The Cheese Stands Alone: Right Isn’t Always Right

rantI sat in my office on a Friday night at around 7:00 PM and I looked up from my screen for the first time since lunch. I blinked furiously in an attempt to regain consciousness as I swiveled around and stared out of my 28th floor office window. I can see most of the Chicago South side from my window and I often stop to look at the open sky as no other high-rise buildings block my view. This particular Friday I reflected on how I’ve landed at the place I am in now and I have to say a hunger for curiosity has taken me farther than I have ever imagined. What I didn’t know is that this is a common characteristic of an INTJ. We like to work…we like to learn. It’s a hunger that keeps us up into the wee hours of the morning to fill our craving to know and this craving to know is purely for ourselves.

My drive to get it done and get it done right has always been an instinctual characteristic for me, a survival method and even ingrained into my value system. The realization that I have been this way since I can remember occurred to me and as I researched the INTJ Myers-Briggs persona. Welcome to the life of an INTJ!

To say the least INTJs go all the way. The fact is that I am a fighter and always will be. Life is filled with opportunities and it’s up to us to find them. I’ve recently observed that few people, even those that are passionate about what they do, don’t go the distance to get what they want. The funny thing is that many times I want to take the path of least resistance but it simply does not agree with me. Going all the way causes me to absorb information like a sponge and I have realized recently that many times I know things without knowing that I know.

INTJs use their dominant function, introverted intuition — which is their main way of taking in and processing information — to form impressions and develop theories. This function works passively and subconsciously, which means INTJs often know something without really knowing why or how they know it. This results in sporadic “aha!” moments, as introverted intuition suddenly reveals an idea or connection to them, seemingly out of nowhere.  

– Dr. A. J. Drenth.

Though the INTJ type often stands alone and has a different perspective, INTJs have the capacity to cause and create revolution. This is because our ideas simply aren’t enough. We have to see them come to fruition in order to be satisfied. You don’t know how many times people tell me to “just smile” and to “loosen up”. The odd thing is that I really don’t consider myself to be a solemn person but yes when I am working and deliberating I am for lack of a better term “serious”.

Now, I am not sure if this is unacceptable simply because I am female and there is generally less acceptance of  stoic females  versus male  stoicism that is not only widely accepted but encouraged. Ultimately when I am pondering facts, events, Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 1.02.00 PMdata, etc. I am examining multiple data points of the information at hand. I am also looking at other contributing factors such as social, economic, political and even cultural relevance connected to information and this requires concentration. I’ve given myself the permission to be different and I now know that I simply want more than most people and guess what …it’s OK!

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 1.07.59 PM.pngAll of these elements are right in the world of an INTJ but can actually be horribly wrong in the eyes of other types. For example, I often spend long, isolated hours on completing projects whereas; other personality types enjoy working collaboratively. Even though INTJs by nature are perfectionists, I have come to realize that right isn’t always right. There are many different perspectives and methods that can be incorporated into projects that won’t derail them. This realization was a big “aha!” moment for me and I look forward to using my INTJ super powers for good.

Famous INTJs include Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Greenspan, Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll, Cormac McCarthy, and Sir Isaac Newton.

Tips For Any Personality Type:

  1. Hunger for curiosity
  2. Go all the way
  3. Ideas simply aren’t enough
  4. Give yourself permission to be different




One response to “The Cheese Stands Alone: Right Isn’t Always Right”

  1. Derek C. Ashmore Avatar

    As an INTP myself, I concur with everything you’ve said. We should use our strengths to advantage. However, all personality types have shortcomings and limitations. INTP is no exception. If we want to grow, sooner or later we need to acknowledge those shortcomings and work to mitigate them.

    The preference to work alone is a double-edged sword. While it means our personal productivity can’t be beat, it means we often either miss or ignore the feelings of others. That limits our effectiveness when working in groups. Let’s face it, it’s not always possible to work independently as we’d like. Our preference to work alone means we have a lower EQ if we don’t specifically work at it.

    Our preference to work alone means that we effectively limit our accomplishments to that achievable by one person most of the time. To achieve things that require more work than one person can deliver, we need to suppress our preference.

    The preference to work alone isn’t the only shortcoming INTP people have. IMHO- it’s the largest and has the most negative impact for us.

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