'Ship Series: MBTI Foundation

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-



G'morning, guys!

A week has passed since my last post, and what a week it's been. Writing, spending time with family, prepping for the shock of getting up early again for the new school semester (sigh). This morning I put my special needs son on a bus for the first time in six years. He's only going for a half-day, but I'm fighting the butterflies in my stomach. Hope everyone survives, lol!

In the meantime, the house is blissfully quiet. Suz is stretched out by my side, and a steaming mug of coffee is within reach. Time to get started on the INFJ relationship series.

Before doing any comparisons, I'd like to lay a solid foundation by going over the basics of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and its perspective on type theory. Since I'll be relying heavily on the information offered on their website, an overview seems logical.

As most of you probably know, the MBTI is based on the work of Carl Jung and his insights into the human psyche.  He theorized that people utilize four different functions to experience the world around them. These four are sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking--with one function maintaining dominance. (Wikipedia)

According to Jung, the four functions are paired up into two couples: perceiving and judgment. We perceive (gather information from) the world using sensation and intuition. Then we judge (make decisions about) the world using feeling and thinking. (Wikipedia)

Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, decided to make use of Jung's insights to help others, believing that the essence of his theory "is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment." (Myers-Briggs)

The Myers-Briggs questionnaire categorizes people into different personality types according to eight preferences: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Perceiving/Judging. Everyone displays all eight preferences on occasion, but we typically favor four over the other. The MBTI allows for 16 different personality types, each unique in its approach to the world. (Myers-Briggs)

Basically, the MBTI helps us determine the method to our madness :-)

The Far Side approach to personality type: Top left: SPs, Top right: NFs
Bottom left: NTs, Bottom right: SJs -- LOL!!

Of course, categorizing human behavior isn't a new trend. Philosophers have been speculating about it for hundreds of years. And the MBTI isn't the only instrument available. I'm using it because I'm familiar with it and believe in its accuracy.

Up next...the nuts and bolts of the INFJ and our functional stack. We're going to take a long, hard look at ourselves in order to understand why we might prefer some personality types over others.

Have a great day!

Meridian


5 comments

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jonathanrenck
AUTHOR
January 8, 2013 at 8:43 PM delete

Looking forward to the new writings.

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KylieG
AUTHOR
January 9, 2013 at 7:41 PM delete

I showed my intp husband the comic with the glasses of water and said "which one are you?" he pointed to the bottom left one and then told me he likes to think of the glass as completely full of two different materials and then launched into an explanation of what how a truly half full glass would create a vacuum... Oh I'm so amused. :-P

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Meridian
AUTHOR
January 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM delete

Lol...your comment made me laugh out loud...that is hilarious!! And so typical of the rational, knowledge-seeking INTP :-)

When I first saw the comic, I was a little dismayed that NFs would think "half empty" - but then I realized we're not being negative, we're just recognizing a state of existence, then thinking up ways to fill the glass back up so it's full again...

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
January 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM delete

I love the comic and look forward to reading more... I love reading this page - I always feel like there are people out there that understand me... So nice.

Quintessential INFJ

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