Personalities: What’s Yours and Does It Matter for Catholics?

What is your personality type?

A good friend — who shall go nameless unless he/she outs him/herself in the combox — invited me to take a personality test last week. Since I was on vacation and my guys were still sleeping, I avoided the “I’m too busy” temptation and took the simple fifteen minute test.

The results were interesting, and sort of “dead on”.

Turns out, I’m an an ENFP.

I sort of remember taking a version of this test years ago when Greg and I were in marriage preparation classes. Unfortunately, I do not remember the results either of us received. And I think it’s unlikely that my uber-busy husband will be sitting down to take this new test any time soon. Taking this version made me curious about how my 23 year old self would have answered the questions and how she’d think about her fifty year old counterpart’s responses.

I’m willing to bet that I was a different type back in those days. Marriage and parenthood, breast cancer and a deepening of my faith life have morphed me and changed my priorities. I can also look at my list strengths and weaknesses and view them more objectively. Understanding my limitations helps me to have a better context for implementing my core mission as a Catholic. Knowing my gifts helps me to pinpoint how I might better serve God and those around me.

A question for you: How about you? Have you taken this type of test? What has it taught you about yourself and your relationships?

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  • I’m a firm ENTJ and have been since back in college when I studied this stuff. I find it helps me, especially when I’m working closely with someone, to have an idea of their personality. It helps me know what they value and how they make decisions.

    I think motherhood and marriage have been the best thing for helping me stretch beyond my personality. I was reflecting on that just the other day. (Confession, not that you needed it: I’m a total personality geek.) Without motherhood, I might see that list of strengths and weaknesses as set in stone. Now I see it as an opportunity.

    I appreciate the flip sides way more now (in part because, ahem, I have some kids to help me with that) and I can also appreciate what I’m good at (and never likely to be good at).

    Do you ever wonder how JESUS would score? #truepersonalitydorkcomingout

    My bet is that 23yo Lisa would score stronger and not as close to the middle, if she’s anything like I was. I was waaaay more invested in how I was 20-30 years ago than I am now. Now, it’s easier to be spontaneous (I’m a J, so that’s a stretch) and it’s easier to let people make decisions based on their (gasp) FEELINGS and not rational thought. (And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I do the same myself every so often.)

    The types are a starting point. They’re not the end-all be-all. But I can’t help but be fascinated…

    #yesImwatchingthiscomboxwithgreatinterest 🙂

    • lisahendey


    • katieokeefe

      I’m an INFP. Truly, I had no idea that I was an introvert until I took this test. It made the fact that I prefer quiet behind-the-scenes action a little easier to understand. I used to test as an INFJ, but motherhood has softened that Rule book a bit, I guess.

  • I’m skeptical. I almost always score as ENTJ or INTJ, depending on how the questions are phrased. When I was younger I was E or INFJ. This test gave me ENFP. I’m not buying it. I suspect the questions are worded poorly.

    FWIW, I like this test (especially the long form) much better:

    • lisahendey

      Interesting Eric… I am going to take the test that you’ve shared too and see how it compares to my results on this one. Also I wonder how I’d respond differently on a busy Monday as opposed to last week, when I was on vacation…

      • But your personality should be the same. Your gut reaction to things, how you operate…they should be the same, yes? Or something.

    • Oooo, Eric, I’m taking that one too.

      I wasn’t so critical of the wording, but I did score closer to F than I *ever* do.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    I’ve tested as INFJ and INTJ–the F and the T scores are always very close for me. I’ve grown to realize that being and introvert doesn’t always equal being shy. I’m no longer shy, but I do develop the blues if I don’t get some alone time regularly.

  • Stefanie Battaglia

    Today – ISFJ which seems accurate. 10+ years ago, ISTJ – which is similar. Like Sarah, it helps to know what people value. I used to be extremely shy and people that don’t know me well may be surprised to discover I’m an introvert. I tend to move towards an extrovert in familiar situations or with close family and friends.

  • Kathleen

    I just got out mine from last Oct. – INTJ. What I think is a “hoot” is the list of famous INTJs. It includes, among others, Hannibal (of elephants/Alps fame) and Augustus Caesar, and fictional characters Gandolf the Grey (from Tolkein’s books), Professor Moriarty (from Sherlock Holmes), both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet, and George Smiley, le Carre’s master spy!

    • Kathleen, just horning in to say that INTJs are some of my very favies (hey, I married one!). 🙂 You’re in some good company there!

      • Kathleen

        I’m going to have to re-read the entire 2+ page printout and see if I can figure out “who” I am! C.S.Lewis, Emily Bronte and Cassius of Julius Caesar fame are also on the list!

  • I’m an ISTJ and getting more intense on some of those with time. The S and T are less strong than the I and J. I have read that as you mature, you become more balanced. In my case, I must be maturing in reverse.

    • If only my gray hair would get the message on that score…

    • Barb, I am finding that in my own, but I blame it less on aging and more on the crucible of motherhood. 🙂

      And that does NOT surprise me about you. At. All. (But I hadn’t gotten so far as to type you…yet. Mwahaha. You saved me from having to hunt you down and make you take the test.) 🙂

      • I know. I’m that obvious!!

  • I gained much more insight from the Enneagram, especially Richard Rohr’s insights on the nine types. Since each type has a spectrum from “unredeemed” to “redeemed” (in other words, bad to good) it has helped me to see how my flaws and even sinfulness can be transformed into graces and admirable qualities. It was also very eyeopening to learn what my plus-one’s type is – it gave me a framework for understanding some of our differences.

  • INFP- I’ve known about this test for nearly 20 years now. It was a central point of my diagnosis with Asperger’s.

  • Mark S.

    INFP here. But via the standard Myers-Briggs tool we use here at my company. Helps me a lot in realizing my strengths and deficiencies so that I can be more comfortable in my own skin and focus on using the traits I have. Besides being accurate it is also a bit of fun.

  • Deanna Bartalini

    ESFJ – have taken the test through the years and have remained the same, except, have become much more FJ.