Saturday, January 7, 2017


Now that you’ve seen a few of these personalities, you can look them up and find out where they come from. They’re used in what’s known as the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. If you read a few of the descriptions, they might seem familiar. That’s because it’s closely related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is probably more famous, and older. Both of them do a great job of categorizing people into sixteen different types, however there are differences. I prefer Keirsey—not because he uses more creative type names—but because it focuses less on each bullet point for a given personality, and more on how those characteristics interact to form a whole person.

I’ve taken the test a few times and gotten different results each time. That’s why I ultimately created a seventeenth personality for the story I’m writing that involves these. I call it Consultant, and I will not be giving it its own entry in this series (partly because I don’t have the space). Basically, the Consultant role variant expresses personality traits from all other types. I don’t mean that they pick and choose a few traits from a few types; I mean all of them. After doing significant reading into these types, I noticed that I myself identified with a lot of them. I feel like a Supervisor, because I appreciate standardization and rules; but I also feel like a Teacher, because I’m creative and abstract. I don’t feel like I fit well into any category, but I’ve found that most people do. I know that sounds pretty  self-aggrandizing, but that’s not really what it’s about. This system works. Not one of the personalities is better or worse than any other—nor do they diminish the concept of individuality—but they are rather accurate and helpful in describing social interconnectivity.
I might be more like a Counselor than any other. Indeed; Counselors most closely resemble my description for Consultants, but I also tend to lean more towards the Protector variant. I have a deep, almost obsessive, need to protect the people around me. When I see someone crossing the street, I hope that traffic is slow enough to allow me to watch them, and make sure they get to the other side safely. I’ve developed a desire to learn medical skills, not so much that I could heal people, but so that—wherever I am—I know that someone can help alleviate a medical issue to some degree. Protectors do not necessarily contribute to the progress of society, they often let others handle that. What Protectors do is keep the world safe, so it survives long enough to enjoy social and technological change.

Still, there are other aspects of the Protector variant that do not effectively describe me. Protectors regularly perform other people’s jobs, and complete tasks that others don’t really want to do. Though I have a strong work ethic, if I don’t feel like a job really needs to get done, then I either won’t do it, or I’ll do it grudgingly. I kind of have a problem with motivation and procrastination, which makes me a little like an Inventor. Which in turn makes me more like a Consultant.

The Protector character in my story exemplifies all facets of the type. She steps up on her own accord to become second-in-command to the group leader, even though she was not selected. The two of them disagree with each other more often than they agree, but they both value each other’s opinions and perspectives. They have a great deal of respect for one another, and eventually fall into a healthy rivalry that supports the group’s efforts, because it promotes balance, and prevents closed-mindedness or tunnelvision. The Protector, however, is not as worried about the group’s mission, but is instead concerned for the people themselves. She always makes sure everybody has what they need, and schedules time to speak with each and every one of them so that she understands what their concerns are. She is always looking for ways to improve their situation, and I would say that she succeeds in her goals, even if only for a limited time.

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