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  1. #1
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Default Your theory on MBTI obsession

    Why are people (here, or elsewhere) so into MBTI? What need does it fill?

  2. #2
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    That's just the thing, most of us don't use the MBTI forums as forums about MBTI, it's more about social networking than anything.

    I was interested in it because it was a rationale for my unconventional personality. I first took the test in high school, scored INTJ. I didn't think much of it then, but when surfing the Internet, I discovered the four-letter code again, and it stated that the INTJ was one of the rarest types and is a type that tends to feel misunderstood (allegedly). From there, it became an obsession that perks its head up every now and then.

    Having said that, however, the type theory is the real trap that sends one into a world of confusion. When typing other people, it just seems that everyone (including experts) types the person based on the traits of that person they want to see. In reality, these traits are contradictory, as we all react differently to different sorts of stimuli.

  3. #3
    Senior Member edcoaching's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    When typing other people, it just seems that everyone (including experts) types the person based on the traits of that person they want to see. In reality, these traits are contradictory, as we all react differently to different sorts of stimuli.
    Actually if someone's an expert they shouldn't be typing other real people at all, that is if the person is still alive! I.e., ethically you can type Abe Lincoln but Obama and McCain get to decide their preferences for themselves and so should everyone else. But it's fun, so it happens.

    You're totally right about everyone reacting differently to different stimuli--if we didn't we wouldn't make it out of adolescence, let alone hold a job beyond "Would you like fries with that?"

    Typing fictional characters is fair game.

    Why am I into type? Because when I use it with teams they start being productive. When I use it with teachers, they stop saying, "What's wrong with these kids" and start changing what they're doing. When I use it with leaders they start working on their blind spots.

    I like seeing people get along, in other words.

    edcoaching

  4. #4
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edcoaching View Post
    Actually if someone's an expert they shouldn't be typing other real people at all, that is if the person is still alive! I.e., ethically you can type Abe Lincoln but Obama and McCain get to decide their preferences for themselves and so should everyone else. But it's fun, so it happens.
    Ethics shmethics. A lot of people "mistype" themselves and can wind up in careers or relationships or situations that confuse them because they misunderstood or mis-assessed their qualities.


    * * *

    I think a lot of people are into MBTI for a bunch of reasons. Validation is a big one, and loneliness connects with that. Like Uber said, people don't want to feel alone. MBTI makes you feel like you're part of a group. It can also make you feel unique. For some people (like Hustler over at INTPc) it's used as narcissistic supplies to inflate one's ego. "[My type] is the [best/smartest/most unique/whatever-we're-best-at]" type. Third, it's a tool for prediction to avoid costly mistakes and wasted energy or effort in the wrong direction, like any stereotype. This isn't an all-inclusive list, just my opening thoughts.

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    I'm not exactly obsessed, but this is something I pick up now and again just like many other things. To me it is a tool for gaining deeper self-knowledge and that is a good thing.

  6. #6
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    That's just the thing, most of us don't use the MBTI forums as forums about MBTI, it's more about social networking than anything.

    I was interested in it because it was a rationale for my unconventional personality.
    Aspergers syndrome wasn't enough huh?
    we fukin won boys

  7. #7
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Personally, when I discovered it, I used to explain, and further, excuse my irresponsible and erratic behavior. My parents were honestly frightened for my life on more than on occasion as well as endlessly annoyed by my lacking enthusiasm for school and socializing.

    It turned from that, into just a handy tool for predicting peoples' behavior and... well just an overall handy tool.
    we fukin won boys

  8. #8
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    I use it to understand (in order to adjust) my own internal reactions..

    For example:

    I get overwhelmed by Ti talk.
    I get negative and see roadblocks (this would never work.. this is wrong.. etc) everywhere when I'm stressed. (inferior Te)
    I get exhausted by extroverting.

    Lots of things... that I would have just accepted as my own drawbacks... but now I see why I am affected, and so.. I accept it and work on avoiding the above, and more.

  9. #9
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    We strive to understand complex concepts with mental models, and the MBTI provides an intuitively validated and useful mental model.

    One big advantage is that the MBTI provides a more objective and systematic approach which might be filled by a less useful model, or by popular armchair psychology, or even astrology.

  10. #10
    Senior Member norepinephrine's Avatar
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    I got off here to buy a new hat.

    Seriously, I came here to ask a question. I stayed because it's pleasant.

    Validation, for me, was probably one of the biggest reasons to explore Myers-Briggs - a whole bunch of other people just as weird as me? Then you find out a fair number are even weirder. I was on the list at intp.org for years until it became unmanageable. I'm still subscribed to a kindler, gentler splinter list of INTPs but in that group we seldom even refer to MBTI. We’re just a bunch of people with similar quirks who’ve known each other for probably fifteen years. We’ve shared one hell of a lot of amusing diatribes as well as reflections on marriages, divorces, relocations, childbirths, illnesses, and one death.

    BTW, finding out that someone you’ve known online has been dead for three years is a strange experience. I went so far as to tape a note to the side of my computer with a list of email addresses/boards that should be notified if I suddenly kick the bucket.

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