Discovering Your MBTI Type
Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:15 am
Hi all, I thought I'd start a fun new topic for discovering/exploring our MBTI Types. Whether or not you know your type, we can learn more about ourselves by hearing from other's journey to discovering their psychological type. Why does this topic interest me? Well, I have only recently started to explore my psychological type in depth and have already made some significant progress towards personal growth (which is a never-ending endeavor). Simply put, there are things about yourself that you cannot discover any other way than exploring psychological type (at least, not that I know of). So psychological type is a very useful tool to understand why we do many of the things we do. But more importantly it is useful for identifying and exploring our shadow--those areas of our personality which we are not cognizant of. And also for making improvements in those areas of our personality that do not function well, such as those defined by our inferior function. Aside from those functions in our shadow, the inferior function is the most unconscious to us. In many ways, our inferior function is like our Achilles' heel, if we ignore it we do so at our own peril.
For instance, through my own process of self-discovery I identified my dominant type as Ni (introverted intuitive), but did not bother to explore my inferior function, which in this case, is extraverted sensing. The reason this is a problem is that ignoring your extraverted sensing can cause all types of problems in your day-to-day life. For example, not being mindful of your extraverted sensing can leave you disconnected from reality, your immediate surroundings, and your own sensory awareness. Therefore, it behooves us to learn more about our inferior function so that we can overcome these pitfalls, thereby furthering our own personal growth and development.
(I will explore the specifics of the inferior function for Ni dominant types, such as myself, in a future post.)
Re: Discovering Your MBTI Type
Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:52 am
What's your full type then? Mine is INFP, bordering on INTP. The other three axes are quite outspoken.
I have no idea about the inferior type: it wasn't mentioned in the test, or maybe I forgot.
I'm not convinced that it's so hugely useful though. Learning the type didn't tell me anything that I didn't know yet. Maybe it was the setting: the test was done as part of a work-related team building training.
It might indeed be more interesting to know about the inferior type. I haven't heard the term before,
Isn't it simply the opposite of your mbti type?
If so, that would be ESTJ (Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging), which is indeed not the sort of character I would prefer to hang out with. So it's to be expected that I didn't give those qualities as much attention as the rest.
I'll have a look at some of those test sites.
Re: Discovering Your MBTI Type
Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:14 am
Ha, I did one of those online tests and while it confirmed INFP, it refused to reveal my inferior function.
the outcome. It really messes up with the role as diplomat it suggests
Re: Discovering Your MBTI Type
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:12 am
Hmm... Let's see, yeah, those online assessments aren't always accurate. Also, that particular assessment is not the MBTI proper, the real MBTI costs $50 to take online or the MBTI can be administered by a certified MBTI practitioner. Of course, no assessment can tell you what your type is for certain, at the end of the day only you can make that call (as Jung said, these types are merely an orientation). The purpose of the tests is to give you a starting point (or starting orientation), so that through a process of self-discovery, you can eventually determine your true type. The tests can also be used to verify what you have learned through your own self-discovery. That being said, even the free assessments can be used for a starting point and when combined with one's own intuitive insights, then it is possible to yield a correct result. Although, it would be fairly difficult, unless you are knowledgeable of Jung's theory. And I'm not suggesting that one has to spend money on an assessment, but I am merely pointing out that, at the very least, one will need a good amount of self-study into psychological types in order for one's self-assessment to be accurate. So a reasonable amount of self-study into psychological types combined with a whole lot of intuitive insights garnered through self-discovery will allow one to fairly accurately assess their own type.
For instance, I typed myself almost entirely through self-discovery (and a little bit of Jung's theory to start with, in fact, I was simply going off Jung's 4 function model) and my conclusions were that my dominant type was introverted intuitive and so my auxiliary function was then either thinking or feeling according to Jung (and according to Jung's theory, the auxiliary function is in the opposite attitude as the dominant function, i.e. extraverted). (Actually, as Jung more accurately described it, the auxiliary function differs in almost every respect to the dominant function, i.e. the opposite attitude.) But since I became stuck at that point, not being able to distinguish between thinking or feeling as my auxiliary function (since it appeared I used both about equally and couldn't decide which one took precedent), I did a little more research and I discovered the 8 function model. Now, if I had dug a little deeper into Jung's theory, I would have eventually realized that the inferior function is diametrically opposed to the dominant function in every respect. However, the 8 function model made these axes of consciousness, as they're called, blatantly obvious, and so I knew just by looking at it that if your dominant type is introverted intuition, then your inferior function is extraverted sensing. Of course, at this point I was still skeptical of whether this was, indeed, the case as I was basing this solely off theory. However, the more I looked into it, I began to realize all the ways in which I had been neglecting my extraverted sensing capabilities. In fact, that cognitive process was largely unconscious to me, I mean I could perceive it, but it was at the very edge of my perception! (I thought, my god, Jung was right about this stuff!)
So up to this point, everything I had discovered about my dominant type and inferior type seemed to fit really well, and so this gave me a much deeper understanding of my overall conscious orientation. (It was a big aha moment, to be sure.) Of course, discovering my inferior type allowed me to see many of my weaknesses, such as generally not taking good care of myself (showing a lack of self-preservation, which is no laughing matter as I quickly discovered). That is, I get so stuck in my head that I'll miss an entire night's sleep (several times a week, in fact), forget to eat, forget to or not leave enough time to bathe, leave my contacts in for months at a time (to the point where my eyes become red and irritated), etc. This is because my general awareness of my senses is so poor that I hardly even consider them in relation to my physical body and the outside, external world. Another side effect of this is that I have a poor sensory awareness of my environment and immediate surroundings, which can sometimes lead to clumsiness. Now in terms of these two cognitive functions working in opposition to each other, it should become immediately apparent why this is the case, because you really can't extravert your awareness while your awareness is introverted. Likewise, you can't both be aware of your body or bodily needs and be engaged in the cognitive process of introverted intuition, which is an analytical thought process focusing its energy intensely on thoughts, ideas, and concepts. Introverted intuition involves gathering large amounts of data and synthesizing information in order to intuit a pattern. It is characterized by a whole-brain (or zen-like) thought pattern, which synchronizes all neocortex regions of the brain in order to realize (or intuit) an answer. (Finally, neuroscience is good for something!) Introverted intuition (or Ni for short) can be thought of as a kind of advanced pattern recognition, which gives one a bird's-eye (or mandala) view of the world, allowing one to see the 'bigger picture' in everything. Ni dominant types are often regarded as being dreamy, spaced out all the time, or stuck in their heads. Introverted intuitives often describe themselves as being caught in between worlds (at least that has been my conscious experience of it). And while dominant Ni types only appear to be spaced-out, they are in fact, lost in deep thought.
So I hope that sheds some light on the relationship between the dominant and inferior functions. At this point, if you have been able to intuit your dominant and inferior functions, then you are half-way to knowing your MBTI type! The next pitfall to avoid is how the Meyers-Briggs system splits up the 4 'IN' types: INTP, INFP, INTJ, and INFJ. What you will quickly come to discover is that in the Meyers-Briggs system the INTP and INFP correspond to dominant Introverted Thinking (or Ti) and dominant Introverted Feeling (or Fi), respectively--they are, in fact, not dominant Ni types. The inferior function for INTP's is Extraverted Feeling and the inferior function for INFP's is Extraverted Thinking. Only INTJ and INFJ are considered as Ni dominant within the Meyers-Briggs system. Therefore, neither INTP's nor INFP's display the same characteristic strengths and weaknesses as mentioned above for Ni dominant types (at least not to a significant degree). So if the above strengths and weaknesses of the Ni dominant types do not resonate with you, then you are most likely not Ni dominant (in which case your type is most likely either: INTP or INFP). However, if you believe your dominant function is definitely Ni, then you are most likely either an INTJ or an INFJ, which one will depend on your auxiliary and tertiary function stacks.
Although, these two types probably experience the most confusion in determining their auxiliary and tertiary functions, there is most definitely a personal preference corresponding to each type's own particular strengths and weaknesses, as it is not possible for a person to be both types at once. First, let us consider the auxiliary-tertiary function stack of the INTJ type, which is 'Te Fi' (auxiliary Extraverted Thinking / tertiary Introverted Feeling). The INTJ type, perhaps, more than any other type has a tendency to be an arrogant prick (although I may be a bit type prejudiced here). They are sometimes referred to as the 'mastermind' or 'systems thinker' type, because their dominant Ni coupled with auxiliary Te makes them very good at systems analysis. However, because of their tertiary Fi they can be quite insensitive at times and while they are generally good at discerning their own emotions they have difficulty in understanding the emotions of others. For this reason, the INTJ type is more so the archetypal scientist or engineer. On the other hand, the INFJ type has the greatest reputation for empathy of any of the MBTI types. Coupled with their Extraverted Feeling in the auxiliary position they are good at understanding the emotions of others, but have a tendency to be confused by their own emotions. Combined with their dominant Ni, they are very good at human analysis. For this reason, the INFJ type is more so the archetypal psychologist, humanist philosopher, or artist. Also, INFJ's are the most introverted of any of the types due to their often high use of tertiary Introverted Thinking (since thinking is almost always more valued in society than feeling), and so there is a temptation for INFJ's to stay locked into introversion for extended periods of time. For this reason, INFJ's can be as deeply philosophical as INTP types, because of their disproportionate high use of Ti over their auxiliary Fe.
Well this more or less encompasses what I learned in determining my own MBTI type. I hope you gleaned some valuable information, or at the very least, this served as a useful example to you.
*I have included a picture of the 8 function model below (although I usually imagine it as an eight-spoked wheel).