Sunday, June 22, 2008

self definition?

What interests me most about putting these three ways of looking at personality in conversation with one another is the intersections. The one that seems most right to me is the MBTI, and the Chinese calendar seems least like me.

Myers-Brigs: On the MBTI, I'm an ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging). Here's how one writer describes that:
According to Myers-Briggs, ISFJs are interested in maintaining order and harmony in every aspect of their lives. They are steadfast and meticulous in handling their responsibilities. Although quiet, they are people-oriented and very observant. Not only do they remember details about others, but they observe and respect others' feelings. Friends and family are likely to describe them as thoughtful and trustworthy. ISFJs, or "Protector Guardians", are most concerned with taking care of people by keeping them safe and secure. They are modest caretakers who do not demand credit or thanks for their efforts. But while they are essentially very compassionate—and in fact exercise more patience in dealing with the disabled than perhaps any other type—their shyness with strangers can lead others to misread them as standoffish. Only among friends and family may this quiet type feel comfortable speaking freely. ISFJs are serious people with a strong work ethic, not inclined to self-indulgence. They believe in being meticulous and thrifty. They work well alone. While they may enjoy taking care of others, they do not enjoy giving orders.

Year of the Tiger: According to the Chinese calendar, I am Year of the tiger. Here's one way of thinking about that:
Tiger people are difficult to resist, for they are magnetic characters and their natural air of authority confers a certain prestige on them. They are tempestuous yet calm, warm-hearted yet fearsome, courageous in the face of danger yet yielding, soft and mysterious in unexpected places. They enjoy a life full of challenges and unexpected events, like visiting unusual places and meeting interesting or outstanding people. Other people in their area are easily attracted by the tiger's enthusiasm and way of life. Tigers find pleasure in the unpredictable, and while other people would rather make a backward step, they are not afraid to explore the new and unusual. But it is not that simple to interest the Tiger. What they really need is first-hand experience. Usually open and frank, these people are likely to withdraw and can be aggressive when trapped. As soon as the Tiger has regained their sense of security their confidence also returns, enabling them to set out once more. These people usually tend to trust their instincts, though there is another side of their personality, which assesses situations thoughtfully before they launch any actions. Their friends usually secretly admire their determination and optimism, though sometimes may find it complicated to share the Tiger's enthusiasm and can be pushed away and left behind. Although Tigers can be courageous and generous friends, if they are not able to achieve what they want, they can be inflexible and self-centered. So if your friend was born in the year of the Tiger, there will be highs and lows in your friendship, but the friendship itself will remain firm.

Capricorn: The Zodiac system says that I'm a Capricorn. Here's a few ways to look at that:
The Capricornian is one of the most stable and serious of the zodiacal types. This type is normally cautiously confident, strong willed and calm. Hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering they are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary they are reliable workers in almost any profession they undertake. But they are neither original nor creative and can only develop what others invent or initiate. Within their limits, however, they are resourceful, determined managers, setting themselves and others high standards. Honest in their criticism of self, they respect discipline from above and demand it from those beneath them. In fact when practical business ability allied with the drive of ambition and lust for power and wealth are required in employees to make a project succeed, Capricornians are the people to hire. They plan carefully to fulfill their ambitions (which often include becoming wealthy), are economical without meanness and able to achieve great results with minimum effort and expense. Because of their organizing ability they are able to work on several projects simultaneously.They are, nevertheless, fair as well as demanding. Among their equals they are not always the most pleasant of work fellows either, for they are reserved and too conservative, valuing tradition more than innovation, however valuable the latter, and they are often humorless. There is also a tendency to pessimism, though, they can be surprisingly and suddenly witty and subtle for the dull, prosaic creatures they seem to be, and they also have a tendency to ruin everything earned by their caution and shrewdness by unexpected and utterly irresponsible bouts of flippancy. They are rational, logical and clearheaded, have good concentration, delight in debate in which they can show off their cleverness by luring their adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.In their personal relationships they are often ill-at-ease, if not downright unhappy. They make few good friends but are intensely loyal to those they do make, and they are bitter, revengeful enemies. Faults to which the type is prone are over-conventionality, bigotry, selfishness, incessant unnecessary worrying, and severity spilling over into cruelty.

1 comment:

G said...

This is really interesting, and caused me to go look up my descriptions again. I've always very much identified with my MBTI profile, but when I tried to look up the others, I kept getting different answers. I was born on the eve of Chinese New Year in the US, if you take into account the time difference I was really born on the first day of the next year in China. I wonder if I can claim both.