I found that contrasting the traits of the specific types - such as Googling 'differences between INTJ and INFJ' makes it more clear which one is more descriptive.

For what the test is worth, that is. It's really just for fun.
Keep lying to yourself that people don’t take these tests seriously

whatever helps you sleep at night
Keep lying to yourself that people don’t take these tests seriously
Of course people take them seriously. People take Kim Kardashian seriously. Heck, people take Star Wars seriously.

Doesn't mean they are accurate or useful, of course.
It's not really science.

Still, though, story time; don't worry, I'll be quick.


Once upon a time, there was this guy I know, and there isn't supposed to be anything special about him; sometimes that gets lost in the simple fact of telling a story. In his way, this guy is pretty normal. To the other, that idea says whatever it says.

Anyway, the thing is that once upon a time I asked around and was actually able to get two answers about Myers-Briggs: One was a friend who recalled her bosses trying to implement some aspect of the system at work, but they stopped when one of the people in charge didn't like his result. The other was my daughter, who recalled MBTI as a passing fad among some of the kids in her school, kind of like an astrological sun sign.

And the reason I ever asked them was a strange episode in which, in the middle of a disagreement, this guy I know took time out to do this weird thing in which he explained his Myers-Briggs type and then went on to say one of the funniest, dumbest things he ever said to me, that he does not like conflict and does his best to avoid it wherever possible, and no, to be honest, I never did go back and look up which Myers-Briggs types describe perpetual truculence even to the point of being dishonest in order to seek conflict. And, really, having known the guy for over fifteen years, at that point, the only real question was why he bothered trying such an unbelievable pretense.¹ After all, this one, who doesn't like conflict, can be seen wandering around challenging people to come fight him.

It was, in the moment he said it, hilarious, useless, and offensive. As near as I can tell, however, he was entirely sincere.

But as a matter of experience and perspective—each unto their own—there was something else. I had encountered this before, and for a period it had been consistent. The first time I remember encountering Briggs-Myers typing in pop internet discussion was from a mgtow, and for a few years, I only encountered it at all in online settings involving a range of masculinists and alt-chans.

So, in its way, what his Myers-Briggs result actually is means far less to me than the fact that he actually told me. It would take many words to explain the context of apropos, but, yes, in its moment, that he would tell me his Myers-Briggs result at all, as if it was somehow important, told me much.


These brief years later, I'm uncertain what the trend has become, but where it intersects with my daughter's cohort, at least, Briggs-Myers typing seems to be an affectation like daily horoscopes or, well, I don't know who all will remember biorhythm machines.

Still, if the Briggs-Myers pop trend is a little less utterly superstitious than fortune cookies and truck-stop biorhythms, it is at best approximately as scientific as astrolgy or tarot. The most part of its practical value is something we bring to it for ourselves.


¹ It's a complicated answer, but the short form has to do with particular solipsism requiring subordination of reality as prerequisite for reconciliation. It is a circumstance both common and unique; it occurs in many people, but works slightly differently for each according to need.