Even when we settle into a type, we can still experience doubt. I encounter this sometimes–the question of whether you’re enough for a type can remain, even when you have lived in it for years. I feel this both with FG and with 4/3.
I think it’s important to understand the reasons why you feel doubt, and there are several different kinds of doubt.
1. Old stuff is popping up.
This is the one that comes up the most for me with 4/3. This is the “self-doubt” portion of doubt. I think especially when you love the type, you can have a hard time believing you’re good enough for it. This was the case for both T4 and FG, because if I could choose any types to be in their respective systems, it would be these. And I had a belief running that I just couldn’t be what I wanted to be. I also felt that I just couldn’t be T4, because I was…
2. Misinterpreting the information.
I had problems seeing myself as a T4 for the same reasons a lot of T4s do: when Carol says “symmetrical,” in our black-and-white way, we interpret it as something that you can measure by calipers, and if one little thing is off, we don’t qualify. A T4 might try to see how well their face fits the Golden Ratio… but these are not things Carol actually teaches. Symmetry seems to mean more something more like not having a crooked smile (I recommend the face profiling videos on her YouTube channel). But that is just not the way a T4 would think when they hear “symmetry.” Similarly, you can have issues if you are…
3. Going by other people’s definitions.
There are two ways this can occur:
a) You are in a community with other self-typed people, and you compare yourselves to them. This happened to me with FG. I was in the FG group, before Kibbe joined the Facebook community, and all of the FGs were much more yang than I was, because the impression of FG at the time was that it was a “small Dramatic” or a “small Flamboyant Natural,” rather than its own thing and that small Ds and FNs are just… Ds and FNs. So my idea of FG was not that it was a pretty equal split between yin and yang and just a little more yang, even though I knew that intellectually from reading the book. So while I felt like FG was the best place for me, it was hard for me to see how I fit with the other women in this group. And part of the reason for this was due to other people…
4. Listening to other sources.
This is the second way that you end up using someone else’s definition.
b) Kibbe imitators are truly a dime a dozen on the internet. Where there once were “analysts” peddling their Kibbe misinformation, now it’s people on YouTube. I don’t see it as much with other systems, but it still exists–for instance, in unauthorized DYT groups. If you go through the materials provided by the system creator, and then the groupthink you find in communities seems to contradict what you’ve learned from the source–don’t worry about it. Trust your own instincts and interpretation. Don’t let people making a fast buck off of Kibbe or anyone else by charging people hundreds of dollars by doing the quiz from the book (or the equivalent) lead you astray. Don’t pay any attention to what they say, because I can tell you, I have never seen anyone who actually gets it right. And neither has David, as he says on his brand-new website!
What should you do? Once you’ve figured out why you have doubt, it’s time to look into solutions.
1. Think of the ways you clearly are the type you think you are.
Sometimes I wonder if I was correct in flipping my primary and secondary type… but I know that T3s cannot wear their hair as short as I do. Also, T3 is just too much movement on me. I never fully dressed it because I knew it wouldn’t look good. Also, you’re not meant to fit 100% of your type’s description. It’s okay to have a heavier foot plant as a 4/3, for example. It doesn’t outweigh everything else.
2. Ignore bad sources.
Just don’t pay attention to people who don’t know what they’re talking about, and don’t let them get into their head. If what they are saying contradicts what the creator of a system is saying… definitely don’t listen to them. Don’t let other people get inside your head.
3. If you’ve gotten feedback from the system creator, remember it.
I have been fortunate enough to have gotten feedback from both David and Carol that seems to confirm my own thoughts about myself. It is a good reminder that I am on the right track.
Sometimes, though, your doubts are correct. I could sense that T3 was wrong for me, for example. If your process is being guided by learning more about the system or seeing yourself more clearly, this is something worth exploring.
If your doubts are coming from outside sources, however, I would say trust yourself. In the end, you will end up in the correct place for you if you stick with any of these systems. And if you are wrong for a time, that is just part of your learning process.
Do you doubt your typing in a system? How do you deal with it?
Elizabeth StewartAugust 6, 2019 at 5:10 am
What a truly fabulous post! This is extremely helpful, and I would endorse what you say about not listening to analysts who claim to have been trained by Kibbe, or looking at the pinterest or polyvore outfits that are supposed to represent various types. Since working through the Kibbe exercises and looking at the R and TR group I now know for sure that I am a Romantic in Kibbe’s language, and above all, that this is OK! I was always rather ashamed about being so curvy as well as petite, and tried to hide my figure under baggy clothes. But now I’m exploring a whole new way of being and have made peace with my body. Likewise with DYT, as a soft and gentle T2, I was criticised as a child for not speaking up and being more forceful. These systems are not just about what to wear. They can be life changing. Thank you for your excellent posts and for clarifying what can seem very confusing choices. I’m currently recovering from an accident, and have time now to look into Kibbe and DYT. It will be fun to go shopping later!Reply
stylesyntaxAugust 6, 2019 at 5:13 pm
It’s so silly when they claim that, because we know they don’t exist! Most of the time, they don’t even bother to lie. 😛 But as you know, it is so much more rewarding when you work with these systems the way their creators intend us to, because they enrich our lives and our style that much more.
Best wishes for your recovery and thank you for the compliments! They mean a lot because sometimes I feel like I’m swimming against the current here. What I have to say is sometimes not what people want to hear.
TayaAugust 15, 2019 at 7:05 am
What an amazing blog post. So obvious really when you think about it, but still so easy to miss. Τhis really helped me to listen to my own instincts.Reply
Shawna McComberAugust 26, 2019 at 7:16 pm
This is such a great post and as Taya said, so obvious and yet so easy to miss. I have imagined my self as just about every type there is at this point. LOL And mostly this is because I let others influence me. I thought that I couldn’t possibly be who I am and definitely got caught up on the T4 idea of perfection. Sometimes for me it’s the semantics that get in the way. I can’t think of myself as stunning or as dramatic.Reply
JillianNovember 27, 2019 at 2:53 am
I have no idea what type I am, and can’t seem to figure it out. My mother is a true Classic (though I read that type was done away with). But I can’t quite to seem to peg myself! I’m about 5’5” and I suppose leaning towards having a boyish figure, yet I have full hips. I always felt I identified with Audrey Hepburn, except I feel her figure is slightly more boyish compared to mine. I’m so lost!Reply
stylesyntaxNovember 27, 2019 at 1:12 pm
Don’t compare yourself to someone else—start by understanding yourself. 🙂
VirginiaSeptember 6, 2020 at 9:07 am
I’m a bit late to this party, but I reckoned I may as well chime in. I recently discovered Kibbe’s identity image system, and I found it very interesting. I’m also aiming at dressing and carrying myself in the way that I’ve always wanted but somehow was too insecure to do, and I also want to just explore what I can do with my image moving forward.
I joined a community and asked for help in typing myself, mostly because I have a rather warped self-image and didn’t really trust how I saw myself when trying to look at my body from the outside. Let me tell you, it didn’t help me clarify anything. Every person had their own personal view about what my body looked like, often directly contradicting each other (for some people I had very clearly blunt shoulders, for others very clearly not). I have gotten DC, FN, a “slim” SN, SD, and a few suggested FG. This was done through a full body video, and pictures taken as recommended (full body, in front of the camera at chest height).
I feel like the closest that applies to my body and the clothes I feel suit my lines is FG, but I have wide hips & thighs now that I’m exercising (I look more straight when not exercising and not having defined muscles, but I still have a slight curve at the hips). The wide hips & upper thighs are what throw me off in trying to find a specific type; I have childish facial features, long limbs, a bit of an elongated vertical line, rather flat chested, etc.
So far I’ve found nothing has helped in trying to find my type, so I’m hoping I can gain access to the SK group to do the exercises. I don’t think that I can rely on what other people think my body looks like since it’s becoming obvious that I’m at some crossroads in which my features don’t clearly fall into one type or another.Reply
stylesyntaxSeptember 8, 2020 at 12:35 pm
You definitely cannot rely on outside opinions for determining your Kibbe Image ID, unless that outside opinion is from David. People come with their own baggage and understanding of the system, and they’re not offering an objective opinion. I hope SK helps you!
VirginiaSeptember 13, 2020 at 5:45 am
Thanks! I started with the exercises in SK and I was mind-blown by how much deeper they were than what I had originally thought. They’re so much more helpful too, and so much fun, I’m really happy I joined! I’m in for the journey and to be honest, finding “my type” has now become secondary. I think I’ll be keeping myself out of the other community for now as I feel it can confuse me at this point.