Last night my family started taking a personality test around the dinner table. The wife had found some website that would ask you about ten questions and then tell you exactly the type of person you were, if you would amount to anything in life, and whether you would spend any time in jail. She went first and then told us she was “I” “N” “F” “C”, or something like that. The rest of us all looked at each other. What the heck did that mean?
“Each letter stands for something about you,” my wife said, but did not elaborate.
I quickly came up with “Introvert”, “Nice”, “Funny” and “Crazy”. I could see the kids coming up with their words, too, but nobody wanted to say what they were thinking in case they were wrong.
Introvert was a no-brainer when it came to my wife, and that surprises some people because she can get sweeter than your grandmother’s tea in about five seconds. She teaches kindergarten and she’s good at it. She’s bubbly. And she dresses like she wants to audition for Welcome Back Kotter. (Of course those surprised people don’t see her crawl into the house at the end of the day.)
Maybe “N” was nurturing. Anyone could see that. As a little girl she had a toad farm and a gay college friend once called her a “Natural Born Breeder.”
Except it turned out “N” was for Intuitive.
Wilkins held up his hand. “Why wouldn’t that be an ‘I’?”
The rest of the kids nodded.
“Because ‘I’ already stands for introvert,” my wife said.
Wilkins rolled his eyes. “That’s just stupid.”
“F” stood for feeling.
“Like what?” Jacks asked.
“What?” my wife said.
“Feeling what?” Jacks said. “You don’t just feel. You gotta feel LIKE something!”
My wife took a deep breath.
“P” was her last letter and it stood for perceiving.
Wayne had been looking up her results on his phone. “This says that INFP’s are flexible and laid back.” Heads nodded. “They have deep caring and are genuinely interested in people. Their sincerity is sensed by others, making them a valued friend and confidant.”
“Nailed her,” Beth muttered.
I nodded at my daughter. People always dump their stuff on my wife. I’ve thought about carrying around a blow up couch and trying to turn a buck off of it.
Wayne went on. “Oh yeah, Dad, this says INFP’s can sometimes appear irrational and illogical in conflict situations, not really caring who is right and who is wrong.”
The rest of us exchanged looks.
“And when their value system is threatened, they become aggressive defenders.”
No one moved.
“Well, let’s see what you are,” my wife suddenly said. She began asking me a series of questions, each of which had four answers. A typical question would be “Are you this way because you learned it, or because that is just the way you are?” And I would have to say I agreed with that statement all of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never.
“I have a feeling if I take this Briggs and Stratton Test I’m gonna be “D” “U” “M” “B”, Wilkins said.
My daughter hung over my wife’s shoulder as she kept reading questions and feeding in my responses. About halfway through the test my daughter said, “That’s not what he said.”
My wife shushed her and read the next question.
I held up my hands. “You mean you are changing my answers?”
“Only when you respond incorrectly,” my wife said.
With my wife’s help I came out as an INTP. I never found out what that meant, except apparently the INTP’s get to clean the kitchen.