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  1. #1
    Member ps646566's Avatar
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    Lightbulb A Manual for INTJ's

    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 ?
    INTJ bordering on ISTJ

  2. #2
    GirlAmerica
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    • 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.
    And just because you bring the facts of such to light in someone elses life/world...does not mean they wish to correct it...even if they say they do.
    Some people simply prefer/like to live life that way.

  3. #3
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I like your points. However, I dislike this last one. It's true for most people. It's also true that most people will not give a true 100% day after day. I've seen people who dream big and commit even bigger and pull off the most amazing things that truly have made a huge difference in this world. (And inspired a lot of others to make a difference, so if you count the ripple effects one person can make a huge difference.)
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nonpareil's Avatar
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    Those are all wise words ps646566! I know what you are saying and I think inheriently I know all this. The thing is actually living it.

    I would like to read more about what you think we, INTJ's need to know and your opinion on life in general.

    Can I ask? What do you consider as substantial life experience? Because I think that it's not about age that gives a person experiences but the amount/quality of experience they have in their life.

    Just because someone is (for example) 60, does not mean he/she has more experience than a 25 year old (for example) who had a difficult life and has been living on his/her own since he/she was 14. Some of us grow up faster and learn a lot more from our experiences and some of us don't. I'm just curious what you view as life experience...

    Thanks.
    Sorry for any typos, spelling or grammer errors but I'm a bit preoccupied planning my wedding.
    Or if you want to read more about me and help me gain more insight to your world (I do need more experiences in life), feel free to skim through my blog.

  5. #5
    Member ps646566's Avatar
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    I'm not 60 yet, but well on the way ! I guess I meant relatively substantial life experience, on the supposition that the majority of the forum users will be younger. Age does correlate closely to life experience, though I accept that what people have done, and specifically experienced in their lives, has a significant bearing as well. Life experience is like any other form of experience -- the more you do it the better you should get at it. But then again some people just get into bad habits and never lose them, regardless. A lot of the experience that I can call on emanates from 35 years working in a very large, and generally unforgiving, bureaucracy.

    Your point about it being a lot easier to say these things than to live them out is well made, and of course very true. I wish that I had had more of a helping hand in that respect in my youth. But forums like this did not of course exist then. Even so, some things will not change us just by being said to us -- we just have to learn by experience, often the hard way.

    The other poster's comment above about my last bullet point is fair enough. If people believe that they are making a difference then all well and good. However I think that many people try to make a beneficial difference but get progressively frustrated. My point was intended to convey that if you are one of those people -- and arguably this personality type is predisposed to the problem -- then try not let it ruin your life. In other words -- Don't Worry; Be Happy !
    INTJ bordering on ISTJ

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    In other words -- Don't Worry; Be Happy !
    Hear that dear (Non)?

    Anyway, I'm curious to hear how, in theory, an over protected and thus life-experience limited INTJ could gain broad experience after the fact... What would you suggest going out and doing? Everything? Anything in particular?

    Or perhaps, even better, when you think back over your life, what are the things you remember the most? What past experiences defined you... or what do you regret not doing?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nonpareil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Hear that dear (Non)?
    I hear it loud and clear dear! I'm not worried, I just don't know how to be happy.

    Anyway, I'm curious to hear how, in theory, an over protected and thus life-experience limited INTJ could gain broad experience after the fact... What would you suggest going out and doing? Everything? Anything in particular?
    If you are wondering, pt is talking mainly about me. I have been over protected and sheltered from most (if not all) life experiences. Before I was 19 and broke free, I didn't know or experience anything outside of what my family let me. I'm now quite lost and confused about who I am and what I'm suppose to do.

    Or perhaps, even better, when you think back over your life, what are the things you remember the most? What past experiences defined you... or what do you regret not doing?
    Pt is quite worried about me and I just want to learn and grow. I, too am curious what are advice you have and what experiences you benefited most from ps646566?

    Thanks
    Sorry for any typos, spelling or grammer errors but I'm a bit preoccupied planning my wedding.
    Or if you want to read more about me and help me gain more insight to your world (I do need more experiences in life), feel free to skim through my blog.

  8. #8
    Senior Member developer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post

    Any other suggestions, especially from those who have substantial life experience ?
    I am approaching 50, and I can only applaud you for your post. This is one of the smartest things I have read lately. Could somebody, please put this post into a time machine and send it to my address, like, 30 years back ?

    Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait.....

  9. #9
    Member ps646566's Avatar
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    If you don't know how to be happy then it might be due to non-clinical depression, rather than personality trait as such, (though I suspect that there are connections there which are not fully understood). Have you tried or thought about St John's Wort ?

    I can't pretend to have had an unsatisfactory or particularly difficult life in the material or the practical sense. But it has been one with at least its fair share of angst -- often without real foundation. I have found however that by trying to progressively adopt the 'principles' that I describe above, the irrational angst has tailed off significantly over the years.

    Personality classification etc appears to be far less well known over here than in N America, and I suspect that most Brits, outside the expert fields, would not have a clue what MBTI etc is. Jargon like INTJ does nevertheless represent a convenient way of pigeon-holing people who share certain characteristics and therefore potentially similar inherent advantages/disadvantages in life. I'm sure that part of my failure to be as contented and fulfilled as I should have been, particularly in my younger days, was due to a being of a relatively 'non-optimally-adjusted' personality type. Some of the ways that I learned to deal with it may therefore be of some benefit to others sharing similar traits. If not, well it's an interesting discussion anyway !
    INTJ bordering on ISTJ

  10. #10
    Doesn't Read Your Posts Haight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • Don’t get too preoccupied with believing yourself to be special or different.
    Wow. What will I do with all the free time. . . . Hm. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • 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).
    *checks off list* Done!

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • It helps to accept that you can’t have it all ways – be philosophical.
    Another big time saver.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • Other people’s stupidity, laziness, incompetence, and insincerity will no doubt frequently surprise, irritate, and depress you.
    Sing it, preacher man.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • Secondly learn to pick targets carefully and (at least sometimes) snipe from behind chimneys rather than going in all-guns-blazing.
    *checks off list* Done!

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • 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.
    *checks off list* I learned that lesson around age 20.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • Don’t try to be what you’re not
    Sorry my friend, but that's bad advice.

    If I were to be what I am at all times, then I would never leave the house, because what I am is a hermit/recluse. And although that idea is very appealing - the bit about staying home all the time - it's a drain on the funds, if you know what I'm saying.

    Besides, the chameleon trait is there for a purpose and it should be used to its fullest, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • 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.
    Don't let them. That's my rule.

    Again, learned that one around age 20. Your personality is such that those types try to take advantage of the quiet, shy, and passive INT personality. However, letting someone take advantage of you is weak. And no INTJ is going to allow the weak to prevail over them. . . are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    • 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 ?
    Here's your answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by ps646566 View Post
    after all we apparently represent only 2% of the population
    So I guess you have to be older than me for the "disillusionment" to end.
    "The only time I'm wrong is when I'm questioning myself."
    Haight

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