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  1. #1
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default Understanding People with MBTI

    What are some epiphanies that MBTI has given you that has made it easier to understand, communicate, or get along with other people who are different from you? What are your experiences in more successful conflict resolution at work, or in making more peace with family members who think or feel differently? How has MBTI made your life and interactions with others easier, more efficient, and more constructive?

    I'll think up some specific examples for myself and post them in a bit.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  2. #2
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    The simplest way it has helped me is to take a pause before reacting. If someone says or does something that might naturally be a put-off, I now tend to take a moment and think, "what kind of thought processes or cognitive function would produce that view". That pause is sometimes enough to regather my thoughts and be willing to listen longer before reaching a conclusion. I have something specific I am trying to figure out.

    I had a teacher who was a bit dismissive of certain aspects of my accomplishments and even though I don't know her MBTI type, I had a sense that her self identity was based more on her place in the community than mine was. It was easier to let it go and not be offended because her perspective was different from mine.

    Also the issue of lack of emotional response was easier to understand as not being personal when reading about other people who also think in that manner.

    I guess in a way the positive aspects are that it can provide an opportunity to take pause and wait to conclude, and it can encourage me to take things less personally.

    It does also help to not feel like there is something wrong with me for being introverted or for wearying quickly in conflict. All my life I have been pressured to "be more assertive", "be more confident", "bluff more", "be more outgoing", etc. I mostly realized it on my own, but it helped to see it in print a little. I also have tended to get physically sick in conflict based environments. I have tried to engage in some conflict and debate just to strengthen my social skills, but once my quota is filled, that part of me still shuts down. I think maybe that is alright as well. There are plenty of people available to debate the issues in my absence. It's okay if a person's contribution is somewhat specialized in the world if they are an unusual type. Just focus on that contribution and leave the rest to others.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  3. #3
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    It does also help to not feel like there is something wrong with me for being introverted or for wearying quickly in conflict. All my life I have been pressured to "be more assertive", "be more confident", "bluff more", "be more outgoing", etc. I mostly realized it on my own, but it helped to see it in print a little
    .

    This has been pretty significant for me too. I think I might have come to these realizations eventually anyway, but it would have taken me a LOT longer. My life is so much calmer and much more authentic.

    Beyond self-understanding, I pretty much like everybody thanks to MBTI. LOL maybe that's an overstatement, but I can get along quite well with most people that I encounter if I so choose (and sometimes I don't so choose). I can also look back on my life and have far fewer relationship regrets because I don't demonize anyone anymore.

    As for specific epiphanies, learning about "direct" vs. "informing" communication styles opened up a lot of things for me.

  4. #4
    Is Willard in Footloose!! CJ99's Avatar
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    I found it useful as i was fairly INTP but I always sort of admired the traits of ENTPs like wit, imagination, confidence, adaptability ect. I knew i had them all to some extent just that i never felt confident enough to use them. MBTI gave me a boudry almost. I knew I could an ENTP type person before i knew it was called an ENTP but the fact that here a theory that seems to work well saying that there are people who are like me and that its not uncommon for them to be socially akward and that they can overcome it kind of gave me more confidence to try over come my own social akwardness and so become an ENTP.

    Basically having a seemingly logical working theory to say that i could do what i thought i could do helped me to do. Or start doing it. Now i need to try keep developing the way i am without the mould of MBTI to give me the confidence boost but i think i can now.

    I'm not saying i would have always been shy and socially akward just that its helped me become more confident quicker.
    "I'd never die for my beliefs, I might be wrong"

    "Is it not enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there are fairys at the bottom of it too"

    "Intelligence is being able to hold too opposing views in the mind at the one time without going crazy" - Now all I need to figure out is if I'm intelligent or crazy!

  5. #5
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    All my life I have been pressured to "be more assertive", "be more confident", "bluff more", "be more outgoing", etc. I mostly realized it on my own, but it helped to see it in print a little. I also have tended to get physically sick in conflict based environments.
    This really resonates with me too. It does help in that I tell myself that what to me is often combative or needlessly antagonistic methods of "conflict resolution" aren't necessarily intended that way. It doesn't always help as much as I'd like it to, but at least, after the fact, I'm sometimes able to keep it in perspective now and then. Not as well as others might hope - but better than nothing.

    Most of what I think I've gotten from knowing a little about MBTI is being able to see outside my own circumstances a bit and see that I'm not alone in being uncomfortable with some things. For one reason or another, for a very large portion of my life I've been surrounded by circumstances that aren't well... very friendly to someone of my temperament. Not bad, but wearying, particularly when it comes to conformity "just because". Seeing that there *are* people who "get me" can be a big boost.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Agree with toonia and kelric. Also, it's helped me as a teacher, to understand different learning styles and interests, as well as different ways of interacting. It's also helped me understand logically what I'd picked up on intuitively about why I didn't really click with certain people. It's also helped me realize that some of that was me picking up on differences rather than serious conflicts--that I could see things more easily from their perspective rather than writing them off.

    It's definitely helped me not to make myself conform to expectations that just don't apply to me.
    Something Witty

  7. #7
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    To be honest, I try to stay away from it. I've found that even with the knowledge of someone's tested MBTI type that I'll at least subconsciously begin to assume qualities in them that may or may not exist simply because they should be there in theory (Confirmation Bias). Those qualities may either be good or bad but the problem lies in the fact that they may take the place of honestly interacting with that person to understand them on a personal level or to realize the depth behind what's really more of an archetype or "character class" rather than an entire human being. I recall one incident in which I was disappointed with an INTP's lack of intellectualism because I held him up to a ridiculous and unrealistic profile standard. I presently see MBTI as more of an intellectual curiosity like bird watching or a science experiment. Now with that said, the manner is which you've used MBTI to augment your understanding of people's depth is absolutely amazing so it really is a matter of how your interpret it.
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  8. #8
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    I struggle with understanding other people.

    My first rough draft of 'understanding' other people used to be assuming that everyone thought the same as me.
    Helpfulness: close to zero.
    Outcome: mutual frustration.

    Learning about MBTI has improved the rough draft of understanding people - 16 boxes is a much more refined approximation than the one box of everyone is just like me assumption.
    Helpfulness: moderate.
    Outcome: reduction in frustration.

    That said, I still struggle a bit with this and tend to need a bit of external feedback to explain what's going on - either from someone who is introspective and willing to discuss meta cognition with me or an independent third party who can shed light on why someone is behaving in a particular way. MBTI helps fill in the gaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    It's definitely helped me not to make myself conform to expectations that just don't apply to me.
    Yes.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  9. #9
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMoon View Post
    To be honest, I try to stay away from it.
    I agree with this. I mean, a year ago I was clueless about the whole MBTI/socionics thing. Even before I discovered it, I was open minded about people, assuring myself that there might be facts I'm not aware of which are influencing that person's behaviour at that moment.

    I presently see MBTI as more of an intellectual curiosity like bird watching or a science experiment.
    Absolutely. People are very interesting and my knowledge of types adds even more interesting nuances to them. Typing people around me is now my favourite pastime. It's pure fun, like playing a game, but I don't let it cloud my judgement.
    Last edited by Phantonym; 05-28-2009 at 04:04 PM.

  10. #10
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Some of the negative applications of MBTI has helped me understand more things about people as well. "Us" vs. "Them" conflicts are deeply ingrained into a society, but the times it happens with MBTI those deeper conflicts are either superimposed onto this construct or new ones are invented. It can provide an opportunity to see where those kinds of impulses exist in myself, so that I can take a step back and reason through them.

    The point of the system from what I understand is to increase communication and understanding between people who think differently.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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