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Thread: INTPs and life

  1. #1
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    Default INTPs and life

    All my life I've been the lazy slacker. I always forget deadlines and am never able to develop habits that require me to do repeated and/or arduous tasks from start to finish. In high school, studying was a rare occurrence. I spent far more time listening to music and reading wikipedia and science articles than studying shakespear or whatever else was assigned for homework that night. Thank god for my higher than average intelligence (with a touch of somewhat opaque yet still omnipresent narcissism) that got me through school without much active effort on my part.

    Textbook INTP traits, right?

    Well I'm in college now and I feel as though I've hit a brick wall. Just barely doing the homework wont cut it anymore. Long hours in the library and late nights is the name of the game if I want to get that engineering degree. Teetering so close to the proverbial "academic edge" is something I have been familiar with in the past (due to a lack of effort.....), but not on such a scale. To top it all off, the social pressures to succeed in college are immense. And man am I feeling it. Worst of all, its got me questioning my intelligence. The one thing I hold dear, the one thing I value more than anything else. It's making me feel kind of worthless.

    School has me asking if I really am smart enough, and I'm not used to it. Normally issues and challenges of or related to learning and intelligence came easily to me. It wasn't until this last semester that I became comfortable with not knowing the answer immediately. If a concept or problem in a text book or lesson befuddled me for more than a few minutes, I would literally get angry at the question and either proclaim a mistake had been made in publication or clerical error had been made when transferring the concept into a days teachings. Honestly, nothing would make me more upset. Clenched fists and just sheer anger would arise from within me. Me not understand this? Me doing work? No way! Having to work my butt off to do better at this stage in the game has me really discouraged.

    Today while reading intpcentral, I connected these ideas with the INTP personality type through a post by a woman married to an INTP man. The content of the post isn't important though, I'm just citing it as my source of inspiration for this thread. It got wondering if INTP people really are doomed to a life of external under achievement in all endeavors. Many of us are very intelligent beings and that intelligence can get us through a lot of situations with little work, but not everyone can succeed at life without any late nights. Combine the introverted nature (which doesn't let us share problems or ask for assistance) and our pretentious view of our minds (which places supreme important in any academic endeavor we undertake) with our laziness and you really have a formula for disaster. I find I'm fighting my own destructive habits as much as I'm battling the concepts and final exams.
    Before you I have laid out a synopsis of my misgivings concerning my life at this point. I've got mixed feelings about myself and my success (or lack there of) thus far; probably another product of that raw, inner focused INTP criticism. Its got me feeling (HA!) unsatisfied with where and what I am right now.

    Another crutch in the INTP personality I'd like to comment about: Relationships.
    I also recently read that marriages to INTPs are the LEAST satisfying marriages. This is both humorous and extremely disheartening at the same time. If theres one thing I desire from the world more than anything else its a meaningful and intimate connecting with a special female someone. Someone who I could tell this too instead of posting in on mbticentral (sorry guys). But it seems we cant even obtain what we desire most. Not to mention, that pretentious nature we have about ourselves would have you thinking that INTPs would be good a marriage and long lasting partnerships simply because we've though about it more. Or because we don't usually carry the emotional baggage many other type proliferate.

    What gives? These functions we posses seem to set us up for failure in every avenue, especially if you're severely afflicted with the INTP disease. It's as though we were born to be an example of what not to be. In order to live well and love well it seems that we have to defeat nearly everything that we are, save only for the intelligence. What but is INTP intelligence if its neutered by a structured life with a rigorous schedule and constant communication. I wouldn't have been able to think this up if I hadn't been alone in my room reading by myself........


    So, are we really that bad?
    Do we really need help? Are we crazy?
    Are we ever going to be successful as a distinct and independent group?
    Are we really even that intelligent?
    And best yet, would we be better off as a different personality type?
    Do any of you want to be a different personality type?

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I have struggled, and still struggle, with many of these issues, and so has an INFJ friend of mine, so I assure you it isn't an 'INTP disease'.

    As far as the school stuff, it's the same as anything, if you want something bad enough, you'll work for it. If not, you won't.

    EDIT: btw, there is no such thing as "INTP intelligence", for the record. There are smart people and dumb people of every type.

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    That was a figure of speach, Everyone is intelligent but an INTPs we use it in a different manner than someone of a different type. If we were to change, I wasn't trying to say we wouldn't be any less intelligent, but that it wouldnt be used in the same manner.

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    Senior Member Priam's Avatar
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    I think, ultimately, the difference between a disorganized procrastinator and a slacker is simple drive. I am the former and will probably remain that way until I pay or seduce someone into externally organizing my life. However, I refuse to use that trait as an excuse for how things turn out! Yes, I can turn out a product at the last minute that makes many others' hard-won successes seem mediocre, but why do that when I know I am capable of so much more? Why not let the causes I support receive the full weight of everything my talents can provide? I deserve it, so does the world, and if it means I struggle every one in a while... it proves I still have room to grow. What could be more satisfying to an NT than knowing there's more out there to know?

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Marriages with INTPs are least satisfying? What th -- where'd you read that? It sounds a bit ridiculous.

    Re: the other stuff. INTP has strengths in all categories as well as weaknesses, like all the types. You say academia is a drag, I say if you find your niche (something that gives you room to be creative and analytical), you can excel. Relationships are the same. INTPs are interesting, witty, and capable of great compassion. Your type doesn't doom you into some dismal unproductive future. Personality is flexible. Don't get too caught up in the labels and work on your faults while feeding your talents.

  6. #6
    it's a nuclear device antireconciler's Avatar
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    Me too. ^_^

    When you wonder about whether we're doomed to a life of underachievement, the first thing that comes to mind are quite a few counterexamples. Our own INTP BlueWing, for instance, tells me about how he's just never felt much motivation to achieve in the world (he's nearly antagonistic to the idea), yet he's also in the process of publishing a work on philosophy of religion. It makes me think we just worry too much about traditional ideas of achievement. My guess, and I'm kind of confident about it actually, is that if you were to take a good look at what you're doing with your life, you have projects and goals of your own. I mean, that's just part of being human. An INTP, though, might worry that his projects and goals are not adequate or satisfactory, and so may tend to cover up his own projects to prevent them from being judged, even sabatoging efforts which may seem to lie along conventional and measureable paths of "success". (Better to be seen as stubborn and unconventional than to be caught giving it your all without also being number one.)

    As for relationships, I don't know, but counterexamples again come to mind. There exist INTP's at INTPc who talk about their functioning true-to-type relationships. I feel bad that I've never managed as much, but I'm very happy for them. INTP women are real treats ... so much so that it just doesn't make any sense to give up on the idea that the most excellent relationship you can imagine really is possible. It's such a lovely idea I make it a point to keep it with me. Dare I say everyone should.

    A prominant feature of my experience is that I carry (perhaps a lot of) emotional baggage with me despite how much I love my ability to think clearly where others loose themselves to their feelings of hurt and despair, and to offer compassion and patience. Maybe we are of a different type, but I'm at least still very much an evolving being. Getting into a true-to-type relationship is precisely the fastest way to become aquainted with your own shortcomings. This might be why they don't work very often ... but when they do work, they're exceedingly brilliant.

    Stick to your guns, hey? We do alright for ourselves in the end ^_^.
    ~ a n t i r e c o n c i l e r
    What is death, dies.
    What is life, lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priam View Post
    I think, ultimately, the difference between a disorganized procrastinator and a slacker is simple drive. I am the former and will probably remain that way until I pay or seduce someone into externally organizing my life. However, I refuse to use that trait as an excuse for how things turn out! Yes, I can turn out a product at the last minute that makes many others' hard-won successes seem mediocre, but why do that when I know I am capable of so much more? Why not let the causes I support receive the full weight of everything my talents can provide? I deserve it, so does the world, and if it means I struggle every one in a while... it proves I still have room to grow. What could be more satisfying to an NT than knowing there's more out there to know?
    Eh, I try to think of it more as an explanation than an excuse. I'm not trying to become a better procrastinator whatsoever. I'd like to be a disciplined, hard worker all the time. Its just difficult to do so when I have strong natural tendencies towards forgetfulness and laziness.

    And yes the desire to know more, the grow is very appealing to me at all times, the problem is that I sometimes find it difficult to expand myself through my studies. Sometimes I'm just not interested in expanding my knowledge of differential equations or vector mechanics. Sometimes I want to read mbti central to gain a better perspective about people like myself. Or maybe I want to go driving to better my skill behind the wheel. I'm easily swayed and very impulsive. Its difficult to do the same thing over and over when I have so many other interests and desires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Marriages with INTPs are least satisfying? What th -- where'd you read that? It sounds a bit ridiculous.

    Re: the other stuff. INTP has strengths in all categories as well as weaknesses, like all the types. You say academia is a drag, I say if you find your niche (something that gives you room to be creative and analytical), you can excel. Relationships are the same. INTPs are interesting, witty, and capable of great compassion. Your type doesn't doom you into some dismal unproductive future. Personality is flexible. Don't get too caught up in the labels and work on your faults while feeding your talents.
    The marriage thing came from a thread over on intp central.

    I've found my niche. Looking at mechanical engineering on the whole, I REALLY enjoy what I'm doing. The problem is that I enjoy designing and building more so than studying. On average last semester, I put around 26 hours a week into my schools FSAE team. FSAE is a student competition where engineering students design and build an open wheel race car. The program is one of the most fulfilling and fun things I've ever done. I REALLY enjoy it. And I do believe success is possible for me, my problem just lies in the fact that I'm lazy and have yet to develop good studying skills. It's just difficult for me to pull myself out of my old habits and study properly all the time. This new experience has got me thinking I'm not quite as smart or as gifted as I thought or hoped I was. It's a somewhat irrational feeling though because, its unrealistic to think that any engineering student is going to understand everything they encounter, score well on tests and get 4.0s without much work. Despite that, those are the goals I subconsciously set for myself even though I know they are not reasonable. And thats where my first post in this thread came from.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by antireconciler View Post
    Me too. ^_^

    When you wonder about whether we're doomed to a life of underachievement, the first thing that comes to mind are quite a few counterexamples. Our own INTP BlueWing, for instance, tells me about how he's just never felt much motivation to achieve in the world (he's nearly antagonistic to the idea), yet he's also in the process of publishing a work on philosophy of religion. It makes me think we just worry too much about traditional ideas of achievement. My guess, and I'm kind of confident about it actually, is that if you were to take a good look at what you're doing with your life, you have projects and goals of your own. I mean, that's just part of being human. An INTP, though, might worry that his projects and goals are not adequate or satisfactory, and so may tend to cover up his own projects to prevent them from being judged, even sabatoging efforts which may seem to lie along conventional and measureable paths of "success". (Better to be seen as stubborn and unconventional than to be caught giving it your all without also being number one.)

    As for relationships, I don't know, but counterexamples again come to mind. There exist INTP's at INTPc who talk about their functioning true-to-type relationships. I feel bad that I've never managed as much, but I'm very happy for them. INTP women are real treats ... so much so that it just doesn't make any sense to give up on the idea that the most excellent relationship you can imagine really is possible. It's such a lovely idea I make it a point to keep it with me. Dare I say everyone should.

    A prominant feature of my experience is that I carry (perhaps a lot of) emotional baggage with me despite how much I love my ability to think clearly where others loose themselves to their feelings of hurt and despair, and to offer compassion and patience. Maybe we are of a different type, but I'm at least still very much an evolving being. Getting into a true-to-type relationship is precisely the fastest way to become aquainted with your own shortcomings. This might be why they don't work very often ... but when they do work, they're exceedingly brilliant.

    Stick to your guns, hey? We do alright for ourselves in the end ^_^.
    I can definitively relate to your first paragraph, about disguising work in order to seem mysterious and/or intelligent. I do hind behind the difficulties of engineering and use its esoteric nature to disguise the times when I've not done so well. Most people hear engineer and back away as if it were a wild animal. They respect it and admire it but don't care to get close to it because they might get hurt or misunderstand it.

    As for the relationships comment, I was referring to all INTP relationships, whether both partners are INTP or only 1. I'm a bit more optimistic (cant you tell from my post?) than the people that were originally discussing the topic, but I can see where they were coming from. My own experiences have yet to provide me with a woman who understands and can live with someone with characteristics similar to myself. My last girlfriend said she could never understand how my mind worked and would be surprised if any woman could. Although I am still very young and have a lot of time ahead of me. Thats what keeps the glass half full.

  10. #10
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    I can totally relate to the lazyness the OP talked about. All through my education I had a problem with my motivation to actually produce work even with subjects I really enjoyed. I've always thought the idea of working at home was ludicrous, since I have always seen my home as a sanctuary that must remain free from external things. The aspects of education I enjoyed were the concepts and ideas, so the actual work took a back seat. I prefered lectures, which allowed me to just take in the information and analyse it in my mind. Us INTP souls have a unique learning style.

    In regards to relationships, I do not share the OP's desire for intimacy. The compromise that goes along with it puts me off, given that I'm extremely individualistic. I also don't trust anyone(nor do I want to), so any relationship would be doomed from the start anyway. I'd much rather just avoid relationships altogether and stick to the idealised women I've created in my mind.
    "But only in their dreams can men be truly free. 'Twas always thus, and always thus will be." - Dead Poets Society

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