Have you ever looked at someone and wondered, what in the world? How come it’s so difficult for me to understand where they’re coming from? Is there something that I missed? Why am I asking all of these questions in my head, anyway?
There’s probably been at least one point in your life when you’ve misunderstood or found it hard to connect with someone. It may have been because of the way that they think, the way that they express themselves, or the way that they interact with other people. Whatever it was, it got you thinking, if only for a minute or two. So what is this “thing” that makes one person want to be the life of the party but drives another person to hole up in the library for the evening? What is it that makes some people act one way, but others act in a completely different way? The answer is personality.
Personality is the thing that makes each and every individual unique. It’s a special code that helps shine some light on why some people act and think the way that they do. Like any code, there’s a specific formula that ensures to make the most astonishing and unique personalities that populate the world. This code is the Myers-Briggs typing.
Myers-Briggs typing is a system of eight letters that separate people into one of sixteen different four-letter combinations to make a personality type. The letters each stand for a certain aspect of personality, such as mind (Introverted vs Extroverted), energy (Sensing vs Intuitive), nature (Thinking vs Feeling), and tactics (Judging vs Perceiving).
To gather information, a survey was sent out to several Upper School students and faculty asking for their personality type. One of the most common personality types found in the upper school was INFP, or the Mediator. People with this personality type tend to be quiet, reserved dreamers who keep to themselves but are known for their loyalty and warmth towards friends.
Another popular personality type found at PA was the Mediator’s extroverted cousin, the Campaigner, or ENFP. ENFP’s tend to be creative like Mediators, but unlike Mediators, Campaigners are bubbly and sociable unlike their reserved and quiet counterparts. Two other common personality types in the Upper School were the Debater (ENTP), a larger than life intellectual who has a zest for life and attacks it in the most charismatic way possible; and the Protagonist (ENFJ), natural-born leaders who enjoy guiding others to improve themselves and their community.
One of the more rare finds in the Upper School (and in the common population) was the Architect personality (INTJ). Architects are known as hard-wired intellectuals who have a tactical outlook toward life with the intense stares and deep thought to go with it. Of all of the surveys received, only two people had the Architect personality. Another rare find was the Executive (ESTJ). Executives are organized and straightforward individuals who are able to keep order in even the most tumultuous situations.
Some of the students who participated in the survey were impressed with how accurate the results were.
“I thought my results were really accurate!” Thomas Wehmann(’18) exclaimed.
“They were scary accurate,” Christina Priemueller(’20) added. ”
“I think the personality typing can help those who might not be able to clearly see who they are. I mean I don’t know how accurate the personality test is so I don’t think someone should use it as their only source but I do think it helps in giving you an inside look into yourself,” Carson Kreger ’19 explained when asked about her opinion on personality typing.
So why should we care? Why should any of this matter to the the outside world how we think, how we use our energy, or how we interact with other people? The Providence Academy Symphonic band director Mr. Jones had a very simple yet complex answer to this question.
“We all have our strengths and weaknesses in life,” he explained, “and we need to find what makes us unique and we need to embrace it. Whenever someone is truly being themselves they are living life to the fullest.”
This simple advice could have the potential to change the PA community in a very big way. If we all were true to ourselves and accepted others for who they are, not only would our community here at PA be more harmonious, but we may grow in a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other that could change Providence Academy forever.
Think you know yourself? Want to find out? Here is a link to the personality test that all of the members of the survey took: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. Then compare with the the results of several of the students and teachers from around PA with the infographic above.