Gives you the benefit of way more experience with people than you'd otherwise have, which allows you a much broader understanding of people.
- Community, validation, legitimacy - been explained at length multiple times by multiple people. Plus, stumbling across the INTP profile for the first time was a revelation of my entire life up to that point - explained core themes in my life that I hadn't been able to account for and was made to feel 'wrong' about, even though I felt driven to pursue them and felt more wrong ignoring them. That's pretty fkn impressive imo. And yeah, I read the other profiles too - didn't relate to most, and related by far the most to the INTP. How is this Forer effect? The test actually typed me as something else - don't remember what - I found the INTP one after looking around.
- I have more leeway to give for Fs now, and more forgiveness for myself (well, a little) for being relatively cold and detached. Previously I thought it was just a matter of one group being right and the other wrong (I alternated who was wrong). This is an extremely common human misconception.
- I can find people to talk about abstract, weird shit easier than before, by looking out for correlated markers that previously wouldn't have been a flag for anything other than general personality. Not all Ns are outwardly weird, cerebral, conceptual or anything - many interesting people present plainly and normally. But if you know what to look for there are tells. I've met some people I previously would've thought uninterested in typically N stuff, but because I see other traits, even mannerisms, associated with particular types, I get to know them and it's rewarding (specifically in the ways expected). It's just faster.
- I can read people faster, down to the particular things they'd be interested in and common ground we'd have, using sub-type categories experience has developed in my head. I would be a lot slower without the general framework to start me off. I'm sure some people can read people like this right off the bat, though it hasn't been my experience (people misread me and my interests all the time). I personally find a framework useful.
- I have words for describing, framing and better understanding what draws me to or repels me from particular people. For instance, there are some types which consistently draw me. Previously I might've been able to clumsily attempt explaining it by saying they're "charming" or "friendly", but now I know much more precisely exactly what it is I'm drawn to, because essentially typology has clustered their personality traits which allows me to see the patterns behind them. I also know what about the traits which draw me will also repel me, and what kind of lack is implied by what is present. Again, experience verifies this.
- Related to above: I can avoid the trap of idealising someone because I've never or rarely met someone like them. Typology allows me to see the finer picture (pinpoint the specific things that are causing an attraction) and the bigger picture (understand that there are many other people with these same qualities, that they are good in some ways and lack in others).
I like seeing the patterns around me, and typology helps me do it much faster. It's basically saying, "All these people exist. You'll meet some of them a lot more than others. Keep your hat on when you meet the rarer ones. There's a math behind everyone - none of it's magic."
I think there's some validity to the system because I can type people fairly accurately, even the first time meeting them. (Not 100% success, and should probably assume confirmation bias.) How do I check? I ask them questions (related to functions) about how they think, their general worldview/philosophy, their focuses and interests. I also ask them (attempting not to give indication) questions which relate to the opposite functions/types, which they shouldn't relate to at all or should even be repulsed by (function polarity). When they answer with increasing shock, "Yes - Yes! - YES! oh my god I'm freaked out!" to the questions specific to their type, and a disappointed, "No - not really - no, not at all" to questions which relate to other types, that seems like pretty good confirmation to me that it's not just the Forer effect. I've had multiple strangers tell me that no one has ever understood them that well (freaked me out too tbh).
I'm writing with the certainty I have *now* because of how often this has been verified. The other day I asked someone whose whole vibe felt NT if they have a compulsion to weed out cognitive biases - a weird question that Ti types would relate to but would be completely out of left field for most other types. This person's face lit up, mouth dropped and yelled, "YES!" It looks like insight to an outsider but it really isn't - I only know to ask these questions because typology tells you about trait clustering (which traits correlate, which traits indicate the absence of others, which traits each type feels is essential to their identity, etc). Otherwise, I would've described them as rational, no-nonsense, ambitious - but there's nothing in there that specifically indicates a need to eliminate bias, and I wouldn't have known to think of it that way, even though I know *I* think that way.
It sounds wanky, yeah, but ime it works. I can't just dismiss experience because a bunch of forumers are cynical about it and/or unobservant. Typology isn't a complete explanation of humanity by any means, and MBTI (and jungian shit) has gaping holes in it that I've seen time and time again, but what it does explain is useful and fascinating.
Of course it doesn't mean I understand anyone's deeper motivations.... The enneagram is better for that.
And I'll just head off any assumptions about typology creating presumption or false understanding right now:
No, I don't walk into social encounters assuming I'll be able to understand everyone. (In fact, I can say with no hesitation that I don't understand many people.) I might have an idea of what I think drives them but I have crippling uncertainty about nearly everything I think. The certainty you see here isn't even total certainty, and is only where it's up to because of repeated experience. (I still completely doubt the validity of anything in typology at times.) Also, when I end up in conversation with someone my aim isn't to type them but to get to know them because I'm genuinely curious about what makes people tick. I might occasionally ask questions related to type-things I'm privately thinking about, but not with the presumption that I'm right - I don't "tell people who they are" unless they ask me or the mood seems right. I don't openly type people who hate the idea of being typed, only those who request it as a party trick, or out of surprise that I seem to 'get' them. Most people in my experience love it when someone's curious enough to look into their minds - it makes them feel special and 'seen'. And it causes them to think about some of the deeper questions posed (like what they value, or how they operate under a crisis and *why*).
I talk to people because I enjoy it; I ask about them because I'm curious. Over time, patterns build up and I can't help that. And despite my love of categories, people tell me I advocate *too much* for taking every person on an individual basis and not making any assumptions. If I make false assumptions it's because I have congenital idiocy, not because of typology.