Okay, Hi. So I thought for a while that I was an INTP. But I now suspect that I am an INFP. The thing is I feel that I am naturally inclined towards INTPness, but I'm fairly sure I have long-running mental health issues that complicate things. When answering tests I get stuck on the questions that distinguish between logic and emotions, because (firstly) for me they tend to swap around, mix up and be subordinated to each other at different moments.
For example a while ago I became fixated with suicide, and although it may have been at root some kind of emotional problem, whatever happened I turned into a logical puzzle, just as I had done for years previously. Growing up I used to think about abstractions and theories and things I didn't even really have a hope of understanding at the time (when I was 10 I had this obsession with A Brief History of Time, and basically spent most of my time up until I was around 14 or 15 in -thought- about -theory- rather than in -turmoil- about -life- - although "thought" and "turmoil" can sometimes be blurred together). Whenever I feel particularly "emotional" it tends to be somehow disconnected from my logical mind, which continues to function completely outside of whatever emotions I'm feeling, unless it disappears completely. And at the same time when I'm in my element, which is definitely the realm of logic, that's certainly where I prefer to stay. It seems as if nowadays my emotions have taken over - I used to have obsessive thoughts about, for example, whether God existed or, bizarrely, whether circles could exist in physical space, but now I have obsessive thoughts about how socially useless I am, which don't go anywhere like logical thinking does. But when that "part" of me does not intrude, I'm definitely more of a thinker.
At the same time I have that "moral principle", idealistic streak that INFPs are supposed to have. (Though I think ethics are a great illustration of this relationship between logic and emotions - one should attempt to make moral principles as logically consistent as possible, which is partly why I enjoy debates about morality because the webs of reasoning are so interesting to explore. But at the same time ethical positions do exist with an essential kernel of subjectivity and feeling; there is no -purely- logical way of coming to ethical conclusions.) I tend to polemic on ethical/political subjects, I tend to err on the side of generosity to others (in terms of how well I see them). But I think this is only in theory. Real people I come across I'm quite critical of and impatient with if I find them intellectually tiresome. And this is an extremely new development for me. I never used to be particularly interested in morality. But as the opportunities for mathematical and logical thought have dried up (vagaries of education), and I've explored philosophical thought more, it's as if emotions and less purely intellectual-plaything-type subjects have had to be incorporated into my way of thinking.
... But I have that need to be clear about descriptions and language use that INTPs are supposed to have, which results in a tendency to run on (and on and on) particularly in debates. I am often accused of not giving the other person time to make their case because I'm too busy making mine as clear as possible, and interrupt as soon as the other person makes any kind of point or piece of reasoning I find erroneous. I am a pedant for logic and language. I'm not exactly a -grammar Nazi- but nothing infuriates me more than scattered, imprecise language. (I think one of the reasons I find it so difficult to express my emotions -when I have them- is their stubborn refusal to bend to the requirements of language: what happens is either a horrid mess of inchoate babbling nonsense if I speak my emotions while I am feeling them, or something rather elevated and poetic and universalised that perhaps loses its individual nature if I talk of emotions I -have- felt while I am not feeling them. I generally feel the need to rationalise my emotions - to myself or others, I am not sure - and make them fit into some kind of internally consistent world-view, so I think that's why I do that. And the fact that these days my feeling doesn't seem to be able to do that is what makes me seem like a stranger to myself, almost, and a broken person. A few years back my preferred rationalisation was a pretended superiority complex.)
I have a quite avoidant personality, low self-confidence (unless in an intellectual situation in which I can be quite sure of myself), and I think a slight social anxiety, which I don't show very much but definitely stresses me mentally. But when with people I know very well and trust I am very talkative. Blah. I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore. Help me out. Please.
Oh and if anyone recognises me from INTP central, uh, hi.