Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm an INTP

We ask about hats, and colors of Kippahs. We ask which stream of society he belongs too.

"Which Yeshivas did he go to?"
"What do his parents do?"
"What do his siblings do?"
"Where do they live?"
"How many years does he want to learn for?"

That's how we match up couples. Surprisingly, despite two people being perfect for each other on paper, despite them both agreeing that the husband should be in Kollel for exactly 5.5 years, until the birth of their third child; despite them both having brothers who learn in the Mir, and sisters who are working in special Ed; despite all of that, they meet and don't click.

The infamous click. The adults around them tear their hair out in frustration.
"What do you mean you don't like him?!"
"He's a very good boy, what's there not to like?"

The dater is ashamed. Indeed the boy is wonderfully suitable for her. She too will only eat Rubin and Eidah Chareidit chicken. But nonetheless, she doesn't enjoy being with him.
She's scared that she really is picky, like they all are saying.

There's one facet we often skip in Shidduch dating. Indeed, it's a minor detail. It may be the topic of one or two questions, asked and answered generically.
"Is he outgoing?"
"Oh yes. He's a very friendly boy."

All boys are friendly. Perhaps he nods and says Good Shabbos to the men he meets in Shul. Perhaps he's friendly with his dog, or his pet lizard. But he's friendly for sure. So what's the point in even asking? A boy's personality is hard to describe, hard to measure. It's not black and white like his suits and shirts.

So we don't even try to assess it beforehand. Personality we leave for the date. That's the point where we can see if there's a click. The main thing is we know what his Hashkafas are. All of married life will be smooth sailing, as long as we can agree where to send our kids to school.

It turns out that outside the religious world, people are search for mates in a different fashion. Zodiac "love matches" have been around since who-knows-when. Then there's graphology (more on that another day). And EHarmony has come along with a 250+ question Personality Profiles. Should this be a new section for our Shidduch DVDs?

Meanwhile, I took a free Myer Briggs test. Turns out that I'm an INTP. Now, I don't usually go for this sort of stuff, but 90 percent of what they wrote was totally accurate. It was like they could see inside my mind. It's pretty cool.

I don't think I want to rely on Myer Briggs for determining who I marry though. That's all I need.

"He won't go out with you because your Myer- Briggs personality types don't match".
"But we have the same Hashkafas! We are perfect for each other!"


  1. Thing is, even if Myer-Briggs personality types match, opposites still attract.

  2. Not always. As an N-J I find 'S' types immensely frustrating. But that's the only one that jumps out at me as 'Absolutely Not.'

    ~ INTJ

  3. great post FNF

    and, to PanamaJon:
    you aren't necessarily supposed to date someone with the same personality type as you. do some research; there are specific "matches" between types that are supposed to work out

  4. Or your bloodtype ( Turns out I'm an ISTJ. I think these sorts of things are potentially useful for self introspection, or maybe getting a *general* idea about someone else, but not a hard indicator of real compatibility. There is the Jewish version of this sorts of thing written about by Miriam Adahan in her book "Awareness." I was pretty freaked out how accurate her chapter was on my type (I haven't read it in a while, so I forget what I was).

  5. although the myerr briggs can and often does change if you take it a second or third time. Try taking it in 2 months, you may score differently. The first time I took it I was an ENTP, then a few weeks later I was an ENTJ. Never took it a third time, but would be interested to see what it is 2 years later.

  6. SoG is right about Miriam Adahan's book. It is scarily, scarily accurate. I felt like I was reading a chapter about myself when I got to the part about NF. I'm not the type to break into tears at a sad movie, but other than that, it was dead on. The book is out of print, but I was able to snag a copy at a used book store in Jerusalem. It's a shame they don't print it anymore, it's nice to have the Jewish perspective involved.

    According to Myers-Brigg I'm an INFJ, although I really think I'm a mix of P/J. These tests are interesting and insightful. Understanding the different personality types can give one insight into opposite personality. It shouldn't be treated as fact (i.e. all Extroverts are itching to be the center for attention) because there's no way we can truly understand a person by knowing their Myers-Brigg label. Good post, FnF!

  7. I guess I'm an INTP but not always, sometimes I could be an ENTP or even and I/ENFP

    I did a post on using eharmony for shidduch dating
    if you can make it through all the questions they ask, they give you a very detailed personality report (which I posted). I think it would be cool to have such a report on every girl before I agreed to a date.

  8. I think its a great idea to use your myer-briggs label. Obviously you're not going to say, "oh I'm looking for an ESTJ." Instead you can ask, "is he more of a logical thinker or an analytical thinker? is he extroverted or introverted."

    oh and by the way I'm an ESTJ ;-)

  9. The Feldheim website actually has "Awareness" in stock for $29.99
    whereas seller on Amazon have it for almost 50 and above because it's technically out of print.

  10. BJG- You might know this already but I will write it just in case other people reading don't know: The difference between and Introvert and Extrovert is not the popular myth that introverts are anti-social and extroverts are over-social. The difference lies between what energizes an I and what energizes an E. I's can be very social, however, socializing uses up energy, thus, they need resting periods to retreat and restore energy. E's on the other hand are energized by socialization. Naturally they still benefit from "alone time" but can feel restless if alone for too long.

    SoG: The Miriam Adahan book I had in mind is called "Appreciating People." Though have seen "Awareness" I never read it. It could be that it is a revised version of "Appreciating People."

    Either way, she is a very gifted writer.

  11. If you are serious about your personality and you are an INTP try:

    I am normally an INTP but the I is in confusion as well as the T.

  12. I'm an ENFJ. think the Myers Briggs test is really good and could be helpful in shidduchim when trying to describe a person's personality. Often people have difficulties when trying to describe personalities,(Example: "Well, he's nice...and um,...nice...") so this could be a better tool.

  13. Coralcap: I would say that most of the time I'm an I but I do have some of the characteristics of an E. The only thing I can say for sure is that I'm not an S or a J.

    (not) The Girl Next Door: We're pretty much complete opposites, whodda thunk?

  14. haha, we knew that already, myer-briggs just proved that.

  15. ...that should have been "f" types. Been a while since I read the M-B descriptions.

    Spent a summer working with a fellow who would say things like "I don't know if it's 5 microliters, but it seems right..." Or "if this isn't the right equation, it's close enough."

    The other typology I think someone mentioned is the Enneagram. Similar to the M-B, but takes a more mystical approach to things. A little easier to grasp at first, imo.

  16. There is a lot to be said for the m-b test, however you should take the real test to be sure it is very easy to get mixed up because of what society tells us we should be. I think that the test should be incorporated in to shidduchim it would help a ton .


  17. I like the idea of including Myer-Briggs personality types on shidduch resumes, but it’s never going to happen for two reasons:

    1. The test is fundamentally flawed in the sense that it’s totally subjective. Your personality type is only as accurate as your understanding of the questions and your perspective of yourself. Furthermore, with enough ingenuity one can manipulate their answers to change their personality to fit the criteria of the person they where redt to.

    2. Assuming you can mitigate the first factor, which is possible, and you believe in the methodology and theory behind the test, the test can be scarily accurate and extremely insightful. Let’s just say the theory and uses of the Myer-Briggs typology aren’t strictly limited to a few of your personality attributes … ;) Personally, I wouldn’t handout my personality typology to just anyone, but that is just a thought.

    A ****

  18. to sibw
    the thing with m-b tests are that all the types are good there is no bad type it is all about how you get along with other ppl because of the i am i will get along with an other type while a person of a different type might not get along with me

    the whole resume is subjective and if you are smart you can trick ppl to think you have good character traits so why not have the subjective in the form of m-b test if you do the real one {not the free 2 min online thing} is probably a lot harder to fool then some teacher that is trying to see the good in you wants you to get married and will end up just end up saying something along the lines of he is a kind good kid

  19. "He won't go out with you because your Myer- Briggs personality types don't match".
    "But we have the same Hashkafas! We are perfect for each other!"
    well what matters more your Hashkafa or getting along ?
    Also: And EHarmony has come along with a 250+ question Personality Profiles.
    The true Myer-Briggs test has about 200-250 questions

  20. Anonymous,(both 2:48 and 3:26) not at all. Any mentally health individual can get along with any other mental healthy individual just fine. Major Hashkafa differences? Usually not. The purpose of the test is to show natural tendencies in behavior as well as how different people perceive specific stimuli. I’m sure if you examine all your friends you will find that they don’t fit the predicted typologies for your particular personality type. Also another interesting aspect of the Jung typologies is a person’s character weaknesses. So yeah, I imagine that while there is no wrong answer, there are certain attributes which would be less appealing than others.

    But as you said, shidduch resumes are totally subjective as is and you’re right, people would use this in the same way they stereotype schools and seminaries, probably not in a conducive manner. I doubt the paid tests or even the full length tests are a better solution since even those can be “gamed.” According to theory, the proper way to get an objective result would be for your peers to evaluate you, so yes, maybe asking others to describe an individual might hold some merit. Maybe that’s not so crazy… you know, asking a perspective date’s references to answer MB styled questions; I wonder if that would catch on? Even so, I imagine most people don’t understand enough about the test and typologies to use this information in a meaningful fashion anyway.

  21. yes some of my friends have types that the m-b would suggest i would not get along with still i see the MB play it self out in the way we get along.

    what we both said are true however i think the only reason it will probably never become part of shidduch resumes is because frum ppl are to scared to change

    i am not so sure that asking peers would work because they want you to get married {when i say not work i mean as well or even close to how well i think the mb test would work}i found that when i was asked about someone i knew it was hard for me to say the truth about it

    also i think you are right about ppl not knowing the test to the degree that would be needed i suggest that should be the shadchans responsibility?

  22. See that is my point. If one can have friends who are “incompatible,” Is it crazy to think that one could marry a person with an incompatible MB type? Your right, though, personality theory is a very useful tool in understand how different people interact.

    Let’s make a compromise. Even if people would put their MB types on their resumes, I assume you’d agree that we should check with their references to confirm that there personality on paper matches their personality in real life in order to minimize subjectivity.

    If you think it’s never going catch on in the frum world because of the fear of change, it will never make it the shaddchanium! Hmm… that reminds me, I have a post idea on this topic that needs to be written. Maybe later…

  23. For sure this should be added to the mix of things not become the only thing this is the most important decision of a persons life.

    However, I think that a marriage is different then friendship. I think that it is much more important that there is some MB compatibility. I would also venture to say that a lot of healthy marriages probably have some MB compatibility, but they are just unaware about it.

  24. SG, I suspected you were FJ. I'm a bit surprised you are an "E".

    Adahan had two books. One using M-B and one using the Enneagram. You can move between the different systems.

    One advantage of the Enneagram's system is it recognizes that we aren't totally one thing or another. It gives you a main "type" and two "wings".

    For example, I'm a M-B INFJ or an Enneagram 4 with a strong 5 wing.

    If you are interested in the topic, I suggest you study both books.

  25. I think personality type is an important factor that's often overlooked in relationship matches. I got really into personality types years ago and put together pages about Personality Types and Myers Briggs online resources.

    When I was researching links to put on the first one, I found a really cool site called TypeTango which is a dating site based on MBTI. It's still going apparently. It's a fascinating idea, though I'm not sure how successful it's been.

    I also like other systems like the Enneagram, which in some ways may even go deeper into the types of issues relevant to a relationship.