Until last week I hadn’t thought about nor really cared about personality types. I’d seen a lot of people post their Myers-Briggs personality types in college student groups on Facebook—and at the time, it’d seemed way too oversimplified and kind of too trendy haha. In one college group, someone actually did a statistical analysis on MBTI poll results and came up with some graphs and charts. It was pretty cool! But it was also one of those things I notice while scrolling down my Facebook feed and then forget immediately afterword.
Last week, though, right after I met our host sister in Oujda, we got into a conversation about personality types because I’d noticed that she had INFP on her Instagram bio. She knew a lot more than I did about Myers-Briggs and was also really interested in personality tests. Talking to her made me think more about MBTI. That night, I retook the test on www.16personalities.com, read my own personality type, and thought a little bit about it. After talking about it a little bit with Kate and Catherine (who also stayed in my family), I also started thinking about the personality types of the people around me. So 50% of our sixteen-person YES Abroad and NSLI-Y group is ENFP… that’s interesting; maybe ENFPs tend to want to go on exchange?
It’s also interesting to see how my personality type has evolved through the last four years. In the beginning of high school, I was INTP. Then I got ISTP during sophomore and then to junior year. I just took the test last week and I got ESTP. So first, I evolved from focusing on the big picture to focusing on specific, concrete facts (N → S). And then I evolved from being more introverted to more extraverted (I → E).
That was the part I was most confused about. Am I more extraverted now? I don’t feel very different. I’ve looked online for some complaints and drawbacks of MBTI and I’ve seen that these tests equate extroversion to friendliness/outgoingness/etc instead of the more “correct” definition (which is that introversion means that you get energy from being alone and that extroversion means that you get energy from being with people).
When it comes to personally judging if I’m introverted or extraverted, I’m kind of somewhere in between—definitely not the 70% extraverted 30% introverted that online personality tests give me. After having stayed at home for the past five or so days because of various factors and being frustrated about it, I’ve come up with two reasons for this disparity:
- FOMO (fear of missing out). I like to do new things!! I like to experience new things and try things I haven’t tried before!! The drawback to this is that I tend to view life as a bucket list and time spent not checking off things on the bucket list as missed opportunities. FOMO strikes hard because I always want new stimuli and because I don’t want to do the same thing over and over again (read: staying at home fermenting, or going to the same place multiple times)—meaning that I end up having a very “extraverted” mindset in the way I approach my life, even though I need alone time once in a while.
- Cabin fever, kind of stemming from the FOMO—I don’t like being at home because not being able to do things kind of sucks. Also during the weekdays and most weekends the house is empty so I’m just there alone without the chance to talk to anyone and share ideas.
This means that when I’m faced with the choice of doing something vs. being by myself and practicing self care and relaxing, I haven’t really chosen the self care route (self care = going to the gym, sitting by myself, listening to music, browsing social media and the internet). So this results in multiple things: sleep deprivation, not going to the gym as often as I’d like to, and then, when it gets worse, a lack of willingness to talk to anyone at all for a period of time. This was an issue back in North Carolina, too; just not as pronounced of an issue for various reasons.
If anything, this last week has made me realize that I need some balance in my life—and realize that I’m not here in Morocco to “take advantage of” or “make the most of” it (however much I may unadmittedly think that way; such a gross thought), but that instead I’m here to be here and to live like a normal person. I’ll schedule some alone time for myself, and however much I feel like I’ll regret it, I’ll still do so because I know it’s healthy, and good, and important.