Luminary Perspective

March 17, 2006

Understanding Personality Types

Filed under: Personality Types — Luke @ 6:08 pm

I have been learning from the personality type framework commonly known as MBTI, and it’s cousin Socionics. They are good systems, but there are some errors and intuitively misleading points in MBTI and Socionics based texts alike that can confuse people easily. For example, MBTI claims INTJ primarily has introverted intuition followed by extroverted thinking. Their profile descriptions twist the definitions around to make this appear so without seeming inaccurate, but this is an error. A real INTJ testing individual almost always has introverted thinking, with intuition as their extroverted secondary trait. Socionics corrects this problem but does not set the record straight enough in my opinion.

Partly from wanting to get away from this, and partly because it is intuitively better, I have started using a 3-letter system of direction-primary-auxilary to more simply represent a person’s traits. For example, my type is INT. This means I hade Introverted iNtuition as a primary trait and extroverted Thinking as a secondary. By contrast, an “INTJ” is simply called ITN. Since the fourth letter is determined by the type of the primary, and that can be stated using the letter order, we don’t need it any more.

Everyone has four traits, each with an energy-boosting and energy-draining direction. During waking hours, your thoughts run mainly in the energy-boosting direction. For me, introverted intuition (where I consider changing aspects of things a lot but don’t express these to anyone directly) is the strongest trait. Extroverted thinking is the secondary trait, so I enjoy explaining things and structuring things around me logically, but considering a line of unintuitive logic quietly for long periods of time does not come easily, because it doesn’t feed my mind enough new mental energy to do this.

The weaker two traits are introverted feeling, which means I can care a lot about right and wrong in a quiet way that is not easy to express or listen to others expressing. Instead, I simply try to do the right thing, easily correct myself, and perhaps lead by example in that regard. I am not easily hurt by what others say or think about me directly, but if I do something that I know to be hurtful to others I feel badly. I can care what others attitudes are for brief periods of time, but this is a somewhat draining function I’d rather not use for very long at a stretch. I can reverse it briefly for communication purposes, but with a certain mental energy cost.

The last trait for my type is extroverted sensing. This means I tune into the predictable aspects of my environment. Things happening around me that are not new or strange, are energizing and comforting. However, this being the weakest trait means I can briefly reverse it’s direction without losing energy as rapidly as the other traits. Provided I have plenty of energy and stability stored up, I can figure out the thoughts of an Si (introverted sensing) person, modeling their imaginatively detailed and stable inner thoughts enough to figure out what they are talking about.

A Personality Typologies
L  \\MBTI test of surface appearances \\Socionics, intuitively based
L Lettering Systems
T  \\MBTI uses 4 letters \\J/P unnecessary if literal order preserved
Y My Type
P  \\INTP or INT \\introverted intuition \\extroverted thinking
E Type Attributes
S  \\all four traits \\two are stronger \\each has preferred direction
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