Sunday, March 29, 2009

MBTI Angel - In his words re: Jung Function Theory

(Concrete Jungle by Alex Cybriwsky,

My sweet, smart, spiritual and very helpful MBTI angel has spoken once again! With his permission, I post his reply to me in hopes that you, too, will find clarity in understanding your true fit type. I've come to understand that sometimes, different systems interpret the Jung functions differently (for example, how the Ti and Te functional descriptions can be reversed through interpretation, whereas the ability to relate things is given credit to Te on some sites and to Ti on other sites, and how the conflict between T and F can sometimes be interpreted as the conflict between J and P, thus making me a cusp type between INFJ and INTJ (INxJ) on some tests and then the cusp between INTJ and INTP (testing as INTx on other tests). But in the end, these systems might be arriving at the same goals using different methods. In the end, we're all connected and have all of these functions within us! What have I gained from the knowledge? I strive to be less focused on my own views and defensive of the logic I think I see all the time, to loosen up and develop more empathy even as my logic (my perceived sense of well-being) seems to be getting screwed by irrationality. You know? I seem to remember reading somewhere that an INTJ doesn't bother laughing at a joke unless it was really funny. If that's true, 90% of New Yorkers would be INTJ. Maybe living in an urban area for extended periods of time will do a number on the psyche - what we learn to do to thrive in a city characteristic of survival of the slickest. You ain't pullin' the wool over my eyes, buddy! Come spend some time in this concrete jungle and you might understand. Sometimes, it's enough to make you cry.

Here's what he had to say:

"I think what is going on here is the following.

"You have a very strong Ti - a need to know how things work. You have a strong Te - a need to know how things relate. Your Te seems to be less developed than your Ti, but still very effective. You have a strong Ni - the need to ask why. You also have a strong Ne - a need to explore possibilities. Your strong Fi will cause you to feel strongly about your curiosities.

"Because of these things, you're not fitting into any of the molds very well. You don't have to fit into them. Everyone is unique, and the MBTI is a very generalized system. While a lot people fit well into these archetypes, textbook fits are rare.

"I don't even fit into them perfectly. My preference order is Ni ≈ Fe > Fi ≥ Ti ≈ Se ≥ Ne > Te ≈ Si. I have strong capacity down to Ne, and good capacity with Te and Si. Clearly, this is not the standard formula for an INFJ. INFJ is just my best fit.

"In your case, Ti > Ni > Te > Fi > Ne > Se> Fe> Si is very difficult to find a best fit for. The closest fit seems to be INTJ since you are Ni > Te > Fi > Se. But, you have a very strong Ti preference and your Ne is stronger than your Se, which means you're also going to have some very INTP tendencies, and depending on which function is more useful to a cognitive solution will behave more like one or the other. At times when your feelings become strong, you'll even seem a little like more an INFP.

"None of these types define you. You define them. The cognitive processes you have developed are your own. The types are just summations of common patterns in cognitive preference. Your pattern isn't especially common. In trying to find an explanation for why you are so unique, you've followed your need to ask why and explore possibilities to figure out how you work and how the parts relate. You found the actual pieces that make up these MBTI types, and in doing so have found a way to truly understand how you work and how these parts relate - because you don't fit the mold. You've proven you are who you are by this process. I am happy for you to have found such a degree of enlightenment and self awareness!

"But... if you don't want to bother explaining all of this to people, I'd just tell them that you're an INTJ. It's your closest fit, and gives people the initial sense of your personality that they are seeking when they ask about your MBTI. If someone wants to know more, then tell them that you have a strong Ti preference, and Ne is not too far behind your other INTJ functions. Most importantly, use it as an opportunity to explain to them the truth that no external definition is going to change the nature of a person. ;-)"


Update posted on March 31, 2009: Enneagram 4w5: The Bohemian

Related topic: Myers-Briggs, INTJ, and Autistics posted on June 16th, 2007, NTs are Weird blog - An Autistic's View of the World,