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Thread: Seeking advice: INTJ in an NF culture

  1. #21
    Senior Member Array Scott N Denver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    Briefly, I pointed out very clearly early on that I was talking about "To be fair, I've been in physics-based research, which is not only INTJ but seems to draw the extra-cerebral extra not-social/friendly INTJ's." Which is NOT all INTJ's. Further, most of my experiences draw from INTJ's in physics who had PhD's, or were working towards them. Clearly this is NOT all INTJ's. Briefly, I'll also say that I saw groups that had more INTJ's, and other groups that had more INTP's, or even ISTJ's. Many of the issues that I had with particular INTJ individuals I also heard peers or other coworkers, both in my own group and in other groups, mention as well. Some of these issues bothered them far more than they bothered me. None of the things I said in the exit interview seemed to surprise my interviewer, and when I asked her about that she said she'd hear a number of these kind of things before, and that "trying to manage scientists is a lot like herding cats, you can say what you want and push for what you want but they will only listen so much, and there's only so much you can do." I think it takes a particular kind of person to want to spend most of the day in a lab environment, usually working alone, doing research, computing math, writing reports, and other more NT-preferred types of tasks. I don't think that anyone should be surprised that people who want to spend most of their time alone working on those things usually aren't particularly socially inclined, and that these people's approach to social things may not align very well with most people's social expectations and preferences. And again, this is NOT all INTJ's, its about some of them who do physics research, most of whom had PhD's or were working towards them.

    Without getting too biographical, I will say that I assure that one of my bosses made that "new employees to me are average, but if you work hard in 4 years you might be above average" comment. For comparative purposes, other than this employer, EVERY official work evaluation I've ever had has been solidly in the "above average" or "highly recommend" level. I remember working for a large government organization, and there was a very marked difference between the usually-ISTJ managers, who were always very official but also had very good social and professional skills, and your usually-INTJ researchers, who had other priorities, and usually not so strong at the social skills. I never heard manager ISTJ's make disparaging comments about specific individuals, and generally they would publicly praise the accomplishments of lots of their employees.

    I know that as a NF I have a perspective not shared by many of my current or past peers, and in many cases experiences or issues that bothered me I would talk about with various peers, and in most cases we felt similarly about what had happened and how we felt about it. Sometimes, peers would come talking to me about something that happened [which I was not involved in] that bothered them. I won't spend the time to review each point I made and try to recall whether that was just my perspective or whether others also said such things, but I assure you that many [probably most, like~80%] of the things I said were echoed, or even said first!, by other people.

    Based upon what I've seen here, PM from the OP, and other discussion from the OP elsewhere, I think she will probably be fine in her new environment, and I expect that she already has plenty of experience with the kinds of people that she will generally be surrounded by.

  2. #22
    Away with the fairies Array Southern Kross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    4w5 so/sp


    INTJs can be a little hard-edged at times. You may have to watch your humour or sarcastic comments because if others haven't learned to read your personality well, it may be deemed insensitive. Don't be too blunt in raising problems or let any irritation with others lead you to speaking too hastily. Think it through a little first and try to formulate a response that isn't too accusatory in nature; keep it about you and how you are struggling with the current situation, rather than how they are failing to meet your needs. This is much more effective in getting NFs to listen to your concerns.

    But honestly, I've not had much of a problem with INTJs - in my experience they are usually pretty good with NFs. Please don't think it necessary to mimic NF interaction style. This should not be expected of you, and besides, INTJs have great skills that are appreciated by NFs. INTJs are really good at repositioning perspectives on a given situation and providing valuable insights that allow things to progress when things hit a wall. Also they often seem to be the Thinking type that are best at interpreting us, if they take the time to listen.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

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