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Personality types and dating


tf987

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While reading some posts and responses over the last couple of weeks I'm struck with how generic many of the responses are, as if the people offering those generic responses believe that all people are the same, and if a person acts a certain way then it is always for an identifiable reason. I realize this attitude might be useful in selling books or dating programs or in making the said responder sound knowledgeable, but I wonder if its time for a more thoughtful approach?

 

In the corporate world, more and more thought is going into determining the personality types of people so as to understand how to interact with an ENTJ or whatever personality type a person may be (note, if you don't know what an ENTJ is - see the many references to Myers-Briggs on the web).

 

I'm curious what other posters think about this? I'm not saying we need to have a full personality assessment of the poster and the person they are asking about, but I think it would be good to realize that there is no "one size fits all" answer to many situations -- in spite of what popular culture would have us believe.

 

I'm personally getting tired of hearing broad sweeping statements like "women want this in a guy". My immediate thought when I hear this is "really? how do you know? which women? you mean the average women? or the average vogue reader? what if I'm not after an average women but am dating a women with a PhD that lives on the west coast? obviously what she wants might be very different from a 20 yo women that lives in Iowa and works at a shoe store..." I think you get my drift.

 

A women with one personality type might have a very different approach to playing hard to get than a women with a different personality type. Even more so if one of them as read The Rules and actually believes them

 

What do people think about this?

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I don't understand, are you arguing in favour of personality types? I agree in principle with what you say, but even things like MBTI are horrid oversimplifications and I think people really miss the point when they take it too seriously. I think it is good for opening people to the suggestion that people are fundamentally different, but beyond that when you start retrofitting people to arbitrarily defined profiles it doesn't promote anymore understanding.

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what is it you are asking for?

 

it sounds like you are too wrapped in what everyone else wants or thinks. what do you want in a woman/man? go from there.

 

My question isn't about me or what I want

 

It is about the approach used on this message board to offer advice. I'm simply looking for ways to improve the culture of the board - because in my opinion it could be better... and I was asking what others thought about that.

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I don't understand, are you arguing in favour of personality types? I agree in principle with what you say, but even things like MBTI are horrid oversimplifications and I think people really miss the point when they take it too seriously. I think it is good for opening people to the suggestion that people are fundamentally different, but beyond that when you start retro-fitting people to arbitrarily defined profiles it doesn't promote anymore understanding.

 

Great point. No I'm not saying we should categorize people into buckets of personality types - I'm using the personality type field as an example to explain that people are all very different - and one-size-fits-all-answers don't really work in relationships - as I see it.

 

I think age plays a big factor in dating style, as does location, culture, the morals of the people in question, but I also think that how introverted or extroverted the people are plays a factor.

 

I'm not saying I have the answers - I'm interested in the discussion.

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It is about the approach used on this message board to offer advice. I'm simply looking for ways to improve the culture of the board - because in my opinion it could be better... and I was asking what others thought about that.

 

I have long thought many people here could use some lessons in critical thinking and suspending judgment, but I am faced with the paradox that people who are interested in seeing only the reality that they want to see are not going to be persuaded.

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It might be nice if under everyone's avatar picture there was a label "Always posts generic advice" or "Never posts generic advice", because then if you got generic advice from someone who normally never posts it, you would know to take it seriously. But in reality I don't think you can do better than to just learn the different contributors' personalities and realize which of them sound trustworthiest to you and focus on their posts more than others.

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It might be nice if under everyone's avatar picture there was a label "Always posts generic advice" or "Never posts generic advice", because then if you got generic advice from someone who normally never posts it, you would know to take it seriously. But in reality I don't think you can do better than to just learn the different contributors' personalities and realize which of them sound trustworthiest to you and focus on their posts more than others.

 

Thanks man - that made me laugh.

 

I agree that it might just take time to filter through and learn peoples response styles. Would be nice if there was an *ignore this user* button for those that obviously only post generic stuff - but I wonder if the folks that run this board don't want that because it might reduce total traffic which in turn might reduce their advertising revenue.

 

Or perhaps a way to rate responders beyond just seeing how many posts they write per day. Maybe this in itself would eventually lead to a personality profile of responders if there were a few different measures upon which they could be rated? ...lol... maybe I should just start my own board?

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It might be nice if under everyone's avatar picture there was a label "Always posts generic advice" or "Never posts generic advice", because then if you got generic advice from someone who normally never posts it, you would know to take it seriously. But in reality I don't think you can do better than to just learn the different contributors' personalities and realize which of them sound trustworthiest to you and focus on their posts more than others.

 

Good point. Sometimes it comes down to experience. Often a younger poster would hear / read something and then post the same idea. You can smell it at a distance whether this is from their own derived experience or they learned it from someone else.

That's why I posted what I posted at the very bottom about plagiarism.

 

However, everyone's opinion should be respected as long as its from their own experience even if there is generalizations involved. If that's how they perceived the world, that's useful information right there because that's real to them individually, and that's what matters sometimes.

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Or perhaps a way to rate responders beyond just seeing how many posts they write per day. Maybe this in itself would eventually lead to a personality profile of responders if there were a few different measures upon which they could be rated? ...lol... maybe I should just start my own board?

 

Is that what recommendations are supposed to accomplish?

 

 

It's nice in theory, but I don't think many people would appreciate getting rated like that. I think many people come to forums looking to escape judgmental people from everyday life. Having rating could be pretty judgmental.

 

What sort of rating categories did you have in mind? Do you mean categories like "good advice/bad advice" or something like "cheerful/considerate/realistic/reassuring/responsive/sincere/rational/humorous/honest/helpful/dependable/happy...etc"?

 

Hmm...could be a fun idea.

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The problem isn't the personality types so much as a vastly different opinion of the "goals" one wants to accomplish. Yes, some of the advice (okay, alot) is generic, but the main issue is that people are answering from a perspective of assuming they know better instead of trying to help the person find out what they want. By the time the OP is done reading some of the typical responses, they're likely more confused about the problem than when they started, lol

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I think that each person can make their own judgments about the advice that is given by each poster. I think that people also have to take into consideration what kind of forum this actually. Primarily this is a forum where people go to when they are having relationship problems or a breakup/divorce.

 

As with any situation some people are going to have more insightful advice than others. A person who responds to a post only knows what the OP has told them and each person responds with their own personal experience and knowledge.

 

I personally do not think that there is anything wrong with generalizations because it would be impossible for everyone to fit into the same mold and everybody knows that but people just seem to get offended when they get lumped into a category that they do not like or that is offensive to them. A generalization is just that a general interpretation that doesnt mean it is applicable to every person in every situation.

 

If you notice people that only give general advice and youre looking for something more specific then disregard what that person says.

 

I think that doing a personality analysis with each person involved would be too drawn out. The OP knows the specific facts of the situation and is going to have to apply what adivce he/she has heard.

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What sort of rating categories did you have in mind? Do you mean categories like "good advice/bad advice" or something like "cheerful/considerate/realistic/reassuring/responsive/sincere/rational/humorous/honest/helpful/dependable/happy...etc"?

 

Hmm...could be a fun idea.

 

Ban them after 10 thumbs down type of rating system. Thumbs up will neutralize of thumbs down. And then when someone hits 50 thumbs up in total, they'll receive money. 100 thumbs up, more money... so on and so forth.

 

When you realize you're on the verge of getting banned from all the thumbs down you received, you 'donate' money to neutralize all the thumbs down. The game begins again.

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I think you're right - I know I tend to do it (we each come from our own idiosyncratic viewpoint after all!) BUT I usually post something to the effect that I might be wrong in this case.

 

But if you want to see people thinking like a flock of sheep, read the British tabloids and then watch and listen to the British public discussing the General Election...

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What sort of rating categories did you have in mind? Do you mean categories like "good advice/bad advice" or something like "cheerful/considerate/realistic/reassuring/responsive/sincere/rational/humorous/honest/helpful/dependable/happy...etc"?

 

Hmm...could be a fun idea.

 

Yeah more in line with the 2nd group... perhaps you can check up to 3 boxes each time when you rate somebody - so you aren't doing a pass/fail kind of thing so much as saying "this person is really thoughtful" or "cheerful" etc.

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but Day_Walker, if the OP has a problem to begin with, then they're not in a mental state to filter and judge information properly or they'd have solved it themselves.

 

If a person is unable to filter through the advice that is given then it would defeat the purpose of seeking advice.

 

Each OP has to make some kind of determination for themselves as to which advice they are going to disregard and which they are going to take into consideration. Personally if a person cannot make that kind of analysis then they want each person who responds to give the exact same kind of advice, that seems more like the OP is just looking for certain response even before the post is made. In that case the OP is in no position to seek advice because they are unwilling to accept advice that they do not want to hear.

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Ban them after 10 thumbs down type of rating system. Thumbs up will neutralize of thumbs down. And then when someone hits 50 thumbs up in total, they'll receive money. 100 thumbs up, more money... so on and so forth.

 

When you realize you're on the verge of getting banned from all the thumbs down you received, you 'donate' money to neutralize all the thumbs down. The game begins again.

 

That destroys the point of a community.

Also, ENA isn't a profit system. It wasn't designed to be.

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I have to agree. We often see someone posting something and people have different exact opposite advice. Not to say any of the advice is invalid, but all advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Unless we know the person in question, we really don't know what the solution is. For instance there's a guy I like. Right now he doesn't want a relationship because he had a bad previous relationship. Some people have said he'll come around and others have said he won't. Will he come around? Only he knows. Same with all the people posting for people to ditch lovers because they don't want kids or marriage. Some people really do want those but play games, while others really don't, and others do, but not now, or not with that person. When someone posts those questions we really don't know the whole situation and people change. Personally, the responses I take the serious are the ones who actually mention experiences with a certain topic. To me that's more important than opinions.

 

This is why people need to stop reading self help books for advice. Instead just take things day by day. No self help book will help all people in situations.

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Yeah, I hate when people read a post where someone's bf/gf is not acting as everyone thinks he/she should and so the advice is "dump him/her". Usually I think "huh?" I mean in some situations, yes, dumping the person might be excellent advice but sometimes it's not. An introverted person is going to approach a dating situation a lot differently than an extroverted person. Does that mean that the introverted person doesn't care as much and should be dumped? I think the OP has a point that a lot of people read the basics of a situation and offer a generic "dump him" too often.

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tf987:

Fellow NT Rational here (INTP [we're rare], the ideal match for ENTJ [i'm a dude, though]). I know what you're saying, and it lends itself to an existential depression of sorts. Rationals (NT) are a small, small subset of the population (~10%), and their gifts of clear, objective, mechanical thought processing oftentimes are lost on the other types. I liken it to attempting to explain the concept of color to a group of colorblind and (congenitally) blind people; the former may understand parts of it, though not its entirety, while the attempt is nearly lost on the latter. Not that it's their fault - just the nature of things.

 

It's not that other people aren't trying to help - they're just helping in their own ways. Each of the four types [usually distilled into the classic sixteen permutations] have their own modi operandorum: some offer advice based on their experiences (SP/SJ), some offer emotional support (NF), and some seek to solve the problem objectively (NT). In the domain of advice giving, I find the NT to be best suited (not simply because I am one, as I'd likely say that were I not [although, being another type, I don't know if I'd be equiped to recognize that...odd]), as solving a problem entails fleshing it out, finding the weak point(s), and ameliorating said point(s) - areas in which the NT excels. [if you, the reader reacted to that thinking "So do you think you're better than me?" I'd venture you're a Sensing type, to which I'd respond "Merely a statement of fact." It's not about pigeonholing; simply illustrating the value of MBTI in understanding modi operandorum. See bottom.]

 

 

Cognitive_Canine:

Tongue-in-cheek humor!

 

 

 

Off-topic: I've often thought about some sort of evolved super-society in which MBTI were used as the sole brokering criterion in say, career and couple matching, as it can be a valuable tool in appropriately allocating human resources. Then I just realized that the secondary effect would be people forging documents or posing as a certain type to obtain a specific job or mate. Then I realized that that sort of framework would never come into being, as NTs are such a small subset of the population and generally disdain the positions necessary to effect any sort of change of that magnitude. Then I remembered that the majority of people are S-type, and are quite...sensitive and reactive to any type of logical generalizing, which they perceive to be personal attacks. Then I crawled into the bathtub and cried myself to sleep. [Ok, so only 3/4 kidding. Yup, the world wants to be helped, yet is resistant to change. Poetic.]

 

 

 

 

 

To s/he who has read thus far:

 

I've found that many people choose not to subscribe to the typology idea, for whatever reason [in my experience, usually accompanied by an emphatic "You can't categorize me!" by S-types]. It's not about forcing people into a mold - it's about trying to understand better what is being worked with in order to provide a solution. Yea, some people just want to hear "It's ok" when they fail a test, but if you ask an NT, they'll ask to see your test and then show you what you did wrong (you'll likely notice this dichotomy amongst those you know). It's not emotionally insensitive; they're simply trying to help the best way they know how. [The inverse holds true, as someone telling me "it's ok" when I fail only makes me respond internally that it's not ok, I didn't work hard enough and will now have a hell of a time trying to mitigate the damage, and that they don't respect that. Though an NT will likely not articulate this internal monologue, so the "offending" S isn't made aware that they pissed the NT off {though NTs aren't really prone to any emotion}, yet THEY would be upset were you to correct their mistakes in lieu of emotional support {which is not an NT strength}. That's what happens when emotions and feelings are your strong suit, but as I said earlier...existential depression for the NT lol.]

 

AT LEAST READ THIS

 

The best analogy I came up with is fruit in an orchard. You may have apple trees, strawberry vines, with banana and pineapple trees [may not work horticulturally, but bear with me!]. They all start as seeds, and the seeds look fairly similar. They're small. You cultivate them. They grow. You see where this is going. The difference, though, is once the apple seed grows, it becomes a large, sturdy tree. The strawberry seed develops runners and shoots, expanding along the ground. The banana tree becomes stout and heavily laden with fruit. The pineapple tree becomes...stout and...heavily laden with fruit. [Ok, I concede the last two look fairly similar.] They're markedly different from each other, and are easily delineated into specific categories...namely their respect fruits.

 

Even so, each apple tree is different and unique - their trunks and branches are different, their leaves are different shades, some may be healthy while others sickly. So being classified as an apple tree doesn't preclude one from being different and unique - it simply helps the one tending the orchard to know how to nurture and raise it, just as the strawberry patch, banana trees, and pineapple trees have their own specific needs.

 

Extrapolating further, how do we eat the fruit? Well, we [hopefully] start by washing it. But then what? Some say "just eat it!" and that may work for the apple and strawberry, but not for the banana and pineapple. So someone else says "well, you have to remove the skin first!" but then it takes me a while to eat the apples, and way too long for the strawberries. What do I do with the seeds? "Spit them out!" "just eat them!" "they're so tiny, it doesn't matter!" "what seeds?" Without having recognized that the fruits are all different, I can't create a specific plan for eating them. Only after appreciating that they CAN be separated and categorized can I then formulate four separate algorithms to accomplish my task.

 

This is intimately germane to "dating" and human relationships. Am I calling her too much? Is this clingy, or am I not showing them I care? Does absence make the heart grow fonder, or is it out-of-sight, out-of-mind? Do I follow The Rules, or make my own? It's all of these, but certain combinations for certain types. [in these instances, I'd reckon: E expects to be called, I may become annoyed or may not know to call at all; S likes being shown affection, and may illogically equate lack of action to lack of affection, whereas N shows through action and not words; absence makes the heart grow fonder for the F, out-of-sight/out-of-mind likely for T; J will follow The Rules because they believe they became rules because they work, while P will scoff at those who cling to The Rules {Asch Effect, yo} and point out their overall flaws.] Paths of action are usually binary and diametrically opposed (see above); understanding and appreciating MBTI is absolutely imperative in selecting the right course of action (and in proffering advice).

 

 

Most people want to help - keep that in mind, even if some posts seem...lacking. Many times they may only provide their perspective, which may not be useful ("well, I'm an attractive woman and I always get approached" is not going to help a shy girl); some are just better able to impart their advice. I hope this helps.

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