Day 6: Four Reasons I’m Not A Diva (And Neither Are You)

Facing possible unemployment can be nerve-wracking. But it has opened up  possibilities I didn’t think about before. After three days of soul-searching, I came up with the idea of being a… diva.

Bodyguard, private jet and paparazzi. It couldn't be more cliche, could it?

Merriam-Webster defines diva as a prima donna; a usually glamorous and successful female performer or personality. These days, anyone wearing outfit two sizes too small and poses with an unbearable attitude would call themselves a diva.

All jokes aside, when I found out that Beyonce made in excess of $87 million between 2008 and 2009, I decided to take this diva business seriously. So, before I go to the nearest vocal and dance class, I would assess the inner world to see if I’m cut out to be the next person who makes millions out of shaking her bum (and more).

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. It consists of four pairs of preferences that explain how they function and perceive the world around us. Note that if you choose one preference, it doesn’t mean that you are devoid of the other. Isabel Myers considered the direction of the preference (for example, E vs. I) to be more important than the degree of the preference (for example, very clear vs. slight).

1. Attitudes: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)

In other words, which one is your favourite world? If crowd and meeting people energise you then you are more likely to be an extravert. These people tend to act first, then think. They are action-oriented and prefer breadth.

On the other hand, an introvert prefer to be alone and tend to think, then act, then think again. They orient towards thought and seek depth.

Diva: Extraversion (Diva interacts and maintains relationships with fans, agents, lawyers, stylists, etc on regular basis.)

Me: Introversion (Me, a book and a big block of dark chocolate = heaven.)

Score: 0 out of 1

2. Information-gathering or Perceiving: Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)

Do you prefer to focus on written instruction or would rather add and interpret meaning? If you gather information largely by trusting your five senses, remember little details, facts and would rather choose practical use of things, then you are more likely to prefer your sensing function.

People who use their intuition dominantly prefer to pay attention to the  meaning and patterns behind events or physical appearance. They like to think of what is possible and live in the future.

Diva: Sensing (Diva has to be creative and able to perform new songs, dances, style and many more.)

Me: Intuition (I was the first person in my big extended family to live overseas when they all thought it was impossible and too hard.)

Score: 0 out of 2

3. Decision-making or Judging: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

When you make a decision, do you look at logic and consistency first or would you rather look at people and special circumstances? Thinking people tend to decide things from a detached standpoint, indifferent and look for logical explanation. Thinking doesn’t always mean intelligence, the same way feeling shouldn’t be confused with emotional.

People who prefer feeling make decisions based on people’s best interest, values and will do everything to establish and maintain harmony. They believe that being tactful and diplomatic is more important than telling the hard truth.

Diva: Feeling (How long will you stay on top if you can’t maintain harmony amongst your people?)

Me: Thinking (Friend: “Does my bum look big on these jeans?” Me: “Hell, yeah! Grab the dark colour instead and take those jeans off.”)

Score: 0 out of 3

4. Structure: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Do you prefer to get things decided or would you rather stay open to new information and options? Judging is different from judgmental. If you like to have things decided, be task-oriented and like to make list of things to do, then your preference is judging.

Perceiving means you are flexible, spontaneous, adaptable and prefer to keep plans to a minimum. Perceiving is not similar to perceptive in the sense of having quick and accurate perceptions of people and events.

Note that you can be judging in the outer world, perceiving in the inner world and vice versa.

Diva: Perceiving (Many best performances happen spontaneously and creativity doesn’t recognise the boundary of time and space.)

Me: Judging (I do have daily, weekly, monthly, annually and 7-year plans. Enough said!)

Score: 0 out of 4.

The Verdict: Forget about it!

According to David W. Keirsey, a combination of ESFP is called Performers, which couldn’t be more true for a diva. My combination of INTJ (or Mastermind), which is polar to the first combination, is suitable to pursue career as scientist, philosopher, system analyst or corporate strategist. Well, there goes my diva dream. At least it will make an interesting topic on our next Mensa poker night.

If you are interested to find out more about Myers-Briggs test, I suggest you go to their foundation website. One book I found insightful is Do What You Are which helps to direct your career plan based on your personality type. Diva or not, designing your career based on who and what you are has a better success and lasting chance than deciding it on a whim.

So, which type are you?

8 Responses to “Day 6: Four Reasons I’m Not A Diva (And Neither Are You)”
  1. After reading this, I’m worried. I might be a little bi-polar! 🙂

    Seriously, in the States personality and psychological tests are quite common for employment. I often test as being an extroverted and logical person, while my natural personality is more introverted and, if you ask my wife, illogical!

    I always enjoy these exercises regardless…

    • Bytta says:

      Haha, I think most of us have different tendencies in different environment. Workplace obviously requires us to be logical and be cooperative; while when we’re alone with our partner, family and friends, we feel safe enough to be ourselves and release those wacky ideas.

      The best tests are the ones that determine the results based on how we answer the questions, not what our answers are. The official Mensa test is like that. So, if you wish to find out whether you are logical (once and for all :)) and cut above the rest, go to your local Mensa office.


  2. Mike Ng says:

    Hey what’s up Bytta?

    Thanks for dropping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the graphic.

    I just took all of those tests and it seems that I’m a diva!

    But I’m a guy! Freaking a.

    • Bytta says:

      LOL! Who says that diva has to be a male (case in point: Elton John :))?
      Probably you channel your “diva-ness” or artisan quality in your clever graphic designs. Although I think you’ll be more famous if you perform “Single Ladies” and post it on YouTube 😉 Kidding…

  3. Hi Bytta,

    Welcome to the club – I’m a fellow INTJ. This is supposed to be the rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, with something like less 1% of the population being INTJ’s.

    Most people think Introverts are shy and backwards and Extroverts are outgoing and personable, but the real difference is Introverts are energized by thoughts and ideas and Extroverts are energized by talking and personal interaction. One of my old co-workers who was a fellow Introvert and I used to joke that our Extrovert boss was a psychic vampire because his marathon planning meetings would leave us exhausted while he seemed to pick up steam.

    • Bytta says:

      Hi David,
      A rare combination indeed. However, it’s funny how often I run to other fellow INTJ and am curious about the accuracy of that claim :). Or maybe because we’re attracted to the same things, blogs, topics, etc hence the chance of running into the same type of people is high.

      I don’t understand crowds, pubs, nightlife, parties; heck, I fell asleep in a nightclub once. The only interaction I like is when I share ideas with like-minded people and be appreciated. Most of the time, I’m just “gone”.

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Matt SF says:

      It’s my first comment here, but surprise surprise, you attracted another fellow INTJ. It would appear your observation that we tend to attract one another might have some serious merit.

      Supposedly, we’re attracted to new ideas and strategic planning. So it’s not surprising that blogs that discuss new ideas, clever hacks that produce long term results, and risk management methodologies to deal with future problems attract us like bears to honey!

      @ LeanLifeCoach

      What you’re experiencing is called “adaptive behavior”. Many of us do it for our work environments so I wouldn’t worry about the 180 degree switch from personal life to professional life.

      Ex) I keep a fairly cluttered home office, but my desk at work was meticulously organized.

      Good post BTW!!!

      • Bytta says:

        Hi Matt,

        Thanks for your appreciation. Really appreciate it :).
        Structure (not authority) is also important for us (it’s the “J” in us I believe). For a concept to have sustainable value, it has to be structured and presented in a sensible flow. You mentioned methodologies and strategic planning which are the manifestations of structure. The “P” people tend to be attracted to raw ideas that are sometimes all over the place.

        Another funny thing is, the majority of people who enjoy this kind of analysis and discussion about personality test are the NT (rational) type. It’s like preaching to the choir (pardon the cliche :D). Other type such as the artisan has no time, patience and desire to finish the test for they rather spend their time out there engaging with people. I would love, one day, to talk to an artisan type and hear what they think about this personality analysis.

        Thanks for stopping by.

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