Why I Insist On Answering Myers-Briggs Questions In Essay Form

Stuart Green
Slackjaw
Published in
4 min readDec 20, 2022

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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — the world’s most widely used personality assessment tool — contains a long list of statements in response to which subjects are asked to indicate whether they “strongly agree,” “somewhat agree,” “neither agree nor disagree,” “somewhat disagree,” or “strongly disagree.”

Personally, I find the agree/disagree format kind of limiting. When I take Myers-Briggs, I like to showcase the full richness of my personality. That’s why I insist on giving my answers in essay form, like this . . . .

1. YOU ENJOY PARTICIPATING IN GROUP ACTIVITIES.

What group activities did you have in mind? Singing in the church choir? Participating in an orgy? Storming the Capitol building in Washington? Kind of depends, doesn’t it?

2. YOU PREFER TO DO YOUR CHORES BEFORE ALLOWING YOURSELF TO RELAX.

Oh sure, I prefer washing the dishes, doing the laundry, and cleaning out the cat’s litter box before settling down on the couch to take a nap.

Is this really what they taught you in psych grad school?

3. YOU TAKE GREAT CARE NOT TO MAKE PEOPLE LOOK BAD, EVEN WHEN IT IS COMPLETELY THEIR FAULT.

I’m afraid I don’t understand the question. You said it was completely their fault, right?

4. YOUR HAPPINESS COMES MORE FROM HELPING OTHERS ACCOMPLISH THINGS THAN YOUR OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Huh???

5. YOU ENJOY WATCHING PEOPLE ARGUE.

Is this a trick question? Who doesn’t enjoy watching people argue? Still, it would be helpful to have more information about what these people were arguing about and whether any threats were made. How are these people related to each other anyway? For example, is one of them your asshole cousin from Ohio who is always mooching off you and your siblings?

6. YOU ARE STILL BOTHERED BY MISTAKES THAT YOU MADE A LONG TIME AGO.

As a matter of fact, I am still bothered by the mistake of getting caught stealing money from the cash register at the Baskin-Robbins store where I worked during sophomore year of college. I am also bothered by the mistake of later getting caught violating parole.

7. YOU WOULD LOVE A JOB THAT REQUIRES YOU TO WORK ALONE MOST OF THE TIME.

I would love to have a job.

8. YOUR PERSONAL WORK STYLE IS CLOSER TO SPONTANEOUS BURSTS OF ENERGY THAN ORGANIZED AND CONSISTENT EFFORTS.

Oh, sure. If I had a “personal work style,” I would no doubt describe it as involving “spontaneous bursts of energy.”

9. AFTER A LONG AND EXHAUSTING WEEK, A LIVELY SOCIAL EVENT IS JUST WHAT YOU NEED.

Well, now, that really would depend on what the “lively” social event was, wouldn’t it? If it was a cocktail party with a bunch of smug, name-dropping neighbors of mine talking about where their suck-up kids are going to college, then, no, that would not be “just what I need.”

10. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY THE QUESTION OF WHAT, IF ANYTHING, HAPPENS AFTER DEATH.

Yes, actually, I always have been fascinated by what happens after death. For example, what do morticians do with your bodily fluids after you get embalmed? Is it true that they remove your eyeballs and, if so, what do they do with them? How long does it take before the worms and such begin eating away at your corpse? Does it depend on the kind of casket you’re buried in?

11. YOU OFTEN HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS.

I understand other people’s feelings. I just don’t care about them.

12. YOU LIKE BOOKS AND MOVIES THAT MAKE YOU COME UP WITH YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION OF THE ENDING.

I don’t really like books or movies, especially ones that make me come up with my own interpretation of the ending. That’s not really my job now, is it? Except for The Sopranos — since I’m one of the few people who figured out how that one ends.

13. YOU RARELY CONTEMPLATE THE REASONS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE OR THE MEANING OF LIFE.

I remember once getting stoned with Jerry Stepinsky during Christmas break our senior year in high school. Jerry said, “hey Brad, do you ever, like, think about what the point of it all is, why we’re, like, here in the first place?” And I said, “hey Jerry, I didn’t know you were, like, such a deep thinker. Can you, like, please pass me the bong?”

Does that count?

14. YOU ARE PRONE TO WORRYING THAT THINGS WILL TAKE A TURN FOR THE WORSE.

As opposed to worrying that they will get better?

15. YOU COMPLETE THINGS METHODICALLY WITHOUT SKIPPING OVER ANY STEPS.

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Stuart Green
Slackjaw

When he is not writing mordantly funny humor pieces for no pay, Stuart serves as a deadly serious professor of criminal law at Rutgers University.