Okay, I've been driving myself nuts, so first post apologies and all that. I’ve always toyed with my mbti type, never with one “fitting” best, but recently my friends and I have been discussing the topic of our (very very different, it seems) types. They’re pretty sure of theirs. They’re pretty sure of mine! I am not convinced and it’s bothering me. A lot.
Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. I promise originally I’d intended to make this short. However, I’m one of those “but how can you decide if you don’t know all the details!” people. (Is that a clue to type already?)
So for ease of reading (and less intimidation for you to-the-pointy types), I’ve broken this down into short answers for the bullet point types, but since that doesn’t really give you enough info imo, I’ve added more details in spoilers for some questions. Cookies are in the oven!
1) What aspect of your personality made you unsure of your type?
Uncertain because: Confusion over how functions and functions stacks work, confusion over what functions I’m really exhibiting (when something comes off looking like Xx, but really it’s Xx making that behavior happen), and life events that have made me doubt myself.
Like many here, I’ve taken gobs of the online personality tests for kicks over the years. But for every type I’ve gotten as a result, looking deeper into its descriptions and others of that type is very ill fitting in one way or another.
Trying to make of sense of things via functions hasn’t helped. I know I don’t fully understand function theory, the stacks, or how they relate to each other. (You can’t have everything introverted before everything extroverted, can you?) However, from every description I’ve read and thinking about what functions I genuinely use and feel the most “me”, no personality type’s stack represents those. Either there’s something that’s a jarring “nope” or something that I very clearly, deeply consider a part of myself is nowhere to be seen. (I think I use both Fi and Ni much, much more than either extroverted counterpart)
Further, recent events in my life, mostly failures, have made me doubt aspects of myself I used to consider my strongest areas. (Anything you might call Thinking or iNtuition, basically.) I feel rather “stuck” and maybe even that I’ve lost myself, which bothers me deeply if I think about it enough. Do types change that dramatically? Are the areas I’m not confident in somewhat dormant or were they not there to begin with, hence the failures? Or are the changes also just part of growing and developing? (I’m mid to late 20s, if that helps.)
2) What do you yearn for in life? Why?
Meaning. Richness. A life less ordinary.
I hope to grow into my “best” self and fulfill find my purpose (although I’ve gotten discouraged and thus lazy about seeking it) because I believe everyone has a purpose and, if everyone has one, how tragic would it be to have lived a whole life and have missed it?
But mostly, on a more selfish level, I yearn for the “something” that will make the length and frequent unpleasantness of life worthwhile. For me, this centers on personal growth intellectually, spiritually, artistically/creatively, and general maturity.
And, though I am ashamed to say so out loud, I do feel like there’s been a “spot” next to me my whole life, like I was built to be part of a duo that includes a partner I currently don’t know. I don’t universally believe in “soul mates” for everyone, nor think this fellow needs to come along to “complete” me. Maybe it’s just that to find someone who can put up with all my quirks and odd interests and as well as being someone /I/ want to put up with, we’re talking about a very, very narrow segment of the population.
3) Think about a time where you felt like you were at your finest. Tell us what made you feel that way.
Uhhhhhmmmmm.... Define "finest" for starters?
I found it interesting that this is one of the hardest and last questions for me to answer. Partly because there are multiple answers of “finest.” When I was “best?” That would be times when I denied my selfish urges to follow what was “right”- but that involves occasions of going /against/ my natural reaction. Example: Friend that I have long had openly strong romantic feelings for was having problems with a girl who had rejected him. I think I was able to be there for him *without* turning into a sobbing ball of hurt and depression.
As for when I was the best version of my own self? I’m honestly not sure. I have a feeling what it would look like, I just can’t think of a time when I succeeded in reaching it. Maybe a period or few when I had a subject that sort of lit my mind and soul on fire for months at a time- diving completely into almost rabid information devouring research, pouring it back out in equally driven creative output.
4) What makes you feel inferior?
Jealousy and the tendency compare myself to others run rampant in my life, generally with just as many good results as you’d expect. So basically everything!
I often feel out of place in almost all real world situations, like I’m missing some aspect everyone else has and I’m trying to fake that I measure up or “pass” in some way. Also, due to life circumstances and my personal failures, I often feel “behind” peers my age. I feel like I should be further along, accomplished more, reached more life milestones, grown more, etc.
5) What tends to weigh on your decisions? (Do you think about people, pro-cons, how you feel about it, etc.)
My sister once very accurately said of me, “You either make up your mind right away or you never will.” Some of that will depend on the importance of the decision.
For important things it is very important for me to make the Right Choice. That will be based on criteria of what’s best, most factually correct, wisest, most ethical, most appropriate, etc. (You mean there are people who don't read three different review sources and compare prices before they buy a toothbrush?) If there are no clear cut winners in this way, that’s when I may doubt the correctness of my choice forever.
However! I suppose there are times when I get to be more intuitive (although this may be F-something? Halp? >_<). I used to rely on it much, much more when younger. Now, I tend to mistrust that voice more. Honestly, I miss it like a lost friend. It really only gets to come out to play again on "unimportant” creative or sensory preferences, from what color to paint my room to what to eat for lunch. Then, I still get to sort of flow with what feels good to my soul and my “gut” and that is a delicious feeling.
6) When working on a project what is normally your emphasis? Do you like to have control of theoutcome?
I guess the fact that my first thought was, “Why would you not want to have control over the outcome of a project? Isn’t that the point? O_o” probably answers that question, doesn’t it?
7) Describe us a time where you had a lot of fun. How is your memory of it?
This was my second hard to answer question, which is a little sad. This might be part of the state of my life as well? I know I *have* been happy, but specific instances don’t come readily to mind. I guess one is from early adolescence:
One Saturday, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition had come on the radio. My mom decided the music was too lovely to listen to while cooped up in the house, so we packed some sandwiches and things, drove out to edge of town where it was green and shady with the windows down, and just listened and talked about what picture each section of the song made us picture. It was random, spontaneous (in a minor and safe way), lovely, creative, and stimulating. A soul rich experience.
8) When you want to learn something new, what feels more natural for you? (Are you more prone to behands on, to theorize, to memorize, etc)
Learning and thinking style wise, I’m definitely visual. Explaining the subject to someone else has also proved immensely helpful in the past. I don’t necessarily need to be hands on to learn something, but seeing application and knowing the why behind things helps. This overlaps with my tendency to try to build relational bridges to other things I know. Examples: Shared etymology when learning new words or languages and questions like “So a bit like _____?” and “So that’s what’s going on behind ______?”
9) How organized do you to think of yourself as?
Depends. I seek organization, but rarely achieve it.
I like coming up with ideal ways to organize my physical space, but things will magically end up on the nearest horizontal surface as soon as I’m tired or in a hurry and after a while I’ll end up stepping over or around things on the floor for a long while before I take the time to move it. However if, say, I’m with others at a fair or something, it will annoy the heck out of me if we don’t go in an orderly path to make sure everything is seen and we don’t miss something.
10) How do you judge new ideas? You try to understand the principles behind it to see if they makesense or do you look for information that supports it?
Perhaps I don't understand the question or my own processes, but I'd say...both? I suppose I try to understand the basic principles first. How can you judge what you don’t understand in the first place? But the facts come soon after. What’s the point of learning something that isn’t true? “Citation or it didn’t happen,” basically.
11) You find harmony by making sure everyone is doing fine and belonging to a given group or bymaking sure that you follow what you believe and being yourself?
I definitely am not a fan of conflict and I really don't like hurting people or making things difficult when I don't have to. However, there are definitely lines I won't cross just for the sake of fitting in.
When I was younger, uniqueness and righteousness were everything to me. Now that I’m older, basic societal constraints (and a probably ENFP mother) have softened and balanced me some. It’s still basically all about Do the Right Thing, just now I include "don't be a jerk if you can avoid it-and you can probably always avoid it" in my codex of Right Things to Do.
Although, honestly, sometimes I’m not sure whether I’ve become nicer or just a coward at standing up for my beliefs. (I don’t often find myself in situations that would make my beliefs harder to follow. I don't think I'd cross my lines personally, but I sometimes am quieter about speaking up when I see them crossed by others.)
This is, however, one of things that makes me question typing myself as INFP. I'm definitely values driven, but to me they are objective, outside-myself statutes that would be True even if I didn't believe them. True values are too important to be trusted to individual subjectivity. You can choose to not believe in the Truth too, but you'd be wrong and I'd really prefer you to not be Wrong because I love you.
12) Are you the kind that thinks before speaking or do you speak before thinking? Do you prefer one-on-one communication or group discussions?
I’d like to say I think before speaking, but that’s not really the case. Around people I’m very comfortable with, I tend to ramble and muse out loud. Even with those that know me and my intentions well, that can still lead to trouble. In settings where I’m not comfortable, I just won’t speak!
13) Do you jump into action right away or do you like to know where are you jumping before leaping?Does action speaks more than words?
I’m quite cautious by nature and I really hate being forced into actions before I’ve thought them through or feel prepared. It makes me flustered and sometimes quite cranky. Fun and spontaneous things are awesome- but there has to be a lot of safety if it’s going to be fun and not horrifying.
As for words v. actions, actions are important, but what you choose to let come out of your mouth is an action. Words are important. Actions can be misread, words show intention and the thinking behind. After all, if actions were enough, why did we develop language in the first place? And in love language theory, words are definitely my top.
14) It's Saturday. You're at home, and your favorite show is about to start. Your friends call you for anight out. What will you do?
Sadly, I will try to get out of almost all social engagements, even if it’s something I’d probably enjoy. I’ve absolutely faked being sick or busy before. I might possibly close the blinds and hide and pretend to not be there if you actually come to the door... Rarely, if the stars align properly and I actually have something ready to wear, I’ll jump on the chance.
15) How do you act when you're stressed out?
Cranky, snappy, severe. “Everyone is doing everything wrong!” Probably also selfish, self-pitying, and self-indulgent, then a heavy walloping of self-hatred when I realize I’ve been the previous.
16) What makes you dislike the personalities of some people?
For the most part, I can be pretty chill with most people. I can try to build bridge and see the other side of most people. (Thank you again, ENFP Mom.) However, being too “nice” to people has actually gotten me into trouble...
But there are some problematic things and why:
Recently, I’ve had major trouble with a semi-friend who I found out has a tendency to lie and keep her true feelings hidden, like whether saying okay with something when she’s not. I have enough trouble reading social cues already. Don’t make it worse with dishonesty. I tried to re-extend trust against my judgement, but it was shattered again. I now doubt everything she says.
Stupid people. I can accept that they exist, have value, and can tolerate some of them quite well. But I’m not promising my eye won’t be secretly twitching.
Related- Although it’s not a matter of dislike, but a speaker/educator (teacher, minister, some other authority figures, etc.) who uses information incorrectly or haphazardly will lose all credibility and respect as soon as I have internally proved that they are, in fact, correct. Any time spent listening to them before or after is a waste. And there’s a good chance I will share this condemnation with others if appropriate...
17) Is there anything you really like talking about with other people?
Many things! I like learning. I ask questions whenever I can get away with it and dispense said information even more often. I’m one of those people that if you hear me say, “Well actually...” I would suggest running. Fast.
18) What kind of things do you pay the least attention to in your life
I’m pretty bad with basic real world, grown up things like household chores, responding to emails/texts/calls. For my time management to improve, I’d probably have to recognize that time exists, wouldn’t I? (I should be doing dishes instead of this, I just realized..)
19) How do your friends perceive you? What is wrong about their perception? ? What would your friends never say about your personality ?
On the positive side I’ve heard things like: quiet/shy, caring/nice/kind, intelligent, creative, loyal, quirky in a good way, thinks the best of everyone, and for some reason women over 40 seem to tell me I’m witty or funny often. O_o
On the negative: I got “intimidating” when I was younger, but less now. Indecisive, slow, loyal (to a fault), forgetful/irresponsible, get attached quickly, idealistic, oblivious, can be pressuring (especially emotionally), “squishy” (easily hurt).
The objection to these is that I don’t feel particularly intelligent or creative these days. I think I judge people too harshly (and then purposefully correct myself, and the correcting is what I think others tend to see as the “nice” sometimes.) I also frequently doubt that I care about anyone as much as I should, especially those closest to me. I worry that I take them for granted and don’t equally return the love and good treatment they’ve shown me.
20) You got a whole day to do whatever you like. What kind of activities do you feel like doing?
If I’m in a rare mood where I’m feeling productive and awesome: Beautiful and creative things. Baking! Reading or possibly writing. (Fantasy fiction, most likely.) Diving knee deep into some obscure research project. Writing. Something visually artistic. Intellectual jam session with someone who is more likely to riff on what I say than tear down or become offended by it.Less energetic times, which are far more common recently: Clicking pixels to death via a mmo or rpg. However! They are required to be fantasy flavored pixels. My entertainment is required to have swords. Bonus for pointy ears.
For anyone who actually got this far, thank you! You are a saint. And possibly also procrastinating as much as me. I uhm...lied. There’s no cookie, unless I can use that as a metaphor for my undying gratitude?