How A Personality Test Made Me A Better Mom

By June 25, 2012General

Where had this information been all my life?!

If only I had known when I felt like I was going to lose it on the last day of a college mission trip after being with people nonstop for 7 days.

If only I’d known on family vacations that left me feeling like I needed another vacation.

If only I’d known as a new mom when my children went EVERYWHERE with me and I tortured myself with guilt for feeling the need to get away.

If only I’d known I was an introvert.

I thought introverts were quiet, shy people who don’t talk much and stayed away from crowds. That wasn’t me. I loved people. I loved making others laugh and making new friends. Surely I wasn’t an intervert…

An Introvert Is…

But the true definition of an introvert has nothing to do with being shy or disliking crowds. An introvert is simply someone who is refreshed and energized by solitude. There are outgoing introverts just as often as there are shy introverts.

This truth revolutionized my world. I started allowing myself to sit quietly for a few minutes alone each day. I told my husband and began to be intentional about regrouping after putting the kids to bed and before joinng him in the living room. I made sure to get a room to myself when attending a new conference or event that might feel overwhelming. I started running.

I’m nicer now…and more patient. I can recognize when I need solitude before I start to unravel. It has also helped me to understand my children and their unique personalities as well.

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

As moms, it’s so easy for us to be consumed with the needs of others – God calls us to lay our lives down for others. That’s what He did. But He also made each of us differently. He gave us certain personalities and strengths to help us do what He as called us to do. The better we understand the tools we have been given, the better we can use them.

Do This

If you haven’t thought about your needs lately, if you have never taken the time to get to know yourself, can I challenge you to do that today?

STEP 1: Pray.
Ask God to show you how He made you. Ask Him for insights into how you can thrive for His glory. Pray and journal each day this week. You’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself.

STEP 2: Take a personality test.
I’ve taken the Myers Briggs tests online. They’re shortened versions of the real thing, but they are insightful and free. Bonus.

Take one of these tests and note the attributes that resonate with you.

Jung Typology Test – a version of the well known Myers-Briggs test.

Similar Minds – A 53 question adapted version of the Myers Briggs Test

Personality pathways – A super short, simple version of the test along with lots of information about each personality type.

STEP 3: Schedule refreshment.
Do you know what you need? Are you an introvert – do you need time alone? Or are you an extrovert – do you need time with others?

What refreshes you? What fills your tank? Find out and plan it.

Put something on the calendar today.

Let The Olympic Analogy Floodgates Open…

(Only 32 days until the Olympics!! Be prepared, I’m sure I’ll be bursting with analogies.)

Just because Michael Phelps is athletic, doesn’t mean he should be a jockey too. His frame is made for swimming. What are you made for?

Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you need to be perfectly organized AND super fun and crazy AND supremely empathetic and sympathizing AND an incredible housekeeper AND a gourmet cook AND (fill-in-the-blank).

While we should work to be balanced, we need to lay down the notion that we should ever expect to be perfect at everything.

Get to know how God made you and what He made you for, then dive in and thrive.
(See what I did there? Dive…Michael Phelps…completing the analogy circle… Sigh. I have 32 days to practice.)

What is your personality type? Have you learned anything new about yourself lately? Do you know of any other resources? Click here to share.

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Comments

33 Comments

  • Catherine says:

    Yay for personalities! At our church now we are learning our taking a “strength finder” test. Learningn what our strengths are as leaders, cant wait!

  • maddalena70 says:

    Kat I have been an introvert all of my life. . . but I never completly undurstand it since I am a mom. . .

    and it is not very easy to adjust my charater to all the needs of my two little girls.

    But I have laready understand that each day I need some time by myself. . . and with God. . .

    I am still trying to find the right balance.

    Cheers

    Maddalena

  • maddalena70 says:

    on Kat. . . I am reading “Mission of motherhood” as you suggest me. . .

    It is very inspiring and feels so “right” for me in this particular moment in my life.

    Thanks.

    Maddalena

    • Kat Lee says:

      Maddelena,
      Oh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

      And regarding being an introvert and a mom – it really is hard to find that balance. Fortunately, I’ve found that even a few minutes of solitude (perhaps while they are watching a show or napping) can refresh me.

      I hope you’re able to find the right balance for you and your girls.

  • I love personality tests ever since high school, and I am always intrigued by them.

    I tested as a very high introvert, I have to have alone time some part of the day and at least some time to meditate or else I get stressed out.

    Along with the fact that I’m very free spirited so I hate to be bogged down with schedules, although I do follow them.

    Great Stuff!

    • Kat Lee says:

      Elizabeth,
      They’re fascinating, aren’t they? I think it’s so interesting how all of humanity can seemingly be boiled down to a few different personalities.

  • Marcie says:

    I never thought of myself as a introvert but after reading your post i think i sure take a personslity test! One of the things that caught my attention to you blog was when I read in Maximize your Morning that you liked to run alone & I could totally relate. I used to thing I was weird b/c I like to exercise by myself! Also when I go out of town with friends I am one needs my own space & cant be around people all the time. It’s good to know I am not alone!

  • Lauren says:

    Thank you for this post. I too am an introvert and love the regrouping I get during nap time. My husband and I just recently began carving out some alone time for me each weekend so that I can get a 2hr chunk of time at a coffee shop – it’s been so refreshing. I love your action steps, especially part 1. That prayer is very exciting for me – for what I will find out and learn about myself and the Lord. Kat, I love how your humor comes through in your posts – you had me hard chuckling at the end with your Olympics comments.
    This was really powerful and a great reminder, “Just because youโ€™re a mom doesnโ€™t mean you need to be perfectly organized AND super fun and crazy AND supremely empathetic and sympathizing AND an incredible housekeeper AND a gourmet cook AND (fill-in-the-blank).”

    • Joyce says:

      Lauren, Love nap time! Love that my 5yo still naps! I need that time. That is awesome that you get that coffee shop time. My husband and I need to sit down and go over our schedule for the upcoming school year since we are be starting to homeschool and I just really need that alone time.

  • Rach says:

    Earlier this year I worked out that my 3 year old is an extrovert. I am a strong introvert. Suddenly it made sense – why I was constantly needing a break from her, constantly feeling irritated, etc. I felt so guilty for not enjoying her company much. She wanted to be with me ALWAYS, and I just felt depleted in mental energy. It is still difficult as she doesn’t have a nap anymore and she hates room time, but now I can understand what is going on. My husband is brilliant, he takes my girls out to give me a break regularly, bless him! Great post again, love your wisdom and encouragement – it is great to know that people all over the world experience similar things (I’m a Christian mum from Australia)

  • Amber says:

    I found myself nodding along as I read your post. And it struck me that even Jesus needed time alone, to recharge, to pray.

  • I too am an introvert. I appear outgoing I have a great group of friends but when it comes to being able to keep my sanity, I have to have time alone. I need to wake up before the kids and have a bit of me time if I am going to be my best mom self that day. I need to workout at least once a week by myself if I am going to enjoy the workouts that I do with friends. I need to unwind for half an hour each night by myself if I am going to sleep well. I no longer feel guilty over these needs because they help me serve others lovingly.

    • Joyce says:

      Victoria, “I appear outgoing…” That’s me too! Love socializing and getting together with friends, etc, but need to go hide for awhile after all of it. :p “I no longer feel guilty over these needs because they help me serve others lovingly.” Awesome!

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing that about introverts. I’ve known that I’m an introvert as well for awhile now, but now the definition you shared does explain a lot!

    • Joyce says:

      Melissa, We did one of those personality tests at our MOPS group last year and it helped a lot of moms really understand why they sometimes respond to their kiddos the way they do. It does explain a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anna says:

    I’m an introvert, too. I realized that within the last year or two. I’ve always enjoyed being around people, so I thought I couldn’t be an introvert. Then I learned the definitions of introvert/extrovert.and realized that I was an introvert. While I enjoy interacting with others, it does drain me. I need time alone to recharge. That can be hard to find, but sometimes getting up at 5AM does the trick. I’m out of the early rising habit for the summer though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • So great to know I am not alone! I am definitely a similar type…love and am good connecting with people, but CRAVE alone time. When I learned about my personality “type” it totally gave me the freedom I needed to carve out time to get myself refreshed and renewed in order to be a better mom and wife. We have budgeted for a babysitter one day day a week for me to get a few hours alone to write, spend time with God, sip coffee, whatever. This has made a world of difference in all our lives. I have a bounce in my step again. This blog is a needed message!! Thanks for sharing!! Keep doing your thing!!

    • Joyce says:

      Francie, Yes, freedom! That time of refreshment and renewal totally does make me a better mom and wife too. That is so great that you were able to have a budget for a babysitter. Yay!

  • Suzie (from Sydney) says:

    Kat, fabulous post (again!). For years now, I have been told I was an extrovert but it didn’t sit quite right with me. Your post hit the nail on the head, thanks- now I understand! Something like you, I’m an outgoing introvert. ((big sigh)) Its a relief to be able to understand why I love people yet they make me so tired.
    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melissa says:

    Oh Kat, you crack me up with your analogies! I remember taking the Myers-Briggs test in middle school and wanting to be an extrovert because my best friend at the time was one. It seemed like the “cooler” of the two types, so I answered the questions in order to get the E for extrovert on my results sheet. Deep down, I sort of knew I wasn’t a true extrovert though. Since then, I had been confused, because I love people and really enjoy being social. I can totally relate to your realization that you need alone time function at your best. Your post cleared things up so much! Thank you for sharing the tips!

  • […] How A Personality Test Made Me A Better Mom | Inspired To Action […]

  • KimH says:

    I love all those tests. Many years ago, I worked for Boeing, and our raises depended upon taking & executing some of the tests using the Meyers Brigs tests along with other personality & communication type tests & classes.
    I always thought they were so much fun & I enjoyed them so much.

    I too am an outgoing introvert. My family gets this but most people are shocked when I tell them that Im truly an introvert because they dont know the real meaning of one & how its defined.

    Thankfully, guilt was never much of a part of my life, and thankfully, you dont have to make it a part of yours any more.

    Blessings!

    • Joyce says:

      KimH, Same for me, that people don’t really get the real meaning. I am definitely an introvert even though I’ve always been involved in leadership in all the groups that I take part in. Don’t mind being in front of a group, love to socialize, but need that recharge afterwards. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • KimH says:

        I’ve always taken that “me alone” time, even when I was a little kid & teenager.
        As a little kid, I’d wander off into the woods behind our house or down the road, or go take a walk as far as I could go. When we were at my grandparents house, all the cousins & my siblings would watch cartoons at 2pm and I’d sit there for about 5 minutes and I couldnt stand it any more. Off I went, alone most of the time, to either ride horses, read, or just walk thru the pastures.
        As a teen, I’d be in the thick of “cruising the drag” which was what we did in our little town, and I’d do this for 3 or 4 months & then all of a sudden I’d stop & just stay home reading, riding motorcycles, or spending lots of time down at our stock tank (half cement pond ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
        I remember thinking then how funny it was that I did this cuz other teens would always ask me where I was & why I just disappear for months at a time like that Its always been normal for me to disengage with too much energy input. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I totally agree. I am a complete INTJ and *need* my alone time to be a good, sane mommy. I have a complete list of additional resources for helping with this sort of self-discovery on my website (http://www.cube2farm.com/Surviving.html) and in my book: “From Cube to Farm: Surviving and Thriving as a Stay-at-Home Mom” listed on Amazon as a Kindle download and in print (next week.) More details at http://cube2farm.wordpress.com/ebook/
    Thanks for such a great post! And for the free ebook – I love your printables! I include your website in my list of resources, too!

  • I think personality testing like DISC profiling tool is a good discovery for me not only it showed my weaknesses and it also gave me that great idea to build up my strengths and develop gradually my weaknesses. I am an introvert too but after discover what I am capable of doing I am not more confident to meet new friends.

  • […] wasn’t about ego, or even wanting a weary, introvert-mom’s time alone. It wasn’t […]

  • SleepyKnitter says:

    Great post! Is there a good site out there that compares the Meyers-Briggs testing to parenting styles and children’s personalities? I am an ISTJ, very strong on the “I” but mild on the other three, even though I *always* test “STJ” no matter where or when I take the test, online, at home, in a work situation, or whatever. One of your commentors on this post mentioned that her 3-y-o is an extrovert who needs to be around Mommy all the time, even though Mommy is an introvert who needs alone time. That describes my situation with my 5-y-o daughter, but I would never have thought of her as an extrovert because she was so shy and anxious around other people when she was younger, to the point that I put her in preschool specifically for the purpose of helping her socialize. So all of that doesn’t quite fit together in my thinking. But I will have to reconsider whether she is an extrovert — maybe that will help me survive parenting her! Which brings me back to the question of whether there is a site or at least a great post somewhere that helps parents understand the difference between their parenting style and their child’s personality type/needs?

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