For the last month or so, I’ve been doing my own research on personality types. Learning about extroverts and introverts more in depth.
I began my research with the intention of finding out more about extroverts, because I often get a high extrovert score in personality tests. Also, I feel the description fits me best because a lot of my energy and happiness comes from hanging out with people.
My personality type is ENFP and one of its traits is overthinking things and sometimes it isn’t helpful. So, I ‘think’ this is probably why I’m compelled to do research to understand these concepts better in the hope that I would understand myself better.
Why do I have better conversations with some people and not others? Sometimes I can initiate a conversation and other times it’s hopeless. Aren’t I an ‘extrovert’?
I should be able to have a conversation with anyone. That’s what make me happy, right? It might be because of my speech impediment or wheelchair persona that puts people off?
My built-in personality type shows that I’m an extrovert, however I have cerebral palsy. I desire to be a charismatic, outgoing and approachable male. I always try to be, but my slur speech limits me from fully living this out.
If I didn't have speech impediment, I would initiate any conversation. Maybe if I had clear speech I would do better in group scenarios. In my head, I would be a better extrovert self if I had no speech impediment.
I know personality tests are just a guideline to how a person may operate. I wasn't trying to fit the “label” of what an extrovert is – NO WAY! I don't like labels.
Rather, parts of me really resonate with its definition. Therefore, I was trying to make sense of why some of my reality didn’t line up. I thought it was due to my impairments why I couldn’t live a fully extroverted lifestyle.
More research into the scale
The extrovert – introvert scale is a spectrum, no one is one or the other. We can have traits of both, we just have more traits from one side than the other. Or an even share of traits from both sides of the spectrum. This is referred to as ambivert.
As I watched videos and read articles about the spectrum, I gained a better understanding of how it works. It turned out that cerebral palsy wasn't the blame for all my difficulties in social interactions.
If one doesn’t feel like they fit all the extrovert (or introvert) traits, it could be that they’re an ambivert. Simply, they lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
I like being around a group of people, but I do better in one on one conversations. That's an ambivert trait I learned.
My ideal is to be out most nights doing something with friends or family. However, sometimes I just want to spend a quite night at home. Is that an extrovert or introvert trait?
Neither, I guess I fall more in the middle of the spectrum. Am I an ambivert? I’m not sure.
However, the point I’m making is that learning more about personality types helped me understand the spectrum better. This has helped me gain more confidence in myself.
Instead of discrediting my medical condition for preventing me from acting my supposed personality, I understand my true personality better and am living it.
The Christian Bible
We could say Myers-Briggs is a bible that helps us understand personality types. Whereas the Holy Bible informs us on how to live a Christian lifestyle.
Completing a personality test is like listening to a sermon or talking to another Christian about the Bible. These are ways for new Christians to start learning about Christianity.
Sermons and Bible discussions may introduce us to new ideas and Christian concepts. We should always do our own Bible studies to get a better understanding of these ideas and concepts.
There are some teachings out there that don't line up with Scripture. Some preach the idea that when you become a Christian, they’ll be prosperous and problem free. Or that’s how listeners hear what’s being preached.
However, that is not at all what a Christian life promises. Believing and following Jesus promises eternal life and overcoming worldly desires. Nowhere in the Bible teaches the idea that a Christian life is free from adversity.
Studying the Bible for ourselves will help us understand what it really means to be a Christian. The Bible teaches us how to live for Jesus better than any other source.
Manuele Teofilo lives in South Auckland with his parents and siblings. He has graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Service. Now, he works at Elevate Christian Disability Trust. He enjoys getting around in his electric wheelchair and having fun with people.