Pondering Myers Briggs During The COVID-19 Lockdown

As an introvert, there’s much to smile about being home, somewhat alone and not having to deal with conversations. Photo provided by: Joe MisiewiczAs an introvert, there’s much to smile about being home, somewhat alone and not having to deal with conversations. Photo provided by: Joe Misiewicz

By: Dr. Joseph Misiewicz—

Muncie, IN—Another day and more pondering as I maneuver around the house searching for things to do. Many friends know I’m a Myers Briggs (MB) believer and I’m now pondering my “INTJ” in lockdown mode.

As an introvert, there’s much to smile about being home, somewhat alone and not having to deal with conversations. Having done many MB workshops I heard often from participants who felt their ‘type’ was different at home than at work. It is highly possible that one’s Myers Briggs, depending on the type obviously, adapts more to a work environment than to a home environment or vice-versa.

When I’m at work conversations are important, as is simple sharing and chatting. It just so happens my retired wife Kerri is also an “I” and thus it’s not uncommon for us to spend considerable time quietly. We do talk to each other, but we don’t seek out lengthy conversations.

My “T” logical thinking side does well usually at home and work. There’s of course a logical way to do most things from tidying the office or house to prepping for a class to teach or prepping a meal for dinner. There’s also basic tools that should always be ready and always put back exactly where they were before the project started. And my judgmental “J” has my planning mind delving into my closet area more than once a week to reorganize. I’ve been quite creative in the closet, but c’mon re-organizing a rather small closet 2-3 times a week? With Kerri being a Feeling “F” type I do get ‘clearance’ usually for over-organizing, putting things back differently from her or hauling things to a charity to donate leaving her to ask “have you seen my…” more than once.

Pondering the “N” in my Myers Briggs presents challenges. “N” is intuitive suggesting I need few ‘details’ before moving forward or deciding on an action. It also implies I should trust ‘my gut’ when making decisions even when I don’t have many facts for making a decision. The news is loaded with details, facts, suggestions, rules, lists…I get exhausted as I ponder a way out of the info overload.  Wife Kerri is a Perceptive “P” and it’s quite normal when asked ‘what’s on your agenda today’ to hear “not sure yet Joe” nor is there a set pattern for pursuing a project depending on mood. It’s important of course to communicate to those you’re quarantined with, but if two or more are introverts…well, enough said.

Pondering the many reactions from workshop participants has me realizing that work often takes people out of their ‘type’ while being at home. Depending on the nature of the home, along with the Myers Briggs types of those you live with, could make lifestyle quite different and allow folks to truly fall into their ‘type’. It may also be a reverse situation with your Myers Briggs being more comfortable at home and not always at work given your four letters.

Just a reminder that extraverts like to engage in conversation and get energy from talking, listening and often in multiple conversations and/or issues simultaneously. Introverts get energy from listening then drifting off to ponder before making conclusions. By the way, the ponder time could be days. Intuitives “N” need few if any facts about most things and rarely follow the direction sheets provided. Sensing “S” types want all five (5) senses satisfied  and will often wait things out until all 5 have been satisfied. Feeling “F” types want harmony, smiles and pleasantness and will often accommodate giving up their desires for that harmony. Periodically, feeling types ‘let loose in a somewhat explosive way’ then go back to harmonizing.

Thinking “T” apply logic to most things and while they are capable of taking feelings into account when making decisions, it’s not about all being happy—it’s about who logically should ‘have to’ or ‘get to’ do something. Perceptive “P” rarely have a plan for the day let alone the week or month. They can be diverted with anything that catches their attention— whether it be cruising a store for specific items then coming home without what they went for because they saw other neat displays and bought those items. Judgemental “J” types have a plan. Often it’s weekly, but within that it can have daily to-do details and normally gets followed.

Most people are clearly aware when they’re out of preference. They can sense it immediately and wonder what’s going on.

It could be I’m avoiding dealing with all the hard core facts flooding media and thus Joe’s mind is off pondering the Myers Briggs types and what might cause us to ignite our type and/or drift to another type or at least one other letter thus feeling somewhat out of sync. This will take more pondering for this INTJ. While doing that, I’m likely to re-organize the same areas at least once today, check my detailed calendar and wonder why the cookie jar is not in the center of the hutch rather than to the right? We know when we’re out of sync with our types, but given the current situation, for many of us it may be we simply will deal with the various challenges.

I’ll need to ponder that a little more.

Dr. Joe

Dr. Joe Misiewicz, is a former professor and chairperson of the Department of Telecommunications at Ball State University.