Who You Really Are?

After my last blog post, I heard from so many fellow writers, and a good many friends, who said that they were introverts, too. Many came as a surprise, especially among the writers I know and admire. In hindsight, I fear that I assumed that most writers were extroverts because of their ability to promote themselves and their books so well. Now I know that is not always the case.

However, having so many of my fellow authors claim they are introverts made me wonder how many well-known writers were, too. I looked for a list, but found that writers were always included as part of a larger list of famous introverts. After reading dozens of lists, J. K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss and Edgar Allan Poe were the only authors who were mentioned repeatedly. Below are just a few other famous introverts that were listed:

Clint Eastwood  Bill Gates  Abraham Lincoln  Audrey Hepburn  Eleanor Roosevelt  Sir Isaac Newton  Albert Einstein  Meg Ryan

Mahatma Gandhi  Laura Bush  Rosa Parks  Warren Buffet  Roy Rogers  Marilyn Monroe  Tom Hanks  Candice Bergen

George Stephanopoulos  Johnny Carson  Harper Lee

Best Day Ever

While I was researching introverts and extroverts, I found that you are not just one or the other. There are a number of variations of each and personality tests that will reveal which type you are.

Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, first published their test, the MBTI, in 1962, after studying the work of Carl Jung since the 1940s. Jung believed everyone experiences the world through four principal psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking and that one is dominant most of the time. Katharine and Isabel gave his theory a practical application: to help women entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of war-time jobs that would be “most comfortable and effective” for them.

Here is a chart that shows the different personality types on the MBTI:

MBTItypeChart Larger

And here are what the letters stand for: 

The first letter is for introvert (I) or extrovert (E).

Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

I thought it might be fun to use this information to categorize some of our favorite Austen characters, and luckily came across this MBTI chart with the characters in Pride and Prejudice already done. 

pride and prejudice personality chart larger

I think it hard to pin-point everyone precisely, but I cannot agree with some of these. For instance, Caroline is ISFJ which is ‘amiable and ready to sacrifice?’ I don’t picture Caroline as either of these. Georgiana is classed as ENFP, which is an extrovert and described as ‘life of the party?’ And Mr. Collins, who is ISTP, does not impress me as someone who is unpretentious—not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed.

I do think it fascinating that Darcy and Lizzy are alike except when it comes down to T or P. Darcy thinks while Lizzy feels. What do you think? Do you agree with the type assigned to your favourite character? I would love to hear your opinion!

Meanwhile, if you wonder what type personality you are, there is a free MBTI test at this link. Free Personality Test

A more in-depth test can be had for a fee at the Briggs and Meyer Foundation. Myers Briggs Foundation



31 Responses to Who You Really Are?

  1. I used to let my students take this test (with parental permission, of course). They loved trying to discover more of each other. Generally, the evaluation was “right on.” Sometimes I was an INTJ and others I was an INFJ – a cross between Darcy and Elizabeth. LOL!

  2. Well, I’ve always said I was more Darcy than Elizabeth, now I have the proof – INTJ all the way. And judging by Joana’s comment, I’m in good company. There seems to be quite a few of us here.

    Thanks for such an interesting post, Brenda.

    • I ‘forced’ my husband to take this test, after all, I wanted to make sure I marked the ‘right man’. He came out as an INTJ. So if an INTJ married an INFJ, we have the perfect match; according to Jane Austen.

      • I love that you are taking it more than once, Debbie, for I did too. So many of the questions could have gone either way in my book. I got Caroline too, but don’t worry for Caroline doesn’t really match that description in my book. 🙂 I love that you and you Mr. Darcy are the perfect match! How cool!

  3. I LOVE this topic, Brenda – it is one of personal fascination for me. I have studied the Briggs-Myers personality typing for years, and taken the tests online from numerous sites. I am almost always INFP with an occasional test that comes up INFJ. One of the sites I took the test on actually showed where you are on the spectrum of each type from 1-100, and I was barely on the P side of the scale, so I think perhaps I flip between INFP and INFJ depending on the situation and my mood. The grid of P&P characters you found is a bit different than ones I’ve seen in the past, but if you go on the MTBI forums, you will see that they debate these things to death – so much of it is subjective when it comes to classifying a fictional character, especially when their actions may seem contradictory. Elizabeth is classified here as an introvert, but many have typed her as an extrovert. Jane is most commonly typed as an INFP, and understanding that type from personal study, I do consider her more of an INFP than an ISFP. An example of why I think so is that when Jane heard the facts about Wickham’s past with Darcy, she gave him the benefit of the doubt, injecting the possibility that he might be trying to improve his character into the equation. That is an INFP through and through. I don’t want to hijack your post, so I’ll stop now. 🙂

    • Oh I don’t care if you hijack the post, Diana. I am fascinated by all of this! And I agree that much of it is subjective. Heck, I could not decide how to choose on a lot of the test and went back and did it again, taking the opposite side. It was very funny to see how a few answers changed my type. I wanted to be a Lizzy but I ended up a Caroline one time. 🙂 But then the description that came with Caroline did not suit her either IMHO. “smiles”

    • Oh, do you happen to know if anyone has done this analysis with other Jane Austen books? It would be interesting to see the other characters, I think. 🙂

      • Lennie, I shall take a look at your test when I have a minute. I find them all so interesting. I didn’t see one on any but P&P. I would love to see one on Persuasion and Emma!

  4. Such a wonderful post, Brenda! I thought I’d do the tests later, but of course I couldn’t resist. INTJ and about as socially adaptable as Darcy 😀
    Thanks for the great post, I really enjoyed it.

    • I glad you enjoyed it Joana. I really had fun with it. I have to smile for you came up with Darcy! How cool.

  5. Funny to find this, I’ve been typing my characters within their own system. A large focus of my project is medical so they’re looking at personality through the lens of the four temperaments. Completely by accident, I have four main characters in the action, one representing each temperament! Crazy day I figured that out… they all conform to type to varying degrees, but I’m writing from the perspective that this is a not-exactly-perfect system they’re using anyway. (Except Sanguine, he’s ridiculously sanguine, again completely by accident, reddish hair and everything.)

    Except nobody falls for people like themselves, they fall for their perfect opposites. One relationship promises to work, and the other really, really doesn’t. And that’s the story, in a nutshell.

    Also, the heroine, much like myself, is melancholic, the most introverted of the types. Her brother breaks his leg and suddenly there’s this influx of /people/ into her life, blast them all, especially that chattery one.

    • Wow, Summer! I am impressed that you are typing you characters. You are way ahead of me when I am writing. 🙂 I sometimes think our heroine or hero takes on our character. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this post.

  6. When I was about 14, the school I was going to had us do the Meyers-Briggs to prepare us for our high school classes. Things were chosen based upon our results. In the last 25+ years, I’ve done it 6 times for jobs, schools and seminars. The results have always, without exception, been INTJ. Several years ago a co-worker took the class and she was all gung-ho to “id” us all and I told her to look up INTJ and then see how many things fit. She read it and stared. LOL It said several things that she immediately related to me. 🙂 I never realized that Mr. Darcy and I shared that classification but I can see where that would be possible. The irony is that my DH is an INFJ, or Lizzy. He had to figure his out when he became a police officer. ROFL I will say this, once you know what classification you fall into, if you start looking up things under there, it can sometimes be so spooky accurate.

    • How cool is it that your school was so smart that they used this to prepare for high school classes! Unlike you, I never had to take the test and I think it would have been helpful. 🙂 I smiled that your co-worker recognized you and that you are a Darcy! You are right that it can be scary to see ourselves in this test. Thanks for taking time to comment!

  7. This is a marvelous blog. Thank you for doing the research for this personality test. I fell in the INFJ category with Elizabeth…that was a surprise…Introvert, Intuition, Feelings, and Judging. There were several questions that could have gone either way and I had trouble deciding how to answer. I suppose that is part of my personality…indecision. Drat…I hate holding a mirror up to my face and seeing the real me…insecurity and all. Thanks for the fun.

    • I am so proud you had fun, Jeanne. I know I did. Like you I had trouble answering some of the questions, so I could be one of two different types I think. I think I would have loved to fall in Elizabeth’s type. 🙂

    • You hit the jackpot Linda! And it since I came up with two different types, I think the chart is a little bendable. So glad you took part and let me know what you came up with.

  8. Ah ha ha! I took the test and came up with a Bingley Match. Is that really me???? I though I was a little more decisive in my convictions. Drat! I really wanted to be like Elizabeth. Darn, ! I lost Darcy to the other woman yet again. Well, considering I’m a tall blond with blue eyes, he never would have picked me anyway. Fun analysis!

    • How fun to get Bingley, Jen. I happen to really love him and you do remind me of him . . . for you are so harmonizing!

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