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Thread: Ever wish you had never learned about MBTI?

  1. #31
    Just a statistic Array rhinosaur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Believe it or not, it is possible to operate independently of your knowledge of MBTI. I used to pigeonhole people as well, and occasionally I would think "Well, he's an ESTP, so I should do this and this." No, don't do that. Just go with the flow. Every person should be handled individually, regardless of their type or your perceptions of their type. Just stop caring about it so much.

    MBTI is just a convenient system we have to explain some trends in behavior. It doesn't define the individual, and I doubt it was ever intended to be comprehensive. In other words, there is a lot of overlap between the sixteen boxes. I have some characteristics of both ISTP and INTP. From each type description, there are things that fit, and there are things that don't fit. The same is true for everyone on the planet. As a result, everyone needs to be handled individually, or you risk making invalid assumptions about their preferences.

  2. #32
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    4 sx/sp
    INFp None


    Sometimes i have a habit of thinking in terms of MBTI that i get tired of. There are advantages to putting it aside and thinking without it. It has some uses, but also has a bit of an artificial quality I think. I go in cycles with it.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

  3. #33


    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    When I first discovered MBTI and the INTP description, I was ennamored. It was like a personal revelation. So many confusing things became clear. I thought as many of you did - I've been severely cheated to have missed out on a very critical "Hitchhiker's Guide to Life" handbook for such a critical portion of my life.

    One year later after this "revelation" I am starting to rethink this as such a wonderful blessing of knowledge. I go around obsessively trying to fit people into these 4 dichotmous, arbitrary measures. I have developed an aversion to what I perceive as "S" types, the description of which is flimsy at best. I even try to, oftentimes with great failure, guide my actions according to what I GUESS is another person's type.

    But what is most aggravating to me about this is that I have partially internalized my type while simultaneously externalizing other types, and so have many others everywhere. This is problematic on so many levels. I think the greatest Sin of Science I see on these boards are questions like "how do I get an ENFJ to like me" etc, etc, without providing ANY other information about the near-infinite complexity of variables that is a human being - and those threads actually get a lot of thought-out replies!! If you do this you are a seduced fool like I am and need to reevaluate precisely what the MBTI test is: a SAMPLE of human behavior. You are NOT your type; you TEST as your type.

    But enough ranting... if you could do it, would you erase all knowledge of MBTI and "type" from your mind? Why or why not?
    What you are describing is not a just a problem with MBTI, but it is a problem inherent in all knowledge. First one acquires knowledge, but then must also acquire wisdom to make that knowledge useful. For example first we (as a society) developed nuclear weapons and shortly afterwards we developed the wisdom to realize that we should never use them (or at least almost never). Now the thought that using nukes is bad is so prevalent that it seems common sense, but it didn't seem that way when they were being developed.

    The problem with MBTI is that it's accepted and used by such a small percentage of people that a communal wisdom has not really been developed about it. The best we have is these forums here (or similar forums) and our own experience. I personally believe that MBTI is useful knowledge and like everyone else here am trying to develop wisdom in using it. At the same time I realize that when it comes to knowledge of any kind, knowledge without wisdom can be worse than ignorance.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)

  4. #34
    Welcome to Sunnyside Array Mondo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    This actually has helped me understand people a lot better and form stronger relationships with others.
    It has made me less arrogant towards others because now I realize that they simply possess a different way of thinking and have different priorities.
    MBTI Type: iNTj
    Enneagram Type: 3w4 sp/sx

  5. #35


    Whatever would I do with my time if not for this endless self-obsession? Personality typing (which began for me with the MBTI) has made me such an interesting and complex human being, because now I’ve got all these often contradictory multiple personalities to define myself with from the zillion tests I’ve taken over the years. Only I still can’t get a date and I still don’t have a life… I’ll have to take some more tests to figure out why, I suppose

    Kidding aside, I like how Don Riso sums it up:

    “Individuals are understandable only up to a certain point, beyond which they remain mysterious and unpredictable. Thus while there can be no simple explanations for people as individuals, it is still possible to say something true about them. In the last analysis, the Enneagram helps us do that, and only that.”

    I think this a sensible policy for the usage of any typology.
    "Space was big, and the boys from Earth were awed despite themselves by the things they found there: but worse, their science was in a mess. Every race they met on their way through the Core had a star drive based on a different theory. All those theories worked, even when they ruled out one another’s basic assumptions. You could travel between the stars, it began to seem, by assuming anything.”

    —M. John Harrison, “Light”

  6. #36
    Junior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    I like being has helped me understand that it's okay to be me. I used to feel guilty all the time about not being able to be more mysterious or quiet. I used to not like when I would get really goofy and try to be the center of attention...yes I still try to tone it down and just bring it out for the tourists, but overall it has helped me understand myself more.

  7. #37
    Resident Snot-Nose Array GZA's Avatar
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    Aug 2007


    MBTI has about run its course for me. It never got to the point where I was labelling people and it consumed all my interpresonal decisions, but it probably came close. I've always approached it as a loose guide, but more recently the limits of this guide have become very clear. Its all completely meaningless in the end. As others have said, the important thing it did was help me understand why people behave the way they do, and to be a bit more confident in my differences from other people.

    I absolutely hate it now when people blame certain functions for problems they have or that other people have. A lot of people seem to use it as a complete excuse and its only going to dig them deeper. Its especially bad when they are talking about people they don't know (i.e. "I don't talk to most people in my class/workplace/gym/ect because they all seem to be S's", or "There were no intuitives at my school"). They already admitted they don't actually know the people well and then they make sweeping generalizations that are bassically an excuse in the first place.
    Last edited by GZA; 06-23-2008 at 05:30 PM.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Array surgery's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    I'm not sure whether I would ever give up my knowledge of MBTI. I would, however, like to free myself from almost reflexively thinking, analyzing and labeling myself and others using the system.

    Also, I tend to use MBTI as a excuse for unhealthy behavior. For example, I use my type to justify inappropriate behaviors in myself. For example, I know that I am an introvert, so I make myself more dependent on alone time than I actually need.
    "Why had he never appreciated what a miracle he was, brain and nerve and bounding heart?"

  9. #39
    Senor Membrane Array
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Give away knowledge!? Not gonna happen. But, you know, if you have hard time with it, here's a couple of techniques to help with the symptoms.

    Think of it as a spectrum, not as a set of boxes.

    Find some other theory that'll beat mbti. (before i got obsessed with mbti, i was obsessed with humanistic psychology, before that it was astrology, before that mythology and so on. There's always one more)


    BTW, I find it interesting that this "unwelcome knowledge" seems to be problem for the NTs mostly. Why are you the "information seeking personality" if you cant handle the info? These types are full of mysterious paradoxes...

  10. #40
    Senior Member Array htb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Daily intrusive thoughts can annoy, but the understanding of myself and others is worth the distraction.

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