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  1. #11
    Senior Member Azseroffs's Avatar
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    I just think "putting someone in a box" is such a negative way of describing typing people. I think, as has been said, it is a tool that can be used for construction or destruction. If you're worried about it just make sure you use it right.
    Do not use it to justify your own actions as you will only make yourself more unbalanced, but if you use it to understand why you are they way you are you can correct yourself. Also, when you use it to type others it can give you an understanding of why people might have a different view than your own.
    Many or even most arguments are not a right vs wrong. They are right vs right. The criteria is just different. MBTI gives me an understanding of those different criteria people use in their speech and actions. It gives me an understanding of why people do things which appear illogical to me.

    I would describe typing people as a way of understanding people. It's just another tool we can use to do so. I don't see how we are "pigeon holing" or "boxing in" anyone by using it.
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  2. #12
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azseroffs View Post
    I don't see how we are "pigeon holing" or "boxing in" anyone by using it.
    I see people saying "<TYPE> can't do this or that" "They couldn't possibly be <Preference>!" "They're definitely <Preference>!>"

    I see using absolutes like that as boxing, and poor use of the theory and just plain incorrect.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

    Quinlan's Creations

  3. #13
    Senior Member Azseroffs's Avatar
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    ^ I do see that.

    But, again, it's all in the use. It can become destructive in the wrong hands, but use it right and it can be quite informative and enlightening.

    Edit: I think the problem comes from when people hold MBTI above reality is when you get problems. Types come from individuals not the other way around. Your type is a representation of who you are, a rough one at that. You are not defined by your type.
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  4. #14
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I think Southern Kross sums it up pretty well.

    To answer your questions, though....

    what's the ultimate point?
    My own feeling on the point of it is:
    To communicate and get along with others better. To understand where other people are coming from to avoid conflict. To be able to get a glimpse of different perspectives from your own. To understand yourself more clearly so that you can grow as a person. To feel a sense of normality about yourself.

    does it come ultimately from fear or self-protection?
    Neither...it comes from the desire to harmonize.

    does it come from a need for control or understanding?
    Understanding, yes. Control, no. Since people are individuals and not types, it would be presumptuous to think you could manipulate someone based on their MBTI. The types are simply wire frames of people, loose guides; you must get to know someone to really know them still.

    does it risk holding us back to seeing new possibilities, new 'endings to the story?'
    I think it can help you see your strong & weak points, so that you can maximize your growth potential. Like anything, if misused it could be a bad thing. People could certainly use their "type" as an excuse for negative behavior, or feel they cannot do something because of their type.

    does it stem from existential confusion?
    I really don't know!

    does it limit our capacity to grow as individuals?
    See 2 Q's above

    does it limit what we can see, learn, and experience in another person?
    It could, or it could increase those things. It can clarify a person's behavior, or you could use it to stereotype someone.

    do we need it?
    No, but it is fun and interesting, and it has the possibility to be useful/helpful in life. Just don't take it too seriously, and it's cool
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedusen View Post
    Hey everybody,

    First, I'm not here to cause problems or start fights. What I'm about to say comes from a genuine curiosity and respect. And given the obvious spirit of curiosity and adventure that I've seen through the few posts I've read, I am confident you all will see that that too: i.e. that I'm coming from as much of an inherently non-judgmental place as I consciously can (I am opinionated though and I'm definitely not always right... that would be pretty boring )

    So let me jump in...

    While I can see quite a few ways where this type of profiling can be extremely useful... a larger part of me feels there is an inherent limitation, a "danger" of sorts, and ultimately the possibility of squelching someone's sense of adventure, personal exploration, and out-of-the-box living.

    I met someone recently who is a big believer in this kind of personality profiling. They have studied it extensively, have obviously absorbed the information to an impressive degree, use it largely without qualms, and on first glance, seem to place a lot of weight on their conclusions about a person.

    Admittedly, their typing of a few people we were around was quite impressive, but despite my initial pang of doubt, it was definitely brought to the surface when this attempt to profile was turned on me (surprise surprise).

    One thing was obvious: to a large degree, the profile they composed for a person became a strong indicator and guide in terms of how to respond to someone they meet. It was obvious they had not only studied the different personality types, but also had largely defined what meeting those types brought out in them. (i.e. "be wary of someone who has this combination" or "it is clear that statement/action was inspired because of this personality trait")

    When it was turned on me, their first reaction was "I can't type you... I can't figure you out."

    This took me aback at first.

    What was the point? What was their intention? Was it an attempt to protect themselves?

    But more importantly...

    If they came to a conclusion, would it inherently keep them from being able to "get the most" out of me?

    What would they miss?

    And what would happen if I displayed a characteristic that didn't fit in the profile they had created for me?

    This was all followed by another strong thought...

    How had they typed themselves? And how limiting was that for them?

    I think it's fair to say we all have a strong curiosity to understand ourselves... to have a sense of identity. And I also think it's fair to say that some of this comes from a need/desire for control... the safety in it... the comfort in knowing what to expect from ourselves/others.

    But can we really fit ourselves in a box?

    In my view, we are such incredibly dynamic beings. And to me, that's one of the most beautiful things about human nature. We inherently DON'T fit in a box!

    It also goes to a question about taking responsibility for your actions: "Well, maybe I shouldn't have done this to myself/others, but I couldn't really help it, as my personality naturally lends itself to this response/action."

    Would you deny that this happens from time to time?

    On another level, I feel like it can profoundly limit our sense of evolution...

    Part of the beauty of our dynamic nature is that it allows for infinite growth. Some of the specific conclusions I've seen drawn in some posts on this form seem to highlight contextual analysis (i.e. this person is like this NOW or HERE). But none of these traits lend themselves to be hardcoded into our mental/soulful DNA. If I were to take the personality test five years ago, it would be a dramatically different response.

    And this brings me closer to describing the danger I see:

    If five years ago, I had taken this test and identified with the result (in other words, I had "figured" myself out), would I be the person I am today (I've grown a lot since then)? Would I have held back on certain important decisions or realizations about myself because they immediately didn't fit in my profile?

    Yes, I can imagine that there would have been a sense of comfort and confidence that came from a feeling that I knew myself. But isn't that coming ultimately for a source of fear? (I will be the first to tell you, the unknown can scare the shit out of me at times).

    So to wrap it up, and engage in the spirit of discussion...

    what's the ultimate point?
    does it come ultimately from fear or self-protection?
    does it come from a need for control or understanding?
    does it risk holding us back to seeing new possibilities, new 'endings to the story?'
    does it stem from existential confusion?
    does it limit our capacity to grow as individuals?
    does it limit what we can see, learn, and experience in another person?
    do we need it?

    OK, that's it for now. I look forward to reading your thoughts...

    Cheers

    Mitch
    I think as this individual you speak of learns about the subject his views will be tempered. Its gotta be impossible to look at this theory for an extended period of time and conclude that it is the unifying theory of human behavior. It definitely has its uses, but they are limited.

  6. #16
    Senior Member something boring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I totally get your qualms about typology and its problems/limitations, thedusen. I dislike labelling and pigeon-holing people too much. Yet, I feel that understanding typology can actually lead to greater acceptance of diversity in personality and behaviour

    For me personally, as a outside-the-box person, I actually liked that I that I fit into a box (INFP), albeit a box of outside-the-box people . Reading my type was extremely vindicating. I was relieved and delighted, that its ok to be what I am and that there are other people out there like me. It explains my past behaviour, it teaches me how to cater to and counteract my personality, and clears the path for the future and how I should best approach life.

    Outside the personal side, it also can improve human interaction. In life, regardless of individual awareness of typology, all types are somewhat judged for their personality characteristics. I found that MBTI provided a positive spin on each of them and this can lead to greater acceptance of their perspective in life. I feel that I am better at accepting people on their own terms. For example, in life, some consider SJs 'rigid' but MBTI would say they're traditional, cautious, and possessing strong values. My mum is an SJ and frequently these attibutes clash with mine. Instead of simply being annoyed at her for not thinking the same way as me, I can appreciate why she thinks as she does and see the value in it. And while she draws different conclusions from her values, ultimately they are the same as mine. In other words, through difference you can find commonalities.

    Well worded. I agree.
    "Don�t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman


    [SIGPIC]http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l110/evillinclinations/fortune45.gif[/SIGPIC]

    ...and yes, I'm still on about that...






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