Why MBTI

I got to know about MBTI around 6 years back. It was exciting, but I was not as interested in it as I am now.

At first, I had gotten INT(F)J as the result(s). I read about both. I also read about other MBTI types. I was impressed with the similarities between my personality and the description of the INTJ type. But I also noticed similarities with other types as well, especially INTP, INFJ, ISTP, ENTP, etc. I also found the interpretations to be shallow and about the stereotypes. I also thought and still do that more often than not the questions can be interpreted differently by different people and that this can lead to mistyping. The questions also seem to be only touching the surface.

Then I stumbled upon something, an article or a video, I don’t quite remember, that introduced me to the concept of cognitive functions and that was it. There is also the fact that humans are complex beings that MBTI attempts to describe by way of sixteen explanations.

I kept on learning about them and finally concluded that my MBTI is INTJ. During this time, the question that came up the most in my mind is, “is it INTJ or ENTP?” Yes, the types are different and I realise that. But I do notice similarities between my personality and other types and especially with ENTP. With ENTP, I saw that the functions, after removing the Introversion-Extraversion direction, are the same and in the same order. But after learning and thinking some more, I concluded that mine is INTJ.

The functions are the key to my interest in MBTI. I do some reflecting and contemplating from time to time and I like improving as an individual. Awareness of the functions facilitate that. The functions for INTJ are Ni, Te, Fi and Se, in order of preference and development (ENTP – Ne, Ti, Fe, Si).

Now, we don’t implement the order all the time, neither do we use the four functions only. But knowing about the functions gives us a framework to work on. We can, at times, focus on developing in each area that the role of the functions coincide with. That is the reason I am so interested in MBTI.

There have also been times when I would enthusiastically ask others about their MBTI and suggest them to take a test (or discuss/observe and try to find it out) and discuss it with them. I was more focused on the cognitive functions though. I think, of course, that everyone is unique; and it’s about the functions and the way these functions are used. It helped me understand people (stretch my mind, be empathetic, broaden my horizon, etc.) and the process also helped me in improving my understanding of the functions and of the MBTI framework.

But, I am no expert and it sometimes gets hard to explain the subtle differences among the functions; and not everyone I ask is obliged to entertain my curiosity and my endeavour of learning. Besides, there are other ways of trying to understand people that I should practice (like “normal” interactions, for example, which is an area where I may be lacking in). I seldom do it now and I usually do it when I find that the other person may be interested in it or may derive some benefit from it. I am still learning when an opportunity presents itself though.

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