I don't want to reveal my type just yet because I think it may bias everyone's answers. I've noticed how many people will describe themselves in ways that fit right in with the prescribed characteristics of a particular type they want to be while seeking validation from the outside world. I aim to be conscious of not doing that. I normally don't trust other people's opinions of what my type may be. I may seek the advice of people around me, but I end up disregarding what they say in favour of my own conclusions. It's pretty clear, anyway, from the clues I give what type I am (or believe myself to be). Please excuse the disorganization... I'm relating things more in a stream of consciousness manner.
- I constantly feel an internal tug-of-war when it comes to preference for solitude and social interaction. Growing up, I had a few close friends, and was generally considered very shy by adults and peers. I remember my elementary teachers describing me as "conscientious." I was hardly able to raise my hand in class without blushing profusely. I was just very raw, emotionally. I sank into a deep depression in my early 20s, which carried over into a full blown social anxiety of sorts. This was a pivotal moment because my quality of life had become so poor, I knew I had reached rock bottom. I turned my anger into a sort of rocket fuel, and literally began training myself to overcome my anxiety. Now I can raise my hand in class or speak in front of a group of people with no visible signs of distress, among many other things. I might even be mistaken for an extrovert because of the easy, conversational style I have speaking to strangers. It makes me appear naive or gullible, I know, but I am most certainly not. Underneath it all, I am a very suspicious person and am constantly spotting inconsistencies or discrepancies in peoples' words and their behaviour.
- I can be a bit of a "bleeding heart" in that I abhor depictions of cruelty and gore. I remember having a very visceral reaction watching a specific horror movie as a teenager. I was crying uncontrollably, wracking with sobs, and screaming at the TV. I have no idea why I continued watching that stupid movie til the end. It really disturbs me how many people can find movies where hapless people are horribly murdered even a little "entertaining." I can also be very sympathetic towards others: say in a conversation with someone (i.e. random guy), if I sense that they are in any way nervous or uneasy, I will suddenly become nervous, high-strung, eager to please, as if I was mirroring the other person's feelings, even amplifying them. When this other person remarks "You seem really nervous!" I always find it rather annoying because they don't realize I'm behaving this way as a courtesy to them - to put them at ease!
- Organization. Looking at my desk and my home you wouldn't think I was very organized. Last summer, I was prescribed with some stimulant medication that totally changed my life. Before the meds, I could never figure out how to lay out and execute tasks in a sequential order. I never understood why I had such trouble motivating myself or co-ordinating day-to-day tasks, but after the meds, I felt as if a part of my brain was able to express some latent ability that had been lying dormant for a long time.
- I can obsess over the most minute details so that it seems I am very good at it. I took a beginner's French course last term and my grammar, spelling, and pronunciation were so flawless that the instructor became suspicious of my true French ability! It was only because of all the time and energy I'd spent memorizing spelling, specific grammar points, where to put accents, etc., that I was able to ace my tests. In academic settings, I tend to be very ambitious, wanting to do my very best, always. The notes I take in lectures are often an almost verbatim recitation of what the prof says. I do this because I don't trust myself to be able to come understand what's being talked about until after I get home and can read through the notes and am able to put them in context with assigned readings, etc. I don't know if this means I'm naturally adept at absorbing details, although it must be said that they are all related to things I read, alone and in a quiet setting, and have committed to memory. On a side note, I am almost always late for appointments! It's not often that I make it to class on time unless it's a make-or-break case where showing up late was going to cost me marks or some other thing. I just feel there is better use for my time than to get to a place early, only to sit and wait. I have trouble gauging how much time I may need for a task, but this improves somewhat when I'm on my meds.
- I have an enormous perfectionistic streak. This perfectionism doesn't simply apply to the quality of the finished product, but I also want my planning and execution of said plan to be perfect. I blame myself harshly when something goes wrong because I honestly believe I should have seen it coming. There is a part of me that thinks I failed due to some oversight in my planning.
- I take everything to an extreme. In psychological parlance, I project and catastrophize... Although, to me, I never really see it as "projection" per se, just me trying to read between the lines with people and to see into what they are. I do this a LOT. I believe I am good at seeing other people's motives, but often they are not really in a positive light. I also tend to draw conclusions about potential situations or plans, and it's usually not overly optimistic, hence the "catastrophizing". In university, I have dropped classes cold turkey, even way past the drop deadline to end up with a failing grade, because I didn't feel the professor was honest/genuine/sincere to the extent I expect a person in such a profession should behave. Dishonesty or artificiality in general are things I really despise in people and am always on guard for that.
- I have trouble conveying my ideas in a manner that makes logical sense. I took an English composition course last term and basically broke myself into pieces trying to fit my grand ideas into the 5-paragraph intro-body-conclusion structure my prof demanded. Try as I might, I could not betray my internal sense of what I believed to be TRUE in order to satisfy the course criteria. To alter some element of my views would mean simplifying them, which I saw as "dumbing them down" so they would flow more logically, in a way. This was the same course and prof. I was referring to in the previous point, incidentally... it really took a toll on me, that class, because I can be a teacher's pet through and through in how I try to please.
- I am more than a little bit vain. Perhaps because both my parents were vain themselves, I don't know. I admit I love the finer things in life, luxury items and the like. All throughout my teens and early 20's I was very fixated on being physically attractive, but the funny thing was, I never wanted to be beautiful for the attention. In fact, I am very ambivalent about having attention focused on me: I both loathe it while simultaneously longing for that feeling of validation. But being admired for my appearance leaves me feeling uneasy and curiously empty inside. I've long harboured a desire to act and am very drawn to theatre, but find it nauseating and agonizing to be the center of attention! This is something I am still grappling with. Speaking of the arts, I've had a long-standing struggle between pursuing a career in the arts or doing something more practical. I adore Art for what it represents and can become deeply moved by it... but I am constantly wracked by doubts because, ultimately, I guess I equate success with financial success. I don't know if this is an alien value I adopted over time, but overall, I just don't want to be a middling artist struggling to make a living for god knows how long. I doubt my own abilities, I guess.
I can't think of much more to say. I know I may across as a bit dour and rather stiff, but I find it hard to talk about myself. Plus, when writing, I tend to get very self-critical in wanting to find the perfect way to communicate my thoughts. I would be happy to answer any questions you throw my way... and thank you to anyone taking the time to read my post!