At some point in my life, I was a big fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It seemed like the perfect tool to solve all interpersonal communication puzzles. I even met my wife when I discovered that we have compatible MBTI types. Fast forward 17 years: perhaps, we really do.

Now that I’m older, I realize that humans are far more complex than any assessment. As psychologist Brian Little aptly puts it, with MBTI, “You’ve got your type stamped on your forehead,” and that’s not something we want. However, just like every tool, it has its merits.

One of the major insights I gained from MBTI is that an extravert is not always equal to a social butterfly. Extraversion and introversion are all about attention focus. Some people focus their attention on the OUTSIDE world of people and things (extraversion), while others focus on their INNER world of thoughts and feelings (introversion). This is important to understand!

I am an extravert, but a thinking extravert. I am not a party animal at all, but I will always prefer knowledge breadth to knowledge depth. That’s how my extraversion works.

Example? I can use that information to navigate the challenges of our always-on culture. We need to recharge, but we are different, and we need different strategies. This is where MBTI can help.

You’re an extravert? Recharge by doing something active, possibly with others. Take breaks while working from home, go for a walk or run, or try something new. Disconnecting from devices can also help.

You’re an introvert? Then, recharge by spending time reflecting or getting absorbed in an activity. Create a quiet workspace at home (source: How Different Personality Types Cope with an Always-On Culture by John Hackston, Harvard Business Review).

Yes, these are nuances, but important ones. MBTI does not capture the full complexity of human nature, but it provides valuable insights that can help us navigate our interactions and recharge effectively. So, whether you’re an extravert like me or an introvert, use this knowledge to enhance your well-being and productivity.

And by the way, I’m an ENTJ.