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Posts relating to Myers-Briggs :

5 years ago

MBTI Hierarchy

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Myers-Briggs Personality
Sorry, this isn't a post about games (though I don't really have much I could say about them anyway). It's about something that I've seen mentioned by a few people in comments and private messages and things like that, and I want to share some of my research to increase understanding...

I'm not an expert on the Myers-Briggs thing by any means. Up until a few weeks ago, I hated and avoided it, but then the more I read, the more useful and interesting it seemed. I still have a lot to learn, but I've at least been trying to get the gist of it on a conceptual level so then I actually know what the letters mean.

It's led to me saying things like how Thinkers and I just don't see eye to eye... and this in turn has led to several people commenting on how they're 'balanced' in terms of thinking and feeling, often because of what a test told them, or because they both think and feel and, presumably, see the letter codes as being some kind of dichotomy and therefore 'wrong' since they seem to limited. "If you are T, you don't feel at all"; that kind of thing.

I don't like those tests, for a start, especially when they give percentage balance things at the end. I've got INFJ on all the tests that I've done, but often the questions are worded in such a way that they don't really address things 'at their core'... They only give an approximation of what they're trying to describe.

It's sort of like... someone has seen a beetle, but they don't know what it is. You think it might have been a cockroach, so you ask them various questions about it to see how cockroachy their answers seem. "Did it have six legs? Was it brown? How big was it?" and so on. You know what a cockroach is and what the differences are between a beetle and one of them, but you can only ask imperfect questions to communicate an idea that you understand in its entirety... And maybe the person will answer positively anyway, since beetles and cockroaches have enough in common visually to confuse someone who doesn't know the difference between the two. So they'd 'answer' yes to all your questions and you'd say to them that it was a cockroach, then... which is wrong, but it's because of the limitations of language.
Or something. I suppose I'm struggling to think of a sensible but comparable analogy. o_O

So just because tests give you inconsistent results, or give you a percentage that says that you lean to a certain letter with a ratio of 49%/51% or something, it doesn't mean that your type is elusive or 'balanced'; just that the way you answered the imperfect, roundabout questions gave those results. The tests only give an approximation...

ANYWAY. The main point that I wanted to get at is how each type isn't restrictive... and instead we all have the potential to display all kinds of thinking. The types just show our primary strengths, and the others all appear in a hierarchy.

For example, the hierarchy of preference for INFJ goes like this, from strongest to weakest:
Ni - Fe - Ti - Se - Ne - Fi - Te - Si

While in INTJ, they're like this:
Ni - Te - Fi - Se - Ne - Ti - Fe - Si

And in ENTJ:
Te - Ni - Se - Fi - Ti - Ne - Si - Fe

The four letters represented are T/N and S/F, which each come in 'introverted' and 'extraverted' (spelled with an 'a' in this system for some reason) flavours. For example, Fi - introverted feeling - would be when you feel things deeply inside but don't really express them, while Fe - extraverted feeling - would be an an emotional nature which is more readily shown and expressed to others. Fi might make you 'feel sad' inside, while Fe might make you cry and/or want to tell others about how you're upset. Or something.
This is a massive oversimplification on my part, though; the Feeling thing is a lot more complex than that.

Anyway, I'm apparently strongest with Introverted iNtuition, followed by Extraverted Feeling, then Introverted Thinking and - oddly, I think - Extraverted Sensing, and then comes Ne, Fi, Te and Si which are all progressively less natural to me, but still there in my mind, showing themselves infrequently and affecting the things that I do and think in their own small ways.

It's sort of like a Wizard class, who'd prefer to do battle using magic spells but, if absolutely desperate, could also fight with a dagger. He wouldn't prefer to use his dagger, but he would be capable of it and might see it used occasionally. It wouldn't be a characteristic of his general image or approach, though, and his dagger fighting could hardly compare to a Fighter's use of melee weapons.

I've read that people can work on and improve each of their weaker aspects to become a more well-rounded person, but the thing is that you usually do have to work on them; they don't come as naturally. I'm terrible at 'Extraverted Thinking', but if I really worked at it, I could become decent at it... It'd never really drive me in the same way it does for INTJ people though, and I'd always fall back on the more natural Fe in a pinch.

The wizard might practise and practise with his dagger combat so then he could hold his own in magic-blocking dungeons, but he'd always feel relieved to get back to using spells again.

Anyway, like I said, I'm still very much new to this system, so those of you who understand it better might see that I've made omissions or glaring mistakes here!
I just find it interesting to understand things, and have seen a lot of people expressing their 'dual natures' (notably INTJ and similar types expressing that they're driven by what sounds like Fi sometimes when making decisions), and thought this might go a long way towards explaining that.

To go into even more rambling detail (oh joy!1), here are some examples of what the N/S and T/F letters mean. Again, they're attempts to describe bigger pictures based on details - 'describing an elephant via its toenails' - so even if one bit seems unlike you while the rest all fit, it's not a deal breaker. (Note: These are stolen from some website; I didn't write them myself, except for the comments in brackets, which show my incomplete understanding.)


Concrete - depend on verifiable, factual information and direct perceptions. literal, mistrust fuzzy information

Realistic - value being practical, cost-effective, and exercising common sense.

Pragmatic - highly values the usefulness or applications of an idea - more interesting than idea itself.

Experiential - heavily grounded by first hand, past experience. Reluctant to generalize beyond direct experience.

Traditional - trust what is familiar, support established groups and methods, honor precedents.

(I imagine Se likes a hands-on approach, can be touchy-feely (SF huggy and ST violent?), and prefers to work with their body rather than mind, while Si prefers to observe the real world than live in fantasy? I've read that Si also builds a mental world based on archetypes and standards, so they have an idea of what a chair 'should' be, for example, and compare objects in the real world to this standard that they've got in their mental catalogue... or something like that? Si is alien to me.
S are the ones who do things as they are 'supposed' to be done; I suppose Se would also tell others to do the same?)


Abstract - comfortable with and inferring meaning from ambiguous and non-literal information. Perceptive.

Imaginative - enjoy being ingenious, clever and novel . . . for its own sake.

Intellectual - learning, acquiring knowledge, mental challenges are valued as an end in itself.

Theoretical - conceptual, automatically search for patterns in observed facts, comfortable with theories and inventing new ones.

Original - values initiative and enterprising, inventive, and novel solutions. Often mistrusts conventional wisdom.

(I imagine that Ni develops ideas by entering deep into their mind, retreating away from reality and going over their thoughts, while Ne might, I don't know, be the sort to act on 'hunches' or something, or be someone who likes to 'suggest new ideas' and things like that? Or who gets new ideas from exploring the world? So an Ni person might develop a story idea by sitting inside and just thinking for a few hours, while an Ne might go for a walk around town for new ideas? Maybe? I don't know.)


Logical - values and trusts detached, objective, and logical analysis.

Reasonable - is clear-thinking, objective, reasoned, and logical in everyday decision-making.

Questioning - intellectually independent, resistant to influence, self confident.

Critical Analytical - comfortable making distinctions, categorizing, making win/lose choices, being in adversarial situations.

Tough Minded - results oriented, will push for valued ends, stick on task. Firm

(I imagine that Te might like debate and technical science-like work, while Ti might like to go over their own ideas in private, in detail, to make sure that they 'make sense'...? I know that I hate debate, but like categorising and like things to 'make sense' in my creative projects.)


Affective - trusts emotions and feelings, values human considerations, in touch with feelings.

Compassionate - makes decisions on overall impressions, patterns, and feelings (including emotional likes and dislikes).

Accommodating - seeks consensus, deferential, conflict avoiding, seeks harmony.

Accepting - tolerant towards human failings, see positive side of others, instinctually seeks win/win resolutions of problems.

Tender Hearted - use gentle persuasion to influence, reluctant to force compliance.

(I imagine that Fe types show their emotions and openly talk about them, while Fi feel them deep down but keep them inside...? I know that I personally have a constant need to 'vent' whenever I react emotionally to anything, and am terrible at keeping my emotions to myself.)

I personally am definitely both N and F... though I can imagine people arguing that I can't be F based on the way I act sometimes on this site. "Why posod, you're not accepting or tolerant of everyone at all!!" and so on. And I certainly like categorising and that kind of thing.
I'd say that generally unpleasant life conditions and being on the receiving end of repeated attacks make all the difference here.

Interestingly, the prototypical bully or 'jock' type - the one who'd go around beating up other people to assert dominance or for fun or whatever - would probably be ESTP... Driven by Se - the need to make an impact on others physically - and also by Ti, which would make him wish to force his views onto others without caring how they feel about it. The P bit at the end just determines the order; ESTP would be Se-Ti while ESTJ would be Te-Si.
Similarly, the stereotypical 'nerd' would most likely be INTP or INTJ... It's interesting how these things compare with the demographics of this site.
(That's for males, anyway; with girls, the bullies might be ESFJ instead, while the nerdy girls - who feel different from others and like poetry and stuff - might be more likely to be INFJ or INFP...)

Se are more likely to be athletic, while Ni are more likely to be academic, but not necessarily... It's not black and white and nobody's so one-dimensional!

M  ScintillaPurpose, who knows more about the Myers-Briggs thing than I do, wrote a comment which explains the Se/Ti/etc things better than I could: ∞ Fig Hunter ∞
5 years ago


◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
I feel like I'll only regret this again, but something keeps coming to mind...

Weeks ago, when I was learning about the Myers-Briggs system, I looked up my type - INFJ - on several websites and read all kinds of descriptions that for the most part did fit with how I am. There were some weird details here and there which seemed too specific, but the overall bigger picture that they painted generally seemed to fit with how I am.

Of interest was a list of traits that I found on some site (I can't remember where), which I'll quote in their unformatted inelegance:
creative, smart, focus on fantasy more than reality, attracted to sad things, fears doing the wrong thing, observer, avoidant, fears drawing attention to self, anxious, cautious, somewhat easily frightened, easily offended, private, easily hurt, socially uncomfortable, emotionally moody, does not like to be looked at, fearful, perfectionist, can sabotage self, can be wounded at the core, values solitude, guarded, does not like crowds, organized, second guesses self, more likely to support marijuana legalization, focuses on peoples hidden motives, prone to crying, not competitive, prone to feelings of loneliness, not spontaneous, prone to sadness, longs for a stabilizing relationship, fears rejection in relationships, frequently worried, can feel victimized, prone to intimidation, lower energy, strict with self

Apart from the really weird one about marijuana legalisation (which I would have thought was a political rather than personality thing), and some others like 'guarded', the overall picture painted by these traits does describe how I am.
And I like being this way. I do not desire to change drastically, and would probably struggle and feel unnatural if I tried anyway.
(Please keep in mind that I only learned about the MBTI thing weeks ago; it's not like I've been aspiring to these kinds of descriptions for years or anything.)

People have been telling me that I use these things to 'excuse' my behaviour, but what does that actually mean? Do they see traits that I have which aren't like their own, or which they don't personally admire, and think that unless I alter myself to be more like them, I'm just not trying?
Is an introvert who says he doesn't really want to go to a party because he's introverted using that as an 'excuse' to not even 'try'?
Is a person with a broken leg refusing to run a marathon using that as an 'excuse'?
What's the difference between an 'excuse' and a 'reason'?

There's not One True Path that we should all follow, one Ideal Personality that we should all aspire to... Or at least, that's what I'd like to think. I don't want to be some tough, 'mature' extroverted type. I am aware that I have anxiety issues that I'm working on because they're less like personality traits and more like a hindering disorder, but other things like my sensitivity are not traits that I have any desire to change because the Ideal Personality to me would be sensitive, introverted, etc.

It's been really bothering me how certain kinds of people have been repeatedly telling me that I use personality types to 'excuse' my not aiming for the same ideal personality that they are.

Also, I hate arguing. I hate it. I hate conflict, and I do not 'grow' through argument. I don't enjoy it, and I don't find it stimulating. It makes me feel physically ill. But of course that's not going to stop people who see conflict as a way of coming to some kind of understanding from arguing with me anyway...

I have expressed distaste for 'Thinky' people... Here's something else from a website:
Thinking Characteristics

- Instinctively search for facts and logic in a decision situation.

- Naturally notices tasks and work to be accomplished.

- Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis.

- Accept conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people.

Feeling Characteristics

- Instinctively employ personal feelings and impact on people in decision situations

- Naturally sensitive to people needs and reactions.

- Naturally seek consensus and popular opinions.

- Unsettled by conflict; have almost a toxic reaction to disharmony.

Can you see how there is dissonance between me and such people? I'm not any 'better' than them, but the approach that comes naturally to them causes me harm and doesn't even achieve anything since I don't operate on that level.

Now, I suppose I should brace myself from the gut punches from people who've essentially ignored everything that I've said here... I'm not quite sure why I keep running into the road, only to be hit by cars every time. Or some silly metaphor or analogy or whatever like that.
6 years ago

MBTI: Episode 3!1

◊ Posted by A β Pseudolonewolf
Categories: Myers-Briggs Personality
Yet again I'm going to be talking about Myers-Briggs, because I've noticed that a lot of people seem to be struggling to decide on their types.

I can't say that I understand the system completely myself... It was only a few days ago that I started looking into it, so my understanding of it is very shallow at the moment. I've been doing more reading, but I think it takes time to really absorb the information and stuff.

Last time, I linked to two other tests, giving three in total which you can use to get an idea of your type.
I got INFJ on all three tests, but other people seemed to get inconsistent results, sometimes very inconsistent.

The best way to understand your type isn't to do tests, though. It's to understand what the letters actually mean.

Here's a site that includes a 'test' (if it can even be called that) which briefly explains the differences between the pairs of letters: ∞ LINK ∞
It makes a point of saying that we all experience both sides of each pair - there are no emotionless robots or people driven entirely be emotions with not a moment of thought, for example - and it's only a preference for one over the other that defines a type.
So an I type will sometimes want to go out, while an E type will sometimes want time alone.
An F type will often think and plan, while a T type will often take emotions into account, but more often, they'll be driven by feelings or analysis respectively.

I'm an F type, but I'm a programmer who spends most of my time in thought, and I'm intrigued by things like arguing about the existence of God.
However, I feel overwhelmed when people go on about fiddly little technical details, or when they talk about all these rules of debate or logical fallacies or whatever.
While I dislike weapons in general, I've always hated how guns have names like 'HK-45' while swords had much more interesting, more personal names like 'Excalibur'. I hated Myers-Briggs for ages because labels like 'INFJ' made me cringe because they seemed too impersonally technical, and I muchly preferred names like 'Melancholic' and 'Phlegmatic'.
I've no interest in or proficiency with computer hardware and would rather use my computer as a creative tool.
I judge everything by how well it fits into my emotional interests, preferences and things like that. I make decisions based on what 'feels right' rather than what reasoning and evidence suggest are the 'best' course of action.
I choose Pokemon based on their looks, not their stats! And I play the Pokemon games to discover new creatures and explore new worlds, for the sake of immersive pleasure; competitive battling has zero appeal to me.
I can't play chess, because I've never had any interest in learning. Competing against another in a game of raw, cold intelligence scares me because I doubt I'd do well, and I dislike conflict and competition anyway.
I have no interest in RTS games because they feel impersonal and technical. I have absolutely no interest in games like Tetris, Pong, etc, which have no characters to relate to or worlds to explore.
I make games to craft worlds; the actual gameplay mechanics are tacked on out of necessity and have little interest to me. I'd rather make a game with an interesting world, than one with innovative mechanics.
I'm interested in UFOs because I love the sense of 'what if?!' about the idea, and am willing to be open-minded about it because I get emotional excitement out of it, while dismissing it because 'there's no reliable evidence' strikes me as incredulous... But that's what I imagine more thinking-oriented people would do. I gain more satisfaction from entertaining the thought than I would from discarding it because it's irrational or illogical or doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

My life is very much full of thinking, pondering, and analysis, BUT it always takes a backseat to my emotions, which determine and drive everything that I do.
This is the kind of things that the letters mean. They don't mean to suggest that you prefer one exclusively, just that one is more prominent than the other.

Here's another page from the same site explaining the letters in yet more detail: ∞ LINK ∞
So if you aren't sure of your types, or even if you just want to improve your knowledge of what these types mean, then it might be a good idea to read these things!

You can also read about your type on this site: ∞ LINK ∞