Can your MBTI change as you mature/grow older? | INFJ Forum

Can your MBTI change as you mature/grow older?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Bellosome, Jan 24, 2017.

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  1. Bellosome

    Bellosome swimming against the current
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    not sure if there's a similar thread to this, but i was wondering if one's MBTI type is changed overtime due to experiences/maturity?

    I have a college mate who just posted her MBTI and said from ENFP gazillion years ago to ISFP 2017.. then her friend commented from ESFP 5 years ago to INFJ now..

    is it possible?

    Thanks in advance. :)

     
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  2. asdfghjk

    asdfghjk probably a wizard idk

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    Nope. The theory behind MBTI is that the personality can only mature and I would agree. Complete 180 personality changes are rare.
     
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  3. ruji

    ruji Permanent Fixture

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    I think it's 50 times more possible to mistype yourself.

    According to MBTI, you can't, but honestly, who really knows?
     
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  4. OP
    Bellosome

    Bellosome swimming against the current
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    can work/family can be considered a factor for change?
     
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  5. In the Wings

    In the Wings Community Member

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    What sort of effect did the work/family stuff have? I could see a greater need to "rise to the occasion" in work to be a possible grounds for a type change, for instance.
     
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  6. OP
    Bellosome

    Bellosome swimming against the current
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    family, with being eldest and having to be the responsible one or forcing one to be responsible towards their siblings and work, from like being artsy to being a programmer or nurse since it's more in demand..
     
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  7. charlatan Community Member

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    I think it's worth noting that the MBTI is, like the Big 5, a standard product of linear modeling, and there's really a huge convergence in personality research that continuous dimensions, i.e. where you can have degrees of preference, are more realistic than discrete types.
    We use discrete types as a convenience, but you can be in-between in one or more dimensions.

    The general sense I've developed is that, to the extent someone "changes" type, it could be for example because on whatever dimensions they moved over closer to the other end, perhaps one facet was being more expressed than others at a given time, meaning they weren't strongly polarized to either end to begin with.

    I can tell you that I was more conventionally extraverted as a young one by all indicators, but I'm less so now. The reason for this is that I have something of a mismatch between two aspects (called the enthusiasm and assertiveness ones -- the former is more to do with excitability, being talkative, and so on, and the latter is more related to asserting one's views/leadership). One reason for this is I'm pretty high on fear aspects of the Neuroticism dimension, and it tends to make people less assertive if they're afraid.
    As a young one, perhaps I was a bit more in a bubble, and didn't have a chance to realize this stuff, but over time I realized I'm hesitant/inhibited by fear, and so behaviorally I changed in how much I displayed extravert traits, but that doesn't mean I fundamentally changed....it just means I'm not a strong extravert, never was, and my environment was more conducive to expressing E traits earlier.
     
  8. OP
    Bellosome

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    @charlatan but from ENFJ to ISFP? that's too different..
     
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  9. charlatan Community Member

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    @Bellosome -- I agree 3-4 flipping is a lot, but if none of the 4 (or all but the F/T) were strongly one way or another it's possible. And contrary to what some think, not having a strong leaning one way or another needn't mean you have no personality, it can mean you go the opposite directions on 2 facets of the same dimension.
    The other possibility is of course the person has ,more introspection to do/more to learn about personality, which isn't bad :)

    The example I gave you is pretty easy to see the first option with -- both Assertiveness and Enthusiasm are facets of Extraversion, because both involve someone's tendency to seek social rewards, but in different ways. I go opposite directions on those two -- lower on Assertiveness but quite high on Enthusiasm. It's explained by other aspects of my personality, such as being fearful.
     
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  10. charlatan Community Member

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    I emphasize the thing about being in-the-middle not implying just being "nobody"/having no personality, because it's one of the most common objections, and it's based on a simple misunderstanding: each dimension measures the space of intercorrelation among many related (but not equal!) terms -- e.g. abstract/concrete and novel/traditional are not the same thing, but there's something they have in common, and that something is N-ness.

    It's very possible for someone to have a personality structure that is well-defined, consistent, and pronounced/with tons of individual distinguishing features but doesn't involve being simultaneously high on all the defining terms of a dimension of a given inventory/model.

    Something many don't realize is that, while dimensions of personality tend to be independent, e.g. N/S is independent of I/E, there are many descriptors of personality fitting more in the intersection of two scales. So for instance, the intersection of I and N is related to introspective tendencies; the intersection of N and P is related to unconventionality/eccentricity/liberal attitudes; IT is related to a deeply detached and impersonal temperament; and so on. None of this contradicts the scales being independent, because for every say, trait that fits in I+N, there's probably another that fits in E+N's interface...and similarly for I+S and so on. The point is overall these interfaces "cancel out" so that the overall relation between I/E and N/S is approximately nothing.

    It's possible someone has pronounced traits at the interface of two dimensions while not swinging clearly one way on either one. These types of interfaces are among the most natural "facets" to consider.
     
    #10 charlatan, Jan 24, 2017
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  11. charlatan Community Member

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    Also just for the record, Big 5 stats consistently say that some shifts can occur, but keep in mind they never talk in terms of drastic flips from one binary to another binary. It's always talked of in terms of degrees -- like so and so person got more extraverted later in life. It's not like "THEY SWITCHED FROM INTROVERT TO EXTRAVERT. LIKE THERE'S THIS IMAGINARY LINE THEY CROSSED."

    Personality dimensions are way too statistical and fuzzy to draw a definite line like that. You can talk of a *type* e..g. genuine introvert/extravert simply to denote someone who is obviously significantly to the left or the right of the scale.
    Basically analogous to liberal/conservative/moderate
     
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  12. OP
    Bellosome

    Bellosome swimming against the current
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    @charlatan i just rather find the change.. odd/drastic/too much.. i can understand if it was from ENFP to INFJ or ENFJ or even INTJ.. but ISFP from ENFJ.. but, you have explained it briefly and more.. thank you.. :) i might need to read more about these things as my knowledge is rather limited to none. lol but really, thank you :)
     
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  13. charlatan Community Member

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    Well again, there's really no such thing as "ENFP" but as a shorthand for someone pronounced on E/I in the E-direction, pronounced on N/S in the N-direction, so on!
    Discrete types don't really exist. They're a shorthand.
    This is the more modern perspective in personality psychology, and basically any attempt to try to force the discrete dichotomies view tends to be out of rigidity, not any real evidence. There's a lot of instances of Myers-Briggs crowd being rigid; even their takes on how cognitive functions work, while widely accepted, are really controversial, and go against CG JUng's own theory (which a lot of MBTI practitioners seem to conveniently ignore because it helps to pretend everyone -- including Jung -- agrees with them).


    That said, I wouldn't take at face value that your friend/college acquaintance really DID change that much...I'd guess either she never had strong preferences or that she needs to do more introspection -- I'd definitely agree with you that that many flips is a lot. But again, if each of her type results was just superficial, because she really wasn't all that pronounced in either the E-direction or I-direction, then the flips can be common. In fact, Big 5 psychologists have said the reliability of the MBTI would increase quite well if these middle-cases were screened for...because they're the case where you just get a different result each time you take the test.
     
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  14. ElleG

    ElleG Newbie

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    I think the more we develop cognitively, the more accurate our test results become. You're always the same type, but there are lots of reasons you might mistype: stage of development, lack of self-awareness, wounds/trauma, level of individualization, perception/interpretation of the questions in the inventory, etc.

    Also, the groundbreaking thing about the MBTi is that it was a quantitative way to semi-accurately measure and "type" people. But it's not qualitative. If you don't know the foundation they built on (Jung's Cognitive Functions), interpreting and evaluating the accuracy of your test results is difficult to do, especially if you feel torn between a few different types.
     
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  15. Kaotiklysm

    Kaotiklysm Regular Poster

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    What's more likely is that a person emphasises different aspects of their personality at different times. Now, while I think it is possible to develop a secondary style from less used to more used than a secondary style (a secondary style for INFJ might be, say INFP, but could be any of the other 15 types), I would also have to admit the possibility that a secondary style can overtake the default - however, this sounds very difficult, and may well not be possible.
     
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  16. Gale

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    There are so many pressures on someone's personality that when we take the test at various, we can get different results because our mind or focus may be in a different place. The person I was when I first took the MBTI about 9 or 10 years ago, feels quite different from the person I am today, even if there are some consistencies. Back then I got INFP and INFJ.

    There are three types I connect with the most, and although I'm supposedly INFP, that's not what I get on recent tests. In person, I was typed INTP by an MBTI practitioner, and I am tempted to agree with that (although I don't fit the INTP prototype). INFP has always been the consensus here on the site. I express too much Fi it seems :D.

    However, I don't think it's possible to accurately type someone online. Some aspects of our personality are expressed more intensely online because we don't have the chance to express them openly irl. So, that can put a wedge in typing someone if you don't know them well. This is why I think there are aspects of someone's personality we can't truly evaluate unless we meet them in person.

    I am no expert on the functions but I think it's harder to identify if someone is truly a particular type. An in depth interview and history is required. There is also chameleon theory. We adapt to our environments we are in especially cultural expectations. We often behave against type to fit in to our everyday circumstances. If someone has certain sensitivities, this can also affect how their personality comes across.

    Maybe type doesn't change, but maybe the pressure to fit in can affect how we type ourselves. Many people don't have the luxury of thinking about their personal preferences, etc. They have to simply do what is expected, regardless of feelings, so they may not be aware of how they actually operate naturally. So, whether or not type changes, someone's type results can change over time depending on their mental, emotional, and social experiences at various points in their lives.

    And also, the more you are "educated" online about typing, you may bias yourself, by focusing on how the types are described or explained in descriptions rather than how you experience your world everyday. Motivations are one of the hardest things to determine because most people too often oversimplify Feeler/Thinker and Perceiver/Judger categories.

    So, even if you do get a type result on a test, there's always room to explore. I don't think it's ultimately about settling on a type, but allowing yourself to discover various aspects of who you are regardless of how you are typed by a test or anyone else. In the end, it's what you experience and how you feel that matters.
     
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  17. CosmicINFJ

    CosmicINFJ Community Member

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    Interesting that you mentioned chameleon theory. INFJ is a type that is known to have chameleon tendencies. Are INFP people also susceptible to this?
     
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  18. ruji

    ruji Permanent Fixture

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    they say you can't. I am unsure of the basis behind this belief.

    Here's what I think: the same way you probably aren't going to be a billionaire, you're probably not going to change your type. Why? Because people don't fight comfort. People aren't going to go through with that level of change. Most people will continue to be whoever they are.
     
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  19. Gale

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    Yes, they are, but maybe not as much as Fes. They tend to accommodate on an individual level vs. being chameleon on a social level.

    Fi is often described as a selfish or self centered function that only cares about itself and it's own feelings, and puts others last while Fe cares more about people, social harmony, and getting along.

    Fi is often less focused on whether it is liked by everyone.Fi will share its views, but if ignored, will remain reserved or quiet. If Fi values someone's opinion, it will submit or set aside it's own feelings to accommodate them, especially if they care about someone deeply. I'll end up shelving my views to fit how they think. If I realize my views or feelings are not accepted, or is being ignored or dismissed, I'll simply pull back if I'm not close to it. But if I have to interact, I'll mirror the other person, rephrase, or repeat what they feel. That's one version of being a chameleon.

    Another way of Fi being a chameleon is to keep our own feelings private, and just go with what the other person thinks. It's easier to do this one on one. Or I'll reflect the type characteristics that are more dominant. If T is dominant, I'll go T. If F is dominant I'll try to balance T and F more. That's another way it operates as a chameleon. If it's dominant F, then I'll show mostly F. So, depends on the environment and how people in that situation think or respond.

    But these are learned responses based on the past. Since I received negative responses to expressing high Fi in social situations, I learned to pull back, and express Fe more. Fi has a certain emotional honesty or authenticity not everyone understands or appreciates, so this part is often hidden and shown only to those who are open, close to us, and receptive without judgment.

    I notice that people with high Fe have a hard time accepting or incorporating Fi. Fe has a tendency to want Fi to just conform, while ignoring how Fi contributes in its own way. high Fe often has too rigid a belief about how things should be, and bases everything on an understanding of how Fe thinks, and ignores how a difference in Fi's thinking can balance things out, rather than seeing it as simple and self interested.

    Fi is not always assertive. It's a bit quieter and may become more visible only when describing feelings or when it's upset or expressing emotional needs (this is often the most problematic for Fe who views this as being childish or self involved). When I become overly expressive of my views, or I feel I'm overwhelming someone, I'll pull back.

    Fis contributions may sometimes be unrecognized it's not presenting ideas in a Fe-oriented manner, not popular or widely shared by the other members who may feel that it creates disharmony. It's one of the reasons it's not always easy to share. Fi's dislike confrontation, and after enough rejection or dismissal, they withdraw or walk away. If I have to keep fighting to be heard, at some point, I'll just resign myself, and not make the effort anymore.

    However, I think INFJs maybe more obviously chameleon in their behavior because of Fe, while a Fi-dominant will likely remain quiet or more reserved if they are unable to express their feelings or views comfortably. Again, Fi's hate confrontation, so after a while, they'll clam up, or disengage completely.
     
    #19 Gale, Apr 3, 2017
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  20. Gale

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    @CosmicINFJ - Just now realized, I answered your question for all INFPs, but not sure if everyone feels this way.

    Welcome views from other INFPs about being a chameleon. Won't tag anyone but it would be cool to compare notes. Who knows, my entire argument maybe wrong. :D
     
    #20 Gale, Apr 3, 2017
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