Figuring yourself out can be more tough than it should be. You know yourself best, but still — sometimes an outsider perspective doesn't hurt. That's why so many people love to find out their Myers-Briggs personality type. Figuring out the four little letters that describe your personality can be fascinating. The results of the Myers-Briggs test can show what makes you tick, shine a spotlight on your strengths and your weakness, and give you clues on how to best live your life. But here's the thing: over time, you'll notice that your wants, needs, and general thoughts about life might change a lot. So does that mean your your Myers-Briggs type can change as well?
Let's back up for a minute, though. In order to figure out if your type can change, you need to be clear on exactly what the Myers-Briggs test is. The test is based on the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and was created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers. It classifies your personality type based on these four platforms: introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving. According to the creators of the test, each person has one dominant preference in each of those pairs. There are 16 possible combinations, and that combination — like, for example, ISTJ — describes your personality. You can find out how to take the test through the foundation's official site.
In order to figure out your type, you take the test, and you simply have to answer some questions (a lot of them are similar) and then see your results — the four little letters that determine who you are. The test has been used by employment agencies, businesses, and schools, and it is regularly used by people just for fun. Many take their type very seriously, using it to determine what type of career they should have, or how they should spend their time. The results can be really eye-opening and can help you understand yourself better, allowing you to really live your best life.
OK, so... can your type change as you grow and mature? It seems like that would make sense. Personally, I think I am 100 percent a different person now than I was when I was 20 years old, and I feel like I wouldn't be surprised, at all, if my MBTI had changed.
However, the answer is no — your type is not likely to change, ever, no matter how many things in your life change. According to MBITonline.com, "Because your type is inherent, your basic preferences likely will not change."
So, no, your personality type itself cannot change — it's something that you're born with, and no amount of age or experience will change it, because it's innate to you. But! As you grow and your thinking changes, you will most likely find that you'll develop within your type, which could mean becoming more aware of your strengths or weaknesses or developing new skills. You may even find that you develop characteristics that are a little different from your type — but your underlying type will stay the same. MBITonline.com says, "Jung theorized that people have an innate urge to grow and have everything they need within themselves to become healthy, effective individuals. Psychological type is the compass guiding this growth process."
So, according to the creators of the Myers-Briggs test, no, your type won't change. But it's important to point something out here: Briggs and Myers were not scientists. As Truity.com says, "They didn't do empirical studies on real people to extract data about their personality traits. Their ideas about personality type were created from books and personal observation, not large-scale data." Briggs and Myers were theorists, and so there is no scientific evidence behind their theory.
Still, personality psychologists have come to similar conclusions: certain things about your personality might change or adjust, but the basics usually stay the same. Drastic changes in your personality are unlikely and not very common. While you might notice some things change for you, the foundation stays the same — even if you don't realize that.
The bottom line? Your Myers-Briggs type is very unlikely to change. Your personality type is an innate thing that you were born with, and while you might notice some differences over time, it won't mean a different type. Just another reason to use your MBTI to your advantage!