MBTI: Know What MBTI is Used For, People!
All too often, members of the MBTI community call it quits and back out. And I don’t just mean that they stop showing an interest in it, I mean they “officially” announce that they’re done with it altogether. They’re tired of seeing people as types and putting them into boxes and they don’t want to do it anymore.
It’s understandable to want to quit putting people in little boxes, but why is anybody doing that in the first place? That’s not what MBTI is for.
I’m serious, I’m always reading about this/watching videos about it, or discussing this with people who have a grasp on Type Theory to a point but their knowledge is limited.
“Don’t you think this is unfair to stereotype people like this? You can’t just go around putting labels on people.”
“Do you type everyone you meet? Don’t you think that’s not giving them a fair chance?”
These questions and comments give me a chance to further explain what it is we’re supposed to do with Type Theory but the fact that this is what everyone runs to with MBTI says something about us in general, don’t you think? Here’s a name we apply to people. Pow, you’re done. I’ve figured you out. NEEEEXT!
No, not cool man.
These people, I would imagine, are the same ones to give up on it later on. You know who I’m talking about, we’ve mentioned them before. Often times, they’ll call themselves NF more than any other group though I don’t believe most of them are even that type. I think it’s people that read up on a type, like the way it sounds, and run with it. And man, do they run.
As for putting labels on people, their type shouldn’t be any more of a label that allows you to write them off than the cover to a band’s album that you already like. Sure, you may hate the art but you’ll buy (or steal) that album because you love that band. Unless that band is Nickelback because everyone should hate them.
Point being, you may even get a general idea of what a type is like based on the description, but getting caught up in the description alone and nothing more is a misuse that you’ve got to get away from. When you get out into the “real” world, you can get along with any type because we’re all just people anyway. Chances are, you’d meet someone that’s the same type as you but you could come to really dislike them.
The same foundation that is our type just means that we have similar mindsets- but one ENTJ Republican could come to really dislike an ENTJ Liberal because the same mindset doesn’t mean the same principles or ideals on life. Heck, it almost seems like it would be even more natural for people of the same type to dislike their own, whether they’re aware of MBTI or not. I know I’ve met ISTJs that don’t like each other. It’s pretty funny, too.
“His problem is that he just thinks he knows everything and nobody else should have their own opinion.” said that ISTJ that’s had similar complaints made against him.
Time and time again, people up and renounce everything they’ve known about MBTI because they’re sick of labeling people. But if anything, before MBTI, I could even make the argument that I used to put much worse characterizations of people than four simple letters. “Yeeeah, Mark is alright but he’s too whiny. That guy will cry about anything.” Bam, I’d written them off as a whiner and that was that. So even if I liked a person, I’d associate them with certain negative connotations. But with MBTI, I’m much more likely to stay open-minded about what they could be rather than what they are.
Why is this? Well, imagine a scenario where I have a problem with a person. It’s a stretch that I could stoop that low, but like I said, imagine. Imagine a person named Bill. While you’re at it, imagine a giant fish-headed demigod taking over the world and I’m the only one that could stop him. Everyone looks to me and the power of my words will take him on. There’s also scantily clad women all around my feet and I wield a gigantic manly battle-axe titled “PEN.”
Anyway, in this scenario, I’ve got a problem with Bill and in this hypothetical situation, it really is him. I’ve tried to be fair and nice with him but it’s not really working. Now that this situation has been set up, let’s allow Type to play into this.
Even though I might dislike Bill based on his actual personality and personal experiences with him, knowing someone of the same type as Bill that I do like allows me to not only know that it’s not Bill’s type I have a problem with, but I’m also able to get an idea of what that Bill’s problem might be and see the side to him that could come out should he choose to engage the more positive side to his personality. It’s there, they’ve just got to work on it.
MBTI is about opening up your mind to what other people could be rather than stomping them down because you’re got them “figured out.” And you’re not really going to have somebody figured out anyway or read their mind based on their type no matter how predictable they might be. An ISTP in New York may have a lot in common with an ISTP in LA but they’ll have just as many differences.
All I can imagine with people who give up on MBTI because it’s “wrong to label people,” is that they didn’t understand it. Well now that you’re done with MBTI, are you done labeling people? Do you see every single individual for their own unique traits or is it still just as easy to write people off between the ones you like and the ones you don’t?