Friday, June 15, 2012

The INTP Experience: Tonight's Main Event--Romantic Relationships Versus the Evil Twins of the INTP Psyche

**This article has been moved to its new, permanent home at THE INTP EXPERIENCE. See you there!**

25 comments:

Jackie Jordan said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, Jason. The INT’s do have a difficult path toward relationships and, for that matter, life in general. Perfection is our downfall, to expect it and demand it leads us to a very lonely place. Living for nearly 15 years without a mate, I had lots of time to rationalize what it would take, physically and emotionally, to be a good partner. Now, after two years in a blissful, confrontation-free relationship, I think I have it figured out - denying oneself of perfection by overlooking faults and offering daily compliments to our mates. Yes, overlooking faults and acceptance is the key - que sera, sera.

JaneyV said...

Jason,
What a great article. My husband has never - to my knowledge - done the Myers Briggs but I've always thought of him as a rational person. I enjoy the way he thinks and I think that, although he can find my emotionalism a bit draining, he values that we compliment each other. I also think that there is cross-over as well. I don't think we're completely hard-wired. Experience allows emotional growth and I believe the rational person can see and learn that within the context of a satisfying relationship the fuzzy logic of emotional flexibility makes sense.

I am off to read the others now.

Zach said...

I find this article incredibly insightful and well timed. I recently broke up with my (ENFP) girlfriend and I can't figure out where it went wrong in our communication. This helped a lot. Thanks for the insight! I want to see more INTP articles!

Lee said...

Nice to see you on here again Jason. Even though not INTP nor married to one, this just gives insight into the world at large. Add the male female dynamic and the relationship is also changed. Here's to enjoying sunsets together!

mike said...

I've loved all of your articles, this one was no exception! After being crushed by an ENFJ who I wouldn't have minded being with for the rest of my life I went into a deep introspection phase lasting for months. In a nutshell, you typed up the conclusions I came to. It was a learning experience to say the least. My encyclopedia has a lot more entries when it comes to relationships now, and I think this should be quite helpful for inexperienced INTP's seeking some relationship advice.

jason evans said...

Jackie, that's definitely another angle to see if from. Letting go of the rational drive enough to just enjoy. I do wonder if INTPs have a harder time, since we are grabbing information from everywhere all the time. INTJs are more focused.

Janey, yes, as we age, we definitely get more skilled in the areas that aren't our preference. The rationals get better at swimming around in emotion. Glad to hear that you complement each other well!

Zach, so great to hear that the insights were helpful in analyzing what went awry!

Lee, great to see you. :) Maybe I'll dip back into the art posts.

Mike, it's always so gratifying to see people resonate with these articles. Thanks for letting me know! I hope your next relationship can stay on track better.

Dirk said...

Nice article. Keep up the good work!
Although I don't prefer boxes like MBTI I find it extremely helpful to about this in relation towards my own life.
I hope you will continue writing. Personally I am struggling with my career. I am 21 (and INTP) and studying Human Resources with the underlying philosophy: Economics is easy and I figured that out, so I would like to study something I would be weak at, like social interaction. Hence Human Resources, since a HR Manager would have to deal with people.

Somehow there is the attraction to programming. I thought myself to program and it is the only thing I could do for hours and hours. Like a puzzle which needs to be solved. So much freedom, I could create anything I want.
However becoming a programmer would mean sitting all day by myself with a computer. Something I do not want but secretly prefer.

I am not in denial, just wanting to become a more dynamic person and therefore I would like to hear your career thoughts.

Thanks,
Kindest regards,
Dirk

jason evans said...

Dirk,

I can relate. I enjoyed programming too, and hours could pass completely unnoticed while I worked. I was an only child, so along with my INTP nature, I also got a dose of realizing that I needed to appeal to people if I was going to not spend all my time alone. Originally, I wanted to go into medicine, but took a detour into health care law. I have to deal with people all the time. I've turned the INTP skill set into people power. Deconstructing people to determine how to inspire them is a great asset. Pushing yourself in that direction is smart. We can always do what comes naturally. You build more skills by pushing in another direction.

INTPblogger said...

Hi Jason,

Your articles are so insightful and helpful. It almost seems like you took the words out of my head.

Through a series of my own similar and yet different "life experiences" which I've been detailing on my blog, I've come to similar conclusions regarding love, success in marriage/long-term relationships and in life in general (as an INTP). For long-lasting love or "conscious love" to succeed we need to continue strengthening our emotional bonds to our partner, and since our emotions are sometimes hard to get to in the moment, we need to either try hard to focus on them (as you mentioned) or create an environment where they are more easily felt (continue sharing and discussing interesting ideas).

Also, as you mentioned in your first INTP post, the fact that our self-image is so fragile (sometimes elusive?) and intertwined with what we think about ourselves in the moment can lead to some pretty dramatic and frightful depersonalization/self-identity crises when our actions/behaviors don't match up with our previous (or innate?) image of ourselves.

It's fascinating/errie to me how such separate life journeys can lead many INTPs to strikingly similar conclusions about themselves and the world...

Please keep writing!

jason evans said...

INTPBlogger, I can certainly relate to depersonalization/self-identity crises! It's probably not how most people would think of one, though. For an INTP, it's probably more like: oh my God, I'm not this person, I'm THAT person--that's the inescapable conclusion. I've been experiencing another one during the past year. Another shift. It's probably not my favorite part of being INTP.

jason evans said...

...And by the way, I love the eerie connections!

jason evans said...

Noriz, you left a comment, but now I'm not seeing it here. Did you want a response? Not sure if you deleted the comment or Blogger lost it.

Liane Spicer said...

So glad I moseyed over here today. Feels like you wrote this for me. Thank you, Jason.

Off to read the first two now...

Lakota York said...

I never could have dreamed that this existed.. That somewhere out there, someone thought like I did.. FELT like I did. I'd almost convinced myself that romantic relationships were impossible/hopeless for me, but you've given me a glimmer of hope. Thank you so much for all three of these Chapters; I hope there are more Chapters in the future.

jason evans said...

Liane, great to see you! Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

Lakota, every person that feels like you do doubles my satisfaction of putting these articles out there. We deserve to feel a bit of relief. A bit of hope.

Alex Gain said...

Thank you so much for these chapters. I'm a young, 19 year-old INTP, and I'm sure these will help me in the life that I have ahead of me. These and some of your other writings are inspiring to me. How did you become such a good writer?

Obren Starović said...

Heya.. so yeah, what Alex said.
This is a "Thank you" comment. If there was a "Thank you" button, I'd hit it instead of commenting.
So uhh... thanks for what will probably turn out to be helpful to a 18-year-old INTP like me. :D

Matthew Williams said...

I found that many of your points resonated with me as I read the three posts in this series this morning. This is much the type of thing I was looking for when I began scouring the web for MBTI information.

In regard to future posts, I have two arenas that I'd like to see you explore.
1) You mention that it is good for an INTP to purposely, consciously rest from their Mindfulness, and you imply that not doing so can have adverse effects. How do you suggest going about this? I think that it would be a beneficial discipline for me to do so, but I can't discern a method that would work.
2) In a different section, you posit that we must seek emotion for emotion's sake, and you give examples for doing so within the context of a romantic relationship. How do you suggest doing this in non-romantic and/or non-relationtional contexts?

jason evans said...

Alex, I do hope these thoughts will ease the journey. Regarding my writing, I always put great emphasis on the reader. Some people take a very egocentric approach to writing, like the writer should just express him/herself and the reader just has to deal with it. I take the opposite approach. I think alot about writing as communication. How does the reader want to read? What is best way to shape something for the reading experience?

jason evans said...

Obren, sometimes it's a really tough path. But worth it.

jason evans said...

Matthew, yes, those questions could use further exploration. My quick thoughts on the answers are this. Think of your mental states as very different modes. Feel how they feel different. In your thinking mode, you bring analysis to bear. It is logical and linguistic. You think things linked together and find commonalities. When you focus on emotion, make yourself stop doing that. Completely immerse in the moment and concentrate on how you are feeling and no more. Also, don't try to stay in that state for a very long time, because you won't be able to resist kicking into your analysis mode forever. Try 5 minutes, then 10, then 15, etc. You'll might not ever be able to last more than 1/2 hour at a time. But that's okay. Just let your feelings expand and happen without tying them up and compartmentalizing them with thinking functions. Also start by doing it alone. Having to interact with another person at the same time will be very difficult to keep your mind where it needs to be.

Alan said...

Hey, jason! thank you and greetings from brazil.Those articles are amazing.I've learned a lot of myself with them.Hope i can relate better with that understanding.Keep up writing, i enjoy reading it gives me a whole lot of ideas to look for and facts to be aware of when the time comes.Sorry for my english i still have a lot to improve.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking read. As a fellow INTP, I hear you completely on the hyper mindfulness, sitting on the birthday cake -- been there and done that SO many times. How about running through a script for 8 or 9 different versions of a scenario, choosing the one that seems the most likely - even sure-fire! - to avoid offending, hurting or otherwise upsetting the dear feelers in your life (married to an INFP) and invariably choosing the one that does the most damage? After 16 happy and occasionally conflictual years with a lovely INFP I am beginning to wonder (we INTP ponder slowly) whether all 8 or 9 scenarios are flawed. Maybe none of them was the "right" answer. When my spouse wants keen insight into the motivations of others, into how the complex moving parts of a situation are "working," how to simplify or streamline or remember where the boundaries are, we do brilliantly together. And when I need someone who loves me to listen to my utter perplexity at others' emotional lives and (to me) odd behavior, I am incredibly grateful for his INFP insight. And when Star Trek reruns are on, we are both very happy together.

Thanks to the INFP in my life, I am constantly challenged to learn feeling language, to notice that I am having feelings (hilarious, yes - "look! I just had a feeling"). And after years of practice I still sense I have eons' worth to learn.

jason evans said...

Alan,

Your English is fine! I thank you for the comment and do hope that you'll fine some of these thoughts helpful. Especially if it helps you avoid pain and confusion.

jason evans said...

Jennifer,

That's probably why I'm writing these articles more than any other. You are so right. When we are squarely in our INTP mode, sometimes all scenarios are indeed "wrong" when it comes to others. That's the worst feeling.

I wonder if your INTP-INFP match works so well because the male is the idealist and the female is the rational. You probably have a little extra dose of feeling, and he has an extra dose of thinking because of gender differences. That helps you align a bit better than if the types were reversed. In any event, it sound like you are very happy!