Thursday 12 December 2002

I knew I was weird but…

I’ve been thinking some more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the fact that the PTypes questionnaire suggested I have an Idealist temperament of the Sensitive personality type. PTypes lists the attributes of each temperament (the others are Rationalist, Traditionalist, and Hedonist) as well as each of the four personality types associated with each temperament: the personality types for the Idealist temperament being Conscientious, Sensitive, Vigilant, and Dramatic. Tellingly, the HTML files for each the detail pages are named according to the psychic pathology for each of the personality types:

  • obsessive-compulsive.html (Conscientious)
  • avoidant.html (Sensitive)
  • paranoid.html (Vigilant), and
  • histrionic.html (Dramatic).

The temperament pages list positive and negative attributes for each of the four temperaments. Those for the Idealist temperament are:

Positive attributes: altruistic, analytical, authentic, behaved, believing, benevolent, calm, caring, chart maker, communicative, compassionate, compliant, conscientious, considerate, creative, cultured, deep, deliberate, dependable, detail conscious, detailed, disciplined, emotional, empathic, enthused, enthusiastic, ethical, even-tempered, exacting, faithful, fervent, genuine, helpful, idealistic, industrious, inspired, intuitive, loyal, musical, nurturing, orderly, organized, perfectionist, persistent, personal, planner, pleasing, precise, prophetic, psychic, relating, reliable, respectful, scheduled, self-sacrificing, sensitive, serious, sincere, spiritual, subjective, sympathetic, systematic, thoughtful, understanding, unifier, unworldly, visionary, warm, well-behaved, well-organized.

Negative attributes: alienated, bashful, confused, credulous, critical, depressed, detached, difficult, estranged, exacting, fussy, guilt prone, hard to please, hypochondriac, indecisive, inflexible, insecure, introvert, judgmental, loner, moody, moralistic, mystical, negative attitude, overly sensitive, perfectionistic, pessimistic, picky, revengeful, resentful, too sensitive, skeptical, self-absorbed, self-critical, self-righteous, stuffy, suspicious, touchy, unforgiving, unpopular, unrealistic, withdrawn, worry prone.

I did try graying out the attributes that I believe don’t apply to me but rapidly wound up feeling like a conceited prat.

I had greater success with choosing from the characteristic traits and behaviors for each personality type listed in Dr. John M. Oldham’s The New Personality Self-Portrait. These are more concrete and I felt more comfortable graying out those that didn’t seem to match my behavior. (As always, comments are welcome, with the proviso that I already know I’m the least qualified person in the world to make such judgements.) Nevertheless, I’m convinced that my choices of traits and behaviours from each of the personality types yielded a reasonably accurate self-portrait.


  1. Familiarity. Individuals with the Sensitive personality style prefer the known to the unknown. They are comfortable with, even inspired by, habit, repetition, and routine.
  2. Concern. Sensitive individuals care deeply about what other people think of them.
  3. Circumspection. They behave with deliberate discretion in their dealings with others. They do not make hasty judgments or jump in before they know what is appropriate.
  4. Polite reserve. Socially they take care to maintain a courteous, self-restrained demeanor.
  5. Role. They function best in scripted settings, vocationally and socially: when they know precisely what is expected of them, how they are supposed to relate to others, and what they are expected to say.
  6. Privacy. Sensitive men and women are not quick to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with others, even those they know well.


  1. Autonomy. Vigilant-style individuals possess a resilient independence. They keep their own counsel, they require no outside reassurance or advice, they make decisions easily, and they can take care of themselves.
  2. Caution. They are careful in their dealings with others, preferring to size up a person before entering into a relationship.
  3. Perceptiveness. They are good listeners, with an ear for subtlety, tone, and multiple levels of communication.
  4. Self-defense. Individuals with Vigilant style are feisty and do not hesitate to stand up for themselves, especially when they are under attack.
  5. Alertness to criticism. They take criticism very seriously, without becoming intimidated.
  6. Fidelity. They place a high premium on fidelity and loyalty. They work hard to earn it, and they never take it for granted.


  1. Feelings. Dramatic men and women live in an emotional world. They are sensation oriented, emotionally demonstrative, and physically affectionate, They react emotionally to events and can shift quickly from mood to mood.
  2. Color. They experience life vividly and expansively. They have rich imaginations, they tell entertaining stories, and they are drawn to romance and melodrama.
  3. Attention. Dramatic people like to be seen and noticed. They are often the center of attention, and they rise to the occasion when all eyes are on them.
  4. Appearance. They pay a lot of attention to grooming, and they enjoy clothes, style, and fashion.
  5. Sexual attraction. In appearance and behavior, Dramatic individuals enjoy their sexuality. They are seductive, engaging, charming tempters and temptresses.
  6. Engagement. Easily putting their trust in others, they are able to become quickly involved in relationships.
  7. The spirit is willing. People with Dramatic personality style eagerly respond to new ideas and suggestions from others.


  1. Hard work. The Conscientious person is dedicated to work, works very hard, and is capable of intense, single-minded effort.
  2. The right thing. To be Conscientious is to be a person of conscience. These are men and women of strong moral principles and values. Opinions and beliefs on any subject are rarely held lightly. Conscientious individuals want to do the right thing.
  3. The right way. Everything must be done “right,” and the Conscientious person has a clear understanding of what that means, from the correct way to balance the checkbook, to the best strategy to achieve the boss’s objectives, to how to fit every single dirty dish into the dishwasher.
  4. Perfectionism. The Conscientious person likes all tasks and projects to be complete to the final detail, without even minor flaws.
  5. Perseverance. They stick to their convictions and opinions. Opposition only serves to strengthen their dogged determination.
  6. Order and detail. Conscientious people like the appearance of orderliness and tidiness. They are good organizers, catalogers, and list makers. No detail is too small for Conscientious consideration.
  7. Prudence. Thrifty, careful, and cautious in all areas of their lives, Conscientious individuals do not give in to reckless abandon or wild excess.
  8. Accumulation. A “pack rat,” the Conscientious person saves and collects things, reluctant to discard anything that has, formerly had, or someday may have value for him or her.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what happened to Narcissistic? Well, believe it or not, that’s not an Idealist trait. What surprised me most is that, even though I’m supposed to be Sensitive, I got a full score for the Vigilant (a.k.a. paranoid) personality type (which maps to an ENFP Myers-Briggs type). PTypes has a chart that lists the Correspondence of five personality typologies (PTypes personality type, Keirsey’s Myers-Briggs type, Riso’s Enneagram type, PTypes personality disorder, and Brau’s astrological type).

I guess I can be best summed up as a Sensitive/Vigilant, INFJ, Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental, Avoidant/Paranoid Aquarius.

Which might explain why I’m having trouble getting a date (though not my obsession with the Dishmatique).

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Dammit, this was entertaining. And interesting. And illuminating. And now I have to post on it, when I should I be working on the book.

Posted by Burningbird on 11 December 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Is the greying-out of "Attention. Dramatic people like to be seen and noticed. They are often the center of attention, and they rise to the occasion when all eyes are on them." inconsistent with running one of the most popular weblogs around, I wonder? Obviously a rejoinder here might be that whether people *read* it is irrelevant, and that's not the motivation for production, but, well, all this could be a diary on your desk rather than a publically available website, perhaps?

Please don't take this as an insult; it's certainly not intended to be so.

Posted by Stuart Langridge on 11 December 2002 (Comment Permalink)

Glad you enjoyed it, Bb. I thought your "I test, therefore I am" counterpost
( equally fascinating.

Stuart, I wasn't the slightest bit offended. Your comment was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for (i.e. pointing out contradictions between the traits and characteristics -- grayed out or not - and how others perceive me via my weblog). Interestingly though, it's honestly not my perception that I'm "running one of the most popular weblogs around."

Posted by Jonathon Delacour on 12 December 2002 (Comment Permalink)

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2007 Jonathon Delacour