Before you make Resolutions for '08

Pat Ryan

This year, my daughter turned me on to the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which divideds personality types into sixteen rough categories that are further refined by using large and small case lettering to show emphasis. I found the test to be scary/accurate, and would not want it sitting in front of the HR director if I were interviewing for a job.Straitjacket

But ultimately, given that my type came out at iNTj, I don't really give a rip because based on this particular typing, I can't understand why the rest of you idiots don't see it my way, which is of course the correct way.

So here are some highlights, that as Ricky Riccardo used to say, "'splain a lot, Lucy".

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.

Come on, doesn't everyone think this way?

What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

Again, what other criterion would you use? Elegant theory? Mythology (secular or otherwise)? Tradition?

I spit.

Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this; On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project...

Many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Now, according to the Double Domes, this personality type comprises less than 1% of the total population, and I think that this is exactly how sociopaths perceive the world too. Better not think about that too much.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

Many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete'.

But there is a silver lining for the happless object of INTJ affection.

Again, looks like the Way of the Sociopath, Grasshopper, but that's the hand we're dealt. We may all be trapped in these general areas, but again I've gotta quote Isaac Bashevis Singer on this one: We must believe in Free Will. We have no choice."

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

So, are we pathological? Probably, but the INTJ might answer, "Who isn't?"

Happy New Year.


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    Happy 2008 to you Pat.

    Paulie an ENFJ

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    Funny thing about that Paulie, my lovely wife Christine is also an ENFJ.

    The Giver or the Teacher. Good thing that you guys have some relationship skills........It'd be lonely out there.

  • Rachel (unverified)

    You might enjoy visiting PS: You misspelled Myers (only one "e")

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    My new years resolution: don't buy the New York Times, because it was just announced that Bill Kristol will have a weekly column.

    Fantastic. A warmongering, neocon member of the Bush agenda's army gets rewarded with a top journalistic position in the world because he was WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. ALWAYS.

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    rewarded with a top journalistic position in the world

    Yeah, read that on Huffpost. Don't you think that the fact that The Gray Lady has sunk to this level indicates tqaht it's no longer "top"?

    Hasn't been for a few years now.......

    <h2>Kinda reminds me of the steady decline of the Washington Post what with Woodward and all....</h2>

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