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