MBTI: Being Sure of Your Type
To take away from the message that might come across as too serious or judgmental to some, all pictures in this post are Calvin and Hobbes strips of characters talking out of their butts.
In my experience (I’ve got like, so much), there are a lot of people out there who don’t know themselves very well. It’s not a sin, per se, but in the world of MBTI, knowing yourself and all that comes with that big ol’ mess that you are, it’s key to understand others so you should get acquainted with yourself too.
Yet there are still those who not only don’t quite have a grasp on it, they’re persistent in spreading what they don’t know to others. What does this do? It creates more confusion, that’s what it does.
But how can we be sure of our type? Well there are several ways.
When I first discovered MBTI several years ago, I didn’t care about it. I’ve talked about this; not understanding the Keirsey name given the my type and not comprehending the terms used past “extroverted/introverted” and “feeling/thinking.” You know, basics.
A couple years later, coming back around, I read the description of my type an it just clicked. “Man, this thing nails it.” I thought. It was a bit strange too, how direct these generalizations were. I figured others were the same in that sense, if they cared to read into it all. Friends/family/whoever may not quite understand the terminology used but once explained, only a few who were trying too hard would have major disagreements.
Yet the more you find out about others involved in MBTI, the more you find those who not only don’t know their own type, they’re ever ready to continue sharing disinformation to whoever will listen. It kills me, man, it really does. Here we’ve got this simple tool that’s simultaneously fun to discover and we’ve got just as many people breaking it down to unrecognizable form.
Who am I talking about, specifically? Well, there’s no specifics here. There’s no one perpetrator to this nonsense, it’s highly common it seems, to be unsure of your own type but to talk to others in complete confidence about all types is accepted.
For example, there’s some guy on Youtube who was claiming INFP. He has his channel all worked up nice and tidy, telling everyone what life was like for an INFP and his channel about his type even included multiple videos on ridiculing other types based on stereotypes. Not just jokes, but pretty direct insults. When called out on this by a commenter that he probably wasn’t INFP, he retorted angrily with cursing and insults, etc- you know how the internet works. Anyone who liked what he said sided with him with the general stance being “TOTAL INFP RIGHT HERE! %^^$ THOSE HATERS!”
Well, a little bit down the road, he abandons his INFP channel to start one about what it’s like to be an ENTJ. I mean, good Lord. And of course, he retained his followers, with any of those in disbelief about his new found type being told, once again, that they were “haters.”
This isn’t meant to tear anyone down necessarily. But how much can we really say about the types when we’re not sure of our own? I’ve been told that it’s harder to type when we’ve got the “inside perspective,” meaning we’re too close to the source to judge accurately. This makes sense to a point, but one could also say that not being able to take the advice you give would make you something of a hypocrite.
Would you trust a doctor’s prescription if he refused to take the same meds while suffering the same problem?
When it comes to knowing our type, being unsure is not an issue. I’m not criticizing that in the slightest, to not have all the answers to a system you’re interested in but not so knowledgeable of (yet). It’s definitely understandable and while we’ve gone over little ways to know your type a little more concretely than you’ve known in the past, here’s a quick list of helpful hints and questions to ask yourself.
-Start with what you KNOW. What do you actually know about yourself? Do you get bored by abstract conversations that feel like they go in circles or could you talk for hours on end…but with only a few people? Do loud noises always get on your nerves or do you have a fairly high tolerance for them?
It’s these few basics that will allow you to form simple patterns and eliminate what you know you aren’t.
– Focusing on a bigger ideas about yourself won’t get you far, so try looking at the little things and adding them up. Anybody can think of themselves as a “go-getter” when they need to be or thinking of themselves as “nice” and it only takes “quiet” to make anyone think they’re INFJ. Well, don’t do that. Observe yourself when it comes to mind, and how you feel about whatever situation you’ve been in. Were you ready to leave as soon as the opportunity arose? Do you find yourself trying to comfort others when you sense their discomfort?
Many people will say that they’re very talkative and extroverted…around a select few people. That’s going to lean toward introversion.
You’re not going to figure your type out by looking at a few main traits but really adding up the small stuff.
-You’ve got to be honest to yourself. Seriously people, I can’t stress this enough. We can’t have it all and why would you want it that way? If you really aren’t the confrontational type, then don’t think of yourself that way or try to push that image. If you care about people in general, stop acting like you don’t so you can get a “better” type.
It seems a major problem with the MBTI community is that we’re still missing the point of knowing ourselves better in favor of finding ways to prove we’re so much more special than the next guy. Look at the weaknesses and flaws of each type and ask yourself how well they fit.
Sorry, but your flaws aren’t going to be that people think you’re so amazing that they’re jealous or that you’re just so quirky and clumsy in that Zooey Deschanel way; you’re not going to like your flaws but that’s part of understanding yourself.
Ultimately what you don’t want to do is go with a type you could be and just run off into the world blabbing your mouth to anyone that listens. Because when people start taking you seriously and all you’re saying is garbage, that’s going to be worse off for the rest of us.