So, I’ve a special treat for some of you. (Key word: Some. Many of you may not even care, or be confused about some of this, but I’ll explain why in a moment) As many of my social media followers know, I’ve currently something of an obsession with MBTI types, that is, Myers-Briggs personality types. I’ve learned about all the common and uncommon ones, why people think or feel the way they do (depending on your particular type, of course– for instance, different types show affection in different ways, different types have different thinking patterns or problem-solving tactics, etc.), how they take in and process information (oh yes! Many different ways of doing this, but for today we’re narrowing it down to two), etc. I found it all very fascinating for me personally, because as an autistic (more on MBTI and autism later), and as someone who struggles greatly in reading people in general, I found the system incredibly helpful– not everything, not my genie, but very, very helpful. Now, there are always minor exceptions, and it isn’t everything when it comes to people, of course, but for the most part it remains very consistent.
So, from now on, at least 1-2 times a week, I will try to do a MBTI post. It could be a special highlight on a certain type, and how that type functions (as well as fictional characters who are that type, to give some examples 😉 ), it could be highlighting a certain contrast, like Fe vs. Fi, or Sensing vs. Inuition (which I post on quite often on social media, LOL), or cognitive function stack-ups. You never know!
Speaking of said acquaintance, since I’m still pretty new to a LOT of this, I’ll be gathering input and resources from *hopefully* two different people: Steve, who I mentioned before, and one of my author buds, Janeen Ippolito herself (Abba willing!). And, ironically, they are both xNTPs. But they will be helping me with some of the technicalities along the way, so I don’t screw everything up. (Because, let’s face it, I’m about as much an expert at this as a moose is at making goose honks.)
So, today, we’ll kickstart off with mostly what I know for certain– the bare-boned basics of MBTI. So strap down, folks, and enjoy the ride! 😉
- Step One–Introversion vs. Extraversion. OK, don’t give me that crud about “ambivert” (thought myself one for a looonnnnggg time, so trust me– I relate). There are introverted extraverts. There are extraverted introverts. But when it boils down to it, there are really only extraverts and introverts. Don’t get me wrong, here– I’ve known some extremely quiet extraverts who are AMAZING listeners. I also know introverts who are terrible at listening, and if they’re with friends, won’t shut the heck up (*looks pointedly at self*). Extraversion and Introversion ultimately boils down to how you GET YOUR ENERGY. HOW YOU RECHARGE. Do you need to be alone for a while after an extensive chat with a teacher, coworkers, friends, family, etc (even if you DO love them)? You’re probably an introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Many introverts actually don’t mind talking, but are kind of awkward when socializing, so *sometimes* may initially appear shy/stand-offish, which is *typically* not the case. Extraverts, on the other hand… Well, if you feel bored when you’re constantly by yourself, and feel energized rather than drained after hanging with friends or fam, then you’re likely more extraverted. These types are *normally* more social, hanging out with friends or family (or texting them) in their free time, though definitely not always. It does not matter, in the long run, how quiet you are, or how talkative and outgoing you are–it’s all about getting that recharge.
- Step Two– Sensors vs. Intuitives. People often hear me yap on social media about this particular set, namely because I refuse to date a Sensor type. Don’t get me wrong; I know plenty of perfectly nice Sensors. But both are very, very different in how they process information they receive. (Sensors also happen to be very common, while Intuitives are a lot more… uncommon) Sensors, for instance, process information through the concrete– things they can sense with their five senses, see, hear, feel, etc. They tend to either live in the moment (often, with some, “YOLO”), or look back and rely on past experiences, to help them out currently. (I’ll explain the further differences between Se and Si in a different post, but for now we’ll stick to just Sensors to make things less complicated 😉 ) They tend to be more traditional-minded; there is great value in this– they are the ones to help us, often, learn from the past so we can apply to the now and the future. Additionally, they are also the ones who often show us how to live in the moment and enjoy life, when necessary. And in theory, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that– they just process that information different than Intuitives. See, Sensors are very detail-oriented. And I kind of admire that. But they sometimes miss the forest for the trees. Intuitives are the BIG-picture thinkers, often theoretical, idealistic, innovative, future-thinking, creative problem-solvers, etc. Intuitives think how all the little details, all the puzzle pieces, could fit together into one big picture. So I guess you could say, in summary, Sensors think about what something IS (i.e., a block of wood), while an Intuitive would be inclined to think of what something COULD BE (i.e., could be made into a boat, chair, etc.). Sensors are OK with mundane work if that’s what it takes to get by– Intuitives, however, are all about meaning; if the work is a means to an end, and doesn’t hold true meaning for them in the long run, they will not be happy. We are often considered “world-changers”. However, Intuitives can be highly perfectionistic, a bit picky and even neurotic (meaning, no. 2, normally, of Google definitions. Not usually no. 1, unless we are talking about a VERY unhealthy, and/or villainous Intuitive, here xD). We tend to rely more on gut feelings and instincts than concrete, equally helpful experiences, which can obviously drive Sensors nuts at times. Nevertheless, we can still be friends– I’m close with a mixed group of both Sensors and Intuitives, but in the end, would probably, ideally, want to date a fellow Intuitive. 🙂
- Step Three– Thinking vs. Feeling. Ahhh, how we make decisions– with our heart or with our head. That’s what it boils down to– another biggie. Of course, we all have a bit of both in each of us (more about cognitive stack-ups in a future post), but right now let’s just focus on Thinking and Feeling. Feeler-dominant types tend to be sensitive (both in the positive and negative aspects), sweet, caring, and compassionate (healthy ones, anyways). They are often labelled, “smol cinnamon roll” types, particularly with ISFP, ISFJ, INFP, ENFP and sometimes INFJ or ESFJ, because they seem like sensitive little dearhearts that need protected from the harsh, cruel realities of this corrupt world. Thinker types, on the other hand, make decisions with cold, hard, matter-of-fact logic and objective facts. They can seem outwardly unyielding, insensitive and harsh because of this blunt, cool demeanor, but trust me, that is an exoskeleton– inwardly, when they open up to the ones closest to them, they are kind of marshmallow-y. Kind of. 😉 (They really do care! Let me give an example. Let’s say you’ve had the worst day possible, and want to just bawl your eyes out– depending on your type, may be in front of others, or in private; I prefer private– and you come home from work/school. If your spouse/sibling/parent is a Feeler, they are more likely to comfort you physically, hear you out, offer to do things for you to make you feel better, encourage, etc. Which is very nice, but Thinkers have a different approach. If someone they care about’s down, they’ll more likely than not want to know WHY, what the root of the problem is, the solution to said problem, thus helping to resolve the issue and helping to restore a sense of contentment and happiness to their loved one’s life. They analyze the issue at its core, and map out how they can help/solve it. They also give advice on how to do so, and are often peeved off when it is not taken, and they are only trying to help. Two different styles of approach.) They are often “paired” together to help balance each other out, actually. I am friends with both Feelers and Thinkers. I appreciate thoroughly both the sweet, caring encouragement of Feelers, and the blunt, *usually* honest, intellectual ways of Thinkers, and would say both sides have their cons, as listed above, too.
- Step Four– Prospecting vs. Judging. Second to last one– I promise (last one if you don’t really count the next)! This is your work functioning style. Judging isn’t what it sounds, I promise– it means, you’re basically a planner. They like having a goal or timetable, and if anything or anyone else gets in their way when they are trying to achieve it, that person better look out! These people are *usually* organized and value closure, clarity, and a sense of predictability. They’ve been known to be decisive as well, although that isn’t always the case. Prospecting types, on the other hand, are flexible, adaptable people who tend to be more spontaneous, and like to improvise. They can go with a plan, but not having options or the ability to improvise at all can drive them absolutely batty.
So there you have it! The entire MBTI list in a nutshell! Hopefully, you can tell by now why I find it fascinating. 🙂 I’ll be posting a lot more about things like this, and create a new category especially for MBTI junk. (You’d be surprised what you can find!) For now, I’ll sign off with a list of all the types:
Sensors: ESFJ,ESTJ, ESTP, ESFP, ISFP, ISTP, ISFJ, ISTJ
Intuitives: ENFJ, ENTJ, ENTP, ENFP, INFJ, INTP, INFP, INTJ