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Category Archives: Intro to MBTI

Four Types: Rational, Guardian, Artisan, Idealist

Before I move onto functions, I’d like to discuss the general categories in a little more detail. There are four categories of type, characterized by a two letter combination. Let’s start with those who prefer intuition.

NT: The Intuitive Thinker

Those familiar with MBTI may use these words to describe NTs:

Geeky, nerdy, callous, private, into video games, weird, abstract, lost in thought, highly intelligent, weird, logical, weird, systematic, weird, evil masterminds, hypothetical, trolls, lives in their parent’s basement, socially inept, quirky (a term that can be applied to most intuitives), technologically savvy

Now, these are stereotypes, so keep that in mind. I won’t regurgitate statistics for you, because I myself don’t believe them. I will say that maybe 3% of everyone I have ever met has been an NT. That is being generous. Many people test as NT due to a lack of understanding of MBTI. That’s okay. I’m here to help with clarifying.

NF: The Intuitive Feeler

NF stereotypes

Fighters for a cause, overly emotional, compassionate, seeking their one true love, loyal, abstract thinkers, sentimental, at times very logical, passionate, selective in love, good with words, readers, writers, artists, poets, moral, dreamers, unique, crazy, irrational, strange

I have met a fair number of NFs relative to NTs. This is just my personal experience. Those who prefer intuitive functions tend to be rarer than those who prefer the sensing functions. This probably has to do with evolution.

A bomb falls from the sky

NF- doesn’t notice, too buried in a romance novel

NT- doesn’t notice, as they are too busy thinking about how to make systems more efficient

SJ- notices, calls everyone to order

SP- identifies best course of action. Runs.

This is more for amusement than anything, but there is truth to it. Intuitives tend to be very spacey and lost in thought. And above all, weird. Next, I shall discuss the sensing types.

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Perceiving and Judging

Finally, let’s discuss the final letter used in MBTI. So, are you a perceiver, or a judger? The best way to discern what you are is to answer this:

Am I an information gatherer, or a decision maker?

Perceivers, at their worst, are extremely indecisive. Perceivers primarily perceive the world from an information gathering perspective. They soak up whatever has their attention, but won’t necessarily act on it. Judgers, on the other hand, are better with decisions. Perceivers are more likely to:

  • be late to things
  • be disorderly
  • be forgetful
  • be scattered
  • be relaxed

Judgers are more likely to

  • be hard-asses
  • be on time (and stress greatly when they aren’t)
  • care about what other people think
  • be clean cut
  • be clean. Period.
  • be active leaders (not that perceivers don’t make good leaders- they just tend to not actively pursue this role)

This function is pretty straightforward. Now we can move onto functions.

Thinking and Feeling

This dichotomy is another one that people frequently get confused on. Let’s look at some basic thinker/feeler differences

Feelers

Information is processed through a feeling function before a thinking function. This information is either internalized and compared against a self-created system or externalized through a system that relies heavily on society and what other people believe (this is the simplest way I can put this).

Feelers rely on their feeling function when making decisions. They ask themselves how does this make me or others feel. Because of this, they are frequently seen as compassionate or warm people, as they are naturally more attuned to other people’s feelings, or at least their own. When I discuss functions, we’ll see in what instances feelers can be rather callous. On the contrary-

Thinkers

Information is processed through a thinking function first. Again, this information is either internalized or externalized. Internalized logic is much like internalized feeling- it is a self created system and viewed as nearly impervious to anything. On the contrary, an externalized thinking function tends to be more malleable. Those who use the externalized thinking function tend to be better at mobilizing (actually getting stuff done, at best). Those who internalize information logically tend to, at worst, be impractical, as their system is more abstract. While in some ways the internalized thinking function is very useful, it can manifest itself in the form of sitting around and thinking, rather than doing, all day (especially seen with xNTPs).

 

After reviewing these differences, it can be easy to see why thinkers can come off as colder than feelers.

What Feelers may say to Thinkers

You’re not compassionate

YOU’RE MEAN I HATE YOU

You don’t care about people

You’re too logical

Things aren’t that black and white

A Thinker to a Feeler

You need to be more logical

That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say

Will you calm down?

You don’t make any sense

Why are you angry at me? I didn’t know you implied you wanted a kiss!

I’m sorry I forgot your birthday for the eighth year in a row!

Thinkers can be somewhat oblivious at times (even those who use sensing functions). However, a thinker with a well-defined feeling function can be very attentive. As you learn more about functions and personality, it is important to self reflect, and see what you can work on.

 

Intuition and Sensing

Onward and forward to the second letter of your/your lover’s/your pet antelopes type! For those who would like to start from the beginning, go to the page on introversion and extroversion.

If you are typing someone, fear not if you cannot decide whether or not they have a preference for introversion and extroversion. People are not always so black and white, and you may see many sides of a person in a year (though hopefully the healthy sort of sides).

I personally think that the intuition/sensing dichotomy is one of the most obvious, as Intuitives and Sensors tend to experience the world very differently (even those that do not use a sensing/intuition function first). Again, MBTI is about what your preferred way to perceive is. Let’s look at a few (somewhat black and white) hypothetical situations:

First, Let’s Give a Sensor a Flower

The Sensor picks up the lilac, and immediately notices the smell, the shape, and perhaps the exact color. They may or may not be reminded of something- however, they will more than likely notices the minute details of the flower. This is because Sensors live and perceive the world through their five senses. Sensing is a function that deals more with what is than what could be, and sensing something is picking up traits of your surroundings (whether it be the environment or the variety of objects).

Let’s Give the Intuitive a Flower

The Intuitive may not even notice you gave them a flower. An example of a reaction an intuitive may have to a flower is to compare it to the softness of their child’s hair. To the smell, an Intuitive may very well be taken back in time, connecting the scent of the current to a scent in the past. Or perhaps a mad NT got a hold of the flower and is plotting it’s use in world domination. While there are certainly dichotomies within dichotomies, the overall difference can be summed up to:

Sensing perceives in the present and through the five senses, whereas intuition draws connections from what is sensed. 

Perhaps, so far, you have felt that you are a Sensor and are angrily about to smash a yam into the computer, for you too make connections. Fear not! Soon we shall discuss the variety of functions that different types use soon enough.

Let’s stick a sensor and an intuitive in a white room.

Intuitive, “why are we in this white room? It would be really cool to paint this. I wonder if there is anyone on the other side of the wall”.

Sensor (driven mad by the whiteness) begins to think of a plan of action. Wondering and thinking like that will not get them out.

General Statements about Intuitives and Sensors

Intuitives

Imaginative, tends to like to read and think, extrapolates, tends to enjoy subjects like philosophy and other abstract ideas, at worst impractical, can lose track of time (think of the Absent Minded Professor- most likely an xNTP), may forget things like birthdays, weddings, and even names

Sensors

Perceives through fives senses, practical, down to earth, may not like to read, or may not like to even learn, tends to be coordinated and inherently more extroverted, uses descriptive language instead of abstract language, discusses real world things more often (sports, the birdhouse they are building, the party they are going to attend, etc)

 

Keep in mind that these are not meant to be read like the Gospel. Or even like the back of a cereal box. These statements can apply to both types, but what we are trying to do here is seek patterns in people so that we may better establish what their overall preferences are.

Introversion and Extroversion

Do you like to be alone a lot? Perhaps your friends tell you that you bottle things up. On the contrary, you are free with information, but are maybe a little slower to recognize the impact of your words. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, congratulations- you are human! Before I go on to describe the differences in introversion and extroversion, I am going to put in the first of many disclaimers: introversion and extroversion describe the perception of information. It is notabout: whether or not you like alone time, whether or not you like people, whether or not you feel popular, and whether or not you are shy. I have known extroverts that have been very shy, and introverts that have been very popular. It is important to rid yourself of preconceived notions in order to more accurately type yourself and others.

I) Energy: Extroverts, on the whole, gather energy from interacting with people. Perhaps you know someone who begins to laser down the beams of their house when they are stuck inside for too long. They begin to eat only microwaved food and they foam at the mouth. Chances are, this person is an extrovert (another disclaimer: stereotypes may intentionally or unintentionally be used in the introduction as a simple mechanism to help those new to MBTI to begin their quest to type themselves and others).

On the contrary, you may know someone who gets irritable, sleepy, or withdrawn when around others for more than a few hours, or when they perceive are with too many people at a time. This is a more apt description for our introverted friends. Introverts tend to need more alone time than extroverts, and also tend to be more private.

II) Pursuit of Interest: Introverts naturally tend to be deeper than extroverts (that isn’t to say that extroverts cannot be deep as well) and will likely pursue only one or two love interests during high school with extreme passion (most likely hidden), have only one or two job options they truly want to do, have only one or two hobbies that they pursue with fervor, etc. Extroverts, on the other hand, may have six or seven different hobbies, a large circle of friends (or those they are only lightly acquainted with), and be filled with countless ideas (this is especially true for ENxx’s).

III) Perception of Information: this topic is slightly more advanced, as it deals with the topic of how people process information. All introverts process information through an introverted function first (Ti, Ni, Si, Fi) as opposed to extroverts, who process information through extroverted functions (Te, Ne, Se, Fe). the “first” in emphasized because all of the types use introverted and extroverted functions, but in different orders. For this reason, I like to this of functions as a sort of filter for people (again, I will later go into more detail on the topic of functions (and some debates around them).

You now have two relatively simple tools (and one that requires a little more thought) that you can use in determining whether or not someone is introverted or extroverted. Later one, I will discuss the other dichotomies more in-depth.

Welcome to MBTI

My name is Sarah, and I am an ENTP. I am moderately (perhaps overly) obsessed with MBTI. Thus, it makes sense that I start a blog to rant ferociously write about and discuss MBTI, one of my favourite systems.

What is MBTI?

MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) is a system used to define the variety of ways people perceive the world. There are 16 types which fall under 4 categories. These preferences create these different types, making us almost unique little butterflies.  These categories are known as Idealist (NF), Rational (NT), Artisan (SP) and Guardian (SJ)

A Little More Nitty-Gritty

There are four letters assigned to each type. Here is an overview of the four dichotomies that are analyzed:

  • Introversion vs. Extroversion (I/E)
  • Sensing vs. Intuition (S/N)
  • Thinking vs. Feeling (T/F)
  • Perceiving vs. Judging (P/J)

Later, we can discuss the functions that make up types. For now, let’s stick to the basics.