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  1. #1
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    Default Are ISTPs the most mysterious/confusing personality type?

    As an ISTP I always feel like I'm at war with myself. It's as if someone took the personality of a jock and a nerd and tried to smush them together. The results being I'm never truly a nerd or a jock and those two sides are always in conflict. Not to mention the other thousand quirks we have makes me think being an ISTP is the hardest personality type to "use".

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    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    Hm. I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure if "use" has anything to do with it. I will say that I've always had a pretty weak persona relative to a lot of people I know, maybe due to the personality conflicts you describe. Also, I've noticed that there's all sorts of images people have of me. My varying social circles/friends all seem to have a different idea of who/what I am. I definitely put on all different kinds of personas depending on who I'm around.

    However, I don't feel like this is problematic for me. I still know how I should operate on an every day basis, and what my goals are (if that's what you meant by "use").

    Anyways, care to expand? Give examples or details?
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephMC View Post
    Hm. I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure if "use" has anything to do with it. I will say that I've always had a pretty weak persona relative to a lot of people I know, maybe due to the personality conflicts you describe. Also, I've noticed that there's all sorts of images people have of me. My varying social circles/friends all seem to have a different idea of who/what I am. I definitely put on all different kinds of personas depending on who I'm around.

    However, I don't feel like this is problematic for me. I still know how I should operate on an every day basis, and what my goals are (if that's what you meant by "use").

    Anyways, care to expand? Give examples or details?
    Ok here are more problems I have with the conflicting stuff.
    -I want to be left alone but ultimately I'm not happy when I'm alone
    -I'm both the laziest and most motivated person ever (it's hard to get control over myself sometimes)
    -People like me but I don't like people. But if I consciously suppress Ti then oh wait I actually like people.
    -Ti is always over thinking and stopping me from doing things and then I figured out I have to tell it to shut up
    -Confusing as to what I really want out of life. For example Ti telling me some goals are worthless but would make Se happy.

    When I read about other ISTPs they are either out floating directionless or they have it all figured out. I think this personality type is one of extremes. There are also many traps with the ISTP for example going into university especially for something you don't truly enjoy is a huge mistake and getting stuck in the Ti Ni loop is deadly.

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    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    I couldn't say we are more conflicted than most types, but yes, I think ISTPs can be very prone to the types of conflicts you mentioned. I definitely relate to your list. When I'm stressed, stuck between options/decisions, or not sure what direction I'm headed, I feel like a walking contradiction. If I put my Se out there, however, I can reel in enough data for my Ti to make use of, and pull myself out of whatever rut I'm in. It's the lack of data that puts me in the stressed out form of Ti + Ni. If it gets bad enough, I get pretty desperate for that data. At my worst, I overshare with people in attempt to get a rise out of them to get the input I need.

    So, based on my own history, I'm going to take a guess and say you're feeling a little stressed right now -- at least enough to make a thread (in attempt for more data/input)? If you are stressed, I'd recommend really putting in some effort to use Se more. Live in the present. Shut off Ti if it gets out of hand, and just Se it up. Pause, then think and describe: "What do I smell, taste, touch, feel, and see?" It's a method of relaxation I use, to pull myself out of my head and into my present environment.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephMC View Post
    I couldn't say we are more conflicted than most types, but yes, I think ISTPs can be very prone to the types of conflicts you mentioned. I definitely relate to your list. When I'm stressed, stuck between options/decisions, or not sure what direction I'm headed, I feel like a walking contradiction. If I put my Se out there, however, I can reel in enough data for my Ti to make use of, and pull myself out of whatever rut I'm in. It's the lack of data that puts me in the stressed out form of Ti + Ni. If it gets bad enough, I get pretty desperate for that data. At my worst, I overshare with people in attempt to get a rise out of them to get the input I need.

    So, based on my own history, I'm going to take a guess and say you're feeling a little stressed right now -- at least enough to make a thread (in attempt for more data/input)? If you are stressed, I'd recommend really putting in some effort to use Se more. Live in the present. Shut off Ti if it gets out of hand, and just Se it up. Pause, then think and describe: "What do I smell, taste, touch, feel, and see?" It's a method of relaxation I use, to pull myself out of my head and into my present environment.
    You guessed it I wanted more data even though I was not fully aware I was doing that and I can relate to everything you are saying. I have been on a warpath lately to figure out my personality once and for all. I was having trouble with motivation before but I think I have that figured out now. Not wanting to be social has been an ongoing problem and I'm still experimenting with that one even though I have improved somewhat.

    Sometimes it's hard to know who to trust or cater to more Se or Ti. Ti is your best friend in the world some days but will stab you in the back without you knowing if you trust it too much. So basically our main function can't be trusted. If there is a personality more conflicted/confusing then ours then I want to know which one it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger055 View Post
    You guessed it I wanted more data even though I was not fully aware I was doing that and I can relate to everything you are saying. I have been on a warpath lately to figure out my personality once and for all. I was having trouble with motivation before but I think I have that figured out now. Not wanting to be social has been an ongoing problem and I'm still experimenting with that one even though I have improved somewhat.

    Sometimes it's hard to know who to trust or cater to more Se or Ti. Ti is your best friend in the world some days but will stab you in the back without you knowing if you trust it too much. So basically our main function can't be trusted. If there is a personality more conflicted/confusing then ours then I want to know which one it is.
    Glad I could give some useful input! Figuring out the cause/root of a behavior that's bothering you is a good first step

    For the next step, take a breather. I've been there: kicking myself for not being as social as I really would like to be. Forcing myself seemed to help at some times, and hurt at other times. Listen to what you need. If you need a relaxing night alone, do it. Keyword: alone. I don't know about you, but I get in those anti-social states when I become very dependent on 1 or 2 individuals to satisfy my social needs. I never gather enough motivation to expand my social energy. If one day you realize you kinda wanna get out, act on it. That's Se-ing it up -- follow your urges in that moment. Don't let Ti dominate what you do/don't need. Objective Ti is not exactly the best function to determine what's important to you, which is a very subjective thing.

    So it's not that Ti can't be trusted, you just need to recognize when it is and isn't a good time to use it in order to make decisions.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

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    Member Lith's Avatar
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    Agree with you both. The chasm between Ti and Se is always there for me too. Sometimes they work well together but most of the time it's like having two separate personalities. The introspective, painfully serious one is determined to resolve (through laborious analysis) all the nagging doubts that I have piled up in every corner of my mind, on every facet of existence. Then the other one comes along and says, fuck that, I'm bored! Let's run amok viking-style! OMG that dog has a puffy tail!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lith View Post
    OMG that dog has a puffy tail!
    Ahahahaha Yep... this sounds familiar.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

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    I think a lot of ISTPs can be confused for NT types except ENTJ and vice versa which would add to the confusion and make them so tough to read let alone identify whereas in stark contrast ISTJ is a very easy type to predict.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger055 View Post
    As an ISTP I always feel like I'm at war with myself. It's as if someone took the personality of a jock and a nerd and tried to smush them together. The results being I'm never truly a nerd or a jock and those two sides are always in conflict. Not to mention the other thousand quirks we have makes me think being an ISTP is the hardest personality type to "use".
    It's funny, I've heard this idea that jocks and nerds are opposites from a few different people.

    I'm a bit of a hybrid jock-nerd and so are most of my friends (mostly not even STPs!). It's a persistent stereotype that nerds never leave the house, and some are indeed like that (including some of my other friends), but most of the nerds I know like to play sports. Probably because I gravitate towards that type of person, of course. We might not be the majority of nerds (I haven't done a survey) but you're not alone.

    Nothing wrong with being smart AND active - it's ideal, if anything. Not fitting perfectly into a cheerleader/jock/nerd stereotype doesn't make you weird or confusing, haha. Every person is complicated, and full of contradictions. It's just a human thing. I think how "confusing" a given type is is largely dependent on the person trynig to understand them - both type and experience. An ISTP might be very confusing to an ENFP with little experience with Se types, and might not be confusing at all to an ISFP.
    -end of thread-

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