When I was studying at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, the students were expected to take Myers-Briggs type indicator as an assessment tool in Person in Ministry class. I like to analyze and put things in the right boxes, probably more then most. At the same time I have learned by experience that such practices are quite limiting and not always as useful as I would wish.
However, I have always been fond of the wonderful notion that it might be possible to analyze all human beings and put them in one of sixteen boxes, and by doing that it would be possible to explain their behavior and thought processes (and my task in life should be to avoid people that live in one of the obnoxious annoying boxes 🙂 ).
When reading an article about The Definition Of Hell For Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type, I thought that a lot of the definitions applied to me. I even saw two that I thought were in fact description of Heaven. Yep, I am definitely not ESFP or ENFP.
I looked at my old report form from Trinity and noticed that my scoring is not very clear cut, in fact I am very close to fit at least four out of the sixteen personality types. I scored as an introvert, not a high score but still an “I”. I am also a clear “T” (I analyze and use logic). The other letter indicators were smacked in the middle. I scored 3 out of 70 on N and 1 out of 70 on P.
I have taken the Myers-Briggs since, and in fact I fluctuate between those letters from N to S and from J to P, based on my mood and surroundings. I could claim that I fit decently into being simultaneously INTP, INTJ, ISTP and ISTJ.
So back to the article. When I read through descriptions of Hell for various Myers-Briggs types, the descriptions for my boxes are in fact quite decent descriptions of my life and career as theologian and youth director.
ISTJ – You are expected to complete a highly esteemed project with absolutely no guidance as to what’s expected of you.
INTJ – Every time you open your mouth to say something intelligent, something entirely idiotic comes out instead.
ISTP – The Zombie apocalypse happens but you’re suddenly the world’s weakest fighter and must depend solely on your loved ones to keep you alive.
INTP – You are eternally condemned to researching an extremely vapid topic using wildly inaccurate methods, mostly involving interviewing people who have no idea what they’re talking about.
Still my life is not in any way hell. It is most of the time quite fun and exciting, filled with adventures and great people. In other words, being constantly stretched and challenged, living on the edge of our comfort zone, is not a description of hell, but a description of a life lived to the fullest. Even for an introvert, with a strong sense of logic and an endless need to analyze everything.