Writing

The INTP me


I noticed something on The Twitter. A lot of writers are INFPs, I noticed. And I suspect the Feeling aspect helps a lot. In life and in writing. And I was all alone in my INTPness. But we are out there. Likely randomly thinking about obscure theories and being oblivious to our environments. Now I am not sure on the validity of personality tests. I feel maybe you have to know yourself well, flaws and all, to get a picture of who you are. So sometimes the results might just be who we perceive ourselves to be. But I am fond of the Myers & Briggs personality test because it reflects who I am and how I am in the world better than most. And it explains a lot of how I act and behave. And what I value.

Personality is a fascinating subject to me. The development of it for one. And the reason I play around with personality tests is that I want to see how close to the mark they can get. But we are more complex than the categories they put us into. A personality test, as a result, is a fraction of who we are… exposing certain traits we have in common with others. But it is more complex than that. And they will never reveal the complexity that is you. But it may help you find your tribe. Those that are similar in thought and action… and interact in the world in a similar way.

The INTP me

Further, with Thinking (T) as one of their governing traits, INTPs are unlikely to understand emotional complaints at all, and their friends won’t find a bedrock of emotional support in them. 

16 personalities

One thing I always had a problem is one of the INTP weaknesses. We confront things on a rational and logical level. But when a friend comes to you for emotional support… or they are emotional… we are at a loss at how to respond. So we fall back on our go-to rational thought and try to logically work through our friend’s problem, which is entirely not what they wanted or needed. Still, have an issue with that, so I shut up and just listen. Be that ear they need to work through something.

the one thing that really holds INTPs back is their restless and pervasive fear of failure. INTP personalities are so prone to reassessing their own thoughts and theories, worrying that they’ve missed some critical piece of the puzzle, that they can stagnate, lost in an intangible world where their thoughts are never truly applied. Overcoming this self-doubt stands as the greatest challenge INTPs are likely to face, but the intellectual gifts – big and small – bestowed on the world when they do makes it worth the fight.

16 personalities

Oh yes, fear of failure and Imposter Syndrome are things I am very familiar with. I have a high IQ. And that isn’t bragging it is just a fact. A fact I state because I never felt smart. And the fact doesn’t coincide with what I feel about my intelligence. I flail around with self-doubt. I have Imposter Syndrome and any accomplishment in University had to be some external factor, and not me. It is a form of perfectionism. I can never have a complete understanding of something, anything, and I know it… and therefore I understand nothing. So good grades… I say ‘I test well. I am book smart. I write a good story in an essay or research paper’ but I label those as skills not that I actually did well because I knew my shit. And I did know my shit, man. I loved learning new things. Love knowing random things. Love thinking about all the things and wrapping them in a theory. But never accepted my accomplishments. I am doing better now that I am older. I don’t put up with that bullcrap my brain pulls that I am an imposter and nothing is due to my own knowledge and experience. But it is a hard battle. But we are great abstract thinkers. We see connections others miss. We are in our heads a lot. So there is strength there but it is compromised by our own self-doubt and relentless fear of failure.

Other strengths

  • Imaginative
  • Open-minded to the point of not even comprehending how people can be close-minded and fixated on beliefs without facts.
  • Enthusiastic about certain ideas. And if you get us going we will talk your ear off about it.
  • Very honest. Maybe blunt in our honesty but we value truth a lot.

Weaknesses

  • So we are reserved, private and often withdrawn. It is hard to get to know us. And certain things will bring out our inherent shyness. Like social situations, we are not comfortable with. Too many strangers. And we get shy. But put us with a small group of close friends and we are all good to go.
  • Insensitive: This is as stated above. We get caught up in the problem or the logic and lose our emotional consideration for others. Or don’t even notice the impact of it on others. And emotional situations? We flounder. They are not logical and we have no well-developed approach to handle it.
  • Absent-minded- yeah we are locked in thought and oblivious to things around us. Forgetful of practical concerns. Not that observant when we are all in our heads. And I know I have been so into something I forget to eat.
  • Condescending. Although I have gotten ‘know-it-all’ and ‘arrogant’ before as well. But for me, it isn’t that. I like sharing the things I know. I love learning things others know. I love deep conversations. But it can be perceived as something other than it is and that is simply a love of knowledge and learning. And it has always made me… silent. Like if no one wants to talk about the things I want to, I should just not talk. If no one is interested in my random facts, I just won’t share them. And that is a lonely feeling, man.
  • We are not much for rules and things that constrain us. Even social constructs that others may think are appropriate we may shun because it makes no logical sense.
  • Self-doubt- we constantly second guess ourselves. It is where that perfectionism come in. We cannot know all, we can never be as good as we Could be, so therefore we doubt. And we have a hard time making decisions because we feel we don’t have all the facts needed.

gifts, surprises, complex social plans and date nights are all fairly unimportant to people with the INTP personality type, but this is also one of their chiefest weaknesses – their partner may very much need these things, and it won’t even occur to INTPs to plan them out. For all their analysis and attempts at mutual understanding, INTPs are notoriously bad at picking up on others’ emotional needs.

16 personalities

So we make up 3% of the population. We are fairly rare. And maybe that is a good thing, eh? 😉 We are a had a hard shell to crack to get to know us and we are not emotionally crippled… but we are emotionally oblivious. But we are fun when you get us on a topic we love. We will really get into that conversation. And we will love it. We work well left alone. We are very open-minded and that to me is a fine trait to have in this world. We value the truth. We value knowledge even if we are crippled by self-doubt.

I don’t know. It is a rough personality in the real world. A lot of discontent with life in general. Not much of a life of being satisfied or content. A hard time connecting to people. And hopefully, we can be valued for the traits we do have. But sometimes we are not. I literally rarely talk about things in my head because I know people do not want to hear it. I hold back. And when I don’t? I am a know-it-all. Well, not everyone thinks that. But one dude did recently. And I thought to myself how is knowing a thing wrong? We all have our skills, knowledge, and experiences that make us unique. Knowing a thing… should be valued. Sharing your knowledge and getting into those conversations that have depth, should be an awesome thing. Sure, I am emotionally obvious, but I love learning and knowledge. What I don’t love is that isn’t valued socially. And I suck at chitchat. More likely to crack jokes because that is what I do to get through chitchat. Being in my head is better than seeing eyes glaze over when you talk about something you are into or know. And that is how you can be lonely in a crowd, man. That is how you feel disconnected from others. That is how you become reluctant to talk.

So while I love my personality flaws and all, I don’t think it is one that people find valuable in the world. I am a dork. I am a geek. I am a nerd. And I love that about myself. When you don’t value the INTP in your life, we become more reserved and we become more silent. And more disconnected. So value that absent-minded abstract thinker in your life. And understand perhaps we are not the most skilled emotionally. We are awkward in that sense. Understand some situations will bring out our shyness. Understand we are in our heads a lot and may be a bit oblivious to things around us. And when we talk don’t shut us down because we have enough self-doubt to shut down when we feel that disconnect. We are interesting. And a little odd. And I often think isolated in our thoughts.

So show us some love. Because we totally love the diversity of other people and personalities. We see your value. We know our lacks and value the traits in others we do not have. So toss some love back at us. And we will open up. We are, after all, introverts. We don’t open up right away. We have to feel comfortable with people before we do.

And maybe knowing your ‘type’ will make us more introspective to who we are. That sense of self and our self-identity. Maybe it will make us content with who we are as a person and see the value in our positive traits and understand our flaws enough to develop ways to improve them. Know thyself, and all that. Because knowing who you are and how you interact in the world will help you succeed in the world. I know for myself I have worked a number of jobs that do not suit my personality type and as a result a lot of dissatisfaction. But I am chronically ill, I can’t go for gold when it comes to working… I have to work within my limitations. But knowing yourself you can, in fact, seek work that works with you. And it will help you understand your behaviours in all your relationships. Knowing how we automatically react to situations is the first step in adapting to others. And valuing our differences. So maybe these tests are flawed, and they are, but they can help us learn a little about who we are. Not that introverts tend to have an issue with this since we are pretty introspective by nature. Like I am aware I am an emotional amoeba when it comes to others. I have always been aware of it. And I have learned from that to be able to interact in emotional situations in a way that isn’t insensitive to their emotional needs. I don’t need a test to tell me that. What I like about this one is that, yeah, I have those flaws. I know that. And I try really hard to not be condescending because that is one I do not value in myself. But I will come off as a know-it-all sometimes even if I try not to. And, yeah, those positive traits I also own. And I am content with the person I am. Self-awareness is a good thing. We grow from it. Fit into the world a bit better with it. Because nothing is set in stone. We grow and our self-identity is fluid through time. Things change. You may always be introverted, as that is pretty ingrained one, but maybe not As introverted as you used to be. It is a spectrum.

See other related posts

Rock your introverted self
Ways to know I am an introvert
Introvert fears

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