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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Question How Good Are You At Figuring Out Someone's Type?

    I see a lot of interesting interaction on guessing what someone's type is. My questions are:

    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    Please be specific on both counts.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander29 View Post
    I see a lot of interesting interaction on guessing what someone's type is. My questions are:

    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    Please be specific on both counts.

    1) Relative to others, extremely good. Relative to perfection...so-so. Yes, many times. Examples--initially typed INTJ Ayn Rand as an ENTJ, INTJ H.R. Clinton as an INTP, ENFJ Gerardo Rivera as an ENFP. The advantage of more or less "knowing my shit" in this area is that when my mistakes are pointed out to me--or when I spot them--I can self-correct. I can understand how I screwed up and why the "new answer" is the right one.

    2) Some practical value, but not a hell of a lot that I wouldn't pick up on anyway (as an INFP I tend to be pretty perceptive). But to give an example, I was able to counsel/reassure an INTJ friend through her divorce better than I might have otherwise by knowing her type and knowing how her type responds to stress in an unhealthy Se fashion...

  3. #3
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    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    I don't think that I'm that good at typing. I mostly work with the vibes I get from people, I don't dabble with the cognitive functions. And I don't think that anything is set in stone, I can always admit my mistakes.

    In the forum, it depends on how much information the person who asks others for help in typing themselves is willing to disclose. And even then, all the information they do disclose is only their own interpretation of themselves.

    I have no way of knowing whether I'm right or wrong about my typing of others. Only the people who want to know their preferences are able to say that and they might be right or wrong as well.

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    I see it mostly as a game. A nice past-time. Putting people in some kind of a limited space and then starting to peel off their layers to see whether I was right or not.

    Typing people has its value, especially when I meet people who have different type preferences from mine. It allows me to exercise my patience when I get frustrated with somebody's actions or when I don't really get their thinking process. I'm able to say to myself that "Whoa, hold on. He/she is going at things differently from mine. What's the real deal?" and then start analyzing.

    I guess I did that even before I knew anything about the typing dichotomies but now I can refer to them to figure people out. But I always keep an open mind.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nescio's Avatar
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    If I care enough I make friends with them.. and say "hey there's this cool thing called mbti... and direct them to a test I like.

    I'm not a great judge of myself so I could'nt say how good at typing I am...

    but I have hunches in the right direction yes?

  5. #5
    Member attetude's Avatar
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    1) I guess I'm pretty good, but when I try to figure out someones personality MBTI is pretty irrelevant. No one of my friends really cares about MBTI, so it's just fun to figure out a type for someone, but nothing else.

    2) Nothing. I treat people the way I do, no matter what their type is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member incubustribute's Avatar
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    1) I'm pretty decent actually. There's always a few cases where I'm two or three "letters" off, but usually I can get it nailed down pretty well. I have been told I'm better at it than simulatedworld, but I doubt that. Usually I can get an intuitive vibe from people I meet or I can catch certain clues from reading posts that correspond to stereotypes I've learned about that type, and then I cross check it with the functions to see if I can observe the different cognitive processes. Usually the functions are a second/third step in the typing process, not the first.

    2) I've had maybe 1 or 2 specific situations where it has helped me through a situation, but honestly usually it's just more of, "Oh, so that's why my dad orders people around," or "oh that's why my teacher can't seem to stay on topic!" It just helps explain behavior most of the time. The one time I remember being able to use it to help was with my INTP roommate. He had left tons of food out and we'd been having bug problems in the apartment. Knowing that he is INTP, I realized that an appeal to my feelings about the situation wouldn't have really helped things, and probably would have just pissed him off. As a side note, he had previously written me a note on the counter about why those electronic bug repellents are complete b.s. and don't work. I went the same direction with a note written to him which i placed underneath a loaf of bread he left on the table. It was formatted in the standard philosophy argument form you learn in class (we both were in the same critical thinking class in college) and I basically outlined the premises needed to prove the conclusion that leaving food out is a bad idea. I probably could have submitted it in class for extra credit lol. He told me he liked the note, and he's been very clean since then.

    Another situation was with my ENFP professor at school. I've simply learned that using my inferior Ne to write him clever jokes or wordplay in emails gets me brownie points in class for being "creative."

  7. #7
    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    I guessed 5 members of my family and they each took tests to determine their type. I was right for 4 out of 5. I still think I'm right about the 5th, but I can't really prove it. One was off and I don't think I typed him correctly in the first place, but there was a lot of pressure to see if I could type one more person correctly after the first 4.

    I guessed for 5 friends and they all took tests. Three were the same as I had guessed. One tested as one type, didn't identify with the description, and ended up testing and identifying with the type I had initially guessed later on. One was completely off. So 3.5 or 4/5.

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    Typology has helped me frame miscommunications differently and allowed me to tailor my approach to both practical and sensitive topics with the people I know. I don't rely on it too much, but I find myself thinking about it when I find it difficult to understand someone or think it might be difficult for someone else to understand me.

    For instance, I know an INTJ who leads with Te and gets called a robot sometimes. She often asks me why people act the way they do (stupid, irresponsible, etc.) and why they can't do the reasonable/logical thing (Te). Not only does typology give me a new framework for discussing people's different function orders and priorities, but I'm more sensitive about acknowledging that her approach and frustrations do not make her unfeeling or abnormal. She's said that she really appreciates this.

    I also used to have endlessly frustrating (for both of us) conversations with an INTP until I realized that we were approaching them very differently. I thought that just saying off-handed things without examining them too deeply was relaxing while she often wanted informed conversations aimed at determining truth. I would offer an anecdote about my day that I thought was funny, and she would try to seriously explain how the events were logical and not as absurd as I had initially thought. I can't say we can always avoid these kinds of interactions, but typology puts them in perspective for me so that I don't get as personally hurt by them.
    Type: INFP Enneagram: 4
    Fi>Si>Ne>Te>Fe>Se>Ti>Ni

    ˇcataplum!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nizy's Avatar
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    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    I think that I am fairly accurate in determining a person's type. Usually I wont type anyone unless I interact with them on a regular basis, and I am always open to reinterpretation of my analysis. Often times I feel like people are too cocky about typing others without getting to know them at all, which annoys me. I wouldn't say I've been proven wrong exactly, but I do need to reassess my position from time to time.

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    I use mbti as a way to gain greater insight into the personality characteristics of people I am trying to get to know better. mbti isn't my primary way of describing a person, but I do find it is a useful tool for additional insight. Often it's more of a game than anything. When someone acts in a way that I find unusual, or that just happens to stick out to me its fun to try and guess what function might have motivated their behavior.
    Ti>Ne>Te>Ni>Se>Fe>Si>Fi

    "Sometimes life leaves a hundred dollar bill on your dresser, and you don't realize until later that it's because it fucked you."

  9. #9
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    I'm ususually very aware of which parts of a persons MBTI I'm certain about, and I've seen that many MBTI 'forumers' get a little too exited about applying functions to everything that moves. The best typers are usually well read and understand the need to step back and see the type as a whole. I think Simulated_World and Nocap (coincidently ENTPs) are fine examples of good typers, I've agreed with just about every typing I've seen them make, and the justifications are clearly expressed and accurate. I need to read up a little more, but I'm usually pretty accurate depending on how much information is available.

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    Ummm... it gives me something to think about when I'm bored, an extra insight to discuss when talking about people with others, and it lets me understand why. I often have an urge to understand why
    5 3 9

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Answers to my own questions:

    1. How good at it do you think you are? Have you ever been proven to be wrong?

    I think I'm OK at it. Yes, I have proven to be wrong on multiple occasions. I find it harder to apply on some people than others because their behavior doesn't always match their type. For example, I once thought someone was an ISTJ because that is what their behaviors seemed to indicate when they actually turned out to be an INTP. I have found that people often seem to be on the borderline on a letter - say I vs E or P vs J and that it can be very difficult to tell. Perhaps I'm not as good at "pattern recognition" as some of the people on this forum. I hope to learn how to get better at it here.

    2. What value has it had in your interaction with others? What do you use it for that has practical application?

    I've been studying this for about 15 years, reading a lot of books and applying this in daily interaction with others. I use it all the time. For me, it only has value to the extent that it has practical application, which is why I asked other people's perspectives on this question.

    Initially, I attempted to use it to better understand other people, who "just didn't make sense" where I had immediate issues I needed to solve. It helped there. Then, I used it to better understand myself. I found it to be a remarkable tool from a self development perspective at the beginning. It helped me to better understand and accept who I was and to understand some of the behaviors that I could change that would help me to better work with and interact with others. It led me to understand where some of my strengths might be so that I could grow, develop, and apply them.

    As time progressed, I used it for a number of things such as:
    - When there is conflict between other people, to help understand why
    - When someone was acting like an "arse" to understand how and why they may have a different perspective than I do
    - To better understand my children so that I could effectively nurture and develop them
    - To better understand my clients
    - To better understand people who worked for me so that I could help them to develop and to form teams with with right "mix" of individuals

    A lot of it is about understanding and appreciating others for who they are, which I've found to be a pretty damn important thing.

    Is it perfect? No. Is it a helpful tool? For me, yes an important one. If I was an NF, I probably wouldn't need it, but then I'm an INTJ and have some obvious weaknesses that I'm trying to make up for.

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