The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most important personality tests in the world — here’s everything you need to know MBTI’s meaning!
One fascinating part of humanity is that every person is fundamentally different. Personality traits like introversion and extraversion tend to be more readily visible, but a proper personality assessment looks at countless more. One of the most effective, accessible, and quickly understood ways to distinguish between personality types is a test known as the MBTI.
Your personality says many things about you, such as your preferences, how you like spending time, and how you interact with the outside world. But more than just helping identify your own personality and tastes, understanding this theory of psychological types can help you to better the people around you. This creates a system where empathy can cultivate healthier and more beneficial communication worldwide.
This is an incredible resource for people of all ages and origins, and mastering it can genuinely enable you to find more success in all kinds of relationships in life. Here’s everything you need to know about how the MBTI works, how to understand each four-letter type, and how you can benefit from it!
What Is the MBTI?
In its most basic form, the MBTI is a personality test that can be taken by virtually anyone and provide semi-consistent results. While it isn’t incredibly comprehensive or reliable, it is a reasonably effective tool to increase a person’s quality of life when taking a personality inventory. While it doesn’t provide a lot of information on why a person is how they are, it gives lots of information about who they are at the time.
For example, if someone is trying to identify if they are an introvert or extrovert, the MBTI can help. While it operates entirely based on dichotomies, it is still a valuable tool for understanding someone fundamentally.
The system was created in the early to mid-1900s by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs. However, it generally functioned as a response to many thoughts by Carl Jung. This system interacted with Jung’s theories in many different ways and, over many years, ended up as the Myers-Briggs personality type test that we know today. It is often offered and used as a questionnaire that people can fill to understand themselves better.
How to Understand the MBTI
The MBTI deals with four general dichotomous identifiers when determining a person’s personality. This is what they are and how they work within the context of the test:
Extrovert (E) vs. Introvert (I)
This aspect of the test generally deals with a person’s attitudes towards other people. Extroverts are more prone to being action-oriented and seeking more frequent social interaction. Introverted people are generally more thought-oriented.
Extroverts acquire more energy by being with people, while introverts are energized by being alone. This is usually seen as the most critical and influential dichotomy in a person’s personality, as it informs other characteristics in many different ways.
Extroverted personality types have the letter E, like ENFP, ESTJ, ESFJ, and others. Introverted personalities have the letter I, like INFP, INTJ, and ISFJ.
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
This aspect of a personality deals with how a person generally functions. People prone to sensing tend to focus more on factual information and making decisions logically. People who work based on intuition tend to be more focused on following their feelings and looking for general patterns in life.
Sensing types have an S, like with an ISFP, ESTJ, and ISTP, while Intuitive types have an N, like INFP, ENFJ, and INFJ.
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
These dichotomous aspects of a personality have a lot to do with decision-making. Someone who gravitates towards thinking will tend to make many decisions based on logic, assessment, and data. A person who is more oriented towards feeling will often make decisions based on empathy, social relations, and trying to achieve balance.
Thinking types have a T, like INTP, ENTJ, and ISTJ. Feeling types have an F, like ESFP, INFP, and ISFJ.
Judging (J) vs. Perception (P)
These personality traits generally relate the most to a person’s lifestyle preferences and how they interact with their environment. People whose MBTI personality type is based on judging tend to be neater, established, and generally “type A.”
People that operate out of a perception-based personality tend to be more open-ended in the ways that they live and are more spontaneous and adaptable to life.
Judgers have the letter J, like with an ENTJ, ISFJ, and ESTJ. People who fall into perceiving have a P, like ENTP, ISFP, and ESTP.
How To Use the MBTI
The MBTI is convenient in almost any interaction with people. It’s one of the most valuable ways to identify how people think and operate, which is very important for developing empathy for people around you. This makes it much easier to operate in the world in a much more harmonious and beneficial way and allows you to understand why people do what they do.
Beyond that, it’s a great way to understand your strengths and weaknesses and explain why you do the things you do. While it might not be fun to fit yourself into a specific typology, it still informs you of why you interact in the world in the way that you do. It makes it so you can capitalize on the good parts and identify the weaknesses you might have!
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