Jesus christ, I’m still at the office. Procrastination: it’s real and exists… Anyway, sure thing fellow INTJ lady. Why does this seems to be the case, anyway, the whole iconic NT lady pitted against a world teeming with feels? Are you up for some entry-level data analysis?
Set aside the fact that MBTI test typing is tenuously related to actual type at best, and let’s take a look at this eye-melting, artifact-riddled graph I found a while back.
Female Thinkers – 24.5%
Female Feelers – 75.5%
So, here we are, one in four of us saddled with Thinking as our preferred judging function. This Feels-conforming shit usually starts in childhood – culturally I am assuming that you are either western European or North American much as myself, which means you were raised in a culture that acknowledges gender differences and has some built-in stereotypes for each. You being a girl are going to be friends with girls growing up, and are expected in some capacity to act like a girl, and three of the four of you in your friend group are going to be Feelers, statistically speaking.
In childhood, as we’re learning to determine what our reality is vs reality for others, the differences and similarities between us are what come to define us early on. We behave according to a different directive than the Feeling girls, and since we’re the minority, we default to conform. Or rather, we learn that this is what’s for the best, because we run into such intense resistance to how we are internally wired that it outcasts us if we don’t assimilate somewhat.
This may or may not be buffered by your parents and childhood educational environment – I actually managed to scoot through childhood quite resilient against the demands that I pretend to be other than what I am. But others have a lot of expectations placed on them to express feeling in order to relate to other girls, either to accept or be accepted by them. Lack of emotional expression in girls in particular seems to be very disconcerting, and conjures up all kinds of fun comments, trips to the therapist, punishment and so on. It’s even more alienating than it already was just being myself!
With enough time in Feeler territory, an INTJ lady might come into adulthood convinced that they, with their less common Thinker traits, are the odd woman out, the tomboy, maybe hiding a secret penis, and definitely a total stone-cold bitch – “incapable of feeling” is one of my favorites I hear on Tumblr often.
Our lack of feels-based decision making and our thinking-motivated comments and opinions make us stand out against a backdrop of “normal”, that is, Feeling girls. We are the exception with our T, and with it comes a spotlight, like any other abnormal behaviors that deviate from the standard: emotionally-vulnerable men, or anyone who unconvincingly cross-dresses. Being different is both marginalizing and attention-getting, and our human need to be accepted and understood by others plays into this conscious adaptation to the sea of feels as well as our introversion and desire to operate behind the curtain.
Something I see and hear about and have experienced time and time again is that INTJs, regardless of gender, have learned that it’s easier to just go about their business without explaining themselves if they won’t be noticed or bothered. Attempting to explain what they’re going about doing to anyone else is 1) clouded by ineffable NT thought processes that are impossible to explain quickly, and 2) requires the listener to understand what INTJ is trying to accomplish in the first place. INTJs don’t feel they need permission from people who don’t understand the implications or necessities of what they are trying to do in the first place, so long as INTJ has determined it’s necessary and should be done. If INTJ ever does need to seek permission out to get shit done, they will grease the wheels by pretending to be conforming in a favorable way for the listener. (Psst, everyone does this in some way, shape or form, it’s just INTJ employs it earlier and more frequently due to the following…)
It’s simply a means of bypassing the universal misunderstanding that happens with INTJ and everyone else that they have been experiencing since early childhood: skip the part where no one understands you because you don’t have an emotional need to be understood, pretend to be whatever you need to in order to accomplish the real task at hand, and everyone can sleep at night thinking all is well. This process summarizes my entire childhood. (For INTJ girls that had a more normalized female INTJ experience growing up, you skip the part where you have to explain why you don’t feel sad, pretend to feel sad anyway, and all is right with the world because you are acting as expected.)
It will take INTJ a long time to be able to even explain themselves to themselves regarding what it is that drives them, to be able to interpret what the Ni engine inside all of us is saying when it tells us something is missing, or out of place, or that it should be a certain way but not necessarily why. Introverted iNtuition has a language all its own, and that language is definitely not English. It’s hard enough for INTJ to be able to understand themselves sometimes, let alone get others on the same page as you.
All this being said, here’s why I brought it up in the first place:
As a girl, part of conforming or appearing to be similar is learning how to look like you’re a Feeler. It’s easier to be an INTJ girl when we force our Feeling to go to work for us seeking to provide whatever it is they’re looking for, as uncomfortable and ill-fitting as it is, because it greases the wheels, it gets things out of our way and allows us to progress forward with whatever we were trying to do in the first place. When we sense there’s a societal expectation and the pressure to adhere to it is tangible, it’s easier to go with the grain than against it, much as when someone is expected to be grateful, or submissive, or helpful.
It’s the same on the flipside: faced with the expectation of being stoic and stable, Feeling type men will wear a detached Thinker-like veneer of removed logic and keep their emotional states to themselves. My male ISFJ friend goes completely silent when he’s exceedingly mad, my male ESFJ friend smokes and is prone to chronic insomnia instead of dealing with his internal emotional conflicts. It’s unfortunate that cultural-driven gender roles are pressed on a population who hasn’t ever and will never fully conform to them cognitively, but here we are, chock full of vices and coping mechanisms.
Other Thinker ladies have had similar experiences, societal expectations isn’t an INTJ-exclusive experience. There are definitely other facets of our type that lend to the alienation and different-ness aside from being Thinkers. But, specifically, the above is what drives a lot of the INTJ female abhorrence of Feels Land: they’ve been outwardly pretending their entire lives and would like to just simply be themselves for once, please.
I like my new bike and my old head still in place! yay! my mental capacities only fail me 85% of the time, which is only a 2.4% increase from what it was before. just to preserve what little accuracy i have left, i will drink lots of juice. thank you all and goodnight!
I wonder when and not to mention who said it was weird to enjoy being home alone late at night when it’s completely quiet. That’s when home really feels like “home.” It’s yours. And nobody else’s, and the faint light from a street post highlights polaroid shots of ancient, candid moments adorned upon the refrigerator door, alongside old shut off notices and grocery lists.
I don’t have the time or the energy to expel out in the magical wild world, impressing “the masses.” I need to sit very silently and creep around the angles, crouched in the shadows where the walls meet the walls. This is not your dream or mine but it isn’t real, until you’ve decided it’s not.
"It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see." -Thoreau
Every morning I look up at the moon and I thinkBy Sasha Fletcher
You are a kiddie-pool and I will drown in you.
I think about field trips and cold cuts.
I think about dividends and other words
I don’t understand. I make five hundred
lunches in advance. I want to be prepared.
I want new shoes. I want them to be waterproof
and unforgettable. I want the kind of resume
that takes home all the prizes and a salary
commensurate with thunderstorms. I want to believe
that there are people in this world
whose lives are the size of houses and their bills
are paid on time and when they see birds in the sky they think
that’s a nice thing to see. In my free time I clip coupons
and put them in my wallet where I forget
to redeem them and this gnaws at me
day in and day out and when I close my eyes
I can feel my heart and it is trembling.
I’ve lost my sense of smell due to a concussion and temporal bone skull fracture. There is little chance it is coming back (about 15% according to studies & 5% according to my doctor). It’s sad and surprising to lose something you had never once even imagined losing. Not being able to smell the sweet skin of another human being, coffee brewing or the sultry smell of deadening leaves this fall has caused some slight mourning, but…
The sound of birds and the sight of sunshine have never been so beautiful. I’ve come to this clear point where I’ve strengthened my belief, as a sort of clichéd aesthete, in the harmony and pristine beauty that lie in the heart of melancholy. I have been researching anosmia, and discovered that the poet William Wordsworth was anosmic, and he was still a highly sensual writer.
"The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this." -William Wordsworth
And the result is to become closer to my goal of equanimity. Be sober and meditate, my friends.
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
Next time you feel like you are missing someone, alone, eating breakfast and drinking coffee;
staring out the window into the sunlight leaking through the trees, shining all around
you might find,
it isn’t anyone in particular
The moment of longing is simply a memory,
of a memory,
of a memory that will
fade away into
a new face,
a new time…
and a different window, breakfast table, and back yard.
"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating." -Pearl S. Buck
Creation involves much more than just making material objects, in other words, to create is not simply to make something physically tangible. To me, ideas are a creation unto themselves. Observations and inferences create ideas and discover patterns, much like Descartes described the essence of an idea as being formed as the pinnacle evidence of human cognition. As we write an idea down, share it with someone, or work on presenting an image of it in an artistic form, musically or visually, we are finding resolution within ourselves for that idea.
In Chota Nagpur and Bengal
the betrothed are tied with threads to
mango trees, they marry the trees
as well as one another, and
the two trees marry each other.
Could we do that some time with oaks
or beeches? This gossamer we
hold each other with, this web
of love and habit is not enough.
In mistrust of heavier ties,
I would like tree-siblings for us,
standing together somewhere, two
trees married with us, lightly, their
fingers barely touching in sleep,
our threads invisible but holding.
By William Meredith