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Type Switching

computerhxr

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Do you think it is possible to switch types over time?

I can only speak from my own experience and understanding. I don't think of personality as fixed. I see it more as a set of rules or core principles that shape your personality and how you interact with the outside world.

As I've progressed through life, my type has gone from INTP, to INTJ, to ENTP. Each time, I pass through a wall of resistance, a very turbulent time, before landing on stable ground. I think of this as a switching cost that is paid to update your operating system.

Anyway... I mocked up an illustration to show my journey and how it looks to me.

4093


As you progress, your confidence goes up and you go from turbulent to assertive.

Do you think that this normal, and that what I'm describing are just phases that we go through as we gain confidence in our secondary and tertiary cognitive tools?
 

Niclmaki

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Yes, ENTP is the perfected form of the INTP. I’m glad you’ve realized this.

Seriously though, I went through something similar. I was adamantly an INTP in gradschool til leaving highschool.

But then I got heavily depressed in university. I realized I was just living the life others wanted me to, and not my own. I also had to learn how to operate in a workplace with only female coworkers, and then 98% female peers in school.

After everything was said in done in that chapter of my life I fit the stereotypical ENTP habits much much more.

I don’t recall ever really being INTJ-like though. However; those 6-8yrs of my life were rather hectic and I didn’t get to introspect* much. *(Is that even a verb?)

Did I change types? Or was I always a closeted ENTP? Eh, hard to say. I’m of the belief that your type is heavily ingrained in your genes. With only extreme outside circumstances being able to modify it SOMETIMES. Say 85% nature, 15% nurture.
 

Pizzabeak

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Lol, no. This has been a topic that has come up many times, the last time, wasn't that long ago. I think everyone's different. There are only a few key points for you to remember. Whatever type you are, it'll center around that. Then, it only fluctuates between habits upon receiving aggravation. In short, you could get INFP from INTP, but it'd mostly be under times of stress or socialization it'd seem like (you pick up on traits from those you hang around). All things considered, you basically don't change type. After a long time studying MBTI, I realized this, however, and have gotten no supporting evidence towards the contrary.

There's no "INTP" entering "ENTP" mode, or vice versa, it's just the same functions being used, but in a different order. And so Fi can't really turn into Ti, more often than not, it'll be Fe, just expressed, and appear as such. It's the difference in degrees between two or more different individuals performing the same or similar actions. It's more so about the timing of things. An ENTP could never really live the life of any other type, so they find happiness in their own niche. It's the definition of that type, literally any and all descriptions included for it regarding its interactions with moral dilemma.
 

computerhxr

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I remember many of the posts on type switching, or being E/I ambivert, stuff like that. I think that it's possible to switch types, and don't see any reason that you can't re-wire a dominant function.

When I was maybe 10 years old, a friend of mine told me that you could change the color of your eyes if you wanted to. My eyes being dark green had never changed in color.

So every night for months, I would imagine blue pushing the green out. I noticed a thin ring of blue started to form near my pupil. I was skeptical, maybe it was always blue and never noticed, maybe the sun tans the pigment in your eyes like it does your skin and I hadn't gone out much.

Then I tried red, and a red ring formed in the middle. What about yellow? Yep!

I went back to pushing blue because red and yellow were just odd colors to see. The yellow mixed with the blue making it green. Now my eyes are two tone, blue in the middle, green on the outer rings.

It's difficult, and it takes months just to form a thin ring of color, basically pushing color for 8 hours a night instead of sleeping.

That is sort of how I see personality. Your brain is like a circuit, and you can rewrite some core functions with enough work.
 

Utisz

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But what is an "MBTI type"?

If asked "what is your MBTI type?" most of us will answer with what the MBTI quiz said after we answered all the questions.

So when you answer the quiz, one question leaning one way or the other can put you in one type or another. Thinking about it, I'm probably not ever gonna answer the I/E or N/S or P/J questions all that differently over time. I could flip-flop on the T/F questions though like a fish out of water. So is it possible to switch types over time? Yes. How likely that is depends on the person, with those closer to border cases being more likely to flip.

In some sense, these border cases partially invalidate the MBTI "theory". A slight nudge from T to F and a person can change from INTP to INFP; from Ti-Ne-Si-Fe to Fi-Ne-Si-Te. That's just dumb. If I can test INTP today and INFP tomorrow, what use is this theory to me? And if it's a problem with the tests that I can test one thing today and another thing tomorrow, then what is MBTI as a theory if it is not even measurable?
 

Serac

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although there is a great deal of homeostasis in both our physical state and mental modes, I fully agree with the notion that you can change personality over time. That can either be done by a conscious and disciplined effort, or by changing in your external environment, the people you surround you with, or the sort of experiences you acquire.
 

lightfire

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Yes I think it can be changed. Humans are adaptable to various degrees. Just going by my experience too. If you believe strongly in MBTI, then I do think people can change "types" over time.

Maybe our personalities and thought process are just a result of how we are brought up, the environment that we are in, individual experiences, social circles, the choices we make, along with our genetic predisposition. There could be trillions of possibilities. I think we all do what we have to do to adapt as well.

A bad habit can be changed into a good habit. The greatest most noble person can go into a downward spiral. You can train to do things to expand your knowledge and skill set, or you could choose not to. MBTI is about thought processes. Thought processes can also be changed though cognitive therapy too.
 

computerhxr

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I'm an ENTP now.

Oh man... The more that I think about this stuff, the less I understand... lol

So, if the order is what determines the difference between two different types for example, then if one becomes a dominant function you switch type. Correct?

My understanding is that the brain is like a muscle, and the more that you use a muscle, the stronger that it gets. If you work on developing a weaker muscle, eventually it could grow stronger than the other one, and become the muscle that you depend on. Just like if you tare a muscle, you're body will adapt and depend on stronger muscles to function.

Thanks for all of the input, it gave me a lot to consider...
 

lightfire

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Apparently, I'm ISTP now. (cough someone messaged me today)
 

TheScientist

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From what I can tell, your type never changes, but the quiz only picks up on what cognitive functions are most prevalent at the time. All types can be extroverted, or think logically, but certain types use these functions more readily and in certain situations.

In my own experience I have taken the test 3 times. I was typed as an INFP, INFJ, and INTJ each of these times respectively. However after digging into the cognitive functions and understanding how and why the types work, I was able to conclude that I am an INTP yet at these different stages of my life I was utilizing some functions more than others.
 

jawdropper

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People always thought I was an autist. U r weird, u r shy, u r too crazy, etc.
Probably the most true thing is that I have been an isxp most of my life. I never look in the eyes.
 

tatsrus

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I agree. I don't think your type switches. I do believe you can work on your weaknesses such that you feel more comfortable with them and it may appear as if your type has switched, but it has not. For example, when I was young I was incredibly shy and essentially refused to speak to strangers. I was forced to interact with strangers over and over again and through the years I started to lose the shyness. Today I am not shy. My preference is to avoid speaking to strangers, but if necessary, I can easily do it. And sometimes I may choose to do it just because. Thus I am still an introvert by nature but I may seem extroverted to those that do not know me well.

Also, when I was young, I wanted to please my parents who were very ISTJ focused (they however are not ISTJs so go figure). In any case, the first MBTI test I took I answered the questions as an ISTJ - that is what I thought I should be - and not what I actually was. It took a few years of living on my own and starting to understand who I was for me to accurately type myself.

Notice my type did not change at all. But the test results did. This isn't a case of type switching. It takes a lot to be self aware enough to know what you are doing on the test to determine the accuracy of the test. Thus, even though I sometimes act like an ENTP, I know I am not. Or I can act like an ENTJ, or ENFP, or even go back to being an ISTJ. Deep down, I know what my cognitive preferences are and it's INTP.

From what I can tell, your type never changes, but the quiz only picks up on what cognitive functions are most prevalent at the time. All types can be extroverted, or think logically, but certain types use these functions more readily and in certain situations.

In my own experience I have taken the test 3 times. I was typed as an INFP, INFJ, and INTJ each of these times respectively. However after digging into the cognitive functions and understanding how and why the types work, I was able to conclude that I am an INTP yet at these different stages of my life I was utilizing some functions more than others.
 

lightfire

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MBTI is not science, its just a way to categorize thought processes. Maybe youre TRUE thinking style doesn't change (or maybe it does), but I don't think MBTI is specific enough to cover it. I think that's why some people think their "mbti type" changes.
 

Hadoblado

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Personality can change. Brain damage, aging, disease, trauma etc. can all change fundamental aspects of your personality. That said, most personality change is likely just development or a reaction to environment and nothing to concern yourself over unless it's affecting you adversely.

Regarding MBTI, most people seem to think it's static, but I've seen a few gurus who say otherwise. I've never heard a super compelling case for either position, but also don't find MBTI to be a very good model.
 

Tenacity

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Hi all, I'm new here. You can call me Ten. 25 y/o female - [P.S. If you're female here I'd definitely like to keep in touch lol :)] I think about this a lot. I was ENTP for what felt like a long time (2 years). Naturally I was upbeat, charismatic, and "alpha", if you will. I moved up the career ladder super quickly and "nerd" types would assume that I was "clearly" extroverted. Though, I always question whether that was brought up due to necessity. Career-ladder-wise, I had something to prove to myself, and I proved it.

The switching made sense to me because the attributes are on a spectrum; I would many times score 0% (Split E & I).

A few months ago I scored over 60% on introversion, confirming the "I" preference I feel strongly today. I still consider myself as "alpha" now, perhaps even more so for the ability to really explore deeper thoughts while the rest of the world has mainstream news on seemingly pointless banter... though I'm on a break from working the whole 9 to 5 (Well, I was involved in startups so the 9 to 5 was more like 9 to 11pm) to find "ikigai" and my true calling. Naturally, I've cut myself off from friends, family, and rarely go out. I am able to extrapolate and really think through concepts that can be translated into tangible outputs with the intent of contributing to positive social impact. I've come to terms with being an INTP due to my need for solitude.

I do think in the next phase of my life I'll end up leaning back towards that split I/ENTP, when I come out of my shell and figure out who I really am and want to become. I'll get some enjoyment about of the validation aspect from human contact and the simple smiles I can't give myself by staring into my mental abyss.

At heart, though, I'll always be INTP, searching for meaning and trying to make sense and beauty out of informational chaos and abstraction. Even as a kid in the 2nd grade, I preferred to hang out by myself coding websites after school instead of, I don't know, whatever kids were supposed to do after school. Looking back, face-to-face contact with people was rarely ever a preference for me.

I do think your surroundings impact your personality; i.e. the whole concept of "you become the 5 top people you surround yourself with". But your unhappiness will signal you if you're not surrounded by compatible people, and you'll revert to your "true" self. At least, that is where I'm at now in life: Pretty much intellectually and maybe even emotionally drained from not knowing any INTPs - which is probably why I'm here, haha.

Overall, it certainly looks like there can be changes - many or few. But there will be one main type you'll prefer.
 

ZenRaiden

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Personality is not personality type. Personality can change or not depending on how you define personality and there are different definitions in psychology of personality that sometimes contradict even.

MBTI types arent defined in a way that underpin dimensions of human mind that are stable through out life. So in MBTI typology you can change type almost anytime.

Whats more I am of the opinion people are very bad at monitoring themselves in terms of personality and since people live relatively long and dont have that much good memory its very easy to not notice changes in personality mainly if they happen gradually over long period of time. Obviously certain cognitive habits may be life long. Certain instincts can be life long. Certain predispositions are present life long. There are probably also latent qualities of human personality that arent obvious in many enviroments, but may be present in some unsual cases.
 

scorpiomover

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I do think in the next phase of my life I'll end up leaning back towards that split I/ENTP, when I come out of my shell and figure out who I really am and want to become.
You already know.

to find "ikigai"
You would not have used such a precise term if your Ti lacked clarity. You would not have that clarity if you weren't clear on who you are and what you want to do.
 

Tenacity

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I do think in the next phase of my life I'll end up leaning back towards that split I/ENTP, when I come out of my shell and figure out who I really am and want to become.
You already know.

to find "ikigai"
You would not have used such a precise term if your Ti lacked clarity. You would not have that clarity if you weren't clear on who you are and what you want to do.
Thanks, you're right. I do already know. I just need to decide on multiple things more often.

By the way, I do like your siggy quote, "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Spock
 

sushi

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J and P is most common borderline, T and F is common borderline for others.

finally is E an I.
 

Daddy

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Yes, but people are limited by genes+environment and do fall into certain patterns that aren't easily changed.
 
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Isn't unpredictability and the ability to examine problems from all angles a defining characteristic of this personality type? Maybe this habit is extended to the test questions, so intp's are more likely to answer differently each time they take the quiz.

When I'm in character (in public I mean) my personality changes completely. As a teacher I led my class through a 16 personalities quiz, and my honest answers gave me ENFP. Maybe being nurturing and out-going is required for that role, but it is not my default state. People consider wearing a mask of sanity some evil lie, when really they should be thanking us for expending so much energy to be more socially acceptable.

Introversion/extroversion scores seem be the most volatile depending on how much you are engaging with the humans at the time. You can get "better" at extroversion (social interaction) but if you find human interaction draining you are an introvert; if it recharges your batteries then you are an extrovert.
 
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