ISTJ Poster Child

One of the Communications assignments was to go through the Myers-Briggs Personality Type testing and then create a discussion post about your own communication preferences. I do know myself well enough to laugh at my own quirks and feel everyone should have at least some level of self-awareness in order to curb the reactive-monkey behaviors running rampant in the world today. Just saying.

I think I am the ISTJ poster child: OCD in my need to be thorough and organized before jumping to a conclusion too soon. I used to be very Sammie Safety, can’t be too careful, but I’ve mellowed in my old age and laugh at myself when the old impulse kicks in. My mother tells the story that when I was 10 months old and began walking, I tripped and fell down, got an owwie, and then spent the next few months crawling until I apparently felt it was safe to try walking again. Obviously, cautiousness is something my package came with.

I generally start early and work through an assignment or project straight until it’s done. Although I have a sunny disposition that works well in my line of work, I’m a one-on-one person who is not terribly fond of being in the midst of groups, so once I am done doing the “group thing,” I can go the entire rest of the day in total quiet, except for short conversations with my pets.

I am definitely intuitive, or sensitive to other people’s energies, which is where the “sensing” element plays in. I also frequently experience the time warp I call “laser focus.” As a morning person taking this and a finance class this semester, I will usually start my day creating the Excel spreadsheets required for my concurrent finance course only to realize (as tonight) that the sun is going down and I still had not posted here. Of course, I reveled in preparation of a three-scenario loan amortization schedule and was a bright-and-early poster in my finance course on Tuesday morning. The ability (or disability?) to be completely transfixed on the present project is something I’ve had my entire life.

If you relate to OCD-ness, the need for perfection of an Excel spreadsheet (which I have been using since Windows 95) would be understandable, but the other reason I enjoy them so much is because as an artist, it’s all laid out before me, like a piece of artwork; intricate with all of its formulas, much like a mandala others use for colouring or meditation. Truly works of art, some of them. The spreadsheets, I’m talking about.

I’m also a researcher and fully appreciate when people provide me with facts that back up their facts in any given situation, except when it comes to people matters. Then, please, don’t tell me. I love facts, but not drama, if that makes sense. When someone corners me and has the need to unburden, on the inside I can feel myself start to giggle because I know myself well enough to know it makes me uncomfortable, yet the person talking to me doesn’t. I get past the initial “Ack!” by focusing on their words and energy to give them my full attention. I don’t seek it out; it just appears on my doorstep.

If anyone recalls from the introductory week, I am a volunteer manager and describe what I do as “Nice for a living.” People are, by default, involved in that and I just laugh at my own quirks and keep my sense of humour about me.

Facts, spreadsheets, research, no typos, neatly stapled or hole punched and put in a binder, please. Neatness counts. The other part of my OCD-ness would be that I’m usually the one who sees something in the category of “not my job” that needs to get done but isn’t or didn’t, and I’ll just go quietly over and do it to avoid the aggravation or inevitable drama of anyone knowing it was left undone.

I’ve worked on letting that aspect go, but I still feel the urge sometimes. Okay, a lot.


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