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When I first started learning about the MBTI, the most exciting thing about it was reading about my type and reading things that were so accurate about me. What made this so great for me is that until that point I always felt kind of lonely about the way that I was...I really didn't know anyone that could relate to concerning a lot of things in my life. I'm an ISFJ, and even now I don't know anyone else in my real life who's also one.

That's part of what made this forum so awesome to me...to talk to other ISFJ's, and to be able to actually have people understand the way I thought and felt about things. I felt a sense of belonging in a way I never quite had before.


But the flip side to this coin is that I've constantly found myself falling into what I have personally labeled as the "Type Trap". And that is the trap of assuming that everyone of one type is the same. The sense of belonging is so powerful that it feels so good to think that there are people out there like me. Every time I seen an ISFJ post, I think "hey, that person must be just like me!" Because that's what I want...to know that I'm not by myself.


What's worse is that every time someone of another type mentions anything about an ISFJ, it's almost like those four letters are highlighted and in my mind it's like a neon light flashing "That means me! That means me!" I immediately think that the person must be talking about me, because I have such a yearning to relate to the type.

Of course, I rationally know better...I've read over and over again how personality type is just a preference, how it's just one part of a person, and how in all four categories there is a varying emphasis on how far in either direction a person is. I rationally of course know that every person is unique and that I'm not just like all other ISFJ's. But I still have that immediate natural tendency that I have to fight.

It's hard to say how much of this is just me, how much of it is related to me being an ISFJ, how much of it just goes back to the type of person that would come to a forum like this in the first place, and how much of it is human nature in everybody.


So, I always like to think about this question: In what ways are you different than people of your type? This could be how you're different than general descriptions you've read in books, different than people of your own type that you know in your life, or even how you're different than people of your type that others on this forum have talked about.


I guess I can start. First off, I've read in descriptions that ISFJ's are very good home-makers, that they have very neat and tidy homes, and that they make good interior decorators. None of those things are true for me. I'll tidy up some when company comes, and I've always been very respective of roommates. But when living by myself, I'm very messy and have no sense of style. I think part of this is related to gender (not to stereotype, but I picture female ISFJ's as being better at decorating), and I wonder if those books wrote that because I've also read that a lot of ISFJ traits are more traditionally feminine.


I've also read about people talking about ISFJ's on here. They say how some are very close-minded and don't listen to those different than them. They say how some can be very bitter and cold to others, especially those different from them. I've heard how some are just mean and shut people out. I've heard how some aren't good at listening and can be selfish. I've also heard how in relationships, they will explode on people and wear people out emotionally.


It's funny because I feel like none of those apply to me. I've tried to figure the reasons why, and I always end up thinking: (a) the people describing them don't know or understand them well (which may be true, but most likely this is me once again falling into the "type trap" of thinking they must be wrong because all ISFJ's must be the same :p ), (b) that perhaps I do some of these things and am just not aware of it (or perhaps I don't, but people perceive me this way), or (c) the most common response we all like to think, that I'm a "healthy" ISFJ and these others are not. Of course, I think there is some truth in this, at least in some ways, especially because in general I think I'm very aware of my flaws and I've learned a lot about how to deal with them and improve them.



So anyway...I know we all love typing people and seeing the patterns and similarities, but here's your chance to prove that you haven't fallen into the "type trap" by describing how you're different than those of your same type!
 

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Well persons of your type aren't exactly like you, nor does your type define you, but they are more similar to you than other typer. They are the closest thing to "you" that you'll see.
 
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Thanks for this ^^
Well, I've seen INFP descriptions always saying that I need to be practice spirituality to feel whole. While I do see natural things in a spiritual way, I don't worship them or believe in any kind of higher power, and I don't subscribe to any eastern religions either. I'm perfectly whole being a complete atheist.
 

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The way I see it MBTI shows, sort of, how we operate in the world and perceives it but it doesn't say much about personality.

Someone made a thread and called MBTI hardware (Big 5 goes here too), and a system like the enneagram software. The software runs differently on different hardware creating a much more well defined personality. I think it's a great analogy!

So I'm different from a lot of people of my type (ISFJ), but some of them I feel are similar and the way I explain it is that they have pretty much the same software. (ISFJ+type 9)

I think a lot of ISFJs are more sensitive (at least reactive) than I am, a lot are more anxious than I am. I feel like I don't have very much in common with MOST ISFJs but I imagine I would like the "style" of these people because it's the same as my own:wink:.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I think that's part of my problem...I don't know much about the Enneagram, because the few times I've looked into it I kept getting different results and couldn't figure it out. In addition, I have even more trouble keeping two big parts of me straight, rather than just the MBTI! So I've developed a habit of just ignoring the Enneagram, which isn't good, since I bet it would account for a lot of these differences.

At some point I should sit down and look into it a lot more. I think part of the problem too though is that there aren't tons of ISFJ's on here anyway, so I'm resistant to separate myself from them even more! :p
 

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Based mostly on my observations.

-Far less social than most INTP's (which is saying something :laughing: ).
-Preference for direct communication (cut on details) which leads to my longer posts becoming harder to understand which inevitably leads to misunderstandings.
-Detest mathematics and math games. Sudoku can go die.
-One of main interest consists of understanding people through detached observation.
-Unusually skilled with tools.
-Immediately notice inconsistencies in physical surroundings (even small ones).

I think that it is perfectly normal that there is a lot of variance within each type.

I am not a very big fan of enneagram. It can be fun read about it and to apply it loosely but I find it to be quite vague to account for differences within type. How would it account for my differences?
 

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Thanks for this ^^
Well, I've seen INFP descriptions always saying that I need to be practice spirituality to feel whole. While I do see natural things in a spiritual way, I don't worship them or believe in any kind of higher power, and I don't subscribe to any eastern religions either. I'm perfectly whole being a complete atheist.
INFPs tend to be spiritual but not find interest in organized religion.

Furthermore, I think this "Type Trap" depends on which type. Or maybe it depends on how much time you spend, but I never felt like I fit in at places like INFPcentral. While there is one or two INFPs I relate to (or value their insights), I just like looking at the pictures next to their profile.

Edit: In some specification, I think belonging is specifically something Guardians (SJ) value. Or that is a key word Keirsey used in Please Understand Me to illustrate a point.
But over my time on the internet during my teenage years, I discovered it was a realm very fragile toward holding connections to people
 

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I completely agree!
There are some ways I feel very different from other INFPs here (or the type trap). I like small talk (which most seem not to) mainly because it is easy to keep up a positive feeling with others while keeping them at a distance at the same time. I am also disillusioned with charities, volunteer organizations, and environmentalism; while initially good ideas, I have found some to be corrupted or else am not convinced that they really work or sometimes suspect their supporters to be less than genuine.
It's more strange to me that I have so much in common with others of my mbti type than that there are areas where I differ.
 
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I'm referencing typical ENTP stereotypes, by the way...
And I'm certain that I'm an ENTP, at this point, but there are some traits that are associated with ENTPs that I really don't have...I don't see myself as especially quick-witted or funny. I don't see myself as intelligent or clever as descriptions suggest ENTPs typically are.
 

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It took me quite a while to figure out I'm ENFP because I knew two ENFPs who seemed unlike me. Once I realized we all had the same underlying outlook toward life, I could see that they were to a certain extent manifesting their Enneagram as well as M-B type. I feel the need to keep things pleasant for the ENFP Enneagram 9, the ENFP Enneagram 2w3 has strong people agendas he frequently pushes, and my Enneagram 7 has me changing my life more often than the other two, plus I tend to be more fun loving.

Putting other methodologies with M-B has helped me see the differences within all types, not just ENFPs.
 

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I'm an INFJ, but my feeling is introverted. This is prominently shown in me and I tend to have Ni about things that mean to me rather than to others. Or maybe I just cling to one perspective, and that brings feeling to me.
 

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I value personal space more than the ENFP stereoptype. I'm not an overly touchy feely person unless I know someone very well. My husband (an ISTP) actually tells me he wishes I were a bit more physically demonstrative. But I have no problem showering him and my other loved ones with verbal praise.

I think my being an Enneagram 6 makes me a bit leary of people, I'm not sure.
 

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I grew up with both parents focusing on helping others (I think my dad's an ESFJ, and my mom might be an ENFP). They kinda instilled that trait in me. Most ENTP's are seem to get labeled as narcissists, but I tend to be much more humanitarian (even though, like many ENTP's, I kinda despise people in general).

I went into the military when I was 18. I taught me discipline and order, which kinda stuck. I have a predisposition now to keep everything in my house in a clean, neat and orderly way. Even my finances are in good order, or at least they were until my ISFJ wife got her hands on them. Of course it makes sense when you think about the fact that she basically throws all our money away on other people and what little she spends on us is usually used to replicate our house to be like her parents'. It's really kinda backwards when the ENTP is better organized than the ISFJ though.
 

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I think I'm much friendlier and sociable than most INTPs (to the point that I'm starting to think I might be an ENTP :mellow:). I also think I have a more positive mood, in general, than most INTPs. That's probably it.
 

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I'm not going to lie. I fit the stereotypical mold of an ENTP pretty spot on. My E isn't as E as it used to be, but that could just be me maturing. I've become more introspective as time has gone by, but I'm pretty much just you're everyday average smartass, bullshitting, entp.
 

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Based mostly on my observations.

-Far less social than most INTP's (which is saying something :laughing: ).
-Preference for direct communication (cut on details) which leads to my longer posts becoming harder to understand which inevitably leads to misunderstandings.
-Detest mathematics and math games. Sudoku can go die.
-One of main interest consists of understanding people through detached observation.
-Unusually skilled with tools.
-Immediately notice inconsistencies in physical surroundings (even small ones).

I think that it is perfectly normal that there is a lot of variance within each type.

I am not a very big fan of enneagram. It can be fun read about it and to apply it loosely but I find it to be quite vague to account for differences within type. How would it account for my differences?
^The fact that I relate to this INTJ very, very well. Except that I'm a fairly balanced INTP when it comes to being social. I can do it, but it leaves me exhausted depending on who I'm with.

Sudoku can be burned at the stake. But I like Hangman and Boggle.
 

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I'm not going to lie. I fit the stereotypical mold of an ENTP pretty spot on. My E isn't as E as it used to be, but that could just be me maturing. I've become more introspective as time has gone by, but I'm pretty much just you're everyday average smartass, bullshitting, entp.
I agree with this... I am pretty much the usual ENTP, but I'm more "feely" than some of other ENTPs I've seen here at PerC. I definitely think that as we mature and our situations change we will vary in how close we relate to one specific type.

/2¢
 
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other ENFPs have always been different to me, especially on the outside but i still feel like i can sense their exact motive for doing almost everything because i can relate to it..
i suppose Fi and having lived different personas helps with that though.
 
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