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  1. #1
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    Unhappy Do I have MBTI all wrong?

    ...During dinner today...

    My seeminlgy ESTJ/ENTJ sister told me that she believes she is ISFJ...

    Do I not know anything about MBTI? How is it possible that a bossy, competent, and assertive person be ISFJ? Am I stereotyping too hard?

    I asked her why she thinks that. She didn't have time to answer me fully, but she said that she took a test. She didn't say that the test was official or not, but she said that as soon as she found out she was ISFJ, she joined a forum where people who are ISFJs post their issues. Then I was all... "that's it?!" and then she was all "BUT I AM NURTURING!"

    ...So that's why she's ISFJ?! Yeah, she is nurturing in the sense that she is helpful. I tend to go to her for advice about practical things like how do I secure a research position at my university, how should I approach a job search, how should I handle a credit card or buy an apartment. She always has advice to give me.

    She's also better than me at working with people. My dad says that she is more skilled at interacting with people so that she gets what she needs while being socially pleasant at the same time. My mom notes how she is more interactive with people (even if it interferes with homework a little bit). During her undergraduate days she would spend a lot of time with people smarter than her (streets and academic intelligence) so she could learn from them and improve her intelligence. She sees the value in networking and gives me tips on how to do it better. She also knows the value in sounding sure of yourself when one is in the corporate world. Just yesterday, she told me that I need to learn to sound more confident because people like confident people. And yes, to me, my sister is very confident and can pick herself up after mistakes. She is not like her twin who will call to complain about how much of failure she thinks she is.

    She's very much on "top of her game," in my opinion. What I mean by that is that when she wants something (like buying a car or whatever) she gets all the information she needs quickly and efficiently to make the best choice. She doesn't like to dilly dally like I do and usually knows how to get a job done or at least knows how to find the answer to get a job done.

    I know that she enjoys learning about things like how the economy works (she has a small phase in college where she was interested in getting books to learn more about money and she even bought a book that taught people how to be successful). I talk to her about life planning. She's always been like this. When I was in fifth grade, we'd talk about how she'd like to design her future home when we watched shows about houses. She likes to dress smart too. She likes to buy clothes that are timeless and will look good for a long time, so she tries to get things with no prints on them so it won't ever go out of style. Same thing with electronics. She tries to be smart about them too, buying GPSs that will last a lifetime and have any feature you'll ever need. I see her very practical and enjoys keeping up with the world.

    I guess I should keep in mind that I don't think she has ever studied MBTI the way I have (it's extremely likely that she's never studied it at all... and all she did was take a test), so maybe she doesn't really know what ISFJ really means. It's also possible that I don't really know my sister despite living with her for 20+ years, but maybe it's possible that after more than 4 years of studying MBTI... I still know absolutely nothing about it!

    ...plus, I wanted to be the special one in the family and be ISFJ =/
    Last edited by thoughtlost; 08-14-2014 at 10:23 PM. Reason: I spelled MBTI wrong :)
    You are so arbitrary.

  2. #2
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    Anyone can be nurturing. This is yet another example of people using MBTI in the wrong way.

    Your sister sounds much like the ESTJs I know, and from what you've shown us here there isn't much reason to doubt her type.

    The best way for her to figure out whether she is an introvert or an extrovert is for her to notice whether she gains or loses energy in the presence of others. Does she feel more stimulated when reflecting alone, or when in group situations? Bear in mind that introversion has nothing to do with shyness/anxiety.

    Thinking vs Feeling is about whether you are more likely to respond to a given situation using your reason or emotions. Everyone uses both but will have a preference for one over the other.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    I think people can misunderstand themselves or their types. On the other hand people have different "roles" in different places so a person of some type can be totally different in another setting.

  4. #4
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    My sister took another test for med school. She took the self-scorable MBTI exam (Form M) from CCP Inc. She got INFJ on this test, but she still thinks ISFJ makes better sense for her.

    This is the description of ISFJ that she relates to; it's directly from the paper test they had her take:

    Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.

    ...the funny thing is that she IS all of those things. If not, then most of them.
    You are so arbitrary.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    I test as ISTP. I'm ENTP. Tests mean nothing. Introduce her to JCF and see if she relates to Extraverted Thinking.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hitoshi-San's Avatar
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    Yeah. My mom is like your sister, and she's ISFJ. Tests can help, but I wouldn't rely on them completely. In my opinion, any type can be bossy or assertive - heck, my INFP brother is both of those when he's around me, at least, otherwise he fits the description of one to a T; quiet, sensitive and imaginative. I think it all depends on what the person really feels they are, because they would know themselves best.

  7. #7
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil_Red View Post
    Yeah. My mom is like your sister, and she's ISFJ. Tests can help, but I wouldn't rely on them completely. In my opinion, any type can be bossy or assertive - heck, my INFP brother is both of those when he's around me, at least, otherwise he fits the description of one to a T; quiet, sensitive and imaginative. I think it all depends on what the person really feels they are, because they would know themselves best.
    I know that any type can be bossy, I just thought that there would be a specific way that the different types would be bossy.
    Anyway, I do think that the individual would know best (my "ISFJ" sister thinks I am a thinker... but I have never thought of myself as a thinker no matter what definition I see).

    She doesn't know MBTI/Jung the way we forumers would... she doesn't have time for it. But I am sure that if she studied it a bit more, she'd come to her own conclusion and not rely on a test ...even if it is ISFJ.
    You are so arbitrary.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Most of that description could generally be applied to SJs in general.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    The I/E scale on the MBTI is terrible. And since at least half of all people are ambiverts, that I/E scale could go either way in the test, considering how terrible it is.

    Also, your sister is cherry-picking descriptions in order to make the test result fit her.

    She's definitely not Intuitive. She sounds extroverted from your description. ESFJs are, like ISFJs, nurturing people, and helpful. I would convince her to change to ESFJ, although the fact that she prefers closure means she would consider the whole thing a closed issue that she would prefer not to return to.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #10
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    That is interesting because she does see it as a closed issue and most likely wouldn't return to it. However, I do not think she is trying to make the results fit her. She probably just read this short/horoscopic descriptions and said that's that because it does fit her, it's just I see those same traits (hardworking and likes to plan and other stuff) in her but they manifest in a way that's not ISFJ-like.
    You are so arbitrary.

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