Dr. Helen

Should There Be Affirmative Action for A Weird Personality?

First, a disclaimer. As a libertarian, I don’t believe in Affirmative Action. However, since the government uses it to help certain groups get ahead, why not join in? This was my thought after re-reading Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence.

Psychologist David Keirsey’s popular book deals with the sixteen personality factors from the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and describes the personality styles in depth. Many of you are familiar with the MB and have read up on your type but if you want to take an internet version of the test, you can do so here. It boils down to a set of four letters that tell you what type of personality you have. Is it accurate? Probably for the most part for some people but let’s say it is totally accurate. I, for example, am an INTP and sometimes an INTJ. Here is the reality of that latter:

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

And according to another site on the romance of INTP’s, the reason this type may be single is:

You’re single because: You haven’t left your apartment in three months.

You’ll get into a relationship when: You meet someone just like yourself on World of Warcraft.

One thing I have found is that if you have a weird personality type is that other people often do not get where one is coming from; certain personalities are foreign to them or a dark sense of humor sets some people off. Some people have a pleasing personality and get ahead in life because others like them. Is this fair? Not really. If you have a personality that is rare and not easily understood, this can be as challenging as being the wrong sex, race or sexual orientation. Why should those people get all the goodies?

I think all of us who are rare types like INTPs or INTJs should get Affirmative Action. If women only form 0.8% of the population of INTJs and men a measly 1.2%, it is unlikely that we will encounter too many others who share our views, making connections and hence, opportunities harder for us in many ways. Affirmative Action would make our lives more fair. Afterall, it’s not our fault we were born with a weird personality.