Part 1 of MBTI – Intro

In my mind, university has always been represented by a shot at Philosophy, Psychology and the Mona Lisa. So during my first quarter, I enrolled for all three, and threw in Music Appreciation. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently, it was a mad combination for Freshie. Oh well.

In Psycho 101, I learnt about Oedipus, the inverse of Oedipus [I can never remember it’s name!], oral fixations, bestiality, and Freud. I learnt about the Greek humours [I’m mel-choleric…and don’t worry Arch, I’m not getting into that again]. I also crammed the Book of Jude. What fun!!

A few months ago, Mo introduced me to something even more fun than humours – the MBTI. It took me a while to figure it out, but now I can’t get enough of it! It’s just so fun. Here’s how it works. Every human being has two major thought processes – how they receive information, and what they do with it once they have it. And everyone has their own system of doing this.

Let’s say, for example, a friend or relative is in a car crash. Some people can tell instinctively that the loved one is hurt, without really knowing how or why, while other people will have to be told about it. If the accident happened near you, some people will jump into the wreckage to pull people out, others will call for help, others will rip clothing to perform first aid, others will practice moves they saw on ER or Fear factor, others will totally freeze up. All this depends on your personality.

Now, there are two major ways of receiving information. You can receive it externally, through your senses. You can see, smell, sense, taste or touch things. You can also receive information internally, through female intuition, telepathy, or gut instincts. Human beings use both methods to get info, but everyone has a preferred method. It’s not something you choose, it’s just like being right or left handed. In this case, the ‘right-handed’ people are the Sensors; most people know what they know through observation.

Once you have the information you need, you have to use it. Deciding what to do with your knowledge has two parameters. You can choose to do the sensible, logical thing, the smart thing. Or you can choose to do what is right. The logical way is easier to find, coz it’s simple, mathematical, calculatable [if that’s a word]. The ‘right thing’ to do is a little more tricky, because one person’s right is always another person’s left.

And then, there is how people approach life. Some people like to make plans, to draw up lists, to make timetables and budgets and game plans. Other people like to just go with the flow, roll with dice, drift with the wind, and all that romantic-sounding stuff. They like to be spontaneous.

And finally, and most obviously, the introvert vs the extrovert. Introverts are self-contained. They prefer solo activities – reading, writing, listening to music, silent pursuits. Extraverts are the life of the party. They like to go out there – anywhere, meet people, talk all the time, be outdoors. They are people-oriented. Tell them to sit still or spend a week alone and you might as well waterboard them.

The MBTI has categorized humanity into 16 character types. There are 8 different extraverts and 8 different introverts, and each individual is different. Each type is described using four letters. They can be

  1. I or E
  2. S or N
  3. T or F
  4. P or J

I’s, introverts, are usually more quiet and laid back than E’s, extraverts.

S’s can be identified by how they talk. Ask them to describe something, and they will likely tell you its shape, colour, size, smell, taste – observable features. Ask an N to describe something, and they will probably say what memories it evokes, how beautiful [or not it is]. An ‘S’ sunset is red, orange and brief. An ‘N’ sunset is running to escape the fearful dark that threatens to envelop its tail.

T’s often seem cold and detached, because they value facts more than feelings. It’s not that they are unemotional. It’s just that they don’t let mush cloud their judgement. They will break the rules if it’s logical to do it. F’s on the other hand are all about doing what is right, and are extremely conscientious. Goody goodies.

P’s are thought to be lazy, but it’s just that they live for the moment, and prefer to have fun. J’s are busy being disciplined and getting everything done.

Now the fun begins…

For more information on 3CB, click here.

Part 2 of MBTI – Cognitive functions

Go here, and answer 72 questions. Each question has a Yes or No answer. Be frank. After you finish, you will get a four-letter combination.

Now, go here and find the link to your combination, and read what it says. Marvel at how accurate it is, and accuse them of occult and soothsaying. Then start to wonder how they pegged you so clearly, and read on to find out.

The key in identifying your personality is in the T, F, S and N. We all have a little bit of each, and it’s how we use the four parts that make us who we are. These four letters are called cognitive functions. They’re what your brain does. T is for Thinking, F is for Feeling, S is for Sensing, and N is for Intuition.

Each of the cognitive functions can be ‘e’ or ‘i’. Think of it as talking – you can shout or you can whisper, but you must use words. So when you whisper T, you are Ti; and when you are shouting T, you are Te.

Now then; T is about using logic. Ti is when you use logic internally. You figure out how things work on the inside, like breaking a machine and figuring out how each part works, or like knowing each of the instruments in a band or orchestra. You could call it the Sylar factor. Te uses logic to arrange things into groups, like drawing charts, making timetables, or sorting clothes for the washing machine, or conducting the said band into a perfect whole. Ti dismantles things, while Te puts them back together again. Are you a person who likes to take things apart, and notices the tiny details about stuff that nobody else notices? That’s Ti. Are you the one that cleans up after everyone, divides people into teams, makes flow charts and colour codes stuff? That’s Te.

Then there is F, which is about social justice and doing the right thing. Fe is focused on others, you want to do what is right for them, following society’s standards, even if it hurts you. The matyr, and sometimes the doormat, Fe wants to save the world, often at the expense of self. Fi, on the other hand, does what is right for ‘me’, is terribly stubborn, and often misunderstood, because it is individual, unique, totally internal, and therefore difficult to explain. It is not any less caring than Fe, but it is more independent. Fi is likely to be the eccentric, to stand out from the crowd, because it sets its own boundaries and does not do things ‘just because everyone else does’. It is unique and unconventional, and paints things in its own colour. It decides for itself what is right, based on its own inbuilt conscience which is rarely moved by ‘the mobs’. When Fi’s sense of right and wrong is aligned with the crowd and with the public, then there is no beef, but if Fi feels different or threatened in any way, it is virtually impossible to sway.

‘N’s know things without understanding how or why. They ‘just know’. Ne is outwardly focused – they interpret things. They see you crying and know what caused it. ‘Ni’ are the creepoids [like yours truly] who look at you and know you’re about to cry, even when your face is bright and your eyes are clear.

Finally, S, by it’s nature, is physical. ‘S’ enjoy sensory pleasures, things they can taste, touch, see. So they are fans of beautiful things, nice perfumes, textured surfaces. Se is about the present, what is going on around them, what is happening here and now, they don’t think much about the future. Si’s are focused on memories. They will think about how their room smelt when they were little, how their mum wore her hair, what his skin felt like the first time. Si’s will try to recreate the experiences by wearing, smelling or seeing the same things.

We all possess an S, N, T and F factor, but we are who we are because of our bias. Everyone has one function which they use more than the others. People who are mainly Se’s are spontaneous. They live for the moment, and their priority is things that feel good to the body. Si’s are bodily as well, but they are focused on maintaining things that felt good in the past. They are conservative and stubborn, not wanting to try out new things. Ti’s are so busy figuring out how things work that they lose touch of the world around them. Hence, mad professors never comb their hair. Te’s are always organizing, systemizing and arranging everything. Neat freaks. Fe’s get walked all over trying to make everybody happy but themselves, conversely, Fi’s are all about me, me, me. Tantrums galore. Ne’s interpret signs and symbols, and are great at working out cause and effect. Ni’s just need to get out of their heads more and stop prophesying all the time, even though it’s awfully fun.

F and T are about choices, while S and N are about absorbing info. So if your T or F is strongest, you’re decisive, you act quickly, often without ‘thinking’ or without waiting for all the news. You’re impulsive and quick to respond. But if your S or N is dominant, you weigh all your options before you do anything and are generally more level headed and sensible in your actions, slow to react. Potential to freeze up in emergencies…

For more information on 3CB, click here.

Part 3 of MBTI – the Introverts

Okay, if you’re not completely lost, let’s go back to your four-letter combination. You probably don’t need [or want] to read all this other stuff, so just scroll down to the paragraph that describes you. I’ve tried to be brief, and the links go much deeper. Here goes. Here’s a table summarizing the types.

I’m INFJ. That means I’m Ni Fe Ti Se. My Ni means I know things, I can’t explain how or why I know them, but I just know them. Like I knew he had bought a new car before he told anyone about it, and I knew she was getting divorced just by the sound of her voice. Don’t ask me how, I have no idea. Fe means I want to do right by everyone, so I’m a goody goody always trying to fix the world. Ti means I like to figure things out, but since it’s like my third [tertiary] function, it’s weak. I analyse things rather than taking them apart. And Se means I do enjoy physical sensations, a little, so I can be a little wild sometimes, though not very often. Find careers info here, look here to find out about your relationships, and here for personal growth tips.

INFP, means you are Fi Ne Si Te. You, my love, are very stubborn, and the most important person for you is you. It doesn’t matter what the world wants or needs, if it doesn’t sound right in your heart, you’re not doing it. Your Ne tames your stubborn streak, because it lets you know how other people are feeling just by looking at them, so you can decide how to respond to them. It makes you conflicted, because you know when you are hurting people, and have to choose between them and yourself. You react before you fully interpret things though, so you’re impulsive. The Si factor makes you long for ‘the good old days’ so you probably like old music and retro fashion. You try to relive your childhood, going back to the places you grew up and trying to settle there. Your Te means you can plan things out really well, if you feel like it, which isn’t very often. Career info here, and here is a tree for growth and some advice on matters of the heart.

INTJ, these are kina Miano and Shiko-Msa. Ni Te Si Fe. I have read that you don’t let people get close to you. That’s because you can read them, you know their intentions, and you know that, logically speaking, if you let them hurt you, they will. The INFJ up there knows this as well as you do, but the INFJ wouldn’t hurt a fly, so they let the fly give them diarrhoea. INTJ on the other hand stays safer than sorry. You organize your life in a tight, set schedule, and may no one get in your way, or else. If you decide lunch is at one, then lunch is at one, and any latecomers can starve. That’s the Te in you, and it’s also what makes you a rigid J. The Si factor makes you wary of new experiences, preferring the tried-and-tested approach to things, and the Fe strengthens this because you feel that keeping things as they should be makes life better for everyone. INTJ careers here, relationships here, and personal growth.

INTP, Shinskydadon, that’s you. Ti Ne Si Fe. You’re impulsive because you act before you have heard all the facts. But you do use the few facts you’ve gathered systematically. I read that when you do something, you can’t explain it except in bits and pieces. That’s because you reacted before you knew all the steps, and you used you Ne to interpret those few steps and to fill in the gaps. You can fix broken things, but you can’t tell us how. The Si makes you close to your family, since childhood comforts are important to you. The Fe makes you kind, you don’t want to hurt anyone, if you can help it. But you’re more absorbed in your little ‘fix it’ projects, so you sometimes forget everything and everyone else. Careers info, relationships, and some tips to help you grow.

ISFP, Mo, my teacher, you fall here. Fi Se Ni Te. Stubborn, self centred, it’s your way or the highway, now! Your Se makes you love the moment, so you’re one for instant gratification. Me, me, me, now, now, now. The perpetual toddler. And cute too, toddlers are that way. Ni gives you a deep understanding of people’s psyche, and you can usually tell what they are thinking or feeling, but you don’t focus on them for long – your Se-Fi combination makes you somewhat flighty. Te means when you choose to you can be very good at organizing things and getting them done. But you have to really want to, and there has to be something in it to appease your Fi. Careers here, relationships there, and some water for your tree.

ISFJ, you are Si Fe Ti Ne. You are conservative, old is gold, from music to food to hair to shoes. Ne-yo is annoying right from his name. Neo-soul is an oxymoron, and retro bugs you no end. You want the pure sanctity of ‘the original’. Fe makes you a goody goody, so want society to function the right way. You care about the world, and you try to get people back to their roots. Ti means you have an understanding of the inner workings of things, the constiutuent parts of objects, machines, functions. You can pick out individual instruments in a piece of music. And Ne means you can interpret symbols, though it’s a weak, minor characteristic. This is what you should do for money, here are keys to your heart, and here’s a ticket to green belt.

ISTJ, I believe this is you Feelme. Si Te Ni Fe. You’re into traditions as well, keeping things the way they were. But your Te makes you more pushy about it, more J, because you can arrange things just the way you want them. A bit of a control freak, that’s you, and opinionated. But reliable, people know they can count on you to deliver. Your Ni makes you insightful, and you surprise others – and yourself – with your occasional eureka moments. The Fe means that you do think about others, but as a last resort, it’s not high on your priority list. Logic is king, feelings are annoying, and have no place in judgements. Here’s your job site, a journal, and some flowers. Read the journal, I insist.

ISTP, unajijua. Ti Se Ni Fe. The Ti makes you come off as cold as unfeeling, because you function mostly on logic and distrust emotion. Also, because you love to take things apart and figure them out, you ignore ‘people’ and prefer to be with ‘things’ so you like gadgets, and you don’t need the manual. Your Se makes you spontaneous and sensory, so you like anything physically stimulating – sights, sounds, scents, textures. Ni means you have a level of gut instinct that you sometimes fall back to, and your Fe means you do think about people, and try not to hurt them. Job stuff here, look here for greens and emotional stuff hapa.

Now for the E’s…

For more information on 3CB, click here.