Blog of Sara Jakša

How Different MBTI Types Approach Personal Development

You know what happens to me often? I am talking to one of my acquaintances. In the conversation they would suddenly start talking about what should I do to improve myself. Usually it is either social skills, being softer while giving my opinions or my language skills. One example would be, that I need to go out in the world to meet new people. Because they know that I am lonely.

I am aware that there are differences in people. Which led me to to try and lurk on the forums, trying to figure out if there are some patterns in which the different MBTI types are approaching the self development. After all, even though there are countless different ways of self-development, if everybody really had completely different way, than the self-development field would not exist. As solutions would not be tailored to one person.

What I figured out it is, that people usually use their first two functions to map their self-development. And it is usually the realm of the other functions to where the self-development is taking place.

Let me expand on the second point first. The other functions in this situations are usually the third and forth. So person with extroverted feeling in their first two functions, like the INFJ that mentioned that, are working on trusting the logic. Their reason? They found that they make better choices when they use logic than when they listen to their heart. People with strong extraverted intuition work on their practical skills, which is the domain of introverted sensing. And people with introverted thinking as a preference tend to try working on their social skills.

But even if this is a trend, it is not the absolute rule. Like a person with extraverted sensing working on how to dress themselves or people with introverted thinking trying to become smarter in the traditional sense.

Now let us go to how types actually approach the self development...

The first thing that I noticed is that people with extraverted judging and introverted perceiving tend to also be interested in the development of other people, not just themselves. On the other hand, people with introverted judging and extraverted perceiving gave the idea that they are mostly interested in improving themselves. Something to keep in mind as we go through with it.

People with extraverted feeling tend to do self-development work, that connect with making other people happy. Either they are working on how to do it better, or they are working on how to reach a better balance in their life and not do it all the time. The first approach seems to be winning though. They learn by observing and listening to other people and taking their knowledge and habits into their own life. They are much more likely to, at least at the start, trust their hearts to make the decision on what to self-improve.

People with extraverted thinking hate the slowness, and tend to work on the things that can be used in practice immediately. That is why they are much more likely to work on different skills sets. They choose what to improve on by analyzing and then improving on anything that is flawed. They are quite vocal in how others should be improving as well.

People with introverted sensing usually improve only when they need to by the external circumstances. They choose what to improve in based on how it can be practically applied in their life right now. They are more likely to improve slowly, but their change is going to be stable one. When they need to improve, they are likely to do it with introspection.

People with introverted intuition tend to talk about the understanding of self and the world. They are ready to improve on anything it needs improving on, for what they are citing their perfectionism. They also mentioned a lot of different methods that they use for improving: contemplating, journaling, introspecting, predicting the future and planning.

People with introverted feeling are much more likely to work on accepting themselves than on improving them. They take the self-development as a sort of healing that some people need to do. But there is one thing that they are very interesting in improving and that is their mental status. They are trying to control their mindset, usually to be more positive, present and constructive. They usually introspect, but they also like talking to other people, more to be heard, than to actually get any feedback.

People with introverted thinking try to find the balance between thought and action. Though sometimes the laziness gets in the way. They hyper-analyze everything, making sure it all work like an efficient machine. They are usually go at finding workaround. Habits seems to be the best way they cite for reaching change via self-improvement.

People with extraverted sensing usually just do it. When they finding something to improve, they know that it will work out and they use every available resource on their hand. They don't mention any preferred techniques, claiming that they are able to do anything.

People with extraverted intuition also use every available resource. They are quite likely to experiment with ideas, believing that eventually they will reach their best selves that way. They usually go to the interesting bits immediately, as it is shown by their reading pattern - they read books in small chunks, usually only the chapters that are interesting.

When I look through my family and friends through these lenses, I can finally understand why there is such a difference in how we approach the self-development. These differences can be frustrating, but they also make sure that we don't have the same talents and interests. After all, who wants to have the whole world for their competition?