Shelly has a book, Please Understand Me, which describes the various Myers-Briggs personality types. The Myers-Briggs personality types are based on characteristics and archetypes developed from Carl Jung’s theories about personality, and seem remarkably useful for describing different types of people.
I’ve found some of the typical descriptions of the Myers-Briggs personality types a bit inaccessible, though, and have spent some time working on a revised classification system which I feel more accuratley reflects my own observations of the various personality archetypes. So, I present my own
Not your father’s Myers-Briggs inventory…
ENTJ: The Evil Overlord
The ENTJ is best characterized by his charisma, his ability to grasp complex situations and to think flexibly and creatively, his keen and active intelligence, and his overwhelming desire to crush the world beneath his boot. ENTJs are naturally outgoing and love the company of other people, particulalry minions, henchmen, slaves, and the others they rule with ruthless efficiency.
ENTJs usually die at the hand of secret government agents in a fiery cataclysm that destroys their entire underground fortress. Often, Evil Overlords will have a secret clone whose implanted memories contain all the knowledge and ambition of the original, stored in cryonic suspension in a safe location. The clone will appear in a sequel.
RECREATION: ENTJs enjoy spending their leisure time in groups, seeking out the company of others with whom they can exchange strategies and ideas, and test their mind control rays. They also enjoy competitive games which challenge them intellectually, such as chess, go, and "tell me where the missles are or I’ll open the pirhana cage and the girl dies."
COMPATIBILITY: Ideal companions include ENTPs, whose inventive natures often most useful; and ESTJs, who make excellent henchmen once the neural realignment is complete. ENTJs often employ the services of ISTJs but don’t usually make good romantic partners with them. Under no circumstances should an ESTJ ever date an ENFJ; no good can come of it.
Famous ESTJs include Ming the Merciless, John Bigboote, and Charles Montgomery Burns.
ENTP: The Mad Scientist
The ENTP, like the ENTJ, is charismatic, outgoing, and intelligent. ENTPs are often quickwitted, clever, and genial; they typically display a highly organized, rational cognitive ability which makes them natural scientists and inventors.
ENTPs are creative, complex people who seek to improve their understanding of the natural world, usually by building armored fifty-story-tall robotic monsters with iron jaws and death-ray eyes, or by creating genetically mutated plagues that spread unstoppably across the land, turning all who are contaminated into mindless zombie drones. They are less likely to want to conquer the world than to destroy it utterly, reducing it to nothing but slag and rubble–though this is often merely a side-effect of their pursuit of knowledge.
RECREATION: ENTPs enjoy recreational activities which challenge them physically and intellectually, such as water skiing and porting Linux to their iPods. They are also fond of collecting gadgets like combination cellpone/PDAs and orbiting arsenals of brain lasers, which they may port Linux to as well.
COMPATIBILITY: ENTPs and ENTJs make natural companions, as the one’s unspeakable hunger for power compliments the other’s unspeakable hunger for knowledge. They do not generally build successful relationships with ESFJs, as ENTPs they are prone to behaving in inconveniently erratic ways, which pisses ESFJs off to no end; and because ENTPs simply do not know how to dress appropriately for formal occasions.
Famous ENTPs include Spencer Silver (the inventor of Post-It Notes), Robert Oppenheimer, and Dr. Jeckyll.
ENFJ: The Cult Leader
ENFJs are big thinkers. They are extremely charismatic, and wish to offer the benefit of their wisdom to the world at large. They tend to see the grand scheme of things, and to be able to deduce connections between things that other people miss; these psychological personality traits are the result fo the fact that they are the Messiah.
ENFJs use their charisma and their knowledge to teach others, benevolently helping their fellow man reach a higher plane of evolution through such unorthodox but enlightened means as Psychic Third Nostril Enlargement. They then retire to secluded farmhouses in rural areas, where their followers express appreciation for the ENFJs by signing over all their worldly possessions and giving up their wives and daughters to the ENFJ’s "special care."
RECREATION: ENFJs are fond of collecting things, such as wives, guns, ammunition, and FBI search warrants. ENFJs often pass their leisure time engaged in such pursuits as self-flagellation or being nailed to things. Some ENFJs eschew these activities, preferring instead to watch their followers engage in them, offering suggestions and gentle advice when appropriate.
COMPATIBILITY: ENFJs make natural companions and mentors to INFJs. They often get along well with ENFPs, although a friendly rivalry may sometimes erupt between the two.
Famous ENFJs include J. R. "Bob" Dobbs.
ESFJ: The Control Freak
Champions of rule and tradition, defender of convention and order, the ESFJ values predictability, consistency, promptness, and continuity. This love of order, stability, and tradition most often manifests as a fanatical and almost compulsive control freakery, combined with an anal-retentive streak that is at once maddening and infuriating to those around them.
ESFJs are often friendly, outgoing, and generous, at least until you cross them. This generous nature, in combination with their obsessive need for control, makes them ideal for such jobs as Jedi master, senior bank teller, or middle management at a large chain department store. Most ESFJs die of heart attacks, at least the ones who aren’t slain in a galactic power coup made possible by the rigid, dogmatic inflexibility and self-absorbed narcissism of their Jedi order.
RECREATION: ESFJs are fond of celebrating birthdays, bar mitzvahs, initiations into the grand order of the Golden Dawn, and other momentous occasions. They also take delight in creating elaborate schedules on their PDAs, memorizing the Periodic Table of Elements, and ripping off the heads of those who cross them before laying their eggs in the victim’s neck, which hatch into larvae that devour the victim over a period of many years.
COMPATIBILITY: ESFJs are most compatible with ESTJs, who love and cherish the ESFJ’s control freakery.
Famous ESFJs: Fame? A Jedi craves not these things!
ESTJ: The Bureaucrat
Like ESFJs, ESTJs value continuity and order. They have outstanding organizational skills, and are meticulous, detail-oriented, Unlike ESFJs, ESTJs are followers and joiners; they are happiest when they belong to organizations, the larger and more mind-numbing the better. ESFJs often have an abnormal obsession with being normal at all costs.
ESTJs thrive in occupations which best utilize their organizational skills, such as driver’s license bureau worker, junior bank teller, postal employee, COBOL programmer, or any other profession which involves long periods of mind-crushing tedium, preferably involving counting things. Quiet and courageous, they can perform difficult tasks other personality types are not well-suited for, such as denying health insurance benefits to crippled children with leukemia. They also make excellent extras in Hollywood movies.
RECREATION: ESTJs enjoy the company of others, and are often fixtures at office parties, where they cut loose by working the photocopier that the naked ESFP is sitting on. They also enjoy lining up sharp pencils on an otherwise clear desk.
COMPATIBILITY: ESTJs make good companions for ESFJs; the ESFJ lays down how it’s going to be, and the ESTJ happily bounds along like a puppy dog. A big, orderly, tidy puppy dog that loves to count things.
Famous ESTJs include Count von Count and "Orgazmo’s" Joe Young.
INFJ: The Conspiracy Theorist
Beneath the calm, collecteed exterior of the INFJ lies the horrible reality of someone who has seen The Truth. The INFJ knows what other people are too naive or too brainwasted to admit: the Conspiracy is real. Mistrustful and suspicious, the INFJ is not easily fooled, and does not take the word of the government-controlled medico-military-industrial complex for anything. Whether it’s uncovering the plot by butter-eating Jews to clog the arteries of Christian folk with artificial margarine or discovering the secret laboratory in Tibet that’s producing legions of Jimmy Carter clones that will be sent out to seize the manufacturing facilities in the Guangdong Province of China under the pretext of inspecting chickens for influenza, there is no lengths the INFJ won’t go to in order to blow the lid off the whole thing.
INFJs can often be found holding down jobs as AM radio talk-show hosts. They can also be found driving taxis in the greater Washington, DC area. Other common jobs often held by INFJs include vagrant, loony, whacko, and writer/director/producer of the television show "Seinfeld." INFJs can also be found feeding that crucial bit of information to determined FBI agents just before they are brutally murdered.
RECREATION: INFJs often come home from a hard day’s work exposing conspiracies about how the government is poisoning us with mind-control agents spread by passenger airliners and unwind by spending all night writing Web sites exposing conspiracies about how NASA faked the Bush election.
COMPATIBILITY: INFJs are usually happiest and most successful in relationships with Julia Roberts, though the relationships may not end happily.
Famous INFJs include…well, if I told you, I’d have to kill you.
INFP: The Idealist
The INFP is a dreamy, imaginitive, idealist, capable of finding the good in anything or anyone, even something as foul as Newark, New Jersey. INFPs are sometimes dangerous to the well-being of society as a whole, as they are prone to adopting subversive and destructive ideologies like "The world should be fair," "people should treat one another well," and "You know, ‘Friends’ is a really, really stupid television show."
These irrational thought patterns may sometimes cause INFPs to run off and join the circus, the Resistance, or the Rebellion, where they tend to do well in any position requiring excellent hand-eye coordination or mastery of the Force.
COMPATIBILITY: INFPs and ISTJs generally exhibit a natural predator/prey relationship, which, though it might appear harsh and cruel from the outside, is all part of the natural cycle of life. In fact, were it not for the predation of the ISTJ, the population of INFPs would soon grow to unsustainable levels, overwhelming the ability of their ecological niche to support them.
Famous idealists include that girl in your sixth-grade homeroom who got the teacher fired for saying that girls aren’t good at math; that guy in the cubicle next to yours who got the manager fired for saying that women don’t make good employees; and Anais Nin.
ENFP: The Scientologist
The ENFP is a creative thinker who sees all humanity as connected to a cosmic whole, and gives of himself tirelessly to improve the condition of his fellow man.
Whether he’s creating bizarre religions aimed at bringing us all back to our origins as immortal space aliens made of pure thought or conducting seminars and classes on alien abduction, the ENFP is always seeking the answers to the great mysteries of life, such as "Who are we?" and "How can i use two tin cans and a Radio Shack multimeter to bring enlightenment to the world?" and "What is it with UFOs and anal probing, anyway?"
RECREATION: The ENFP is gregarious, outgoing, and slightly silly; they often spend their leisure time engaged in role-playing games, having pillow fights that lead to wild, lustful lesbian orgies, or being abducted by space aliens.
COMPATIBILITY: ENFPs are happiest in relationships with Tom Cruise.
Famous ENFPs include anyone who has ever dated Tom Cruise.
ISTJ: The Thought Police
ISTJs are characterized by loyalty, duty, and civic responsibility. As an ISTJ, you have a natural understanding of the value of civil harmony and order, and a deep-seated dislike of non-conformity, anarchy, and chaos.
For an ISTJ, work is very important to a sense of self-satisfaction. Happiness comes most easily for you when you have a job that allows you to express your ethic. Whether it’s blasting traitorous rebel scum as a proud Imperial Stormtrooper or monitoring the population’s cerebral implants searching for evidence of unauthorized thought patterns as one of the Thought Police, you’re most satisfied when you are crushing the population beneath the iron boot heel of oppression on behalf of your masters.
RECREATION; ISTJs approach leisure with the same dedication they bring to spreading tyrrany and oppression. Common ISTJ pasttimes include cleaning their rifles, improving their marksmanship, betting on political dissidents in the Gladiator Arena, and macrame.
COMPATIBILITY: ISTJs are capable of stong emotional connections, bonding closely with the other ISTJs in their unit, platoon, or sector.
Famous ISTJs include TK-421, Torquemada, and Yuri Andropov.
ESFP: The National Enquirer Headline
An ESFP is a spontaneous, outgoing, charismatic, fun-loving person like the guy you used to room with in college–you know, the one who was found floating face-down in the reservoir with the homecoming queen’s underwear in his teeth.
The strongest element of the psychological makeup of an ESFP is his easygoing, impulsive approach to life. ESFPs often build their careers out of dating supermodels, being involved in scandals, and appearing regularly in such newspapers as "The National Enquirer" and "The Weekly World News." ESFPs often die in bizarre circumstances, usually involving jealous boyfriends, exotic dancers, escaped pythons, feather boas, and falls from the penthouse floor of high-rise apartments; those who don’t, usually die of veneral diseases.
RECREATION: Everything the ESFP does, whether it’s shagging the Brazilian women’s volleyball team in a public fountain in downtown New York City or fleeing from their manager in a stolen Ferrari on a winding Milan street, is done for recreation.
COMPATIBILITY: Everyone. ENTPs, INTJs, ENFPs, sea turtles…there’s nobody the ESFP won’t shag.
Famous ESFPs include every female James Bond character EVER.
INTP: The Absent-Minded Professor
The typical INTP is a logical, abstract thinker whose intellect is ideally suited to understanding pure mathematics, linguistics, formal logic theory, and other pursuits unsuited to making a real living. The INTP can often understannd even the most subtle nuances of lattice quantum chromodynamics, but cannot perform more concrete tasks such as dressing himself, operating a motor vehicle, or opening a door. An INTP may be able to tell you how to construct a nuclear reactor from a coconut and two pieces of string, but may be completely incapable of fixing a hole in a boat.
The INTP is really only suited to two careers: college professor and game show contestant. Of these career choices, only one offers the financial rewards which allows him to suport himself; for that reason, INTPs often take the other path, and become tenured academics.
RECREATION: Surprisingly, INTPs are often the hit of the party–not for their sometimes annoying habit of turning every discussion into a debate about semantics nor for their fascinating stories about Pierre de Fermat’s habit of writing things in the margins of his books, but for the fact that they often show up with their pants on backwards and that if you put a Post-It note reading "Kick Me" on an INTP’s back, he won’t notice it no matter how many people kick him. That kind of entertainment never gets old.
COMPATIBILITY: INTPs make ideal companions to INTJs, as neither of them notices they’re in a relationship.
Famous INTPs include Pierre de Fermat and the Professor from "Gilligan’s Island."
INTJ: The outside contractor
INTJs are solid, competent personalities who may seem aloof and even arrogant, but who are typically highly skilled in any field which interests them. INTJs are confident in their skills and knowledge, self-assured, and imaginitive; their exceptional problem-solving skills make them ideal architects, auto mechanics, and tools of the evil empire. While it requires the driving will to conquer of an ENTJ to imagine the Death Star and the evil genius of an ENTP to invent its devastating weapons systems, the skill and technical prowess of the INTJ is what makes the whole thing work.
The INTJ sees life as a problem to be solved. For that reason, the INTJ is the person a company brings in from the outside to streamline production processes and identify redundant assets for termination. The INTJ’s combination of analyticial problem-solving skills and complete and utter disregard for the morality or consequences of his actions also make him ideal for the job of hatchet man, CIA operative, and helpdesk operator.
RECREATION: INTJs are often baffled by the strange and incomprehensible recreational rituals of other people, such as going to parties, watching television, and having sex. Instead, they prefer to spend their leisure time installing twin missile launchers in their cars to deter tailgaters and playing chess with megalomaniac CEOs of the Tyrell corporation.
COMPATIBILITY: Silly person, INTJs don’t have relationships! They may, however build their own friends.
Famous INTJs include J. F. Sebastian and Sgt. Apone.
ISTP: The Psycho Vigilante
ISTPs are quiet, unassuming people, who tend to be mechanically gifted but withdrawn and reserved. ISTPs often need a great deal of personal space and "alone time," which may give others the impression that they are aloof; in reality, this time is necessary to hide their secret identities.
The typical ISTP leads a dual life; his outward reserve and quiet masks an inward seething rage at the injustice of life–often, the death of a loved one at the hands of a criminal. In this secret life, the ISTP uses his mechanical gifts to create a terrifying arsenal of bizarre weapons with which to strike fear into the heart of evil. Sometimes, ISTPs may become evil themselves, either slowly over a long period of time or in response to a perceived rejection from the very people they are trying to save.
RECREATION: ISTPs are happiest when they are building and constructing–either new weapons to smite their enemies, or new plots to destroy those who oppose them. They have a very industrial sense of aesthetics, and can spend hours absorbed in the appreciation of works of art such as a 1969 Hemi Cuda retrofitted with missile launchers and ejection seats.
COMPATIBILITY: ISTPs don’t often get along well with their extroverted cousins, Evil Overlords and Mad Scientists. Instead, they prefer the company of INTPs, or perhaps their pets. Romantic relationships with ISTPs tend to be drawn-out, tragic affairs, filled with bitterness, longing, and teenage angst. The sex is usually pretty good, however.
Famous ISTPs include Spider-Man, Q, and Magneto.
ISFP: The Crackpot
ISFP personalities are characterized by their impulsiveness, their defiance of conformity and orthodoxy, and their competitive natures. Taken together, these traits make up the ideal crackpot. While an ISFP’s personality might seem flighty and their attention span short to an outsider, ISFPs live by the motto "Life is best approach–oh, look, potato chips!"
ISFPs are always on the cutting edge of new trends. Whether it’s podcasting, taking up guitar, or running away to a far-off east African compound and joining a doomsday apocalyptic cult, ISFPs are always following their hearts and quickly embracing new ideas. However, they tend to be fleeting in their passions, which means they often may lack the dedication that marks a true cultist. While ISFPs often lack the dedication most people give to careers and family, they can still support themselves in more unorthodox ways, like by selling blood plasma, turning tricks, and mooching off their family.
RECREATION: ISFPs enjoy activities that cater to their emotional passions, and often pursue many hobbies, such as music, painting, sculpting, and running off to Vegas to marry that cute waitress from Mack’s Truck Stop over on Route 9. Whenever God speaks to someone, it’s usually an ISFP.
COMPATIBILITY: ISFPs do well in relationships with ISFJs and with anyone they meet in Las Vegas.
Famous ISFPs include Joan of Arc and–oh, look, potato chips!
ISFJ: The Martyr
If you are an ISFJ, you are giving, generous, and believe strongly in sacrificing yourself to serve your fellow man. Whether you’re spending the entire weekend cooking souffle for your husband’s big dinner with his boss or giving over your body as a vehicle for the Shoggoth from beneath the ancient city of the Old Ones so that the Great Gods can rise again, selflessness and service are your hallmarks.
This generosity of spirit makes ISFJs admirably suited for any career positions involving being tied to altars or ancient ritual daggers. ISFJs also do well in positions such as teacher, doctor, and crack whore.
RECREATION: ISFJs are of such a self-sacrificing nature that recreation does not come easily to them. Their leisure pursuits often express their inner natures; thus, they often amuse themselves and provide endless entertainment for those around them by being moody and passive-aggressive.
COMPATIBILITY: ISFJs do well in relationships with ENTJs, who take their self-sacrifice for granted and expect no less from their minions. They also do well with ESFPs, because…well, ESFPs will shag anyone.
Famous ISFJs include Thomas the Martyr, Tertullian the Martyr, and Theka the Martyr.
ESTP: The Conman
As an ESTP, you are driven to succeed and to win. Your personality is dominated by your drive to test yourself and to triumph over your fellow man.
This generally expresses itself as an overwhelming urge to prove your self worth (and fatten your wallet) by taking advantage of the suckers, marks, and dupes who surround you–after all, isn’t that what they’re there for? It’s not your fault that their stupidity and gullibility lets them believe you when you say that Hershey’s Kissesses exposed to your patented psychic amplifier rays will let them fly! As your hero and fellow ESTP, P. T. Barnum, once said, "it is morally wrong to let a sucker keep his money."
As an ESTP, your greatest fear is failure. Under no circumstances will you permit yourself that kind of weakness, which makes you ideally suited for a job at Enron, where your natural talents can be recognized and rewarded.
RECREATION: ESTPs enjoy recreational activities such as card sharking, pool sharking, and conning little old women out of their lives’ savings. They’re often fond of polo as well.
Famous ESTPs include P. T. Barnum and DR. PETER OKOYE, SON OF THE LATE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA M. B. OKOYE, WHO REQUESTS YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN HELPING TO TRANSFER $150,000,000 (THE SUM OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION USD) INTO YOUR U.S. BANK ACCOUNT SO THAT IT MAY BE DISTRIBUTED TO NEEDY CHILDREN, IN GOD’S CHARITY.