I’m an INTJ. INTJ is the rarest MBTI type, comprising about 3-4% of the population, depending on where you look. INTJs are also typically male. The most common statistic I can find on INTJ females range from .5-.8% of the population. Of the entire population. Which explains why so often I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Except with my sister, who’s also INTJ.
Oh this is SO me! I have a horrible memory. I can’t remember anything unless I write it down. And when it comes to recounting events, well, I love telling stories. I love writing stories. And real life and fiction sometimes get mixed up in my head without my realizing it. This is also why I have a hard time remembering people’s names if I meet more than one person at a time. I really have to focus on committing that new information to memory without writing it down or having the benefit of remembering a name tag. Also why I love facebook – allows me to get used to placing a name with a face multiple times over between actually seeing that face in person and messing up their name.
Haha, okay, maybe not kill everyone, but I am very quick to encounter a new group of people and quickly start categorizing everyone. Primarily because, as you can see above, INTJs like me hate wasted conversation (noise). By deducing each person’s communication style and/or love language, I can most efficiently and effectively build a relationship with that person. I know how calculating that sounds. But it’s just the plain truth. That’s why I get so fascinated by things like MBTI and pester everyone I know to take the test, so I can figure out how to relate to them. Take it as a measure of affection. Because if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t go to the trouble. (More on that later)
Ask me what my opinion is, and we’ll be there for 2 hours. Ask me how I feel about something, and you’ll get 2 sentences, if that. And my private life is exactly that – private. *sigh* And I have no idea why it’s compulsory for females to hug each other both as a greeting and as a parting. And down here, the cultural norm is that the men hug too, and the woman hug AND kiss. It’s, like, way too in my bubble. But, like it or not, it is the cultural norm. So I do it. There’s also the custom of saying “love ya” to people you aren’t related to and have known fewer than 3 months. That’s kind of weird to me. But I also don’t like making people feel rejected. So, love ya, too.
I would comment on this, but then I’d get in trouble. Apply as needed.
This is so me. Honestly, until I read this tile, I didn’t even realize I did this. But I do. It’s part of that “not saying anything unless I feel like I have something to contribute” trait. As soon as I read this, instantly dozens of memories popped up of when I had faded out of a conversation or tuned out a lecture because the topic had become…uninteresting, shall we say.
Here’s the epic conclusion:
There’s something very comforting about finding out all these things that seem weird to other people is actually the way I’m supposed to be, the way God made me. It’s also very empowering. Accepting that I am not defective (yes, it has felt and/or been communicated to me that way), just different, enables me to really be genuine with other people.
The other day, I was invited to (yet another) deployed spouse group outing. And it just so happened to fall on one of my scheduled “introvert recovery days.” Truthfully, my default reaction to this has been to lie – sorry, already have plans – because quite honestly, a lot of people don’t get that. They don’t get that, yes even though my husband is gone, and even though I like to be with my friends, I need to be alone as much as I need to be with people. I’m not afraid of alone. Alone is my friend.
Embracing my INTJness lets me be more honest with people, or at the very least not feel guilty that I’m not measuring up to their expectations of socialization and/or loneliness, especially with regards to this deployment.
Many things about being INTJ are strengths. Strong intuition, the ability to step back from situations and assess them dispassionately (or more dispassionately than most), being able to see “big picture” connections, independence, resilience, leadership, organization and execution, and a reasonable intelligence.
But there are weaknesses, too, several of the bigger ones listed above. Talking on the phone is a chore, due to the lack of communication by body language and facial expression. I have a very small “stupid people” tank. I don’t like to talk about feelings. I have a very American-sized bubble of personal space. I can be cruelly calculating. And I can tear someone to shreds verbally without hardly trying.
However, being aware of these weaknesses means accountability. I now know that a lot of these things are natural personality traits. That can either be an excuse or a challenge.
It’s not my natural inclination to hug. So I can choose to push myself out of my comfort zone and show someone friendship in their language, or not.
It’s not my natural inclination to introduce myself to new people unprompted and do the “getting to know you” small talk. So I can choose to push myself out of my comfort zone and make a stranger feel welcome, or not.
It’s not my natural inclination to show mercy to stupid people. So I can choose to push myself out of my comfort zone and be merciful, or not.
It’s not my natural inclination to show open physical affection. So I can choose to push myself out of my comfort zone and make sure my husband hears and sees my appreciation of him in the way that communicates to his personality style, or not.
Of course, being aware of all the above doesn’t mean I always stick to it. But it’s still worth trying. I can choose to utilize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses, or not. I might fail or ignore the choice, but it’s still there.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about SoldierMan, I guessed he would be ESTJ. He tested ENTJ, but the N/S ration was 51/49, so basically, I was still right :)
Oh, and last thing: not only is my husband ENTJ, both my best friends for the last 15 years have been ENTJs. Interesting, no?
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