It is probably typically INTJ, and possibly INTP, to expect the world at large to change in order to better accommodate us. But it isn’t going to happen. Having acquired substantial life-experience, I can offer some perspective on how to cope with life in general. Forgive me if these homilies sound like stating the obvious, but in my experience they are not necessarily adhered to by those who would benefit from adhering to them. I wish that I had done so to a greater extent earlier in life :-
• Adolescence is difficult for most people -- all the more so if you feel, and seem, a bit ‘different’. However it does get easier as you grow up, especially if you are prepared to make some effort to conform, where conformity is not too compromising that is.
• Don’t get too preoccupied with believing yourself to be special or different. A downside of a website like this is that it can reinforce such beliefs. Contrary to what some people would argue, the personality distinctions are not black and white, but are in fact shades of grey. Anyway we are all different by virtue of conditioning factors -- upbringing, life experience etc. People of other personality traits have their problems too, eg vulnerability, lack of assertiveness, or lack of perseverance.
• Most people cannot tolerate being confronted with the uncomfortable truth, but we are masters at delivering it. This is especially the case when it's accompanied by the feeling that we can see right through them – which we often can. It therefore helps to train yourself to think before speaking, and to hold back when the likely adverse consequences outweigh the beneficial ones (and let’s face it we should be good at figuring that one out).
• Sticking to one’s principles and beliefs will certainly help you to sleep nights. But it comes at a price, and such an approach does not make life any easier in many situations. It helps to accept that you can’t have it all ways – be philosophical.
• Other people’s stupidity, laziness, incompetence, and insincerity will no doubt frequently surprise, irritate, and depress you. Accept that the nature of society reflects in large part people whose brains are wired differently from ours (after all we apparently represent only 2% of the population, and our INTP soul-mates another 3%). Get over it -- it’s a very imperfect world.
• Regarding conflicts and confrontations, firstly learn to pick the battles which are big enough to fight but small enough to win. Secondly learn to pick targets carefully and (at least sometimes) snipe from behind chimneys rather than going in all-guns-blazing.
• If and when accused of not being a ‘team player’, or suchlike, it often helps to invite the accuser to state exactly what they mean by ‘the team’, and what are it’s primary objective/s. This approach does not win many friends (see above point), but does tend to disarm the protagonist, and in rare cases may even induce them to reconsider their stance to the benefit of all.
• Unless you are Richard the Lionheart, don’t try to lead crusades.
• Most people judge others on a fairly superficial basis, especially initially. So getting on better with people can to some extent be a forced exercise, with a few old tricks :- smile, give a firm handshake, make deliberate eye contact, remember names and use them, indulge in small talk and crack a few jokes. These things do not necessarily come naturally, but they can be self-trained with a bit of effort.
• Don’t try to be what you’re not -- play to your strengths, and play down your weaknesses. This applies in private as well as working life, and may in fact be easier outside the work environment. For example, if too much interaction with others is irksome, then don’t get too involved in joining clubs or societies, and especially don’t get involved with committees, etc.
• Nobody likes a smart-arse, but they sometimes grudgingly respect them. Nevertheless your intelligence, logic, and rationality will not always be acknowledged or appreciated. Sadly, being right often has nothing to do with it. People with less intellect, but other ‘attributes’, such as persuasive charm, bullying ability, or animal cunning will use these to steal a march on you, often successfully. Again, be philosophical.
• Chances are that little that you ever say or do will make any significant difference. Wanting to change the world for the better is a worthy aim of youth, but it will only lead to disillusionment if carried too far into adult life. And anyway let’s be logical and realistic -- how many people ever really do make a significant difference ?
Any other suggestions, especially from those who have substantial life experience ?