The Rambles of Neil Monnery

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On having a type INTJ personality…

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So today out of curiosity I decided to take the Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test that was laid out by Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types. It came out that I was a type INTJ personality. So I toddled off to read up all about it and boy, you know what, it isn’t inaccurate in many, many ways.

An introduction to this personality type is below:

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like manoeuvring. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

So people of my personality type form just 2% of the population. I am apparently imaginative yet decisive, I think we can check that. I have many thoughts and I consider them greatly but when I make a decision on something, I progress. I’m ambitious but a very private individual. People may think that doesn’t add up because I write so openly at times but I only write what I don’t mind people knowing. There is so much that I don’t say – and I won’t say – because I quite simply do not want to. Curious. Well I think I can safely tick that box and I don’t waste energy on projects that I don’t believe are worth my time. When I think something is then boy I’ll attack it and give it my all and we’ll get to that later…

A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.

A starry-eyed idealist and a bitter cynic. Ding, ding, ding. That is something that I could have etched on my tombstone should I never have one (which I won’t). Be it in my personal life or in my views about how we can get to a Utopian society, I have idealism flowing through my veins but also I am a realist and very cynical about whether we can as a society ever get there. Nothing is impossible, many, many things are improbable but finding things that are impossible is hard.

Strengths of an INTJ type personality:

Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind
High Self-Confidence
Independent and Decisive
Hard-working and Determined
Open-Minded
Jacks-of-all-Trades

Interesting. I don’t tick all these boxes with a complete tick but there is a lot of ink next to all of them. I am surprisingly quick and imaginative. My mind is extremely strategic. I have high self-confidence with regards to what I believe and what I do for a living. I’m good at what I do. In my personal life I don’t have these traits but apparently not all INTJ’s do, in fact there is more to come on this later. I’m extremely (to the point of fiercely) independent and if I reach out for help or advice that either I truly value someone’s opinion and/or I’m in a bad place where I genuinely am lost at to what is the best course of action.

I can be very hard-working when something piques my interest. For example many moons ago I did American West in GCSE history. It interested me so I read all about it and obliterated the exam. When I was a Sports Editor I cared passionately about it and would often work many hours at home outside of office hours. Open-Minded…yeah I don’t think that needs any further comment, do you? As for Jack-of-all-Trades, that means that I can turn my hand to many things and I think I quite possibly could. When I took my current position I was no expert but I have developed the skills I need to a good standard.

Weaknesses of an INTJ type personality:

Arrogant
Judgemental
Overly analytical
Loathe highly structured environments
Clueless in romance

Looking at the top two and it hurts a wee bit and I question whether they are accurate but you know what, maybe, just maybe they are. Here is the full breakdown of the Arrogant situation:

INTJs are perfectly capable of carrying their confidence too far, falsely believing that they’ve resolved all the pertinent issues of a matter and closing themselves off to the opinions of those they believe to be intellectually inferior. Combined with their irreverence for social conventions, INTJs can be brutally insensitive in making their opinions of others all too clear.

Really interesting. I suppose at times I do come across as insensitive. I like to think that I take the opinions of others to heart and don’t close myself off to them but looking back I can easily see multiple instances where I was (and still am) so cock-sure that I was right and other people were wrong. As for being judgemental, I like to think of myself as one of the least judgemental people around but there are certain lines where I will judge people. Those who are intolerant of others differences whether they be sexual, racial, gender etc. just doesn’t sit well with me at all. As an example, If you are someone who genuinely believes that British people have more right to live and work here than people from other countries then I’m not going to like that and I’m going to struggle mightily to like those people.

Overly analytical, loathe highly structured environments, clueless in romance. Well yeah I think it is safe to say the boxes next to those three are completely ticked. I analyse everything to the nth degree and at times I hate myself for doing that but I do. I not like highly structured environments, I have written before about how creativity and individualism is something to nurture and cherish and is the lifeblood of a successful society. I have also been that way in work environments, my opinion is you hire me to do a job so let me do the job, nudge me in one direction or another but don’t micromanage, it stifles me and frustrates me immensely. The good bosses I’ve had have let me have my head and they’ve been rewarded with good results. Clueless in romance. Lets delve into that one further…

This antipathy to rules and tendency to over-analyse and be judgemental, even arrogant, all adds up to a personality type that is often clueless in dating. Having a new relationship last long enough for INTJs to apply the full force of their analysis on their potential partner’s thought processes and behaviours can be challenging. Trying harder in the ways that INTJs know best can only make things worse, and it’s unfortunately common for them to simply give up the search. Ironically, this is when they’re at their best, and most likely to attract a partner.

*looks at the screen, shrugs and smiles*

INTJs are defined by their confidence, logic, and exceptional decision-making, but all of this hides a turbulent underbelly – their emotions. People with the INTJ personality type take pride in remaining rational and logical at all times, considering honesty and straightforward information to be paramount to euphemisms and platitudes in almost all circumstances. In many ways though, these qualities of coolness and detachment aren’t the weapons of truth that they appear to be, but are instead shields designed to protect the inner emotions that INTJs feel. In fact, because their emotions are such an underdeveloped tool, INTJs often feel them more strongly than many overtly emotional types because they simply haven’t learned how to control them effectively.

This is genuinely one of the most interesting paragraphs that I have read today on this issue. A shield to protect our inner emotions and the fact emotions are so underdeveloped that at times we feel them more strongly than many other people because we haven’t learned to control them effectively. I gotta be honest and this has hit the nail on my own head rather spectacularly. I am so unemotional it is scary but when I feel, whether it be positive or negative feelings then I feel them so hard and I struggle to deal with them. They overwhelm me to some degree.

INTJs are brilliantly intellectual, developing a world in their heads that is more perfect than reality. People entering this world need to fit this fantasy, and it can be incredibly difficult for INTJs to find someone up to the task. Needless to say, finding a compatible partner is the most significant challenge most INTJs will face in life.

Now you tell me world. Now you tell me. I am however enjoying reading about how intellectual I apparently am. reading all this analysis that I am it really bangs on about it. I am educated to a good degree but have never been academic. I was one of those straight B without doing any work students unless I found something interesting and then I went all out on it. I remember once I decided to answer a question that we weren’t taught in an exam – one of those ‘either answer question 3 or question 4’ type essay questions and we were taught the ecosystems sections of the syllabus but I decided I knew more about renewable energy as it had interested me personally so I took that question instead. I got an A. I once resat two module exams where I got high B’s as I thought I could do better, the teachers actually backed me, I repaid their faith with a 97% and a 98%. So yes I can be smart when I try and I have never failed an exam, at any level. I even got 76% in a three-hour Journalism law exam that I finished within 25 minutes. I read through the paper and my answers and walked out just after the half hour mark. Everyone thought I’d just spectacularly failed but I knew I’d done well. I had actually got full marks on every important question.

On the romantic notion of finding a compatible partner being one of the, if not the, most significant challenges that I will face in my lifetime then that doesn’t shock me. If I’m being brutally honest (and lets be real here – apparently that is what I do) then I could count the amount of people where I’ve genuinely thought I was naturally compatible with them on all levels on one hand and I wouldn’t need all of the digits. Those people I would’ve done nearly anything for. I truly would’ve done.

INTJs seek strong, deep relationships, and trust their knowledge and logic to ensure that their partner is satisfied, both intellectually and physically.

Yep. I think that is extremely fair.

INTJs will keep up with just a few good friends, eschewing larger circles of acquaintances in favour of depth and quality.

I can see this. I don’t – and never have – had a large circle of friends. Those I choose to have friendships with I will trust vehemently and would do most things for. In my dark times I have a handful of people that I will turn to. In dark times there are a handful of people I know will turn to me. I am one of those people that can keep a friendship close and heartfelt even if we don’t see or talk to each other in a long time. There are people for example from high school where I’d still drop everything if they needed me because I trusted and valued them then and despite time apart, they’ve never done anything for that trust and value to have eroded. I might not go to them with my problems any more but if they came to me with them I’d be receptive. In short those I value, I value extremely highly but it takes a long time for me in usual circumstances to value and trust someone but once I do, they have it all.

When they are in their comfort zone though, among people they know and respect, INTJs have no trouble relaxing and enjoying themselves. Their sarcasm and dark humour are not for the faint of heart, nor for those who struggle to read between the lines, but they make for fantastic story-telling among those who can keep up. This more or less limits their pool of friends to fellow Analysts (NT) and Diplomat (NF) types, as Observant (S) types’ preference for more straightforward communication often simply leaves both parties frustrated.

It’s not easy to become good friends with INTJs. Rather than traditional rules of social conduct or shared routine, INTJs have exacting expectations for intellectual prowess, uncompromising honesty and a mutual desire to grow and learn as sovereign individuals. INTJs are gifted, bright and development-oriented, and expect and encourage their friends to share this attitude. Anyone meeting these expectations will appreciate them of their own accord, forming a powerful and stimulating friendship that will stand the test of time.

True facts folks. Sarcastic, dark humour, I can tell a fantastic story and genuinely I am a very good storyteller. It is hard to become good friends with me, the amount of good friends that I consider myself to have is extremely limited. Yet I think I can say – hand on heart – that I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out with someone whom I consider a close friend. Obviously I have drifted from some of these people as life takes over but I have never fallen out with one.

I can also say that I can perfectly see why many people who are acquaintances or that I wouldn’t consider myself to be that close to end up not liking me. I am extremely easy-going but I get immensely frustrated at social conventions and bitchiness. I am pretty straight talking and if I like you then you’ll know and if I don’t then you’ll probably know that too. A couple of weeks back I was out and pointed out someone to who I was with and said, ‘see that girl over there, she fucking hates my guts and I have no idea why’. The person in question was someone I knew but not that well and then one day she slagged me off like anything and literally would walk out of any room I walked into with disdain. The person I was with said, ‘that seems to happen a lot with you’ and you know what, it does seem to. Reading all this personality guff maybe there are reasons behind it. Maybe I just wear on those who aren’t in tune with how I think.

Though they may be surprised to hear it, INTJs make natural leaders, and this shows in their management style. INTJs value innovation and effectiveness more than just about any other quality, and they will gladly cast aside hierarchy, protocol and even their own beliefs if they are presented with rational arguments about why things should change. INTJs promote freedom and flexibility in the workplace, preferring to engage their subordinates as equals, respecting and rewarding initiative and adopting an attitude of “to the best mind go the responsibilities”, directing strategy while more capable hands manage the day-to-day tactics.

Can’t argue with any of that. There is a time for structure but on many more occasions you have to gives people their heads and allow them to put forward their ideas and allow people the opportunity to get passionate about something. Many workplaces are too structured and in a structured environment you’ll always stand put or take small incremental steps forward. If you allow innovation and give opportunity to try other ideas or ways to work then you could see quantum leap steps. You have to have belief in those you employ are capable to do the job that you employed them for. I know that I have struggled when my ideas and creativity gets stifled and if you can’t take ownership of your work then you don’t care as much and therefore you won’t work as hard. If a manager gives you your head then you’ll care more, work harder and the likelihood of success and positive steps are far greater.

Few personality types are as mysterious and controversial as INTJs. Possessing intellect and strategic thinking that allow them to overcome many challenging obstacles, INTJs have the ability to both develop and implement a plan for everything, including their own personal growth.

Yet INTJs can be easily tripped up in areas where careful and rational thinking is more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a partner, making friends, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder or adapting to the unpredictable, INTJs need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and additional skills.

This has been a tremendous exercise for me. I feel like I understand myself more now than I did when I woke up this morning and I will continue to read up more on this subject in the coming days, weeks and months. I have often wondered why certain things happen the way they do and maybe in large part it is quite simply down to my personality traits. Maybe as the conclusion above recommends I need to work on my weaker traits and not just think they’ll come good because maybe they just won’t come good because I want them to. Maybe I have to actually work on being a better person. If you are close to me then you’ll probably think I’m a worthwhile presence in your life but if you aren’t then the opposite is quite possibly true. There are reasons my circle of friends is so few, there are reasons my forays into romance haven’t always been so fruitful, there are reasons I work from home and am more productive in doing so.

All in all though I feel as though I can understand myself better today than what I did yesterday and that is part of the journey of life, always striving to understand more and having that unquenchable thirst for knowledge, both of the world and about ourselves.

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Written by neilmonnery

November 11th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Personal

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