Myers-Briggs and the car model

Myers-Briggs goes beyond the 4 pairs of letters I discussed last week. When we zoom in on sensing/intuition and thinker/feeler and view them through introvert/extrovert we are able to see ourselves in a new light. Using the car model, it’s not either/or but in what order. 

Picture a convertible with its top down. From above, we see there is a driver and a co-pilot in the front, and two people who will fit comfortably in the back. In the car model, these are children – a 10-year-old and a 3-year-old. The 10-year-old sits directly behind the co-pilot and the 3-year-old sits directly behind the driver.

The driver is going to be your most developed part – it’s easy and makes you feel good. So you do it more, and those skills develop even more. Your co-pilot is your driver’s opposite, so they can (ideally) work together as a great team. Sometimes the differences can feel too great for the driver and the driver will turn to the 10-year-old for advice because the 10-year-old has the most in common with the driver. The 3-year-old has the least in common with the driver, and that is the skill set that is least developed. You have the tools for these skills, but it’s often uncomfortable to operate in that space for long periods of time.

So how do you figure out what goes where? Great question! Are you extroverted or introverted, and are you a thinker or feeler? As an EFSJ, I am an extroverted feeler. This is my driver. Now, are you a intuitive or sensor? Take the opposite introvert/extrovert and pair it with your answer for you co-pilot. As an ESFJ, my co-pilot is an introverted sensor. Make sense?

Let’s move to that 10-year-old in the car, shall we? It’s your extroverted/introverted and the opposite of your intuitive/sensor. My 10-year-old is an extroverted intuitive. This leaves us with the 3-year-old: your opposite introverted/extroverted and your opposite thinker/feeler. As an ESFJ, this is an introverted thinker.

To help make sense of these new pairings, there are names for each one:

Introverted iNtuition – Perspectives
Extroverted iNuition – Exploration

Introverted Sensing – Memory
Extroverted Sensing – Sensation

Introverted Thinking – Accuracy
Extroverted Thinking – Effectiveness

Introverted Feeling – Authenticity
Extroverted Feeling – Harmony

All 4 of these people exist in your personality, and it’s important to know they are developed at different stages. If life is a journey, this car is your vehicle through it. If you plan a 10-hour drive with a 3-year-old, a 10-year-old, and a person that compliments you, you would also plan rest stops and snacks. You would not expect the 3-year-old to navigate at important intersections. The same is true with yourself – you need to know who to turn to in different situations and know the signs when a child starts to get fussy.

As an ESFJ, my driver is Harmony, my co-pilot is Memory, and my 10-year-old is Exploration. If I’m frustrated with a situation or the people around me, Harmony tells Memory, “I don’t want to hear from you right now. You don’t get me. Exploration, what do you think we should do?” Exploration, the other extrovert, exclaims, “Road trip! Ice cream!” Harmony says, “Great idea. Everyone, get in the car. We’re going as far away as possible for ice cream.”

What does a healthy reaction look like? Deep breaths, giving Memory time to recall previous times I felt this way and how positive the results were to tell the people involved how I was feeling. Extreme unhealth looks like running away from your problems, which I definitely have done. It takes knowing yourself to set yourself up for success and knowing the signs when heading toward trouble.

For me, I schedule a day to explore – a city, a part of town, or a road trip. It’s like a treat for me, and allows my 10-year-old to frolic and enjoy herself responsibly. Have you ever interacted with a 3-year-old or 10-year-old? The development of this ages is about the level of your development in those specific areas. It’s not wrong, just good for you to know.

Interested in learning more about this car model? Check out Personality Hacker and all their resources. Do you want a 1-on-1 consultation, to help you move past some roadblock in your life? Reach out to an amazing coach, Betsy Garmon. Have basic questions, or want to know how I’ve used this for my own personal growth? Message me!

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