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  1. #1
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Default Are Types Constant?

    Okay, please don't flip out if there have been five billion threads on this topic, as I can imagine there have been. However, I was always curious if types are constant.

    Personally, I think it is a combination of nature and nurture.

    Over my lifetime, I think I have really changed a lot. As I developed, I think my type developed as well.

    What do you think???
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I think that in solitude, one has always had a relatively static core self. In public, one employs defense mechanisms and all sorts of distractions to ease anxiety and to be accepted, but over time, the true self emerges and becomes more comfortable facing the world on a constant.

  3. #3
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Doubtful.

    Constancy in type presumes one has a non-biased assessment of their essential identity.

    Were this even possible, our system of intellectual behavior is unavoidably influenced by the world around us. Not even in a dramatic sense either; academia is a good example of this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dnivera's Avatar
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    Default

    I was an incredibly ENFP child. I had an active imagination, was very much into singing and dancing and performing in dances in front of other people, was very artistic and outgoing in school. I was a pretty good student and very well-behaved.

    In middle school I began to change. I became more introverted, more bookish and interested in arcane subjects. Now I'm a boring, ununimaginative ISTJ adult. Since a major stressful event recently (the loss of a parent) I have actually become more F than T.
    Si>Ti>Te>Ne>Fe>Ni>Fi>Se

    Introverted (I) 60% Extroverted (E) 40%
    Sensing (S) 56.25% Intuitive (N) 43.75%
    Thinking (T) 61.29% Feeling (F) 38.71%
    Judging (J) 71.88% Perceiving (P) 28.13%

  5. #5
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Types are entirely theoretical, so I don't think they have enough real significance to be either constant or fixed.

    People, however, are always changing, or at least, as Dana said, developing and emerging. The "types" used to explain these people might also change, sometimes, too, I suppose.

  6. #6
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Type theory says that we start with our first two functions (the middle letters of our type code) and spend the first half of life developing them as our preferred way of taking in information and making decisions--the essence of maturity.

    The second half of life is about developing the other two functions. Sensing types who note the "trees" start appreciating the "forest" and Intuitives begin the opposite. Thinking types start paying attention to subjective forces in decisions and Feeling types gain skills at being objective.

    Research shows that Extraverts, because of declining physical energy as they age, seek more Introverted time to regain energy. Introverts, though, generally don't seek more Extraverted time--society forces enough on them.

    This all assumes support of the child by parents and environment. Environment definitely influences behavior--all you have to do is compare Extraverted behavior in Introverted and Extraverted countries to see this!!!

    All that said, it only makes sense that our behaviors change as we gain wisdom and skills. That doesn't mean, though, that our preferences change. My introverted imagination drove me as a child and still does as an adult, but I'd be pretty ineffective if I hadn't picked up more Extraverted sensing skills as I went along--reality is so important to success!!!

    Edcoaching (INFJ)

  7. #7
    Junior Member LowEnd's Avatar
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    I'd say type is the absolute basis for the rest of our selves. With those tendencies so deep down, there is a lot of room for maneuver among all other facets of being. Slight variations could emerge, but I wouldn't expect an INTP to come across as an ESFJ. With that in mind though, I think any type is susceptible to being reduced to to their shadow functions under the right (or wrong) circumstances.



    Brain trauma would probably work if you were desperate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IEE623's Avatar
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    Definitely not constant for me.

    For the first 17 years, I grew up as an ISFJ. I was shy, self-conscious about my everything. My low self-esteem was a disaster. I could never imagine I would be able to open my mouth and get attention in any conversations. I did everything on everyone else's behalf but mine. Trying to say "No" gave me a hard time.

    In the 18th year, I was blahh... mediocre, i would say... I don't even know what type I was at the time.... I was changing but wasnt aware of it.

    The first day I stepped into college, I became an ESFP. Odd huh?! I was surprised myself. Almost everyone at the orientation knew who I was. I became pretty well-known during my first year and 1st half of 2nd year. I got excited and animated every time I was around people. Making ppl laugh made me feel recharged. I felt free, complete, and at ease with myself. Confident would be a good word to describe me at the time.

    As the 2nd school year started, I met my second closest friend. There was something very unique about her that really attracted me. The way she gave people (including me) advises just opened my eyes. She was 'unconventional'. She came up with thoughts that most people didn't think of. One day I just asked her to do the Jung personality test for fun. It came out she was an ENFJ. I then found the most suitable word in the description of ENFJ to describe her was charismatic.

    From that day, I started to read into a lot of books, articles, websites on personality types. I wondered how 4 letter words made such difference about each individual. Reading Keirsey's Please Understand Me just made me idolize NF at the time I wished I could become an N :P But I knew I couldn't. In most of the conversations with my friend (the ENFJ), I always felt I couldnt go beyond my limit. At certain points, it got too abstract for me. I always got irritated and wondered why she just couldn't see what I saw, instead of thinking of something so "unrealistic".

    Then on a beautiful winter day, I realized I had become an N. Please don't ask me why. I changed before I noticed because I never thought it would be possible (from an S dominant to an N dominant and vice versa). But for the first time, I knew what "head in the clouds" meant. For the first time, all the books I've ever read started to interconnect with each other in a flash of thought. For the first time I thought that I could write (even though my 18 years of being an S didn't provide me much vocabulary or writing skills; and besides English was not my first language) For the first time I could had a real conversation and felt connected with my INFJ brother who, before, I constantly had a fight with due to my criticizing him of living in the clouds and neglecting daily matters (finance and such). For the first time, I could say I saw "BIG"

    Anyway I could really go on and on with that :P I guess you got the idea.
    I read into neurology lately and I think it's completely possible for us to change our type.

    p.s. I realized I used too many I's. Sorry for wearing you out (if you read).
    "Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Blackwater's Avatar
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    There is no evidence to support that type is constant.

    On the other hand, many psychologists have claimed that type changes through life.
    best collection of philosopher typings online

    http://www.celebritytypes.com/philosophers/

  10. #10
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    There is no evidence to support that type is constant.

    On the other hand, many psychologists have claimed that type changes through life.
    Your personality associated type can change, E.G, you may pretend to be an extrovert for a long time and develop many extroverted qualities whilst working a sales job as an introvert, though your biological tendency to introvert will change only with great difficulty. Usually it would take a traumatic incident like being hit over the head with a brick or fighting a war, or some kind of severe brain damage. Of course at an early age (below 5) it shall all be much easier.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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