My girlfriend,Jungian Personality Theory and the Rabbit Hole (Dealing with Relationships)


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I feel that this may need some context. I spent a decade of extreme illness after my Doctors completely failed to spot that I was diabetic, and then when they spotted it, decided it was type 2 and refused to send me to hospital to check that my diabetes wasn't type 1. It was type 1 and I am unbelievably lucky not to be dead. During the last year of that, I met a girl who basically gave me the strength to stay alive, and at the same time I was able to help her deal with a major event in her life. So the bond between us is extremely close.

Which is a good thing, because there are times when we basically want to [end the relationship with] each other, especially when it comes to '9/11 truth'.

I wanted to figure out why we were arguing so much, and dimly recalling something about Myers-Briggs that I had been aware of before I became ill, I went looking for info and came across a Youtuber named CS Joseph.

A primer: The Myers-Briggs test, which you may have taken online, is a commercial test designed around Carl Jung's theory of personality. Sometimes I've tried to explain it to people and they dismiss it as 'just another online personality test' like Which Harry Potter character are you? but that is nowhere near the case. The theory simplified, states that every personality has the same aspects with a few binary possibilities and that these are organised in 'stacks', each personality has their stacks in a different order and the aspect at the top of the stack is where they operate best, while the aspect at the bottom of the stack is what causes fear/anxiety and can lead to personality problems and mental health issues. There are lots of websites out there that try and explain this, many of them don't do it very well, but it only takes a minute of CS Joseph, who understands the theory very well, explaining every aspect of your personality to you and why, to realise that this is an extremely accurate model of personality. He has a tonne of videos now, but start with the 'Who are the ....'s' series.

It turns out that I am an INTP, and my friend is an INFP. That's Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking/Feeling, Perceptive. The other possible main binaries are Extroverted, Sensing and Judging, although it's a little bit more complicated than that as Myers-Briggs simplified things a little bit to make it commercial. The combination of these four major binaries leads to 16 possible personalities. Literally, of the seven billion people on the planet, we are dealing with only 16 personalities. I as an INTP and she as an INFP are fascinating to observe, as INP's we often think in exactly the same way, and then in other ways we are complete opposites. INTP and INFP are actually regarded as almost completely incompatible despite having an insane initial attraction to each other, and understanding the theory behind why we fight has helped a lot in being able to be forgiving to each other and not [end the relationship with] each other.

Some of those personalities are more prone to the rabbit hole than others. INFP is one of them. As an INTP I am logical and rational to extremes, I can spot logical flaws a mile off, to the point that it is actively painful to me when I hear an obvious conspiracy theory based on inexact science and circumstantial evidence. INFP is capable of logic and reasoning and research, but has a bias towards things they 'feel' to be true, to the point where they will dismiss anything that goes against that theory as almost a direct assault on their soul. My friend will put on a David Icke video about 9/11, as she did yesterday and take everything he says as gospel truth, and in fairness, nothing Icke said, as far as I know, was a lie, it just didn't actually prove anything, it took a lot of co-incidences around NORAD and built them up into a grand conspiracy. When I attempted to point that out to her, I was accused of opposing her for the sake of opposing her, for not giving the theory any credence to begin with, for nailing down the magic of the world and various other things. Also, how could I immediately claim that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered on the basis of 'coincidence', while ignoring the 'coincidences' around 9/11 and when I try to explain the differences in circumstantial evidence compared to massive anomalies in normal prison procedure around Epstein, that just starts her head throbbing and will I please shut up and go away.

Another problem with the INFP is that they will always believe that they are always right and good and true and this is actively tied up into their sense of self worth so that they will almost always rationalise their decisions and actions as the correct one until and unless they themselves realise they are wrong; because of this, trying to penetrate their errors by telling them they are wrong in any way is basically cause for game over in relationship terms which makes arguments incredibly tough as I am the one who ends up having to give way all the time if I want our relationship to continue. This doesn't make her or other INFPs bad people. My friend is a truly incredible and amazing person and also mature enough to work things out once the argument is over - basically we avoid these subjects if we can because we both know they have the potential to actually destroy our relationship. This also doesn't mean that I as an INTP do not have flaws, I do, in other areas. All 16 personalities can be 'triggered' in some way. For me, it is being accused of something I didn't do, I am also prone to computer game addiction, staying up all night (which is why I started doing this at 4am), being 'unfeeling', being overly detailed, debating others to the point I am now a pariah on facebook and being extremely apathetic about things. It actually causes me mental anguish when I hear a non logical or backed up statement and I am now learning to restrain myself from instantly jumping in with a correction because it probably does not do wonders for my social life.

But what has really helped me in understanding this personality theory, is that not everyone works the same way as me and, I imagine, many people on this forum. For most of my life, as a supremely logical person, I assumed that all other people were also basically rational and logical and would eventually accept the logic and rationality if it was explained well enough. However that is simply not the case. My friend's sense of feeling is so strong that she can pick up on social atmosphere and energy that I am completely oblivious to and she has many other wonderful qualities. She actively needs to believe in magic, not David Copperfield magic, but the magic of simply being alive and the sense of wonder at the universe and the more magical something sounds, no matter how outlandish, the more she may actually be attracted to it. It makes her vulnerable to snake oil salesmen and all I can do right now perhaps is protect her from them as best I can without actually undermining her sense of self worth or destroying our relationship.

My point in saying all this is that, having discovered this site a couple of hours ago, and loving looking going through a lot of things and arming myself with information, I am also looking at the threads where other people have lost friends or family members to the rabbit hole and been unable to bring them round with arguments or rationality. I want to say that maybe we are going about this all wrong. The people drawn to this site are, I imagine, going to be rational and logical people who assume that they are arguing with rational and logical people and that failure to be logical or rational may indicate a mental health problem of some kind, but I want to say that there are an awful lot of people out there who are drawn to the rabbit hole, and actively want the rabbit hole to be true, by virtue of how their personality works, which may not involve logic, rationality or the application of rigorous evidence, and that trying to use those things against them, as I have been finding out through trial and error in my own experience, can even cause them actual pain and that these people, especially if they are loved ones and you want to conserve a relationship, may need to be approached in an entirely different manner. Every relationship will be different of course, depending on your type and their type, but by detailing how me and my friend are coping with our differences, maybe that can help others. But each type has strengths and weaknesses, and in some cases entire senses and sensory experiences, that others do not and may not even be aware of and even if they are not the rational type, there may be other ways to appreciate or connect with them and maintain that relationship because I am coming to the conclusion that long term relationships may work better than short term battles no matter how hard it may be not to engage on everything immediately, maybe see people who are taken in by snake oil, as people who need help to spot snake oil, not people who need to be fought, maybe you might need to find the magic in the logic of the real world and make it more attractive than the magic of snake oil peddlers. I'm not saying this isn't frustrating. It is, sometimes it drives me up the damn wall when my best friend is someone who basically finds any confrontation almost impossible to deal with on some of her beliefs. This little essay isn't necessarily about making things easier, but at least helping to understand the other person.

I've only really gone hugely in depth to the INTP and INFP types in my own research, but clearly this likely expands to many of the types, half of whom are Thinking, logic types and half of whom are Feeling types of various strengths.
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I made an account specifically to respond to this topic. There are concerns that people "fall" for the MBTI-model in similar ways that they believe in the horoscope.

Barnum statements are general statements that anyone can identify with. The response from an MBTI-advocate would be that the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator in it's groupings is so specific and it applies specifically so well to them, or that a person they know close to them fits into a category so well with barnum statements that do not apply to themselves in return such that this must mean the MBTI-representation of personality is therefore correct.

Now I could rattle off what I know about it, but the Wikipedia-page summarizes the criticisms fairly well;–Briggs_Type_Indicator#Criticism

In summary you seem to put a tremendous amount of weight on your own logical superiority, which might be straining to a relationship. You are susceptible to the same lapses of logic as anyone else, same as me, and I believe your religious acceptance of the MBTI-scale is kind of a proof of that. If you want to improve your relationship with your girlfriend, I think lightening up on the logic-stuff would help your relationship far more than some kind of introspection in the light of your "types".

Dealing with a conspiratorially minded girlfriend sound tough though, so I wish you good luck there. The most important part is probably just acceptance and not convincing, because you will never be satisfied with the result if the latter is the case. I personally would ask her to never bring conspiracies up to me, and just try to leave it at that. I've had a religious gf before and it worked simply because we never made a big deal out of it, even though I am very much a very firm atheist.
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