Understanding me

If you are to believe the Myers Briggs personality test, then I am what they call an “ENTP” personality type. This means “Extrovert, INtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving,” and it’s really quite surprising how well it described me. It was almost like reading a horoscope, only with a little more research into it.

Let me explain what each of these qualities mean, then what my “ENTP” means. “Extroverted” means that I get my energy from groups of people, or that I get energized when having interactions with people. I take in information by being “INtuitive” (the “N” is to avoid using the “I” again if the person is an “Introvert”). This means that I look at the “big picture” and that I look at the possibilities rather than the realities. (I’m a dreamer.) The “T” is for “Thinking”, meaning that I value objective, logical things more than personal feelings of values. Actually, I was right in the middle when it came to this, because there are plenty of times when I make decisions not based on objective evidence. Finally, the “P” is for “Perceiving”. This means that I keep my options open and take time to make decisions.

“P” might as well be for “Procrastinator”.

Here is a description of an “ENTP” from wikipedia:

“Using their primary function-attitude of extraverted intuition (Ne), ENTPs are quick to see complex interrelationships between people, things, and ideas. These interrelationships are analyzed in profound detail through the ENTPs auxiliary function, introverted thinking (Ti). The result is an in-depth understanding of the way things and relationships work, and how they can be improved. To the ENTP, competence and intelligence are particularly prized, both in themselves and in other people.

ENTPs are frequently described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, enthusiastic, outgoing, innovative, flexible, loyal, and resourceful. ENTPs are motivated by a desire to understand and improve the world they live in. They are usually accurate in sizing up a situation. They may have a perverse sense of humor and sometimes play devil’s advocate, which can create misunderstandings with friends, coworkers, and family. ENTPs are ingenious and adept at directing relationships between means and ends. ENTPs devise fresh, unexpected solutions to difficult problems. However, they are less interested in generating and following through with detailed plans than in generating ideas and possibilities. In a team environment, ENTPs are most effective in a role where they can draw on their abilities to offer deep understanding, a high degree of flexibility, and innovative solutions to problems. The ENTP regards a comment like “it can’t be done” as a personal challenge, and, if properly motivated, will spare no effort to discover a solution.”

My emphases.

If you know me personally, you know that this is very much me. You cannot tell me that I cannot do something, for whatever reason, because I will fight that misconception of yours with my entire being. I also get in trouble a lot because, in my attempt to understand the point of view and feelings of others, I tend to play devil’s advocate… And so does Homer, apparently:

devilsadvocate

 

Here’s another description of my personality type, also emphasized by myself:

“ENTPs are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves. ENTPs can be prone to “sharp practice” – especially cutting corners without regard to the rules if it’s expedient – or, their juggling acts may simply be so over-ambitious they collapse.

Both at work and at home, ENTPs are very fond of “toys” — physical or intellectual, the more sophisticated the better. Once these have been “solved” or become too familiar, however, they’ll be replaced with new ones.”

And…

“ENTPs have little patience with those they consider wrongheaded or unintelligent, and show little restraint in demonstrating this. In general, however, they are genial, even charming, when not being harassed by life.”

And people wonder why I go toe-to-toe with anti-science people?

Of course, I’ll be the first one to tell you that these types of personality tests and such are not entirely accurate. There are little deviations here and there that make them not applicable to the entire population. As such, not all ENTPs have these exact same qualities. In general, they probably do. But I bet that there are plenty of ENTPs who don’t like to play devil’s advocate.

Especially if they hate pinball machines.

I'm a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen