Breakfast with Pandora Books felt a small earthquake in the book sales realm this week and found that someone had recently bought “Zeus is My Type!” , D.W. Frauenfelder's book on Myers-Briggs and Greek divinities.
On a whim we googled the title to see if the buyer had had a reaction, and lo and behold, she had.
Sam over at Spines in a Line, a book blog, gave ZIMT four stars and a number of flattering compliments.
But we were particularly gratified by her use of the book to consider her own type and personality.
A personality test is okay for figuring out generally who you are.
But comparing yourself with characters from a brilliant set of long-lived stories might make it easier to illuminate your personality from a different angle, and in a deeper way.
Sam’s review captured this process wonderfully.
According to the review, she has always typed out as an ISFJ or an ISTJ. But the description of those types in ZIMT left her cold.
That makes perfect sense. A book lover with a penchant for introspection probably isn’t purely an ISFJ (Hestia) or ISTJ (Hera). The strong ISFJ is about quiet, compassionate service to others; the classic ISTJ is similar, but with an organizational streak and a spiky edge to her personal interactions.
Hestia wouldn’t have a book blog. She did not call attention to herself or her opinions. As the mistress of the hearth, she was anonymously providing for others.
Hera, similarly, wouldn’t have time for anything as frivolous as book reviews. She was too busy managing the heavenly household.
So where should Sam land?
She gravitated to the chapter on the INFJ, especially the narrative about Penelope. Now Penelope, in the Odyssey, is about loyal service, and in a way is quite ISFJ. But she also has a more introspective and clever side, which is more Intuitive than Sensing.
The section on Hades, and more specifically the part about the play Antigone (Sam’s favorite) also was a highlight for her of the book.
That doesn’t surprise me either. Antigone herself is an ENFJ, and Hades is married to Persephone, another INFJ.
So, because of all that triangulation, it makes perfect sense to me at least that Sam is more INFJ than ISFJ.
(And, of course, maybe it’s most accurate to say that Sam is IXFJ. The “X” reflects that we complex human beings are not restricted to 16 personality types).
Sam came upon ZIMT as a happy coincidence ("a really random selection"). We probably need to make it more available if we want more readers to benefit as she has.
But for now, this was a great treat.