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What your Car says about you


What your Car says about you

Pic found on Twitter
Pic found on Twitter

Mid-life crisis = red corvette? No comment!

Yesterday we talked about lunch and culture, today it's cars and personality type.

American manufacturer Ford is currently holding their conference in Detroit, and have teamed up with CPP (license-holder of all MBTI® products) to show which Type would prefer which Ford model.

I've gone through an exercise before where we talked about our decision-making for car purchases. I remember someone with extraverted Feeling (Fe) preferences saying they simply "fell in love" as soon as they saw their car.

Someone with introverted Feeling (Fi) preferences said they went by recommendation and experience.

Someone with INTP preferences (dominant introverted Thinking Ti = analyzing) compared statistics, security results, mileage, and many other objective factors.

For me, it's not very extraverted Feeling at all - I just need my car to function, and I certainly don't have the patience to compare all those numbers. German engineering, anyone?

Here are some of the comments left on the MBTI facebook page about how to choose a car.

INTJ - Nissan Centra (quiet, practical, low maintenance, logical choice)

ENFJ - sporty & fun

INFJ - technology features

INFJ - Scion xA

INFP - not flashy but very reliable

INFP - biodiesel bug = easy on the environment & holds dogs well

ESTJ - 1960 Morris Minor. No technology = less to go wrong; everything can be fixed with a spanner

ENTP - Jeep Wrangler - go anywhere, do anything

ISTP - Jeep Wrangler - flexible to make (it) anywhere in silence

INTP - love the technology

What's your Type, and what (if any) do you drive?


Image by Jon Rawlinson, Flickr, Creative Commons.



ENTP and Graphology

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This archive will be discontinued next month. 


ENTPs are often described as enterprising, challenging, curious, objective, analytical, clever, and outspoken. Their lead functions are extraverted Intuiting Ne (aka brainstorming) and introverted Thinking Ti (aka analyzing) in the dominant and auxiliary position, respectively. Our ENTP writer in the meeting wrote in quick, sharp points. In this case it did not show an overly aggressive emotional foundation. The angularity indicated he enjoys debate, and that assertiveness and rapid responses would be a strong point for this person. Heavy pen pressure indicated emotional depth and mental acuity.



Introverted Thinking Ti

Ti doodle You're using introverted Thinking or Ti when you're deeply analyzing something. When you're precisely naming and categorizing thoughts and ideas. When you're thinking in models, frameworks, and principles. When you're reaching conclusions while detaching yourself from outside input.

ISTP INTPPeople with Ti as their dominant function cannot not analyze. They like to know how things work, being able to precisely describe their essence, and applying logical principles.

Expats using Ti to decide on an assignment are likely to take an objective, detached point-of-view. They are able to appreciate the complexity and may take time to examine the offer from multiple angles, with the aim of coming to the most accurate decision. It is helpful here to factor in emotional concerns for family members and how the relocation will affect the family system.

If Ti is in different positions in your type dynamics, below is an overview pieced together with only a few items taken from Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi. Let me say this again to be very clear: the description of how Ti can be expressed in the different positions is not exhaustive and only meant to give you an overview. I would love to have you comment below how it shows up for you.

introverted thinking ti

If you'd like to practice your Ti skills, find an idea or a theory or a system that interests you and take it apart into tiny little pieces. Dig deep. Be objective. Until you understand how the pieces fit together and are able to extrapolate the underlying principle. Some types may find Sudoku a good exercise as well.



Function Attitudes 101

8 functions flower doodleJung used the term "function" to explain ways we use our brain to gather information and make decisions. Sensing and Intuiting are his "irrational", perceiving, information-gathering functions; Thinking and Feeling are his "rational", judging, decision-making functions. Jung described our direction and source of mental energy ("libido") as an Extraversion or Introversion "attitude". Since all functions can occur in both attitudes, we end up with eight function-attitudes (a term probably first coined by Henry L. Thompson).

They are:

Extraverted Sensing Se; Introverted Sensing Si; Extraverted Intuiting Ne; Introverted Intuiting Ni; Extraverted Thinking Te; Introverted Thinking Ti; Extraverted Feeling Fe; and Introverted Feeling Fi.

Over the next 8 days, we'll go into a little more detail about each of these.

You have access to and use all eight function-attitudes, but they show up differently according to where they are in the hierarchy of your personality preferences.

I got four letters on this test, but I don't remember what they are...

If you have taken the MBTI(r) or another personality type indicator, you probably received a four-letter code. Your type code is short-hand for the type dynamics and patterns that lie within. For example, someone with ESFJ preferences has Fe as their lead, dominant, first function; someone with INTP preferences has Fe as their inferior, aspirational, fourth function; someone with ENTJ preferences has Fe as their demonic, eighth function.

Type describes the patterns that those mental preferences bring to who you are and how you behave. Don't break the code into its segments (e.g. to describe someone as a "Sensor" or a "Feeler"), because it's only the context of the whole type that accurately reflects your personality and mental processes.

I can do all functions equally well

Congratulations! Sadly, you're probably kidding yourself.

The function you develop first as your dominant is usually the one you are most comfortable with and most skilled at. It is also the one that is most under your conscious control. The further we go down the list, the less ability we generally have, right down to the eighth function that we probably use with least effectiveness. Until we become aware of the processes and work at improving them, of course.

Dr. John Beebe, noted Jungian analyst, developed a model where he charted the eight function-attitudes to archetypes. Archetypes are universal images that represent the human experience. He calls the first four function-attitudes ego-syntonic, or experienced as part of the self, and the last four ego-dystonic, or experienced as foreign to the self. In other words, those are behaviors and attributes we may project onto something or someone else without recognizing that they are part of us, inside us.

My favorite Jung quote:

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.


Here's an overview of the terminology, and how the functions show up(1).

Function Attitudes Overview

Understanding what these functions mean for your particular type can have tremendous impact on your personal development, how you deal with stress, with change, your leadership and communication style, and it can certainly improve personal relationships as well. I have found them most helpful in my own analysis of how I dealt with expatriation challenges, and I've successfully used it with some clients as well.

What's the difference between conscious and unconscious functions?

You have the most conscious access to your first two functions. Your preferred functions are what comes most naturally to you. This is you in flow, at your best, on a perfect day, when things come easy. These two functions give you strengths and abilities that you probably take for granted and can't believe others don't have the same. These first two functions are the ones that you will have developed during childhood and adolescence, and - in an ideal environment that nurtured your gifts - got to practice the most.

The third function comes into play in or around mid-life, and the fourth function after that, if at all. This is why we have so many people in "mid-life crisis". It's their third and fourth function demanding attention - a completely normal and healthy process on the road to "individuation", becoming your whole self. Again - once you're aware of your type dynamics, you can start consciously working on developing all functions so you get comfortable using them eventually. With some you may never attain a level of grace, but at least you'll notice when they're working you.

functions conscious energy doodle

Because guess what: you're not in control of all the functions all the time, some take control of you. Particularly those that are more unconscious. Especially at times when you are sick, or tired, or stressed, or all of the above.

When those unconscious functions take over, and even when you try to consciously use them more effectively, it takes mental effort. When you're stressed, you may feel quite literally beside yourself. "Was that really me?" is a title of a book dealing with type and stress, that's how common that question is.

When you're unhappy with who you are and think you have to change for some reason, you will have to overcome your natural preferences and force yourself. It's not easy pretending to be someone else, and it's certainly tiresome.

Thankfully, type awareness helps. Or as Linda puts it:

"When you know who you are, you are freer to be who you're not."

(1) Understanding Yourself and Others - An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, Linda V. Berens, Dario Nardi