Faith & Culture Leadership

Why You Should Stop Taking And Talking About The Myers-Briggs (And Other Personality Tests)

Three young women sit on an empty boardwalk

The Myers-Briggs is one of the most used and trusted personality tests out there. Recently, social media has been flooded with posts and blogs discussing the different personality types. Even though personality tests can be helpful in learning about yourself and others, tests like that are causing confusion and damage. You should seriously consider not discussing personality types if it will cause one of the following results:

  • Misunderstand How Personality Tests Work.

    One of the worst lines I have heard over and over in the past few years goes something like this, “Well, my personality type shows that I am an introvert; so, I would rather not socialize and that’s okay, it’s just my personality”. Personality tests are supposed to reveal where your strengths and weaknesses lie but they are never an excuse to embrace an unhealthy behavior or habit. For example, to be an “introvert” means that you find your energy from having quality alone time. However, if  an introvert isolate themselves or embrace social awkwardness, then the goal of a personality test has been misunderstood.

    “We must remember that every human is much more complex than a measured test result”.

  • Judge Others Or Over-Analyze Them.

    The Myers-Briggs test divides every human in 1 of only 16 personality types. Just because someone’s personality test results show that they make decisions based on “thinking” and not “feeling” doesn’t mean that they can never make decisions from their heart; or just because someone is an “introvert” and not an “extrovert” shouldn’t make you assume that they won’t enjoy an invitation to a party.

    “In addition, people change as they grow and face different life circumstances”.

  • Limit Yourself From Learning And Improving.

    According to my Myers-Briggs results, I “see the big picture” and have trouble “noticing details” and while that is true and I actually like that about me, I don’t let that limit me from improving in an area that needs improvement. I have lost good deals in the past and I have made small mistakes that caused big challenges because I was too focused on the big picture. Myers-Briggs helped me understand where my weakness is, But the key is not to let my weaknesses limit me but to use the facts to improve where improvement is needed. So, I train myself to spend extra time on details because I am aware that noticing details doesn’t naturally come to me like it does to others.

    “Personality types are not intended to give us an excuse not to grow in areas where growth is needed or avoid challenges that come our way”.

What has been your experience with the Myers-Briggs or other personality tests?

– Johnny Youssef

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  • Natalie Jul 9,2015 at 6:00 pm

    I think the title and general content of this post is misinformed. Meyers Briggs has helped a lot of people, including myself, realize things about themselves and understand certain personality traits and tendencies.

    • Johnny Youssef Jul 23,2015 at 12:11 am

      I agree with you. Myers Briggs has helped me a lot. The article is not against the Myers Briggs. It’s against not learning how to apply what you learn about yourself correctly and ending up using the Myers Briggs as an excuse to limit yourself or put others in a box.

  • Hannah Jul 8,2015 at 6:58 pm

    Where I can see the downfall of getting obsessive with Myers Briggs, I have personally found it extremely helpful. I tend to become very frustrated with people who are starkly different than myself bc I cant understand why they say or do the things that they do. Being that I am in the INTJ category that makes up less than 2% of the earth, I find myself constantly feeling SO differently wired than everyone around me. Understanding their wiring gives aide to me in loving them for who they are and realizing things like, being a deeply emotional and always feeling person, that when I meet someone who is very straightforward and speaks their mind, knowing personality types can be so helpful in grasping the concept that they dont have the same sensitivity that I do and thus don’t speak carefully or from their heart as I may, for example. And furthermore I can relate to them on their playing field so to speak.

  • Arin Jul 5,2015 at 11:27 am

    I personally love Personality tests. Especially Meyers Briggs. They have really opened my eyes to understanding myself and others in relationships, be it work or marriage etc.
    I will never quit seeking to understand more about how people are wired.

    • Johnny Youssef Jul 23,2015 at 12:12 am

      I love personality tests also. The article is not opposed to them, only opposed to bad application of them.

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