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MOTM May 2011
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Being sequential, linear, and concrete thinkers, ISTJs sometimes struggle with MBTI as an ideology. It's not that we cannot think abstractly, but that thinking abstractly for long periods of time without something concrete to relate it to can be tiresome, causing us to lose interest. I want to cover a few aspects of MBTI in a manner that I hope will be helpful to the ISTJs out there.

Let me start by saying that I am not going to delve deeply into the cognitive functions (Si Te Fi Ne, etc.) My primary goal is for discussion related to the larger principles which make up MBTI.

What is MBTI?

MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) is a self assessment tool that helps individuals understand themselves and their personality. It is widely used--in fact it is currently the most widely used psychological indicator, primarily because of its acceptance in the corporate work place. Since it is a self report, where the individual selects the description of a behavior that most closely resembles how they feel about themselves, it is not scientific. However, it is valid and is reasonably reliable. It is possible to type yourself incorrectly if you answer the questions without understanding what is really being asked, or if the test used is a poorly designed test, or if you answer the test as how you would like to be or what you feel is right instead of answering the questions as your preferences really are.

It comes down to preference.

And preference is a key word for MBTI. It is a measure of your preferences. So all else being equal, how you answer the question is simply how you would prefer to operate, given the option. It does not mean that you are incapable of dealing with the situation differently if so required by extenuating factors. Also, being a preference indicator, do not fall into the trap of viewing MBTI as an indicator of some type of illness or disease, an intelligence indicator, a skill assessment test, or a test of any type for that matter. You are self reporting and you are an individual, complete with your own ideas, skills, intelligence, and personality. MBTI is another tool to help you on your road to self discovery. There are many other things which make you who you are, and those should not be overlooked as you travel down this path.

I'm unsure of my type.

Some of you reading this will be unsure of your type. That is fairly common and as you become more familiar with MBTI you will become better at understanding who you are in the big scheme of things. Others of you will be sure of your type, but will later change as you learn more. For ISTJs, it is common to change to ISFJs after a bit more introspection. Still others of you will test as ISTJ and will never waver. Many times this is influenced by how high you score in the individual preferences (I, S, T, or J), with high scores meaning that you have a strong tendency to act out of this preference.

What is E vs. I?

When you get down to the cognitive functions, the Extraverted or Intraverted tendencies are simply the direction of energy you have for your first cognitive function. But that gets into the deeper stuff that psychology majors love to read, and we're really looking for the bottom line here (now that's an ISTJ trait:crazy:). So really, this indicates where you get your energy from. Extraverts can be shy and intraverts can be more outgoing--so don't base your decision on someone's extraversion or intraversion simply on how well they seem to function in a crowd. While that is a good indicator in most cases, you can be fooled. An intravert may dread going into a gathering and doing a "meet & greet" but once there will pull it off with aplomb and grace. Afterwards, they are sure to retire to a quiet place and seek some alone time to recharge their batteries.

The best indicator I've found for extraversion versus intraversion is to ask yourself if you feel energized after talking to people in a larger group setting, or if you feel drained and would like to be alone or with a small group of friends for a while. If you are energized, then you are sure to be an extravert and if you feel drained you are sure to be an intravert. We are talking emotionally here--not physically. Everyone's legs hurt after standing around talking for an hour. :dry:

Generally, extraverts are more active, particularly within a group, appear more open and approachable, are talkative, tending to talk their way through their thoughts meaning that they talk first and think as they are talking. They enjoy (and are energized) by the company of others, even if they are shy.

Intraverts generally are more reserved, appear quiet and thoughtful, are more introspective and think first and talk after they have thought about what is being discussed. ISTJs many times will fall into the trap of thinking so long that they do not contribute their thoughts to the discussion until it is too late. Intraverts are not charged by social gatherings and are often looking for the earliest opportunity to legitimately escape.

What does being an Introvert mean for the ISTJ?

As an ISTJ, you are likely to prefer working alone, will do your deep thinking alone, prefer a quiet setting when working, and prefer scheduled meeting times rather than impromptu meetings. You will tend to think very deeply about things that interest you and will seek out additional knowledge about the topic. So if you like a band's music, you will read all about the band's history, and remember a great deal of trivia about the group. It is not enough to simply enjoy the music--You seek to fully understand what made them who they are.

As an ISTJ, you are very private. By some accounts, you are the most private of the 16 MBTI types. You feel emotions deeply, but you compartmentalize and refuse to allow the emotions to show in environments where you do not believe that they belong. This can pose a problem if you are stressed because you will inadvertently allow emotions to show and then will tend to quickly squelch them back into the box where they "belong." This confuses everyone around you, so if you find yourself doing this, it means take some alone time to get things right and then act upon your decisions.

Also, be aware that you dislike interruptions when working. Bear this in mind and try to understand how you are coming across to others. They can often sense your displeasure and will assume that you do not like them when actually, you just don't like being interrupted.

What does the "S" mean?

The "S" in ISTJ means that you are a sensor, as opposed to being intuitive. You trust hard, concrete data coming from the five senses and don't trust your 6th sense. You will deal in the present with tangible details and facts being most important to you. Those with an "N" preference will deal more in the theoretical and abstract, looking for patterns and possibilities. All types can think in all manners, but this is your preference for obtaining data and you will utilize it if possible. In fact, you will be a little too quick to dismiss abstract thoughts and ideas if you don't see the relevance. Work to overcome always squelching of your intuition.

Decision Making

As an ISTJ, you are a thinker as opposed to a feeler. Don't make the mistake of assuming that thinkers don't feel and that feelers don't think--nothing is further from the truth. The thinker makes decisions more objectively and without as much regard for the people impacted, while the feeler makes decisions more subjectively with an eye toward how their decisions will impact others. So thinkers tend to come across as impersonal, logical, seekers of justice and truth, with rules being followed regardless of consequences, while feelers come across as personal, tactful, seekers of justice tempered with mercy and harmony and with rules being impacted by extenuating circumstances.

As an ISTJ, be careful here as feelings can get hurt in the decision making process. This area can make you appear hard nosed and unrelenting. Try thinking of the people side of decisions before you come down too firmly in your stated position.

What is a Judger?

With a "J" preference, you are likely to organize your projects from the beginning, make decisions rapidly and go for closure, want a plan mapped out with clear objectives, worry about deadlines, view methods as "right" and "wrong" and be annoyed by surprises to your plans or interruptions to your plans. This is very different from someone with a "P" (perceiving) preference, so BEWARE! Lots of conflicts occur between the personalities because of a "J" vs. "P" preference. An ISTJ must work to not be so rigid and dogmatic that they ignore options that pop up at a later time, refusing to take advantage of a better solution.

I know, as ISTJs, you are going to have to try and plow through such a long post. I tried to keep it interesting. I hope you find it helpful.:happy:
 

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I know, as ISTJs, you are going to have to try and plow through such a long post. I tried to keep it interesting. I hope you find it helpful.:happy:
As a non-ISTJ I enjoyed this long post! lol Thanks for the info, I seek to understand the ISTJ I know and this was informative and helpful. :happy:
 

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Intraverts generally are more reserved, appear quiet and thoughtful, are more introspective and think first and talk after they have thought about what is being discussed. ISTJs many times will fall into the trap of thinking so long that they do not contribute their thoughts to the discussion until it is too late. Intraverts are not charged by social gatherings and are often looking for the earliest opportunity to legitimately escape.
Good to see you included me :laughing:

I know, as ISTJs, you are going to have to try and plow through such a long post. I tried to keep it interesting. I hope you find it helpful.:happy:
I made it all the way through the first time :tongue:

Good post niss!
 

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^ What they said. I agree, it was a good post. I usually skim over posts that discuss functions as well, but this one was relevant and so therefore I made it to the end.
BTW Niss, congratulations on attaining robot status. :crazy:
 

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Yes I did read it through, and yes it was immensely helpful.

I finally got the 'J' bit, especially - thanks for the concrete examples.
 
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As an ISTJ, you are likely to prefer working alone, will do your deep thinking alone, prefer a quiet setting when working, and prefer scheduled meeting times rather than impromptu meetings. You will tend to think very deeply about things that interest you and will seek out additional knowledge about the topic. So if you like a band's music, you will read all about the band's history, and remember a great deal of trivia about the group. It is not enough to simply enjoy the music--You seek to fully understand what made them who they are.:


lol I do this all the time!!! my sister( who is an ENFP) likes to call me obsessed or a stalker but I knew that wasn't the case :tongue:
 
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As an ISTJ, you are likely to prefer working alone, will do your deep thinking alone, prefer a quiet setting when working, and prefer scheduled meeting times rather than impromptu meetings. You will tend to think very deeply about things that interest you and will seek out additional knowledge about the topic. So if you like a band's music, you will read all about the band's history, and remember a great deal of trivia about the group. It is not enough to simply enjoy the music--You seek to fully understand what made them who they are.

As an ISTJ, you are very private. By some accounts, you are the most private of the 16 MBTI types. You feel emotions deeply, but you compartmentalize and refuse to allow the emotions to show in environments where you do not believe that they belong. This can pose a problem if you are stressed because you will inadvertently allow emotions to show and then will tend to quickly squelch them back into the box where they "belong." This confuses everyone around you, so if you find yourself doing this, it means take some alone time to get things right and then act upon your decisions.

Also, be aware that you dislike interruptions when working. Bear this in mind and try to understand how you are coming across to others. They can often sense your displeasure and will assume that you do not like them when actually, you just don't like being interrupted.
Thank you. The middle paragraph sums up my emotions. I am so secretivce and determined when it comes to responsibilites that once i was five minutes late for second period (I was helping the secretary with something) and everyone even the teacher started wondering what i was doing. One person said i was dead. Another said i was kindnapped. Another said i was terminally ill. Still another said that i was terminally ill, came to school anyways, got kindnapped, fought off the attackers, and was running late because i had lost my way on the way back to school. One person thought that i was planting a bomb. Another thought i went to enlist in the army. Another thought i went to Iraq to work out a treaty. Another thought i went to Washington to instill some backbone into the despot i mean president. The last suggestion made when i walked into the room (it was like a debate in there with everyone arguing) was that i had became the leader of a Conservative Southern Rebel group and had left to Washington to assinssate the president. All made their guesses based on what they knew about me but no one knew everything about me.
 

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Thanks much niss!

The "What is E vs. I?" section answered my main question about Introversion.



Bam! Random emoticon.

:cool:

(Just kidding I had to look at them all)
 

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Niss that makes more sense now, thanks. The length was just right.
 
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A good, nice and concise post. Now, I understand why my bestfriend looks like she wants to scrape my face with her nails when I poked her at the belly. Haha.
 

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This was very interesting and well written. It actually cleared up some of my doubts about other types, not just ISTJs. Good job!
 

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Very good, thanks, it's nice to be able to read an article like that without all the NiTePiTiSeSiNe... :bored:
I guess that confirms I'm a Sensor
 
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