I am 24 years old, a British Pakistani situated in the North West of England.
I've known about MBTI since I was around 15. I've been various types according to the tests I've done online. I come across differently to different people. BUT this chameleon-like attitude is NOT an inherent part of my personality. Let me explain...
I have been fake most of my life. That is what it feels like to me. From the day I was born, I did what my family and friends wanted me to. In less abusive or violent conditions I feel I would have been able to resist the influence this had over my psyche. I was bullied or excluded in many different forms, because my family and I were what was considered 'tramps'. Headlice, dirty uniforms, you name it.
My dad pushed me to be successful at school, I did VERY well. I got exceptional grades, went to one of the best universities in the country, did my Law degree and now I'm finishing my Masters in Psychology on a scholarship.
Since I was 11 years old, I felt I was living in a dream, something I now know is called 'depersonalisation' or 'derealization'. I got into a relationship at age 15 with someone as troubled as me, and first took control of my reality at age 17. I reinvented myself, set goals, achieved them, put myself first and was highly independent.
I lost friends, this set me back. I thought that I must have been doing something 'wrong'. I was called arrogant and a bitch. Others who had known me to be a burden and 'depressing' prior to my reinvention thought I was being 'fake'.
I decided to be 'nice', friendly and harmless. I ran into religion at age 18/19. It messed up my whole soul, but gave me strength in many ways too. At uni, I was involved in student activism and was elected into a number of leadership roles (I hadn't considered myself a leader by any stretch of the mark), and chosen for many others. At age 21 I was diagnosed with severe depression. I did nothing for a full year (although this was 'nothing' by my own standards), I won an award for 'rising star' as salesperson, and for 'immediate impact upon the organisation' at my first place of employment and got on to a Masters course during this period. I also won a scholarship for my current course, have been trained in a number of vocations, worked on one of the biggest legal inquiries in the country, and at my last job was promoted 3 times in the space of 3 months.
I also did everything I could to understand my illness and came back to MBTI at the time. Jung's writings saved me. He helped me to see the useful *purpose* of depression. I learnt I had become alienated from myself, and this intrinsic feeling of being a fraud was what had led to my illness. I had a breakdown after I was fake all these years.
An example of what I mean by fake, fake as in being nice when I wasn't feeling nice. Coming across happy when I wasn't. Being nice to people I didn't like nor trust. Denying my doubts and reservations about religion. Feeling that everyone knew better than me, when all throughout the process I often knew best for myself, (and honestly? often a lot of time better than them!)
Now, I have largely overcome depression. I manage my mental health well. I have gone into becoming a writer. I set up my own blog in 2014, and found myself being interviewed for a TV channel here in the UK, and invited to be on a panel at another of the biggest universities in the country on the topic of 'South Asians and Mental Health'. My writing has been on a number of big online platforms. As I say, I am in a much better position mentally, mindfulness has helped me greatly.
There is one thing though:
Who Am I?
Changing so many times, and putting on so many different personas, I have lost myself in the process. I have become obsessed with MBTI, as I find it a very useful way to get this problem out of my head and into the world before me so that I can figure it out and move myself forward. I don't like to invest in career paths or tasks that are not well-chosen. So I want to figure out my dominant cognitive functions and my personality type so that I can capitalise on my natural strengths (and leave alone my weaknesses *for now*), rather than pouring so much time into these inferior or shadow functions that are just draining me.
I would love your help.
Taking into account my mental illness, personality problems, upbringing, yet concrete facts (I tried to remove any narrative or interpretation so as to be objective before you so you could see it for what it was rather than misleading the discussion), how do I go about finding my type?
I have studied Myers-Briggs book 'Gifts Differing', before I noticed many flaws and thankfully came across the Jungian cognitive functions typology instead. From the descriptions I have read, I feel I have Te, Se, Ni, Fi. However, I do not know the order at all.
So to summarise
1. I want to know what my type is and HOW to figure out the stacking of my cognitive functions when I have been using them all sporadically (not just in the outside world but I have been feeling completely ripped apart in my own mind too).
2. I want to know WHY I have got to this stage. How did my functions mess up? How do I figure out why? I need to know this so as understand what happened and prevent it from happening again. I once read an article about shadow functions, mental illness and personality disorders. And it was this which made me see the potential in MBTI to reclaim my life, my potential, my independence and my future.
I have a feeling it was because I used Fe (VERY draining for me), as a woman who felt it was required of me in order to be listened to. I often felt I manipulated this for 'plus points'. My best friend agrees that I used to get an ego trip from it. My depression forced me to consider my Fi. And my Fi has saved me. I have a feeling that my Ne and Ni were COMPLETELY messed up due to my psychological conflicts with religion. But this is just my theory I would love to know your thoughts.
I have a feeling I may have had a cognitive loop, but until I figure out what my order is I can't even tell where the dominant-tertiary loop was! I have many questions, would appreciate any insight.
Thanks guys, if you're still reading this I appreciate it! Let me know your thoughts.
And by the way, I have never been on a forum before, so have no idea how this works logistically.