In Part One of this amateur study of the MBTI I spent a great deal of time on how this test could help a DM characterize the players in their game and how they might use the Types discerned in order to better run a game. That use of the test actually runs a bit counterpoint to how many actually use the MBTI. In actuality, a more common method for using this test in today’s world is to take it yourself and get a better idea of where you fall along the scale. Once you discover your leanings it is a common strategy to use that knowledge to better understand yourself and where you preferences lie. Once you know these it may help you to understand why you don’t work as well with a certain other type. Going even further, you can use this knowledge to know where you might strengthen yourself too.
I would like to posit that games like Dungeons and Dragons, and other Tabletop RPGs, are very strong methods for training up a Type or Preference you don’t commonly adhere to. People often call D&D an “Escape Mechanism” but what if it can be more than a simple release from your troubles in reality? What if spending time “in-game” as a different persona can be used to help, say, an Extrovert better understand how to think as an Introvert?
Businesses spend tons of money on team building and training every year trying to get a group to work together. In fact, this entire two-part blog post stemmed from a leadership training I undertook where we had ourselves evaluated using the MBTI with the intent to help us better understand ourselves, coworkers, and to finally point out areas we might wish to “improve” ourselves in. Games in general sometimes show up in these types of training endeavors. Typically they might be games that rely on teams to work together to solve problems or even learn to trust each other. Is any og this sounding a mite familiar?This is why I think RPGs could be great training tools in the business world in general. You have groups work together to solve problems all the time in RPGs, and you certainly have to learn to trust one another to make sure you all get out of dangerous situations in tact.
I could go on about my desire to one day start a team building franchise where businesses have their employees play Dungeons and Dragons for a day but I’ll get back to the point of this post instead. I’m talking about growing yourself on a personal level by playing D&D. By pinpointing where you excel along the MBTI you can also see where you may have difficulties relating to others who fall along much different paths. If you have the desire to practice acting in a manner contrary to your typical type, it can be as easy as rolling up a character much different from you yourself.
An easy example to use would be for introverts. This time around try being the party’s charismatic leader for a change, or maybe the loud brash Barbarian who wears his\her feelings on the…errr loincloth. By being vocal and extroverted in the game it may make it easier for you to swim in those circles in real life. Of course that doesn’t suggest you’ll change to being an extrovert, or even that being one or the other is preferable, but rounding yourself out as a person can certainly be a benefit.
As a fun practice, maybe try to think of your own examples of characters to play that could satisfy a little growth in another direction. If you wish, lay them on me down below in the comments. I always love to hear from you all! Take care folks, hope you’ve enjoyed this aimless blathering of my interpretations of the MBTI!