Myers-Briggs Is to Blame

comments (10) June 3rd, 2008     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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An ENTJ tends to make the same thing over and over, like these crystal rings.

An ENTJ tends to make the same thing over and over, like these crystal rings.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

“There is not much room for error in the world of the ENTJ. They dislike to see mistakes repeated, and have no patience with inefficiency.”The Personality Page


I hate failing, whether it’s with crafts, bowling, or anything else. I can’t stand wasting time or materials. And I think to be really creative, you have to be willing to suffer some mistakes, even truly hideous abominations. I took a shibori knitting class last year with the amazing Leigh Radford. She must have pulled out 40 different scarves and swatches that she produced while perfecting her technique. I think in some cases, she knew the swatch would be, well, not cute, but she was so interested in the effects, she kept trying different ways of knotting, banding, and manipulating the piece during the process.

In a million years, I would never do that.

I don’t think genius happens without a few missteps. Needless to say, I am no genius.

When people say that I’m creative, I mentally poo-poo the compliment, because I know I’m a fraud. My mind doesn’t work the way of a real creative wünderkind. But I got to thinking that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe my very makeup works against me. Maybe my Myers-Briggs type is to blame.

I’m an ENTJ, and I’ve prided myself on its many admirable qualities. Natural-born leader; career-focused--I turn problems into solutions. Long-range planner; rational; logical; extroverted; self-confident; excellent verbal skills: These are all things I value highly. However, the ENTJ doesn’t deal well with inefficiency or contradictory ideas.

So when it comes to crafting, I perfect something and then make it over and over. I’ve made about five half-circle shawls, at least 10 Ann Norling spiral rib hats, and more than 100 woven crystal rings. I change up the colors and materials but not the basic pattern.

If this behavior isn’t injurious to the creative spirit on its own, add to that a healthy amount of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I can’t bear to have stray or unneeded materials lying about when I’m designing jewelry, knitting, or cutting fabric. I have to put each thing away as I finish with it, even if the project is still in progress. It’s the same impulse that makes me clean while I’m cooking. You should see me on Thanksgiving; the roasting pan is already soaking when we sit down to dinner.

Am I alone in my Myers-Briggs/OCD prison? Can you relate? What do you do during the crafting process that might seem unconventional? Do you have any suggestions on how I can bust out of my rut and broaden my creative horizons?

Determine your personality type by taking a free online test.

posted in: humor, creative process

Comments (10)

Craig27Jannie writes: Do not enough cash to buy a house? Do not worry, just because that's real to take the mortgage loans to work out such kind of problems. Therefore take a short term loan to buy all you want.
Posted: 7:13 pm on June 3rd
sigridsoto writes: Im an soe and i agree
Posted: 7:14 am on January 7th
ACMgee writes: The rings stopped me! I am presently trying out rings. I got hold of a German booklet of beadings...Rings and necklases matched and unmatched....so I'm trying to do some of the rings by looking at the pictures. Can't read German.
Would like to have the pattern for the rings displayed. Love bling!Alison Currier
Posted: 3:58 pm on July 26th
ScienceGirl writes: I am a chemical engineer and a few years back I was working in a chemical plant. Our manager thought it would be a great fun idea if our team of engineers all did the Myers-Briggs. I don't remember my 4 letters, but I was an "Artisan" type, while everyone else was a "Field Commander" type! I fretted over this for some time as it appeared that I wasn't the "right" personality type for my job (as I fretted, I made hand-knitted, felted, beaded christmas ornaments, sewed some clothes, ... the test wasn't wrong). Only much later did I realize that a) it was a dumb idea to try to find out your employees' personality types, I should have just said no, and b) everyone else probably tailored their answers so that they all appeared to be rational, logical, leader types. Which probably means that they were.

Posted: 7:13 pm on June 11th
dawnr writes: I did the test... ideal type - INTJ, real type - ISFP. Funny, when I was working (pre-kids) I was an INTJ. Now I'm an ISFP. Introverted, random, emotional, spontaneous. I actually wish I was a bit more orderly and a bit less emotional. I might actually finish a project. Or find my craft room.
Posted: 12:05 am on June 10th
paperrain writes: This is so funny, and it feels so true! My odd habit, or should I say, modus operandi, is, when there are due dates on projects, whether they be swaps or gifts for special dates or whatever, I always seem to wait and then do several of them concurrently. This way, they are all in flux, and I can switch among them until they are all finished.
Good article!
Posted: 2:17 am on June 7th
crafterati writes: I'm an ENTJ but it seems kind of impossible for me to make something more than once. I crave project diversity!
Posted: 11:12 am on June 5th
MichaelaMurphy writes: Uh oh, I think I have it too...
I love the post and I very much identified. I also LOVE the rings--they're awesome. I especially like the full hand ensemble look, very Zsa-Zsa. I can't wait to read more!
Posted: 11:04 pm on June 4th
crafty_gal writes: Jennifer,
Those rings your have pictured above are so neat! How do you make those?

p.s. in high school I took one of those aptitude test and it suggested that I become a florist! Of course, I went into marketing but I always wonder.....
Posted: 1:56 pm on June 4th
MomtoZoe writes: HA! I love this column! I was an ENTP in high school, so I am curious to see what I have changed in to now as a 30 year old LOL.
I hate making the same thing over and over again. If I have to make say 30 cards for a baby shower like I did last month, undoubtedly after about 3 each one of them ends up taking on a life of their own.
Posted: 10:54 am on June 4th
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