9 MBTI Typing Mistakes Tumblr Makes

9 MBTI Typing Mistakes Tumblr Makes

Credit: quotes & bullets borrowed from celebritytypes.com and expounded upon in an understandable format

If you haven’t already, read my Mistyping post for further input on what mistakes to avoid when typing people.

#1 “All scientists are NT types”

(and that all NT types are good at science)

Interestingly enough, some of my favourite scientists are xNFPs (Albert Einstein, for instance). People often assume that all NTs are extremely intelligent (not true), and that any F type is automatically less intelligent. On the contrary, intelligence spans both ways, as we discussed as my MBTI Types as Geniuses post.

INTJs to have the highest collective IQ, but that does not mean that people of other types can’t have high intelligence as well.

xNFP scientists are some of my favourite because they have such a different perspective on science –it’s passionate in a beautiful sort of way that doesn’t always show visibly in NTs.

There are a lot of S-type scientists out there too. Se-users are particularly good when it comes to observable data, and Si users are extremely detail oriented, so there.

“Like stupidity … [intelligence] is not a function, but a modality; the word tells us no more than how a function is working, not what is functioning.” – Jung: Psychological Types §949

#2 “Any creative or thoughtful person must be an N type”

It’s often assumed that if you have any creativity at all, you must be an N-type, and if you are an S-type, you must be un-introspective and un-creative. This assumption makes sense according to Tumblr logic, but it is undeniably false.

There are many extremely creative people who are sensors. I’ve known many very thoughtful artists in this realm, and many gifted and deep writers have mesmerized thousands of people with their S-type writing.

ISTPs often come up with brilliant out-of-the-box solutions for urgent problems, and this is what makes them so good at reacting in the moment. They’re not the only ones either.

Do you think the author of The Hunger Games was an N-type? How about the author of Forever War? Probably not. Are they creative artists? Absolutely.

I have known many wonderful xSFP artists, who each expressed their creative visions immaculately. I have also known many xxSJs with incredibly wide and beautiful imaginations.

“Jung attaches great importance to the creative activity of fantasy, which he even puts in a category of its own, because in his opinion it cannot be subordinated to any of the four basic functions, but partakes of them all. He rejects the usual notion that artistic inspiration is limited to the intuitive type. … Fantasy is indeed the source of all creative inspiration, but it is a gift that can come to any of the four types.” – Jolande Jacobi: The Psychology of C.G. Jung, 1942

#3 “Physical characteristics are relevant to Jungian typology”


I re-lose my faith in humanity every time I read any Tumblr post the assumes physical characteristics have anything to do with Jungian cognitive functions. People often try to judge a person’s personality type based on what they wear or what kind of face they have.

Some assume that anyone who wears a lot of black must be either an INTJ or an INFP. Don’t know where that logic came from….probably a misled Ti function.

Furthermore, they look at someone’s face and say, “Hmm…that person has a really honest looking face, so they couldn’t be a T-type.” Oh…I can’t tell you how much it hurts to hear that.

“Jung’s typology omits any reference to bodily characteristics and is confined to the classification of normal psychic data. This should be noted.” – E.A. Bennet: What Jung Really Said, 1967

#4 “Introspection (N) is the same as Introversion (I). Introverts are more introspective than Extroverts”

People often make the mistake of assuming that extraverts aren’t introspective, that they’re all shallow and loud and…well frankly, this is a poor estimation of reality.

“[In typology, there is an] error of confusing extraversion (E) with observation (S) and introversion (I) with introspection (N).” – David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II, 1998

This I believe, is the mistake that Charity (of funkymbtifiction) has done in her attempts to type Sherlock. Her current profile for him labels him as an ESTP simply because he’s observant, needing to constantly be doing something new, and not particularly introspective.

Then, there are the extraverts that believe they are introverts merely because society tells them they must be introverted if they introspect. My ESFP and ESTJ relations do this quite frequently, but this mentality is based on false generalizations.

“An extravert’s [introspection] is especially genuine and and especially pure and deep. Extraverts are often so proud of this that they boast loudly about what great introverts they are. They try to make it a feather in their cap – which is [again] quite extraverted.” – Marie-Louise von Franz: Lectures on Jung’s Typology, 1971

#5 “Cognitive preference dictates ability”

“All Thinking types are smart.” Wrong again.

Not all xSTPs are great with tools and mechanics, not all xNTJs are great entrepreneurs or strategists. Not all xNFPs work in creative fields.

The Jungian cognitive functions merely dictate how your thought process works. This doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the content of your thoughts, or the context in which you choose to apply that thought process.

Don’t be my ESFP brother, who looks at his INTJ friend and says. “You should know! You’re an INTJ.” Realize that just because a person has a certain ability, does not mean they have a certain thought process. Likewise, just because a person has a certain cognitive function doesn’t mean they will have all the abilities canonically associated with that function.

Avoid this problem

#6 “Specific behaviour determines type”

“All control-freaks are Te-doms.”

“Anyone who does anything kind must be an F-type.”

“All INTJs want to take over the world.”

“All emo kids are xNFPs.”

“Anyone who can act crazy must be an extravert.”

As I’ve said before, one can never determine the contents of a man’s mind by merely witnessing his actions, nor can you determine the truth of a man’s soul by judging only his words. To know him, we must compare the falsehoods of his words to the falsehoods of his actions.

“One might consider an individual to be an extravert, because he displays in reactions and superficial character those qualities and tendencies which we associate with the extravert type. … [But sometimes] careful observation … will reveal … an unconsciously constructed disguise.” – Beatrice Hinkle, The Re-Creating of the Individual, 1923

“Since I am not a behaviourist, I take leave to suppose that you are still very far from the real man when you observe only his behaviour. I regard behaviour as a mere husk that conceals the living substance within.” – C.G. Jung: Civilization in Transition §967

“… while Se types will on average have a greater affinity for extreme sports, one cannot say that because a given person has an affinity for extreme sports, that then makes him an Se type. An affinity for extreme sports is a piece of mental contents. The process that led the person to take an interest in extreme sports is a mental process. When we set out to determine someone’s psychological type, we are trying to determine their mental processes [functions]. If we were simply relying on a static checklist of mental contents, then we would be employing a behavioristic approach. And Jungian typology is not behaviorism.” – CelebrityTypes Admin Team, Typings in King: ‘Jung’s Four and Some Philosphers,’ 2013

#7 “I can be a typology expert after two weeks of study”


I’ve said this before. Nobody can learn MBTI in a mere month. There are plenty of idiots out there who will claim otherwise, some of them even INTJs (immature ones). Never take someone’s word based on their type. Read what they write and make a calculated judgment about the accuracy of their perception before trusting them as a valid source of information.

I am an INTJ and will admit that it took me several months to fully understand the Meyers-Briggs theory. Sure, like those other immature folk out there, I understood the basics after a week, but I was also mature enough to recognize what I did not know.

Comprehending the big picture is not the same as understanding. To truly understand, we must understand both the big picture and the details.

“Temperament … is a very difficult subject which most psychologists are glad to leave alone.” – William MacDougal, Introduction to Social Psychology, 1921

[Typing someone] requires a fine diagnostic sense.” – Beatrice Hinkle, The Re-Creating of the Individual, 1923

“[There are some who] desire to possess profound knowledge without profound effort in thinking.” – Cosma Shalizi, Review of Paul Krugman’s ‘Pop Internationalism,’ 1998

#8 “All great military commanders are N dominant”

One doesn’t have to be an INTJ to be great in warfare. In fact, I think most INTJs would prefer to avoid using their strategic abilities in war.

The guy who beat us British folk in the American Revolutionary war was an xSTJ (George Washington). They say the ISTJ is the ultimate soldier, but it isn’t only xSTJs who can make great military careers.

Napoleon Bonaparte was most definitely an S-type.

“There are men who, by their … make-up, create for themselves a complete picture built upon a single detail. Whatever … other good qualities they may have, nature has not marked them for the command of armies.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, The Military Maxims, 1827

“One outstanding member of the [ISJ] type is a two-star general. His well-balanced [Si] gives him … the shock-absorbing mental robustness, which is the first requirement for a general … the painstaking attention to administration and supply, … and the strict realism of sensing.” – Isabel Myers, Gifts Differing,  1980

#9 “Personality Disorders aren’t a Factor”

Some of you may have noticed that I always make a point to mention any mental illnesses or disorders that plague the characters I type. The Book Addict’s Guide to MBTI includes plenty of posts tagged with after-notes discussing PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder etc.

However, there are a large number of “expert” typers out there who fail to take such things into account when they set out to type characters. Disorders of the mood, or any disorder that causes a person to experience intense emotions of any kind tend to cause inexperienced typers to assume F-type. For example, they fail to point out Hamlet’s depression and so type him as an F-type, or they don’t recognize Katniss’s PTSD and type her as an ISFJ rather than an ISTJ.

Another common mistake is to assume that anyone with traits in line with Narcissistic Personality Disorder must be an Fi-user. Or assuming that characters with OCD traits must be an Si-user. Or that characters with traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder must be introverts.

In fact, the assumption is often that any character possessing traits of a mental illness must be an introvert (without a mental illness).

18 thoughts on “9 MBTI Typing Mistakes Tumblr Makes

  1. Since it’s apparent you’re well read when it comes to MBTI, can you recommend one specific book as a starting point for understanding personality theory more completely? Most of my research comes from eclectic online resources, and though I’d like to start adding books on MBTI to my library, life as a university student limits my resources. If you could recommend one book to start with, I’d greatly appreciate it.


  2. It’s about correlation between the giftedness norm ratio with the types. It’s pure statistics. Your #NotAllIntuitives and radical relativism to empirical data is completely… well, irrational. If your Agenda is about making people feel better about themselves despite being sensors, it’s your thing, just don’t try to rationalize it.


    • The thing is despite the studies that suggest the correlation between giftedness norm ratio with types may be getting on to something, I disagree with your conclusion. Statistics shows if something may be correlated but causality is a different matter entirely and sometimes something may appear related to one another but it could be due to an outside cause that happens to tie both things.

      Just to point one out, scientists are now giving a second look at the sugar rush idea and from what I last read, have decided that it was indeed a coincidence. The statistics showed that the sugar rush was a thing but after studying the case again, they found a surprising number of tests with contradictory results but were not published because simply scientific journals only publish positive results. Instead they are now suggesting that the sugar rush in kids (as the tests are done with children) is simply kids, being kids, getting exhilarated by the gifts of sweet stuff. Here, the statistics are right – kids really do get crazy after eating sweets but it has little to do with the blood sugar level and thus we make the wrong conclusions and sadly use this mess as a fact and a base for other conclusions.

      Besides if you really open your eyes – you will see the unique individuals that do not seem to fit their type. How I see it is this, your personality type is simply how your brain is predetermined to function but it is not a pre-programmed software. Which is why online MBTI tests aren’t accurate with their results – the key to knowing a person is not by the answer they give but the reason why they choose that answer.

      For example, the question (Do you find it difficult to introduce yourself to other people?) may try to identify whether you are an introvert or an extravert however being an extravert, I do find it difficult to introduce myself to other people not because I feel shy but because I cannot decide on which side of me should I be when I want to introduce myself (Ne – a side effect of my Ne dom is that I unconsciously wear and switch between different personas like languages and my real self is somewhere in between all of my intangible parts much like how a multilingual thinks in multilingual – at least I do) and the principle passed down from my ancestors and that I partially agree with: you are a representative of a bigger whole, your family, your people and your nation (Fi – and possibly the crazy exaggeration by Ne). Indeed once the ice has broken and I start losing my focus, I can only genuinely apologise for forgetting that not everyone is interested in my views of everything.

      Your type can also contradict your stereotypes and while this is simply my own opinion, I do believe that in a lot of circumstances, the uniquely different person in the field has the biggest advantage because you would quickly understand and adapt to your surroundings while everyone around you are still trying to make out what you are.

      My INTJ sister and my ENFP self are both martial arts enthusiasts since we were in primary school and we are two of the best in our class. The stereotypes generally suggest that Se are the fighters (INTJ do have Se in their stack but it’s way down there) and perhaps yes, we have to work harder than most since it’s a little far from what we’re ‘geared’ to but we also tend to stand out when we fight.

      My sister uses a lot of other non-combative skill like an intense stare that is almost devoid of emotion that is very uncommon in a fight and is eerie and unnerving. She also has a very good idea of when to do what with incredible accuracy and confidence (or apparent confidence – which is good enough). I assume that what her Se picks up, her Ni quickly analyse. I don’t know what goes in her mind because she doesn’t want to tell and you don’t push a INTJ into telling.

      On my part, I have to consciously shut myself from doing what I call ‘loud thinking’ which is my default Ne voice going on a monologue because I would be flooded with a million and one possibilities of how to bring my adversary down and get knocked down myself before I reach to a conclusion. Instead here I tend to work on my lower functions – I use my Si to recall what I did the last time I was in the same situation and a Te to decide how to best execute it. But Ne being my dominant function, it still comes in when I least expect it (because deep thinking isn’t exactly suited for fights, I have less control over what I think) and comes up with rather interesting moves that stuns my enemy and often turns the table when I’m desperate. I have yet to develop it well enough to use it consciously in a fight so I need much more sparring practice to train my Si but it won’t help as much as if I’m fighting someone with a unique style and I need to revert back to my inconsistent and excitable Ne. I think there a Se dom would definitely be most advantageous.

      And the reason why we pick up martial arts in the first place may differ as well. For me, as I grew up my father was a fan of some medieval war strategy game and I became fascinated with fencing, archery and fighting in general. My parents are strict about leaving the house using crime rates as an excuse for mostly anything and that played with my Ne into perceiving possible danger everywhere (I used to tie a pair of scissors around my thigh every time I leave the house when I was a tween because penknives aren’t strong enough and everyone knows one must expect the unexpected) and being the eldest in my family with no brothers (then), my Fi felt it was my responsibility to protect my family. Why I stayed… I honestly can’t say. It’s one of my only hobbies that has yet to die out and while I don’t keep to a training schedule as does my sister I have not taken a true hiatus for 13 years – an incredible feat when compared to the sad outcomes of my other interests.

      For my sister, in the first place, INTJ are known for their love for knowledge and I think she simply finds it useful and practical being a pretty petite who used to be intermittently bullied at school and often gets advances by boys – sometimes a little too aggressive. Her lower Se should also appreciate the concentrated outside stimuli absorbed in a fight.

      I apologise for taking the incredible space here, my dear author but I do get rather ticked off by the strong opinion of the commenter above who do not appear to see the difference between opinions and facts. Also, they have yet to meet an INTJ, I’m sure. An INTJ isn’t interested in training strangers to be self assured.


  3. YES! When I was reading this, I thought, “This person sounds like an INTJ….”. RIGHT after I thought that, I read your paragraph stating that you are an INTJ. I don’t know. It just made me a little excited. I am an INTJ as well and I LOVE how you covered the mental illness issue. I have researched MBTI correlations with mental illnesses, but I haven’t found much. However, I am so glad someone said it.


  4. Thank you for this! I am an ENFP, and while I am creative and enjoy people, I am also incredibly introspective and have an undying interest in science. Sometimes I get frustrated with the culture of MBTI online, because ENFPs are made very one dimensional.


  5. I first discovered MBTI a couple yeas ago and I am still learning and gaining understanding about the different types and how to identify them. I really appreciate how you emphasize finding the inconsistencies between what people say, think, and do and how these as a collective determine a person’s character. We are rarely what we profess to be, want to be, or even believe ourselves to be. I just discovered your blog today and I will definitely be “binge reading” up on all of your fictional character types. Thanks for sharing your insightful understanding of MBTI!

    Dani Fisher


  6. I’m an INTP female and I do not look like a “typical” INTP. There’s this idea that we all look like sloppy nerds who wear Zelda t-shirts and haven’t showered for weeks. At first glance someone would probably assume I’m an ESFP or INFP, due to my “girly” appearance. I’m also very nice and bubbly when I start talking with people.

    I’m starting to realize this confuses people. Apparently bubbly sweet girls can’t be sarcastic and cynical. (Or freakishly smart).

    People also would assume me to be an INFP, since I’m extremely creative and now pursing an artistic career. I did consider going into a more scientific field way before going into more artistic endeavors. I used to be pretty typical INTP when it came to that sort of stuff.

    As for being a typology expert: I have been studying MBTI for almost a year now and I’m still figuring things out. Sadly, a lot of research is done on the Internet (pesky books costing money). None the less I’ve been silently typing my family and friends, and I’ve gotten all of them correct so far.


  7. Thank you for this post. I’ve been reading daily on MBTI and cognitive functions for the past few months now and the more I read, the less I seem to know (even though I start seeing patterns and how functions affect each other on a high level). I’m focusing a lot on the pitfalls, and I’ve actually read more than once your comparison posts (as well as other forums’) and about stereotypes. Knowing what do avoid or what not to do is incredibly helpful.

    I’ve realised as I started typing characters for practice that, as the quote you listed says, it’s really about diagnosis, and “Jungian typology is not behaviorism”. So far, this has been the best lesson I have learned through all my readings.


  8. This is interesting. I’m female and ISTP but I’m not the stereotype of the Batman cave diving crime fighting ninja – I’m more like Batman the nerdy scientist. Hmm, lots of food for thought here. I was going to write a huge comment but meh, you don’t need my life story. This just got me thinking is all. It’s nice to know it’s valid to be a more artsy and writerly version of ISTP, rather than the variant who goes skydiving to relax after a day of building furniture.


  9. On military commanders, a couple more S-types include the greatest Confederate commanders from the American Civil War–Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (ISTJ) and Robert E. Lee (ISFJ). I suppose Lee might qualify as one of the missing ISFJ geniuses…his tactics, like Jackson’s, are still studied for military purposes, and he worked as president of a college after the war ended.


    • As an ISFJ, I find this interesting. I have been interested in finding out if historical figures and authors were ISFJs. Thank you E. J.



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