Thought Catalog

8 Things Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Doesn’t Account For

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Myers-Briggs Personality psychology can explain a lot about what we do and why we do it – but it can’t explain everything. Regardless of your preference for introversion, extroversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging or perceiving, there are some things our four-letter types simply cannot account for. Here are a few traits we all exercise a little differently:
 ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser

ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser

1. Your intelligence.

Though certain cognitive functions have been theorized to correlate with high or low performance on IQ tests, personality type alone does not determine one’s intelligence. Every type has, at some point or another, been represented among the ‘gifted’ or high-achieving population. Type may be a starting point for intelligence but interest, motivation and discipline make up for more of the equation than personality alone seems to.

2. Whether or not you’re a nice person.

Some of the cruelest people I’ve ever met in my life have been ExFJs. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life have been xNTJs. Your Myers-Briggs personality type may indicate how naturally in tune you are with the feelings of others, but that doesn’t necessarily correlate with the care you put into your relationships. Whether or not you are kind and empathetic to those around you is a choice – and it’s one that any type can manage consciously.

3. Your level of motivation.

Though P types are stereotyped to be less motivated than Js, this myth doesn’t necessarily check out. Ps may struggle with follow-through but they make up some of the most entrepreneurial and industrious individuals out there. Any type can be motivated or unmotivated in his or her own right – it’s simply the way that motivation manifests itself that is attributed to personality.

4. How faithful or trustworthy you are.

I’ve met INFJs who’ve cheated without remorse. I’ve met ESTPs who stayed faithful to their partners until their dying day. Some types may be more naturally inclined to have a wandering eye but the decision to stay faithful is one that each of us is capable of making. How trustworthy you are as a partner or friend has nothing to do with your type – it has to do with how you choose to manage your impulses.

5. Your professional success.

Though certain types are more likely to glean energy from certain professional roles, any type is capable of achieving success in almost any field of work that they commit themselves to. Introverts can be powerful leaders and extroverts can flourish in introspective roles. So long as they are able to balance their natural tendencies in or outside of work, any dedicated type can find a way to succeed in their chosen field of work.

6. How successful a given relationship will be.

Though certain types are arguably more romantically compatible than others, natural compatibility only takes a relationship so far. Attraction is a tricky equation and when it comes down to it, any two types who are healthy and committed to each other are capable of making a relationship work.

7. Your ability to maintain basic social contracts.

Being a perceiver doesn’t mean you get to be late for everything. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you get to flake out on plans every time you’re feeling drained. Type is never an excuse for bad behavior – just because something doesn’t give you energy doesn’t mean you’re incapable of doing it.

8. Your ability to change and develop yourself.

Being an “F” doesn’t mean you can’t learn to budget and make pragmatic decisions. Being a “T” doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be a caring and compassionate parent. Our personalities should never be excuses to limit our own development or growth – if anything, they can provide a powerful framework for becoming the most well rounded versions of ourselves. TC mark

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