You’ve seen them, people who claim to be able to guess your type in less than 30 seconds. All they need is a tweet or a 10 second video clip of you, and they know your type with 100% certainty. These magic workers often offer courses and information on how you can be a speedtyper, just like they are. But don’t buy into their offer just yet.
When a product seems to be too good to be true, it usually is. And there are considerable downsides with the methods offered by so called speedtypers. Their quick checklists – noting down your nose sizes, how expressive your face looks, and counting how many times you use the word harmony – while quick and efficient, speedtyping will not run deep enough to make you feel understood.
We are all interested in becoming better at understanding people around us. But what we should all be looking for isn’t the speed of typing, but the depth of typing. The better and more deeply you can type another person and the more you can learn from them, the better the method. You will want to rethink what is most important. Really, nailing down a person’s type isn’t as important as understanding their development, their personal values, their subtypes, and their current state of mind.
A speedtyper may be able to quickly tell you what type is your best fit, but what can they tell you besides that? How much did they learn about you, your thoughts, and your unique needs and values? You shouldn’t just ask for an efficient and swift way to type others, you should ask for meaningful differences in mood and temperament and values. Shallow evidence for being a certain type means shallow information on what it means to be said type.
Speedtypers can’t tell the difference between development and type
Often, a speedtyper will be forced to extrapolate on small information. Perhaps they will jump to the idea that the amounts of times you say the word efficient directly translates to you being an aggresssive person. Often, these quick conclusions are more than intrusive. If asked about it, we would say we used the word efficient because we just heard our friend say it and it got stuck in our mind. Or perhaps we were stressed at the time.
Truth is, a speedtyper can’t tell the difference. The two minutes they see only show a limited portion of who you are. Depending on the video I release and how I felt while making it, people can throw a range of suggestions of types at me. If I had a dry or factual delivery, INTP. If I had a bubbly or high passion for the subject, ENFJ or ENFP. My type has nothing to do with how I appear. My type has to do with my inner wiring.
Factor mood into type
A professional typer will take your current mood and energy into account. The fact that you are stressed can easily cause others to mistype you. When I appear stressed, people frequently confuse me for a thinker and perceiver. If I am nervous, I tend to appear more as a sensor and as an extrovert. I talk faster and put on more passion to compensate for being bored, when in the wrong company. I can appear distant and aloof when I lack passion or when I am diving into a subject that interests me.
This all ties into my range of personality
I have a range from quiet, distant, but intellectually fascinated and socially active, polite, host like, but intellectually bored. I have learnt to adjust my personality to my company to fit in with anyone. We all have a range of personality.
But as amateurs, we often filter out or ignore evidence of our own range. We can sometimes deny having traits that dont fit with our type. Our mind finds arguments to support our belief, and ignores counter evidence. You will be curious to discover that INFJs have a defensive ESTP mode. And perhaps you didn’t know that ENFPs who are more neurotic can appear like anxious INFPs or ISFPs?
A deep typer is interested in your range. Your depth is more important. It says a lot more about who you are and what you are capable of. What if you come to identify with a negative subtype instead of your flow type?