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Why knowledge of the MBTI can improve individual well-being

The Centre's views on psychological well-being is that it is a judicious balance between a sense of belonging and connections to others as well as the ability to make decisions for yourself, take effective action in the world and have a sense of personal identity/individuality. We think individuality important – the expression of difference – but distinguish it from individualism – the pursuit of one's own self-interest.

If we define well-being in this way it is easy to see why working with the MBTI™ can help improve well-being:

1. The MBTI encourages us to understand others from the point of view of their preferences, not ours. In this way it can enhance empathy and understanding – basic building blocks of good relationships with others.
2. The MBTI is non-judgemental and is based on the fundamental premise that 'it takes all types to make a world'. This means that it encourages and fosters respect. Again respect is important in relationships and ultimately for individual well-being.
3. Every individual is unique and understanding them requires much more than type knowledge. However,  the MBTI  helps provide a framework for understanding some basic differences between people.
4. Knowledge of the MBTI can help individuals to become more effective and competent.
5. Knowledge of the MBTI and our  own type preferences can help us think and plan more effectively for 'individuation' and good lifetime development.
6. Perfectionism can undermine individual's self-esteem leading them to believe that they are 'never good enough'. Low self-esteem can lead to depression but thinking too much about self-esteem can be counterproductive. The MBTI is more likely to encourage 'self-compassion' – an acceptance of inevitable weaknesses and human frailties.


© Carol Craig

MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries; OPP Ltd. has exclusive rights to these trademarks in the U.K.

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