Small Vs Big Letters In The 16 Personalities
You’re not a walking, perfect stereotype of your personality type.
You’re a unique person with your own position in the personality spectrum. In this article, learn how to use small and uppercase letters to highlight your preferences. Let’s talk about how a person might change based on whether they have a strong or weak preference. And lastly, I will show you why we need to get rid of the idea of fixed personality types all together.
My name is Erik Thor, and I’ve studied personality psychology and flow extensively for the past decade, writing books like the Hero Code and the Power Of Persona, which are available on my Patreon page for those interested.
I used to find it impossible to really relate to every facet about my personality type. I often felt like I was a healthy mix of Feeling and Thinking, able to relate to and empathise with other people, but also provide critical and constructive feedback to help people improve.
And most people have stories like that. Some people really are introverts – and more introverted than others. Some, only have a small introverted preference, some have a small extroverted preference, and lastly, some have a significant extroverted tendency.
The Introverted Extroverted Personality Spectrum
A true ambivert? That’s rare. Only one person on the planet could be said to be perfectly in the middle. Even a small preference matters when you’re exploring nuances in yourself. If you’re 3% more extroverted than the average, that already means you spend 250 hours more every year engaged with the outer world, compared to someone on the middle.
Significantly introverted: You find it hard to engage with the outer world. You have a big and complex inner world that you find hard to express to other people. You can come off as more shy, quiet or reserved compared to the average person. You have a slow paced approach to life.
Somewhat introverted: In general, you prefer to let others lead or take charge, but don’t mind to be involved in group activities. You can get fired up to talk about something if it’s interesting to you. You have areas or situations where you are more outgoing, while in general, you’re fairly introverted.
Somewhat extroverted: You like to act and make things happen, but if someone else is more dominant than you, you’re okay letting them take the lead. You tend to be outgoing in most situations, but often have more introverted hobbies or days, where you spend more time journalling or reflecting on life.
Strongly extroverted: You prefer to be with other people, most of the time. You find it hard to prioritize your own needs and self-reflection. You like to keep busy and to be in charge of things happen most of the time. You don’t like being held down or told to be quiet, and you don’t like when others have more attention than you. You’re very enthusiastic and stimulating to be around.
Small versus big letters for Intuitives and Sensors
Predominantly Sensing: You prefer to settle down and live an easy and simple life. You’re traditional and don’t let yourself be swayed by big or crazy ideas. You take a step by step approach to life, taking every day as it comes. You show a lot of grit and discipline in how you live and conduct yourself, putting in your best effort in your work, studies, and into your family and friends. You wouldn’t believe in something unless there was strong evidence to support it, or you saw it with your own eyes.
Slightly Sensing leaning: You like to experience things for real, and focus on things that you can experience or prove with evidence. But if it’s in the realm of what could be possible, you’re not against the idea of speculating a bit and trying things out. You give people the benefit of the doubt and understand that things can change over time. And you’re not against making small changes once in a while. Even if you’re hesitant at first, you can be persuaded.
Slightly Intuitive leaning: You enjoy what-ifs and new ideas, and you’ve sometimes made some big changes in your life. But you still have certain hobbies and elements of your life that you would never change. You like having some anchors and things to keep you from flying too far to the sky. While you often jump from thing to thing, you have certain things you tend to stick to. And while you enjoy theory and academics, you want to know that what you do provides some real value to the world, and isn’t just fun trivia.
Predominantly Intuitive: You’re known to often make big changes in your life, and have very few things that tend to stick. You have perhaps moved countries or switched interests many times in your life. You like to go deep and tend to geek out over abstract theories related to life, philosophy, psychology, but it’s often hard for you to give examples of practical use cases or situations where your theories have merit. While you learn fast and often have an intuitive way of understanding things, you often struggle with grit and self-discipline, and often lose interest or focus once things get too detailed.
Small versus big letters for Feeling and Thinking types
Predominantly Feeling: Your approach to life is largely governed by your empathy and consideration for others. You value interpersonal harmony and are often found mediating conflicts or offering a listening ear. You make decisions based on your values and the potential impact on people. However, this focus on harmony might sometimes come at the cost of overlooking logical implications or factual details.
Slightly Leaning Towards Feeling: You tend to value harmonious interactions and like to ensure that the people around you are comfortable and at ease. You may find yourself considering others’ feelings before making decisions. However, you are also capable of setting aside personal feelings to focus on facts when the situation calls for it. Your balanced approach allows you to navigate both personal and impersonal scenarios with a good degree of adaptability.
Slightly Leaning Towards Thinking: While you appreciate the importance of interpersonal relations, you generally lean towards a more logical and objective approach to life. You prefer making decisions based on facts, logic, and empirical evidence. You are comfortable engaging in debates and value clarity and efficiency. You have the ability to navigate emotional waters when needed, but your default mode is to look at things from a rational perspective.
Predominantly Thinking: You thrive on logical consistency, efficiency, and objective truth. Decision-making for you is a matter of evaluating the facts, weighing the evidence, and arriving at the most logical conclusion. You value competence and may be seen as a go-to person for solving problems or clarifying complex issues. While you may find it challenging to navigate emotional or subjective matters, your strength lies in your ability to remain objective, even in emotionally charged situations.
Small versus big letters for Judging and Perceiving types
Predominantly Judging: Your world is often structured and organized. You thrive on schedules, plans, and clear expectations. Decision-making comes naturally to you, and you prefer environments where things are decided with a fair amount of predictability. While this approach helps in being dependable and meeting your commitments, it might sometimes challenge your adaptability in spontaneous or uncertain scenarios.
Slightly Leaning Towards Judging: You appreciate some level of order and predictability in your life. You like to have plans, and often feel better when tasks are decided and sorted. However, you are not rigid and can adapt to changes when necessary. Your balanced nature allows you to appreciate spontaneity at times, although you may prefer having a general framework to follow.
Slightly Leaning Towards Perceiving: You enjoy a fair amount of spontaneity and flexibility in your life. While you can adhere to plans, you don’t mind veering off the path when something interesting comes along. You have a more relaxed approach towards life and are open to exploring new avenues. However, you also recognize the value of some level of planning and organization, especially in certain areas of your life.
Predominantly Perceiving: Your life is often characterized by spontaneity, flexibility, and an open-ended approach. You thrive in environments where you have the freedom to explore, adapt, and flow with the circumstances. Planning and structure might feel restrictive to you, and you prefer keeping your options open. While this approach fosters creativity and adaptability, it might sometimes challenge your ability to maintain consistency or meet external expectations.
Why I Think We Should End The Stereotypes
The MBTI is often criticized for turning personality psychology into a collection of 16 exaggerated stereotypes. Let’s be a part of a shift of making personality psychology into a more nuanced work which prompts personal growth, change, and self-development. Many popular theories online will claim that “All ENFPs are fairly introverted, and all INFJs are mostly introverted” when actually, there’s certainly ENFPs that are more extroverted, and INFJs that are higly introverted. These kinds of generalizations are usually built on incorrect assumptions and small generalizations we’ve drawn from our own life. But they’re not truth.
Personality is a spectrum. Most people have their own unique development. You have your own unique place on the scale of personality. So what are your strong letters, and what are your weak letters?
If you feel a lot of doubt regarding whether you’re a Thinking or a Feeling type, and often feel like you use both styles, highlight that by saying you’re a lowercase Feeling type or Thinking type.
I often see people online getting upset because “This person says they’re an Intuitive but they’re actually quite strong in Sensing!” and adding nuances like lowercase and uppercase letters can help us understand how to navigate that. It might just be that this person IS more in the middle on the preference.
Finally, people might dislike this approach because they prefer using cognitive functions, well, this has functional consequences. If a person is an INfj, for example, we can assume that they’re most likely an INFJ with strong Introverted Intuition and Introverted Thinking. If an INFJ says they’re an inFJ on the other hand, we can assume that they’ve got a stronger Extroverted Feeling and Extroverted Sensing, compared to the average INFJ, but not enough to make them an ENFJ. Their introverted intuition would still be dominant. The letters just mark subtypes and nuances in the type. They don’t change the type itself.
Or what do you think?
What are some scales or traits you are strong on, and what are some traits you’re weak on?
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