Idiot’s Guide to MBTI

Last update Dec 2022

QueueYou may have been introduced to the Myer’s Briggs personality types as a set of 16 types, each dictated by four letters (such as ISTP, ESFP or ENFJ).

Forget the four letters. The only thing those letters are useful for is differentiating between types on paper. Although the system is extremely useful, it was poorly named.

If you were introduced to the MBTI system on Tumblr: From now on, ditch your assumptions about MBTI. I/E does not determine how loud or quiet you are. J/P does not determine how disciplined or spontaneous you are. N/S does not determine how much of a dreamer or pragmatist you are, and lastly, the one I cannot stress enough: F/T does not determine how intelligent you are.

The best way to think of MBTI types is as a set of cognitive functions that serve to determine how your thought process works. MBTI type doesn’t necessarily determine what your interests will be or even how intelligent you are. It’s best not to think of MBTI Personality types as a “16 personalities,” per se, but more accurate to view them as 16 types of thought-processes.

Instead of four letters, you’re actually going to be looking at a set of cognitive functions specific to each type that will determine how you experience emotion, where your logic system is derived,

Below, I’ve written a detailed guide to understanding the jungian functions. Feel free to ask questions as you go through it:

I. The Jungian Functions for Dummies

  1. The Basics
  2. Idiot’s Trick for Differentiating
  3. Basic Function Hierarchy
  4. Why You Need Two Introverted and Two Extraverted Functions
  5. Grip Experience
  6. Shadow Functions
  7. Function Loops (forthcoming)
  8. Function Discussion series
  9. 16 Type Contrast series

II. You’re officially obsessed now! Explore some new topics!

  1. Psuedointroverts / Psuedoextroverts
  2. MBTI Stereotypes
  3. Jungian Function Development
  4. Gender Studies, Queer Theory, and MBTI
  5. Intelligence across the MBTI Types
  6. Psuedointroverts / Psuedoextroverts

III. Topics Miscellany


  1. MBTI in Film
  2. Acting Style and MTBIThe Book Addict's Guide to MBTI | #MTBI
  3. MBTI in Shakespeare
  4. MBTI in Doctor Who
  5. MBTI and Writing
  6. Villians in Each Type


  1. MBTI and Relationship Compatibility
  2. Understanding Your INTJ Friend
  3. Using MBTI to Communicate Effectively

Psychology and Mental Health

  1. Jungian Function Development
  2. MBTI and Trauma/PTSD
  3. MTBI and Depression
  4. MBTI and OCD
  5. MBTI  as it relates to Neurodiversity, Autism, and ADHD
  6. Why Introverts Need People Too

Getting to Know You

  1. Why You Hate your MBTI Type
  2. How to take the MBTI test accurately

General Questions about MBTI

  1. Is it possible to have 2 personalities?
  2. Does personality type change over time?
  3. Why does your type cry (or not cry) in movies?

Your question not here? Check out Ask an INTJ Anything!

4 thoughts on “Idiot’s Guide to MBTI

  1. I’m specially interested in the Function Hierarchy in Depth section, most of the analysis I’ve found in other blogs are quite ambiguous and I bet you will give some good logic in your arguments instead of just bragging of much you know like other persons do.

    I’m looking forward to read it!


  2. What resources do you or have you used in regard to MBTI? I have only found one website that I really like other then your blog that really explains the functions beyond the stereotypes that are associated with typing.
    (this website not sure if you have ever heard of it or not, its not perfect but it does look beyond stereotypes.)

    That is what I appreciate about your typing, while you have admitted that you possibly can be a little biased at times, you admit when you were wrong and you try to see beyond the stereotypes and look at how the character or person thinks and processes information.


    • Personality Junkie just so happens to be one of the many sources that I’ve used for this website. Others include (but are very definitely not limited to) Naomi Quenk’s books, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Personality Patheways, the writings of Carl Jung, funkymbtifiction (take this one with a grain of salt – I mostly reference her to see what the cannon is saying) etc.

      I could go on and on…but I won’t.

      Thanks for the compliment though. None of us human beings are rational, however logical we may claim to be.


  3. What were you going to say at the end of the fifth paragraph? You didn’t finish it.


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