I found out in college (2012).
Of course, I think I knew for some time what this bundle of traits were I just didn’t know how to tie them up with a pretty bow yet.
My professor called us all over into separate sections based on our MBTI, and I ended up with about ten women, and one other guy. She went over each of the traits and cognitive functions and asked us if they applied to us –
Which for me (and everyone else in my group) they did.
Was some of it extrapolation? Projecting those traits onto myself and pulling something that was 75% me into the 100%? Maybe.
But, better to have 75% clarity on a shared function with someone else than have 0%, which is what I had before I was able to worm my way into MBTI.
MBTI didn’t give me all the answers to life, but it gave me the tools to ask some very substantive and intriguing questions about myself. It allowed me to speak from a point of reference, a language with which to communicate my heart.
Often when I answer on here, it isn’t from some professional expertise, it is just from my own life expertise – and I find myself shocked at how many people in the MBTI type think or feel similarly or exactly the same.
Because I just let things flow freely from my heart, and if they resonate they resonate and if they don’t then I live with the results.
MBTI gives us another thread to tie ourselves together with – it gives people, especially those with introverted tendencies (okay, hermetic, ascetic tendencies) like me the ability to reach out and be heard, and also to hear.
And I love being able to compare my type to someone else’s (though I really only know about my own type very well…because, well…I’m embarassed to say but I really like how other INFP act and carry themselves. It’s so creative, heartfelt and magical. So I’m a bit biased, haha~) and just get something I don’t get normally – which is a good starting point for interaction.
It’s not exactly like INFP’s form groups often….
It’s just a human thing – I love knowing there is someone else just like me, or similar or at least…somewhat.
It helps me check my sanity!
Anyways, MBTI isn’t some golden treasure trove in my opinion, and sometimes it isn’t 100% on the spot. But it gives you a starting point, at least a map, at least a person at the gas station going “turn left”, you know?
We’re all reaching and grasping for answers, and MBTI helps us look inside ourselves and see some reflections. It’s up to us to ensure that we properly and truthfully use them to express and emote ourselves so we meet people who have genuine things in common with us, and know how to best deal with those who contrast us.
Anyways I kept you here too long, so I hope that gives you some idea when I learned and how I think about it! And answers your question!