Typecasting For Champions

Okay, so I’ve been having a brief conversation with a woman on the Book’o’Faces who is an MBTI certified tester or whatever they call themselves (‘Cultist’ is probably the word I’m reaching for). The thing is, I actually read a very good, very thorough book on the subject in my favourite library (Hamilton Public Library; Central Branch) almost two decades ago that really spelled it all out for me, and I found my type with no great difficulty. I know my personal underpinnings almost as well as I know my chubby, scruffy face in the mirror.

But the thing is, I have no need, nor any desire, to have this assessment confirmed or denied by a so-called ‘expert’. I’m not so insecure that I fear learning ‘I’ve been wrong all this time’. Quite the opposite; I’m supremely confident that my assessment of my psychological type is sound. I’ll admit, on the face of it, that sounds like hubris, but the thing is, it’s sort of my main area of expertise. I’ve made a study of myself for decades. I ask questions I don’t like, and rarely flinch from the answers that disappoint me in myself. Life is full of disappointment, after all.

The thing is, I’ve typed myself repeatedly, always getting the same result, and that’s more relevant to me than any expert can do. I’ve only ever met one person who was able to type me so thoroughly and accurately, and she wasn’t an MBTI Guru either. Reading the book I read back in the 90s, I was able to identify myself, warts and all, so thoroughly, that I’ve never had any reason to doubt that I had learned knew and profoundly truthful things about myself that had nothing to do with star signs or any mystical, spiritual or scientific bunkum.

Until today. 

I didn’t mind my friend calling MBTI down. It’s become a bit of a whipping boy for intelligentsia-types who don’t like having their delicate psyches analyzed and put in a little box. Fair enough. I don’t enjoy it either. But I don’t think MBTI is total bunkum, either. I DO think using the MBTI to screen or head hunt for ideal employees is absolutely crap, and the whole industry that sprung up in the defense and aid of this practice repulses me. All people have to be able to make a living, regardless of type, so using MBTI to cherrypick employees is not only repugnant, it’s irresponsible and unethical. 

I’m not saying MBTI testers are like this. At least, not all of them.

But what I DO get from this one lady who jumped into the thread is that she seems elitist, arrogant, and defensive of her little certification in an esoteric area of human personality analysis that should be as widely disseminated as possible, rather than preserved like an ancient mystical order preserves its so-called practices (Jedi Knights, anyone?). That way lies profiteering and elitism. If I want to spend $45 for an online test to confirm what I already know about myself, then I don’t deserve the answer.

I’m sure that flies in the face of MBTI professional testers everywhere.

All I can say to that is, write a book or two sometime, and then come tell me what you know about people. If I want someone to tell me how to live my life, I’ll join a church (again).

Or I won’t, which is much more likely.


Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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