MBTI: Unwritten Rules of MBTI
There’s a lot of crap to research when it comes to MBTI. And I do mean crap. There’s so much to wade through and if it’s not your own misunderstanding of this stuff, it’s someone outright misleading us. It’s understandable to not know everything because nobody does.
But there’s a few things to avoid when first getting into MBTI that anybody could benefit from, regardless of how much they know but newcomers are especially prone to.
I’m not new to it, but I am guilty of these.
1. Don’t go around, in real life or online, spouting off crap about everything Type related.
I know, this one’s tough. When you find out about something and get really excited about it, it’s hard to not talk about it, get your friends to take the test, discuss types and be like, really analytical! I’m definitely guilty of this. And after some time, I’ve worn down some people and can talk about it with several friends.
But in many cases, I misspoke to friends or misunderstood what I was reading and relayed it in such a way that I confused others or even turned them off all together.
Aside from not everyone being interested in MBTI, there are a lot of people who are downright offended by it. They think you’re telling them about themselves and proclaiming that you know more about them than they do. Maybe you’re coming off like you do know more or maybe they’re just sensitive or have other issues about themselves. Either way, you can do more damage for your reputation and MBTI’s than you can do any good going about things that way. Sure, you’ve got to start somewhere, but telling everybody everything you just learned makes you come off like a crazy person and even worse- arrogant. *GASP!*
I’ve mentioned on here several times about people thinking I’m being condescending toward them by telling them that they’re not ISFJ, but ESFP. They’re not INTJ, but probably INFP. And so often I’m met with the same result of “Well, I read INT- whatever and I think it fits me way better than what you’re talking about.”
So I just drop it. If they’re that early in and they’re that resistant, there’s no reason to annoy them with why they’re these four letters over those four letters.
The other reason of course, being that what you’re saying isn’t right and you’re looking like a goon trying to talk about something you’re not that well versed in.
2. Understand the terms as the author means them, not how you’re used to using them.
There are a lot of terms used here that are understood well enough in our daily life that take on a slightly different meaning than we’ve become accustomed to.
I try to fit this one into as many posts that come to mind, specifically referring to SJs but with a hint of Mastermind added for effect.
For example, I’ve had a few conversations with SJ friends who were looking into MBTI about the word “authority” as Keirsey uses it. The SJs I know are fairly rebellious in terms of their outlook on modern day society. Meaning that they don’t vote Republican, they’re not stuffy in their Christmas photos that they don’t take in poorly-knitted Christmas sweaters. Whatever, point is, they fit the SJ model to a tee, yet don’t adhere to every stereotype.
So when the idea that SJs, or Guardians, “trust authority” came up, they shuttered at the idea. Images of the president, law enforcement, and every other go-to image of “the Man” came to mind. It’s understandable. But really, Keirsey speaks of authority in the sense that whoever that Guardian places their trust in, is their authority. For some that might mean their boss, for others, it could be their spouse. Whoever makes the most sense to them is their authority. Compare this to many SPs who might listen to keep things smooth, but show will mostly be trusting of what seems right in that moment, their impulses.
Other words that seem to be misunderstood from the “rest of the world” to the MBTI realm as Extroversion and Introversion, where Extrovert is seen as a needy people lover, obnoxious and crude. Yet the introvert is a people hating book work, intelligent but lacking guts or the ability to have fun.
SJs themselves are thought of as especially boring online because of their descriptions yet words such as “traditional” and “peacekeepers” don’t need to carry such boring connotations as we’ve come to view them as. I’ve gone over this before but if your family’s tradition is to skydive every year for Aunt Hildy’s birthday, than they’ll keep to it rigidly while so many “edgy” NTs might not dare go near a plane. Point is, some words can be used more broadly than we mean while others are much more clearly defined than we normally think of them.
We get into reading so many descriptions on types that any word more heavily associated with this type can’t be used to describe anything else without being compared to that same type. “Oh this character called himself a mastermind, he must be INTJ!”
Hell, even Mastermind doesn’t sound so great to me anymore. No offense INTJs. The idea of laying out the groundwork as a Mastermind is thought to do sounds tedious to me and I don’t even care for the name. I used to think INTJs got the best name and that it was a complete bias but I really don’t care these days. They can keep it because hey, it fits them better anyway. Which brings me to my last point…
3. Question, but know when to stop. If you don’t question at all, you should start.
This is important because it pretty much makes up what MBTI is all about.
Before you got into this stuff, you probably saw everything just as everybody else did. Then you start reading about ESTPs, INFPs, and everybody else and you start to recognize how specific people are. Wow, Bob at work isn’t just some lazy jerkwad that doesn’t work as hard as me, but he’s actually doing a lot considering he’s not in tune to office work to begin with!
Maybe that exact thought hasn’t gone through your head, but you get me- you start to see the world and it’s people differently. Maybe before, you’ve written Bob off, but now you know a little more about him just through type. And if you know someone that’s the same type you actually get along with, maybe there’s hope for Bob too.
And if you can make that much of a change in your life from seeing someone as “stupid and lazy” to understanding a bit more about what could actually help him, there’s no reason to stop questioning things from there. This includes allowing others to have their say in type. So often we get set in our ways and what we think we know that someone else’s view of a type just seems stupid. We wonder how they could think that way and they must not understand anything about it. But the whole point of Type is to understand others, not find a way to discard them.
But at the same time, all too often we see people who don’t even want to settle down on a type, as if that would be limiting how special they are. Maybe they think they’re changing types because they’re developing their Extroverted Feeling (Fe) or something of the like. They “used to be ESTP” but now they’re more ENFJ.
No, people. No. Settle on the type that is you. Think it over (Not too hard), talk to others about how they view you, ask somebody who knows more and be willing to accept some things you didn’t previously think about yourself. Understand not everyone, including yourself, is going to see you exactly as you are and you’ve got some really irritating flaws, but ultimately, stop over doing it and asking pointless questions when you should already have certain answers.
So many people leave MBTI in the dust because “everything sounded like them” when really they just think that they are everything instead of recognizing what they’re good at and what they suck at.
If you can think of anymore, add’em below. But look over this stuff, know where to start, know where to stop.