MBTI: Figuring Out Your Type
….And it’s probably not what you think.
Notice how many INTJs are online? Several of the rarer types seem to live online though you never meet them in real life. I’m sure part of the reason is that the more rare types are also a little more cerebral in their general activities. Reading, writing, scouring the internet for more than just a Youtube video, etc.
But are there really as many as it seems in the world? The usual percentages given don’t match with the sheer number online that claim what they are. Are the numbers wrong or is it that highly accessible tests with questionable results are everywhere?
The first test I was introduced to was the human metrics test a few years ago. After taking it and getting my results, I stopped caring. Seventy-two question and a vague summary where I didn’t get the same thing as whatever Bruce Lee was? Psh. Don’t care anymore.
When I eventually became interested again, I started getting other people to take it. At first, I didn’t know any better when they got an answer because I didn’t know enough myself. I recognized my own answers, but it would be a little more difficult to understand the descriptions and match them to the people that received that result.
Certain people around me were taking the test and getting a type that matched them perfectly. An ISTP got ISTP, an ISTJ got ISTJ. But the more people I had take it, the less accurate the results seemed. I thought Man. What is the problem? I got my answer and it fits. They do too. What’s up with the rest of these people? An ISFP getting ISFJ isn’t a big deal, it’s close enough to get to your real answer after a bit of analyzing, but often times an ISTJ would get ENTJ or an ESFP would get INFJ.
After trying to figure out what happened and why everything seemed so off, some of the people taking the test would say “It doesn’t work.” In some cases, they like what they read so they’ll say “I took it three times! Look! That’s what it says so that’s what I am!”
Well, we know this isn’t right. How the thing works is all based on your answers in the first place. It can only give that exact answer based on what you entered.
In a Youtube debate (I know, right?), a friend told the uploader of the video that he wasn’t the type he claimed to be. Aside from all the issues of typing somebody based on how they act in a video, his argument was that “This is what the test said, BOUGHT AND PAID FOR. I can show you the results.” This of course came with multiple insults and obscenities.
While it’s a thin line to walk typing somebody you don’t know, the person in question’s responses were poor arguments, nonetheless. The test, whether it’s “official” or not, can’t be more honest than you are. If you would rather read a book than go out with friends, yet you answer the opposite, it has marked you that much closer to being an extravert.
This seems obvious, right? It is when we discuss it but actually going through a seventy-two question test that drones on and on with it’s vague riddles can make it a bit difficult to answer properly, can’t it? Personality Pathways is a fairly simple site with it’s own test. A brief examination of extravert and introvert and you just click which description fits you more. At the end of the four categories, you scroll down to see what it’s come up.
But it’s still the same thing isn’t it? As complicated or simple as they get, if you don’t know yourself, you’ll still get the wrong answer. I say “wrong” because it’s inaccurate to your actual personality, not because you’re nothing like the answer you gave; we’re everything- thinking and feeling, intuitive and sensing- but you’re more dominant than the other in each category. These tests can make it difficult in their wording but you have to not only be honest, but know yourself to a degree.
Once again- something that’s easier said than done. Everybody probably thinks they already do know themselves and many are sure everybody is even easier to figure out. Oh, how MBTI showed me how wrong I was. I figured the INTJ I knew would be the same thing as me, a clear extravert. Hey, we like the same things, so we must be the same, right? In the same way personality doesn’t determine intelligence, it doesn’t directly determine interests either, though it does play a part.
So how does an ESFP end up with an ENFJ or vice versa? It many cases, as we’ve mentioned, it’s the test. Vague questions where you agree with both sides of the given options can be confusing and leave you with a result that doesn’t match.
Another factor is that people really believe that they’re more comfortable by themselves on a Friday night when they actually don’t mind people but they’ve gotten used to be being by themselves so they answer the opposite- in other words, they don’t know themselves very well.
Yes, you know that you like Drama films and you don’t like strawberry flavored gum, blah blah blah…
But when it comes to answering questions, they start thinking too hard. They think about the times they wanted to be at home in bed rather than with friends so they must be an introvert. Another person thinks about how they did great in math so they must answer the questions with a much more logical response so they prefer. Can’t have anybody thinking you’re some kinda crybaby can you? No “Feeling” here! In the end you’ll end up getting INTP when you’re the opposite. Why does this happen?
Often times, we’re looking for a specific answer so we can just please ourselves. We want the answer that makes us feel good and we don’t have to face any actual problems, we can just adapt the persona of “Field Marshall” or “Crafter.” And since we want to believe the best about ourselves, we go with it. I remember talking to a guy who had just taken the test. Clearly an extravert, he’d seen that his results were that of an INTJ and the title was “Mastermind.” He stroked his chin for a moment in silence before nodding approvingly. Then he quietly said “Yeah, that’s me.”
A few minutes later, he was interrupting an interesting conversation to show a friend and I a picture on his phone of some woman’s huge butt as he giggled profusely like he was twelve. Mastermind, indeed.
What’s even funnier is that I may challenge a person’s type and they get mad. This is an example of the ‘Boomerang Effect’ if you weren’t familiar with the term. A few minutes ago, the person in question didn’t know or care about some stupid personality test and it may as well have been their daily horoscope. But now that they’ve gotten a “cool” answer and you say that it may be incorrect, suddenly you’re met with a “Who are you? You think you know ME better than ME? NO, this is ME. What are you? Maybe YOU’RE not that type!”
Getting a type you like and sticking with it is like wearing a shirt that doesn’t fit you because you think you look cool. Man, even wearing a shirt with a band on it that you don’t listen to will make you look like an idiot if you come across somebody that actually listens to them.
“What’s you favorite album?”
“Uhh…all of ’em. I like ’em all. Yeah.”
Pretty soon, it’s going to come out that you don’t listen to them and you’ve lied for no good reason. I recently read a Tumblr page apparently run by an INFJ and an INFP. They say in a post that reads as follows-
“To the person confused about their type… You could be an INFx. I am an INFJ and I am most definitely an introvert, but because of my extroverted feeling, I can come across as an extrovert if I’m comfortable with whoever I’m with.”
I’m not going to post the link so as not to scrutinize the site and send you over there as if I have malicious pretenses or something. I don’t know if it was a reply to someone, several someones, or a post that they relayed. But somebody said it and somebody put it up. I’m not going to criticize the site overall, but I will say that as a general rule- No. I’ll say it one more time for reiteration- NO.
“Snap out of it! Why NO?“ you may ask. Because INFJs are thought to make up about 1-2% of the population, while some (surprisingly) think even less. Yet let’s assume that because you feel out of place or like to keep a diary of your daily activities and paint, you must be something rare and unique. Going simply by the math, you’re probably a Guardian because as one group, they make up most of the population.
What does this mean for those people that think they’re a more rare type when they’re actually something more common? That they’re not special? That they have no purpose or they’re just one sheep in a massive herd while others are the wolves, hawks, pandas and whatever other cool animal by comparison?
No. I’ve known people to fight hard to be “intuitive” when any thing remotely abstract bored the living hell out of them. But being intuitive sounded intelligent and since he wasn’t no dummy, it’s gotta be him. Oh, he couldn’t have been feeling either because he hadn’t really cried that much in his life. Totally logical. Totally. He was ESFJ.
Another guy I knew thought he was an ST for sure due to his intelligence and practicality. INFP.
See where I’m going with this? Stop . When you’re honest with yourself, when you read your type, it should click. To figure yourself out, you don’t need the test. Just get a general direction and check out the types yourself. Don’t try to twist and turn things in a way that’s convenient for you but really dig deep (I want to put emphasis on this last sentence). An ESFP didn’t think he was that type until he looked up the weaknesses. Then he couldn’t deny it because he knew it described him.
And if you even know your type and you believe that more common types are lower than you, you’ve gotta stop. You’re ruining the point. Many people I know think I’m boxing them in by typing them when it’s actually quite the opposite. “Wow, this guy is the same type as Freud supposedly is, huh? Wonder if this is what he was like at all” or “Hm, maybe I can figure out why they’re acting that way” should be more of the thought process than “ISTJ? Got you figured out. NEXT.”
Everybody has their own background, upbringing, taste, and interests that make them their own person. The type is just a foundation by which to start while the rest is all on you.