A Myers-Briggs Post: You Are Not A Special Snowflake

11:30 AM



I return to the land of Myers-Briggs with a rather harsh post and a fun title. Is it acceptable to go around calling everyone a 'special snowflake'? Because I'll totally do it.

Let's jump right into it. If you're at all familiar with the 16 types, you know that some are more notorious than others, at least in internet-land. INTJs are more devious and intelligent than most people and INFJs are rare so therefore they're very special indeed and ESTPs (hi, that's me) are risky daredevil jocks and INTPs are those mad scientist people and so on and so on. And occasionally, when you start thinking like that, impressions that some types are more special than others can pop up.

That's not to say everyone, or even most people think that way. It's just an observation I've made in my ridiculous number of hours perusing the internet. 

So if INTJs are very intelligent and supervillain-y, most other people are idiots who don't understand logic. And if INFJs are quieter, and good at reading people, and more dreamy Feelers (and I've known INFJs who don't necessarily fit this mold), everyone else is harsh and loud and constantly misunderstanding. Introverts are best because introverts are quiet and listen and would rather be in bed with a book. Extroverts are best because extroverts know how to talk to people and are friendly and are, also, just misunderstood.

Everyone is misunderstood. 

Everyone is a special snowflake. 

Which means, essentially, no one is. 


I couldn't not use this. 

I very much dislike the implication that any one type is better or more special than the other, even if you aren't necessarily thinking that in your head. (I'm picking on INxJs because they're the ones I see this happen with most often, but that's not to say I'm picking on any individuals. This could be said for pretty much any type, definitely including my own because we're a bunch of overconfident losers sometimes.)

So I'll be my harsh Thinker self, and say it again. 

You are not special because of your type. 

Yes, there are some types that are rarer than others. There are types where it's rarer to be that type if you're a certain gender. All these are true things. But you know what your type is, in the end? 

It's a set of four letters that help identify how you work and function. It's a way of understanding your personality traits. 

(I'm not getting into cognitive functions and all that because (a it's unnecessarily complicated and (b I don't entirely understand it so I'm not going to try and risk being horrifically ignorant and wrong.) 

That's it. That's all it is. It doesn't make you better than anyone else. Yes, INTJs are very often intellectually intelligent. That doesn't make them any better than anyone else, or necessarily any smarter, because there are many different types of intelligence. Yes, ESTPs are quick-thinking and clever and don't usually suffer from self-confidence issues. That doesn't make us any better than anyone else. ENFPs are wicked good at dealing with people. That doesn't make them any better than anyone else. 


You know what does make you special? It's not your type. And here comes the cheesy line you were all waiting for. It's you. You're special and awesome and those four letters help explain the nature of your awesomeness but they can't accurately sum up you in all your unique specialness. You're not better than anyone else because you're INFP or INTJ or ESFJ or ENTP. You're actually not all that better than anyone else in any way, when it comes down to it. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. The point is, all types have their strengths and weaknesses and we all need each other and not a single one is necessarily smarter or better or prettier or more misunderstood because heck, we could all do a better job of understanding each other.

So let's just leave the whole type superiority thing out of it and be our own awesome selves in whatever we're good at.

34 comments

  1. I love everything about this post. I've only semi-recently gotten into the whole Myers-Briggs stuff and it's fascinating. I've been reading about all the different types, and what I hate most is how people are all about how rare their types are and I've even seen some people who make fun of others who have 'less rare' types and I hate that so much. I'm going to shove this post down their throats until they stop.

    Hi. *waves hand* 'mad-scientist' (pffft stereotype) INTP right here.

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    1. *Mad-Scientist high-five from another INTP* (What? Inaccurate stereotypes are fun! :D I get credit for being something I'm not.)

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    2. It definitely is fascinating and something I'm very into, but at the same time I do get irritating with all the stereotyping and yes, hate that goes on within it.
      Greetings, INTP! *waves back*

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  2. YES. THANK YOU. I have to remind myself of these things, because I can get really judgy and it's not. good. at. all.

    INFP here! In some ways, I fit the stereotype and in some ways, not so much. I AM a freaking sensitive unicorn, but I am in no way asking for special treatment. Goodness, I want to be an actor. We take loads of criticism daily. However! I'm also rather mad and make fun of everything and I FREAKIN' LOVE CRITICAL THINKING AND LOGIC. (please excuse the all-caps.) But I don't think that logic and emotion have to be totally removed from each other, as some people think. They're obviously not the same thing, but they CAN go together.

    Ok, enough rambling. basically, this was perfect.

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    1. I just wanted to say, YES, Amanda, to the whole logic/emotion thing. I'm a F myself, but what some people don't seem to realize is that often we Fs ARE logical (my sister-in-law and my best friend both say I'm a very practical, reasonable person-- in fact, my sister-in-law almost wouldn't believe me when I told her I was an F), it's just that we place more importance on our emotions than our logic, especially when making a decision. And while I don't speak from experience, I believe some Ts are entirely capable of emotion, they simply prioritize their reason (Ts can correct me on this). I personally don't believe logic and emotions are removed at all-- we simply tend to prefer one or the other.

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    2. Ah, I totally get that! I've got an INFP brother and he's the same way; more emotional than I am but also valuing logic. Everyone and anyone can like logic/be logical. Feelers just have a more emotional bent and are more sensitive to that, which is a GOOD THING. We need you guys, so we robots don't take over the world. xD

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    3. And Gemma, yes...I'm not a particularly emotionally sensitive person even for a T so I can't speak for myself, but I do know that even the more emotional Ts I know simply place higher value over logic FIRST. And both things are okay. *nods*

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  3. I think it's really unhealthy that we put down other people to make ourselves feel better. I'm going to admit that I'm a bit of a cynic and don't think people are as special as they think they are in general (Dash and I are on the same wavelength, lol) but the fact remains that there's still a courtesy and respect we should hold for one another, because we're all people and we should show kindness. Beyond that, I've talked about this on my own blog, but I think we should rely on MBTI to tell us who we are, simply because it isn't always as straightforward as they say. We have to realize that it's just a model, and you can't assume you know someone because they fall under a certain classification. It isn't fair. And it's our responsibility to remember that.

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    1. I'm with you there -- I frequently laugh at those "you're special and awesome and better than everyone else" types of quotes because I tend not to think people are very special (at least, not in the ways they want to be) so those kinds of Myers-Briggs things really get on my nerves. It was only a matter of time before I lost it and posted something like this. :P MBTI is about understanding yourself a little better, not lording your type over others.

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  4. *slow nod* I fully admit that INTJs (and I'm not excluding myself) can be arrogant, which can bevome bigotry. I'm probably guilty of mild bigotry myself, but I don't think it is right at all and I'm trying to watch myself to make sure I'm not being bigoted. Maybe the thing you mentioned about seeing a lot of it from INxJs comes about because of the rarity of those types. Culturally we have this idea that rare = valuable (think about diamonds and rubies), so I can see it getting translated to people (which is wrong on SO many levels). You're right in that it is just a system and nothing more, and so our value doesn't come from it.
    Thanks for the post.

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    1. If it helps, I love you INTJs. I don't understand you, but you're pretty awesome sometimes. xD I do think the rarity has a lot to do with it, which doesn't make it RIGHT but helps it make a little more sense.

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    2. Haha, thanks. Sense is good. xD

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  5. Thank you so much for this post! When I first found out that I was an INFJ, I did fall into that thinking that I was special. My sister is an INTJ and my best friend is an INTP, so I definitely started thinking about how rare all our types were, and that made feel special. But then whenever I started telling others my type, they would make this face and I began to realize they were thinking about all of the stereotypes surrounding my type. I really began to realize how wrong my thinking was as well as the idea of the stereotypes for each type. I am not this person who never uses logic and is completely swayed by my emotions, but that is what people assume when they hear that I am an INFJ. Anyway, my point being thank you for the post! We are all equal as humans. Red headed people are no more special than brown haired ones and an INFJ female is no more special than an ISFJ one!

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    1. There are stereotypes for every type, and while some of them are vaguely true, they often get taken to extremes and that doesn't help with the whole situation. I'll be the first to admit that I had the INFJ stereotype in my head for a while, until I had the opportunity to better get to know some INFJs personally and realized that it's a little (a lot) more complex than that.

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  6. I agree with this post. I see people plastered all over the blogosphere boasting that they're INTJs and whatevers, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn't actually matter. (I actually took the test twice and got two completely different results for both...the only thing that stayed the same was the fact that I'm introverted, and that I already knew.)

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    1. Sometimes I just want to tell people that: "It doesn't matter!" xD It's a great tool, but I don't think it should be misused by bragging about your specialness or whatever. *shrugs*

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  7. This ... is actually probably something I should take to heart as an INTJ. I've been told by some people I'm a touch too arrogant (okay, they were being nice), but at the same time, people who get to know me insist I'm not. So it's a matter of toning it down in front of people I don't know. (or I have successfully frightened my friends into submission. Or that.) But seriously, this is an important post. *hugs it*

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    1. Hahaha, I don't fit many of the ESTP stereotypes so I don't hear things like that often, but I do have a very INTJ mother and she gets things like that all the time from people. I'm glad you liked the post! :D

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  8. I've noticed this too. The type superiority. It's kind of ridiculous, to be blunt. The type is a basic outline, but not all INTJs are the exact same and or ESTPs, INFPs, ISTJs, etc. The type doesn't make the individual. The individual makes the individual.

    Also when I'm reading about different types. Almost all the types claim to be the rarest and I'm left thinking, "Didn't I read that about the last type? How can we all be rare?" But of course, there are about 16 different types. . .

    But I've noticed that the types that are called rare tend to be the type of people who like to be different and unique; they like to go against the crowd (not many people like this, hence their rarity and the fact that they revel in that rarity). That doesn't give them a right to be haughty about it though. Also the few types that claim more of the population tend to be types who like to fit in; they like to get along with everyone. In reference to these types, "commonplace" is not an inferior description. Commonplace is actually their strength. (I have no idea if that was articulate at all. . .)

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    1. Ridiculous is a good way to put it. *nods* All the types like to be the best and the most special, which means none of us are, which is depressing but true because we're all special in our own fields and THAT'S OKAY. I wish more people got that, honestly. xD
      "The type doesn't make the individual. The individual makes the individual." Oh, I do love that.

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    2. And that was perfectly articulate! We need INFJ dreamers and ESFJs to rock the social situations and ESTPs to do whatever the heck my type is supposed to (get drunk and party all the time, according to Tumblr and Pinterest) and INTJs to conquer the world. It's all important.

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  9. I am an INFJ and the only thing I found helpful in this knowledge is that it helped my pinpoint my strength's and weakness. I don't understand why someone would think they we're better because their type is rare or smarter. It just seems silly to me. So I agree completely with you. Great post.

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    1. *nods wisely* Some people really do take it too far.

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  10. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. I was actually trying to express this very point to my sisters a couple weeks ago (they're introverts, I'm extrovert, it creates some mild conflict). You did it soooo much better than I did, though.

    All the personality types are totally cool and fascinating, but I think they should be used more as a way to understand ourselves and help us understand others than to boast about how cool we are because we're "I"s or "T"s. They definitely shouldn't be used to put down other types. It's so hurtful to see things on the internet describing Extroverts as stupid airheads, or to overhear someone say that "Introvert" is another word for "stuck-up".

    Not to say that I don't LOVE my type (ENFP). But I love it more because it helps me understand why I act/think the way I do and gives me confidence to be who I am and not try to behave like everyone else than because I think it's better than the other types. It's not. It's got problems all its own. But don't we all?

    Anyway, thanks again. Someone needed to say this, and who better than you? ;)

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    1. They're exactly that! A way to understand ourselves and others, not any kind of status thing or whatever people use it for. I've found it useful for that, and I don't THINK I've done much shoving my ESTP awesomeness in people's faces, because that would be rude. :P I know I keep blogging about things like this, but it's a point I want to drive home, because no one is better than anyone else when it comes down to it.

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  11. Yes, we all mis-understand each other every single day! Sometimes I wish people were books that I could open and read and understand, but that won't happen.

    Myer-Briggs is a way to understand yourself, and try to understand others, not a way to judge people. The whole stereotyping thing is ridiculous. As an INFJ, I don't see myself as 'rare' or more special than anyone else. Can I read people greatly like the sites online suggest? Nope. Am I passionate like they say? Yes, but that might not stem from my type. Anyone can be passionate. Anyone can read people well. It's just four letters that help identify my way of thinking. No one can be put in a box. If we supposed to be, we would be in the shape of boxes. Literally. Something amazing about humans is our ability to be so unique and individualistic while still connecting with others. We shouldn't feel like we have to put others down because their letters don't match our own.

    Thank you for the great post!

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    1. SO MANY MISUNDERSTANDINGS. I don't think some of those misunderstandings can be helped, but it might be a little better if we all made more of an effort to understand each other and our types in the first place, without relying on the little stereotype boxes that are always there.

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  12. Good post! I've never really understood the personality types very well. Sometimes they help me understand people, but most of the time they just confuse me. The generalizations confuse me more than anything else...

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    1. Hahaha, they are confusing. People are a little too complex to be put into boxes all the time.

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  13. INFJ here and I fit the type to a T. ^ ^' Good points. I've never thought that one type was better than another. If anything I feel like it's been harder to be a rarer type because I feel like my personality can be hard to be compatible with because of its rarity. I take things more seriously than most people and that can be a put off, but it's really hard for me not to take things seriously. XD I don't think Myers-Briggs really effects intelligence, it just effects how you see the world. Just my two cents.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. Greetings, INFJ! *waves*
      "I don't think Myers-Briggs really effects intelligence, it just effects how you see the world" is absolutely correct. That's what it's for: helping you understand that. And some people just take it too far. xD

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  14. Yeah, I hate stereotyping too. I'm an ISTJ, and I can say for a fact that we are NOT all mindless rule-followers, we are NOT boring and flat, and we DO have ideas and like to create!!!Also, the ExTJ stereotypes are also COMPLETELY FALSE. 90% of the ExTJs I have met are sensitive, emotional people. And my INTJ art teacher is about as far from those stereotypes as you can get. And then there's the whole "compatibility" side of MBTI which is such idiocy... 66% of the ESFPs I've met--let's just say we didn't get along too well. Also my INTP uncle is a Christian. Serotypes should be burned, in my opinion. Anyway, done with my rant.

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