Blog of Sara Jakša

How MBTI Can Help Us Understand Other People's Criticism

Reading today's self-help, it seems that criticism is becoming the number one negative thing. I mean, it is like the happiness is the ultimate goal, and anything that endanger it, short or long term, is an enemy. This is a notion that I don't really agree with.

Not only criticism helps us grow and become better. Not allowing to accept our critical side also means that one of our personality types function is going to become underdeveloped. And underdeveloped functions can mean that this function can sabotage our actions.

According to the Beebe's mode, the function dealing with the criticism is the 6th one. So the same one than our auxiliary, but with the different direction. For example, in my case, since I am an INTP, with Ne being my auxiliary, that would mean that my 6th function is Ni.

This function can be seen in what other people show criticism forward. I, as an INTP, am usually quite annoyed by people not realizing something. I detest the unwillingness to put together an energy to think and not just be an idiot. Which is what Ni function is really good at.

This is also the reason why I think that Sherlock from BBC Sherlock might be an INTP. He shows similar kind of reaction. Though in his case, I am not sure if his reaction is that he misses Ni in other people or Ti. Not like I can see into his head. But I favor the Ni for now.

On the other hand, my mother, an ENFP, usually criticize me based on what other people will think, which shows that she has a Fe at this place. Discussion whenever to wear a sweater in my household usually turned to her argument "what will people think".

My father has Si in this place, and he does comment on my, and sometimes my sister, how clumsy we are. He also comments on our laziness, which would also be a Si kind of criticism. Si simply continues to do, and does not want to stop. Laziness would go against that.

Or let us take the Fi on this position. John Watson for BBC Sherlock was a good example of that. The time he was most angry about Sherlock, was when he considered him breaking his morals, the so called vow. Holding his bleeding wife probably did not help him see what he was doing.

We could go through more of these examples. But the point I was trying to make this the following: We all have a function, which first gains the self-expression through the criticism. Without it, it can not express itself, and it will stay unconscious, instead of the tool to be used.