5.28.2012

INTJ Traits I Need to Rein In

I had my annual performance evaluation earlier this month, so this self-contemplating person has been considering his strengths and weaknesses even more than usual of late.  It occurs to me that my many weaknesses are common to the INTJ in Myers-Briggs parlance.  My fellow INTJs may manifest their INTJ-ness in different ways, but here's where I am predilected negatively and need to learn to rein it in (in no particular order):

1. I tend to prefer to work things out internally, which can be bad for a team member when other team members would like to be involved or at least know what I'm thinking.

2. To me, no idea is sacred, and outlandish ideas are especially useful to put out there, for they challenge assumptions and move you towards a better outcome.  But some things, when stated, are discomforting and offensive, so even though I mean nothing by them, they're probably not worth saying out loud.

3. On a related note, the way I express that I like an idea is that I pick at it, unpack it, beat it up, and turn it on its head.  Needless to say, normal people don't associate those reactions as being favorable.

4. I expect a lot out of myself and others, and assume a high threshold for pain, to the point that I can come off as cruel, never satisfied, and haughty.

5. When I'm on, I'm not much for chit-chat, so others can see me as aloof and detached.

6. I tend to think in grand narratives, so while I'm not close-minded (i.e. I'm not wedded to those narratives, but will adjust them based on new information), I may be slow to let go of something I believe and I may over-simplify matters unnecessarily.

7. I neither automatically respect nor easily discern the established social and political hierarchies, so can rub people the wrong way if I've said or done something contrary to those unwritten rules.

For you non-INTJs out there, I hope that was a helpful window into our curious type.  And for you INTJs out there, I'd love to hear from you about where you struggle and how you overcome.

And, as for the positives?  Well, we INTJs aren't so good at dwelling on those.  But maybe I'll muse on that in a future post.



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