Okay, I've found that I have a real problem when it comes to interpreting MBTI types in terms of applying them to people. There are really only two ways I've found I can do it.
1. Stick rigidly to the wording of a particular set of official definitions and refuse to go outside them in determining what makes a person a particular type.
2. Rely on my subjective impression of how other people seem to determine type.
Now, I know that if I do the first one, I'm being extremely imperceptive and closed-minded, and applying a vague ruleset in a personal way that will likely be disagreed with by a lot of people as my failing to see the "essence" of the type.
If I do the second, I find myself accepting rather biased, irrational ideas that often don't make sense, and which are tacitly accepted but openly disavowed.
The funny thing is, I understand the theoretical structure and have no problems when it comes to interpreting the functions of type relative to each other as functions and perspectives. I'm good at that. But when it comes to application of the functions and types to a person, my ignorance and prejudice is obvious and downright embarrassing.
From what I usually see on typing threads, it seems like most people rely on either affirming that test results make sense, affirming what the person thinks they are, or trying to question things based on irrational personal standards. Rarely, you'll see someone trying to measure things against the official definitions in the way that they personally think fits, but this is usually criticized.
So, now I've got a question... is there something going on underneath all of this that I'm too stupid to see, or are we actually typing people in ways that don't really make any sense?
The thing is, I like using MBTI, but I still don't understand how to apply it fairly or in a way that makes sense. So, my thought is that I should limit myself to talking about the function's theoretical natures, and avoid applying them to people or their behavior at all.
I'm coming to the conclusion that I haven't figured it out after 3 years. Obviously I'm too stupid to understand or use this system. Yet my curiosity and tendency to try and interpret patterns in terms of MBTI makes me want to keep using it.
What does all of this mean?