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Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  3,247 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Like a thumbprint, personality type provides an instant snapshot of a person's uniqueness. Drawing on concepts originated by Carl Jung, this book distinguishes four categories of personality styles and shows how these qualities determine the way you perceive the world and come to conclusions about what you've seen. It then explains what they mean for your success in ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published May 25th 1995 by CPP (first published 1980)
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 ·  3,247 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Martha Love
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This is an amazing book written by an amazing woman! Back in the 70s, I knew Isabel Myers professionally and met with her a number of times when she would visit the University of Florida Typology lab research. I was always taken by her dedication to the concepts of the MBTI. She always seemed quite professional to me but had no pretenses of intellectualism, and certainly she was very warm and compassionate as you will find in reading her book. The last years of her life were spent writing this ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
I am SUCH a Meyer's Briggs nerd and I don't even care

pls comment your types down below I'm curious!! (for ref: ya girl is an intj/infj)
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The first book I read (probably 25 years ago) that helped me to know there was not something wrong with me just because I was different from the rest of my family (I'm an INFP). It still has a lot of good insight for me as I review it.
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this for individuals interested in Myers-Briggs typology (here's a test if you want to take one.) Ever since about my junior year of high school I've researched MBTI independently but this book sharpened my knowledge - after all, it was written by one of the creators of the personality inventory. The first half concerns areas such as perception (Sensing/iNtuition) and judging (Thinking/Feeling), how those two and the other preferences interact, etc. Isabel Briggs Myers ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a refreshing, homespun sort of book, but don't be deceived by its apparent simplicity. Myers spent most of her life in a singleminded obsession with her Indicator. Her type-related observations on learning, growing up, occupation, and marriage are an interesting exhibition of the common sense once taken for granted but that has gone the way of the passenger pigeon. The book is worth reading if only for her ideas about learning.

The insights I've gained from Gifts Differing and related
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Because I'm totally not a card-carrying MBTI nerd.

Definitely not.
Ferial Alloush
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The right book at the right time!
A must-read book for anyone who is on a turning point in intimate relationships, career choices, self-understanding or (and especially) parenting.
It's such a bliss to realize that you're not wrong, but rather you're simply different, and you're actually supposed to be different to acheive a unique meaning/achievement in life.
Moreover, a proper understanding of type theory means one will hardly find a reason to be mad at people around, understanding how different
Cam S
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am totally obsessed with the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and this is written by the original creator of the test. There's no quiz contained therein, but you can take short (free) ones in various places online, or find an official testing source and take the real thing. I took the real thing once, many years ago, but the short tests always gives me the same result. I think this one is pretty accurate: (the Jung Typology Test).

Most people
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love the insight and practical advice given in this book. An example that I will share is that I am an intuitive person and struggle speaking to the sensing type. Here is great advice for those with the same problem... 1.) Say explicitly, at the start, what you are talking about; 2.) Finish your sentences; you know what the rest of your sentence is, but your listeners do not; 3.) Give notice when changing the subject; 4.) Don't switch back and forth. (Pgs . 200-201)

I love reading this, knowing
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wonderful read. Very interesting. In my estimation, if everyone read this book we'd all be better partners, co-workers, managers, spouses and parents. It's given me a lot to think about in terms of my own life and how I can better communicate with others and strengthen my lesser developed processes (like Feeling...boy, I could use some work on that!)

The only thing that kept this book from being 5 stars were that a couple of the chapters on children seemed to be more focused on general positive
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I chose to read this as I didn't fancy spending the rest of the year ploughing through 600'odd pages of Jungs' Psychological Types to arrive at the same conclusions.In comparison I presumed this to be a more accessible extension of type theory,written by authors who where engaged in a life long study in this particular area,and who tested their theories on thousands of subjects to arrive at the MBTI test,in what I understand to be a more empirical approach than Jungs'.
To me the book seemed to
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in understanding personality types.
Recommended to Betsy by: Memie Player
ENFP here!
I delved into this after reading "Please Understand Me" by the Keirseys which offered the test and scoring, which is imperative to understanding the classic Briggs Myers personality types.
I love that stuff! I suppose, primarily, because my resulting personality type was dead on. I then proceeded to test all my friends, family, kids, etc.
It was absolutely fascinating! It made complete sense and was completely eye-opening.

I would only recommend this book if you already know your jungian
Amna Mahder-Bashi
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Insightful,intriguing and incredibly thought-provoking; I can't get enough of this theory! A thorough analysis based on decades' worth of research and investigation, Gifts Differing provides a logical, statistical evidence for the validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Discussed are the factors contributing to the development of each type, ranging from the somatic to the socio-environmental. Throughout this book, Myers paints a detailed summary portraying the essence of each type by ...more
Ferna Simbulan
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book was incredibly insightful! While I've come across much of its contents online, I believe I now have a clearer grasp of MBTI and its power to help the individual harness his/her gifts and appreciate the gifts of others.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
MBTI finally makes sense now.
Atul Maheshwari
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you know a person's personality type their behaviour begins to make sense.

If you are interested in the ideas behind personality typology, this is a key book to read. When you do the actual MBTI test, your personality preferences are expressed in a four-letter code, for example, INTJ.

Ways of perceiving: Sensing or intuiting: Some people can appreciate reality only through their five senses while others wait for internal confirmation of what is true or real, relying on their unconscious.
Lifern Ang
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Been wanting to give this book a read ever since I've had a slight awareness how the MBTI personality types seem to be rather accurate in describing the traits of people around me, but never quite understood precisely what each process is about. This book gives a good explanation of what each process and its two preferences are, and it was definitely an insightful read. For one, the fact that what shows on the JP preference for an introvert reflects the auxiliary instead of the dominant process ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good psychology textbook, accurately described the characteristics of different traits and possible issues caused by the personality difference. It’s hard to feel related to every single type as I do not know everyone’s result on Myer Briggs test. And it’s hard to know what people truly are, when most of the time people are wearing masks in different environments.

'Thinkers are by nature impersonal and critical of anything they consider wrong. they arrive by logic at definite opinions
Bailey Lenzen
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
There's something about a book written in a different time. The ones we read today are littered with someone asserting their own opinion as fact, including personal anecdotes as if they are somehow enough to back up an assertion.
This book does not do that. So that's a top reason to like it.
I started this book a while back, and it has taken me the better part of the year to finish it. It started off a bit slow but picked up quite a bit along the way. The way she talked about how to work with
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Isabel Briggs Myers brings forth all the information needed to understanding ourselves and other human beings, for we have different visions and understandings of the world and ourselves, so we have different gifts that we all can legitimately claim and use to their fullest after recognizing them. It is necessary that we stop undermining other people’s psychological workings because we simply differ. The ideal of a human being we can and should all reach for is a lie. Technically, yes, any type ...more
Mihai Rosca
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-paperback-a
The book is written by the authors of the MBTI type indicator. I believe this makes it really close to what the creators actually wanted to illustrate. It's really helpful in indicating what type you are, how you should interpret the information given and also packs some powerful indications about communication and career.

I have read the book in a translation in Romanian and I must say I was a little disappointed by the translation here and there. That is why I would recommend everyone to read
Donna Bruton
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was life-changing for me. I don't often feel that way about non-fiction. Understanding how I am wired is affirming and helpful - one of those light-bulbs moments. Understanding that other people, particularly family and close friends, are wired differently was just as eye-opening! Identifying differences in people doesn't always make them easier to live with but it makes it easier to change your expectations and show empathy, and easier to talk about. I wish everyone could have this ...more
Danielle DeVane Wells
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because it was so clear in explaining exactly what kind of personality types the author puts forth. While there are several other ways to type personality that also reliable, i find this one the easiest to follow for myself (ISTJ).

I think that every human being should read this and learn more about themselves to be able to better function and relate to others. I think every parent should read this in order to relate to their children better. I think at the least, that every
Maris McKay
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been fascinated by Myers-Briggs types for years, and I am so glad I finally read this book. It is amazing that two woman with no formal training in psychology came up with the most widely used personality test in the the world, all based on Jung's theories (which are from what I've heard are hard to understand for psychologists who have devoted their lives to studying his work). The theories helpful not only for discovering your own personality type, but for understanding how other people ...more
Joli Hamilton
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A classic book on typology, and an important read to differentiate between functions, attitudes, and the completely separate area of character trait models. I'm particularly happy to have read this book again now that I'm working through Hunziker's book (Depth Typology) that links archetypes to function-attitudes.
Bottom line, this book and all of the work that has built upon it help me understand the people around me, especially people who meet the world in ways that "annoy" me or who I
John G.
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the better books I've read concerning personality type. It is a very warm book, not clinical at all, and takes the tone of a friend wanting to impart beneficial wisdom. I'm a believer in the MBTI and this is the first book I've read from the original creators (other than Jung). Helped me to understand myself and others much better. I truly feel the authors gave this to us all as a gift.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
A rather deeper than average book on the Myers-Briggs personality type system. The book looks at how and why we develop, with insights into characteristics, inherent preferences, and observed generalities.

Not really a good introduction to personality typing, but well worth reading for anyone wanting to understand the functions a bit better, and to know something of the history of the Myers-Briggs system.
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The" text book on Myers-Briggs Personality Types. I eat up everything "personality-psych," so loved wandering through the deep explanations of types and specific functions, and how those functions can play out across different circumstances and between different types. The text also includes practical methods for continuing to develop your type, and to work with those of differing types. Validating, educational, and classic.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Myers Briggs personality explained in a very readable form. Perhaps too much detail for some personality types...but chapters can be skipped if not interested. Biggest learning is teams (or marriages) need to be diverse for best decisions but not too diverse. If people develop well over time they recognize and work on their less natural sides when the situation needs it. Some on parents affect, marriage, teams etc. Understanding type can definately help make better career choices.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
MBTI has helped me better understand myself and why I have always struggled to “fit in.” The typing has given me greater confidence in myself and my abilities. Reading this book helped me understand the theory behind it; the influence of jungian concepts. Truly fascinating. Watch out world, I now know how to type you!
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The late Isabel Briggs Myers devoted her life to the observation, study, and measurement of personality. With her mother, Katharine Briggs, she authored the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(R) personality inventory. Peter B. Myers, Ph.D., continues research work on the development and application of personality type. Former staff director of the National Academy of Science, he is currently extending ...more
“[INTJs and INFJs] Are willing to concede that the impossible takes a little longer—but not much” 22 likes
“The best-adjusted people are the
‘psychologically patriotic,’ who are glad to be what they are.”
More quotes…