Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Of INTJ-ness

Perhaps because it’s precisely the kind of activity an INTJ would enjoy, I find it helpful to check back in on my Myers-Briggs (MBTI) type descriptions every so often. Each time I do I make a few more connections and gain a few more insights. This time many of them have been due to my discovery of The Compleat Idiot's Guide to the INTJ. Instead of being written from the more usual clinically neutral perspective, it’s written by proud INTJs themselves. The authors embrace some of what I would consider the more negative tendencies of our type, such as the sarcasm, superiority, and reclusiveness. It may not show, but I’ve always worked on being considerate and humble and giving people the benefit of the doubt out of an awareness of my inclinations.

So while I may not endorse everything at the link, I certainly understand where they’re coming from and claim it as my type. For both the positives and the negatives, they use more descriptive, definitive language than most other sites. For instance, others say something along the lines of INTJs having the most active internal life of any of the types. An example of that would be my recent Calvin & Hobbes post. The Compleat Idiot’s Guide says essentially the same thing, but describes it this way:

We live inside our heads.
We frequently zone out. We get lost in thought and spend much of our time inside our heads. If our immediate reality becomes boring, we will retreat into our minds, and you might have to shout our names repeatedly to get our attention so we will come out again. And no, sorry, but you can’t come into our heads with us. You wouldn’t last five minutes there. You’d be driven insane by the nonstop cacophony of overlapping voices madly free-associating from one idea to the next.

I don’t really feel qualified about the average number of cacophonic voices in other people’s heads to speak to the insanity claim, but I’m good with that description otherwise. I know I’m not the most prolific reader and writer, but I think I share more blog thoughts, book reviews, and Facebook items than most anyone I know, and that’s after my best efforts to contain, condense, filter, and carefully select my thoughts; what comes out is just the tip of the iceberg that forces its way out because I don’t want to overdo it any more than I already do. Some days I do a better job of containment others, but even on my most prolific days you are spared much.

I’m most successful holding back the things described by this:

Sarcasm is a free public service we provide to those within earshot. No need to thank us. We also do irony, hyperbole, word-play and puns, one-liners, quick-witted observations and flippant remarks, and abstract and deep philosophical insights on nonsensical themes. Our sense of humor tends to be dry, warped, and morbid, and not everybody "gets" us.

But, again, not always.

I’ve always worked on being considerate and humble and giving people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes it’s a lot of work and I don’t always succeed. An example of me making an effort to push beyond my natural inclinations is the fact that you’re reading this. Perhaps as a result of our internal focus, INTJs are very private and selective about our friends. Blogging under a pseudonym was a big step for me, but one of my work goals for 2009 was to push myself to be more social and open with my colleagues and I decided a further step to help myself in that direction would be Facebook. There I use my real name and put no limits on my friends, and I’ve created cracks in my secret blog world by sharing some of these posts there.

But I don’t always succeed in reigning in some of my less positive INTJ tendencies, and in visiting these sites I have realized a huge, glaring example. The Compleat Idiot’s Guide also says this: DON’T be repetitive. We have absolutely no patience for that. There’s no need to cover old ground, and we heard you the first time, unless we were zoning out. And if we were zoning out it’s probably because you started repeating yourself. Followed by: DON’T take 100 words to say what could have been said in 10. Content-free speech will cause an INTJ to zone out faster than repeating yourself. I haven’t encountered that in other INTJ descriptions, but reading it was a light bulb moment. Later I found another site that also says (in a very nice, succinct list) of dealing with INTJs: Try not to be repetitive. It annoys them. So if you care to see full INTJ raging annoyance in action, I present you with this.


At 2/23/2010 7:57 PM, Blogger CDL said...

The Underneath!!!!!

(Repetitive ! on purpose)

That was so much fun.


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