclusive, yet brilliant Academian who I’ve always been curious to meet, but have never seen, and then to the Wizard, who will provide expert counsel to Henry on how to bring about the marriage of his son, Prince Edward, to Mary, Queen of Scots. Along the way, we pass the shop of the always wacky and imaginative Inventor where she is selling her newest creation this year, magickal sundials. Her friendly and engaging Host beckons us into the shop, but we decline, as we’re on a mission right now. But, I must return later to check out the fuzzy mirrors.

Type Key for the Characters:

Glass Blower: ISFP

Bard: ENFP

Jester: ESFP

Mentor: ENFJ

Tarot Reader: INFJ

Swashbuckler: ESTP

Craftsmith: ISTP

Maintenance Person: ISFJ

Fighter: ESTJ

Judge: ISTJ

Healer: INFP

Ruler: ENTJ

Academian: INTP

Wizard: INTJ

Inventor: ENTP

Host: ESFJ

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Enneagram Subtypes

enneagram subtypes diagramAfter several years of study, I feel fairly knowledgeable on the Enneagram types, wings, and arrows/direction of integration/disintegration, but don’t really know that much about the instinctual subtypes, so that’s my exploration topic for this week.

The subtypes relate to survival behaviors—the issues that we devote the majority of our time to. Although we have all three subtypes, in general, one will be dominant, one secondary, and one tertiary in our preference of usage. The dominant type is the one that drives us the most, the one we obsess about, the most desired, and the one that causes us the most pain when we do not achieve it. The secondary subtype is the most balanced and easiest for us, and the tertiary subtype is our most neglected and difficult for us.

The three subtypes are:

  • Self-preservation — Focus: Self/one; Theme: Physical and material security (food, safety, health, money, home)
  • Sexual — Focus: Other/two; Theme: Intimate relationships, partnerships, and friendships
  • Social — Focus: Society/many; Theme: Belonging, community, group membership

Here are a few good references for learning more about the subtypes and determining yours:

What is your subtype stacking?

Border Types

MBTI Function Scale for an INFP

MBTI Function Scale for an I/ENFP/J

Do you sometimes test as one type and other times as another quite frequently depending on your mood or situation? Or you just can’t decide which type fits you best? If so, then maybe you’re a “border type”.

In all of my reading and research on personality typing, I haven’t really found much on defining type that is on the border between type factors/functions. I’m mainly talking about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, where you are defined as being “either an A or a B”, each points being the end of the spectrum. As someone who has officially tested 51% T (see Reference page for definition of letters/functions), I’ve always felt a bit undefinable—somewhat both an F and a T, depending on the circumstances. And I suspect people who are “on the border” between two different factors are hard to classify, are frequently mistyped, and use both functions in their own personal way. For instance:

E/I Border

  • “Social I’s” who love socializing, going to parties and events, and connecting with people—usually easily and comfortably—but have a need for much recharge time alone afterwards.
  • Shy E’s who mask their insecurities with humor (the “class clown”) or who talk nervously about any subject.

S/N Border

  • Detail-oriented N’s who can work through a vision taking it step-by-step to its conclusion.
  • Imaginative S’s who create art through piecing together various smaller elements, which eventually turn into the “big picture”/finalized product.

T/F Border

  • People-focused T’s who can make tough decisions knowing what’s best for the people involved.
  • Logical F’s who can stay calm in a crisis, perhaps even a war zone, while helping people.

J/P Border

  • Unpunctual J’s who are frequently late/miss deadlines because they try to maintain order in all areas of their life and complete tasks before moving to the next.
  • Guarded P’s who have strong boundaries set up for relationships to define what they need.

These are just a few examples of border types. If you’re uncertain of where you fit in, maybe you’re a border type—at lease with one function. And if so, how do you define yourself—as one or the other, or both? Or maybe some assimilation of the two (like the Social I, Guarded P, etc.)?

For me, a T/F border, I make all my decisions initially with my head—what seems most logical. Then, I see how others react and how I feel about the decision (does it “feel right”) and tailor accordingly. This has produced a lot of changed plans and indecisiveness for me over the years due to my heart not agreeing with my head. But it also provided a check on a decision that would have been the wrong one for me in the end. So, there are both positives and negatives to living on the border.

How do you experience your border type?

Generation X and the Search for Identity at Midlife

generation x imageAlong with family dynamics, ethnicity, environment, and other collective factors of identity, generation also plays a part in who we are–from personal style, interests, and values to the lifestyle we lead. Being part of a generation defines us. But, what if our generation is undefinable?

Generation X, when we are defined, seems to have acquired the most negative labels of all the current generations–lazy, slacker, pessimistic, negative, unremarkable, etc. Now, at midlife, when we’re trying to redefine our lives and put them into context for the future, how do we make sense of these definitions and use them to find support from our generational peers and move forward to creating our legacy?

It’s harder as an X. We haven’t had historical focal points to define us like other generations: WWII for the “Great Generation”, Vietnam War and Hippie/drug culture for the Boomers, and the technological boom for the Millennials/Generation Y. Therefore, we haven’t had to build or assimilate into society as our initiation into adulthood like the previous two generations. However, we have had to deal with the dot com crash and the housing market crash, making us question the stability of the system and the possibility of being able to create a good future.

So at a time when we’re questioning our identity and our future, we’re also questioning the future of our world. Who will we be, and who can we be in 5, 10, 20+ years from now. With a world that is changing faster now than ever before due to technological advances, is that even a question we can ask?