Podcast – Episode 0315 – Making Peace With Your Personality Type
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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about what it means to “make peace” with our personality type.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- Tertiary Si (used by INPs) can struggle with fatalism sometimes.
- Don’t give yourself too much permission to be a certain way.
- Whenever we learn something powerful, there is a fine line to walk that keeps us from overvaluing or undervaluing the system.
- Don’t let your type’s weaknesses get you down, and don’t let them become your excuse to misbehave.
- Your type isn’t who you are, and it doesn’t define you.
- Your type is a tool that will help you understand yourself a bit better.
- Have one degree of separation from your type.
- It isn’t the only thing that makes you who you are.
- Sometimes the things we aren’t good at aren’t interesting to us anyway.
- Seeing limitations in the system is overvaluing it.
- We all have limitations. It’s the cost of specialization.
- You can’t be as good with your inferior function as you are with your dominant. That’s a fact.
- Typology is useful for showing why you may have your struggles.
- INTPs inferior function is Extraverted Feeling, which is about social engagement.
- This can feel like the worst inferior function of all, but INTPs can still have close relationships with people.
- Most ITPs are happy to lead with Introverted Thinking because clear thinking is a big priority for them.
- ITPs may not feel extrinsically rewarded by the world for their clear thinking, but they are intrinsically rewarded for it.
- “The map is not the territory.”
- It’s a map to yourself, but it isn’t who you are.
- We are always putting our best foot forward because of social media, so it can be depressing when we realize assimilation isn’t as easy as we hoped.
- The cost of specialization vs. generalization
- There is a difference in how different cultures experience mental health.
- Here in the USA, we are heavy-handed with mental health diagnostics.
- Everyone is a narcissist or autistic.
- People today believe they are supposed to be all things to all people.
- Nobody wants to have anything wrong with them.
- A steady diet of superhero movies makes us feel inferior if we don’t excel at everything.
- Media is pandering to women today.
- It’s like a woman can only be empowered if she is surrounded by idiots.
- Women aren’t allowed to have flaws and weaknesses.
- It is insulting to believe women should identify with the superhuman characters the media is selling us.
- Our characters become better over time as we work through our flaws.
- None of us start out amazing.
- “If we aren’t perfect, we are bad examples of our demographic.”
- “If you have weaknesses, we’re going to diagnose you with a mental disorder.”
- The people who foster these ideas are in the same situation we are.
- They are afraid of being seen as flawed.
- The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
- “Effective people don’t focus on their weaknesses as much as they focus on their strengths.”
- We tend to put 80% focus on the things we don’t do well and 20% on the things we do well.
- We need to reverse those. Focus on your strengths.
- If an INTP gets good at calling truth, they may get called on it, but some people will respect the truth.
- The policemen of society are FJs.
- Extraverted Feeling are masters of unspoken social contracts.
- They are the stewards of culture.
- Extraverted Feeling (Fe) is the polarity of Introverted Thinking, so most FJs like Accuracy when it is done well.
- What Fe doesn’t like is cruelty without nobility.
- Truth is necessary to create a connection, which Fe likes.
- A little cruelty can be a kindness.
- Introverted Thinking without Extraverted Feeling can be monstrous.
- We are part of an ecosystem.
- No one can be everything to everyone.
- Sometimes we will make mistakes. Accept those parts of who you are.
- Become world-class at the things you do well.
- Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Myers
- Type Patriotism – your type is the best
- It’s healthy to have some type patriotism.
- Get to a place where you are happy to be yourself
- Show up with your strengths, and people will forgive your weaknesses.
- If you are in an environment where you are punished for not being perfect, get out.
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Showing 9 comments
This podcast was very helpful, thank you! As an INTP, It took me a long time to truly accept my type, mainly due to the constant accuracy checks we do… But, I’m I psychology student and an Jungian professor told me that was an introverted thinker, and also my colleagues told me that one of my greatest strenghts is the clarity to analyze a proposition, so combined with the several different tests I took, I finally accepted that I’m an INTP.
I wasn’t depressed when I finally got to this conclusion, actually I felt very proud of being that type though I felt somewhat like I wasn’t smart enough to be an INTP cause famous people with I share my type with are like bloody brilliant scientists and stuff like that…
Another thing is that, the stereotypes of INTPs usually don’t apply to myself, I do like some nerd stuff, but I’m also a cheerleader, and this podcast helped me understand that, sure, that’s perfectly possible and nothing there’s nothing wrong with that… But it also has pointed that I’m might be spending too much energy in my inferior function too…
Anyway, thanks a lot guys for the amazing work you do!
Antonio: Thank you for speaking up about how women are pandered to in the media and movies, etc. I agree with you. This pandering bothers me, and it’s not helpful to women in my opinion.
Thank you for doing a podcast on this topic! Really good language around this needed discussion and a good reminder for me Enfj female. I find the struggle is very real to inwardly and outwardly say no to the temptation “I need to be all things to all people” and to gratefully live in this ecosystem with others. Getting some distance along the reality that I bring stuff to the table others don’t and need or may want has been a game changer. Looking into how I can spend 80% of my life doing that and 20 % on managing the other stuff. Thanks for the balance, clarity, and encouragement you brought in this podcast
I agree with Antonia’s comment about the media portrayal of women being rather crappy at the moment. There does seem to be an over-emphasis on “Look how tough and awesome she is” instead of taking the time to develop a complex character. This is an issue in my mind because the charcuterie then stop reflecting real people who have real flaws. I like my characters more fleshed out. A female character can empower women and still have a complex personality. I just think creators amp the “girl power” up to 11 at the expense of everything else.
It also irks me when people throw around actual diagnoses casually because they’re not qualified mental health professionals. This is a dangerous trend as throwing words like narcissist, sociopath, PTSD, anxiety disorder, OCD etc. around casually gives a misunderstanding as to what those conditions actually are. This can have negative impacts for things like treatment. A friend once adamantly told her doctor “I can’t have OCD, I’m not obsessed with cleaning. My house is messy.” The doctor explained the actual condition to her, and she valued his expertise—but it’s very possible some people might not.
As far as the subject of the topic goes, I’ve never really had any resistance to being an ENFP. I at first thought there was no way I could be an extrovert. I also considered myself a J type at first (INFJ) as my mom (ESFJ) has been hugely influential and her extremely high J presence has rubbed off on me over the years. So, I don’t typically act like a stereotypical Perceiver (neither does my ISTP dad interestingly enough). Further understanding the system lead me to believe I’m an ENFP not an INFJ. I like ENFPs though, so I wasn’t too resistant to being one.
My Enneagram type, however, I also had resistance too like Antonia. I’m a 6. Like is apparently typical for 6s, it took me forever to decide on my type. What sold me on me being a 6 was Beatrice Chestnut’s description of the sp 6, which shone a light one a lot of my unconscious behavior on my interactions with others. It just clicked.
Before that, I had resistance to thinking I was a 6 because I felt rather crappy about it. I dislike the idea of relying on big systems or ideologies, which 6s are often described as attracted too. I also doubted whether having Generalized Anxiety Disorder made it that I couldn’t be a 6 as my relationship with anxiety is a bit different.
I’m told your enneagram type is supposed to call you out and make you feel a bit uncomfortable.
6s tend to correlate more with SJs in people’s minds. I’m very clearly not an SJ type, so there was push back from that. Not that I’d have problems with being an SJ, just typing me as one seems extraordinarily difficult to justify.
That said, it just goes to show you can’t rely on descriptions alone as they can be too generalized. I probably seem quite similar to a 9 now, more than I do a 6, but the core fear of 9 isn’t there. My dad is a more drastic case, he rarely ever looks like a 6 as he’s extremely well developed. His demeanor and calmness is very much reminiscent of type 9.
As far as Enneagram, I also thought being a 7 sounded more fun. But, no, 7 doesn’t really fit if I think about it.
Thank you for this podcast. I am one of those of that very quickly got depressed with what I felt were the limitations of my type. In the past few years I’ve tested INFJ (I tested INTJ when I was younger, which I think was family influence.)
I’m exploring several identity communities that value being authentic and it really threw me that I don’t have Authenticity in my stack. Leading with a perceiving rather than decision making function also struck me as disappointing, because I have a lot of decisions upcoming that will shape my future, and I hate the feeling of being stuck, unable to decide and commitment to a course of action. Lacking Memory in my stack scares me as I try to heal past trauma, because I have gaps in my memory in areas I feel are deeply unresolved and confusing my way forward. Lacking Effectiveness seemed to mean I couldn’t organize or reach my goals, and having Sensation as a 3 year old made me doubt I can get clear answers to some of my physical and mental health concerns, since I read it as “Your bodily understanding is the least wise part of you.”
After a few weeks of being stuck, I stopped researching type for several months, and I’m just coming back now to see what I might glen on a second pass that is more nuanced and less pessimistic in understanding of what type can tell me.
To speak to your point about mental health diagnoses being thrown around, Antonia, I had noticed in other venues the idea of being an empath, (more on the mystical side but overlapping with the idea of INFJ’s empathy) appears to mean buying into the narrative that an empath’s natural enemies are energy vampires and narcissists. That concept made me feel like some kind of prey animal or soldier, and I have been reluctant to identify as an empath because of the polarizing othering I distilled from that kind of messaging.
Good topic. Happy you did a podcast on this.
The MBTI and enneagram type systems have helped me appreciate common differences between people so much. Once I understood these type systems I stopped expecting everyone to think and do and process the way I do. Obviously, it isn’t the least bit helpful or useful to use my intj brain as the measuring stick for all people, but when we aren’t exposed to theories that highlight differences as normal and useful for society, evolution, and individual self-worth, we mistakenly think that cognitive development and psychological development is just a single ladder that everyone must climb or a single measuring stick that everyone must be measured by.
Isabel Briggs Myers “Gifts Differing” and Susan Cain’s “Quiet” are two of a handful of books that gave me a space to rest into not just for my understanding of myself but for what I should expect and give space for in other people.
Wholehearted agreement that we should spend the bulk of our time — like the 80-20 rule — honoring and positively growing the strengths of our type, while honoring and supporting the strengths of other people’s types to the best of our capacity and ability. Once I realized, thanks to you podcast series, that my best fit type is intj rather than “some sort of NT type, but straddling the line across a few of them,” I gave myself permission to accept the strengths and weaknesses that came with intj’s territory. Leaning into those strengths taught me a lot about myself and my long history of Ni inclinations.
One thing I want to mention about this podcast is something I don’t think Antonia really meant to come across as implying: this podcast’s take on how there appears to be a trend where people pathologize negative aspects of personality. This glosses over the fact that there are very serious differences between destructive, toxic, or abusive behaviors versus common type-typical personality flaws. Also, there is an important difference between mental illness and personality disorders versus personality flaws. As much as systems like MBTI help us understand our differing strengths and flaws, it obviously shouldn’t be used to dismiss or to become a substitute for psychological help or psychiatric treatment, nor should it be used to dismiss destructive, toxic, or abusive behaviors. Today there is a growing acceptance of mental health issues, with people finding space to speak out against all forms of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, and with people learning to recognize patterns of pathologically destructive, toxic behavior in others. Certain issues may correlate with mbti types and enneagram types. Likewise, certain mbti types and enneagram types may tend to experience other people’s destructive, abusive behavior in different ways. Therefore, I think it is important to not write off the fact that people are finding the strength to talk about this. Are some people over-pathologizing personality flaws via armchair analysis? Almost certainly. But I suspect these are drops in the bucket when compared to the enormity of very real issues surrounding mental wellness.
Perhaps this is merely due to a cultural or generational difference but when I look around I tend to observe a worrisome amount of over-pathologizing happening as well.
I think a lot of this is about how we use vocabulary. It’s common now to say “That’s insane.” or “That’s crazy.” Those words don’t really mean what they used to mean. I think the same is true of the specific example Antonia used, “That person’s a narcissist.” Being a narcissist used to have a specific, clinical definition. Now it seems to be tossed around the same as “You’re crazy.”
The words are culturally losing their intended meanings- they’re becoming blurry and now can cover a whole spectrum of things.
To a Ti user that’s frustrating and I think she’s pointing it out because when our language for things gets lazy it also tends to delegitimize the very real problems and it makes it much more difficult to have meaningful conversations.
If you encounter a wolf alone at night, you know there is a real threat standing in front of you and behave accordingly. The subtext of “dangerous” is built into the word “wolf”. But imagine if we also started calling foxes wolves. And then we started calling dogs wolves. All these things are wolves because they’re semi-wolfish.
Now if we try to tell the village that we saw a wolf lurking around it’s perimeter they don’t immediately understand the danger. It delegitimizes the threat.
I totally agree with you about mental illness and personality disorders. There are a lot of stuff out there that can’t be covered by typology, but must be used other type of “map” (as Joel says) in order to understand them. Personality disorders as are described help us navigate into this kind of world and see patterns of abusive behaviors that we would otherwise not see. When you say:
“Therefore, I think it is important to not write off the fact that people are finding the strength to talk about this. Are some people over-pathologizing personality flaws via armchair analysis? Almost certainly. But I suspect these are drops in the bucket when compared to the enormity of very real issues surrounding mental wellness.” …
Oh my god i couldn’t agree more. I mean as a survivor of two abusive relationships..without this type of information could never find the strength and sense of logic in order to explain this to other people. I would just feel like i’m crazy. This information, exactly as mbti is, in other fields, gives us a lot of sense and validation of our intuition that we may have on people that take advantage of us, in a really subtle manipulative way but we would never understand to described in worlds if these psychological terms and explanations weren’t available. Especially i see this with young girls that accept to be in an emotional abusive relationship only because the guy seems to be mysterious and fascinating ,causing them a lot of suffering being in that relationship. And these girls may be the same that call themselves feminists ,talking about empowering women and then they fall into emotionally abusive behaviors by their narcissistic partners. This is real stuff, not just a psychological term.. at least if you experience it and then you dig into the knowledge ,you know it’s the truest thing ever. Mental illness and personality disorders are directly connected to the way our parents showed us love. It’s a really deep concept indeed if you have the will to investigate..
Thank you for this podcast. It is really what I wanted and needed to hear.
I hid away after researching my type of a ENFP. I felt down and that I couldn’t achieve much being this type. The podcast has given me another perspective.