Someone at work gave me a heads-up that HR will type us all using the Keirsey Myers-Briggs method. Trying to stay ahead of the curve, I took out Please Understand Me II, took the test (it’s awful), and read up on my type. Keirsey claims my type has a rough time dating, so I flipped to the dating chapter for further details.
Quick overview: The M-B method types people by giving them four letters (get yours here).
The first letter can be I(ntrovert) or E(xtrovert) – does the person get energy from interacting with others or from solitude?
The second letter can be iNtuitive or Sensing – does the person deal predominantly with the concrete and actual or the abstract and theoretical?
The third letter can be Thinking or Feeling – does the person based actions on cool facts and logic or relationships and impressions?
The fourth letter can be Judging or Perceiving – does the person like things hard, fast, and nailed down or open, changeable, and free?
Keirsey then divides the 16 possible types into four main subdivisions. There are the
Guardians (SJ) who are the pillars-of-society type. Moral and straight-shooting, they always know what the right behavior is and they do it. They can also be stodgy and have difficulty understanding people who are not Guardians.
Artisans (SP) who are life-of-the-party type. Fun and creative, they spread joy wherever they go. They can also be hedonistic and live for the moment.
Rationals (NT) who are the nerdy type. Cerebral and absorbed by their ideas, they are also detached and disinterested in social mores.
Idealists (NF) who are the romantic type. Believers in truth, beauty, justice, and love, they pursue self-actualization and tend to be disappointed with almost everyone.
Now here’s where it gets interesting:
Keirsey claims that Guardians and Artisans tend to pair up. This matches the observed social pattern of boring but successful men/women snagging hyper and fun-loving women/men. One partner brings stability, the other excitement, and the two understand each other because they’re both S-types.
Kiersey then claims that Rationals and Idealists also make great pairs. They communicate on the same N-type wavelength which includes art, philosophy, and social theory, among others. Cynical NTs admire the relentless idealism in Idealists and Idealists admire the grounded rationality in Rationals, so mutual respect is guaranteed to last.
Since Guardians and Artisans make up more than ¾ of the world’s population, it’s fairly easy for them to match up and marry off. Rationals and Idealists are few and far between, and therefore have a harder time pairing themselves off.
Now, I don’t buy this theory completely, but it’s got delicious potential. And I’ll go into that tomorrow.