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Thank you @timeless for allowing me to share my thoughts on MBTI. They just might be wack- but they are mine and hopefully they help those who read it. :)

A reflection of MBTI application in my life.
A helpful and enduring tool (that does not define me.)
by: Laguna






I took my first MBTI test 20 years ago, on the job. I worked for a large, progressive company and all the newbies took it. I typed the same then as I do today. My company did not use the MBTI data they collected toward team or workforce decisions of any sort. It was a tool to be used for the individual to understand their functions and how they might play out in their long-term career plans at the company. This was great, but I always felt the investment of testing everyone would have been better served had they applied the knowledge in a more strategic way, to help build fluid, balanced teams taking strengths and / or preferences of those in their employee pool into account.


In relationships, MBTI has helped me to understand the people in my life and how they might perceive the world and internalize information. It explained a lot of things for me and continues to do so. It also provides me with a deeper quotient of empathy for those I’m dealing with as I try to view the world through their eyes. I’ve learned the importance of not looking at people, or labeling them if you will as their type. This is a trap to easily fall into. “My ISFJ friend ... “ Sally is not ISFJ. She’s Sally. There is a lot more to Sally then her ISFJ essence. It certainly does not define her just like any of her life experiences do not define her, nor her birth order, nor the place she was born, nor the color of her skin. Everything about her makes her Sally. If we were all defined by our type, there would be a lot of clones (a whole 16 variations) walking around, and this is simply not the case. And as much as delving deeply into personality theory can be quite a constructive endeavor, it can also serve to give us tunnel vision. So I keep myself in check to not fall into this trap when I am applying MBTI to my relationships.


MBTI has helped me personally to accept who I am. Like so many others have said after learning about types and functions/preferences, “I’m not crazy.” I’ve embraced the way I naturally see the world and make decisions. And I have looked back over my adulthood in comparison to the studies on growth for my MBTI type and can understand and accept the challenges I went through to get to where I am today emotionally, spiritually and inter-personally. And it will continue until I die. And as much as I identify with my MBTI, I refuse to view it from a separatist standpoint. There is no room for an “us versus them” mentality in MBTI because when this trapped door opens up, you are back to defining your whole being as your type. And viewing others as different from you. And allowing personal biases to enter the picture and creating exclusivity ideals in your mind and in your actions with others, giving you a false sense of power. (Or falsely giving away your power.) And it can be infectious.


Understanding MBTI in terms of learning can surely be an aid, where educators who understand that students take in information differently from other students as well as from themselves as educators can make adjustments to their learning environments. A person who is taking in information in a way that is natural and comfortable for them will enjoy themselves more and hopefully experience deeper learning as well as be a positive force for those around them. It also has helped me to understand how I take in information, how I most effectively learn. This has allowed me to learn things more quickly as I’m not wasting time trying to learn something in ways that are not most effective for me. I also no longer have to “feel badly” that I do not learn things the way others do. I learn things the way that I do. And that’s okay.


“Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgements sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire.” Isabel Briggs Myers


MBTI has been a great tool for me, particularly in recent years, and will continue to be. And although like anything else that peaks one’s interest, I can get caught up in it at times. But it does not define me. It does not define the people around me. And just like anything else, too much of a good thing can limit you and cut you off from other developmental outlooks and strategies that you can apply to your life.


As a long-time student of MBTI, I would tell those who are just getting into the studies to not let it consume you or take hold of your identity. Don’t hide behind your type description and don’t use it as a crutch. Just like any tool in your life, use it to better understand yourself and those around you. And hopefully you will apply this knowledge for the greater good for yourself, for your relationships and for the world at large.
 

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@Laguna - Looks great, I moved it to the Articles forum.
Thanks!
Thanks for letting me share my sudden burst of ENFP inspiration, energy and enthusiasm. :laughing: (Notice I didn't mention my type once in the article- my whole point being that I'm not defined by my type.) haha
 

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Wow, thank you! This post should be a must-read to all new members in the forum (like me)!
awww! First of all, Welcome!! Second- thank you for confirming that I publish this. I'm so glad you found it useful.

A lot of people who have spent time here have said the same thing essentially about not letting MBTI define you. And honestly, I didn't get it. But after a lot of time here- and interacting with a lot of people, I now get it. And felt compelled to share my thoughts.

Again, Welcome! PM me if you ever want to chat or need anything. ;)
Laguna
:happy:
 

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Congratulations on the article, Laguna!

It is one of the most sincere and welll thought out ways to look at MBTI I have ever read. I have to admit that I also, sometimes, fall into the trap of 'MBTI-ing' people, but I try my best to not let that limit my perceptions of them.

Anyway, outstanding job. (As you always do)
 

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Congratulations on the article, Laguna!

It is one of the most sincere and welll thought out ways to look at MBTI I have ever read. I have to admit that I also, sometimes, fall into the trap of 'MBTI-ing' people, but I try my best to not let that limit my perceptions of them.

Anyway, outstanding job. (As you always do)
Aww Herp- you are one of my very best friends here on PerC and I appreciate you so much. And I don't even remember your type. That is how much you mean to me.
:blushed: :happy:
 

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Amazing post and truthful all around. :D


This should be the official obligatory "We are people not letters" lecture to the MBTI newbies (and people who lose sight of this concept in general). :tongue:
 

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Amazing post and truthful all around. :D


This should be the official obligatory "We are people not letters" lecture to the MBTI newbies (and people who lose sight of this concept in general). :tongue:
wow- thanks for the compliment :)
 

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Very wise words. I realised this could be a very enticing trap to fall into but only after I had already fallen for it! I escaped!

A must read to any newcomers. As cringey as it sounds "We're all fucking unique". Put in quotation marks so it looks like someone else said it, which they did......but without the fucking.

Anyway yes! Great post! I identify with many different types, because I'm just a human and so are they!
 

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Very good post and so true. I've spent so much time studying and thinking about the diversity of the human mind over the past couple of months that it's gotten in the way of my actual experiencing it. I think I'll go for a walk in the park tomorrow... Nevermind, it's snowing. But something of that nature, build a snowman maybe.
 

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Thanks!
Thanks for letting me share my sudden burst of ENFP inspiration, energy and enthusiasm. :laughing: (Notice I didn't mention my type once in the article- my whole point being that I'm not defined by my type.) haha
imo opinion it wasn't an enthusastic energetic post it was more like a this is the downside to/reality of mbti... you mentioned those intellectual traps it can lead to. which i agree with btw.
 

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Being kind of oblivious in everyday situations, I'd have to agree, the MBTI has definitely helped me.
I took the test around a year ago, but rediscovered in, and reading more into it has helped me understand why some of my friends do what they do, and actually identify what it is that they do as well (which I was unaware of until I started observing specific traits said to be in the 'types')
Although I do occasionally make the INTP/ENTJ remarks, I don't mean it in a bad way, as I have many INFP friends who are completely different from what I'm like, who represent different aspects of the personality, and keep me from categorizing people too much.
However, it's been very helpful to me and a (personally) better alternative to my ex's (ENTP)'s choice of the enneagram typecasting.
 

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Wow- after a long break- I am back here and seeing your wonderful comments. Humbled and grateful you took the time to read my article- and that it struck a chord with some of you. Peace & Love. Happy New Year. :)
 

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I fall into the trap from time to time... however, I know all types vary within their types, otherwise, like you've said, there would be a lot of clones of the 16 types walking around. So, therefore, I notice the little things. Besides, I see the MBTI as "they might" or "generally", so it's definitely not a definite analysis for everyone. I mean, within my type, I still disagree with various things.

I do, however, try to use it for sensitive issues if I feel it might help to get the idea across to them easier. It's mostly for good, not evil. Repeat that to yourselves. :wink:

Yes, I'm a newbie, and I would definitely recommend this read! Thanks, @Mango Kiwi!
 

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I fall into the trap from time to time... however, I know all types vary within their types, otherwise, like you've said, there would be a lot of clones of the 16 types walking around. So, therefore, I notice the little things. Besides, I see the MBTI as "they might" or "generally", so it's definitely not a definite analysis for everyone. I mean, within my type, I still disagree with various things.

I do, however, try to use it for sensitive issues if I feel it might help to get the idea across to them easier. It's mostly for good, not evil. Repeat that to yourselves. :wink:

Yes, I'm a newbie, and I would definitely recommend this read! Thanks, @Mango Kiwi!
Thanks for the post- and I'm glad you liked it! Message me anytime, "newbie." ;) (Welcome!)
 
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