The INTJ Mind (guest post)


I took the Meyer-Briggs personality profile test several times in the past and I tracked towards ISTJ. I am an engineer by profession, or I used to be. I thought that the profile was alright but not a bull’s eye. In my profession, attention to and appreciation of details is mandatory but I find that a manic attachment to a process or minutia for which I saw in many of my contemporaries is mundane. I want to soar by handling complex interactions and how they relate to each other and that just wasn’t something they were interested in or could even contemplate.

For me, I want people who interact to show me their qualities so that I can figure out how they are designed and can best be utilized. Owning a title is a bore; I want to get something accomplished. Now, do I want to be appreciated for my accomplishments? Absolutely! But not so that I get my star on the walk of fame but rather to remind people of what I am able to do and to get me into the fray for the next big thing.

As I progressed in my career as well as my life experiences, I realized that I was embracing much more the intuitive side of interactions rather than systems. I charted close to the line between the two and I presume I see the need for systems but I do not want them to rule my thinking. That is how dogma gets incubated. I then took the test again with my increasing sense of intuition and charted as INTJ. I read the write up on the mindset – wiring if you will – and I found a compatibility that was severely missing emotionally with the ISTJ mindset. I also found out that the INTJ profile is extremely rare. Well, no wonder I can’t seem to find people who act and operate the same way as I do! I do also want to say that I chart towards both strategic thinking (as opposed to tactical) and am pretty strong in self-awareness.

These last two aspects are fairly recent in what I have learned about myself and others. Strategic thinking, while it is considered a valuable asset I find it confusing to people who do not have it. Unfortunately, you can’t really develop it, it is innate. And to use an old reference, talking to people about strategic aspects is akin to Elwood P. Dowd talking about his 6-foot invisible rabbit named Harvey. It takes patience and a lot of re-explaining. Self-awareness, or should I say a lack of it, is very odd to me. How can you not implicitly recognize what makes yourself tick??? I have spent a LOT of energy trying to council or attempt to assuage a person who doesn’t even know that they are in a bad – or good – place or why. That is very confounding but at least I now recognize the quirk.

By the way, anyone who has this affliction and cannot understand their emotions and the underlying events that cause them, I recommend that you journal. Journaling is something that sounds “young girlish” and somewhat silly but you need to understand why it is valuable. Today you will write mundane things in your journal and will probably do so for the near future. But when you take the time to slow down and write, your mind that is not in the forefront begins to be attached to your handwriting and eventually, it manifests. Breaking through to aspects of your psyche that you did not recognize is probably going to be transcendent for you.

Anyway, back to this column and INTJ. I embrace, demand actually, physics as the basis for any ideas or directions. Unless you are living in a dimension that is different than me, gravity is something that must be recognized. Floating weightlessly up to the ceiling or a tall building may be a nice flight of fancy but it isn’t something to presume. I always say in the philosophical question “Function or Form?” FUNCTION!!!!……and then get the most form to fit the function. And then perhaps, but this is somewhat a rare event, you give up some of the function for a significant increase in form. Or to use a more concrete (an engineering pun!) example, if it were up to an engineer, we would all be living in cubic buildings because they are the most efficient use of the material in relation to volume contained – well except for spheres and those would be difficult to manufacture. But the human experience would feel wanting for living in such a stoic lifestyle. And so we chart towards art to lift our hearts, just not to the point that the plane looks fabulous but is inclined to drop out of the sky.

I was talking to someone about my inclinations and I found it humorous that INTJs want to take over the world. I prefer to think it as “mastermind” or “architect” rather than megalomaniac but I do get the drift. I said that I feel like General Patton in the Land of the Teletubbies. I also thought of the kid’s cartoon Pinky and the Brain. Great ideas and the idiots who seem to suck the progress out of things.

So, what does a person whose inclination is to better the world in which I am in, in a world that wants to play incessantly and break things? It leaves a LOT to be desired. I will let you know what I have found. I will only add that I am becoming more spiritual and have found a church who FINALLY gets it, or should I say I haven’t been disappointed yet. If anything, I can find people who want good things for this world and the world for their progeny and that is as good of a resource as I can find.

Good luck to each and every one of you. I hope you take the time to write your own soliloquy. I will also add to the dialog…how long did it take you to write it and clean it up to a level that you were okay with publishing? As of now, it has taken about 1 ½ hours. I may have left out things and my grammatical infirmities could be cleaned up. But I track more towards the 85-percent complete rather than obsessing over the fit and finish. Not that I do not appreciate it, but rather I prefer to have (if I had the luxury) an editor to clean it up for public consumption. But since we are in a small community of ideas I am not worried. Take care.

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