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  1. #11
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    I suppose the down side is, that because it is such a rough approach, that one can overlook so many things. Especially me who doesn't seem to have a knack for details, unless I sort of engage in that kind of super focus. Applying it makes it rough with the intent for better and the efficiency of handling. But then I lose the details. I think it should be up to the person to zoom in and find it.

    I still think, there are many positives compared to negatives from MBTI, because it is a tool, one of many that can help explain differences in opinion and state of mind of the individual.

    Manipulation? Probably if the intent of the person was to manipulate from the beginning. It wouldn't matter, MBTI would be one of many tools to get the deed done. Manipulation is negative, while influencing is positive. Both are to the benefit of the person doing it.

  2. #12
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think I usually of it as noting "distinctions" vs "differences" -- I think the latter term more easily creates a sense of distance and isolation from others who possess said distinctions.

    Categorizations are important in life in terms of understanding how things work quickly -- a lot of broad information can be conveyed very quickly. If I say that something is a "tree" versus a "cat" or even a "rock," for example, that will tell me a lot of broad information that can help me know immediately what general things I can expect and where i'm likely to have more success in my care and success with that thing in the world.

    A tree can become very big; it needs water and sunshine but won't eat other types of food I toss near it; it won't move if I plant it; one day I might be able to climb it; etc. Meanwhile, a cat is very different, has very different needs, has a different lifespan, it's okay if the cat wants to sit in my lap.

    What if a porcupine wants to sit in my lap? Well, I might not want that to happen. I know this because I know some broad truths about porcupines, without ever having met one. or what if a tiger is following me through the grass? Does it want to sit in my lap? Should I let it approach me? Etc.

    Here we know and can apply information related to a broad category that helps our understanding and know how to interact with something in the safest or most productive way.

    However, that kind of knowledge cannot tell me anything specific about a specific tree, cat, tiger, porcupine, rock, etc. it won't tell me that that tree was planted 250 years ago by the child of someone who fought in the revolutionary war, or how that girl used to climb that tree and hide from her brother when they were playing, that two lovers kissed beneath its boughs, that an old married couple quarreled while autumn leaves fluttered down on their heads marking the end of their long marriage, that a man buried a beloved sister under it, that the tree had initials and political slogans carved in its trunk. That kind of knowledge would not tell me that a cat was tossed in a river when young to drown it and that it clawed its way out and escaped, or that it traveled halfway across the country following a family who accidentally left it behind on a move -- that this cat is a survivor and has qualities that helped it keep itself alive and thus to respect it but also to accept that it might have some rough edges to its personality. It wouldn't tell me that the tiger has few teeth left and was actually raised by human beings, is lame in one leg, and -- while tigers might never be "safe" -- is probably more trustworthy than most tigers and is merely following me through the grass because my perfume happens to be the same as that of its prior master who loved it and took care of it when it was a baby tiger. It wouldn't tell me that that rock actually was formed under pressure millions of years ago, was slowly pushed to the surface and carried south by slow-moving glacier in Europe, was picked up by a man who thought it pretty while on vacation and flown home over thousands of miles, who then lost it when it fell through a hole in his jacket pocket.

    Knowledge that is valuable is always qualified and placed in context in some way.

    MBTI might give me broad patterns that can quickly tell me something about how someone might operate because they share the broad principles of a particular subgroup of human being, but it will never give me the specifics about them, and those specifics are the ultimate definition of who they are -- how they grew up, where they were raised, who they have loved, who has hurt them, what is meaningful to them specifically, what they have personally come to value.

    I think typology abuse happens when we forget what type of information we are dealing with and make it the ultimate and specific definition of a particular human being. It is merely a 'rough approximate' and nothing more, and can only be used to that level of granularity. But the specifics of the individual trump their typological type. Also, typically, "broad assumptions" about another human being do not really signify a real, honest relationship with said person; those are built on specific exchanges and interactions between two human beings, so when we start applying these kinds of broad truths in lieu of those specific interactions, we can be led astray as well. We relate to particular individuals, not broad types.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #13
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I can't do much predicting, but it can get too prominent in my mind sometimes and I have to step away. Like when I start thinking of someone and immediately think of their type, that's when I know it's time for a very long break. It can be overused and oversimplify things, as highlander noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate
    I think that- at best- mbti can help bridge misunderstandings by making another’s priorities more understandable. But at worst, it accentuates those differences and add a little bit of social identity to the mix (creating an ‘us vs. them’ by identifying so strongly with the ‘us’, coming to believe something superior about the ‘us’ in order to placate the ego and in so doing necessarily color the ‘them’ in with characteristics that are more negative than appropriately matches reality)- the result is dehumanizing the ‘other’.
    Exactly yes.

    What has been interesting to me in the context of the theory is discovering how much overlap there really is. ISTP and ENFP, very different type-wise. Pretty much as far as you can go. In real life? Both usually fairly ambiverted socially. Both usually pretty laid back but up for an adventure. Both usually have a healthy twin regard and disregard for established authority. Both usually have a similar seriousness underneath and playfulness on top. All fairly consistent similarities right off the bat. People are people first. Letters just help describe what words would take a long time to explain.

  4. #14
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    Proper understanding of a tool also includes a proper understanding of where it can and should be applied. Most of us have just enough of an understanding to 'be dangerous.'

  5. #15
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werebudgie View Post
    Though for us, it's not really about priorities so much as how we each process information, and how our different information processing affects things like communication and how we each move in the world. It's been an awesome tool for us in this regard. It gives us language to discuss and learn about certain differences between us in really good and useful ways.
    That’s actually what I meant (I latch onto specific terms/phrases sometimes and I forget my personal definition for that term/phrase isn’t clear)- different dominant functions generally give us unconscious priorities regarding which criteria of incoming external information to pay the most attention to (and so on).

    Quote Originally Posted by Werebudgie View Post
    Would it take too much away from what you're saying to add another angle - not just what's universally human, but also the specificity and complexity of each person? I'm thinking of this because I had an interesting discussion with my partner tonight on this point. We weren't talking about MBTI, actually, but I think it is relevant here. She was saying that differences are always there between people, but the differences become a problem when they come in the form of labels that, as she put it, "turn a person into an object." I agree with her, and pretty deeply at that.

    It's like: I want to understand my partner because I love her and want to relate with her in the best way possible. She and I have a really deep bond, but we also have different life experiences, different approaches to information processing, and lots of other differences. For us, as I mentioned, MBTI typing is a tool that helps us to understand each other, not an end unto itself or some sort of overarching worldview about all reality. Meaning - our primary interest in using it with each other is to understand each other as part of a larger effort to understand each other (eta and also ourselves) as people in all of what that means. So we know that MBTI is just one (useful but limited) tool among many for us to understand each other. And when we use this tool, the focus isn't on MBTI type at the center, but rather on the specificity of each of us and how the lens of Ni-Fe-Ti-Se and Fi-Ne-Si-Te can help us understand parts of the specificity in each other that we don't immediately understand due to differences between us.

    This may be clearer in my head than I'm expressing it on the page.
    I think this is expounding on the same tangent I was getting at myself, rather than approaching it from a different angle (though I know I’m not always clear, it sounds the same as what was going through my head). There is a complexity that we have in common which isn’t usually covered in mbti discussion- in part, I think it’s taken for granted that it’s just *there*, but I do think people lose sight of it when so much time is spent focusing on the differences.

    I like to balance it out in myself by reading lots of psychology and social psychology books that have nothing to do with any sort of ‘typology’. There’s a whole world of psychology out there that has nothing to do with ‘type’- it applies to all people, more or less. I find it helps me deal with how “it puts the lotion in the basket” people around here can sound sometimes (when they're talking about other types).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  6. #16
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Wut? MBTI/JCF doesn't apply itself. It's applied by people to themselves or other people. If it's a tool that causes detrimental impact, then don't use it. The same principle applies to anything, including fruit. If you eat too much fruit, you'll get the runs. Does this mean that fruit's bad for you?

    It's a fun form of shorthand, for the lazy like myself. Instead of needing to communicate essays, one can communicate it concisely through application of four simple letters. Efficient.

  7. #17
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    The more I learn about MBTI, the more I think it is an inherently flawed and static system.

  8. #18
    I want my account deleted
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    That’s actually what I meant (I latch onto specific terms/phrases sometimes and I forget my personal definition for that term/phrase isn’t clear)- different dominant functions generally give us unconscious priorities regarding which criteria of incoming external information to pay the most attention to (and so on).
    I do get the latching onto specific phrases thing - I think I do it myself sometimes. As for your longer definition, that makes a lot of sense to me. I hadn't actually thought of it in terms of unconscious priorities, but it strikes me as a really useful way to think about it (*places idea in the back of my head for further musing*).

    I think this is expounding on the same tangent I was getting at myself, rather than approaching it from a different angle (though I know I’m not always clear, it sounds the same as what was going through my head).
    This odd occasional brain sharing thing continues to be interesting. I just looked and as far as I can see, there's no brain-sharing emoticon so will leave it at that.

    There is a complexity that we have in common which isn’t usually covered in mbti discussion- in part, I think it’s taken for granted that it’s just *there*, but I do think people lose sight of it when so much time is spent focusing on the differences.

    I like to balance it out in myself by reading lots of psychology and social psychology books that have nothing to do with any sort of ‘typology’. There’s a whole world of psychology out there that has nothing to do with ‘type’- it applies to all people, more or less. I find it helps me deal with how “it puts the lotion in the basket” people around here can sound sometimes (when they're talking about other types).
    Hahahahahaha @ "it puts the lotion in the basket"! I have to admit, psychology in general hasn't been my thing, I've been much more of a big picture person (sociology/anthropology has been where I gravitate). But I think I do see what you're saying about there being a complexity we have in common.

  9. #19
    I want my account deleted
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    Quote Originally Posted by andante View Post
    Wut? MBTI/JCF doesn't apply itself. It's applied by people to themselves or other people. If it's a tool that causes detrimental impact, then don't use it. The same principle applies to anything, including fruit. If you eat too much fruit, you'll get the runs. Does this mean that fruit's bad for you?
    The tool analogy is crucial IMO. I think lots of trouble happens when people take MBTI typing on as an identity and/or as a full-blown worldview for life, rather than as a limited and specific tool with limited and specific uses.

    Quote Originally Posted by garbage View Post
    Proper understanding of a tool also includes a proper understanding of where it can and should be applied. Most of us have just enough of an understanding to 'be dangerous.'
    I've been a bit shocked at some of the gross misuses of typing I've seen on this site. Some of it is like watching people trying to use a hammer for anything and everything that comes their way. (and it's like, "wait, WAIT, stop hammering that burrito already!")

    That said, the only place I'm really an expert in using this tool is in my own relationship (INFP/INFJ dynamics are fun) and self-understanding. In contrast, my public stuff is far less precise and is pretty much a messy exploratory learning process for how to use the tool as opposed to a good precise use of it. So I'm sure I've hammered the occasional burrito.

    eta, @Jennifer, I missed your post somehow. Your description of specificity is kind of gorgeous to me, and reminds me of some of the core elements of what my partner and I were discussing yesterday on that point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

  10. #20
    LadyLazarus
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    I'll tell you when I finally understand MBTI well.

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