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Carl Jung, one of the most renowned psychiatrists in history and founder of analytical psychology, introduced the personality typology. According to Dr. C. George Boeree’s (2006) brief biography of Carl Jung, “Jung developed a personality typology that has become so popular that some people don’t realize he did anything else.
It begins with the distinction between introversion and extroversion” (n.p.). Boeree (2006) also discussed in his article the four functions that Jung believed are people’s preferences in dealing with the inner and outer world. These are sensing, thinking, intuiting, and feeling. These functions were developed later on by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers. In the book of Esther Cameron and Mike Green (2004), the authors described the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as follows:
The most effective tool for identifying personality type is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
This is a personality inventory developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers. The MBTI is based on the work of the Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung. The MBTI identifies eight different personality ‘preferences’ that we all use at different time—but each individual will have a preference for one particular combination over the others (pp. 43–44).
These are the 16 personality types as enumerated by Myers and Briggs: ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ, ESTJ, ISTJ, ESFJ, ISFJ, ENTP, INTP, ENTJ, INTJ, ESTP, ISTP, ESFP, and ISFP (cited in Cameron & Green, 2004).
Each letter stands for the eight different personality ‘preferences’ which are: E-Extraverted I-Introverted, N-iNtuitive, S-Sensing, F-Feeling, T-Thinking, P-Perceiving and J-Judging (Cameron & Green, 2004).
As for my Jungian self-assessment result, I turned out to have an ENFP personality type. It stands for Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving. According to Joe Butt’s (2005) functional analysis of an ENFP’s personality type,
The physical world, both geos and kosmos, is the ENFP’s primary source of information. Rather than sensing things as they are, dominant intuition is sensitive to things as they might be. These extraverted intuitives are most adept with patterns and connections. Their natural inclination is toward relationships, especially among people or living things (n.p.).
Butt (2005) also pointed out one colleague of his as someone with, “such tremendous interpersonal skills that she put her interviewers at ease during her own job interview. She had the ability to make strangers feel like old friends” (n.p.). This description actually earned a nod in terms of relating it to how I view myself. I like having people around me, and likewise, I also enjoy being around people. I enjoy communicating with them and building friendships. This is absolutely one of the primary reasons why I initially intend to pursue a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). I know that having the skills naturally would not be enough to be successful in something that I am comfortable in doing.
To better provide a visual of my type of personality, here are some common ENFP descriptions from The Sixteen Personality Types by Linda Berens and Dario Nardi (1999):
Theme is inspiration, both of themselves and others. Talents lie in grasping profound significance, revealing truths, and motivating others. Very perceptive of others’ hidden motives and purposes. Interested in everything about individuals and their stories as long as they are genuine. Contagious enthusiasm for “causes” that further good and develop latent potential and the same zeal for disclosing dishonesty and inauthencity. Frequently moved to enthusiastically communicate their “message” (p. 40).
These personal findings definitely validate the reasons for my life and career decisions. I am indeed a very sociable person, and I tend to find more consolation by being focused on the outer world. This is the reason why I would like to pursue my studies so I can further my career in people-oriented type of jobs. Nevertheless, it is also possible that some of the descriptions might not match the way I see myself, or most probably, I am not aware yet that I possess them. Remembering the Johari Window, where the 2nd quadrant encloses the things that others know about me but I am unaware of, I realized that some of the descriptions on the ENFP personality can be considered as “things that I am not aware that I have.”
It is also rather interesting that there are famous ENFP personalities according to Butt (2005), including “Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally), Robin Williams (Dead Poet’s Society, Mrs. Doubtfire), Sandra Bullock (Speed, While You Were Sleeping), Robert Downey (Heart and Souls), [and] Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)” (n.p.). These personalities have a common interest—acting. Acting specifically deals with entertaining people, which justifies the research conducted about ENFPs as being oriented with the outer world. As an ENFP type, it is safe to conclude that my interest would also be related to this field, which is unquestionably correct.
The question is: What pushes me into pursuing an MBA? Honestly, it is because of the fulfillment that it brings me. I am technically new to the 16 personality types, so it is quite hard to pinpoint the motivation that I have for my decision which is also relative to my ENFP personality. Fortunately, I was able to come across one of the closest ENFP description to my personality.
For ENFPs the dominant quality in their lives is their attention to the outer world of possibilities; they are excited by continuous involvement in anything new, whether it be new ideas, new people, or new activities. Though ENFPs thrive on what is possible and what is new, they also experience a deep concern for people as well. Thus, they are especially interested in possibilities for people. ENFPs are typically energetic, enthusiastic people who lead spontaneous and adaptable lives (Martin, 2008, n.p.).
Apparently, one of the primary motivations here would be the involvement to something new. The enthusiasm of people with an ENFP personality guides them into taking new heights and turns along their life journey. New things excite and trigger their thirst for adventure. No matter where their personality leads them, whether interesting or not, they decide in accordance to their courage and hunger for quest.
The 16 personality types are effective in discovering the reasons behind people’s decisions. Although it does not promise accuracy, it is with no question that knowing one’s type of personality is necessary in helping someone understand him- or herself more.
Berens, L. V. & Nardi, D. (1999). The Sixteen Personality Types: Descriptions for Self-Discovery. California: Telos Publications.
Boeree, C. G. (2006). Carl Jung. Personality Theories. Retrieved October 6, 2008 from
Cameron, E. & Green, M. (2004). Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools & Techniques of Organizational Change. London: Kogan Page Publishers
Butt, J. (2005, February 25). Extraverted intuitive feeling perceiving. TypeLogic. Retrieved October 6, 2008 http://typelogic.com/enfp.html
Martin, C. (2008). The sixteen types at a glance. Center for Applications of Psychological Type. Retrieved October 6, 2008 from http://www.capt.org/mbti-assessment/type-descriptions.htm