The problem with being shy from kindergarten through high school was that when I moved out into the real world I didn’t have any understanding of other people. Studying the Myers-Briggs helped. Even though MBTI types helped as a tool to cut through the layers between myself and other people, the MBTI was a hacksaw where I needed a knife. I needed something more discerning.
I discovered the New Personality Self-Portrait (PSP) shortly after finding the MBTI and found that the two worked perfectly together. Where the MBTI told me that INFPs were idealistic, the PSP told me what that particular INFP was most idealistic about, whether it was relationships or work or self-discovery. The PSP let me figure out what was most important in lives of others.
The New Personality Self-Portrait consists of 107 questions with Yes-No-Maybe answers. It’s based off The Diagnostic Statistics Manual (DSM-IV). Psychologists use the manual to diagnose various psychological disorders. According the DSM-IV, there are 14 personality disorders. The Personality Self-Portrait posits the existence of 14 orders for each disorder, 14 personality styles that are not so excessive as to be categorized as a disorder.
The Personality Styles are:
Vigilant, Solitary, Idiosyncratic, Adventurous, Mercurial, Dramatic, Self-Confident, Sensitive, Devoted, Conscientious, Leisurely, Aggressive, Self-sacrificing, Serious
Unlike the Myers-Briggs which types a person into 16 behavioral preferences, the PSP has 52 quadrillion possible combinations.
I interpret the test by looking at the highest and lowest scores in relation to each other. My highest are Idiosyncratic and Adventurous. Adventurous means I take risks. Idiosyncratic means I think odd thoughts. So as an INFP, my ideals especially about myself center around risk taking and being outside the norm.
Since I’m absolute zero on the dramatic, my Idiosyncratic self-view doesn’t translate to how I dress. I’ve gone to goth clubs for 20 years. I’ve always worn dress slacks and loose shirt–no latex, mohawks, dyed hair for me. It’s just not me.
The PSP gives me other information that the Myers-Briggs doesn’t. Why are some INFPs more social than others? Why do some social INFPs just hangout with a few people, why other social have a wide variety of friends and acquaintances? The combination of a low Vigilant score and a mid-range self-confident score is why I know so many people. Low vigilant means that I don’t make people jump through a lot of hoops to get to know me. The mid-range self-confident means that I have enough of it not to worry about what others think about me.
I get asked relationship questions based on the MBTI. Just because someone is an INFP doesn’t mean that there’s a complimentary type. However with PSP, I can form definite opinions about relationships. For example, if someone is on the Devoted stay away from people who are highly Aggressive. Devoted people dedicate their lives to the comfort and goals and of their significant other. Highly aggressive people are the manipulators who will step on people to achieve their ends. The High Devoted-High Aggressive combo usually ends up with the Devoted doing all the giving and the Aggressive doing all the taking.
I completely avoid anyone with a High Mercurial and High Drama combo. People who blow up their problems bigger than they are, can be a strain on INFPs. Combined with the mood swings of a high Mercurial and you get a recipe for someone who will hate you just as quickly as they fall in love with you and for no good reason.
I love the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator but it doesn’t tell me everything I need to know in order to relate to other people. The MBTI tells me how a person thinks and acts. The Personality Self-Portrait tells me what that person thinks and does most of the time.