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Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers
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“[INTJs and INFJs] Are willing to concede that the impossible takes a little longer—but not much”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The best-adjusted people are the
‘psychologically patriotic,’ who are glad to be what they are.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Introverted feeling types have a wealth of warmth and enthusiasm, but they may not show it until they know someone well. They wear their warm side inside, like a fur-lined coat.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“For many Extraverts, "hell at a party" is "not being able to get in." Many introverts see it as "being there.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“If you are the intuitive, you need to observe the following rules: First, say explicitly, at the start, what you are talking about. (Otherwise, you are requiring your sensing listeners to hold what you say in mind until they can figure out what you are referring to, which they seldom think is worth doing.) Second, finish your sentences; you know what the rest of the sentence is, but your listeners do not. Third, give notice when changing the subject. And last, don’t switch back and forth between subjects. Your listeners cannot see the parentheses. Finish one point and move explicitly to the next.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Conventional measures of mental ability, such as intelligence tests and scholarship, show some of the very highest records belong to INFP and INFJ types, who relegate thinking to last place or next to last. The preference for thinking appears to have far less intellectual effect than the preference for intuition, even in some technical fields, such as scientific research, where its influence was expected to be most important.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“It follows that these people [INTJs] cannot be successfully coerced. They will not even be told anything without their permission, but they will accept an offer of facts, opinions, or theories, for free consideration;”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Intuitives tend to define intelligence as “quickness of understanding” and so prejudge the case in their own favor, for intuition is very quick.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“They [sensing types] will not skim in reading, and they hate to have people skim in conversation. Believing that matters inferred are not as reliable as matters explicitly stated, they are annoyed when you leave things to their imagination. (Intuitives are often annoyed—if not actually bored—when you do not.)”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“the thinker’s natural process is inappropriate when used in personal relations with feeling types, because it includes a readiness to criticize. Criticism is of great value when thinkers apply it to their own conduct or conclusions, but it has a destructive effect upon feeling types, who need a harmonious climate.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“In teaching, the other main problem related to type is the students’ interest. Intuitives and sensing types differ greatly in what they find interesting in any subject even if they like, that is, are interested in, the same subjects. Intuitives like the principle, the theory, the why. Sensing types like the practical application, the what and the how.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The satisfaction earned by the striving can be whatever furnishes the strongest incentive to the child, for example, extra pleasures or possessions for a sensing child, special freedoms or opportunities for an intuitive, new dignity or authority for a thinker, and more praise or companionship for a feeling type.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The sensing types are not in such close communication with their unconscious. They do not trust an answer that suddenly appears. They do not think it prudent to pounce. They tend to define intelligence as “soundness of understanding,” a sure and solid agreement of conclusions with facts; and how is that possible until the facts have been considered?”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“They [INTJs] are likely, however, to organize themselves out of a job. They cannot continually reorganize the same thing, and a finished product has no more interest. Thus, they need successive new assignments, with bigger and better problems, to stretch their powers.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Unless thinkers carry their respect for cause and effect into the field of human relations, they may not have much awareness of people.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“No type has everything. The introverts and thinkers, though likely to arrive at the most profound decisions, may have the most difficulty in getting their conclusions accepted. The opposite types are best at communicating, but not as adept at determining the truths to be communicated.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The sensing person has faith in the actual, the intuitive in the possible. As each concentrates accordingly, they seldom look at anything from the same angle. The difference in viewpoint becomes acute, often exasperating, when the person with sensing has authority over the intuitive and the intuitive comes up with a blazing idea. The intuitive tends to present the idea in rough form—suitable for another intuitive—and expects the sensing listener to concentrate on the main point and ignore the sketchy details. The sensing person’s natural reaction is to concentrate on what is missing, decide that the idea cannot work (and of course it cannot in that form), and flatly turn it down. One idea is wasted, one intuitive is frustrated, and one sensing executive has to deal with a resentful subordinate.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Finally, although extraverts certainly have more worldly wisdom and a better sense of expediency, introverts have a corresponding advantage in unworldly wisdom. They are closer to the eternal truths. The contrast is especially apparent when an extravert and an introvert are brought up side by side in the same family. The introvert child is often able to grasp and accept a moral principle—“yours and mine,” for example—in its abstract form. The extravert child is usually unimpressed by the abstract principle, and usually must experience it; then, having learned the hard way what others think, the extravert has a basis for conduct.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Whereas the intuitive children like to learn by insight, the sensing children prefer to learn by familiarization.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Thinking or feeling judgment is vitally necessary, and introverted intuitives must develop it for themselves, because their utter conviction of their intuition’s validity makes them impervious to the influence of outside judgment. The importance to introverted intuitives of cultivating a judging process to balance and support their intuition cannot be overemphasized.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Extraverted thinkers tend to exaggerate for the sake of emphasis, and the victim will be too outraged by the unfair overstatement to pay attention to the part that is true.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“In any marriage, a type difference may at times produce an outright conflict [...] When this happens [...] One or both can assume that it is wrong of the other to be different - and be righteously indignant [...] They can assume that it is wrong of themselves to be different - and be depressed [...] Or they can acknowledge that each is justifiably and interestingly different from the other - and be amused.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“THE CONDUCT OF extraverts is based on the outer situation. If they are thinkers, they tend to criticize or analyze or organize it; feeling types may champion it, protest against it, or try to mitigate it; sensing types may enjoy it, use it, or good naturedly put up with it; and intuitives tend to try to change it.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Problems arise for the introverts because they often do not look closely enough at the outer situation and, therefore, do not really see it. The extraverts often do not stop looking at the specific situation long enough to see the underlying idea.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“Good type development thus demands that the auxiliary supplement the dominant process in two respects. It must supply a useful degree of balance not only between perception and judgment but also between extraversion and introversion. When it fails to do so it leaves the individual literally “unbalanced,” retreating into the preferred world and consciously or unconsciously afraid of the other world.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The JP preference does show itself in simple and accessible reactions. It serves admirably as the fourth dichotomy if one detail is borne in mind: It deals only with outward behavior and thus points only indirectly to the dominant process of the introvert.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“One more preference enters into the identification of type—the choice between the perceptive attitude and the judging attitude as a way of life, a method of dealing with the world around us.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“The common factor in all these manifestations of intuition is a sort of ski jump—a soaring take-off from the known and established, ending in a swooping arrival at an advanced point, with the intervening steps apparently left out. Those steps are not really left out, of course; they are performed in and by the unconscious, often with extraordinary speed, and the result of the unconscious processes pops into the conscious mind with an effect of inspiration and certainty.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“This preference makes the difference between the judging people, who order their lives, and the perceptive people, who just live them. Both attitudes have merit.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
“they [thinkers] can remember how feeling types respond to sympathy and appreciation; a little of either will greatly tone down a necessary criticism, but the thinker must express the sympathy or appreciation first.”
Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

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