Does your personality type change?

According to Jung’s theory, it does not, it merely evolves.

Does your personality type change? Well, some people think it does but, if we stick to the Jungian theory, it does not.

There are many ways where it can seem like one’s Type has changed throughout life, and there are circumstances which will cause a “mistyping.” I will enumerate those here, but the short answer is that Type does not change.

Theory of Type Development

By the time you’re around 16 years old, you’ve pretty much solidified your innate preferences. Innate meaning that you PREFER to do things a certain way. Life, your job, your childhood nurturing phase of development, all contribute to skewing your results on the MBTI assessment.

I often hear, “Well, I was ENFJ when I was younger, but now I’m ENFP…” What Jung said, and what Isabel & Catherine Myers said, is basically that there are a couple things that would skew the results to the point that you would say you were a totally different person at 16 than you are now at 40. This is known as “Type Development.” As you experience life, certain parts of your personality develop that were previously hidden in earlier stages of life.

Why Would I Get Skewed MBTI Results?

Some factors that can cause a mistype are:

  • A traumatic or major life event
  • Job change, pregnancy, moving, etc
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Looking at yourself through the lens of your job or how you represent yourself at work

Anything that’s causing you a tremendous amount of stress to the point where you cannot think about yourself outside of the moment you are in while taking the assessment will likely skew results. MBTI is based on the assumption that the person taking the assessment is in a psychologically healthy state.

Administering the MBTI Assessment Correctly

When you administer the assessment as an MBTI Practitioner, the proper way to set expectations is to say “imagine taking this assessment with no one to report to… you’ve got no one standing over your shoulder judging your responses.”

Conclusion

Your Type DOES NOT change. Jung believed that there are 3 phases of development: Phase 1, 2 and 3. Phase 1 is from ages 0 to 30; Phase 2 is from ages 30 to 50; and Phase 3 is ages 50 +. As you go through the phases of life, you will start to develop parts of your personality that were previously unseen when you were younger. These developments can be misconstrued as “changing your type.”

I hope that answers any questions about whether or not type can change.

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