maryamassegaf asked: Is it possible our type change over the time? I have test and read about mbti in many website, and the result is always INTJ right now, but I think my type in childhood was ISTJ (the description is fit better to me in the childhood). When I was teen, there was clashes inside my mind so I began to questioning inside my mind about values, rules, morality and principles in society. So I think those clashes shaped me to use more Ni functions. Btw, I have test my cognitive functions in website, and ther result my Ni, Te, Fi, Ti, and Si function is more deveoped than others (in order with small point difference)
Have you ever met somebody who got in a car accident, ended up with a horrible head injury and was never quite the same person after that? It happened to my dad (literally changed personalities).
How about…have you ever met somebody who underwent traumatising childhood abuse and ended up with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)? Multiple personalities all meshed into one person?
The point I’m trying to make is this. Yes, personality can change drastically as a result of trauma. It happens subconsciously, in a part of our minds that we have little control over. However, I don’t believe it’s possible to consciously change your personality.
1. Don’t trust the test.
Realise that online MBTI test results are usually inaccurate to a large extent, so I wouldn’t advise you to base a fluctuating personality off of any of them (if you must, this one is more accurate than most).
If you need examples of how often the test is accurate, take a look at my family’s results after multiple tests:
|Family member||Actual type||Test results|
|Sister||ENFP||INFP, ESFP, INFJ, ENFP, ISFP, INFJ|
|Brother 1||ESFP||ENTP, ESFP, ENTJ, ESTP, ENTJ, ENTJ|
|Brother 2||ISTJ||ISTJ, ISTJ, ISTJ, ISTJ, ISTJ, ISTJ|
|Me||INTJ||INTJ, INTP, INTJ, INTJ, INTJ, INTJ|
You’ll notice that my ISTJ brother and I both get relatively consistent results, while my ESFP brother and ENFP sister have startlingly erratic results.
Part of this has to do with the test questions being widely interpretable, but it also has largely to do with how well we actually know ourselves. My ISTJ brother and I are extremely introspective and way too honest with both ourselves and others, so naturally our results are going to be more likely to be accurate.
See, there’s often a wide chasm between what we think we are and what we actually are. My ESFP brother is convinced that he’s an ENTJ, so he’s figured out how to select the test answers that reflect an ENTJ mindset even though he isn’t one. What you have to ask yourself if you’re trusting the test is whether or not you’re doing similar things, and whether or not you actually want to trust the test in the first place.
My ENFP sister is honest in her answers, but depending on the day, she’ll answer differently, so she’ll get a different type. It’s that simple –not that her personality has changed at all, but rather, that her mood has changed. She often locks into her shadow functions and gets INFJ, but she’s not an introvert.
2. Life experience often changes perspective without altering cognitive function.
Oft times, it’s easy for us to confuse having thought the same thought as someone who uses a particular function with actually having that function. In other words, it’s easy to relate circumstance to cognitive function, where no such connection actually exists.
Example #1 Most of my American readers won’t be familiar with this example, but Generation War is the best one I could think of. Wilhelm (ISTJ) and Friedhelm (INTJ) Winter are two brothers stuck in a war. At the start, they clearly resemble their types, but towards the end of the mini-series, you start to see drastic changes in who they are.
Wilhelm: starts out as a rule-following patriot and conformist –> ends up an anti-war army deserter who does not obey orders
Friedhelm: starts out an anti-war rebel who does not obey orders –> ends up a rule following (albiet still unpatriotic) drone
They haven’t changed personalities at all. By the end Wilhelm (initially ISTJ) behaves more like an INTJ –he thinks about things that are more natural to INTJs, but his mode of thought still functions like an ISTJ. The opposite is true of Friedhelm. Harsh life experience forces them to develop ways of coping with all the horror around them, and when their natural beliefs aren’t enough, they develop new perspectives to help them cope.
They haven’t changed thought processing styles (personality type); they’ve changed perspectives.
Again, this example deals with extremely traumatising experiences, so it isn’t necessarily applicable to every day life, but examples must use extremes to get the message across. Anyone who has gone through a traumatising experience (or multiple) will be difficult to type simply because, like the Winter brothers, they have been forced to develop parts of themself that didn’t come naturally in their original state.
Example #2: Ender Wiggin is an INTJ who undergoes a number of traumatising experiences, including forced isolation, killing several other children and committing genocide. As a result of this experience, he develops a need for companionship, an obsession with the concept of love and a deep selflessness.
Generally, you don’t see this in a stereotypical INTJ child, but you do see it in INFJ children. Ender clings to his INFJ sister, Valentine, carries out a life of selfless devotion to everyone he comes in contact with and continues to contemplate the concept of love until the day he dies (3000+ years later).
Has Ender become an INFJ? Absolutely not. He may contemplate the same things an INFJ would, but he processes the information using NiTe logic, not NiTi logic. He may reach the same conclusions an INFJ would, but reaches conclusions the way an INTJ would.
Ender is an INTJ with the perspective of an INFJ. He still processes INTJ style.
Either way, by the end of your life (if you’ve lived it right), it should be impossible for anyone who doesn’t know you closely to type you.
3. If you want the philosophical answer…
Despite my being considered by you folk as an expert in MBTI, I personally believe that personality does not define who we are as individuals. From my perspective, it is merely a mode of thinking, part of the base nature of man’s existence.
But if we are not our personalities, who are we? After years of contemplating human nature, I’ve concluded that it’s the moral compass, the part of us that decides what we will do in life, that makes up who we are. If my soul ended up in a different body, I might have a different personality, but ultimately, I would still make the same moral decisions that I do now.
If you need a fictional example of this concept, try Doctor Who. The Doctor, despite constantly changing personalities and bodies, always pursues the same moral course –helping people and fighting evil. He doesn’t suddenly decide he doesn’t want to be good anymore because he’s changed personality, and the Master will never decide to pursue good simply because he’s changed personalities.
If you want an even better fictional example, read Children of the Mind, wherein you get an Ender with three different bodies, all possessed by his soul, all with different personalities, but all pursuing the same moral course.
In the end, I think personality is a mortal cage that we should aspire to transcend. Anyway, that went long. But it was a complicated question.