Welcome to Week #4 of our 8-week series on Grace in Awareness
This week we’re asking: What type of mom are you?… based on your MBTI score.
MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It’s a personality test that gauges one’s preferences in four categories and provides the test-taker with a four letter type.
The four categories/types look at how you:
- Gain energy (E/I = extroverted/introverted)
- Gather information (N/S = intuitive/sensing)
- Make decisions (F/T = feeling/thinking)
- Live your life (J/P = judging/perceiving)
When I first took the test, I was an undergrad majoring in organizational psychology and working part-time for the University of Michigan Human Resources Development office (HRD). HRD offered personal and professional development courses for staff and faculty. One course included giving the MBTI test and then teaching participants how to use that information.
It was my first foray into personality tests and I was fascinated. I was an ENFJ.
Why is this helpful to moms?
An interesting thing happens when we gain awareness around our type and the types of those we interact with regularly, namely family. We learn to understand and even appreciate that people – our people – approach life differently than we do.
Have you ever been annoyed with how your husband “cleans” the kitchen after dinner? I mean, he didn’t even wipe the counters or sweep the floor! To his credit, he put all the perishables away, made sure the stove was off, and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
He’s not doing it wrong, he’s doing it differently. Give him some grace and then have a constructive conversation that helps him understand your approach. Come to an agreement on how ‘cleaning the kitchen after dinner’ should function in your house.
In the end, you both may have to bend a little, but that sure beats the blood boiling belief that he’s intentionally cutting corners over and over.
It works the same with kids. Despite the fact that they may be biologically made up of you AND the fact that you are teaching them your ways, they may ultimately approach things differently than you. Crazy, right? No. It’s reality; because they are half someone else too.
Understand the nuances of your child’s personality to gain appreciation for their approach to life and you’ll all be better for it!
Proceed with caution.
Personality tests are highly scrutinized among psychologists. This week’s featured article “Who Are You? The Lure and Limitations of Personality Tests” says “many popular personality tests, from the Myers-Briggs to the ones that populate your social media feeds, lack rigorous science. Still, the tests can be fun and your results, insightful — but you may need to take them with a grain of salt.”
We acknowledge that and indeed take it all with a grain of salt.
A test like the MBTI should never corner anyone into a type. The word preference used in the description of the test is a very important one. It indicates that we lean in a direction; not that we are all or nothing in any given category. In fact, we all exhibit all of the types at various points in our days, years, and lives.
This week’s featured podcast, Improve Relationships and Parent Better Using Your Myers-Briggs Type with Sandra Etherington, cautions us that the best way to understand your type is not through a test at all but rather via a consultation with an expert on the subject. Her point being, free, online quizzes may not be accurate, tell the whole story, or provide the tools to effectively use the information.
While we don’t disagree, we do love the instant gratification of a good quiz. So take the quiz below knowing that it’s not the end-all-be-all when it comes to your personality or even this type finder.
While there is a more comprehensive test mentioned in the podcast (it is also free and provides a deeper look at your results), we like this one because it is specific to moms:
Interesting, go on…
In this week’s featured video, a TED Talk entitled What’s Your Type? presented by Jean Kummerow, we learn that having a preference in a given category won’t necessarily align with or represent your strength in an area.
Hold the phone… So, you’re saying just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean I should pursue it and ultimately aspire to thrive at it?
🤯 (Mind explosion!)
Use your awareness of your type to give yourself perspective. Maybe it will help you be a little more patient with your kids and a little more understanding of why your spouse approaches some things the exact opposite way that you would.
It might also help you recognize that simply being good at something doesn’t mean it is what fills you up and brings you joy. You’re probably good at doing the laundry but if you hate every second of it, it might be time to delegate that task.
🎬 Watch the video: What’s Your Type? | Jean Kummerow | TEDxGrinnellCollege
📖 Read the article: “Who Are You? The Lure and Limitations of Personality Tests” by Jennifer Walter | Discover Magazine
🎧 Listen to Improve Relationships and Parent Better Using Your Myers-Briggs Type with Sandra Etherington in the player below then…
👩🏽💻 Join us for our weekly community call this Friday at 2pm ET in The Grace Lab on Zoom.
We’ll be chatting about the podcast episode above as well as your quiz results and we’d love to have you!
Want a reminder for the community call? Enter your name and email address below and click the red button. We’ll send you an email reminder an hour before the Zoom.
🎙 Enjoy this week’s Grace in the Race Podcast Playlist while you get your ship together!
🤔 Curious how Amanda and I scored on this week’s quiz and what we’re doing with that information?
For the first time in our awareness series we have different quiz results! We did a little digging into our respective types and then looked at a piece that compared the relationship between the two. It was interesting (and amusing) without too many surprises.
Rachel is an INFJ.
You read most of my MBTI history already but I thought I’d elaborate on the shift that happened for me in the span of taking the test at age 20 and again at age 45.
I always thought my inclination for leadership was a facet of being an extrovert. I tend to be proficient in gauging what is important, creating agendas, facilitating meetings, identifying action items and delegating tasks.
All of that also drains me of every ounce of energy in my being. After prepping for and leading a meeting, I need days to recover. This is because I’m an introvert after all.
Having logged years of leadership experience from student government in middle school through college to various volunteer boards and committees, I’m finally embracing that my preference is to preserve my energy and not exhaust myself of it; despite my abilities.
In the 25 years between taking the tests, my type shifted from ENFJ to INFJ. The only change being the shift from E to I (extrovert to introvert). I attribute that change to getting to know myself better over the years and giving myself permission to honor my energy over my ability.
INFJ and parenting…
I found a helpful article that hit close to home for me. Here’s a quote from the article:
INFJ parents have high standards for themselves, and their fervent desire for their children to succeed can make them a bit demanding. Never giving up on priorities that they deem important, INFJ parents will not easily buy into a child’s “weak” excuses for not doing their best in things that matter. A child’s statement that, “I can’t do this math,” or “This teacher gives way too much work” may be met with, “try harder” or “You will simply stay after school to get help until you do get it.”Dawn Bevier | Introvert, Dear | “The Strengths and Challenges of the INFJ Parent“
Yikes! I’m working on it; with gratitude for this insight.
Amanda is an ISTJ.
After taking two Myers Briggs quizzes, I scored as an ISTJ; someone with the Introverted, Sensing (Observant), Thinking, and Judging personality traits.
This sums me up and I could just end this section with “Yep, sounds like me”. But I do have a little “F” in me too so here goes…
My mom is an extrovert and my dad is not. Because I’m her daughter and have several other of my mom’s traits, I just learned to be like her. Only in my adulthood have I felt comfortable (and less exhausted) saying no to social events and protecting my energy.
I embrace my rational outlook on life. I may seem like a pessimist at times, but man am I always prepared! I’m married to someone who has more of a laid back personality and while I can present facts and logical explanations, he can lighten the mood by providing best case scenarios & lots of fun.
ISTJ and parenting…
As an ISTJ mom I tend to be focused on tradition and providing security and stability to my kids. Sticking to routines, introducing change slowly, and giving them time to adjust to new situations are ISTJ qualities I bring to my family and I can see how they benefit from those.