Portrait of an INTJ
According to the myers-briggs test I'm an INTJ. It's the one that fits me perfectly so I wasn't really surprised when I took the test. Any other INTJs here? As an INTJ I pretty much only ever feel comfortable socially in small groups of people (with other NTs, if I am understanding this model correctly) and during my 17 years of living I've mostly avoided big social gatherings, and when I'm at one I tend to stay "in the shadows", perhaps finding some interesting people and have conversations with (not just serious conversations, I'm not necessarily a bore to hang out with haha).
Now to the reason I created the thread, I just came home from a big social gathering of 30+ people (distant relatives) and I believe most people there ended up thinking I was arrogant. Is there some social skills I need to work on? What specifically? When sitting around a table with lots of people chatting about something I find meaningless/stupid/can't relate to I don't really know how to take part in it.
Oh god, group small talk is the bane of my existence.... I've tried and tried but I haven't yet found a way to enjoy it.... basically you have to realize the conversation is driven just based on respect for the other people instead of actually wanting to communicate information/have fun. So yeah, IMO if you're comfortable with yourself, in most cases I agree it's pointless....
BUT it's a useful life skill too. I eventually learned how to talk more comfortably because I was so tired of being out of the loop, and trapped in a corner with no one in big social situations - basically I realized that yes - people actually judge you on your willingness to participate in something so pointless. Don't be afraid of it - it's better to say something, even if you actually do sound arrogant (which you probably wouldn't) than say nothing at all. Just talk about yourself if nothing else - they're making an effort to get to know people there. If you can't relate, let them know in a socially acceptable way (yeah I know harder said than done). I'm an INFP I think :D
Well, I've noticed once I really let go and start talking freely I usually dominate the conversation, sort of. And in small groups that's fine, but in big groups I feel too out of sync with the rest. It does feel others don't have the same depth of thinking as me and I'm not saying that's necessarily because I'm more intelligent as a person, but perhaps you need to get in a more stupid state while socializing? I don't know...
No haha I think you're just smarter than the average person... also it took me a while to realize this, but people when they talk, aren't often trying to convey information for how it is literally, but simply how they feel about it, even if it sounds like they are being literal. This often results in them not being careful about the details of their speech (they aren't focusing on that) or they're too caught up in their ego, trying speak in a way that others will understand. Feel free to get offended when someone speaks to you as if you're 8 years old, seriously - but don't sacrifice your intelligence, it's a part of who you are.
I was wanting to discuss this sort of thing too. I have come out the MB as an INTP, by the way.
I agree with some of what's been said. I tend to find the conversation in such situations pretty difficult. To me, it's like there's a kind of social game being played. Perhaps few believe that what is being said and acted out is that 'genuine' but because everyone seems to be doing it, then each of us believes that the other people believe it is 'genuine' and so we have little choice but to conform.
There is the introvert v. extrovert difference as well. Perhaps the extrovert type is quite happy playing the social game and wants to play it, even is able to be more genuine within it, while the introvert not only isn't very good at playing it, but thinks it is a bad game also.
Personally, I'm becoming more and more reluctant to enagage in such social games. Even in one-to-one relationships with those who are closest I am not able to be genuine. I fear I would be rejected. Even on this forum I will not be genuine although moreso than in 'real' life and that is largely why I am here.
I feel I am rejected for who I am to some extent and so to survive in some genuine way I have started to reject those social situations that always seem to conform to the game of making out things are a certain way.
In terms of advice, it is hard to give because I don't know what you are trying to achieve, I have little success myself, and we are all coming from and going to somewhere slightly or greatly different from each other in our life experiences. But if someone were to try and advise me to learn to play the game, at the moment I'd want to tell them where to go.
That said, I'm quite happy to play the game of superficial relationships in superficial situations e.g. business transactions. What bothers me is when the people involved are meant to be important to me personally and I still have to play this BS game.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I am finding this stuff really interesting to read, hard to comprehend that others actually perceive the world in such a different way. Also, I don't think whether you're an introvert or extravert plays such a big role in this, more the sensing/intuition side? Or I'm just reading too much into this...
that's an excellent point... I think it's all a game because obviously people aren't going to get to know you in the first 5 mins of a convo. So it's because they don't know who you are that it becomes a game.... Thing is, in most human relationships, the end goal isn't always to get to learn each other, and build something out of it... I just wish people took more time to build personal connections than fake on the surface-type relationships.
We introverts gotta stick together :D
In the big social situation, perhaps there is nothing problematic about superficiality. I mean, unless there are particular people there with which you want to become more intimate, then it would follow that you would remain at the superficial level.
But when in that big social situation such as a gathering of family, the set up, the assumption, the basis of the event, is that the people are important to one another. And if the level of interaction is so superficial at what is meant to be the deepest sort of gathering, then I reject that.
If I am doing something important then I want to talk about what is important to me.
Well I agree with you. It's just an inevitability that things in groups of people that you don't know are going to be superficial... yeah :(.
However I'll add that most families have a few specific activities or topics of discussion that really brings them together, because everyone enjoys doing it (usually for the sake of togetherness - but that feels good). If these people really matter to you, then you should speak up about what you really care about, and you can judge their following reactions... either that or find a close group of other people in which to talk about what really matters to you... I'm learning (at least this applies to my family) that even families don't have to know every fiber of your existence --- sometimes I wish they did, so they could be an immortal pillar of support throughout my life, but that's not the case with me anymore.
Do these people really matter to me?
If they do matter, in some relevant important way, why should I speak up?
And now your getting me to the point of one thing that's really bothering me lately. I think I do kind of long for another to know every fiber of my existence, as you put it. And also to have that immortal pillar of support. I want to be able to say or do anything to somebody and not be rejected by them. I want someone who really will be there through thick and thin.
What I'm seeing at the moment is that there is no one like this in my life. I know I am asking a lot and if you were to ask me if I would reciprocate these thinhs I'd probably say 'no'. But this just seems to leave a world full of individuals who will not go beyond their self-interest when it comes down to it. Such a world feels lacking to me in some way.
In this context, I admire something like a suicide pact where two people give themselves completely to the other in the ultimate way. Perhaps not the best example but it gets at the magnitude of what I'm talking about.
I understand where you're coming from - I feel like that a lot myself. I wish I was closer with my family. I wish I had 1 or 2 best friends instead of 25 acquaintances that don't know me for who I am. I think to some degree we're all searching for that - unconditional love I guess you could call it. I live in Detroit and sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by tons of people that need this - several have personality disorders, or are having many huge financial problems with no one to help them or sympathize. They probably never had that in their life.
Most of us are chasing a consistent source of happiness but they're unwilling to be persistent to get it. My best advice is try something crazy - give something your all, whether it be a goal or a person, and just see what happens. You might get very hurt, which is okay, you'll recover - but it might be the best decision you've ever made. I say this, though I need to follow my own advice and do this soon - it's about time...
I've also been following the other thread you have going. I think you feel the need to argue because having strong opinions is part of who you are - if someone argues back with you, they are asserting a strong opinion too - not defending themselves like some people are doing - but actually bringing forth a perspective - how they feel deeply. Maybe this is a point to connect with you on - because no one has ever responded to your opinion - they have only seen your intention as to bother them (or they see your expression as disrespect). Does it feel like that? Because I've had this problem much of my life and that's how it feels to me. You seem rather intuitive. You know why people say things. Feel free to argue here.
I'm an INTJ. I have no problems socially, but I am not really a social person. I prefer solitude to social interaction, but I do enjoy one on one or small group socialization, with no more than 3 people total. Not a big fan of groups. Everything meaningful usually gets lost in group conversation. I work the night shift with one other person, and have had some really great conversations with the people I work with and that's enough for me. I took the Meyer's Briggs test at least 2 or 3 times over the past 4 or 5 years and scored the same every time, so there is no doubt that that is who I am.
And I am very happy that way, as I have a variety of interests and read voraciously about a variety of things, and also read fiction from time to time. I feel kind of like Thoreau and have always felt a kinship with him.
Edit: I just thought of something funny: All INTJ's unite!...but only in small groups.
I am an INTJ too.
I think INTJs tend to come most alive when interacting with people who share a common interest.
Eg you are an INTJ and you are interested in books or astronomy. You join a book club or an astronomy club and you meet people who are interested in books/astronomy.
This is the kind of setting when INTJs suddenly come alive, and become their most interesting and animated selves.
Haha, how cool. I can definitely relate. I'm an INTJ too.
Like you, I often come across as arrogant, even though I don't mean to. And like you, I don't like enjoy group settings.
Actually, over the years, I've adjusted more to enjoy hanging out with multiple people at once, but I still do it in low doses because it drains my energy.
The best advice I can give to someone who is still learning how to "deal" with being this particular personality type is to listen more to yourself and anyone else. Haha, I trust this won't be a problem for you.
I say this because, chances are what will make you happy in life will be more than just a little bit different than what will make most happy. You have unique gifts and advantages, but you need to learn to utilize them – and this requires a certain amount of doing your own thing.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about building more social skills as long as you can actually communicate with people without getting too nervous or anything. The only reason I would do that is if your job requires it or something, and if that is the case, find a job that you are naturally suited for.
Anyhow, it's good to communicate with other INTJs!
I am mostly an INTJ myself and i can certainly understand the not wanting to be around lots of people thing, especially for long periods of time.
Well on to your questions... you do not need to work on social skills if you do not wish to. i am no master conversationalist and i am perfectly happy with that. i am fully comfortable with just sitting in a corner, looking, listening and learning from the people around me (INTJ's often have an interest in psychology and large social gatherings are perfect for learning all about it) this is the only reason why i will ever go to social events, that and for the food lol. if people speak to me, i will be polite and answer questions but if i do not feel like questioning back, i simply don't.
So anyway, i say just be yourself while at the same time being respectful to others and you will have no problems. it works for me at least.
I test out as an INTJ too, although I would have guessed I was an INTP. I scored low on the "J", so not too far from Perceiving.
I've learned to handle being in large groups, and actually chose to be an instructor as I gained more confidence in my ability to be in group situations. It really helps when you have topics you excel in - not just know something about, but can be considered an "expert" by most. This makes you interesting, stimulating - and someone that others come to for advice. It's easy to make small talk when you've got the knowledge and those you talk to don't .. *L*
And I also learned how to just observe people. I can be in a large group and sit peacefully alone, watching how people interact. You see things in people that you don't tend to notice when you're talking with them. I smile at things that happen, and it's easy to keep a pleasant (i.e. not arrogant or unhappy) look on my face when I'm people-watching, because people are just so darn amusing.
It takes time to develop traits that allow you to be comfortable and confident in a social setting, when you're naturally an introvert. But it's worth it. I didn't want to limit my life by always avoiding social contact. So I pushed my way through all the awkwardness, all the angst, all the "oh my God I don't fit in!" thoughts, and found that there's really no one better than I am. I'm not saying they're WORSE than me, just not better.
Hey everyone! Im an INFJ but can relate to a lot of what is said here. I prefer being around smaller groups and tend to handle it better. As for larger groups I guess its hit and miss, sometimes i feel comfortable and other times I question myself why the hell did I show up to this group event! Anyways a while back I found this website PersonalityCafe
The website is all about the different personality types from Myers Briggs. Scroll halfway down the page and youll see each personality has its own forum for discussion.
Being a female INTJ, I have always been confused about the need for girlfriends to go to the bathroom in pairs.;) My boyfriend said a girl is "trying to bond with me" if she asks me to go to the bathroom with her. That is honestly the first time I have even began to understand this seemingly ridiculous practice. It also drives me NUTS when women get in cliquey groups and discuss other people- especially other women. Gosh it is so mean! I am sure I appear arrogant and distant at times like that and would much rather stand off to the side BY MYSELF than to listen or engage in that garbage.
I'm not sure if that entire paragraph had anything to do with being an INTJ and I'm not sure that entire paragraph had much to do with women in general but I think that INTJ's are more rare among women and I promise you that I just don't understand women much on a social basis.:confused: Now men I seem to understand better and I think that has to do with personality typing more than the actual sex of a person. Men tend to be T's and women tend to be F's. Women see to be more extroverted than men also but I don't know if that is really true.
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