“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” - Jorge Luis Borges
Just about six years ago, I started looking into personality theory. I was skeptical, curious and enthusiastic about finding a system that could help me understand the stranger aspects of human behavior. I hoped it would be the cornerstone of my success as I prepared to transition from one career into another. And it was, to a point.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. No, not Dickens, but an apt summary of the radical opposites taking place between my INTJ psyche and the corporate world I found myself working in for almost 16 years. It's a story of contrasts and comparisons between the massive success I achieved and the desperate, inescapable desire to "get out while you can."
Years ago, I was chatting with another mom at a play group, who had daughters just a few months older than mine. She was talking about how much she adored her kids. Possibly, she loved them to the exclusion of everything else. She could not imagine how dull and pointless a person's life would be without them.
Most of us, whatever our personality type, have a lousy voice in the back of our heads telling us that we will never quite be good enough. It plagues us to the point that we may be unwilling to take risks or attempt certain activities, in case we fall on our behinds. When the voice looms large, performance suffers, and we're prevented from realizing our full potential. Virtually everyone hears the voice to a greater or lesser degree. It even has its own name - atychiphobia, the morbid fear of failure.
I live in a culture of people who deem themselves “nice”. Why else would the Nobel Prizes be given out each year in the “nice” utopia of Norway? In most respects, I concur with the “nice” label. But occasionally the niceness mutates into either avoidance of issues or passive-aggressiveness. Both of which I, as an INTJ, deplore.
Intuitives don't have trouble formulating thoughts and ideas, but often struggle to articulate the concepts that are so clearly defined in their mind. It's to do with the fact that you think in an abstract, seemingly random way. Intuition trains you to make sense of these thoughts without examining every detail. But details matter when you are trying to explain your ideas. Overlooking a word or feature can cause complete misunderstanding - as if you are speaking a different language.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've cried. The first was when a kid called Robert punched me in the teeth. I was nine years old and the crying completely rattled me. It's when I realized that emotions were not fragile but borne of righteous indignation.
It’s true, those who carry the (J) banner are firm in their opinions and have clear ideas about how things should be done. And they normally pay more attention to details than their Perceiving (P) counterparts, noticing things that companions routinely overlook.
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