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Improving Empathy Through MBTI Insights

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
December 25, 2023
December 25, 2023

Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI? It's a personality test that categorizes people into 16 types based on four key indicators: How do you recharge (E/I)? Do you focus on facts or instincts (S/N)? Are you more logical or emotional (T/F)? And do you prefer planning or going with the flow (J/P)? Understanding your MBTI profile enhances self-awareness, while learning about someone else's MBTI is a great way to foster understanding and improve empathy with them.

Explaining the Dualities of the 4 Myers Briggs Type Indicators

E/I: Extraversion/Introversion 

The first indicator is E/I. This determines how you recharge. Extraverts (E) are the life of the party. They recharge through social interactions and exciting events. On the flip side, Introverts (I) find their energy in quieter moments. They like solitude and deep self-reflection. It's important to note that being introverted isn’t the same as feeling lonely. Consider this: an extravert thrives at a bustling party, while an introvert might prefer a cozy night in with a good book.

N/S: Sensing/Intuition 

The second duality, N/S, describes how you collect information and process the world. Sensors (S) are detail-oriented; they rely on hard data and their five senses to make sense of things. Meanwhile, Intuitives (N) are big-picture thinkers who see patterns, possibilities, and like to view things in a more grand scheme way. For example, a Sensing type excels at crunching numbers and analyzing data, while an Intuitive type thrives in brainstorming sessions and dreaming up innovative ideas.

T/F: Thinking/Feeling 

The third preference, T/F, plays a crucial role in your decision-making process. Thinkers (T) prioritize logic and objectivity while Feelers (F) lead with their hearts. In a team setting, you might observe a Thinker presenting a well-reasoned, data-driven argument, while a Feeler brings empathy and harmony to the group, ensuring everyone's feelings are taken into consideration.

J/P: Judging/Perceiving 

The fourth category, J/P, reveals how you organize your world. Judgers (J) love structure and organization. They thrive in environments with plans and deadlines. Perceivers (P), on the other hand, are spontaneous and adaptable, always open to new possibilities and ready to go with the flow. 

Improving Empathy Through MBTI Insights

MBTI indicators can enhance empathy in several ways:

  • Self-awareness: Recognizing your own MBTI type allows you to better understand your natural tendencies, strengths, and areas for growth. 
  • Understanding others:
Explore MBTI wonders! Knowing other people's MBTI may help you connect more effortlessly and understand their behavior.

For example, knowing that your colleague is an introverted thinker (INTJ) may help you appreciate their need for alone time and logical decision-making.

  • Enhanced communication: You can refine your communication style to enable more effective interactions. For example, if you are a Feeler (F) interacting with a Thinker (T), it’s a good idea to incorporate logic alongside values and emotions.
  • Conflict resolution: The MBTI can be a valuable tool in resolving conflicts. It helps you recognize that people approach situations differently. This awareness can lead to more constructive and empathetic conflict resolution strategies.

Takeaways

The MBTI is great for boosting empathy by helping us understand ourselves and others better. So, when you come across someone different, asking about their MBTI might make those tricky talks easier.Follow this link: https://www.16personalities.com/ to take the personality test.

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