I love it when I'm wrong

My grade 12 English teacher, Mr. Koldingnes told us once that when new students walked into his classroom every September, he formed opinions about each of us within the first week- on the first day even.  He was a SP/SX 8, and of course 8's know everything right away apparently, but whatever, all of us form opinions super fast.  "But," he said, smiling and smacking his meter stick on a desk in front of him, "I love it when I'm wrong."  He relished finding out a student was more multifacted or had more depth than he took them for. 

The Pisces constellation with its archetypal fish photoshopped over top.  When you can finally see the image behind the constellation of stars, you get a satisfying "Aha!! moment", kind of like in Enneagram typing.  Image from shop.kingdomofuniverse.com

The Pisces constellation with its archetypal fish photoshopped over top.  When you can finally see the image behind the constellation of stars, you get a satisfying "Aha!! moment", kind of like in Enneagram typing.  Image from shop.kingdomofuniverse.com

When I find out I wrongly typed people, it's embarassing and all kinds of awful.  I feel bad for the person whom I have scarred for life, I feel sorry for myself, I feel a burning shame, etc.  Not good.  So I try to hold myself back from forming conclusions, but I haven't gotten that one down to an art yet. 

I just found out this morning that a friend whom I've known for almost a full year is NONE of the types I've posited, but a countertype I haven't encountered that often.  He's intellectual and successful, but exudes helpfulness and loyalty to his friends- he's what you'd call a true gentleman.  He was too intellectual to be a Two and not laid back enough to be a Nine.  Not worried enough to be a Six and too at ease with libidinal energy to be a Five.  I was at a loss.  This morning, though, I was listening to him talk about how he was planning to get ahead at work and everything clicked into place.  Turns out he's a Social Eight.  Social Eights are the countertype to the other two.  They have less anger than than the other two Eight subtypes- you almost don't see it at all, but they direct it more towards action on behalf of their friends, to protect them from injustice.  Archetypically, they align with the mother figure against the father to protect her from him, resulting in that warm, friendly and helpful moving-toward others that looks so Two-ish. 

In this case, I can say I love it that I was wrong.  The constellation of traits were just not making sense as a unified psychic structure and it's rewarding to finally see the picture behind the constellation. 

On the other hand, our pattern-seeking brains are wired to essentialize people into their type with a giddiness that could send the best of friends a-packing.  Whenever we see a pattern, we need to stop, breathe, and let them be.