Possibility Warrior

Lighting The Way Forward

PoWa

Don’t Box Me In!

| 3 Comments

The number one complaint about the Myers Briggs personality type system is stereotyping and trying to fit all of human diversity into 16 boxes.

I am a beautiful, unique snowflake and you can’t box me in!!

Did you know that there are categories for snowflakes? For example, there are the stellar dendrites, the sectored plates, and the rimmed crystals. It is human nature to categorize things, regardless of what they are, to bring order and context to the mass chaos out there. Categorization helps us trace relationships between multiple subjects. It helps us understand individuals in their context in relation to everything else.

You can be BOTH a beautiful, unique snowflake, AND be part of a type of snowflake!

Every individual snowflake is unique, and yet there are patterns that emerge when you look at many snowflakes. Noticing the patterns and naming them does not detract from the beauty of individual snowflakes. In fact it can enhance it. Wow, this snowflake is a sectored plate too, and yet so different from the last sectored plate that landed gracefully on the sleeve of my coat for just a brief moment before changing phase.

No set of categories will explain all there is to know about snowflakes, but each set of categories is still useful in it’s own way.

The same is true of unique humans. No set of categories will explain all there is to know about humans, but each set of categories is still useful in it’s own way. Every individual human is unique, and yet there are patterns that emerge when you look at many humans. You can be BOTH a beautiful, unique human, AND be part of a type of human!

Our personalities are very complex, so there will be many, many differences between individuals. However, we are all related to each other, albeit distantly, so of course there will be similarities and patterns in the way our personalities develop and present. It’s not only fascinating to tease out patterns in human cognition, it’s useful!

Sorting some of our mental processes into categories helps us see how our characteristics fit into a bigger picture. For example, the Function Types can help us understand why we’re great in some areas where others struggle and vice versa. That knowledge helps us be more compassionate with others when they struggle AND with ourselves when we struggle in our own areas!

Sure, some people use categories of any kind to stereotype.  That doesn’t mean that categories have to be used to stereotype. Sure, sometimes it’s useful to look at categories within human cognition.  That doesn’t mean that you have to always view humans through categories.

MBTI and Function Types are just tools. Use them correctly, use them when needed, and they can prove very useful indeed!

3 Comments

  1. DUDE! (Or shall I say, “DUDETTE!”) Such a well-written embrace (and treatment) of another of the endless dichotomies clear-eyed folks see washing up to shore each & every day. Again, “BRAVO!” to you, Julie, for sharing your “Let’s look a little deeper, here” POV with those of us still getting our feet wet with the Myers-Briggs material and all its potential for illuminating our way forward… 🙂

  2. Your post calls to mind wisdom I received years ago, from my relationship systems coaching certification mentors Marita Fridjhon and Faith Fuller – is a wonderful reminder that helps own the richness of who we are: “We are this and so much more … “

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