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.