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Monday, 5 May 2014

An alternative to MBTI - The MacBit Method

Unshaun Sheep has been burning them up with his view of Myers-Briggs Typothingy I-something (can never remember what the last two stand for). And being myself a thinking introvert with extroverted band-waggon jumping, what are the chances I'm gonna leave that alone?

The MBTI(R) method has always suffered from the twin flaws that (a) the people who invented it weren't really very good; and (b) it kind of always gives you the answer you were already hoping for. Hence the self-identified INFP clergy all over the country, who are busy chopping up pews, locking vergers in the vestry cupboards, threatening their PCCs that they'll cease all services until attendances improve, and going on telly to complain about stuff. When, according to their self-images, they should be skipping through a bluebell wood thinking nice things about Thomas a Kempis, George Herbert or the Buddha, according to their church tradition.

This is why I've introduced the new MacBit methodology. It's got all the MBTI letters in it, but not necessarily in the right answer. It's harder for you to decide your own personality type up front, because you have less time to think - and then all the fun comes with deciding, retrospectively, why you are or aren't like that at all. Which is, let's face it, all the real benefit you get from MBTI(R). Or astrology. Or graphology. Or an eight-month prison sentence.

So - pick your favourite of these four images. Oddly, by doing so, you'll put yourself into one of six categories. But we'll get to that.


Your knee-jerk response to that picture will have put you into one of six groups, with the following attributes.

M is for Mollusc


A Mollusc

If you are a Mollusc - your immediate reaction to any conflict is to retreat into your shell. You like being in your shell. It's safe, and you can have time to yourself. You may not get anywhere very fast, but you can say, when all is said and done, that you got wherever it was eventually. You are the mutual opposite of the Bat, for obvious reasons.

Avoid starlings, a high-sodium diet, French people and garlic.

B is for Bat

A proper, English bat

The natural bane of the Mollusc. The Bat sees his or her role as breaking down unnecessary obstacles. And necessary obstacles. And pews. And barriers. And walls. Including supporting walls. And yet, conversely, there is an alternative side to the Bat, in which all this aggression is deployed statically rather than dynamically, as we experts in the field say. In this mode, the Bat will reject every new initiative, getting on the front foot to deny any chance of unexpected bounce, and smothering everything with "soft hands". They tend to be fond of boycotts.

Avoid Australians, turning wickets and old ladies with aprons and sticks of rhubarb.

T is for Tightrope-Walker

You climbed up on a burning rope....

Tightrope-walkers are experts at balance. They hate to lean too far to one side or the other. They will therefore seek to accommodate all views - even when they are opposing, or simply wrong. Hence a church dominated with Tightrope-walkers will end up with twenty-three services in different traditions, each one guaranteed to stay in existence, to avoid offending the two or three that attend it. Every initiative must be balanced with a counter-initiative. Every sway to right responded to with a swerve to the left. Every journey must be proceeded by a lengthy installation and checking of the safety net, in case it all goes horribly wrong.

Tightrope-walkers should avoid Igniters at all costs. They should also be wary of bats.

I is for Igniter

Come on baby, light my fire
Igniters are the people that inspire, the people that set sparks that can burst into flame, the people that provide energy and ambition. They are behind the real world-changing initiatives - or, at least, they would like to be. In fact, they provide both heat and light, but normally the former.  A real danger for the Igniter is the Cold Water Pourer. Additionally If too many of their ideas are snuffed out, they can become disenchanted. In this case, they're just a Twister Fire-starter.

A is for American

If you looked at the picture and wondered what the thing bottom-right was, you're an American. Go back to the picture, imagine it's rounded rather than flat, and try again.

C is for Cold-water Pourer

If you looked at the picture above, saw that the ball was white and said to yourself, "That's not a proper cricket ball. That's for that game where you play under floodlights in your pajamas and it only lasts ten minutes. That's not proper cricket. Proper cricket is played on uncovered pitches in fading light without protective equipment", then you're a Cold-water Pourer.

There's probably no advice I can give you. Just to wish you good luck for the future. Although you may have no concept of what that is.

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