Friday, March 6, 2009

A Personality Inventory . . .


For those of you familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality assessments, I am an ENFP. Which means I'm an Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving kind of girl. I'm not always proud of being an ENFP because some other ENFP's drive me crazy. (Come on people, get your feet on solid ground once and awhile!) But in general, it's a good descriptor of my personatlity type. Jesse on the other hand is an ESTJ. This means he's an Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging kind of guy. We used to think it was not good that we were so different but 4 1/2 years of marriage has shown us that being so different is pretty darn good. We are able to balance each other out and help each other in our weaknesses. (Which might explain why other ENFP's sometimes annoy me. . .)

Now that we have a third human being in our little family circle, we have yet another personality type to figure out. I've been thinking about Renae's personatlity a lot lately. Recently, whenever we are walking down the street, in a store, at the park, or on the bus or metro, Renae waves to everyone. And I mean everyone. If someone looks her way, she will wave at them until they wave back. And then, she usually keeps waving. As we walk away from the other waver, Renae usually has to stop 3 or 4 more times to wave again. I don't know if she's just trying to make sure that the person saw her wave or not. Sometimes, if a person is near Renae, but can't see her, she will wave in hopes that the person will eventually see her moving hand and respond.

So this has led to me to believe that she is an extrovert. Renae loves to get out of the house. She will usually cry when we have to leave the park because she has lots of fun being around all the other kids. When we are around other families, Renae is quick to leave our sides and go play with the kids, regardless of wether she knows them or not. Because Renae is now 1.5 years old, her personality is coming out more. Even when she was a baby, I thought she might be an extrovert because she would go to just about anybody. So I've figured out the first letter of her Myers-Briggs type. Let's figure out the rest:

Sensor or iNtuitive? (How does she take in information?)

I'm going to say she is a Sensor. Given the fact that she is only 18 months old, it's all about the here and now, and what she can see/smell/taste/touch/feel. Here is how one website describes Sensors:

Sensors take in information through their five senses - what they see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Intuitives take in information through a "sixth sense" - not on what is, but what could be. Sensors prefer facts to support their decisions and live in the "here and now." Intuitives take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationships and connections between facts. They are especially attuned to seeing new possibilities. Sensors tend to think in a linear fashion, one thought following the next, and Intuitives frequently engage in leaps of thinking. Sensors are more down-to-earth and Intuitives are imaginative and creative. Sensors often demonstrate their creativity by finding a new application for something that has already been invented. This is because a Sensor tends to rely on his own or someone he trusts experience.

Thinker or Feeler? (How does she make descisions?)

Another website asks various questions to help one decide if they come to conslusions based on logic or feelings. This is the one that helped me decide if Renae is a thinker or feeler:

Do I make decisions more objectively, weighing the pros and cons, or based on how I feel about the issue, and how I and others will be affected by it?

As Renae's Mom, I'm going to say that Renae is not the greatest yet at weighing the pros and cons. For example, when Renae doesn't want to eat a certain piece of food on her plate, we tell her that she must try one bite. If she doesn't obey, she is punished. Each time we have this issue come up, Renae makes the desicision one way or another. Usually, she's pretty concerned with how she feels: "I do NOT feel like eating those gross carrots!" So I would say it usually takes a few times before she realizes that the pros of eating the carrots outweigh the cons. But she initially decides based on her feelings.

Judger or Perceiver? (How does Renae live her outer life?)

Here are the two desciptors:

Judgers are very organized. They like to "plan their work and work their plan." A Judger likely has a day planner or if she doesn't have one, she carries one around in her head. Work is carried out in an orderly fashion. Even holidays need to follow a plan. There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Judgers like things to be in order. The Judging housekeeper likes everything put away. Don't just drop your coat at the door; pick it up and put it in the closet.

(It's so funny to picture a toddler with a day planner!)


Perceivers like to go with the flow. If they have a "to do" list, it will likely be just a scrap of paper. They are always looking for new information. They put off making decisions because there might just be that last little bit of information that would help them make a better decision.

(Yeah, like do I come when Mom called me, or do I wait for a better choice?)Perceivers follow an "event" schedule. They are waiting for everything to come together, and then at the right moment, they are energized to make their move. Unfortunately, sometimes things never come together and they lack the energy to achieve what was expected of them. Perceivers tend to be much messier, and woe betide you if you try to straighten up their mess. Even if it looks chaotic, they know exactly where everything is.

Hmmm . . this is a tough one. What 18 month old doesn't play in a constant tornado of toys? But on the other hand, most 18 month olds also thrive on a regular schedule and predictable routines. However . . . as I think back to how Renae does when we do have a change in routine, she handles it pretty well. When we've had guests here, our schedules are all out of wack and this didn't seem to bother Renae. So what if we are walking down a busy street full of people at a time of day when Renae is usually at home in bed. She's sitting upright in her stroller enjoying all the sights and people. Ok, I guess for this one she is a perceiver.

So let's review . . . that would make Renae an ESFP (Extroverted Sensing Feeling Perceiver) Here are a few quotes from A Portrait of an ESFP that I like:


As an ESFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.


ESFPs live in the world of people possibilties. They love people and new experiences. They are lively and fun, and enjoy being the center of attention. They live in the here-and-now, and relish excitement and drama in their lives.

ESFPs love people, and everybody loves an ESFP. One of their greatest gifts is their general acceptance of everyone. They are upbeat and enthusiastic, and genuinely like almost everybody. An ESFP is unfailingly warm and generous with their friends, and they generally treat everyone as a friend. However, once crosesed, an ESFP is likely to make a very strong and stubborn judgment against the person who crossed them. They are capable of deep dislike in such a situation.

Yep, I'd say this is a good descriptor of Renae's CURRENT 18 month old personality. :) I'm sure there are MANY children her age that are the same way. And we all know how these things change! It was just fun to think about her pesronality possiblities.

Speaking of the little ESFP, she must have been worn out from the park because while I was typing this post, she crawled up onto the couch and fell fast asleep-something she has never done before. What a little sweetie.

7 comments:

Jamie said...

It is pretty fun that you are trying to "figure her out". Now you just need to learn her love language too. :-) As one ISTJ that is married to an ENFP, I would also have to say that opposites attract. ;-)

~Jamie Morgan

Mandi said...

Wait wait wait - are you saying I annoy you?!? No way! I'm not the annoying type! Really I'm not!! (Ps - sarcasm ;-))

I love that you were able to sort of peg her so young! I bet Cody is like that, with maybe a couple slight differences. He's the type to see someone and start saying "Hi!!" and if they don't see him or answer, he'll say it louder "HI!!" and I kid you not, if they don't answer (and I don't catch him in time to tell him it's not polite to yell at people) he will be screaming at them "I SAID HI!!!" (in a nice way of course). Yeah, he's my extrovert.

kpjordan said...

No matter what, we love our little ESFP!!!

Chad & Amy said...

I'm thinking the extrovert is a definite...as for the others...I'm thinking that all toddlers would score about the same don't you think? It will be interesting to see if/how she changes over the years :)
At least you have her figured out now...that is the most important part! Now you can meet all her needs :)

Scott & Julie said...

So Jesse judges people? Oh good gracious me. What ever does he think of us? No wonder you all moved over to Spain.

And what does that say about me - that I care what other people think?

Christy said...

Fun to think about these things. I will have to dispel the myth, however, that all toddlers fall into this category. I think Audrey is also an E, (she says 'hi' and 'boo' to everyone we pass in other strollers or shopping carts whenever we're at the store), but I have a feeling she's a J. NOT adaptable at all to changes of schedule or routine, (she doesn't sleep anywhere other than at home, in her crib,) and lately she's been freaking out if any cupboard or drawer in the kitchen is open even an inch. Just points and says 'uh-oh' repeatedly until someone fixes it, or we tell her she needs to be okay with it. Same goes with any scrap of food that hits the floor. If we don't pick it up and take it to the garbage immediately...she does! Oh, my little OCD girl. :)

Andy and Kaye said...

How fun to ponder over Renae's Myers Briggs. Clever Julie. OK, I'm thinking she would have her astrisk in the green on GBB, her diamond in the red and her needs and stress in the blue! Kaye