Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'll stop belabouring the point soon, but the completeist in me requires I finish up the topic on Meyers Briggs and the INTJ viewpoint. Today's topic is Introversion, or the starting I point. I purposely went into the NTJ exploration first because that has always been the most confusing for me and also misinterpreted by others. I suspect that introversion vs. extroversion is well documented and understood by most.

In generic terms, introversion means that I am very likely to have a very small circle of friends and/or family. In most cases I have noticed that people can assign concentric circles of people around themselves. Starting at the smallest circle, there is the self. Adding one more layer includes immediate family. One more ring out from the centre is more distant family and close friends. Moving out one more ring is a list of friends and acquaintances, perhaps including coworkers, etc. For me, this list starts to get quite blurry because my viewpoint is quite myopic.

It's quite simple from my perspective as an extreme introvert. There is really only one circle: myself. I might say that there are several people who are close to the circle but they are still outside. Acquaintances, immediate family, coworkers, strangers, and the little lady sitting in a hut in India are all "other". Outside the single circle with no rings, strata or other meaningful distinctions. Now for disclaimer, I have added two very important people in my life, my wife and daughter. In theory, I am supposed to say they are close to my heart and they are included in my inner circle of trust. Yes, that is true, dear.

In truth, there's really only one circle that I can fathom of human relationships: the circle that includes me. Other people exist and I recognise they could be out there in the distance, at least in theory (as I'm an NT, it's all just intellectual modelling and theoretcial constructs). These shadowy figures move and flit by and I am occasionally amused, interested, or bothered. I can imagine a projection of myself outside of myself looking back at myself. I can use this imagined projected reflection to pretend that I know what someone else is like. But it is a mental theory that tires me. I think about the construct of other people only when it's intriguing or if I need to solve some problem. Otherwise, I laugh at the shadows or else I ignore them.

This sounds extreme, and it is. I am an extreme introvert. Or, I was. I feel like I have become better at recognising people and their needs, wants, and thoughts. It has taken a long while and a lot of effort on the part of others. Yes, others who have had to sort of drag me out of the dark corners to see that they exist and acknowledge them. Thanks to tireless work of extroverts, they have moved my circle out a bit so that I could imagine someone else coming inside the circle a little bit. Thanks to other introverts who have shared their stories in ways that make sense to me, I have been able to imagine a concept of expanding my circle.

Living life for a long while has also ingrained the pragmatic approach that I do need to interact with other people. Successful interactions get me what I want and allow me to continue and further my plans. The other shadowy figures become more than ghosts; they are the proverbial pawns, obstacles, and tools that I use to function. My wife and daughter are not in that class of objects, however. Yes, dear, that is true. Everything I'm writing now excludes these two important people. Wink, wink.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


We're learning about the Meyers Briggs formulations with your class teacher, INTJ Pascal. We're now on Judging which is where the J comes in. I prefer the discriptor that is in the literature as "expressive". This means that I make internal considerations in my iNtuitive Thinking process and then I express them outward (as opposed to being receptive outside-to-in). This way of thinking is slightly more clear than the word "judging" (although the P for perceiving is fine).

The J also stands for how quickly (or delayed) decisions can be reached. This is how the NT "head in the clouds" person can come back to earth. As a partial-preference J (I rank about 55+% J), I am quick to make decisions, even if they are wrong, and I'm able to stand by them despite what others may feel or think. This doesn't mean that I lock in on my decisions because I'm also flexible to change them. I just don't like the idea of going very long down one path or another without some form of agreement on what the overall plan is.

In fact, I'll often say that, "We can't go anywhere if we don't have some idea where we're going." If I'm pushed very hard, I'll often dig my heels in if there's no concept or plan to organise by. Once a plan (any plan) is created or identified, I'll be more than happy to go along. I just need to make some early decisions and early plans before I'm willing to get started.

This is how all of the other traits are sort of moderated in my experience. I am fanciful, introspective, intuitive, and consider all possibilities, even impossible possibilities. I think of ideas and concepts, information and abstractions. But I am very decisive and pragmatic up front about how I'll take action. To me, this is the greatest part of being NTJ. I love being an NTJ because I make all kinds of flighty rushes of logic and concepts but then when I decide to sit down and do something, I know I have a map or set of guidelines that will get the job done.

A lot of the flighty types will say, "Oh what about people's feelings?" Eff them. "You can't go off into the unknown, you need to find out more information first!" Eff that. I've got a rough idea of where to go. "What about if something changes or what if you're wrong?" First, I'm rarely wrong. Second, I'll change my mind when something better comes along. I'm off now.

As an NTJ, I can leave others in the dust while they are still collecting data, deciding on what feeling is better, or trying to understand how things are now. I'm already heading toward the sunset on my horse yelling "Yippee Kiy Yay!" Do I make mistakes? Yes, many. Do I learn from and remember them? Yes, absolutely. All my successes and failures are recorded down in the iNtuitive stew for later consumption. Everything goes down there in the pit and bubbles on a low flame. Do I make some bad choices? Yes, but I think about them an analyse them to learn what went wrong. I'm not above admitting I'm wrong and wondering how to improve. I am always seeking better performance in myself, my surroundings, and other people.

I am generally optimistic if the N stew is good. If the N stew is bad, I'm generally pessimistic. The stew is usually correct and flavourful. The stew knows what is good and what is bad and it reacts accordingly. The Thinking words and thoughts give comfort with objectivity and fixed compass points. The Judge in me decides quickly and is expressive so that I don't have to ask others for input or guidance. The judge is fair and balanced, however, and can also determine quickly if the stew or the thoughts are wrong somehow. It can detect problems and demand changes or feedback. The judge determines if something is feasible or not.

Thus, I can say without a doubt that the life of this NTJ is quite good. It takes a while for the engine to be finely tuned but it has developed over the course of 21 years of maturation. It has been running smoothly and very well (even improving with age) after 20 more. We will deal with the I next, but dear and loyal readers already know much of that.

Monday, May 6, 2013


We learned about the Meyers Briggs formulary and iNtuition from a certified INTJ. Now we will move onto Thinking (as opposed to Feeling). Thinking is probably easy to understand, unlike the N/S dimension. Thinking involves using symbols, logic, models, and concepts when viewing the world around us. This would be as opposed to using emotions or feelings when viewing the world.

As a Thinker, I approach problems very clinically. I calculate weights, values; decide on constraints and view resources. I "discuss" problems with internal dialogue. I make mental models or apply abstract theories to physical objects and even people. I don't see a seesaw on the playground, I see fulcrums and end points. A feeling person may (I don't know for sure, I just imagine) see a happy place to play. I don't see happy children playing in the yard, I see moving bodies gaining stamina, learning balance, and I see spots where dangerous leverage or sharp objects are located.

As a hard-core thinker, I am not interested nor do I value any feelings that may arise. I'm very likely to say, "This is best. Deal with it." I am likely to say, "You should chose this because it makes sense." I am not likely to say, "Follow your feelings," or "Do what you think family/friends/society tells you," or "What makes you happy?"

I am only concerned with measurements, numerical values, information, and concepts. I don't care what looks long or short, I want to check with a ruler. I don't care about what arrangement or design is made, I want to know how many of this, how much of that, and maybe if it is important, the order. I don't care about what an object looks like or feels, I want to know why the shape, the weight or the composition matters.

I am generally not influenced by design in the Isaac Mizrahi vein. I don't care how it looks, I want to know how it functions. I don't care how I (or others) feel about something, I want to know how it works or what it does. I am baffled by skorts (why the flaps around perfectly functioning shorts?), I am baffled by ceiling moulding (useless), and I can't understand the use of small talk.

This seems like a head-in-the-clouds, visionary description of the world. It seems like an iNtuitive Thinker should walk around mesmerised by the clouds and staring at ants all day. But this is all tempered by the J which will be discussed next.

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