Find Your True MBTI Type Through the Dichotomies

The human personality is a complex and multifaceted aspect of our being that influences how we perceive and interact with the world around us. There are several theories and frameworks that have been developed over the years to help us understand our own personality traits and tendencies. In this guide, we will delve into the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which categorizes individuals into 16 distinct personality types based on four dichotomies: Introversion vs. Extraversion, Intuition vs. Sensing, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving. 

Through this guide, you will gain a deeper understanding of each dimension and its role in shaping your personality, allowing you to better identify your own preferences and tendencies.

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Introversion and Extraversion: Two Distinct Worlds

The concept of introversion and extraversion was first introduced by Carl Jung, who identified two very distinct but equally valid worlds – the inner world and the outer world. The inner world is more subjective and is where our thoughts, memories, feelings, and priorities reside. This is a world that only we, as individuals, can see. On the other hand, the outer world is the world of people, objects, activities, and common knowledge that is accepted and shared by others.

Introversion and extraversion are not simply a matter of being right or left-handed, but rather a response to our environment. To understand this concept, consider the metaphor of the shore and land. Strong swimmers still need to go back to the shore to recharge, just as introverts need solitude to replenish their psychic and cognitive energy. To determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, consider whether solitude and the inner world energize you or tire you out. For introverts, the inner world and solitude are similar to the shore, where they go to recharge after a day spent swimming in the world of people and activities. For extroverts, the outer world (the sea) is where they feel energized and thrive.

Some people are ambivert, meaning they are well-developed in both introversion and extroversion, and may have trouble figuring out their true preferences.

In terms of characteristics and behavior, extroverts tend to be lively, animated, talkative, and have a warm and friendly demeanor. They may dress in bright colors and have a fast-paced way of speaking. On the other hand, introverts are usually calm, quiet, reflective, and may have a more understated style of dressing, often in black or dark colors. They may appear aloof or distant, but this is often simply because they are feeling comfortable in their own space.

Intuition versus Sensing: The Two Ways of Perception

Intuition and sensing are two different ways of perceiving information. They are often used to describe different personalities and how individuals process information. Understanding the distinction between these two concepts can help us understand why some people see things in different ways.

Intuition looks at the meaning of things and the connections between them. It’s about possibility and potential. Intuitive people are more interested in abstract ideas and concepts, and less concerned with concrete details. They care about what things represent, and are more focused on the bigger picture.

Sensing, on the other hand, is concrete. Sensing people prefer to see things as they are, and process information through their five senses. They are practical, grounded in reality, and are less interested in the abstract connections between things. They are very curious and want to know the specifics of a situation, like the color of a bridge or the details of a book.

In terms of behavior, sensing individuals tend to be more realistic, traditional, and detail-oriented. They are down-to-earth, and focused on facts, as opposed to abstract concepts. Intuitive individuals, on the other hand, are more creative, imaginative, and less concerned with the practical reality. They’re more of “head in the clouds” kind of people and can be considered quirky or absent-minded.

An example of the contrast between intuition and sensing can be seen when two individuals look at the same book in a store. A “sensing” person is likely to first notice the tangible details of the book first, like its cover, color, and size. After noticing these details, the person may then start to consider the idea behind the book and if it is relevant to them. An intuitive person, on the other hand, might first notice the bigger picture. They might be more interested in the ideas, concepts and possibilities the book represented, rather than just the details like the cover, color, and age.

Ultimately, where an individual falls on the scale of intuition to sensing is a matter of personal preference. Some individuals may have a strong preference for one over the other, while others may fall somewhere in between. 

Thinking versus Feeling: The Two Sides of Decision Making

When it comes to decision making and evaluating, there are two distinct approaches that people tend to follow – thinking and feeling. While both of these approaches have their own logic and make sense in their own right, they are fundamentally different from each other.

Thinking is impersonal in nature and is more about objectively evaluating the facts and data involved in a decision. It is concerned with making decisions that are based on facts and data, rather than personal preferences. A person who relies more on thinking might, for example, consider factors like speed, investment value, and utility when deciding on which car to buy.

On the other hand, feeling is more subjective and personal. It is concerned with making decisions based on personal values, principles, and emotions. A person who relies more on feeling might choose a car based on color, brand, or simply what appeals to them. They may not be as concerned with quantifiable factors like investment value or speed, but rather the emotional connection they have to a particular car.

Of course, most people use both thinking and feeling to some extent when making decisions, but there are often different weights given to each approach depending on the individual, which shapes their personality and how they interact with the world. 

Judging and Perceiving: Two Different Approaches to Structure and Closure

The Judging/Perceiving preference is indicated by either a “J” or “P” in a person’s MBTI type code, and it is one of four dichotomies that make up a person’s personality type in the MBTI framework. 

Judging individuals are typically seen as needing closure and structure in their lives. They tend to like rules, procedures, and norms, and they prefer to have clear and measurable objectives. They like to finish projects and like to know what they’re working towards.

Perceiving individuals, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible and go with the flow. Their sense of time is often more fluid, and they may not be as concerned with deadlines and structure. They like to keep their options open and are comfortable with change.

As you reflect on these dimensions of personality, consider which preferences resonate with you the most and how they may shape the way you perceive and interact with the world around you. What do you feel are your tendencies for each dimension?

We hope this guide helped you identify your 4-letter MBTI code, as it is essential for furthering your personal growth and self-awareness. By understanding your unique type, you can gain a greater understanding of your capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as how to best use them to your advantage. With this knowledge, you can make the most of your potential, more effectively strive towards your goals and achieve greater success and happiness in your personal and professional life.

Introversion vs Extroversion: The True Jungian Perspective

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.

While his predecessor, Sigmund Feud, explored the personal unconscious, Carl Jung studied and developed the unconscious further to show the collective unconscious, which represents a form of the unconscious common to mankind as a whole. Carl Jung was the first to distinguish the two major attitudes or orientations of personality – extroversion and introversion. He also identified four basic cognitive functions (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting).

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What is Extroversion and Introversion in Carl Jung’s original work?

This dimension has to do with where we naturally direct our energy and recharge as well as our first order of importance: the inner world vs the outer world:

  • Inner world is made up of thoughts, ideas, memories or so-called the subjective experience that is unique and aware of only by the individual
  • Outer world is made of people and experiences outside of one’s self, or the “objects”

Extraverts have a stronger relationship with the objects of the outer world because they feel a stronger cognitive need for frequent interaction with the world. To Extraverts, what’s going on outside is more important than what’s happening inside. Overall, they are more “action-oriented”.

Introverts have a stronger relationship with the inner world because they feel a stronger cognitive need to connect with their inner subjective experiences. To introverts, what’s happening inside is more important than outside. They are characterised for being more “reflective”.

I would like to clarify an important distinction between “trait” theory versus “type” theory. Jungian psychology is about type. Many free online MBTI tests give you results in percentage such as 70% Introvert, 30% Extrovert etc. However, this does not mean you are a different type 30% of the time. Being 90% or 51% introverted still means you have an introverted outlook in life. This kind of test fails to show that Jungian theory is a “type” theory, which mean you are either introvert or extrovert, and not a “trait” theory where you can exist in a continuum like the Big 5.

A good metaphor for extroversion vs introversion is land vs water. You can naturally be comfortable in both, but to an extrovert, the outer world is like the shore and the inner world is like water. They can certainly enjoy staying in water but where do they eventually get respite from? The shore. Vice versa for introverts, the inner world is like the shore and the outer world of objects is the water!

Neurologically, Extraverts and Introverts have different  pathways in the brain for processing information. Extraverts use a shorter pathway and are much faster at processing incoming information from the world. Therefore, they have a higher tolerance for stimulation and tend to actively seek out stimulating experiences. 

Introverts’ pathways are much longer as the information is processed and filtered internally. They are easier to suffer from “information overload” given the same amount of external stimuli. Hence they prefer a slower “reflective” pace and tend to avoid situations that might overwhelm them. This difference is noticeable in babies as young as 4-months old!

According to statistical studies, Extraverts and Introverts are roughly evenly split in the general population, with a few studies finding a slightly greater number of Extraverts.

Still not sure where you fall in this dichotomy? Read how to know if you are an introvert or extrovert to find out more!