Podcast – Episode 0336 – Why You May Struggle Determining Your Personality Type

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the reasons you may struggle with finding your best fit personality type.

If you want support in figuring out your best fit type – we have professional profilers that can work with you to discover how your mind is wired.
Find out more about Personality Type Consultations here.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Why people end up struggling to figure out their type, sometimes for years.
  • Struggling to determine your type vs being mistyped.
  • Discuss possible reasons someone may struggle to land on a best fit type.
  • #1 Reason: Partial or Incomplete understanding of the system.
    • We all have all parts, but which one supports the other.
    • Early Attachment without re-evaluation as you gained more knowledge.
    • Common type biases in typology communities.
    • A question to ask yourself around attachment.
  • #2 Reason: Elements of the system that can complicate the typing process.
    • The presence of Authenticity (Introverted Feeling).
    • The presence of Perspectives (Introverted Intuition).
    • When an entire polarity ‘looks like’ another function.
    • Solution: the strategy of ‘low-hanging’ fruits.
  • #3 Reason: Oversimplifying prototypes in your life.
    • “I am not anything like …”
    • “That type is so cool!”
  • #4 Reason: Over-importance of identifying your best-fit type.
    • 2 patterns of why your brain may be resisting finding clarity on your best-fit type.
    • What to do about them.
  • #5 Reason: Cultural and Social Expectations.
    • Where do you end and others begin?
    • Suggested practice: creating a family tree (can apply to congregation, institution, demographic).
  • #6 Reason: Levels of Growth.
    • Map your developmental narrative against potential best-fit types.
    • Example: the growth narrative of INxPs vs INxJs.
  • Hang in there… and why this struggle can be a powerful thing.

 

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Showing 11 comments
  • IxTx?
    Reply

    I think you’re on to something with the “exaggerated type patriotism” thing, i.e. “that type is too good for me”. Another thing (at least for me) is the type communities’ answers when you ask. I thought I had my type nailed down, but wasn’t entirely sure, so I asked on a forum. The reply was, only slightly exaggerated, like a shotgun blast of types, mostly other than the one I thought.
    I think my description of myself was skewed, to parts that I prefer to share and to parts that are easier to describe, and to some extent because I avoid telling things that may compromise my anonymity.
    In retrospect, I had probably read up more on the likely types and functions than half of the people responding, but the doubt remains.
    I don’t want to say I’m a certain type unless I’m pretty sure. I even include a question mark in my signature since I’m just a bit short of my set threshold of definitely declaring myself a T.

  • K
    Reply

    ADHD
    HSP
    Atutism
    Social anxiety
    Treated by ETOH
    Meditation for anyone is helpful

  • Justine G
    Reply

    Thanks guys,

    1) I can think of at least one more reason:

    The potential role of abuse/trauma on emotional-blocking and the relevance this has on feeler/thinking categorisation. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that routinely suppressing emotion just meant you were a ‘thinker’.

    The effect of disorders in emotional-attachment and intimacy issues are examples of what I am talking about. So for example, as an INFP you might be ‘expected’ to seek emotionally-intimate friendships/relationships. This pattern could be hugely disrupted by an attachment/intimacy disorder.

    2) I thought all your podcast was very good, except the last ‘reason’ for me kind of contradicted your earlier point regarding ‘nuance’ of type. I say this as you present expected development of types (as a way to further narrow down type) as if it were nearly always strictly linear. This kind of surprised me as you seemed open to Dr Drenth/Elaine Shallocks view that many people do not develop in nearly as ‘neat’ a fashion (in the video you recently posted).

  • Dayne Mikelle
    Reply

    Hi! The first time I tested for MBTI was my senior year of college. I scored as an ENFP and did so sporadically for several years following this time. However, over the past few months, I have been going back and forth between ENFP and INFJ. I know these sound almost contradictory, given the inverse of the cognitive function attitudes, but I genuinely identify with both of these types – I’m also an HSP.

    Antonia – When I heard you mention something along the lines of a highly developed dominant Ne integrated with a healthy inferior Si, it can almost look like Ni (INFJ). That got me thinking – I know our shadow functions are traditionally considered our “demon” functions or what comes out in us when we are distressed. However, what if the opposite is true? Could our ego development continue to integrate so profoundly into our personality that using our shadow functions is actually a sign of growth and emotional maturity?

    I would love your thoughts on this theory, or any feedback!

    • Sheila
      Reply

      I was also wondering about the doings of the sixth function and the level of influence it can have – both when still ‘untouched’ and when integration of it begins. How does it show up differently? Would love to hear some future podcasts about the shadow functions! – I think some of us are ready for it 🙂

    • Sheila
      Reply

      And thanks a lot for this episode! I too have been uncertain for years between two types. It absolutely helped me put another few nails in the ground to fasten the tent of my INFJ-ness.

  • Melissa Tartaglia
    Reply

    When I first tested, through my college, the result was ENTP. That was almost 30 years ago. I read the description of ENTP and it didn’t fit, so I didn’t give much credence to MBTI.

    Ten years later I ran across MBTI again because I’ve always been drawn to systems of personality, forensic psychology, etc. At that time, I was emotionally fragile because my fiance had committed suicide a couple months previously, my boss suddenly closed his office due to bi-polar problems and I had to change jobs, and I had to move. I took the MBTI and tested as ENFP. Again, it didn’t fit. Tested again shortly after that and I got INFP. It seemed not too far off, because I’m very creative and rely heavily on my intuition. I began typing everyone around me fairly accurately.

    Even though I found it easy to type others using my “intuition”, I still had trouble identifying as INFP. About 4 months ago I found your podcast and website and began to study the cognitive functions. When I listened to your two podcasts regarding Ti v Te and Fi v Fe, the Ti and Fe resonated with me. I had wondered before if I was actually an INTP, but I knew an INTP who was a complete dick to his wife and I didn’t see myself as someone who could be so condescending and controlling as he is. Plus, though I am gifted and a member of Mensa, I’ve never given myself permission to believe I’m intelligent.

    Anyway, I took your personality test online and tested as an INTP. When I read the description with new eyes it hit me like a brick. Ninety-five percent of it fit. Why hadn’t I seen it before? I thought I knew myself so we’ll. I’m so good at typing others. I felt (feel) embarrassed at my lack of self-insight. But another part if feels as if some heavy, dark cloud has been lifted.

    I am now giving myself permission to utilize my Ti driver and it feels great. Ut i know also I really need and want to work on my Fe.

    Thank you, Joel and Antonia, for all you do. It may be late in life for me to finally be comfortable with what makes me tick, but I’m glad for the 30 or so years I have left to grow and make my contribution to society.

  • Sara McGowan
    Reply

    I found it strange to hear that Authenticity users sometimes struggle to find their type. As a Fi dominant, the concept of not being sure who I am feels a bit alien to me. When I first discovered Myers-Briggs typing, I did as many online tests as I could find, and most of them correctly typed me as INFP. A couple came out as INFJ so I did some deep diving into the cognitive functions of both types which gave me a really good grounding to start from, as between them they cover them all! The Personality Junkie INFJ-INFP Type Clarifier Test was also really useful, as it takes you through all your answers afterwards and shows you which particular function each answer points towards.

  • Erik Bland
    Reply

    I like the idea that Joel and Antonia have suggested in another podcast (atleast I think they did?) – that an accurate description of someone’s best-fit type should feel very natural and explanatory for them (i.e. the best-fit type description should feel like a description of oneself), even if they have tested as another type. I know which personality type feels most natural to me based on it’s description, and I usually (but not always) test as this type.

    When it comes to helping others identify their type, I’m not skilled enough to type another person just by knowing or talking to them. I can guess, and while this can be fun at times, I’m not completely confident in my accuracy. But I did have an interesting experience personality typing my family recently:

    Every year over the winter holiday, I visit my family and create a game for them to play in order to distribute gifts. This recent year, I had each family member take a personality test and report their results to me but no one else. I found a dozen or so stereotypical examples of each personality type from the experts and armchair-experts on Google. Think of silly examples like ‘Which Game of Thrones character are you, based on MBTI?’. And then each family member had to guess which MBTI example was the correct fit for each other member, including themselves, based on the type they tested as.

    Over the course of this game, most of the family members seemed to fit with the examples presented by their personality types to some degree. As we played the game and matched individuals with the dozen stereotypical examples, we could identify some members that seemed to fit their tested type description very well, some that fit reasonably, and only one that (much to the humor of the group) didn’t seem to be a fit at all.

    That said, I understand that identifying one’s own personality type will be easier for some than for others, and this method of analyzing type descriptions and examples may not be sufficient for everyone.

    • Sara McGowan
      Reply

      I love the sound of that game Erik, that’s a brilliant idea!

    • Dayne Mikelle
      Reply

      That is such a fun idea, Erik! I would be interested in doing that in our next gathering.

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