Let’s be Real: One INFJ to the Rest of Mankind

Guest post by Heather, INFJ

I’d like not only to dispel some of the myth and mist surrounding the INFJ legend today, but to cast some light and provide some entertainment as well. There are some frequently repeated assumptions (aka stereotypes) regarding INFJs that have been circulating internet-land for years. These legends affect non-INFJs, it’s true, but they also have a tendency to inform INFJs’ opinions of themselves. It’s the power of suggestion. Particularly when there is a grain of truth to a stereotype, it is both easy and agreeable to say, “oh yes, that’s me,” so long as the stereotype is positive or comical or gives us an excuse for our bad habits.

One of these assumptions that INFJs love to claim for their own is being psychic, otherworldly narwhalicorns. It’s kind of an attractive idea to have about oneself. Particularly when one has felt like something of an alien amongst other humans for most of one’s life, and when one is actually quite clever at reading people. So, let’s be real: INFJs very often know a substantial amount of information about you that they don’t let on to, because first and foremost, they want you to be comfortable with them. No one feels very comfortable if they think you’re aware of their motivations and inner life. So then, where did this mysterious cache of information come from, you may ask. First, INFJs are simply very attuned to people in general. Se is our inferior function, but it is still a function. Because we are sort of ‘set’ to the people wavelength, that is the information we tend to pick up a lot of. This information is fed into our Ni (dominant function), which recognizes patterns and themes and can extrapolate accurate readings based on very little data. Add to this that I at least (sorry guys, I don’t know any INFJs in real life besides myself) amuse myself by studying personality theory, graphology, and Chinese face reading so that I can know even more about every specimen that crosses my path unsuspectingly. Continue reading

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Defying INTJ Stereotypes: Anon

Guest post by Anonymous, INTJ

 

I’m artistic.

To a fault, I admit. Ever since I was a child I’d either be playing mind-games or writing, drawing, or outwardly narrating a story. When I was in first to third grade, we had to keep journals. The teacher would put up a prompt (Ex: Do you have any pets?) and we had to write a few sentences about it. I thought this was boring, so I asked the teacher if I could just write, and she allowed me to. So, for the next three years, I would develop new little stories and illustrations to accompany them.

I was obsessed with drawing, back then, too. I’ve always been told I’m creative and a good artist, even though I’d like to think the comments didn’t affect me, I think they’re why I began to do it more often. That, or boredom. I still think it’s more of boredom. So, now I’m, as far as I’ve seen, the most experienced artist I know. I don’t even really like it. It’s passive. It just happens.

I have a large group of friends.

I think this mostly comes from my natural charm, somehow it makes people happy when the quiet, cynical girl decides to talk to them. So, I’m really bouncy in social situations. I’m the girl who’s flitting around talking to the people she likes the most- and adding into conversations to make people more lighthearted if the environment is too tense. I’m the joker. People hear my laugh maybe a little bit too much. So, then they associate me with a happy, lighthearted person. Which is a good thing in most cases.

Regardless, I still fit the stereotype of “small group of friends”, because if they were to ask me if I was their friend, I’d say no (with the exception of three people who are my friends).

I believe in self-sacrifice.

It’s a commonly known stereotype that INTJs are selfish, and while I’m not going to disagree to a point, it’s not completely true, in my case, at least.

I would gladly give up my life for other people. Not for the general populous, but for the people I call friends. And, no, it’s not for some over-arching mastermind plan. I’m not sacrificing myself to be a martyr. I’m just doing it out of habit. In my head, those people are more important to me than I am to myself. So, if I allowed them to die, the things they could’ve done in the world would haunt me. I’d miss them too much. I would first try to find a way out of both of our deaths, of course, but if it comes to it and my patience for seeing the person I love dying runs out, I’d sacrifice myself for them.

I express emotions.

Most importantly- I have emotions. (I hate this stereotype)

After I’ve heavily analyzed my emotions on a person or situation, and I believe it won’t change the situation negatively, I will express my emotions. It may be in a detached manner (because of Te), but it’s still there.

I’ll tell the person that they make me happy. I’ll tell them that I hate them. That I love them. That I’m apathetic towards them. I will say what I’m feeling. Because it’s important for people to know their standing. And, it’s important to me.

I’m impulsive.

My two best friends I hang out with most are an INTJ and an INFJ, so I guess I can’t really call it all that impulsive, because they are little worry-warts. But, if someone mentions something they want to experience that they’ve never done, I’ll find a way to make it happen. It’s four AM and you’ve never jumped off of a bridge? My internal monologue: Are there any bridges around? How much force does it take to cause damage to a person’s body? How tall can a bridge be until it goes over the limit of force? Can they swim? Is there even water underneath the nearby bridge? Is it within reasonable walking distance? What are the dangers of being out at night? Do I have my pepper-spray, do I even know how to defend myself if someone attacks us? Do I have enough medical knowledge to patch someone up if something goes wrong? Do we have bathing suits with us?

If it meets those requirements to my liking, I’ll do it. I’ll make it happen. Let’s go, right now. Because, though I would never outwardly say it, it’s exhilarating to do things like that. It’s distracting. Which means I’m a lot more Se than I admit.

I don’t plan or manipulate people often.

There’re always those posts and things that say “I plan every move in my day. If I say something to you, it’s because I’m manipulating you. ~Mysterious INTJ”

I don’t relate to this at all. It makes it seem like I have every second of every day and every possible outcome accounted for, which is impossible (as far as I know. Maybe up to an extent if you’re a savant?). Sure, I get up and say, “Remember to get your socks, your phone, and your Physics notes, put on deodorant, get dressed, wash your face, ect.” When it’s the morning. But, that’s only because I’m not very awake and my Te takes over.

When it comes to actual situations, though, and I’m not asleep, I don’t do much planning. I take things in stride. I’m not constantly in a hum-drum of “Left foot, right foot, left”. I’m usually imagining inconsequential things. Like, if that tree could breathe, how would that effect the food chain? What would happen to their appearance? So, it’s not very mastermind-y. Just very useless.

I do go around thinking, “If I step here, set this here, he will trip, then he will call out, it will draw their attention, I can sneak away into the background and read.” Though, I barely ever act on those thoughts.

I do have a life-plan, like the stereotypical INTJ. But, unlike what a lot of things might tell you, we question everything (Feel free to take it out if my assumptions here are wrong, they sometimes are.), including the things we like to do. Is it superficial? Do I actually like to do this, or am I telling myself this? So we tend to plan and re-plan. And go into crises. And to overanalyze. And that makes us uncertain about a lot of things, including the plan we set up for ourselves.

I’ve dated people without thinking about marrying them.

Again, with the stereotype that INTJ females don’t exist or are too outwardly rude to get a date (which, again, goes into the “women are only useful if they are pretty and can produce offspring” kind of early evolutionary-day thinking). Also comes with the things I’ve seen where INTJs don’t want to date because they don’t see themselves marrying the person.

I’ve made many friends of both genders, and my male friends have asked me out before. Whenever I’m answering, I usually say yes. My reasoning for it is because I’m young. I should gather some data on this before it actually effects my future (like, before I’m at the age the significant other actually considers marriage).

I also think dating people helps you develop your understanding of the human psyche, and I always seem to convince myself it will help me develop my Fi (which is a bitch to develop, by the way). So, I’ve had romantic relationships with many people.

How to Test Accurately

MMR asked: The whole Myer-Briggs Theory is interesting but how does one know if it is accurate. I have taken the test multiple times over the past year to be sure of my type. I was typed each time as an INTJ; I however am afraid I am being biased, trying to be original, or just answering the same way from memory. In reading the other types it is easy to find small traits to identify with in all INxx types. I strongly agree with most typing a for INTJ and feel, if I can say that, that it is my personality type. Wanting to be sure, my question to you is, how does one know if they are being biased when typing themselves?

That’s a good question, and one that I can’t teach you the answer to. I can however, give you a starting place to learn from.

  • Do your answers to the questions match up with your behaviour?
  • In other words, are you answering questions about who you are, rather than who you’d like to be?
  • Do you fully understand the question that is being asked?
  • Are you answering ‘yes’ on questions that only occasionally apply to you?

In general –and I have stressed this time and time again– I suggest not trusting the test as your guide to MBTI. READ. LEARN. INTROSPECT. That is the only way to know yourself.

Are INTJs Asexual?

Note to Shippers: Please keep your opinions to yourself. Non-shippers with objective viewpoints are welcome to comment and correct me if they think I’m wrong.

INTJ Asexual

I am, but no, not all INTJs, or even most, are. (That was an embarrassing quantity of commas).

Once again, there is a stereotype going around. A large number of people have latched on to the idea that INTJs are asexual, or at least lacking in sexual motivation. In reality, however, this isn’t true of most INTJs.

As a mental visual, I’ve compiled for you a list of INTJs, organised by their sexual orientation. You might have to pay really close attention to notice, but in this list, the number of straight INTJs far exceeds that of asexual INTJs. Continue reading

MBTI School Subject Stereotypes

“Could you do some of the stereotypical school subjects each type might be likely to have interest in?”

ENTJ: business, law

INTJ: chemistry, physics

ENTP: computer science

INTP: philosophy, maths Continue reading

ISTJ Stereotypes in “The Imitation Game”

ISTJ Stereotypes in

ISTJs are frequently stereotyped as whining, OCD, rule-obsessed intellectuals with no social skills. Either that, or they’re portrayed as evil, emotionless cyborgs with no sense of humour. As someone with a close ISTJ friend, I understand exactly how terrible those stereotypes can be on a person. Unfortunately, such stereotypes are ever present in the media, and have found their way needlessly into the recent film, The Imitation Game. Continue reading

On Differing from INTJ stereotypes

INTJ: How I Differ from the Stereotypes

Surely, you’ve looked at the personality description for your Meyers-Briggs type at one point and thought, “that’s not me. I don’t do those things.”

Well, guess what? You’re not alone. I can’t tell you how many times I look at the INTJ stereotypes and think to myself, “How can anyone assume that you must be exactly the same as all other people who share your type?” Continue reading