I am a researcher of psychology, philosophy and personality. I study values and what makes you tick. I improve and expand on Carl Jung’s works and find new practical use for typology in understanding relationships and life better.
Society will constantly hammer you with questions about who you are right now. But what if you don’t like it? What if you’re under stress? What if you’ve felt forced to be this way because of your circumstances in life? The MBTI will far too often reinforce limiting beliefs about yourself, and stereotypes that hold you back from being yourself.
My work against stereotypes
I grew tired quickly of stereotypical typology. People constantly tried to fit me in tight boxes. I couldn’t be an introvert, because I had become so outgoing. I couldn’t be an intuitive, because I liked to be outdoors. I couldn’t be a feeler, because I believe in science and the scientific method. I can’t be a judger, because I love and embrace creative expression and change.
As a man, people would constantly tell me how I “should” be. Man up. Don’t be so sensitive, don’t be so emotional. There’s plenty of stereotypes out there, and it’s hardly Myers Briggs or Carl Jung’s fault that our parents are trying to force us to become doctors or lawyers, and that our teachers don’t believe in us and don’t see how great we can become. But the MBTI has done nothing to address or deal with these stereotypes. This causes many women to misidentify as feelers, and many men to misidentify as thinkers. And it causes people that have experienced trauma and negative experiences to believe that it is a result of their personality type, rather than negative experiences in their own life.
What if I told you that nature has hard-wired some unique values into you? Values such as being kind, being independent, or being private. All of us have been given different values. Biology works in a pretty fascinating way. These hard-wired values have nothing to do with your current behaviour. Actually, even though you value kindness, you might have convinced yourself that nobody cares, and that there won’t be a point. Your friendship circle only values being tough and working hard, so you shut yourself down. You told yourself it was stupid to be nice.
Neuroscience and genetics will show that your body and mind rewards you with kicks of dopamine and various neurotransmitters, telling you “you’re on the right path” and giving you a feeling of being happy. When you fail to act in accordance with these values, you feel bad or stressed.
Think about what hobbies, passions, and situations make you feel happy, and which make you feel stressed. Tap into those passions, and make a career out of them. What job can best give you satisfaction? What kind of relationship do you need to feel happy? What kind of person do you want to be?
The fight against masks
In my study of flow I encountered various masks and personas. If you know how a person is at their best, you also learn something about how they are at their worst, and at their second best. I encountered 16 different “states” or masks. These masks represent your stressors, your anxieties, and your insecurities.
A person who loves and values privacy highly will for example be frustrated and generally annoyed if they don’t take themselves time to be alone. And a person who regularly forces themselves to be on and to be fun and to be active for other people, will find themselves in Enneagram 9, focused on balance and constantly trying to manage and balance a state of overwhelm and an overall frustration.
The goal of such a type is not to have peace of mind, but to constantly respond to things that are happening around them, and to keep looking for things that are happening around them that they must respond to, a life fighting against frustration, rather than a life searching for peace of mind. In understanding these personas, perhaps we can become released from them? And perhaps in that, we can become happier, and more balanced?