Thursday, November 14, 2013

On "Faking" Type

I periodically hear people, (especially INTJs and INTPs) claim that they can often act like a chameleon "pretending" to be the type they need to be. I think this is overstated and that most people don't fake it as well as they think they do.

Generally speaking, our less conscious functions tend to be blind spots. We just aren't as good at them or develop them as easily. Those of us that are introverts are especially at a disadvantage since, being more focused on their inner world than outer circumstances, we aren't quite as smooth in reading the social aspect of their environment. Of all types, introverts with thinking are slowest in this regard, since they also aren't as oriented to tap into others' values and feelings.

The things is, even when we know the "rules" we still have to decide when in ambiguous situations. Say, for example, an NT wants a job that happens to require interpersonal sensitivity (teaching, managing a social service agency, etc). They may be able to "play" NF well enough to get the job. At some point, though, there will be decisions where the expected course of action is unclear. In those, they'll automatically fall back on their own preference. They'll only be aware that they've acted contrary to what's expected when there's some sort of fall out or an anonymous method of evaluation in place. If no one communicates feedback directly, however, they may not be aware that they aren't successfully conforming to the prevailing preference of their given environment.

What I think can happen is that family environments can cause someone to develop certain tendencies, learning styles, or interests more often associated with another preference ( e.g. an INFP raised by ISTJs seeming like a sensing type at first glance). This usually is less deliberate, though, and the person will still display contradictory characteristics as the socialized behavior may conflict with natural inclinations.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Been Awhile

I guess I'll come back here.

I've been on Tumblr lately, though I've found it to be an exercise in frustration. I've created and deleted accounts three times now.

Sometimes talking about type stuff feels like playing a constant game of whack-a-mole. The sheer amount of misinformation out there is astounding. I've criticized how overly simplistic a lot of official MBTI info is, but then I see how a lot of people don't understand basic things: like how your type doesn't change or what the basic attributes of the preferences are. Then I notice how people misunderstand what I'm trying to say and it makes me realize why they might simplify things. I think I'm much more of a " deep sea diver" intellectually speaking but a lot of people approach information at the surface level, regardless of whether you try to go in depth with them or not.

That sounds like snobbery, but it's not. It's weary resignation.

Anyhow, I have a lot I want to say, particularly about function fever and the danger of getting into complex stuff without understanding either the basics of the system or the fluidity that accompanies something that abstract. (It does not tell you what color you'll dye your hair or whether you'll prefer philosophy over neuroscience. I'm sorry, it just doesn't.) l'll save that for another time, though.

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