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  1. #51
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    Take this comment for what it's worth because I'm quite new to MBTI, but I think too much is made of the E's need to be around people to recharge and I's need to be alone to recharge. I don't think it's that cut and dry.

    I doubted my E'ness for a long time and felt that although I like to socialize it can be draining and like to relax by myself at times. I asked my husband and best friend who are extremely outgoing about this and both of them often recharge by themselves - my husband recharges by tinkering in the garage, my friend does yoga. I realize that MY experience probably means little, but I think this idea is overly simplistic.

    So, I think your friend may have mistyped herself as an I - but seems more E.
    You know, that's an interesting insight. I had assumed most of the people I know were Introverts simply because they weren't very animated all the time and seemed to get tired after standing or talking for a long time. The only person I knew who really seemed to become energized by people was an ESxP, and even they had to tune out at the very end of the day and watch television for a couple hours before bed.

    But I was surprised when there were several Extraverts among them... I do agree that I sort of get the impression that Extraverts are the cool people who do everything, and are what everyone else wants to be like, but aren't because don't have as much energy or resources to call on. I think perhaps I've misunderstood that dichotomy myself.

    I once thought that E stood for energetic and I stood for inert, indicating our respective natural states.

  2. #52
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    So essentially, MBTI is useless because it isn't predictive of peoples tendencies to a significant degree. If we can have INTP's going around acting sociable despite their inferior being Fe, then what does MBTI tell us? If we can have an INTP who likes to just run with the first connection they see without really thinking, what does it tell us?

    If such terribly great variation is possible within types, isn't the point of having all these types and ways of finding them sort of negated?

    You all may be right, but it means that this theory doesn't work the way it's supposed to because it doesn't give significant information about the people it's intended to assess, and it needs to be refined again.
    Well I've always felt that mbti works wonderfully for extreme versions of type - you know, 100%I, 100%N, etc etc.

    I also think it's a useful theory and the concepts (i.e. different people having different innate behaviors/motivations) are useful.

    But the minute you start factoring in personal growth and development, as well as learned behavior, as well as people who are 60/40 or seemingly 50/50 for each dimension, its practicality really declines. It's still an interesting theory though and I still believe it pertains to people; however, it's not nearly as black and white as one might think. Like, you can't just say 'person with X behavior is definitely an xxxx'. You have to look at the person as a whole, over time, and to a certain degree I think you'd have to know the persons' personal history -- i.e. background, how he was raised, his emotional/psychological health and what he's dealing with or focusing on in a given moment, his value system (example - T's who find importance in or strive for social niceties/harmony) etc etc, to REALLY know the person and understand why he's acting the way he is and what's really at the root. And this is why there is a LOT about a persons' personality that I think is outside of mbti.
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  3. #53
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    So essentially, MBTI is useless because it isn't predictive of peoples tendencies to a significant degree. If we can have INTP's going around acting sociable despite their inferior being Fe, then what does MBTI tell us? If we can have an INTP who likes to just run with the first connection they see without really thinking, what does it tell us?

    If such terribly great variation is possible within types, isn't the point of having all these types and ways of finding them sort of negated?

    You all may be right, but it means that this theory doesn't work the way it's supposed to because it doesn't give significant information about the people it's intended to assess, and it needs to be refined again.
    Well, perhaps it is useless to you, depending on what you wanted to use it for, but it has been of such incalculable value to me that I could never stop using it.

    I used to think there was something seriously wrong with me, that I was irreparably defective, until I read about the dichotomies and discovered that there's nothing "wrong" with me; I'm just different from the majority. Not only that, but there nothing wrong with my difference. My differences have value just like everyone else's.

    In addition, I learned to relax and accept my kids the way they were instead of being afraid of what people would think of me, and trying to mold my children into some "perfect child" mold.

    You sound just like I used to be - always wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But my ISTP husband finally broke me of that, and he's right. Learning to make small adjustments is better than throwing out the baby.

    To tell you the truth, I'm a little frustrated too after 17 years of learning and using this stuff, only to find out here on this site that some of what I believed is wrong. I hate having to start over at square one, too, but actually it's not that bad. Just some minor adjustments here and there.

    I have never thought that that MBTI describes anyone 100%. After asking questions and figuring out someone's type and letting them read the descriptions, I would always let them know that it's probably only going to describe them about 85%

    I have always read that the dichotomies are preferences and that even though someone has a preference, they also act in the other ways sometimes. MBTI types are not boxes that no one is allowed to climb out of. Maybe this lady has a high E, yet she's still an I? I can extravert. I do it a lot. I sing on stage in front of hundreds of people. That doesn't make me an E. It makes me an I who also can E when necessary.

    I think MBTI is predictive of people's tendencies to a significant degree. I find it incredibly useful. I wouldn't want to have lived the last 17 years without it.

  4. #54
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    Take this comment for what it's worth because I'm quite new to MBTI, but I think too much is made of the E's need to be around people to recharge and I's need to be alone to recharge. I don't think it's that cut and dry.
    ...
    I have heard that recently, too.
    Barron and Tieger teach the recharging principle.

    The other way is harder to define. How can you tell where someone is directing their energy? How can you tell how much of it is inward and how much of it is outward? What kind of questions would you ask in order to find that out? What clues would you look for?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    So essentially, MBTI is useless because it isn't predictive of peoples tendencies to a significant degree. If we can have INTP's going around acting sociable despite their inferior being Fe, then what does MBTI tell us? If we can have an INTP who likes to just run with the first connection they see without really thinking, what does it tell us?

    If such terribly great variation is possible within types, isn't the point of having all these types and ways of finding them sort of negated?

    You all may be right, but it means that this theory doesn't work the way it's supposed to because it doesn't give significant information about the people it's intended to assess, and it needs to be refined again.
    I think the problem is the typical stereotype of an introvert or an extravert is that of an extreme. Most people are not an extreme, but instead fall somewhere around the middle. Also, there is a preconceived notion of an introvert being anti social and overly quiet & an extravert being a super social butterfly. I know a few shy extraverts... does that mean they are not extraverted despite drawing their energies from people? It's just not a clear-cut line of a person being quiet or not. I feel by making the generalization that an INTP should act strictly like an INTP limits people rather than frees them to develop their personality. It also feeds into the assumption that introverts are unable to have a social life or interact with people normally, which is simply not true.

    Also, the meat of the MBTI is in the cognitive functions. If someone has extraverted feeling, you're going to see that function as it's something they show to the world. Se may be my inferior function, but I still use extraverted sensing over introverted sensing. Therefore, the outside world is bound to see my sensing in that way. People only really see my Ni & Ti when I consciously bring it out. This is most likely the reason we see some crossover between types before we get to know the person we are typing. I am comfortable using my auxillary Fe, so I am sure I appear different than an INFJ who relies on Ni more & hasn't developed their Fe fully. An introvert is really just a personal with a dominant introverted function - if an introvert has developed their extraverted functions, they will appear more outgoing when accessing them.

    We're all individuals who will not fit perfectly into 16 little boxes. Could you imagine a world composed of just 16 different types people? However, the usefulness of MBTI is that it points out the tendancies certain people will have according to the functions they use the most. I find this is where the system is the most useful in dealing with interactions between people. My boyfriend and I BOTH show Fe to the world and are possible both auxillary Fe folk. Therefore, it's easy to interact with him using my Fe because I understand that he is comfortable using that function.

    Also, MBTI shows that it's okay to act a certain way or explains why we call upon certain actions more readily than others. However, people grow and change & often with the knowledge of MBTI, find ways to start to develop functions other than the ones we use most often. As this happens, variations within type are bound to happen but if you look closely, you'll see that we are still the most graceful with the functions we naturally prefer.

  6. #56
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    I value MBTI for what it has allowed for me to understand about other people, instead of thinking there is something wrong with them. They may not be right for me, but they are exactly how they should be and have unseen virtues.
    Well, that is a good lesson... it teaches you how different people can be, and that there are acceptable alternative ways of looking at things. I guess it's just that I wanted to use it for more than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by quietgirl View Post
    I think the problem is the typical stereotype of an introvert or an extravert is that of an extreme. Most people are not an extreme, but instead fall somewhere around the middle. Also, there is a preconceived notion of an introvert being anti social and overly quiet & an extravert being a super social butterfly. I know a few shy extraverts... does that mean they are not extraverted despite drawing their energies from people? It's just not a clear-cut line of a person being quiet or not. I feel by making the generalization that an INTP should act strictly like an INTP limits people rather than frees them to develop their personality. It also feeds into the assumption that introverts are unable to have a social life or interact with people normally, which is simply not true.
    I'm just saying that if they keep falling in the middle, then it's not going to be predictive enough for me to assume anything about their behavior or emotional patterns from their type, rendering it far less possible to guess a person's type or be certain of it.
    Also, the meat of the MBTI is in the cognitive functions. If someone has extraverted feeling, you're going to see that function as it's something they show to the world. Se may be my inferior function, but I still use extraverted sensing over introverted sensing. Therefore, the outside world is bound to see my sensing in that way. People only really see my Ni & Ti when I consciously bring it out. This is most likely the reason we see some crossover between types before we get to know the person we are typing. I am comfortable using my auxillary Fe, so I am sure I appear different than an INFJ who relies on Ni more & hasn't developed their Fe fully. An introvert is really just a personal with a dominant introverted function - if an introvert has developed their extraverted functions, they will appear more outgoing when accessing them.
    But a lot of people don't agree with function order, and many simply have different ideas about how it should work.
    We're all individuals who will not fit perfectly into 16 little boxes. Could you imagine a world composed of just 16 different types people? However, the usefulness of MBTI is that it points out the tendancies certain people will have according to the functions they use the most. I find this is where the system is the most useful in dealing with interactions between people. My boyfriend and I BOTH show Fe to the world and are possible both auxillary Fe folk. Therefore, it's easy to interact with him using my Fe because I understand that he is comfortable using that function.
    I want to be able to apply it to people and have a decent idea of their typical behavior. All these nuances and exceptions being introduced allowing them to go straight in the opposite direction personality-wise wouldn't permit that.
    Also, MBTI shows that it's okay to act a certain way or explains why we call upon certain actions more readily than others. However, people grow and change & often with the knowledge of MBTI, find ways to start to develop functions other than the ones we use most often. As this happens, variations within type are bound to happen but if you look closely, you'll see that we are still the most graceful with the functions we naturally prefer.
    But how do we know which functions those are?

    I'm so confused. Everything you've said makes sense, but I don't know how to react to it.

  7. #57
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    I'm just saying that if they keep falling in the middle, then it's not going to be predictive enough for me to assume anything about their behavior or emotional patterns from their type, rendering it far less possible to guess a person's type or be certain of it.
    I think you might be right about that - that you can't use it to make predictions or assumptions about people. Where I see it coming in handy is more for personal development - such as helping you find a good career, finding areas for personal growth, understanding yourself and so on. I just don't think it's enough of a 'science' to base much else on it. I think it's because most of us aren't 'pure' types (100% any of the factors) and where we fall in each range certainly makes a huge difference IMO. Personally I'm about 55/45 E versus I, and one of the questions (do you like to spend time alone to recharge?) I answered Yes to - yet I'm still dominately E. My E husband is probably 85% E and he appears much more outgoing than I am, but STILL wants time alone to recharge (I guess that was in the 15% of his I answers). Drawing energy from people or being alone is just ONE of the questions so it's not enough to draw any conclusion from!

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post

    I'm just saying that if they keep falling in the middle, then it's not going to be predictive enough for me to assume anything about their behavior or emotional patterns from their type, rendering it far less possible to guess a person's type or be certain of it.

    I want to be able to apply it to people and have a decent idea of their typical behavior. All these nuances and exceptions being introduced allowing them to go straight in the opposite direction personality-wise wouldn't permit that.

    I'm so confused. Everything you've said makes sense, but I don't know how to react to it.
    Look around the MBTIc forum at those who are fairly certain their type. Do you see basic similarities between us? INFJ's, we strive to relate. How many threads have the INFJ's chirped up & said "Yes! I do that too! You just described me!" However, there are differences between me & you, cascademn, toonia, wolfmaiden, jen, kiddo, cafe, etc. Otherwise, I bet our posts would be really painful to read because it'd be the same thing over & over again from those silly INFJs! Being different doesn't mean we're deviating from our types, it just means that every person is not a carbon copy of another.

    Another example of the same type expressed in different ways is the ESFP. The stereotype is that ESFP's are social, gossipy people without much depth. I'm sure there are plenty of ESFP's like that, but what about the ESFP's that are simply highly perceptive of their external environment? I have an ESFP friend who enjoys people, but isn't much of a gossip. I admire him greatly because he is absolutely in tune with his external environment. Hiking with him is such an amazing experience because my eyes are opened up to things that I just wouldn't have noticed otherwise. That is totally in the realm of a dominant Se, but he's expressing his Se in a different way than the sociable, chatty, gossipy members of his type.

    It's all in how you are expressing and to what extent you are expressing your preferences. I am sure there are INTP's who do not develop their Fe whatsoever, but I am also sure there are INTP's who do. I highly doubt they are going to deviate from their type so dramatically as to become an ESFJ, thus throwing type theory out the window, but it doesn't mean that an INTP is incapable of being polite and talking to others! I've felt, for the most part, the INTP's here on this forum to be polite and despite stereotypes of the personality, even initiating conversation! As an introvert, I actually initiated conversation with my current boyfriend the night we met. It doesn't make me less of an INFJ, it just means that I stepped out of my comfort zone for a second (and I was naturally a little awkward about it).

    I think the real thing you need to ask yourself is how often you use the preferences you do not prefer & how comfortable you are using them. Also, in what way are they expressed when you do use them? An INFJ using Fi, which we are fully capable of doing, is going to look different than an INFP using Fi.

    You can use MBTI to predict behavior in the sense that someone is more likely to behave a certain way when using functions they prefer. They have the tendancy to rely on their most comfortable preferences when they are not developing others or in a high stress situation (depending on which theory you believe). However, nothing is certain! I don't think you'll ever find certainty in MBTI, as it is a theory and not a fact. I don't find variations that stay within the logic of preferences of a type to be exceptions. I find the exception being the person who is completely devoid of feeling, thinking, sensing, or intuiting.

  9. #59
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    After some of my experience with even young adult NTs I find it difficult to believe you'll come across a "freezer" with out any heat in it. The rest of this was going to be a twisted use of thermodynamics so I'll finish it here.
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  10. #60
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Sounds like an INTP. Remember, you don't always have to be completely, say, a T. You can be a like 60% T, and 40% F, but still be a T. Overall, I think she was an INTP.

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