ISTJ’s – the most common tribe in the bush

Written by Sarah Cook – Aileron Station.

Bush people are drawn to our own circles. We live together, we work together – and then we socialise together.

We appear to have similar values, think similarly and heck – even vote the same way. It makes me wonder, is there any other industry quite as full of people so closely aligned?

But this is no coincidence.  Data gathered within the rural industry shows, if living in the bush is ‘just right for you’, there’s every chance you are an ISTJ.

ISTJ? Yep, it’s a personality type, specifically from the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator personality profile; a tool which indicates how one perceives the world and makes decisions.

If you’re in management or a leadership role, you might have heard of, or even done a Myers–Briggs test, it’s a pretty common tool for learning more about yourself, particularly in a team or corporate leadership position.

The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type. Myers–Briggs is not in same category as star signs or palm readers, but if you are sceptical, take note – that’s typical of an ISTJ!

ISTJ stands for Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging.  As with all of the MBTI personality profiles – and there are 16 of them – ISTJs have their own clear idiosyncrasies, such as

“Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty. ISTJ’s are reserved and rarely draw attention to themselves. They can be emotionally insensitive and typically speak in a straightforward manner”.

Life in the bush is probably pretty great if you are an ISTJ, because you’ll be surrounded by people just like you. But there is a flip side. And this is where it gets heavy.

I’m going to spare you the academic study and trust that you, as an adult in the 21st century, are mature enough to understand that differences in personality can create non–acceptance, judgement, clicky groups, isolation, sadness, anxiety and withdrawal for those who are excluded.

“Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships”.

Over the past few years, Dolly’s Dream has swept the bush with posts on face book, stickers on wagons and horse trucks, and shows of support from every corner of our community, all declaring to stop bullying.

Unfortunately, during the same time, I have witnessed (and you probably have too) social exclusion, snide, bitchy judgemental remarks and nasty behaviour towards other people. Even worse when it’s delivered by people who promote themselves, usually on social media, as supporting the fight against bullying (downright shameful).

That’s it. The end of the heavy. Let’s sign off with a simple message. No one has the right to judge. Let’s appreciate differences between people.

Let’s own the fact that, even if you’re surrounded by your tribe, making you feel strong and righteous, you are only human, just like the next person. Regardless of your personality or your popularity, we are all equally imperfect.

Sarah Cook (ENTJ)

– with thanks to Jill Rigney, The Right Mind, for your words of inspiration (some which I may have quoted verbatim!)