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Earlier today I was explaining MBTI theory to an INTJ (I got him to take the test a while ago but he has never known about the actual theory). He seemed very interested at first, but after some time he told me that he disagreed with this type of theory -he explained it as 'putting things into boxes'. By this he means that people are forced into categories, even though there is infinite variety in how people's minds work.

My reply was that if you toss a coin, it can only land on one of two sides -and saying this would not be 'putting things into boxes'. It is fact. In the same way someone can only prefer either Sensing or Intuition. Or prefer either Thinking or Feeling. There are no other options.

But his response to this was a typical Ni way of thinking. He explained how language cannot be used to describe the way someone's brain functions. Language and therefore these 'functions' are created by humans, and so they are not reality. But most importantly, he questioned the reasons for the MBTI's existence. What is its usefulness?

I suppose that was the question I was getting to, but I would be very interested in any comments you can make on any of this. I have more respect for this INTJ than I have for anyone I have ever known (it seems to make sense that 'typelogic . com' says that INFPs and INTJs are the best advisors for each other), so his comments have made me question my own reasons for being interested in MBTI. Why am I, and why are you INTJs interested in something that is not really reality?
 

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I only really did it because i was browsing wikipedia and it came up, and so i got interested and did the test.
It can be both a carrot and a stick, something that you have to be aware of and something to strive for. It allows you to hear your own shortcomings in a way that makes them go from abstract ideas and feelings into concepts that you can easily grasp and recognise in your day to day functioning. It also gives you something to strive for, if you know that you are well suited for a career in X but you didnt think you could do it, it may give you some added determination to see that it is possible and has been possible for others with similar mindsets/ideas.
However, you can ve sucked into the trap of thinking, for example, 'Im an INTJ, i dont do well with emotions and others, i'm going to become more socially withdrawn because it's ok, its my personality type to do so.
OR
I'm a care-giver type, lets spend alot of my energy in helping others possibly at my own expense, to the point where you become emotionally exhausted and physically drained
 

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I'm not interested in MBTI or psychology for that matter. I have what I need to know and don't need to further be here. My point in coming here was to help better understand differences and the effect on those differences in better addressing problems, underlying and not-so-blatant issues. I'm gone.
 

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I found that it gave me a language to make explicable both myself and other people. One has to be wary of exclusive useage - there are many other factors that work with MBTI theory and we shouldn't abandon Freudian thinking. These are all aspects of cognitive theory.
 

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I agree with all of these comments because I can relate to them myself. I think my reason for asking was because I was expecting him to have an interest for these same reasons, and was surprised that he didn't see its usefulness. For INTJs and INFJs in particular, MBTI seems perfect for actually giving a language to something so abstract (because of Ni). And perhaps both INTJs and INFPs would have an interest because of the Fi function's effect on people to make them want to know their true self?
 

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Because it tells you about yourself and other people. It's a base, not a box.
Its exactly what thought. MBIT is a like architectural base to a personality. I even found that some of my friends took the test at college especially for engineering colleges.

Earlier today I was explaining MBTI theory to an INTJ (I got him to take the test a while ago but he has never known about the actual theory). He seemed very interested at first, but after some time he told me that he disagreed with this type of theory -he explained it as 'putting things into boxes'. By this he means that people are forced into categories, even though there is infinite variety in how people's minds work.

My reply was that if you toss a coin, it can only land on one of two sides -and saying this would not be 'putting things into boxes'. It is fact. In the same way someone can only prefer either Sensing or Intuition. Or prefer either Thinking or Feeling. There are no other options.

But his response to this was a typical Ni way of thinking. He explained how language cannot be used to describe the way someone's brain functions. Language and therefore these 'functions' are created by humans, and so they are not reality. But most importantly, he questioned the reasons for the MBTI's existence. What is its usefulness?

I suppose that was the question I was getting to, but I would be very interested in any comments you can make on any of this. I have more respect for this INTJ than I have for anyone I have ever known (it seems to make sense that 'typelogic . com' says that INFPs and INTJs are the best advisors for each other), so his comments have made me question my own reasons for being interested in MBTI. Why am I, and why are you INTJs interested in something that is not really reality?
Reality is boring. Its better to look for other possibility to eventually think that if you work smart enough people will someday use the things you thought of then you think of other stuff and round and round.
 

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I remember taking the test as a child because I was "different" and "uncontrollable", and it was INTJ. I don't think my parents ever really utilized the information, however, because that was the last I had heard of or thought about it. It wasn't until a few years ago when a friend of mine mentioned MBTI that I took the test again. It came up INTJ yet again.

I mostly find it interesting in social terms. I know how I am, but I like the bouncing of ideas off others of the same type to compare the similarities of individuals with the same type. I find it endlessly fascinating that there are so many similar responses... especially being in a world where my behaviour is considered "strange" to a lot of people. It's nice to know there are more people going through life with somewhat similar relationships, actions, and stories.

Without the research around others, I really don't think it would interest me too much.
 

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Why am I, and why are you INTJs interested in something that is not really reality?
Primarily for the reasons stated, and for the fact that the system can actually lead in better understanding others. I believe it aids a lot in both personal and interpersonal growth between people.
 

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It allows me to make sense of some of my thoughts, feelings, actions etc.

Personal growth is also a factor as well. MBTI allows one to know his or her inherent modes of thinking and behaving, thereby exposing him or her to different, perhaps better, modes. Simply, understand yourself and understand others.
 

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I enjoy researching topics. Although I had never heard of the test until my partner mentioned it to me. He is an INFJ btw. And he showed so much passion about the topic it intrigued me. But after reading about myself and how I react to life it started to suck me in also. A lot of the stuff I felt had no real name to it or I had never heard of someone else feeling that way. And the fact that INTJ women are very rare was pretty cool. I realized why people thought I was so weird! lol. But the real reason I got sucked into the MBTI was because I wanted to learn how to bridge the gap between my guy and myself. I am not the type to go all into love I think every step out logically and it didn't seem like that was the way to go into a relationship. It seemed a better way to ruin the passion and the relationship. But I got all the research I needed. And now I'm on here. So...
 

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The mental process, the way the different types of personalities take in the information, the way we speak different languages while speaking the same language, it all makes sense with MBTI. I understand myself, and understand others. Like it has been said before: It's not a box, it's a base. The base being Nature, the rest is nurture. He might be wary of giving it thought to the MBTI because we're so used to biased stereotyping (like it is the case with many personality 'disorders' labels that are not disorders at all) that we might reject anything that is of the same style. Perhaps if you show him the underlying core and system he would welcome it better. The descriptions don't have the same effect since they can seem faulty.
 

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I have always been interested in the way people function, and their cognitive processes. I was struck by Jung's psychological types. So there is an element of intellectual curiosity.
Moreover, I deal with many different personalities at work. MTBI (which I've recently discovered) is proving to be a helpful tool in analysing inter-personal relationships, common misunderstandings and frictions, and reduce them. In my personal life I can chose the people I relate to, but I obviously can't at work, and a constructive working environment is important to reach goals. I became aware long ago of the need to express my "F" more on the workplace. But being able to relate this to a theory is a good reminder for me, especially when I'm under stress and my natural preferences re-emerge more strongly.
Another reason why I'm interested in the theory is that I often train new colleagues. MTBI has increased my awareness of how different temperaments process information, and their preferred working environment. This has alerted me even more to the usefulness of trying different approaches, when I sense that my natural one might not be the most effective.
Needless to say, I fully agree with all those who said that its not a box.
For me, it is a useful point of of view, but there are many others.
 

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MBTI study has improved my personal relationships with the people who I care about while satisfying my need to seek out better understandings of people in general and their common motivations.

When once I thought that I was weird without reason, now I know why I am the way that I am and it even makes perfect sense to me, which feels far better when compared to the alienated feeling that I'd always been left with, before.

To me, MBTI is much less of a limiting definition of who people are than I initially believed it to be- instead, now, it seems to be much more of an acknowledgment of common behaviors with understandable explanations for why they occur.

I don't see the MBTI so much as 16 limiting personality types derived from a 50/50 chance to land on one letter versus another, as much as I acknowledge that every possible increment between the

E and I
S and N
T and F
J and P

more toward one or another is possible from one person to the next within just 1 of those 16 categories. Some people are even able to show preference for different cognitive functions based upon the environment that they find themselves in and/or the people who they are around, with enough awareness and practice. This, I find fascinating.

I don't feel that the MBTI concepts are confining in any way. I agree that it's not a box; It is, indeed, a base. There is so much in personality typing that anyone can realize and learn from.
 

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Earlier today I was explaining MBTI theory to an INTJ (I got him to take the test a while ago but he has never known about the actual theory). He seemed very interested at first, but after some time he told me that he disagreed with this type of theory -he explained it as 'putting things into boxes'.
I disagree. Stating fact may be limiting, but that's only because, truthfully, we're all limited in some way. As for how this applies to the MBTI, I don't feel my being an INTJ defines me. Rather, my INTJnes describes me. (And it describes me pretty darn well, too.) That's not such a bad thing.

Personally, I first became interested in the MBTI because I always felt... different from the general population. (Friends affectionately call me 'weird.') As such, others have frequently been confused by my quirks or misunderstood my behaviors. This has always puzzled me-- to me, my unique 'traits' feel normal. The MBTI helped explain my differences in such a way that I not only began to understand myself; but in a way that I could also articulate to others. ("I'm really introverted," I say to a friend, and almost instantly they understand my introspective nature. Before I learned about the MBTI they just assumed I was moody or depressed when I became quiet and reflective.) The MBTI also has helped me to comprehend the differences in others who have opposite personality types. This gives me a chance to build stronger relationships with them as I can intellectually see how, based on their typing, I can respond in a positive, relatable manner. In a way, to me, the MBTI is apart of my reality. It's real, and that's not a bad thing. :happy:
 

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INTJs like the MBTI so much, from my observation, because it is a system for understanding people, and they (if they want to improve their communication abilities especially) usually understand that it has some real applications

no point in repeating
 

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Because they're masterminds, and they need to learn the nature of their chess pieces to control it better XD
 

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We do it for the pursuit of happiness.

To better ones self you have to better understand your self.
 

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About the MBTI | By Peter Geyer

MBTI Preferences, Skills, Development, Culture.

A type preference doesn't necessarily translate into skill. For example, a person may prefer making decisions, but it doesn't follow that they are good ones and a person interested in possibilities about the future may not identify the most worthwhile and appropriate vision.

As these are preferences, people can and do develop skill in their non-preferred areas, but they do not change their core preferences. These skills, when developed appropriately, are simply support their original preferences A person preferring Perceiving can be most timely with all their work and attend to their diary, if it makes sense to them and a person preferring Thinking judgement can be interested in people and personal issues if they can see the logic in it.

Not spending sufficient time in your preferred modes can result in stress and lack of effectiveness in the workplace and at home. Mid-life is often a time for the recognition of non-preferences i.e. the usefulness of future possibilities for the person with their feet on the ground, or flexibility for the scheduled.

Jung considered it was important to acknowledge the value of the opposite preferences and to develop some familiarity and expertise with them.

While behaviour can be a predictor of type preferences to a certain extent, type theory recognises that there is more to personality than what you see.

Type is not simply behaviour, because people can perform the same task in the same way for different reasons. Types can also be identified cross-culturally (the MBTI is translated into about 40 languages), but the expression of people's preferences is contingent on their cultural experience.

MBTI and Organisations:

The first organisational use of the MBTI was in 1942, by co-author Isabel Briggs Myers and Edward Hay, the job analyst, who was then a personnel manager in an insurance company.

The MBTI has applications in diagnosing organisational issues, teamwork (particularly quality systems), communication, counselling, careers, strategic thinking, performance appraisal, leadership and stress management.

Different types approach change situations in different ways. Some are better at focusing on the future than others; others refer to the past, or the present, because the future is an unknown to them. Some people prefer to work through procedures (_S_J)/strategies (_NT_)/ people (_NF_)/to just do it, (_S_P), depending on their type preferences.

Organisations themselves also have a type. The type code can be a shorthand for 'the way things are done around here' e.g. a bank that is procedures driven hierarchical bottom line operation can be described as ISTJ; an entrepreneurial, flexible actively changing organisation like a merchant bank can be seen as ENTP.

Each of these profiles has their own strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages.

Practicality of the MBTI

What practical use is the MBTI and/or type? Well, it's a personality framework that makes more sense out of what people actually do than other frameworks. People of all walks of life identify with the general principles as having something to do with them in their daily lives.

It's also a positive framework: It's good to be you, whoever that is, and there are lots of practical things you can do with type e.g.:

Population: There's sufficient data around to make some assertions about the percentages of the various types in Australia. If you're an ESTJ, for instance, you can expect that around 11% of the population will share your preferences; if you're an INFJ, it's probably about 2%. Given this, you would expect that the first type would be more likely to have their way of looking at the world supported by many more people than the second, and that the first type would expect more people to be like them. This has consequences for self-esteem, motivation, peer group pressure etc. although population statistics are only a small part of the impact of type in these areas.

Careers/Personal Development: The MBTI helps people identify career and /or life paths. There's lots of literature on this. Your type preferences indicate the skills you're most likely to be able to pick up easily, as well as the occupations that you might be interested in or how you operate within your chosen occupation.

For example, an INFP lawyer, driven by internal personal values and new interpretations of the law, will operate differently from an ISTJ one, driven by precedent and tradition.

While people whose preferences are consistent with large numbers of those in a particular profession or occupation may feel more comfortable operating in that field, those who have different preferences can add to the perspective and approaches simply through seeing things differently. No organisation benefits from people being much the same, particularly in senior positions.

Type is also useful in strategising interviews and helping people appreciate that everyone is not like them and so work, career expectations can be different.

Learning Styles: Different Types learn more effectively in different ways. Some like and learn through group work, others don't. Some like to get their hands on what's to be learnt, others don't; some learn through discussion, others reading; some are interested in theory, others practice.

The practical ESTJ manager may participate actively in a residential course designed to develop a mission and vision for his company, but may not apply the principles discussed when they return to the office unless there is some practical reason or role-modelling by other managers that can convince them to change their approach to management. This approach may stun fellow managers preferring Intuition whose mode of thought commonly includes appreciation of new ideas first, before testing out their practicality.

Teambuilding: Type is particularly effective in building and maintaining teams because it identifies similarities and differences in communication styles and how people prefer to work e.g.

[*] Some types want to work smarter (_NT_s), not harder (_S_Js)
[*] Some types want to put in minimum input for required output (_S_Ps)
[*] Some types think if they just work harder, things will work out (_S_Js)
[*] Some types want to be liked, in order to do their best work (_NF_s)
[*] Some different team approaches can be explained quite simply:

[*] Extraverts (E) need activity to participate, learn and understand.
[*] Introverts (I) need time to reflect, often by reading, to interact.
[*] Sensors (S) need hard, tangible data, often visually presented.
[*] Intuitives (N) need to know the vision, the big picture.
[*] Thinking judgers (T) need to see the logic.
[*] Feeling judgers (F) need harmony in the team.
[*] Judging Types (J) need to follow the plan, the order.
[*] Perceiving Types (P) need information in advance, to decide.

Communication: The types communicate in different ways: big picture(N) /facts (S) ; values(F) /objectivity(T) ; talking(E)/ writing etc.(I)

Making sure you're understood in the way you want means using type based strategies to deal with others more effectively. Many adult training methods presume the desire for group work and active discussion for all adults. For many types e.g., ISTJ, INTP this is not a productive way to learn unless there's a relevant context.

Leadership: This overused term means different things for different people. For some types, mostly Introverts, leadership means leaving them alone to do their job. Some, usually _NT_s, don't want to follow leaders at all. People that prefer Sensing generally want someone to model the behaviours required, for some (_S_Js) in a traditional, authority laden role, for others (_S_Ps) as the leader of action. Some, usually _NF_s, look for a charismatic leader.

Type theory contends that all types can lead in a valuable way. Most senior executives, however, prefer __TJ, thus limiting the possible roles and so also guaranteeing particular pitfalls and the invariable need for damage control when something goes wrong and affects people's lives and livelihoods.

Counseling: Different types get stressed or stimulated in different ways. Counseling strategies are more effective taking type into account, particularly in relationship counselling. Cognitive dissonance often takes many types outside their comfort zone and so they are less effective.​

Why use the MBTI and not some other instrument or process?

The main benefit in using the MBTI is its breadth of application. You can use it in almost any situation and it's buttressed by a comprehensive and robust theory of personality. In one sense, then, there is no competition to the MBTI in workplace use as there is no comparable theory of personality associated with other methods.

The statements above on the MBTI come from substantial research and observation. In using the MBTI, you have to be aware that the way it describes the world is at times quite different to the way personality is conventionally seen. So you need to see if the view the MBTI represents is one you and your clients consider useful.

It's inappropriate to use the MBTI when a workforce or person is under stress or there is a lack of trust, as you're unlikely to get accurate answers to the questions. People don't need to know type to be aware of the hidden requirements for succeeding in an organisation that literally clones its senior executive, for instance. Other processes also have their use and application.
 
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