Why You should Stop Saying you were “Traumatized” by a TV Show

Why you should Stop Saying you were Traumatised by a TV show...

Anon asked: “You’re the first MBTI expert I’ve come across who’s typed the characters from Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter, and since you’re an INTJ, I must know. Were you emotionally traumatized the first time you watched it?”

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The Rules of Character Death

Fair warning: Harry Potter fans may be offended.

The Rules of Character Death: Killing Characters Like You Mean It

I’ve read a lot of books, seen a lot of movies and listened to a lot of plays, and one thing that often determines how much I enjoy those stories is how the writers choose to handle character deaths.

Shakespeare follows a very specific rule set with regards to killing off characters. In simple terms, any character who kills, threatens to kill, or plots to kill another character has guaranteed his own death by the finale of the play. Thus, Hamlet (who plots to kill his uncle) must die, and Claudius (who has killed) must also die. Part of this is Shakespeare stating his own opinions on the immorality of killing, but it also dictates that Shakespeare will never kill a character for no reason. Continue reading

Is it possible to have 2 Personalities?

Izzat asked: Based on your research, Is it possible to have 2 personality types?

Are you familiar with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)? How about…Multiple Personality Disorder? The answer is yes, but not under normal circumstances.

Unless you have gone through massive levels of trauma– the answer to your question is no.

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Why Tolkien was an ISTJ

The first thing I’d like to make clear is that Tolkien does not write like an INFP. Though he was known for not finishing projects he started on and for working in “idea bursts,” his writing does not express an Ne-style creativity. If you want a better example of very INFP writing, look to Neil Gaiman as your (exaggerated) example.

Having studied medieval literature at the university level, it is clear to me that Tolkien did not come up with most of his “ideas” himself. Almost all of the cultures and concepts found in Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and the Silmarilion are literally borrowed aspects of the medieval era literature he was obsessed with. If you need evidence of this, here you go:


  • Wergild: the individual naming of weapons and treasure found in Anglo Saxon culture, wherein each treasure was unique and one of a kind. Where do you think Sting, the Arkenstone and Mithril came from?

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INTJs: How to develop your Se function

Bryony asked: I am an INTJ with an unhealthy Se function. Out of curiosity, is it possible to change this?

Yes it is.

I had a very unhealthy Se function at one point in my life –so unhealthy in fact, that I wasn’t using it at all (I’ll let your imagination fill in the connotations of that happenstance). Here are some tips for developing an unhealthy Se function. Continue reading

xxTJ? Or when it’s Just Your OCD Talking

Laurie asked: I’ve always considered myself (and been described as) INTJ, but I also have OCD, and you said in a post that every person with OCD will score as a TJ. I know that you can’t just magically type me without knowing me, but I would really like to find out if I *really* am an INTJ, or it’s just my illness that makes me act in a certain way (though I always recognized my thought process as that of an INTJ, not my actions necessarily). How do you go about typing characters who have mental illness? I know you always try to “separate” the two things and recognize the real type that might be hidden by the illness – are there particular questions I might ask myself, or things I might notice in my actions/thoughts etc.?

I know I shouldn’t give to much importance to my type – I myself use it more as a very useful tool to write plausible fictional characters than anything else – but recognize who I really am might help me overcome things and thought processes that are not “mine” but come from my condition…in a way, I believe I simply don’t want to be defined by my OCD, but recognize who I truly am, in spite of everything else. Thank you!

I don’t know the exact nature of your OCD, so I’m going to do the best I can at a generic, but applicable response.

I would suggest trying to pay attention to what you’re like when you’re less affected by your OCD (if possible). The particular function that tends to be associated most heavily with OCD is the Si function, simply because it likes to pay attention to minute details that intuitive upper functions don’t. Continue reading

More Mind Palace Tips

Gabrielle Massman asked: You wrote a post on memory palaces, and I have since created my own and found it very useful– to a point. One of the main reasons why I created my mind palace was to remember Biblical Hebrew vocabulary, but I found my mind palace utterly useless in remembering any types of words or mathematical equations. I tried writing them in open books on tables, on the walls, and even in one word blood on my bathroom mirror, but nothing worked. When I walked through my mind palace, I could see that something was there, and I could remember a broad meaning of the word (for instance, if the word meant “to destroy entirely,” I would remember it had something to do with death.) However, I could not remember the word or exact definition. Moreover, in a practical sense, I wondering if I could fit (and be able to locate) 1,200 vocabulary words in a single or multiple mind palaces.

Do you have a technique to putting words into your mind palace? Or is a mind palace not the best memory technique for words and equations?

It’s not going to work if you try to write them on windows and mirrors. Period.

The reason for this is that the Mind Palace is a mnemonic system of memorisation that relies on making connections and establishing a very specified visual imagery. For tips on how to make your images work better, see this post it outlines how to use your mind palace imagery properly, including how to put large quantities of vocabulary words into it.

In terms of numbers and equations, my suggestion is that you find a way to mnemonically connect the numbers to your images, rather than simply writing them on the walls. I used the system to remember centuries worth of dates, terms, authors, literary works and royal genealogy for a test that I had one day to study for last week (the dates spanned from 3000 BCE to 1500 CE) and the memory palace served me faithfully.

If you have further questions after you finish reading my other post, please feel free to ask.

MBTI Crying in Movies

stranger5 asked: “you’ve talked before about how Fe and Fi cry in movies for different reasons. Does function hierarchy also affect whether/why a person will cry in a movie. say, would T types be less likely to cry in movies than F types? Also, are F types more drawn to emotional movies than Ts?”

Or, I should say question[s]. Shall we work through them one by one?

Function Hierarchy

Function hierarchy does have a certain degree of affect on whether someone will cry in a movie, but it isn’t necessarily consistent for everyone.

Quite frequently, you’ll have two Te doms in the same movie theatre –one will remain unaffected emotionally and the other will tear up and get embarrassed about it. Likewise, there are plenty of F types that cry relatively little in response to movies. Continue reading

xNTP vs xNTJ Writing

Morally Relative Midnight asked: As someone who engages in creative writing frequently, how would you differentiate between INTJ and INTP writing styles? How would an INTJ’s tertiary Fi and an INTP’s tertiary Fe manifest themselves in a creative writing assignment or just any writing project in general?

Now that’s what I call a question.

Best examples of INTJ writing I can think of off the top of my head are Ayn Rand, Jane Austen, Flannery O’Connor and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some good examples of INTP writing include Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Continue reading

Do I relate to INFPs?

Elise Ann asked: How do you relate to INFPs? you must find us exhausting

I do find you exhausting. You burst out with seemingly random topic changes while I’m still philosophically analysing something you said two hours ago. Also, your emotions…dear me, they are everywhere…

But yes, there are a few ways that I relate to INFPs (not drastic ways, just subtle ones).

The main way that I relate to INFPs in the persistent Fi desire to do the right thing. Of course, we go about it vastly differently, but the goal is the same.

Secondly, there is the often frequent drive for creativity –which, as a writer, artist and Ni user, I relate to regardless of whether the creativity stems from an Ni or Ne function. Both types of intuition can be vastly creative, just in different ways. Many make the mistake of assuming that only Ne is creative, and that Ni is merely a goal setting function –this is based on a limited understanding of MBTI.

Ni presents more of a focused and vision oriented creativity while Ne presents an unexpected and possibility based creativity.

INTJs: How to deal with Low Self-Esteem and Emotional Emptines

Asthma asked: As an intj how do you deal with :
– lack of confidence/ low self-esteem.
– emotional emptiness.

Low Self-Esteem

I’ve never had a problem with low self-esteem myself, but I suspect that my methods for dealing with self-criticism could apply to your question just fine.

My interior monologue often runs along these lines: Why don’t I feel anything? Why don’t I care that this person in front of me is crying? Am I a bad person? Did l have to say that? It may have been true, but it wasn’t kind. I am a terrible friend. etc.

Here’s how I deal with it. Continue reading