MBTI: Newcomers and Elitists- Two Things You Don’t Want to be

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Ever wonder why you’re not really connecting with anybody in the MBTI community? Or maybe there’s such a small number of people you can discuss MBTI with, even online, that you wonder why so many people are into something they don’t understand?

Well that’s because so many of the people you’re talking to don’t know what they’re talking about. Not to call anyone stupid or that my degree in armchair psychology puts me heads above the rest. But many MBTI enthusiasts give out such misleading information or even give up MBTI simply because the people themselves can be hard to deal with. Why? Often times because they’re new or their bias blinds them.

If you’ve ever worked in customer service of any kind, you know how it is to deal with stupid. While it can just as soon be the employee creating the problem, customers will keep coming in wave after wave with their problems, questions, and straight-up whining to no end. And as an employee, you feel battered by it. Even the best employee with a huge smile across their face can be ready to go on a killing spree by the end of the day. And to make things worse, if you’re not at your very best for that last customer that’s practically spitting in your face, they’ll be sure to mention how horrible the service is, without a single thought as to what might have been happening to you that day.

This is often the newcomers of MBTI. New people anywhere, really. But in MBTI, it can feel like you mostly end up dealing with users that just arrived and most of your time goes into explaining and repeating yourself, arguing points that have been thought were made clear, and retreading ground that makes you feel like you’re beating a dead horse. It’s that since people are new, they’re a problem. Everybody was new at some point and there’s nothing wrong with asking questions now and then but wondering what your type is a year into your interest in MBTI is kind of a problem with you, not the theory. I don’t really see how someone can be interested in this if they don’t read a particular description and have it jump out at them.

It’s no wonder SJ so often don’t care about MBTI with all the detailed descriptions of their love for authority and rigid order. The terms are often words we strongly associate with something negatively so we drop it altogether.

Now, you push past that and you can open up a whole new world of terms and definitions you thought had such a handle on. But most people don’t because it’s just a hobby for them. So they get into it, figure they know how these words are meant (First things first- I am NOT a lame SJ!) shift through the other “more interesting” types but can never decide- snowflakes!– then, after deciding that this thing isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be, they abandon MBTI as if they figured everything out and decided to move onto something more interesting. Or worse…

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The elitists. I keep putting up pictures of old men rather than guys in top hats and tuxedos but cranky old man is as good of a image to put in your head when it comes to these people.

These are the people that have found their circle and have been into MBTI long enough that, while they know much more than the newcomers, are still set in their ways to the point any new interpretations or ideas will be hastily stomped out. If they didn’t already know about it, it’s not a thing. Stop thinking you can contribute past asking for their permission. Now, the people that fit this most aren’t going to see themselves as this. They’ll usually have typed themselves INTJ or INFJ, not that they really are.

They it seems they live to correct others and build themselves a higher pedestal to preach from rather than contribute to fun, lively discussion. You’ll have to find these types on the internet because the real world just isn’t for them.

They’ll turn people away from MBTI with a few clicks of their keyboard, making people feel like they’re never going to know enough about the subject. Nevermind what they don’t know, because they know everything. This sounds like I’m talking about a stereotype doesn’t it? When you see them, you can kind of feel it but surely, this person know what they’re talking about. But most of what they’ll talk about is making sure that you know you don’t know what you’re talking about. Everything you think you know can be contained in a grain of sand on their beach of knowledge. Stop trying.

"Now go lie down."

“Now go lie down.”

And this really does turn people off to MBTI. Fans of anything can do that to people. While it’s surely a much smaller percentage of any community the elitist is involved in, it’s still a loud enough racket to affect the interest as a whole. It’s just important to know that while the elitist types of MBTI probably do have an idea of what they’re talking about, anyone that is annoyed you would want something explained shouldn’t be looked at as a representative of their type or the subject altogether.

With seasoned elitists, it’s important that you not become one as well over time, no matter how much knowledge of the subject you’ve acquired, verbally slapping someone in the face because they don’t understand the difference between Fi and Fe. And with newcomers, I don’t reserve the phrase for people who are actually new necessarily but more for people who are always around but don’t ever seem to pick up anything, past the surface level stuff. What can be done? For starters, figure out which side of the fence you’d fall on. Are you more like a newcomer that asks questions you could find out on your own? Or are you more like the know-it-all that can’t be bothered to explain when they’re asked?

Figure out what side you’re closer to and tone it down. The more you balance yourself out, the better off everybody will be. How you balance yourself out is up to you personally, but I’ve given two extreme examples of what you don’t want to be, so that’s a start.

 

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12 Responses to “MBTI: Newcomers and Elitists- Two Things You Don’t Want to be”

  1. Reblogged this on MBTI Fiction World and commented:
    An important and necessary criticism of the MBTI community

  2. I recognize all those “INTJ”s giving the rest of us a bad name with their arrogance and lack of curiosity. But I would argue that one of the problems here is the very lackluster type descriptions for the SJ. The SJ type seems to be vehemently hated by most in the MBTI community to the point where almost any other type attracts MBTI’s like a magnet. The reason probably being that many SJ reject the poor type descritopns while the others hate on their parents.

    What Dominant Te wouldn’t rather see him/herself as the dynamic and efficient ENTJ instead of the yelling and rule bound ESTJ? What ISTJ likes to be seen as an automaton instead of as a quiet and genius INTJ? The “strengths” of the Sj type seem boring while the “weaknesses” seem even worse (and boring).

    In all it seems like Si and Ni both are horribly described. Ni is described like if it automatically gave you genius insights into the mystical while Si is described as being a filing system for mundane trivia and a love for authority, pettiness and norms. Neither of these are even remotely accurate since the internet is so full of stupid INTJ and my real life is full of loving, caring and smart ISTJ.

    • Taylor Says:

      Understandable POV. Ultimately though, I think it’s in our best interest to combine MBTI terminology with what we see in reality- no best types, only preferred people.

      When I first read the term “Mastermind” I dismissed that result of the people who got it because “They’re no mastermind.” But as I read on, I realized that mastermind as a definition is just someone who plans and organizes something, not necessarily a brilliant schemer like we’ve come to associate it with. Words like “engineer” and “architect” are synonyms of mastermind yet they’re associated with INTP- but they still get very little light in this respect because they don’t have the same charisma society has given to the word mastermind.

      Point is, I just think we need to change our view of the titles and activities associated with each type rather than change MBTI. It’s loose system is in place well enough to understand, so we need to understand it, not change it to fit what we already understand up until that point. You’ll notice I’ve got plenty of badass ISTJs on this site because I can recognize what that type is capable of.

      Not to use myself as the one genius who gets it; what I’m saying is that things can be cleared up but should not be changed to accommodate everyone’s initial understanding of the terms. Otherwise we’ll always stay at surface-level teachings.

      • I would argue that it is simpler to write type descriptions according to the values of the society we live in than to make society re-value the words used in the type descriptions. But it goes further than that.

        Self acceptance is one of the foundations of MBTI and one of the best aspects of it. But in the case of the XSTJ it fails to do it. The XSFJ types are quite sympathetic and people who belong to it mostly agree on the type descriptions. The NT types are sexy as hell if you are any kind of thinker and the XSTP are cool dudes. The rational guardians on the other hand are so misunderstood in the MBTI community that I think more than half of the people describing themselves as INTJ are obvious ISTJ.

        The road to a deeper understanding would be a lot shorter for the STJ if they didn’t insist on being an NTJ for a few years due to the type descriptions of both STJ and NTJ being bad. To make matters worse the type decriptions for NTJ could not be written to be more misleading for an STJ on purpose!

        Explained below:

        The type description of the Mastermind is vapid, self congratulatory and misleading (I’m an INTJ). The “planning” parts in it says nothing more than Te being a dominant function. Then you throw some “insight” into it to make some room for the Ni and suddenly planning is sexy.

        But being an Ni dominant thinker I DON*T plan; I move.

        There are no detailed steps in my plan. There is a contingency for every possible scenario but those are not planned, those are seen. The future and the present are both fluid, none more fluid than the other. I move the present by shifting myself and the future by shifting my direction. I don’t plan to act in a specific way to accomplish a specific goal; I merely see the future of my choice and go there. Effortlessly.

        This is the magic of an Ni dominant. The future is not planned, it is seen. Hence the archetype for the INTJ: The Wizard. Paired with the other Ni dominant, the INFJ Mystic.

        This description would not make sense to an XSTJ. It is allegorical and silly. But what about actual planning? Te makes them efficient; Si makes them detail-oriented and sequential.
        Planning is something a sequential thinker like an XSTJ will do. Logistics, details, expected outcome (singular)…

        They constantly make plans. Actual plans. With lists, detailed estimates and they will be as detailed and comprehensive as their process allows them to be. Now look at the type descriptions. Which type is described as the planning mastermind, the architect?

        If you want something that resemples a plan, ask an STJ. Ask me and you will get 1 question, 3 futures and 2 tasks to get you going.

        Knowing the system well and interpreting the type in context is nessesary for any real kind of understanding but we can do better than we are doing now. We could forninstance give the newbs better tools to start out with.

  3. Sairor Says:

    I think most people claiming to be INTJ, ENTJ, INFJ on the internet might actually be guardian types whose figures of authority taught them that there’s nothing better than being special.

    Which isn’t all that surprising considering how narcissistic is our western world.

    Perhaps in Japan people would be proud to be one of those reliable types that actually do stuff while everybody else is day-dreaming and writing fanfictions?

    • Taylor Says:

      Good point, as usual. I think Japan could probably be labeled an ISTJ country and their problems clearly differing from ours. But one issue most of them wouldn’t have is pretending to all be special snowflakes whose entire life purpose is about only themselves.

  4. Vincent Says:

    Like to say I’m an ISTJ myself, an Asian one too haha and proud to be one. Any boring or negative description about myself and SJs I take it on the chin and don’t get bothered by it and look at the funny side of it. Still learning about MBTI and keeping an open mind.
    From my time coming here, there is a lot of guardian characters here, makes me wonder the reason people relate to these characters is that there a lot of guardians in this world and guardians are meant to be the everyday man? Correct me if Im wrong.

    Oh Taylor I sent you two email responses, hope you didn’t find them offensive, if you did just wanna say sorry to you man.
    I’m grateful that you can show how cool and wonderful my type is capable of. Thanks man

    • Taylor Says:

      Appreciate the comment, as usual. I’ve “tweeted” it but I don’t think they stand out enough for anybody to read them but I’ve been locked out of my own email for now which is why I haven’t responded to anything on there. I should get back in the next couple days or so. Not the first time this has happened with Yahoo mail. [Angry grumbling]

  5. yojimbo Says:

    oh whoa! that explains why…. ok. so like when you are able to unlock your email, definitely disregard most of the messages I sent you, and here I thought you were just too busy.

    • Taylor Says:

      Yeah unfortunately this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Yahoo will need me to answer the security questions I’ve created and I can’t because I didn’t think I would need them so I think I put in stupid answers. So then I have to call the people and they put me on hold for more than 20 mins, blah blah blah…I’m trying to get back in.

      • yojimbo Says:

        Aw bummer. Well, I keep all of that type of data in a file for future reference. Maybe try that later as it applies? Just a possible contingency for consideration. Good Luck with that & hit me up in there when you do finally get it back and running.

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