Category: Psychology

Decoding the Tinder Algorithm

Decoding the Tinder Algorithm

For all intents and purposes, I find Tinder fascinating. It has fundamentally changed the workings of the sexual marketplace and if you are single, you simply have to take notice of it, even if you have vowed never to create a Tinder profile.

To me the most fascinating thing about Tinder is its algorithm, which of course is not publically known. But we can speculate; and Tinder’s staff has made certain info available for us through interviews.

Last year Tinder’s CEO Sean Rad admitted to Fast Company’s Austin car in this interview that Tinder has a scoring system where you are rated against other users. Interestingly the score does not measure “attractiveness” as such, but rather “desirability”. Which makes totally sense since attractiveness is something that is very hard to define (although science can tell us a lot about what people in general find attractive, but more about this another time).

You see, on Tinder desirability is not only measured by how many people swipe right on you; it is also measured by your own behavior!

To some degree, however, Tinder still works like “hot or not”. If a lot of people swipe right on you, your rating will be higher while less people swiping right on you will affect your rating negatively. This works the same way as the conventional dating market. Its supply and demand at its best.

Say you swipe right to nearly everyone, though. I used to do that and studies have shown that there is a tendency for men to do just this. This also works like in real life. If you are openly less selective, that will tend to lower your own value.

Generally, Tinder would want to match people of high desirability with other people of high desirability and people with lower desirability with other people of lower desirability. Everyone wants someone who are highly desirable but it goes without saying that someone who are highly desirable would not want someone who is not. Remember that desirability is measured on a number of factors, not only physical attractiveness!

Besides being more selective about who you swipe right to there are a number of other things you can do to improve your desirability score.

Obviously, you should work on your profile photos and your text. I don’t want to get into what constitutes a good profile photo and a good profile text here because that depends on your end goal, but I’ll say one thing: it is absolutely vital that you try to be as honest and authentic as possible!

Putting forth an image of yourself that is not completely true will get you more matches, but when you chat or go out with these people, they will see right through your tactics. Better be authentic. In general, I think we tend to put too much effort into working on our self-presentation than into actually working on ourselves these days.

So your checklist of things to do should include more selective swiping, better photos, and a better profile text.

Now, you should also be aware that how many of your matches you write too will also affect your overall score or rating. How much are you worth to someone who matched you in excitement only for you to never contact them?

I don’t think this is a huge factor because in the end we can only have so many conversations going at one time, but I think it matters a lot for men especially. Basically, Tinder would want to reward men who display traits that are attractive to women because it’ll give the woman a better experience (and vice versa).

An article that I’ll not reference advised the reader to just write everyone they match if only because of the algorithm. I think this is faulty logic and I am sure that Tinder has considered the quality of a person’s chats when tweaking the algorithm.

So if you were to take only one (okay two) things from this post its to be selective about who you match and be proactive about writing those people you do match (but only write as many as you can actually handle having a solid chat with).

First Impressions

First Impressions

Today I lost a very great job opportunity because of certain communicative misconceptions between the interviewer and I. I of course tried to remedy the situation, but the truth is that people very rarely change their already established first impression of other people. At least not in the short term.

This could be because of something called confirmation bias. That is, all of us hold certain beliefs to be true, and we are programmed to feel negative about things that are counter to those beliefs. No matter if said beliefs are based on solid evidence or not.

I therefore think that, while it goes against my own beliefs, it is necessary not to be completely honest whenever you meet someone for the first time. I am not saying to be dishonest, but that withholding certain aspects of the truth is often in ones best interest.

Personally, for example, I find some people to be quite biased against mindful living, meditation, and spirituality in general. I used to be one of those people, and I viewed spiritual folks as being more or less crazy loons. They would never have a chance to redeem themselves.

Of course, later on I understood that I was the one viewing the world solely through my own eyes, and that doing so was not bringing me lasting happiness. All it did was make me a negative grump who criticized everything and everyone.

Unfortunately, most people never get to realize that every single aspect of reality is up to subjective judgement, and that their judgment is just about as subjective as any other. Evidence is secondary when it comes to human feelings.

What we can learn from this is to respect everyone equally, no matter how skewed a view of things we might think they have.

But more importantly so, what I really take from this great loss of opportunity is an understanding that situational awareness is a very important skill to cultivate in life:

Sometimes, holding back to begin with is the best way to get people on your side in the long run.

If this makes you think, please add to the discussion below! I need the input severely.

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Benjamin Franklin’s Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection – Part I

Benjamin Franklin’s Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection – Part I

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was only 20 years old when he in 1726 wrote down a list of 13 virtues in order to help him achieve moral perfection throughout his lifetime. Franklin never accomplished his goal of moral perfection, but then again, I don’t think there is ever an end-point in self-development. You never stop learning and one should therefore always focus on making the best out of the journey itself.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin can be found for free at Project Gutenberg, and the 13 virtues can be found specifically in chapter 9 of that book. I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing them below:

1. Temperance – Eat not dulness; drink not elevation.

2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing

6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. Chastity -Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin was very wise for his age, and only set out to master one of his 13 virtues at a time. They are arranged in an order so that “the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others”. (For his rather lengthy discussion of the order of the virtues see chapter 9 of his autobiography).

A course (one week per virtue) would therefore take him about 13 weeks, meaning, as he writes himself, that he would be able to go through the course four times in a year.

franklin-chart.pngTo keep track of his progress he kept a little book (see above pictures) in which he “allotted a page for each of the virtues”. Each page had a column for each day of the week as well as a row for each of the 13 virtues.

At the top of the page he wrote which virtue he was specifically focusing on that particular week. As the days went by he would mark little black spots for “every fault [he] found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day”. In other words, Franklin’s goal was to have as few black spots as possible in his chart.

Of course, this way of keeping track of your development requires that you diligently mark those black spots when you do something that goes against your set of virtues. That’s easier said than done, and you’d have to be one remarkable individual to keep going at this for a longer period of time. Well, we know that Benjamin Franklin was. Just look at his accomplishments and at his importance for the American country and for its people. One of the most inspiring individuals I have ever come upon in my studies of virtuous men and women.

I have deliberately chosen not to do a commentary on Benjamin Franklin’s virtues, letting his words speak for themselves. If you want to try Benjamin Franklin’s course out for yourself you can download a chart over at diyplanner.com. Let me know if you found it useful!

Sources:

If you liked this article, please like, share or leave a comment. Thank you for reading!

This is part I of a two part article. Part II will focus on Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule as well as the daily schedule I am trying to follow myself.

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On Finding Humility

On Finding Humility

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” C.F. Lewis

Well. It is Friday, the weekend is almost upon us, and I’ve been thinking about some criticism I received earlier this week. While he did no say this directly, I’ve concluded that I have become somewhat conceited and narcissistic lately.

I think this has been shining through in my writings here at the blog as well. If so, that’s rather unfortunate, because I don’t see many conceited individuals who are actually successful at what they do. Often, people like this are self-deserving while unwilling to put in the effort required to get the job done. Big words won’t get you anywhere.

This message really got through to me yesterday when I was sitting at a cafe, listening to a guy telling a girl how he thought a nine to five job wasn’t for people like him. I certainly don’t prefer a nine to five job either, but I also know that I am not superman or inherently deserving of anything more than anyone else in this world. Sometimes, though, I am that guy at the cafe, telling people that I am above ‘menial’ labor. It goes without saying that I am not proud about that!

I know this successful guy in the danish television industry. He doesn’t ever brag, or even ever mention how successful he is to new people he meet. He is a really likable guy who always shows a genuine interest in everyone he meets. I am not at all accomplished myself, but that is the guy I’d like to be: the guy who doesn’t need external validation in order to feel good about himself. Instead, he takes that good feeling he already has inside of himself, and shares it with the world, making other people happy in the process.

I think most of us, deep down in ourselves, want to be that guy, but somehow our need to be ‘liked’ overshadows our sense of humility. At least for me it does. So I end up writing a bunch of self-centered posts, disregarding the fact that my way of living isn’t ‘better’ than any other way of doing so. Of course, it is the best way to live for me, and I am proud of that, but as I’ve found, there is a fine line between being confident and being arrogant.

I was wondering why I don’t get much interaction other than likes here anymore, but now I see that that’s because I haven’t been writing stuff people could relate to at all. So I’ll try to get back to my purpose here, and to writing posts that are worthwhile reading to others. Conveying honesty and humility are the keywords I want to strive for as a blogger. I hope I will succeed at both some day.

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Thank you so much for reading! 

The Time of my Life: On Success, Failure & Self-Reliance

The Time of my Life: On Success, Failure & Self-Reliance

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances , to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl

Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with Primary sclerosing cholangitis, my then roommate attacked me with a kitchen knife (twice!) and my girlfriend, who I wanted to build a future with, left me, all in a span of a few months. Sounds like a good (cheesy) Hollywood movie script about a man who lost everything, but then had the willpower to stand up and fight back, right? I think so.

But wait a bit. Could a true story really be this black and white? Could I really have been wronged so much without being of any fault myself?

Of course not. The other side of the story is that I had not been taking good care of my health for many years prior to my diagnosis, that I could be an intolerable roommate, at times, and that I was not at all truly passionate about my girlfriend, and I did not put in the effort required to maintain a healthy relationship with her.

There are always two sides to every story!

My health problems could have been prevented had I taken a serious interest in what I put into my mouth when I first moved out from my parents place. My roommate was bipolar. I should have never moved in with him in the first place. And my girlfriend. We were not a good fit from the beginning, and it was wrong of me to pursue her at all. Today, though, I am sort of thankful that all of those things happened, which you will understand why in a bit.

Flash forward to 2012. I had moved (fled) to Copenhagen in order to start anew; to create a better life for myself. I was dumbfounded when that life didn’t just land in my lap without effort! I tried asking a great girl out, but she gave me the biggest NO I have ever heard spoken out loud. I think what she said was something like “never in a million years!” I could practically smell the resentment in her voice; the disgustment that someone so low would think he could ever be a match for her.

This became the first big eye-opener for me that the world didn’t owe me anything; that I had to put in the work myself for it. And I have yet to thank her for that, but I will when the time is right. In a way, I view this girl as my guardian angel (if I believed in angels, that is, which I don’t, but I really like the sentiment of it). We have to be thankful when people show us our faults instead of being gentle with us.

The friend who dares to criticize you, is the best friend of all!

It was also the first time that I wasn’t angry about being denied. I was hurt at first. But deep down in myself I was ready to capitulate to the truth that I had put this destiny on myself; that I had chosen to be this sad excuse for a man.

And then followed the creation of this blog and of many, many failures in the world of self improvement. I have been denied things I wanted countless of times since.

But every time an interviewer turned me down I now knew that it was, partly, because I had to work on the first impression that I make, mainly be more confident in myself. If you are called in for an interview, its because they want you to perform well. It is the same with women – they want you to be the man of their dreams!

Ultimately, you are what you believe you are!

And some romantic interests have been resentful towards me since then. But as early as 2012 I knew that there wasn’t anything wrong with me but that I had done something to turn them completely off in those instances. I knew this, because I was starting to do the right thing. Sometimes. Sometimes a girl would be head of heals for me. Mostly not, but sometimes. I had begun the process of transformation, and I loved every moment of it.

Smelling a bit of success among many failures is a great incentive to move forward. That is why taking action is so important. You learn a lot from your failures, but the one time out of a hundred that you succeed will grow your confidence in yourself a tiny bit. Over time that tiny bit will turn into a lot – a whole lot.

To this day I still have problems with some individuals in my life because they have been used to being able to define our relation with each other. I don’t think they consider themselves to be disrespectful towards me (even though they are). How could they? After all, I had given up all my power voluntarily long ago.

Invest more in yourself than in the perception others may have of you!

When you start “fighting back” a power struggle will usually ensue; a tug of war between the two of you. Its an interesting process to analyze, really. When people are afraid of loosing something they will tug that much harder back.

If you are a reformed pushover, chances are you might end up becoming a complete douche yourself. Ive seen this happen over and over again. People becoming what they hated the most because they end up on some form of revenge trip against the world that hurt them so much in the past. Oh sweet irony, aren’t thou a bitch?

But don’t do that. I aim to establish equal borders in all of my personal relations. With me you get what you give. If your aim is to use me I’ll disregard you entirely; if you happen to cross the line without knowing it, I’ll know that I have to recalibrate the way I interact with you. Those are the rules.

There is a fine line between being overtly manipulative, and just taking care of yourself!

There is a bit of an amendment to this rule when it comes to women, though: with women I will always aim to be slightly dominant. Because there is really no other choice, as I see it. To generalize, women view men who are able to take control and men who are not able to take control entirely different. My experience has been that there is not much of an in-between category here. Either you are a man to them or a boy. You make the choice which you’d rather be.

Naturally, I chose to be the first, but that still doesn’t mean that I’ll be disrespectful towards anyone. The trick (something that I am still working on) is to be straightforward and honest with people as much of the time as possible. Someone pissing you off? Tell them. You want someone in bed? Let them know. People won’t be able to bounce back on your desires if you don’t let them know what they are.

Success in life basically comes through investing in yourself and through allowing yourself to be vulnerable. As Mark Manson says:

“…attraction flows from women perceiving a lack of neediness and a sense of security in men. This lack of neediness and security arises from having a stronger identity and investment in oneself than in the perception of others” Mark Manson, Models pp. 358.

And you know what? I believe the above to be a universal truth – for men and women alike. For bosses, for parents, for lovers, for friends, for coworkers etc. People like and respect people who are self-reliant; people who are honest and have integrity; people who aren’t afraid of standing up for something they believe in; and people who are not afraid to live life because they know how short it is. Lets all strive to be those kinds of people. Because, ultimately, we all deserve to be happy.

The only way to get there is to allow yourself to be vulnerable; to face rejection over and over again; to be opinionated and to have strong values, to know when you were wrong; and above all to make the changes necessary. With that mindset, you will achieve greatness. I know I am…a little by little.

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The photo is from a guy’s “Gangster” dress party I attended last year. I am the fourth guy from
the left (not counting the guy fishing in the background). As a gangster, by the way, I go by the name The Amish Assassin. pretty cool name, right?

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What we Choose to Reveal: On Mind Games we Play

What we Choose to Reveal: On Mind Games we Play

“After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to reveal. What I am to Claire is not what I am to Zoe, just as Zoe is not to me what she is to her father”. Frank Underwood (House of Cards)

I am a big fan of the Netflix series House of Cards. Frank Underwood is obviously a caricature, but I believe there is  a little Frank Underwood in each an every one of us. Most of us do try to have our cake and eat it too from time to time even though this strategy often backfires in the long run.

In the end, it is important to accept that people “play games” with each other if you want to get anywhere in life. Some people – even “smart” people – will vehemently deny ever having ulterior motives, but people who are one hundred percent straightforward all of the time are few and far between. I believe I only know one person out of hundreds of acquaintances who is this “naive”.  Of course, the TRULY naive people are those who believe that they themselves don’t play games. Almost all of us do. It is a built-in psychological mechanism also known as the self-serving bias, inescapable, even for the best of us.

Human psychology is a funny thing…It is interesting how biased we tend to be towards supporting that which is best for ourselves. I used to be very idealistic and naive in my view of people, but as I learned more and more about human psychology, I also understood that people are often unaware of the real motivations behind what they do. And, in fact, this knowledge made it easier for me to accept people (and myself) for who they are: Imperfect beings.

We are often overly biased because we don’t understand how our emotions are connected to the things that happen to us. Long-term exposure to something that doesn’t fit well with our self-image, for example, will cause us to develop certain “fundamentalist” attitudes. Be aware of those, both in yourself and in other people.

One example is certain strains of feminism. At least those who I have been exposed to who identifies themselves as “feminist”, shows signs of having unrealistic expectations of men and especially of themselves in relation to men. These women will never be happy if they never stop to take an objective look at the reality that they live in.

Entirely in the same vein, self-identified “nice guys” have negative views of women because they have not taken the time to understand their own self-defeating behaviors and to correct them before they ended up having long-term negative effects to their self-image.

So an important, even necessary  life lesson is not to take everything at face value. If you suspect something shifty going on, something shifty might be going on. You might even be fooling yourself, so don’t just go looking for suspicious behavior in other people, start with yourself. Trust your instinct, it is a finely tuned instrument evolved for the same. Trust it or wither.

Of course, sometimes, “ulterior” motives can be perfectly fine if both parties are aware of the others approach to the situation, which they often are. I may not agree when an acquaintance chooses to be with a girl entirely because of her looks while she in turn chooses to be with him because of his economic status, both disregarding each others personalities, but I understand why such a mutual agreement can be made. In such situations, I  used to say that she was obviously using the guy for her own gain, but in all honesty, the same can be said of him. There are always two sides of the coin and things are not always entirely what they seem to be when looking from the outside.

Some people, of course, expect everyone to be playing mind games all of the time, and feel that their only defense is to do the same. The logic of this strategy is that the best defense is a good offense. The only problem with applying such a strategy in the long run is that it is easy to see through, at least for the well trained in the same. All is fair in love and war, but there is always a catch to thinking of yourself as being too smart. You might just be too smart for your own good.

Enter House of Cards. As it so perfectly shows (or will show, before the series end), in the end, you only get what you give, there is no way around that, not even for the most clever of us. Unfortunately, many of us need to be reminded of this ever so often. There are those who think they are master manipulators, and those who act naively towards manipulation. Both lose.

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Mate Poaching: When Humans go for Someone Already in a Relationship

Mate Poaching: When Humans go for Someone Already in a Relationship

Mate Poaching is a scientific term coined by Schmitt and Buss (2001) used to describe “behavior intended to attract someone who is already in a romantic relationship” (p. 894). Today it is used quite commonly in the evolutionary psychology community, and given my own growing interest in the field, I will in the following try to provide a short introduction to mate poaching  for those who might also find an interest in the subject.

First some statistics:

  • 64 % of the men and 49 % of the women who participated in the mentioned study by Schmitt and Buss, reported that they had attempted to poach someone as a short-term mate at some point in their past.
  • 32 % of the men and 22 % of the women reported having “frequently” experienced someone attempting to to poach them as a short-term mate.

In other words, if we are to believe the 2001 study, two thirds of men and about half of women have at some point tried to get with someone who were already in a relationship. More recent studies suggest that the numbers are likely to be higher than that, but for now, lets just consider these already relatively high ones.

It might not come as a huge shock to most of you, though, but I find those numbers to be quite thought-provoking. According to results from a 2006 study by Davies et al., however, general tendencies aren’t as morally bleak as suggested above:

“when given the choice, both men and women will reliably choose to mate with unattached, as opposed to attached, individuals.”

So people poach, but only when they perceive an available attached individual to be more attractive than any available unattached individuals in their social surroundings.

Here you’d probably tell me that this is merely common sense, and you’d of course be right about that. In general, using many different strategies, people almost always try to attain a long-term partner with as high a mate value as possible (what constitutes value, however is of course slightly different from person to person).

Interestingly, more than 70% of the people who participated in the 2001 study by Schmitt and Buss, reported that someone had tried to poach their partner away from them. As would be expected, people won’t as easily admit to having poached themselves as they will accuse other people of being mate poachers!

Below, a few interesting general observations drawn from the different studies cited in this post:

  • Those who mate poach are more likely to score low in agreeableness and conscientiousness than those who did not on The Big Five Inventory. Roughly translated, people who poach are, in general, less compassionate and more easygoing / careless than people who don’t poach.
  • ›Women are more attracted to attached men, but this effect is heavily influenced by the female’s ovulation cycle. Women will indeed (statistically) be more attracted to a man if he is in a relationship than if he isn’t. I am almost certain that most women reading this can remember a time in their life when they had second thoughts about a guy after he got together with, perhaps, quite an attractive woman. And I am sure that most men who has gone from being single for a long time, to being in a committed relationship, will have noticed the difference as well.
  • Men find women just as attractive regardless if attached or single. According to the studies I’ve cited, men in general live up to the myth of being more “simple-minded” than women when it comes to attraction. While other aspects such as personality of course matter as well, I can at least from my personal experience with friends attest to the idea that men are quite focused on looks. I know many men who’ll say that they want someone intelligent, yet they end up going for someone based mostly on their looks.

While many of my previous posts on this blog can be though of as opinion pieces, I’ve done quite a bit of research in relation to this post. Posts based on evolutionary psychology might often contain elements that people don’t like to hear, (certainly many will disagree highly with these studies) but in the end I think that information based on empirical research is much more useful in real life than opinion pieces that you’ll find scattered all over the net when looking for dating advice.

Anyway, that is all that I can muster in terms of writing today.  hope you found the concept of mate poaching interesting, and if you did, certainly feel free to like, comment on, or share this post. Thanks!

Resources:

Buss, D.M. (2004). Evolutionary psychology (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Davies, A.P.C., Shackelford, T.K., & Hass, R.G. (2006a). When a “poach” is not a poach: Re-defining human mate poaching and re-estimating its frequency. Manuscript under editorial review.

Schmitt, D.P., & Buss, D.M. (2001). Human mate poaching: Tactics and temptations for infiltrating existing relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 560-584

J. Parker, M. Burkley / Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45 (2009) 1016–1019

Dating and Finding Love with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Part I

Dating and Finding Love with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Part I

Part one: A preliminary theory

The MBTI was always about preferences, not a rigid system of this or that. I want to put this here, at the top, because it seems to me that there are a lot of people who don’t understand that every MBTI type has all of the eight cognitive functions. We are all cast in the same mold, so to speak.

Therefore, when I speak about someone being a feeler, or someone else being a thinker, I am talking about their preference, and am not saying that they don’t ‘feel’ or ‘think’ at all. In the end, the MBTI can never be more than a (flawed) guide to your personality and to the personalities of the people that you meet in life. It is not exactly scientific. That said, I find it to be very useful when navigating the social waters of the world, and I think that it can help all of us deeply in growing and nurturing out personal relationships.

I find the MBTI to be especially useful when it comes to love and dating. While I believe that every one of the 16 types can have a great relationship with every other of the types, I also think that one should be cautious with moving forward with certain combinations.

But, but but…I am only just beginning to develop my MBTI Dating Theory, though, so take everything I say here with a grain of salt!

Basically, I am a big fan of finding someone with the same core values as yourself, but there are also certain limits to that. On one hand, Two INTPs would be great together because they would see the world in a very similar way, but on the other hand similarity is also a limiting factor for personal growth and self-discovery, two of the most important aspects of life, if you ask me.

Conversely, two people can also be too different to be a good long-term match. Personality traits that seem thrilling in the beginning can turn out to be a nuisance in the long run.

So far, we can therefore conclude that some cognitive differences would be preferable, but that too many differences might result in both partners being unfulfilled in the relationship. The solution seems to be to find something in the middle of the two.

As a general rule, I would like to be able to say that NTs and SFs don’t match up well, but am not one-hundred percent sure about this yet. According to this theory of opposition, by the way, NFs and STs would also be bad matches for each other.

How do you reach these conclusions?

Good question, thanks for asking!

Well, according to MBTI theory, NTs tend to approach relationships in a logical and abstract manner while SFs will approach relationships in a personal and concrete manner.

And what does this mean?

Well, it means that the two subgroups live in very different realities.

Stereotyping, SFs focus on the immediate reality as they see it and are not very analytically minded. SFs are very hands-on and practical people who get things done. Typically, they will do well in people-oriented environments where interpersonal skills are highly valued.

NTs are stereotypically logical and objective about the world, and they therefore do better in areas like science and engineering.

While NTs and SFs will often find each other to be fascinating they are therefore (in my opinion) not very suited for a relationship with each other. They are simply too different.

Building on this, it is my belief that NTs will do best with either STs or NFs. So if we take a look at the picture below, we can conclude that any of the four subgroups would do best to stay away from dating the group diagonally opposite to their own.

mbti-pictureNT and ST relationships

As an INTP myself, I used to believe that no sensor would be a good choice of partner for an NT. But according to the rough sketching of my new theory, STs could be, and they might even be preferable to any of the other types.

Like SFs, STs are doers, but due to their T they will tend to base their actions on more similar considerations to the ones NTs make. In terms of spare time interests (an important part of any relationship) STs will tend to enjoy technical / real-life things that require analysis while NTs will be more drawn to theoretical systems that require analysis. In lack of better wording, both are ‘intellectual’ pursuits, and while different, these types will connect with each other through their mutual lust to gain knowledge.

 NT and NF relationships

While a conversation between an NT and an ST would be quite technical or objective of nature, a conversation between an NT and an NF would focus more on the N, and therefore be more abstract and creative of nature. NFs are not as interested in theory as NTs are, but they share a common interest for the abstract and otherworldly. With yet another risk of sounding very cliched, an NF might love the Harry Potter movies while an NT might love Star Wars or Star Trek. Both would love The Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones, but for different reasons. Only NTs and NFs truly get these fantasy type kind of things, and I therefore consider them a natural pairing.

A general advantage of an F plus T pairing is that they will be able to support each other in their weaker emotional or analytical sides. You could also turn this around, of course, and suggest that the F-T divide will be a reason for arguments in the relationship. In every relationship – taking type into consideration or not – the future success of the relationship depends more on each individual’s level of maturity than on anything else.

An intermediate conclusion (sort of)

As an NT, I’ll get a very different relationships from being with an ST than from being with an NF. With the ST I’ll have deep objective discussions, while I’ll have deep creative discussions with the NF. Both are fulfilling in their own way.

But what about the SF? You kind of left them out of this post?

I know, I know, I did. To make up for it, the next section will be about the SFs. I already stated above that SFs and NTs are not good relationship material according to my MBTI dating theory, so I won’t pair them up.

SF and NF relationships

SFs are always the life of the party. NFs can be the life of the party, but will often be caught up in their own head due to their N. So as I see it, SFs can bring NFs out of their shell while NFs can teach the SFs a thing or two about creativity and spirituality. I will venture to say that many SFs aren’t much aware of their emotions even though they are Fs. They are to busy doing stuff for being so. NFs are VERY aware of their emotions and I therefore think that a good and fun partnership can come from a pairing between SF and an NF.

SF and ST relationships

Since about 75 % of the general population are sensors, this general pairing should be quite common out there in the real world, and with good reason. SFs and STs are both practical people, and both enjoy doing more than thinking about things. At the moment I don’t have much more to say about this pairing, though, since sensors are still somewhat of an enigma to me. But yes, I think it is a good pairing.

A real conclusion (or a to be continued…)

So about now someone with more than a rudimentary knowledge of the MBTI would intervene, and ask me why I haven’t talked about the cognitive functions yet?

Well, because I am still in the process of learning about them. It
could be that my whole theory will fall once subjected to the scrutiny of cognitive analysis. I don’t know. But we will find out with time.

For this same reason I haven’t talked about individual types yet. It almost goes without saying that all of the NT types aren’t great matches with all of the ST types. Only some are. I will expand on the theory in another post. For now I can say that I think (mature) Js go well with (mature) Ps and that (mature) introverts go well with (mature) extroverts, both for several practical reasons. Applying these rules to my theory, the best possible partner for an INTP like myself would be an ESTJ or an ENFJ.

Anyway, I think I have gone on long enough for now and will therefore end the post here. I will try to expand on this new theory of mine in future posts.

If you know about the MBTI and have an opinion about all of this, please comment on this post! I really need the input and appreciate any comments immensely.

If you don’t know about MBTI but somehow still managed to get this far, go here and take the test, then return to this post and put your type in the comments. Thanks!

As always, if you liked this post, please feel free to like, comment or share it. Thank you so much.

Why You Can’t Change from Being One Type to Another in the MBTI

Why You Can’t Change from Being One Type to Another in the MBTI

Hi everyone. Today I’m addressing one of the big areas of misunderstanding in much of the MBTI community, that of developing from one type to another. That is, you can’t. Read on to get the main reasons why.

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