One of the most popular posts on this site is An INFJ Designer and I’ve had people tell me they are INFJ just from reading it, I haven’t been convinced. Getting that kind of feedback and the increasing tweets and posts about wanting to ‘debunk MBTI’ I thought it is important to get back to basics.
What is MBTI and all these letters?
The MBTI assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions
I got introduced to MBTI 5 yrs ago and I’m still learning a lot. MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs based on Carl Jung’s work A mini-research on the foundations of the MBTI led me to the Yoruba’s divination system Ifá! but that’s a topic for another day though this might make an interesting read.
The MBTI is not astrology, it won’t predict your future or character neither does it tell you everything about your personality. The main focus areas are the absorption of information and the communication of it especially in decision making.
Robert Kaplan and Dennis Saccuzzo state that “the underlying assumption of the MBTI is that we all have specific preferences in the way we construe our experiences, and these preferences underlie our interests, needs, values, and motivation.”
The letters that make up the types stand for various things, belong to four scales and form 16 personality types. We all have bits of everything, but the MBTI instrument identifies what your favorite, preferred functions are.
- First scale I – Introversion ——— E – Extroversion deals with where you love to focus and gain energy from. As someone on the introversion side, I gain energy from being by myself, thinking inwardly and doing work alone, but I have friends who are energized by speaking or being around other people. Learn More
- Second scale S – Sensing ———- N – Intuition focuses on the kind of information you prefer to gather. For INFJs like me, our dominant function is Introverted Intuition which means I love to see more in everything, reading between the lines. Small talk is usually a bit of an annoyance because I want to get to the root of the matter as fast as possible. Learn More
- Third scale F- Feeling ———– T – Thinking deals with what one prefers to make judgements or decisions on, do you go for hard facts or does the way people feel move you more? Learn More
- Fourth scale J – Judging ———— P- Perception This pair describes whether you extravert (act in the outer world) when you are making decisions or when you are taking in information. Learn More
The Different Types
Click on the graphic to find out what the 16 combinations are and maybe, your type.
What is the benefit of knowing Type?
The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type.
For me, the first thing is self-awareness which starts with being honest with your own self. You gain a clearer perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, motivation, and emotions. It will help you understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.
Going beyond Types
Above all this, we are to love our neighbour i.e people who are not us. It doesn’t matter if you know types or not, remember to always act in love and grace towards everyone.
Find Your Type
For the Skeptics
For all still skeptical, this might be helpful MBTI for Skeptics
I connect highly with this tumblr by Arissa Scott, INFJ Doodles
“I dream that long after I’m gone, my work will go on helping people.” -Isabel Myers, 1979