I’m a 5 wing 6, which corresponds with INTJ on the Myer’s Briggs test. While that is rare in the world at large (For every 500 women, only 4 are INTJ), I have noticed, through interviews on the subject and personal suspicions, that many women writers are this type as well (Jane Austen!).
Here’s why all the lady fives are prone to pen and paper–we like to observe, analyze, and we intellectualize emotion. We like isolation and knowledge. We may write things out to impose organization, and we think for ourselves. These are all elements that tend to make a writer (or, as personality tests keep telling me, a scientist or computer genius–I chose the less wealthy path I suppose)
I also think that writing helps me engage with my emotions and think through the human experience. I did (and do) have a hard time with social situations–I think back to my child and high school self especially, struggling so hard to understand (and like) people while my sisters made it look effortless (as a 7 and a 9, it was for them!).
When I was growing up, sometimes I would wish I had a different personality–something more flirty and bubbly like a 7, or all around happy and likeable like a 9–but overtime I’ve grown to appreciate my INTJ/type 5-ness and see the value in it. I never get bored because I’m always learning. I don’t feel the need to attain social recognition (in fact, the less anyone notices me, the better). I am fine doing my own thing and don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing. Sometimes I can feel that something is going to happen a certain way before it happens–nothing mystical to this, I think it is my subconscious putting things together that I’ve observed over time.
Social situations are still hard, but they have gotten much easier as I’ve gotten older and acclimated to life (some take longer than others). I was recently looking over my spiritual gifts assessment I took when first becoming a member at our church plant, and, to my shock, Hospitality was #6 on my gifts. Hospitality! This from the person who once secretly texted my husband “get him out of here” when he had a friend over past 8pm (this was years ago, no one in our current town…).
My top spiritual gifts were Discernment, Knowledge and Serving. I think that these too are likely indicative of the Type 5 (unless they are randomly musically talented). But hospitality is not something that would typically show up for someone of my personality type at all. You know where it came from? I started being hospitable–hosting a small group at my home–about five years ago, and I grew in it. At first, I hated it, but after a few years of doing it, I started looking forward to it, and when we moved to another state three years in, I found that I made more friends the first year there than I did after three years in our previous state. Stretching myself to do something outside of my “gifting” and personality type helped me grow in an area most INTJs need to grow in.
So, if you are writer, what type are you? How do you think your type helps you as a writer? Do you know your spiritual gifts?