Miniblog #332: A Theory About Why My Personality Has Been Changing
Although I’ve only in the past few years come to appreciate the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as an imperfect but helpful tool in helping understand people, in retrospect I see how much my personality has evolved.1 Beginning high school in 1999 I was a polarized ENFJ. Every attribute was high. My personality contained zero moderation.1.My principles have remained largely consistent but my personality has continually changed. By graduation four years later I was an ENTJ with E and J substantially moderated, N as high as ever, and T a new development that remained low. By the time I withdrew from Moody Bible Institute in the fall of 2004 I was an ENTP. The N remained as high as possible, the E lowered further, the T had grown higher, and I was just barely on the side of P. A full decade later I’m solidly INTP. The I seems to be growing stronger by the day, the N remains as polarized as ever, the T has settled in as a dominant feature, and the P remains low but stable. All of this got me to thinking. Some people have basically been who they are all along and find it weird that others experience such personality shifts. I cannot speak to others’ lives, but I’ve got a theory about why my own personality has evolved as it has. If certain behavior is culturally conditioned, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that there can be a process of cultural deconditioning as well?2.Examples include knee-jerk conservatism, low church spirituality, extrovert social etiquette, trust in emotion over intellect, defensive posturing, binary defaults, and so forth. As a 29-years-old, I’ve spent my entire adult life identifying, questioning, nuancing, and in many cases throwing off the cultural moors of my upbringing.2 This causes me to wonder. Maybe my personality evolution has been more excavating than rebuilding.3 So while it has been legitimate personality change, it seems it has largely been an experience in self-discovery and reformation.3.In other words, perhaps I’ve just been living more and more into who I was always wired to be rather than becoming someone new. That is, I’m living into who I am rather than who others raised me to be. That theory could prove to be crap but right now it seems to make sense. I cannot help but wonder if others who’ve undergone significant personality evolution have had similar experiences.