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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default Typing someone.. it's so hard to do...

    Okay so there's lots of "type me" threads and discussion on the intricacies of type on this forum but there seems to be a lot of certainty where really there is little. I thought about posting a thread to help me type a guy from work who's vexing me currently but realised that I'd get nowhere and end up taking my own council anyway, most probably.

    So, why post anything here at all? Well I understand the enthusiasm about the system and I'd really like to be able to steer people away from the prescriptive and confining view of type to a more complex and wondrous version, so I thought I'd combine these two desires.

    STEP 1
    I isn't I and E isn't E.

    I am an INTP. Have been for a while now and I quite like it (</jk). However, if you caught me at work delivering a meeting or setting out a new system for people to follow you'd probably think me an ENTP. If you saw me when someone was in need you may even swear I'm an ENFJ. Should you ever see my determined face and resolution to change things for the better you may see the ENTJ side. So how am I an INTP? Why are all these facets "wrong"? Well they aren't wrong at all. My type is INTP, hence whilst delivering the meeting I'm still noticing nuances that many wouldn't pick up on and my brain is afire with all the possibilities. In fact I'm usually preoccupied waiting for the responses I predicted and seeing how people respond to news in an almost detached fashion in my head whilst stirring some sense of team spirit (I hope). When I've got the bit between my teeth and I feel like it's time to confront something which is causing me problems I control my emotion (having had it get the better of me before) and try to batter the obstacle with thought grounded in reality and guidelines/ rules (ENTJ). I almost channel my father (an ENTJ) when I do this. Lastly, when I'm giving comfort to someone or trying to help someone out who's distressed then the outcome I want is for them to be happy again, hence I try to do whatever I can (now that I've learned that repeatedly trying to crack jokes to make them smile and thereby fixing them rarely works).

    Note that in each circumstance I chose an extroverted type. Why? Well when dealing with a whole hoard of people it's easier to emulate an extrovert (for one thing there's usually a clearer behaviour to emulate) and the effect tends to be what people expect. The time I did take someone to task as an INTP, I ended up having a cup of coffee with them at the behest of the gaffer because I'd upset her so much. No idea why, I was totally emotionless and calm the whole time

    So have I changed type? No. Watch the background research done before the meeting. Experience the amount of analysis that is applied to each problem and the global thinking applied.

    A good example is when I became a team leader. I did so because as a member of the team I could see that the systems being used were unreliable and that every member of the team was keeping notes about the jobs they'd raised (we log repairs for buildings, put simply) in case anyone challenged them later on. I saw how each person had their own copy of the procedure produced at a different time with no note to which superseded which and each had made their own special notes to aid them in their jobs. The first thing I set out to do was to correct this. I put together a universal set of procedures taking each persons input and combining the lot together. I checked the parameters we were supposed to operate in with managers and got together a guide to when a job was our responsibility and when we had discharged our responsibility. The end result was a calmer team who were more productive and happier. Did I get the systems fixed? Nope and I'm still campaigning 3 years later. Could I get them less work and more flexibility? Not at the time, that came later. However I had earned the respect of the team as an INTP using what comes naturally...and damn did that feel good.

    See I might be an introvert and an INTP who doesn't take to emotion and empathy well but I've learned and watched, studied and researched in my own way. Now some think I'm an extrovert, no I'm just adaptable and more than my type.

    STEP 2
    Function order is the result not the first step

    I see a lot of people starting to ascribe values of Ne or Ni to people and then deciding that they know what type someone is by that analysis... this just has to be bunk. Analyse my behaviour at work and you'll see a whole lot of Te going on and N backing it up. Doesn't that make me a J? Doesn't that mean I'm either an INTJ or an ENTJ? Hell no. You just missed the heavenly glory of the moon by staring at my finger!

    Type tells you what functions should be in use. It'd take a whole lot more investigation to establish function order. As far as I've read the function order is more fluid than the type!

    Anyhow as I know personally one ENFP who arranges his rolled cigarettes so that they line up and does line drawings which he cross hatches on A2 paper in pencil and then again in pen using a rule...type does not define a person...it merely tries to understand them. Function order, lends credence where there may be none to be had. It's dangerous to use a little knowledge with enthusiasm.

    STEP 3
    Type this character

    Okay so you want to know what type Batman is? He doesn't have one, stop being silly. A persons type is indicative of their inner mind and a characters mind is almost always changed to suit the writer making them 2 dimensional and fake.

    There are exceptions such as Stark who's so ENTP as to almost be the archetype but that's when you get an actor of the same type as the character and they are rare. Trust me, if Sherlock Holmes is an INTP then I've seen some real nasty representations of the type. Consider Basil Rathbone and I've not even watched the american version, I'd have to forget who it's supposed to be to enjoy that "me too" wagon.

    STEP 4
    It's complicated isn't it?

    Yup, anyone who tells you they can type someone through brief interaction, especially over the internet, is probably going to stink out a room with the faint smell of Taurian droppings quick!

    The problem is that your type includes all those subtle hints to your ways of thinking. I often get more of an idea about someone when they're talking b**ks than when they've constructed a statement. That's when you see the thinking in action. That's when you see more of what's at the core and less of what's prepared or learned as a response. This also applies to when people are sleepy. You tend to revert more to your natural ways of thinking when you're tired because you can't be bothered to keep up the façade any longer. When your defences are stripped and you're left without the energy to summon a cleverly concocted plan, that's when you'll rely on what comes easiest and no it rarely means that a J will be organised, despite the "propaganda".

    STEP 5
    You are always and ever both light and dark.

    No one is 100% E or I or any other letter of that abbreviated alphabet. In fact I'd go as far as to say you are all types at all times it's just one is dominant and is your core and the rest are what you've learned. Hence the step 3...you tend to get a cardboard cut out character on screen and in books, not a fully rounded person with contrast and contradiction. Hence my never ending dislike of the Joker in the most recent Batman trilogy. It's an unpopular opinion but the character to me has no personality and so sticks out like a sore thumb.

    STEP 6
    It's not about type

    This always seems to throw people but to me it's the same as philosophy, the point is not to ascribe someone a label and therefore decide that you know things about them. The system is about understanding the plethora of people who are out there and how to start to communicate some of this information in a meaningful fashion. Don't just go out for a label or you're making the same mistake as step 2 and missing the whole damn point.

    Sure I'm an INTP but if you think for 2 seconds that you know things about me, you're almost categorically wrong. Sure in general, in the widest view, on the macro scale, you can say you understand something I describe to you and can to an extent predict my responses but if you think that in 37 years I've not moved past the words written in a book to give you a starter for ten then I'd give you the same advice I was once given.

    "Tis better to stay silent and let everyone assume you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    =====================

    Anyhow, to move on to what I would have posted before I thought of writing this and why I dislike the single line thinkers...

    One colleague at work vexes me greatly. He's coming up on thirty and hails from Poland (unsure about their culture but it seems similar to Britain with a Russian influence). To say this guy is generally a precise person is like saying Schumacher can drive. He spends hours on spreadsheets perfecting the details of formatting and function to the extent he's known in a company of thousands as Mr Excel. He always has mints...mint vapor in his atomiser, mint chewing gum (a very specific brand of course) and seems obsessed with fresh breath. He's always neatly turned out and refuses dress down days stating that turning up to work in jeans would just confuse him as he'd look down and see relaxed wear but couldn't relax because he's at work. However, he also agonises over what food to get and you can see him almost drool as he shops but he's very fixed once he's decided on what he wants to get and won't vary. A conversation about religion was revealing (I think) as he stated he was brought up religious in a religious family (religion is big in Poland I'm told) but after "doing some research" he decided against it. This guy researches like I do! When I started vaping I heard "when you've found the set up that suits you then you'll never go back" which of course made me ask which set up suited me. So I engaged in watching every review I could come across and trying to understand the science behind it (still lacking on that one...too many variables). I bought a whole ton of cones from china for a fraction of the authentic devices costs. This guy, after having tried mine and cursing me as he was previously happy with his first researched choice, took about two months of solid research before coming into work and telling me he was about to drop £270 on a setup. Of course I advised against it as too hasty (I know...more research right) but he did more research and bought a clone...and then stuck for about another month before he got the next one and then stuck again for another few months. I've recently lent him my collection to try and about a month later...still hasn't built one yet but remains enthusiastic. Instead he's been working on a video for about 6 months straight. Agonising over details he must spend a couple of hours a night for weeks on end making him late for work the following day (interesting situation to reprimand a friend about something you don't really mind about as there's cover).

    So after all that and more I'm confused. Ask him to state an opinion and he's always saying "it depends" which seems classical P but the rest of his behaviour is almost text book J. Now I've stopped short of enquiring if he was abused (see I have learned this tact nonsense) but I am wondering how the opposites live in what seems like a self assured individual.

    That reminds me, my ENFJ boss asked me to speak to him about not being a "team player" because he keeps to himself and doesn't really engage unless provoked, kind of tail up and head down. Now he took great offense at this siting that he always helping people when they ask and does as he's asked and that surely he's doing well to not engage in office chit chat.

    So bearing in mind the above...anyone know much about Polish culture from a typology side, seeing as how environment affects the expression of type. Anyone know anyone who displays similar behaviour who they think they have typed right?

    Oh and a could apologise or make nice about the opening of this post but it'd only dilute the concept and I'd spend half the time apologising for being confrontational...hence, in this case, I consider it counter productive. So yeah, sorry if it bends you out of shape, feel free to comment below about the content and I'll be more reasonable in my responses.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?
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  2. #2
    your resident asshole
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    If type isn't about how you express yourself in the world and how others perceive you, then what is the point? Why talk about it at all when all of it is meaningless? If everyone changes their type at will, then why bother? Surely how someone acts most often is their type, is it not? Everyone has a natural personality. Some of us are more talkative than others. Some of us are more rational than others. Some of us are more in touch with other people than others. Otherwise, you're making the whole thing out to be pointless.

    Disclaimer: I am of the firm believe that MBTI is pseudoscience, but you seem to be approaching this a bit oddly. Everyone does have different personalities. Are you saying you are no longer an MBTI advocate?

  3. #3
    alchemist Legion's Avatar
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    Yeah, we can make use of any function, so just identifying a function doesn't tell you enough.

    I guess it's like a "resting state", a natural habitual response to processing data. Hard to get away from. Behavioural implications are less clear, it's about the underlying process behind the behaviour.

    I'm Si. When I hear something I have an internal reaction to the thing which is like a way of describing what the thing is -to me-. I always have these reactions. Behaviourally, I don't tend to leave my comfort zone, so I seem restrained and I don't like to upset the balance of my environment.

  4. #4
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Interesting in the first two responses we have one who adopts functions and the other who sees type with no shadow, or seemingly anyhow.

    To only use Si indicates no decision making, no method of processing information. This can't be true. There is always a preference even if it's only 51%.

    As for types not being set and being fluid... My type tells you how I get from a to b. It does not tell you about the origin nor the destination but how can it not be helpful if I tell you I'm travelling by car instead of by boat or air? It colours the whole journey and which route you would advise. What it doesn't do is tell you when I'll get there or what to pack, necessarily.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #5
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    STEP 3
    Type this character

    Okay so you want to know what type Batman is? He doesn't have one, stop being silly.
    7w6 - 2w3 - 8w7 sx/so


  6. #6
    Senior Member Studmuffin23's Avatar
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    It sounds more like you have badly mistyped the people around you, including yourself.

    My advice is to ignore the Jungian functions and stick to preferences. The former will throw you off every time, whereas the latter is based mostly on common-sense and is the closest thing to concrete information that you will find in MBTI.
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  7. #7
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studmuffin23 View Post
    It sounds more like you have badly mistyped the people around you, including yourself.

    My advice is to ignore the Jungian functions and stick to preferences. The former will throw you off every time, whereas the latter is based mostly on common-sense and is the closest thing to concrete information that you will find in MBTI.
    Who me?
    I was professionally typed about 18 years ago. I've had it challenged multiple times but anyone who knows me well can see the type. I define, I am an architect of information and I couldn't stop analysing even for a very pretty and willing girl.

    The thing is that type is so often misread on here that people seem to be perverting the types to fit in with what they expect.

    See I don't type by preference or function. I type by trying to understand the personality as presented versus the individual standing in front of me.

    Function analysis seems to be the tool if those who are dissatisfied with only 16 options and preference analysis by those who like more structure to a personality. The thing is that as a person I have days when I'm happy and love my neighbour and their neighbour and so forth and I have bleak days when I could quite happily do without anyone being around me. My type won't cover that, my personality does.

    Personality > type > preference > function.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #8
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chanaynay View Post
    Just don't trade it like snake oil, that's all I ask...
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?
    Likes Zero-11 liked this post

  9. #9
    Senior Member Studmuffin23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Who me?
    I was professionally typed about 18 years ago. I've had it challenged multiple times but anyone who knows me well can see the type. I define, I am an architect of information and I couldn't stop analysing even for a very pretty and willing girl.

    The thing is that type is so often misread on here that people seem to be perverting the types to fit in with what they expect.

    See I don't type by preference or function. I type by trying to understand the personality as presented versus the individual standing in front of me.

    Function analysis seems to be the tool if those who are dissatisfied with only 16 options and preference analysis by those who like more structure to a personality. The thing is that as a person I have days when I'm happy and love my neighbour and their neighbour and so forth and I have bleak days when I could quite happily do without anyone being around me. My type won't cover that, my personality does.

    Personality > type > preference > function.
    At least to my knowledge, there is no evidence that professional typing is any more accurate than self-typing.

    While the logic of your typing method is sound enough, it's not MBTI. If you reject Myers-Briggs as a means of determining personality type, then you should not be calling yourself an INTP.
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  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studmuffin23 View Post
    At least to my knowledge, there is no evidence that professional typing is any more accurate than self-typing.

    While the logic of your typing method is sound enough, it's not MBTI. If you reject Myers-Briggs as a means of determining personality type, then you should not be calling yourself an INTP.
    Wha? The typing tests I've read do your whole type at once. The end result maybe the function order they expect but that's not the test. You type based on observation and comparison the same way you do with anything else but you look for the interplay of functions not sole functions in use. To say I use Te would be accurate in my work environment but that tells you little about me other than a clue about how I do my job.

    As for being or not being an INTP, that has nothing to do with how I type. That's just nonsequitous.

    As for self typing, I do self type as an INTP, I just don't always behave like one. Having met other INTPs, they aren't classical either.

    The best proofs I have in daily life come from people struggling to "get" Me and missing the point. That usually shows the INTP traits clear as a bell.

    Seriously though, I'd respect a professional trying to type with functions as they have a broad experience of people and how they type but for the average Joe, it's a route fraught with pitfalls. Maybe you can do it, more power to you, but there's plenty of examples where it just smells completely wrong.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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