Personality Conflicts and Discoveries


I recently took the Myers Briggs personality test for the first time. I supervise a team at work, and we felt like it would be beneficial for us to know what makes each other tick. We can have quite the tug of war sometimes between the extroverts and the introverts, those that love some freedom and flexibility to dream and those that want every detail in hand before they start working on something. Interesting dynamics!

So, it turns out that I’m an “ENTP.” I’m actually VERY strong E and N and pretty borderline T. In fact, I took another free online personality test  today and I actually was an “ENFP” on that one. But, anyway, I think it accurately described me and my brain. It also made me realize why dealing with autism can drive me so crazy, and why I’m so driven to achieve a better outcome for my son. Let me explain with some statements from the ENTP results:

1. As children, ENTPs enjoyed inventing new toys, dances, and languages. Because they are outgoing in their personality style, they often engage other children in their projects and assign them particular roles to play. I was rarely ever bored as a child. My imagination could keep things going for hours. My friends and I would come up with elaborate story lines and play them out–Dukes of Hazzard, GI Joe, and even Days of Our Lives inspired us, and we took the plot lines from there. So, it is really challenging for me that my son is not able yet to use an imagination for playing. I want to amaze him, make him laugh and giggle, surprise him, delight him with all of the adventures we could have.

2. ENTPs rarely accept things just as they are. ENTPs are basically optimists, but in spite of this (perhaps because of it), they tend to become extremely petulant about small setbacks and inconveniences. (Major setbacks they tend to regard as challenges, and tackle with determination.) Well, on the good side, I’m determined in this quest to make things better for my son. Autism is NOT going to define him, and if I have anything to say about it, we’re going to do everything we can and engage God in everything he will to overcome this. On the downside, those “small setbacks and inconveniences” happen pretty much every day (ie. pooping problems!) and it does get to me big time.

3. In terms of their relationships with others, ENTPs are capable of bonding very closely and initially, suddenly, with their loved ones. ENTPs are also good at acquiring friends who are as clever and entertaining as they are. I thrive on interaction, the back and forth of conversation, and knowing that another person “gets” me. (You can’t believe how much I love to see comments on my blog!) So, here’s another instance where I feel so deeply in love with my son, but can feel so lacking when he can’t always reciprocate through communication and the combustion of relationship that happens through words and gestures.

4. Because of their ability to see relationships and connections between seemingly unrelated things, they are able to realize the potential in many things. When they see an opportunity that others have missed, they set action-oriented strategies that allow them the greatest flexibility to achieve the results they want. This one is funny because two nights ago, I received an e-newsletter with an autism article in it that sent me on a detective chase that led to finding many more articles to support a new theory I connected, and finally I just had to email Josiah’s DAN doctor to see if he knew about this and what he thought. I’m not sure if he appreciates this, but in this confusing world of autism, we parents have to be aware of options, right?

5. ENTPs are relentless learners. ENTPs are clever and are as innovative and ingenious at problem-solving as they are at verbal gymnastics; on occasion, however, they manage to outsmart themselves. Yeah, see #4. Enough said.

Some of the occupations that seem to be more appealing to ENTPs include actor, journalist, marketeer, public relations worker, and other occupations that allow them to be innovative. Hmmm. I do all of those, so I guess I landed in the right job and interest field.

Well, at the end of the day, one of the best things that came out of this personality test wasn’t just an affirmation of my own tendencies, but also a better understanding of how others think. If I can appreciate different types and styles, it will serve my son and others better, because I’ll try to speak their love languages instead of assuming that the way they show and receive love is the same way I do. Finding out what is a “deposit” or “withdrawal” in someone else’s emotional bank account will help us know how to respect and encourage each other better. And when you’re in a season where your deposits may seem a little one-sided with your child, that’s called “sowing seeds.” And seeds sown in love will never come up empty.


Take your own free personality test here, and let me know what you are. It’s fun!

I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. (Phil. 4:12-13 MSG)


6 Responses

  1. I’m an INFJ. Interesting! Thanks for hooking up the free personality test on your site! 🙂

  2. I can see how some of your personality traits make it somewhat frustrating and difficult in dealing with autism. But as I read the descriptions of ENTP I could not help smiling and thinking how smart God is to have given you to Josiah. Your outgoing, creative and imaginative style are a PERFECT tool for engaging Josiah. The fact that you are a restless learner and innovative problem-solver makes you well-suited for finding the things that will help heal your boy. And the list goes on… (And I’m so glad we’re on the same team)!

    I’m wondering what your hubby is?

    I’m an ISTJ. 8)

    • I’ll have to have him take it. He joked that he took it, and it turned up that he was SEXY. lol! Thanks for sharing your type! Fun to see how we’re all wired.

  3. oh! i dig the new look! 8)

  4. Tahni, Steve and I took the Myers-Briggs shortly after we were married and it has been SO helpful for us. Not only is it helpful to understand ourselves, but it helps us understand each other.

  5. hi, I am also ENTP 🙂 I

    I have read somedifferent intrepretations though – please read the one which i found suites this type the best on my recent post:

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