As someone who develops cognitive models for a living, I've gotta say that the less scientific and more personal view presented by these typology systems is a breath of fresh air.
If one understands where on a multidimensional map of cognition he sits, then he begins to understand ways in which he subconsciously shapes the reality around him. That central point is repeated over and over in several influential works on leadership and personal development, including The Seven Habits. Authors keep independently making this point for a reason--understanding one's own map is probably a good approach to life.
Moreover, the first step to understanding other people is to realize that people think differently. Any logical framework, essay, article, book, anecdote, or personal experience that hammers that point home is worth paying attention to.
It's only been a part of my life at all for about five years (since I was 26 and took a test and discovered I was INFJ), and a major part for about two and a half years. The major part was triggered by total confusion over my unhealthy relationship with someone and really I think I was trying to figure out why I was so upset about it, so I started doing more research into the INFJ type. That led me on to more research into other types. And eventually to TypeC. I've been spending much more consistent time on Type C for the last three months or so, though...not sure if that's good or bad! A bit of both, I think.
I do think it has helped A LOT in terms of my self-awareness about how I react to things and especially my interactions with others. I don't think it has done any damage particularly. Although I know that I have a tendency, when things somehow don't work out or go well with another person, to be very eager to assign them a definite type and then say to myself "well, he was an ESFP, so OF COURSE it would be a disaster", or "well, ESTJs and INFJs have trouble getting along", or whatever. Probably a bit immature.
In some ways it is just a hobby which is also a bit of an obsession, as my hobbies tend to be. My hobbies have been mostly literary or musical over the years, so psychology (pop or otherwise) is a bit of a change. I do find though that these hobbies tend to lead me on to bigger things and greater passions and experiences and that has almost never been a bad thing for me. It has almost always enriched my life. Given how these things play out for me - like with my childhood or young adult obsessions with Sherlock Holmes or Arthurian legend - the obsession may well wane eventually. But it won't go away entirely...it will always be there in the background providing at least some enrichment and enjoyment. We'll see, I guess.
Ya, it has been really great. Not only in understanding myself, but more importantly, relations with others. I was looking into this stuff for some time before I found this forum. It's nice to be able to ask people questions, or hear about other poor bastards like myself =P
Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts
I was mistyped 10 ten years ago as INTJ but I did not relate to the description very much , and so was not drawn into MBTI. About 4 yrs ago I took the test and was diagnosed as INTP. It was the strangest feeling to read my life distilled into a few pages. I had always felt like an alien and here was news of others like me! It was vastly reassuring. I have since met a few other INTPs in rl, all male. Also, found out my brothers are INTP and INTJ. It is fascinating to see others with similar ingredients, though with different ratios. It made complete sense that my bro and I were the same. We had crazy communication as kids.
It has also given me greater patience with others. I need to treat that ESFJ female differently to keep things smooth. Being able to identify more specifically where I was failing to communicate has been invaluable.
I'm ENTP close to ENFP, So I always wanted to be understanding and loving.... With MBTI, I suddenly understood Why people told me I was rude with them when I wanted to be sincere and why they told me they thought I felt most intelligent ,as I wanted to share learning with them.
I also understand why it's so difficult for me to follow a schedule and to be organize.
I like so much to have different style of clothes (strict or crazy) : I'd like to be a cameleon: everyone in one person. This impossible way leads to procrastination: Never beeing sure of the good decision.
Mbti helps me everyday to communicate with different types
The trap would be to try to manipulate people! I try to stay away from this evil idea