I’m not a psychologist, but I have used the Myers-Briggs test in a work setting and found it interesting and useful. It is actually quite complicated and I don’t pretend to understand the fine details.
This is how Wikipedia explains it: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
One of the reasons I like Myers-Briggs is that it values difference. According to this model there are 16 personality types. In a team it is good to have lots of different types because they complement each other. None are better than others, just different ways of viewing and acting in the world.
I’m wondering how this applies to gardeners and garden bloggers. How does my personality type influence the type of gardener I am? And does this explain why out of all the many and varied garden blogs I visit, some, though wonderful and popular, just don’t ‘do’ it for me compared with others?
One personality type is ESTJ – standing for extrovert, sensing, thinking, judging.
The dominant tendency of ESTJs is to order their environment, to set clear boundaries, to clarify roles and timetables, and to direct the activities around them. This is supported by their facility for using past experience in an ordered and systematic way to help organize themselves and others.
Another personality type is INFP – standing for introvert, intuitive, feeling, perceiving.
The dominant tendency of the INFP is toward building a rich internal framework of values and toward championing human rights. They often devote themselves behind the scenes to causes such as civil rights or saving the environment.
I imagine that the ESTJ type would be very interested in the scientific names of plants and would have a fairly formal, or at least well organized, garden. Whereas the INFP would be thinking about the garden within the broader environment, and place emphasis on seeing the garden as a haven for wildlife.
My personality type is INTJ, which combines elements of both of these types. INTJ personality types have long range vision and quickly find meaningful patterns in external events. In fields that appeal to them, they have a fine power to organize a job and carry it through.
This makes sense to me, in relation to seeing my garden making as an extremely long range project. I tend to focus on the broad picture rather than details. I realize that I care more about the total design of the garden than the intrinsic value of the individual component plants that make up the whole picture. And I obsessively look for garden meanings everywhere – in philosophy, history, literature, politics, spirituality, love, life and death.
about this blog
I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.
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