Are you an N or D?

Trent Ernst, Editor

You’ve probably seen those personality tests.

You know the ones. Heck, you’ve probably taken them before. Answer a bunch of questions, and it will assign your four dominant character traits based on your answers.

There are 16 personality types based on the test, known as the Briggs Myers Type Indicator (also known, appropriately enough, by its four letter acronym, BMTI).

These personality types are expressed in groups of four letters: ESTJ or INFP. In the former case, it describes someone with traits of extroversion, sensing, thinking and judgment, while in the latter case, it is someone with traits of introversion, intuition, feeling and perception.

Note that both introversion and intuition start with an I, so in the BMTI, the letter N gets applied to Intuition.

Having been observing the world recently, I have been observing that there are a lot of N people and a lot of D people.

In this model, though, N people are people who exhibit traits that start with En: Encouraging, Energetic, Engaging, Enjoyable and enthusiastic.

D people, on the other hand, are people who exhibit traits that start with De: Debasing, Demeaning, Destructive and Demoralizing.

Yes, I know there are some weaknesses in the theory. Someone who is deliberate and determined is exhibiting positive character traits, while someone who is envious and entangling is not. (The jury is still out on people who are encyclopedic or designative…)

But the question is, as you move through the world, do you leave a path of destruction in your wake? Or are your encouraging? Ennobling? Is the world a better place for your presence? Or worse?

I got seriously thinking this while hiking through the middle of nowhere and once again coming across garbage, just cast there, despoiling the landscape.

But this is the most obvious and surface exhibition of a D type of person. More often than not, the destruction they leave in their wake is rendered in psychic damage as they speak delusory lies into the lives of the people that surround them, or degrading others who are different, putting down women or men, people of other races, creed or colour, making derogatory comments about others just because they are different.

Such behaviour is detestable, a sign of a depraved mind, denuded of any decency.

The trouble is, it is an easy trap to fall into. Because we are all prone to it: to fall into thinking and acting demogogically. The thing is, when we do this, we are not just debasing others, we are debasing ourselves, lowering our own character as we seek to damage other. How we act towards others, how we speak of others, how we treat others speaks more about who we are than about who they are.

Meanwhile, if we seek to be ennobling of others, to encourage those who are discouraged, to engage the disenfranchised and to enlighten the ignorant, we are also enlivening ourselves. We become more enticing as people and more enjoyable to be around. Our enthusiasm becomes contagious, and our environment is made better by our presence.

Yes. Maybe we will fail to be the person we envision, but it is better to undertake that enterprise and seek to enhance the world by our presence than to become desensitized by the constant discouragement and devalued by depilous deviants.

Can I get an amEn?