Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The INTP — INTJ interface

I'm completely unfamiliar with the Myers-Briggs inventory, but have friends who use these blasted initials all the time to explain what on earth is going on between people (or between them and me). Another model.  And, well, I am a model-junkie.  Any model that helps explain human behavior is okay in my book, as long as it doesn't pathologize everything in sight.  Insight, however, is welcome.

And as a result of my first contact and thinking (of course, thinking, what else would it be) about the model and four-letter reductionism, I came up with (not intentionally) my first joke ever.

INTP:  I don't know what I feel —

INTJ:  I don't know why I'm crying —

Both:  Let's analyze it!

This, essentially, (in slightly more words, pretty much) was real (so I guess I didn't make it up).  But I do recognize that it is funny, at least.  Which keeps it from being tragic, perhaps.

Or not.  The point is, I now believe that it's just not so terrible to not know what you're feeling or why you're feeling it.  With the help of Myers-Briggs, I can now just think of it as 'just' another pattern worth exploring.  No pathology. No self-recrimination. No blaming the other.

Just something to explore.

And another came to me about this Myers-Briggs thing, apart from worrying that I might have spelled it wrong.  And that is:

Why are all my friends Introverts?

That part kind of sucks.

I'll have to analyze it.


  1. You have. Myers-Briggs. Let's think about how annoying the correct spelling is; perhaps we can persuade the family to change it.

    And many of your introverted friends are performing extraverts, just like you.

  2. Corrected the spelling — which I should have done before dashing off. Danke. 'Myers' is counterintuitive.

    You're right. Many of them do perform. I just don't get it. The difference with teaching is that the focus isn't on you as performer, it's on the material at hand. I suspect that's the approach some actors and musicians take as well. Some, but far from all.

  3. It's certainly the approach I take: it's not about me, it's about the music I just played, or the goals the group I'm leading needs to accomplish, or the topic of the conversation that I just happen to have ideas about. I'm not mingling, I'm playing a role--the hornist, or the facilitator, or the geek, or the woman helping the woman hosting the woman who's burying the woman… you get the idea.

  4. Shouldn't Tim have a snarky remark by now? Doesn't he love us anymore?

  5. He should indeed! I've been waiting — but he's traveling. Bummer.

  6. Many, many, many people swing between introvert and extrovert; which by the way is the weakest of the M-B pairs.

  7. Sounds like it has a very specialized counter-intuitive (excuse the pun) meaning in the M-B Inventory. Specifically, needing to recharge by climbing back into that proverbial bear cave — alone...