Are INTJs Really Master Planners?

Anon asked: “i know fictional INTJs are supposed to be master planners but how far in advance to real life INTJs plan?”

Well, for starters, I’ll first state that the answer to this question is highly subjective to what type of plans we’re referring to, and which INTJ you’re referring to. So, instead of answering the question directly, I’ll just give a few examples of what types of plans I’ve made and what types of plans I do not make. Various plans that I have made….

Wilderness Survival

At one point during my teen years, I fell into an obsession with wilderness survival and disaster preparedness. What would I do if all hell broke loose and we humans lost all of the things that we are so heavily reliant on (immediate food, clean water, entertainment etc.). Naturally, I decided to plan ahead.

  1. I learned how to navigate in the wilderness using a compass, the stars and the sun.
  2. I memorized all of the poisonous and edible plants in my local area and learned the proper ways to prepare them if I needed to eat them.
  3. I learned first aid procedures, how to treat for shock, split broken limbs and transport an injured person.
  4. I learned how to purify water using over 5 different methods and practised drinking lake water during my hikes in the mountains.
  5. I learned how best to build shelters in different types of weather, what types of plants make for the best insulation and which ones will give you the best shade in the sun.
  6. I keep a 30-pound pack in my closet, housing a sleeping bag and all the ten essentials.
  7. I also keep 30-pound buckets under my bed that are filled with food-storage supplies to last up to a year.
  8. I’ve read aeons of books about survival mentality and wilderness survival skills.

Extensive enough for you?

Death

This was more recent, but I have an extensive logical and emotional plan for how to deal with dying. When I say that, I don’t mean someone else’s death, because I don’t think you can ever be prepared for the death of a loved one, but when it comes to your own death, it’s a completely different story. I won’t get into detail, because the depth to which I’ve gone with this particular plan would probably freak you out, but I will say that I know exactly how I would respond to finding out that I had a day left to live. I know exactly what I would do with that one day, and I would be perfectly at peace with dying. I would also be perfectly at peace with knowing my loved ones would have to suffer the more for it –but it took me a long time to get to that point. When it comes to a loved one dying, I’m relatively well prepared. I have a logical plan in place, but at the same time, one never knows how they will react to a loss like that. Even so, it never hurts to plan –I just, can’t tell them that I have planned for that. As you can see, we’re a bit obsessive. Now, on to the types of plans I don’t make…

World Domination

This falls under the category of INTJ stereotyping, but contrary to popular belief, I do not sit around in a cave devising clever ways to take over the world. If all real INTJs did that, we would have a massive problem on our hands, because INTJs don’t just make plans (ever). They make plans and carry them out with precision. So…I think it’s safe to conclude that all the INTJs who are plotting world domination are either already attempting it, or are lacking in resources to carry out their plans. On the other hand, I do have plans to make a difference in the world. In my case, that means writing books that teach people things that I could never teach them by talking to them (because I can’t talk to people in general). The book plan is so frighteningly extensive, however, that I won’t into detail about it. I will say, however, that there have been times when my bedroom has turned into what appears to be a criminal hole, the walls plastered with papers of suspicious nature, but that all happen to relate directly to the novel in question. Hope that answers your question.

Homer Hickam: ENFP

Guest Post by Jessica Prescott, INFJ

October Sky

Dominant Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Homer Hickam is nothing if not a dreamer. He loves new ideas, hates to be cooped up in a small mining town, and, more than anything, longs for a glimpse of the “outside world.” His original (and strongest) motivation to carry out his rocketry project is not a desire to understand how rocket science works, but simply a romantic fascination with the mere idea of rocketry—the idea that human beings can be capable of sending objects up into space. He isn’t shy about sharing his dreams with others, either, but is perfectly willing to blurt out his latest plan at the breakfast table: “I’m gonna build a rocket.” One of Homer’s greatest assets is his optimism—his ability to see possibilities where others see only obstacles. Even though no student from Coalwood has ever won the science fair before, Homer is firmly convinced that he and his friends can pull it off—and he manages to convince them to believe it, too.

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Prince Caspian: INFJ

Guest Post by E.J., INTJ

The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis

Dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni): Caspian is a dreamer. As a little boy, his nurse’s stories of Old Narnia capture his imagination, and Caspian’s view of the world is shaped by the stories. Rather than basing his value system on what he sees his uncle Miraz doing, Caspian’s ideals are formed by the heroic legends his nurse repeats to him. Caspian has no strong reason to believe that the old days could return until after he wakes up in the dugout of Trufflehunter, Trumpkin, and Nikabrik. Regardless, he prefers the Narnian moral code, even if he never meets a full-blooded Old Narnian. From a relatively young age, Caspian is driven to accomplish things that other people consider impossible. He successfully defeats Miraz and reawakens Old Narnia—despite the initial superiority of the Telmarine forces—and, as king, he goes on a difficult voyage to find seven Telmarine lords who disappeared when he was a small child. Near the world’s end, Caspian’s imagination almost gets the better of him. He is so fascinated by the thought of traveling to Aslan’s country that he wants to abandon his kingship and continue eastward. Aslan must directly intervene to prevent Caspian from abandoning his responsibilities to follow his imagination.

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Si users – How to talk to INxJs

Itae asked: In your latest posts, and comments beneath them, the problem of Si vs Se communication has been brought up. As an INxJ-surrounded INFP (dancing on the edge of Fi-Si loop for most of my life) I want to ask you for some sort of advice. How do I effectively talk about past with INxJs? Somewhere in the comments it’s been mentioned that Ni users always have to adapt their communication style to Si users, not vice versa, and that’s pretty unfair. ;)

I now feel properly guilty for having never expected to get a question like this. I compliment your open-mindedness.

First, I do think it worth mentioning that because INxJs are Ni I dominant, we tend to think about the past in relation to the future and present. Experience can influence how accurate intuition can be, meaning that the more we’ve seen a pattern of events play out repeatedly in life, the more likely our Ni is going to pick up on and predict outcomes in the present and future.

This can mean that INxJs who have Anxiety or PTSD get caught in cycles of being afraid that negative events of the past are also going to happen in the future. However—under actually dangerous circumstances, that same trait can save our lives (it certainly has for me).

All that said, there are a couple ways you could approach talking to us about the past. You could engage us in a conversation about patterns of human behavior. Get me talking about the way history repeats itself and you’ve got a conversation that I’ll be hooked on for (sometimes for hours). This could also be a conversation about how we think people today will behave based on what we know about the past.

I also recommend allowing INxJs to share their (sometimes socially deviant) opinions about the past without judging them. One thing that always puts me off talking to some (not all) Si users is when they correct me on the socially traditional or generally accepted way of viewing things. What they often fail to realize is that I’m perfectly aware of what most people think about X topic and have thought through why I think what I do. Hear us out before you shut us down. Let us be outliers and we’re more likely to actually share our opinions with you.

Molly Weasley: ESFJ

Guest Post by Andrew, ENTJ

Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling

Dominant Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Molly is all about family, and she always tries her best to keep hers together. She arranges vacations to visit her sons who live abroad, and she takes it very hard when Percy cuts ties with everyone else. Her worst fear is losing loved ones, rather than suffering some misfortune herself. When she sees Harry by himself, Molly is immediately sensitive to what she thinks he must need (she forbids her children from staring at him like some mythical creature), and she all but adopts him into her family. Molly puts a lot of stock in social standing; she is glad when her husband gets a promotion to a big job that takes him away from his own passion, and she wants her children to have successful careers as well. Molly is openly emotional, and she will always make her feelings abundantly clear.

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Eames – Inception: ENTP

Guest Post (Re-typing) by E. J., INTJ

Inception

Dominant Intuition (Ne): Eames thinks of himself as a creative person, and he provides many of the ideas that allow Cobb’s team eventually uses in their mission. His flexibility is important as the plan goes forward. Although he does not usually allow himself to become angry with others, Eames finds less creative people difficult to understand. As a result, he tends to introduce ideas in his preferred way–leaving the details to the imagination–despite the confusion this sometimes causes in other people.

Auxiliary Thinking (Ti): Eames does not often explain his reasoning, even when he does have some idea of the details. Arthur, being a Te-user, interprets this tendency as Eames’ failure to fully think out his plans. Eames does prefer to think more widely than deeply, due to his Ne, but he also uses a highly personal system of logic that does not easily translate into words. Eames makes no attempt to reason based on any concept of efficiency: he believes that if something makes sense to him in theory, the details will work out in the real world.

Tertiary Feeling (Fe): Eames pays close attention to others’ behavior and has a relatively good understanding of what motivates his fellow team members. Unfortunately for them––particular Arthur––Eames’ most obvious use of this knowledge is to intentionally get under their skin. More subtly, however, Eames uses his awareness of how the team members think to understand how the team is likely to function as a whole. While Arthur’s criticisms irritate him, Eames recognizes Arthur’s value to their mission and does not attack his competence.

Inferior Sensing (Si): As Arthur points out, specificity can be a weakness for Eames. He has a tendency to introduce new ideas without fully considering the details necessary to carry them out. Eames prefers to think in terms of future possibilities, but he is willing to learn from his mistakes. His earlier attempt at inception did not dissuade him from believing that inception was possible. He did, however, carefully consider what happened, how it went wrong, and how to prevent a similar occurrence. Eames uses his experience to help Cobb from making the same errors.

Johanna Mason: ENTJ

Guest Post by Kerissa, INFJ

The Hunger Games

Dominant Extroverted Thinking (Te): At the interviews for the 75th Hunger Games, Johanna is the first to directly question if the games could be changed. She’s very blunt. For example: when Katniss is explaining canaries in coal mines, Johanna asks, “What’s it do, die?” She also says, “I’m not like the rest of you. There’s no one left I love.” In District 13, she’s the one who makes Katniss stick with training through a mixture of ‘motivational insults’ and pushiness.

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Baron Vladimir Harkonnen: ENTJ

Guest Post by Andrew, ENTJ

Dune, Frank Herbert

Dominant Extroverted Thinking (Te): Baron Harkonnen wants nothing less than the imperial throne, and he goes after it in a systematic fashion. His allies and even his family members (except maybe Feyd-Rautha) are mere pawns in his game, and his enemies are nothing more than obstacles to be overcome – or to be destroyed utterly. He has a brutal, ruthless way of dealing with everyone, and he gives direct orders to his subordinates. The baron is extremely resourceful, and he will add anyone whom he believes will be of use to his retinue; he even takes Thufir Hawat, the chief strategist of his slain arch-enemy, Leto Atredies, to be his adviser after the death of his own strategist.

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INTJ: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This post is dedicated to my readers that want to understand INTJs, but are less familiar with Jungian cognitive functions. I understand that the functions are difficult for newbies to navigate, so I’m making your life easier.

Fact #1 People empty us.

When I say this, I don’t mean that we don’t value human companionship. In fact, I would argue to the contrary. However, our introversion causes us to drain our energy as we attempt to socialize. Our energy stems from within ourselves rather than from being with other people. We value solitude, silence and thought.

To us, silence truly is golden.

As a result, parties are definitely not our favourite place to be and when forced to be in such an environment, we tend to stick to the sides of the room rather than gravitating toward the centre. We are extremely conscious of our personal space and absolutely hate being touched (in any way, shape or form) without our permission. Likewise, incessant noise drives us mad, prevents us from thinking and makes us want to scream at everybody to “shut up.”

We find it astounding that some people can manage to say the same thing three times in different words or that someone can fill an hour of time with words that mean nothing. We value conciseness when it comes to speaking, such that we say nothing more than what needs to be said (and sometimes we can’t even say that much).

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My Favourite Characters from Each Type

“So, this is a weird question, but do you have favourite characters for each type so far?”

Oooh. Not fair. Absolutely not fair.

I’ll do my best. I’m assuming only fictional characters? And I’ll limit myself to two per type.

INFJ: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Gandalf (Lord of The Rings)

ENFJ: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones)

INFP: the 9th Doctor (Doctor Who)

ENFP: Jonathan Strange (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell)

INTJ: Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game)

ENTJ: Loki (Thor)

INTP: Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Death (Discworld)

ENTP: The Joker (Batman)

ISTP: Han Solo (Star Wars)

ESTP: Viola (Twelfth Night), Jack Harkness (Doctor Who/Torchwood)

ISTJ: Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)

ESTJ: Princess Leia (Star Wars), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

ISFP: Claire (Outlander)

ESFP: Donna Noble (Doctor Who)

ISFJ: Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)

ESFJ: Danielle de Barbarac (Ever After)

A Riddle for an INTJ

Once upon a time, I was a seventeen-year-old, bored out of my mind, even in my college-level classes. This boredom morphed into a sort of cosmic angst, anger at the fact that I was sitting in a classroom memorizing facts when I could be problem-solving somewhere else.

One of my siblings tells me I looked like Sherlock pounding around the living room asking for a case.

Boredom is a very dangerous thing in immature INTJs because we’ll do pretty much anything to stop being bored (so long as it doesn’t violate our principles).

In 2014, @Ockham’s Chainsaw linked me to a post they’d written on the topic of intelligence, mentioning that NT types are often reluctant to say, “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know,” when taking a test because they have firm confidence in their ability to figure the problem out, even if they don’t know the answer.

The following piece of writing consists of the notes I recorded while solving the Einstein Riddle to stop being bored when I was in high school, and it’s a perfect example of Ockham’s idea.

Actually, it is easy. You just have to believe it. The problem with the 98% of people who can’t solve this riddle is that they lack the patience and the solid logic necessary to tell themselves that they can do it. As it turns out, I fall into the 2% that can effectively solve this riddle without googling instructions (since that’s no fun for an INTJ).

Come on, people. If you think you can’t do it, you’ve been watching too much telly.

I started with what I knew for sure.

  • House 1 = Norwegian
  • House 2 = blue (because the house next to the Norwegian is blue)
  • house 3 = Brit/red (because the middle house drinks milk –> green and white have to be next to each other and green drinks coffee, so it couldn’t be them)
  • House 4 = green (because green is on the left of white)
  • House 5 = white

Next, using a graph, I decided to slowly decipher various details about each:

  • House 1 = yellow (since I knew all the other colours) –> The yellow house owner smokes Dunhill
  • House 2 owns a horse (because the horse lives next to Dunhill)

Next, I made a graph of what I knew (in order of houses):

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill
Drink Milk Coffee
Nationality Norwegen Brit

I knew then that the water drinker could only belong at the yellow house because:

  1. Yellow doesn’t drink beer (beer is paired with Bluemaster and we know that yellow smokes Dunhill)
  2. He doesn’t drink tea (because the Dane drinks tea, not the Norwegian)
  3. The only option left was water

From this, I determined that the Blue house-owner smokes Blend (because Blend is neighbors with water).

Next, I looked specifically at one clue: the owner who drinks beer smokes Bluemaster

  1. Blue doesn’t drink beer because he smokes Blend
  2. Green drinks coffee and red drinks milk, so neither smoke Bluemaster
  3. Therefore, White drinks beer and smokes blue master
COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill Blend Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit

Well, there was one obvious hole there…looks like blue drinks tea and is a Dane….

I deduce that the German lives in the green house because:

  • he can’t live in the blue house because he smokes Prince, not Blend
  • he doesn’t smoke Bluemaster, so he doesn’t live in the white house

Red must be the bird owner, because the bird owner smokes Paul Mall and all the other cigars are taken

Yellow owns the cat because blend has a neighbor who owns a cat (and we’ve now determined that it’s not red because red owns the bird)

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat horse Bird
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul Mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit German

We can easily see from looking at the graph that the only place left for our tea-drinking Dane is Blue.

That leaves white to be the dog-owning Swede and the green to own the fish.

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat Horse Bird Fish Dog
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegien Dane Brit German Swede

The German owns the fish!

Character Driven vs Plot Driven Stories – My Take

INeverForgetPromises asked: if you were reading a literary work, what would hook you more, a plot-driven story or a character-driven story? Do you prefer complex plots with subplots in them or a simple plot with something deep underneath (take hills like white elephants for example)?

Im sorry if I’m asking too many questions, its just that I want to pick at your brain a little bit. Plus, you kinda remind me of my INTJ best friend :)

 

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Updates And Future Plans

Dear friends,

It’s been a long time––and for that, I apologise. I’ve been reading through your many comments and the number of well-wishes and general positive sentiments not only surprised me, but reminded how many of you are still watching patiently (both for your own posts to be published and for words from me). In particular, I was moved by how many of you found meaning here.

That said, I want to break the silence that’s been hanging over The Book Addict’s Guide for so long.

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Ender Wiggin as an Asexual Character

I promised these posts over two years ago…here they finally are.

Ender Wiggin As an Asexual Character

Sexuality as a theme is often ignored in the Ender’s Game series, but from the Piggie’s reproductive cycle to Ender’s perpetual lack of sexual relationships, the theme is ever present. One by one, I’m going to analyse each of the relationships between Ender and other people that showed potential for romance or sexuality and discuss how Ender acts as a perfect example of an asexual fictional character. Continue reading