How I as an INTP see Social Relationships

The social relationships have always been a bit confusing for me, though I am getting the hang of it enough, to at least appear socialized. Most of the times, there are just rules that a person needs to act in accordance with, and things can go toward more or less smooth sailings.

It helps that I almost mastered rules related to this part of socialization.

The problems arise when there are conflicts with people. Then it is almost like my Ti is evaluating every possible scenario that Ne is feeding it. And I want to then come to the truth of the disagreement, so that it may never happen again.

Sure, when this happens in reality, people are not very perceptive of it, though sometimes there are exceptions.

For example, when we fight inside of our family, especially if it is with my mother (for some reason, I never had fights with my father), I then always turn analytical and start asking her questions. If I have an uncooperative partner it can look like an endless stream of why.

My mother (ENFP) hates it though. She always says that we are good, and then the same fight repeats.

Or there was an incident at my Toastmasters club. I used to be a board member, but I quit because I disagreed with the board's actions. But I was still involved in a lot of things that could be classified as the 'board' activities. So the president of the club at the time send the email asking the other board members that I need to be stopped.

She probably did not take into account that one of the board members forwarded her email to me.

So I did what I did best. I explained how I saw the situation, why I did what I do, and asked for a more clarifications. I then send an email, but since it was a very long email, I figured that she did not read it. Because I never got a reply from her.

But in the next meetings a couple of board members came to me and told me that they agree with my writings. So either I am dealing with an idiot, that forwards messages without reading them, or she actually did read them. I was hopping for the second.

Well, she stopped attending club meetings shortly afterwards, so I never got an explanation. I would be alright even with the selfish one, just allow me to understand.

This is also the reason why I sometimes (read: frequently) have problems with understanding why people have an emotional reactions. Like when a person cuts the line in front of me, or when a person jumps in to explain something better. Or why my mother is so persistent that I come home, going all emotional, but when we are together we don't really have a lot to talk about it or do together.

I can still read the emotion in the face. I once had a conversation with a classmate and I told her, that I noticed that she was feeling down yesterday during class. She was excited, that apparently I can emphasise. But all I did was observe her body language and face, and concluded that she looks like she has less every than normal.

I still don't know if this is a strength or a weakness. But it is just what comes naturally for me.

Health, Nature and Polarity

I have recently read the Notario's paper on the ecological self. While I was reading this paper, the notion of connectedness of nature and human reminded me of the polarity concept.

The paper mentions the interconnectivity of of everything that is alive as the most important discovery of the 20th century. Sure, we can discuss what is alive, but I think that unless we have dealt with the concepts for years, I doubt that we are going to be better than what Maturana and Varela did with the autopoetic systems.

While I was reading it, I was reminded of the polarity. How the people that are aware of this connections are the ones that can impact the whole, while the rest of us just do the random impacts that might not be what we intended.

The person that is aware of the connections with nature and it is trying to connect with it better would be called lightworker. And the person that is aware, but is using this connection for their own gain is a darkworker.

But the people that are trying to affect the nature and then they are surprised that their water supply is tainted, these people are just non-player characters in the story. Or any other answer that we get from the nature based on our actions, that we were not expecting.

Based on this, I guess it is the understanding of the system, the knowing of the nature truth that differentiate the two. The more a person is aware of the connections, the more it sees the whole and the more it can influence it. And the answer to what something is can be given from the ontology.

So the more a person is willing to search for the truth, the greater power it can have.

I have to admit, this made a lot of sense in my brain, but I am still posting it, because maybe somebody will get something from it.

The Point fo Disciplines

The 20th century had seen the great divide among the different disciplines. For example, the psychology had become a couple of different psychologies from cognitive psychology, to the social psychology and so on and so on. There were fields that started by trying to combine different fields together like cognitive science or computational biology.

This has fractionated the field quite a lot and there seem to be the growing number of different field, with people specializing not only the the subject that they are studying but also in the ways that they are studying.

But there seems to be movements, even if they are not main stream yet, to combine the different disciplines together to study one phenomena, like the cognitive science, or to include more and more wider look at the situation, leading to the fields like complexity economics.

What I am trying to say is, that more and more people are figuring out that leaving most of the things at the door is not going to help them explain things. Let me walk you through some examples, and hopefully it will become clearer.

The first example come from economics. In neo-clasical economics, the most studied type, assumed that economy has no effect on the innovation, on technology, on institutions and on nature. These things were given. Any change that come to them did not come from the economy, or at that time, in the tradition of Adam Smith, from the markets.

But then people started to include these things in the economics. Now the irrationality of people can be somehow predicted and it got affected and it had an effect on the markets. The same become true for innovation, technology and institutions.

And these things came to economics from different disciplines, for example biology, where evolutionary economics used the theory of evolution, with genes being substituted by routines (which are actually decision rules). Or there are other examples, from political sciences, psychology and so on. There was apparently even researcher, to took ideas from chemistry.

The second example would be the Varela's project for the science and phenomenology to come closer together. Varela worked on the project to bring phenomenology or the research of first-person experience to the science. It eventually wanted to bring science closer to the phenomenology, but this part is usually not as emphasised, as it was far for being done formulating.

The third example could be in the health sciences, where some people are starting to use the environments, from social relationships to place of living to relationships to life as a way to help explain some of the health issues.

Then what is the point of disciplines? I still believe that disciplines have a role in the future of science. That is because the discipline provide a different lens from which to see the world.

Let us contrast the theoretical computer scientist and the person studying management. For the first, the number of communications is something that needs to be minimized, as these are points that make it inefficient. The less pieces of information a system needs to operate, the less time is spend waiting and there is less chance of something going wrong.

On the other hand, the person studying management sees the communication as helping creativity or exchanging ideas or making the work go quicker.

The lenses of the discipline make them see the same problem from the different perspectives. And it is that perspective that makes the disciplines necessary for the future.

These things can be quite seen in the philosophy. Heidegger had worked on what most people took as epistemology problem with ontology. In the ecological philosophy, most people take the ethical approach, but Naess is taking the ontological approach.

Just because I have picked two such examples does not mean that I think ontology has a solution for everything.

The disciplines are here to stay. But where I do see the possible shift is that more and more disciplines are going to be working on the same problems. And it is a good thing, since I believe that quite a lot of problems that we still have can profit from the multiple perspectives.

Self Esteem and Personality Type

In the recent research paper from Baumeister and Vohs they have discussed the benefits of self-esteem and the supposed benefits it does not actually have. But before I get to this, let me first talk about the what is for me the most interesting point in their paper.

Ready? This is that self-esteem is mostly a result, and not the cause of things. The self-esteem is bad at predicting the future happenings, be it from grades, jobs or many others. But having a good grades, good job, having a lot of friends and so on is a good predictor of the self-esteem.

Keep this point in mind, because I will return to it.

Well, let us go to the benefits then. There are two benefits of the self-esteem: happiness and initiative. And this two benefits made me think about it.

The initiative is about acting authentically, be trusting ones own opinions. This allows them to go against the flow, not caring what the other are doing. And in my opinion, this reminds me somehow about the emotional stability. In the Big Five description, we would say that the person have low neuroticism.

Sure, it could also be connected to the agreeableness, but I don't think the link is as direct as with neuroticism.

The second one is happiness and the general ability to feel happy emotions. Which is part of the description for the extroversion, that appear in the scientific papers, something that I, as an introvert, found a bit annoying. But feeling happy emotions is one facets of the extroversion.

But there is a personality type model, that connects the two dimensions, and this is the theory based on humors. Sure, theory is no longer what it was in old Greek times, as nobody wants to balance body fluids anymore. Instead, the emotional stability (neuroticism) and extroversion divide the people into four types:

Four temperaments in two dimensions

So now let us connect this theory with the point about self-esteem being the results. So the sanguinics among us are the ones having the highest self-esteem. The melancholics are the ones having the lowest one. The cholerics and phlegmatics are somewhere in between them.

My intuition would have come up with something similar, but not by the same method. I would say that cholerics and sanguinics have the higher self esteem than phlegmatics and melancholics. I would also say that phlegmatics have higher self-esteem than melancholics, but I could not decide who between cholerics and sanguinics have a higher self esteem.

But considering that there are only two benefits, and among them I don't really believe that happiness is a worthwhile goal in life, so I wouldn't worry too much. If you are a sanguinic, then use it as one of your strengths, but even if you are melancholic, I don't think it will have a big effect on life and can be mitigated with other qualities.

The General Patterns or How Jung's Functions can Help with Personal Development

I was reading the article in the journal Type in Depth titled Cultural Atttitudes. There the Beebe used the Henderson's basic cultural attitudes and relate them to the functions. The religious attitude was covered by the introverted perceiving functions, the philosophical attitude was covered by the introverted judging function, the aesthetic attitude was covered by extraverted perceiving functions and the social attitude was covered by the extraverted judging functions.

This reminded my of the four concepts that I have seen used in the personal development. I am talking about the body, mind, heart and spirit.

For a record, I don't recommend actually googling these words. I don't know what google thinks about me, but on the first page they were all these energetic, spiritual, I-don't-want-to-say-anything-concrete. There are some people that write about it on clearer level (like Steve Pavlina), so I suggest finding a person like that.

But let me return to these concepts. I can actually relate each of the four concepts to one of the cultural attitude. The body is the aesthetic attitude, the mind is the philosophical attitude, the heart is the social attitude and the spirit is the religious attitude.

That is assuming that I understood the attitudes correctly.

Based on this analogy, and that people usually bring to the consciousness at least two functions, I can say that this can tell us where our strengths are and what to work on. Because usually some attitudes are going to be more developed than others.

Let me take my as an INTP as example. Based on this, I would be having a more developed philosophical/mind part of me, and relatively well developed aesthetic/body part of me. But on the other side, the heart/social and spirit/religious would be less developed.

For one thing, a lot of things that people label as religious or spiritual seems like either an inconsistent dogma or a wishy-washy talking. Some might not be, but they I probably don't get to this, because I get turned down by the social aspects. I never spend much time on it either. Maybe that is among the reasons why the NLP (neuro-lingustic programming, and not natural language processing - I always wanted to say that) techniques generally don't work for me. I am also not good at manifesting all the small stuff people practice with when starting with the law of attraction.

Also, the spiritual/religious sense would be, that there is something worthwhile to work into. It implies purpose. Something that so far I had no luck finding. I mean, I hat to come the the Austria to be able to experience at least some amount of narrowing my field of possibilities.

So based on this, I would say that this part is not well developed in me. Neither is my social/heart part of me. I mean, I have spend years trying to improve my social skills. It started with every book and person that I talked to (baring my father) saying that networking and social skills are the most important part of being the entrepreneur. Then it ended up being a hobby, because I still don't get people. I constantly create new theories and try to discern rules that govern situation. I greatly admire the people that make it look effortlessly, but at least some of them admitted to me, that it is not.

What about the supposed better part. The body/aesthetics and mind/philosophical part of me. Well, I am not sure how well developed my body/aesthetic part of it is. I don't really mind much the visually pleasing stuff. On the other hand, apparently I was advancing relatively quickly, when I was training karate, so on the balance I would say that I have shown development in some areas.

Out of the four ones I would say that mind/philosophical is the most developed in my. If nothing else, the constant making theories and refining them is a good indication of this.

Well, but how can this helps a person? Be it Jung, when he talked about the individualization or the today's personal development, we need a minimum level in each of these four. But this analogy then helps us work on the right thing, by working on using the functions connected with these attitudes.

So a person that is weaker on the social/heart part of it, like me, could work on either Fe or Te in order to improve the general level. One way that I got to get a better grip on my Fe, was to go and have an internship at the middle size village in Hungary. This made me a lot more aware of it. I guess for a Te, any company with the emphasis on the efficiency would do the same trick.

For a person that has a weaker spirit/religious part, maybe have problems that can not be solved by logic? I know I only became aware of how my Ni feels after being in a situation like that. I guess for body/aesthetic, maybe trying new things, doing sports, being spontaneous or enjoying good food?

Hard to come up with the one for mind/philosophical one, since it is somehow natural for me. I guess overthink stuff? With everything being fair game?

It can be an additional way to improve all of the areas of life. If you don't know how to improve the mind part of it, simply find a way to improve the Fi or Ti part of yourself.

Goals and MBTI

Penelope Trunk has written about how ENTJs act in the world through the goal setting. As I also studies business, I know how many time it is emphasised that we need to set goals. Not to mention that setting SMART goals are what we practised multiple times, but the only thing that ever touched on how to achieve them was process management.

This got me thinking is how different types that I have seen take goal setting and goal achievements. And if my knowledge of the Jung's functions can help me explain how I think it should be.

And as an INTP, it is very much my joy to make up new theories. :)

If you want to read more about how ENTJ's take to goals, maybe read the article linked above instead. But I think that Te might be having something to do with the productivity necessary for the goals. The reason being, that when I think on the ESTJs that I know, they always seems to be moving toward the destination.

But then they surprise me that they don't seems to be aware, where they are actually heading. It is like, they don't really compute all of the possibilities. It is probably the Ni in the ENTJs that allows them to do that.

But when I am thinking about productivity, then there are also other types that tend to be productive. Everybody with the Ti-Se combination (so ESTP and ISTP) seems to appear very much productive as well. But I am not entirely sure what about this combination makes it like that. I know Se-dominant types, right now I am thinking of a certain ESFP, that I would not put it in the same league. It could be the influence of Ti, but I don't know what about Ti would explain it. Sure, Ti is good in finding and optimizing solutions, but on the other hand, there is no action component to it.

Maybe that could be an explanation. Ti marks the optimal path and the Se implements it.

Now, I don't really see people with high Ne as very goal oriented. Something is always happening with them and they tend to do a lot of things, but... sometimes I have the feeling that Ne types, if not tampered with other functions or people, will take a very round about way to a goal, and on the end end up with the wrong goal as well.

Which is just as well, as this goal might have been just as worthwhile.

Si is very good at habits, so I imagine that the acting past, once conditioned, would not present a lot of troubles. But as I mentioned above with the ESTJ example, the goal seeing or goal setting past seems to be a little less clear.

Then the last two functions that I have yet to discuss are the feeling functions. As much as I have appreciation for the Fi's ability to understand people, I don't actually see how this function can help with the goal setting or goal achieving. Except it might provide the social structure for it, but otherwise not.

And similarly is also true for Fe. I don't see it as much of a goal oriented function. But they might be able to use the social structures as well, but unlike Fi, here it would feel like pressure. At least Fe usually motivated my with the pressure, but maybe for people with more developed Fe experience it differently.

So if I take everything that I have written into account, it seems that Ti and Ni are good at setting goals and Te and Se are good at achieving goals. For the rest of us, maybe there is a better way than the old fashion goal setting. Or we simply need to learn how to use these functions for this.

How does the Ne looks like in teaching

I have to admit, I like my Ne, but I am not entirely sure that it is the best function to teach something unless it is to a person that also uses Ne. :) It has its own good and bad points.

I think the most noticeable thing about Ne teachings are Ne jumps. I had a teacher last semester who had them a lot. His assistant, when trying to figure out what he talked about, looked at his slides and was staring at him. I remember that I helped him with the notes and while he was presented, he apparently did not get how could he came from that slide to talk about these things. Not to mention, I talked to some of my classmates and some of them were unable to follow the jumps.

But for me, as an INTP, these jumps always followed some sort of connection. I could not always predict them, which is what made them fun. Many new ideas to learn.

Which not that I think about would have explained why some were annoyed by it.

I could even saw these same things in myself. When I was trying to help my sister with the chemistry in primary school, I apparently used things from concepts from quantum physics to philosophical problem. Let me tell you that my sister actively refused my help with studying for years after that. Apparently I just confused her.

Which can also lead to these teachers seeing unprepared. For example, when I was an English teacher in Eger, I always prepared the plan for my lessons. I was to be used if I could not come up with something on the spot. 80% of these plans were never used.

Which might be the reason, why when I asked for the way to improve, the only point that I could ever get was to prepare for my lessons. Which was not helpful, because I did. I once even showed my plans. Still, I appeared unprepared, because I did not use them.

But these things also have positive sides. The first is, that because Ne sees all the connections, if there is a connection with the matter that the person already knows well, then this can be used to try and explain the subject in a more accessing manner. And there are a lot of connections, so there is never a lack of possible explanations. If one does not work, then another one will.

The second is, that it makes the lessons so much more fun and engaging. Some of the most fun lessons I have been to have been thought by people that had Ne in the first or second place. I could see, that they are clearly interested in the subject matter and they actually shewed their enthusiasm. Though I am worried for some that they might be workaholics.

MBTI typing: Austria (Country) - ENTJ

Now I came to the forth (and for now) the last country that I have lived in. Well, more correctly would be the country that I am currently living in. I have right now spend a little over a month on the study exchange in Austria. And this is my way of trying to figure out the Austrian MBTI type.

Well, I only have limited information from Vienna, so I might be off the mark.

First of all, I would need to decide if they are the Ti-Fe or the Fi-Te culture. In the first couple of days, I was convinced that it was a Te like culture. But then I changed my mind. First, they have way more rules than any other country that I have visited so far. But they are not as efficient in them as some of the others.

That does not mean that Fi-Te is not the right answer. I am so far leaning more toward Fi-Te, simply because there is not pressure to confirm to the social norm. But there is pressure to confirm to the rules. So Fi-Te seems right.

Then it is the Ni-Se or Si-Ne one. Vienna is a city with the long tradition, but unlike in Eger, I don't get the feeling that I have the past shoveled at me. On the contrary, I actually have a lot more Ni vibes than on any other university I have visited so far. Everything is building toward some future goal, at least for the Austrians. As an Erasmus student, I have some more freedom.

There are also more people with some sort of notion what they are doing in the future than I am used to.

Not to mention, they are some people that have praised their culinary delights. That, which the lack of Si and the Ni vibes makes me think that they are Ni-Se society.

I am convinced that Fi is stronger than Te and Ni is stronger than Se. But that would put both of the strongest functions on the introverted site, which is not helping. But I am more convinced in the Ni-Se one. So for one, I would say that the Ni and Te are the strongest functions.

That would put either Fi or Se on the inferior position. I guess that between these two, I would put Fi in a weaker position.

That would put the Austrian type to the ENTJ. Now to do the check:

  • their need to analyze and bring into logical order the outer world of events, people, and things PROBABLY TRUE
  • natural leaders who build conceptual models that serve as plans for strategic action NOT SURE
  • orients their thinking to the future, and gives their thinking an abstract quality PROBABLY TRUE
  • actively pursue and direct others in the pursuit of goals they have set SO FAR SEEMS TRUE
  • they prefer a world that is structured and organized TRUE

As an interesting fact, I actually did the short analysis of the country in the first week of being here. For some reason I came to the ESTP evaluation, with three notes: first was the justification for the type, which was that Te was most likely in the senex position and not as developed as in Germany, the second that I am still undecided and the third that the axis are most likely Fe-Ti and Ni-Se. I also think that between ESTP and ENTJ description, the ENTJ description suits Austria better.

MBTI typing: Hungary (Country) - ESFJ

Next I am going to be typing a country, where I have spend 3 months doing an internship. And this is Hungary. My information mostly comes from living in the Eger, so it might not be representative of the whole country.

I think this is a country that I am going to have the easiest type typing. This is a country that is both high on Fe and high on Si. I think so far this is the country with the most noticeable national identity (which is kind of sad, in a way). Not only that, they are really proud of their history. In no places have I been asked so many time, whenever I have visited all of the monuments.

Not only that, it is a fairly Fe culture. Where people start by being accepted, but then they use social pressure. to try to keep everybody in line. And that was not just my imagination, a Hungarian actually started to explain that as something that he does not really like about his birth town.

Not to mention, I heard multiple stories how people were eating bread and fat for weeks, in order to afford some technological gimmick. You, know, to be like everybody else. That shows a preference for Fe over Se.

So the question now is, which of these is stronger? If the Fe is the first function, then they would show some Ne and their Ti would be their weak point. If Si is the first function, then they would show some Ti, but their Ne would be their weak point.

While I am less secure about this point, I would say that I saw some Ne, but not healthy Ti. Which is why I am going to guess that Ti is their inferior function, with Ne being their third function. This makes their type a ESFJ.

Now for the test based on the CAPT site ESFJ descriptions:

  • active and intense caring about people TRUE
  • strong desire to bring harmony into their relationships TRUE
  • aura of warmth to all that they do MOSTLY TRUE
  • move into action to help others, to organize the world around them, and to get things done TRUE
  • current facts and realities TRUE
  • a hands-on pragmatic quality PROBABLY TRUE
  • take their work seriously NOT SURE

So I guess I was not completely off the mark.

How Well Done Are MBTI Descriptions?

Since I used the CAPT site descriptions in my last two blog posts, I figured out that I could check if these descriptions also hold for real people. So I decided and try to do the same type of analysis for myself and my family.

Me, as an INTP (even though it is hard to judge myself):

  • to understand whatever phenomenon is the focus of their attention TRUE
  • want to make sense of the world TRUE
  • they often enjoy opportunities to be creative TRUE
  • logical HOPEFULLY TRUE
  • analytical TRUE
  • detached in their approach to the world DEPENDS
  • they naturally question and critique ideas and events TRUE
  • little need to control the outer world FALSE
  • often appear very flexible and adaptable in their lifestyle FALSE

Then my mother as an ENFP:

  • attention to the outer world of possibilities TRUE
  • excited by continuous involvement in anything new TRUE
  • experience a deep concern for people as well TRUE
  • interested in possibilities for people TRUE
  • energetic, enthusiastic people MOSTLY TRUE
  • lead spontaneous and adaptable lives PROBABLY FALSE

My sister as an ESTP:

  • enthusiastic attention to the outer world of hands-on and real-life experiences NOT SURE
  • continuous involvement in new activities PROBABLY FALSE
  • pursuit of new challenges POSSIBLY TRUE
  • logical and analytical in their approach to life TRUE
  • acute sense of how objects, events, and people in the world work TRUE
  • energetic and adaptable realists MOSTLY TRUE
  • who prefer to experience and accept life rather than to judge or organize it FALSE

And my father as an ISTP:

  • to understand how things and phenomena in the real world work so they can make the best and most effective use of them PROBABLY TRUE
  • logical and realistic people TRUE
  • natural troubleshooters TRUE
  • quiet and analytical observers of their environment TRUE
  • pursue variety and even excitement in their hands-on experiences PROBABLY FALSE
  • a spontaneous, even playful side TRUE
  • detached pragmatism TRUE

I think what this exercise is trying to tell me, is that I need to seriously reconsider the typing of my sister (I can't decide between ESTJ and ESTP, but I am leaning toward ESTP because she displays Ni, and no Ne). Besides, you know, that it is not such a bad indicator of the type. So I guess it is a good check to see how wrong did I go.