Vanessa, MBTIonline Contributing Writer
5 min. read
Something peculiar can happen after you take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®(MBTI) assessment and learn about your personality type: you can get stuck in a loop of self-involvement. This happens when you’re more focused on catering to your own personality preferences than learning how to adapt or uncover your blind spots.
There’s a balance, of course.
Self-awareness naturally compels you to embrace your strengths and unique qualities. But as you look deep inside yourself, there’s an element of self-improvement or personal development that requires you to grow outside your comfort zone.
In other words, you can turn inward. Just don’t get stuck there.
Think about this in the context of relationships. When you care about someone or something, you can “flex” your personality preferences (do the opposite of what feels natural) out of respect, compassion, or love.
For example, an Introvert might choose to enthusiastically socialize alongside their extraverted partner as a way to show they care about the other person’s needs. This isn’t to say that a relationship should require someone to flex 24/7.
It’s a give and take.
The point is that it’s not just about us.
You can also apply this to your relationship with the planet.
In fact, The Myers-Briggs Company just celebrated Earth Day, and focused on how we can all do our part to live more sustainably. For example, we limit paper use, source electricity from renewable sources, only travel if it’s essential, and have pledged to help reduce our carbon emissions. The choices aren’t always convenient day-to-day, but they’re worth it. It’s all part of our commitment as a Certified B Corporation® to positively impact people, the community, and the planet.
Every personality type can learn to reduce their carbon footprint
When you volunteer or give back in some way, you can use your strengths to boost those efforts and flex when the situation calls for it. Before we dive into what motivates each personality type to make a difference, here are some sobering facts about the state of the planet that should make everybody want to take action:
- By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish
- Fresh water reserves and forests are shrinking due to overconsumption
- Humans use about 50% more natural resources than they did just 30 years ago
- There was a 60% worldwide decline in animal species populations between 1970 and 2014 due to habitat loss, pollution, and climate change
One of the most impactful things you can do to help, regardless of MBTI personality type: Reduce your carbon footprint.
Your carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases generated by your actions. Typically, most of your carbon footprint comes from transportation, housing, and food. The global average carbon footprint is about 4.8 tons per year. Right now, the goal is to drop the average global carbon footprint to two tons by the year 2050. This is no easy feat and will require all of us to get outside of ourselves to focus on what we need as a collective. To put it into perspective, this drop in carbon emissions will give our planet the best chance of avoiding a 2°C rise in global temperatures. To calculate your carbon footprint, you’ll need to enter your best guesses for how many miles you travel, how much energy you use at home, how much you typically spend shopping, and your eating habits/food intake.
Ideas for how MBTI personality types can help save the planet
The ways you give back – and what keeps you motivated – will vary based on your MBTI personality type. Believe it or not, those four letters can tell you a ton about what you can do to help make the world a better place. Here are just a few examples:
ESTJ: You’re motivated when you can spring into action. You like to organize your work in a way that’s effective and efficient – without concern for future possibilities. Focus on helping the planet in a way that’s practical and social, like organizing people for a green space cleanup or joining/forming a Buy Nothing Group to reduce overall consumption.
ENTJ: You’re motivated when you can manage processes, organizations, or people. You like to develop plans with long-term goals in mind. Focus on helping the planet in a way that’s future-oriented and social, like connecting with a planet-focused non-profit that could use your organizational skills.
INFP: You’re motivated when you can develop unique ways to express your inner values to the outside world. You like to work with limited external restrictions and oversight. Focus on helping the planet in a way that’s values-driven and honors your Introversion, like thinking up new meat-free meal ideas or enjoying nature while picking up litter in local green spaces.
To learn about the rest of the MBTI personality types, check out the new Going Green infographic.