Most useful part of MBTI? | INFJ Forum

Most useful part of MBTI?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by David Nelson, Apr 5, 2022.

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  1. David Nelson

    David Nelson Permanent Fixture

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    To me it is the cognitive functions, which are the fundamental and key part of it. Even without getting into the different personalities and function stacks and shadow functions etc., to me the cognitive functions allow great insight into how our minds work.



    They allow insight into why people see things differently; why there are so many misunderstandings. The fact most people have no interest in this subject feels to me like a tragedy, as it’s power is massive. I have been wondering if greater awareness could be achieved through combining the subject with others, rather than just looking at it in isolation. Even with my knowledge of the subject, the exact nature of the functions is not completely clear although my intuition does get the gist of what they are about. Greater explanation of the functions (probably with real world examples) could help a lot I feel. So much of this subject seems to get fragmented in discussions. We need more clarity. I am getting ideas for my own writing, specifically in relation to political thinking.
    Hopefully Ren’s next book will help a lot.
     
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    David Nelson

    David Nelson Permanent Fixture

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    The cog functions which interest me the most are Ti and Te. It seems to me that Te users are less able to untangle complexity than Ti users. They seem to accept things as they are and just work out how they can operate within the current framework. Ti users are more likely to work up from first principles, and by doing so, are more likely to see errors and gaps in status quo.

    The combination of Ni and Ti in INFJs makes for a combination which is very analytical and gives them visionary and creative abilities. It’s looking for the best and perfect way forward. The weakness is that we can be blinkered and miss other possibilities, as well as being too removed from reality. We can see this in Hitler, who was at least sincere about his idealistic (but flawed) vision. He didn’t listen to his generals and ignored important details.
     
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  3. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    Ti users need to contemplate information. They ruminate. They are not as good at firing from the hip or debate. Te users can fire from the hip.
    This is why I avoid debate. I need to consider the information and sort it out to arrive at my point of view. If I try to debate with Te users, I will end up siding with information I am not 100% on in the heat of the moment. I'm less concerned with "losing" a debate than I am with acting like I support information I may not agree is correct when I have time to weigh it. I like to say what I've been thinking about and leave it at that. I welcome input, but I may not want to react to that input.
    To Te users, Ti users can appear to have flimsy arguments, be less decisive, and be less intelligent because we aren't quick-firing.

    That said, I am still really good at thinking of inventive solutions and knowing what to do on the spur of the moment. That seems to jump from the Ni/Ti zone.
     
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  4. John K

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    Good comments David. Something that I found very interesting before I retired was the application of type concepts within a large organisation.

    A very obvious one is how to communicate effectively in presenting a case for something. Different types need to be approached in a way that is congruent with their preferences, and a good written or verbal case will be structured so that it is consistent with these. The skills needed are quite complex, interesting and fruitful. Obviously the presenter needs to be familiar with mbti, but it goes beyond book knowledge and you need to have a feel of, and a sympathy with, what the world is like from the point of view of each type. Even further beyond that, you need to be able to synthesise each of the more important type perspectives into a presentation that is unified rather than a pastiche of different presentational tools and styles. There is an art to it which is rewarding if done well - to the extent that doing it is very satisfying to introverted intuitive feeling types, even when they are dealing with a significant number of extraverts, thinkers and sensors, because there is a thrill of the chase in order to influence them effectively and appropriately. The development of these skills goes beyond the immediate task in hand, because it gives us a very powerful way of developing knowledge and proficiency in functions and behaviours that lie outside those we prefer, and this is a way we develop ourselves and become a more rounded person.

    Another application is the building of effective teams. My experience is with information systems project and services teams, and these need a broad range of type preferences within them if they are to be effective. Recruiting, choosing and developing the right staff in the right roles is a fascinating activity, and is very much enhanced by a knowledge and practical application of type theory.

    The great thing about these sorts of applications of mbti is that they are effective and valid regardless of any debate about the scientific validity of the tools. That's because the functions do clearly map out a broad range of human psychical behaviour into discrete components, and give them readily accessible names. This gives us a powerful cognitive tool which provides a language of structure and discrimination for the sort of tasks I just described and puts a powerful insight-gathering, analytical and decision-making aid into our hands. Mbti also gives each of us a ready means of seeing the world through the eyes of those who lead with our non-preferred functions, and that is also a very powerful way of being successful in these sort of activities.

    I feel that these two applications are rather like the point you are making. The core skills here are making a complex case, or building an effective team, and mbti would be only one of many angles on these if we were looking to develop ourselves or others to be effective at them.
     
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    David Nelson

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    Exactly this. Can totally relate. I like ENTPs because of their mental clarity and dexterity. They also have Ti. It's also why I believe Hitler wouldn't take backchat or questions. He probably couldn't think quickly enough to come up with a response that he found satisfactory, and he may well have felt it could undermine his position. His speeches were largely rehearsed, although he interjected a lot of performance moves and inflections, all part of his presentation. I have found myself that if I talk to a good listener about something I am well versed in, I can flow and talk quite fluently and concisely. But debates, no, not enough time to think. I usually know that what the other person is trying to say, or saying, is not right, but I can't usually formulate an adequate response quickly enough. It's why INFJs are best as writers.

    Because of this, I think INFJs should try and avoid getting into quick responses to challenges. Sometimes silence says the most. Or just say you don't agree but don't offer a response. That's your right.
     
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  6. Asa

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    I agree, hahaha.

    I think you're onto something with Hitler.
    Another thing about Hitler is that his Fe allowed him to manipulate people and it was highly effective. He knew what to say to tug at people's heartstrings, but he also greeted the public, shook hands, and hugged babies, which is behavior we expect from politicians now but it was less common back then. That is major manipulation 101, but he wasn't the healthiest example of an INFJ. I just felt like adding that because so many people argue that he wasn't INFJ because looking into our possible darkness is so disturbing.

    Anyway, thanks for bringing so many interesting discussions to the forum.
     
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    David Nelson

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    Yes Hitler was the consummate actor and manipulator, largely due to Fe as you say. Probably the alienation and ambition were part of his evil. I’m reading a big book about him by Ian Kershaw just to confirm he was probably an INFJ, and everything so far strongly suggests it. Like the stare he gave people could really intimidate people. A worrying aspect of his psyche was that he enjoyed being in WW1. This can be linked to INFJ because of common purpose and camaraderie, but he wasn’t seemingly too? bothered by all the death. I think he must have been a psychopath or had another personality disorder, because a normal INFJ couldn’t have done what he did, even allowing for his drug habit as the war went on.

    No problem, it’s a good place to talk deeply. I’ve got lots more to contribute yet.
     
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