Are you true to your type, or have life experiences changed you?

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Are you true to your type, or have life experiences changed you?

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1mpramanik
Out 19, 2007, 1:24 pm

Do you think life experiences can and have change you, and also do you think change of life is associated with changing personality types?

2jjwilson61
Out 19, 2007, 3:44 pm

Recent research has shown that your level of happiness is pretty much independent of your circumstances in life, as long as your living above subsidence level. I imagine the same is true of personality type.

3mpramanik
Out 20, 2007, 3:13 pm

I would be interested to see that study. It seems counterintuitive, dont you think? A simplisitic example could be seen in training a dog. The way to train a dog to bite and be vicious is to abuse it. There have been similar studies with people concerning isolation and abuse.

I think it was in the Please Understand Me book, that it gave the example of a left handed person being taught to only right with their right hand. It said that they could learn those behaviors yet they would never be as good at it as a right handed person who put in the same amount of effort. They also continured to say that it was the same with personality types.

4citygirl
Out 20, 2007, 4:12 pm

I can't really imagine being other than I am.

5jjwilson61
Out 21, 2007, 9:18 am

It appeared in the Scientific American in the last few months. Perhaps it would still be on their site?

6chamekke
Out 21, 2007, 1:54 pm

One of my MBTI/Keirsey books (can't remember which) talks about how many people begin to explore their less-used functions in midlife. I've found this to be true... although I'm an INTJ with extreme I and extreme T tendencies, in my early to mid-forties I became much more interested in Feeling and Sensing. So I joined some groups and classes where this would be possible. One example is volunteering on a hospice ward. This work sometimes includes helping patients physically (e.g. getting them onto the toilet, helping them into a wheelchair and going out for a walk), or emotionally (e.g. listening and responding sympathetically to what can be very personal outpourings.) This pushes me very much outside my comfort zone sometimes, but I really don't think it's a bad thing. Now, I may never be as good at extraverted Feeling as someone who is "of" that type; but nonetheless I do want to become better at it.

My husband (also INTJ, I believe) is also spontaneously experiencing more extraverted Feeling, and although it's happening in a good way, he's a little alarmed by it. I'm hoping that he can come to see it as beneficial. The self is a more flexible construct than most of us know.

7citygirl
Out 21, 2007, 4:06 pm

Interesting point, chamekke. One of the reasons why I've been studying MBTI, etc., is to learn more about why I function the way I do and to become a more well-rounded individual. The idea of utilizing some of one's lesser-used functions appeals seems like a step in the right direction. My next focus will be to really look at the functions in depth as they relate to each type.

"Spontaneously experiencing more extraverted Feeling...." Cool. That doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, I am also a bit alarmed. I feel like it's an INTJ tendency to hold the reins so tight, but that can quickly become an imbalance.

8nullspace
Out 25, 2007, 6:19 pm

"Recent research has shown that your level of happiness is pretty much independent of your circumstances in life, as long as your living above subsidence level. I imagine the same is true of personality type."
I have taken these about once a year for fun and over the last 4 years of undergrad I have changed from a solid INTP to a solid INTJ (in terms of percents on the online tests), but I tend to think thats likely the exception to the rule.

9citygirl
Out 25, 2007, 6:28 pm

Well, you also have to consider that you get to know yourself better with time. I used to think that I was an emotional person. It turns out that I am an intense person who, at the time, was in a lot of emotional pain. As things have calmed down, I find that the more I leave emotion out of my decisionmaking the better my decisions are and the more comfortable I am with those decisions. That's just one example. Sometimes you answer a certain way because you think something is true of yourself, but with more experience you realize that you'd misunderstood.

10TheresaWilliams
Out 26, 2007, 3:50 am

I think I'm pretty true to my type (INFP); however, because I grew up in a family with a lot of turmoil, I believe I carry a sadness with me that many INFPs do not. David Keirsey talks about this in relation to INFPs. When I get my book from work, I'll quote that exact section.

11TheresaWilliams
Out 26, 2007, 4:05 am

I found the description online:

Healers seek unity in their lives, unity of body and mind, emotions and intellect, perhaps because they are likely to have a sense of inner division threaded through their lives, which comes from their often unhappy childhood. Healers live a fantasy-filled childhood, which, unfortunately, is discouraged or even punished by many parents. In a practical-minded family, required by their parents to be sociable and industrious in concrete ways, and also given down-to-earth siblings who conform to these parental expectations, Healers come to see themselves as ugly ducklings. Other types usually shrug off parental expectations that do not fit them, but not the Healers. Wishing to please their parents and siblings, but not knowing quite how to do it, they try to hide their differences, believing they are bad to be so fanciful, so unlike their more solid brothers and sisters. They wonder, some of them for the rest of their lives, whether they are OK

12mpramanik
Out 26, 2007, 8:58 pm

#12 -That description seems to fit me to a tee, also I think it somewhat contradicts the study referred to above, like I think what you said in #10 somewhat contradicts it. I feel my own experiences have contradicted it as well.