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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My little sister (13 y.o.) seems extremely similar to me. She is INTP (INTJ seems to be the only other option)

She excells at school (she should skip a year, maybe two, but that practice is not costum in my country, and my parents are SJs so it's out of the question), is analytical, is curious, perfectionistic, says things disregarding if they are appropriate or not, demands reason and explanation when receiving directions and orders. She primarily wants independence, yet prefers leading to following.

I am trying to steer her in a good direction, teaching her about social norms, how to pick your battles and how to maximize your influence and navigate in emotional situations, but I have no idea what types of challanges INTP females encounter in their life because of their gender.

What were you main issues in adolescence? What would you advise to your younger self?
 

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I'm not sure whether I can provide a useful answer.

At that age, I was curious about the world and hungry for adventure. This was augmented by the fact that my parents were knowledgable and had led interesting lives before having children.

However, it was a problem because my father was very strict and my entire life was mapped out for me. When I was 14 and a half, I decided to leave home as soon as I turned 16, as I couldn't legally work or live on my own until then. I did leave on my 16th birthday. I had a pretty hard life.

Now I'm in my 60s and living in a rented room. I don't blame that entirely on the decision I made back then. But if I had to give advice, I'd say to prioritize your education, or at least prepare for some kind of decent job, e.g., via an apprenticeship or other training.

(My INTJ daughter also rebelled and left home at an early age. But when she saw life "in the streets," she quickly realized there was no future in it, andshe returned home. She now has a good job and owns a house.)

Another possible problem for INTP girls would be getting ostracised and bullied, and not being the kind of female that men want. It sounds like your sister isn't having these problems. If she is, my advice would be similar to the above: Try to hang on for a few more years, at least until you finish high school. Once you're in university or working, people are not quite as nasty.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you for sharing your story. I am always fascinated with mutli-generational family patterns. Leaving home at that age sounds like a nightmare and I think it would end teeeerribly if I've done something of that kind. So, I applaud you for fighting through it all.

I'm sure she will experience many social problems. She is intellectually assertive yet emotionally immature. She feels deeply but doesn't know how to adapt and get under someones skin to have some social clout and protection. So she will surely encounter bullies of different kinds. Lets just hope it won't get to her to the point of becoming self-destructive.

In her class she is perceived as valedictorian know-it-all type. But at least professors love her and support her, so that's really good. She has one close female friend who is also smart and hardworking, and also seems quite lovely.

She is not the prettiest girl in school but she has nice features and I know many boys will be physically attracted to her, and will want her to be something she isn't. If you ask my intuition, I feel like she will have good time with dating only in late high school period and uni. Which is probably the best, because here were we live, there is a a number of gangster-wanabe losers from criminal or semi-criminal families. I would be more worried if she was a good looking ESFP for example.

That will be difficult for her. Being an INTP guy is something not that alien to our culture as is an INTP girl. but that's just how life is, she will have to endure. I must cross my fingers and hope she will manage to keep out of trouble. I'll help her but I can do only so much.

I don't think she will have problems with education, unless she ends up in my situation where I got utterly bored by how easy and unstimulating my school was and I skipped school and had fights with professors for reading books in class.

She seems to be highly gifted as well. So unless she will apply herself and try to win national competitions, she might grow bored of it and rebel. I already said to her multiple times that she has to go to the best highschool in the city because that's her best chance to find intellectual peers.
 

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Being a female doesn't have to be a big deal unless other people make it a big deal. It can be an asset if it forces you to develop social skills and empathies that male INTPs might be less inclined to develop.

Otherwise the problems of being an INTP teenager are the same. Intellectual curiosity vs expectations of school and jobs and family. I'd say overall the trick is to seek out a broad range of experience before burning any bridges or committing to any resource-intensive paths. The best thing is if she can develop stackable skills and interests, so when she gets bored with one avenue she can build on it instead of feeling like she's wasted that time and energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The best thing is if she can develop stackable skills and interests, so when she gets bored with one avenue she can build on it instead of feeling like she's wasted that time and energy.
This is such a great advice! Thank you very much.
 

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many boys will be physically attracted to her, and will want her to be something she isn't.
Yes, this can be a huge problem. So maybe another bit of advice would be to ask herself what SHE wants from a man or from a relationship. And to stay away from boys/men who don't truly like her.

I was going to suggest that she go to an alternative school, but I didn't because it seemed that your parents wouldn't allow it. But going to the best high school in the city would probably please your parents and be good for your sister as well. So that's a great short-term goal she can aim for.
 

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My little sister (13 y.o.) seems extremely similar to me. She is INTP (INTJ seems to be the only other option)

She excells at school (she should skip a year, maybe two, but that practice is not costum in my country, and my parents are SJs so it's out of the question), is analytical, is curious, perfectionistic, says things disregarding if they are appropriate or not, demands reason and explanation when receiving directions and orders. She primarily wants independence, yet prefers leading to following.

I am trying to steer her in a good direction, teaching her about social norms, how to pick your battles and how to maximize your influence and navigate in emotional situations, but I have no idea what types of challanges INTP females encounter in their life because of their gender.

What were you main issues in adolescence? What would you advise to your younger self?
You sound like a great person for her to have in her life. Don't let her get played by awful men, and don't let her end up direction-less regarding career (but if you influence/ help her into something and she rebels against it (and against you even, not believing in herself or realising it's good for her) don't leave her to battle it on her own because she'll need your support). She does sound like an INTP. You could get her into some cool sport/ movement based activity which she enjoys (probably not team, although it may be ok, and not horribly dangerous as we can do stupid things, although doesn't have to be completely safe) because it helps reduce stress and fuels our thinking/ creativity, and helps grow confidence (but shouldn't be a priority over school).
 

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My little sister (13 y.o.) seems extremely similar to me. She is INTP (INTJ seems to be the only other option)

She excells at school (she should skip a year, maybe two, but that practice is not costum in my country, and my parents are SJs so it's out of the question), is analytical, is curious, perfectionistic, says things disregarding if they are appropriate or not, demands reason and explanation when receiving directions and orders. She primarily wants independence, yet prefers leading to following.

I am trying to steer her in a good direction, teaching her about social norms, how to pick your battles and how to maximize your influence and navigate in emotional situations, but I have no idea what types of challanges INTP females encounter in their life because of their gender.

What were you main issues in adolescence? What would you advise to your younger self?
It sounds more like INTJ than INTP to me, but whatever, I think the best option is not to give a shit what other people think and try to achieve goals, financial wealth is what creates independence, the rest is bs. about love ... I don't know, if you find someone who can create a better life for them, why not? It's not like all men are shit, a real man always seeks to be better than before. so yeah ... I think schools should teach to people: civil education, physiological education and financial education.


I mean ... from my perspective ... you should never allow your loved one to be caged in one aspect of the system, to be free is the greatest education you can give her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
[...] So maybe another bit of advice would be to ask herself what SHE wants from a man or from a relationship. And to stay away from boys/men who don't truly like her.

I was going to suggest that she go to an alternative school, but I didn't because it seemed that your parents wouldn't allow it. But going to the best high school in the city would probably please your parents and be good for your sister as well. So that's a great short-term goal she can aim for.
I'll talk to her about boys in the years to come. At the moment she seems to be in that early adolescence phase when she is only getting accustomed to having strong attraction to the opposite sex, and getting accustomed to being viewed in such way. So I am currently only concerned about checking is she developing some kind of destructive obsession with her physical imperfections, such as can lead to anorexia and similar problems, but at the moment she seems like she's handling everything pretty well.

About school... yeah, my parents would consider that sort of a move only if she had some major issues at school, and even then my father would probably be against it. But, gladly I don't think it will be necessary.

You sound like a great person for her to have in her life. Don't let her get played by awful men, and don't let her end up direction-less regarding career (but if you influence/ help her into something and she rebels against it (and against you even, not believing in herself or realising it's good for her) don't leave her to battle it on her own because she'll need your support). She does sound like an INTP. You could get her into some cool sport/ movement based activity which she enjoys (probably not team, although it may be ok, and not horribly dangerous as we can do stupid things, although doesn't have to be completely safe) because it helps reduce stress and fuels our thinking/ creativity, and helps grow confidence (but shouldn't be a priority over school).
Thank you! I'll do my best to help her emotionally down the line, it's a good thing our mother is a warm ISFJ so she will get quality emotional support if they remain on good terms. As for rebeling, I almost expect her to rebel, at least for a time. That's totally fine.

When it comes to sports, I am telling her and our parents for years that she should find a sports club. She bores herself out by watching some irrelevant TV program around 10-15 hours a week, so it's not like she is overbooked. She attends extracurricular classes in IT and languages, but I don't think they are as important as PE. I was teaching her Chess for the last month and I saw that she is perfectionistic and competetive, so an individual sport like Tennis seems perfect. If she enrolls in Tennis or something like that, that will be SO good.

It sounds more like INTJ than INTP to me, but whatever, I think the best option is not to give a shit what other people think and try to achieve goals, financial wealth is what creates independence, the rest is bs. about love ... I don't know, if you find someone who can create a better life for them, why not? It's not like all men are shit, a real man always seeks to be better than before. so yeah ... I think schools should teach to people: civil education, physiological education and financial education.


I mean ... from my perspective ... you should never allow your loved one to be caged in one aspect of the system, to be free is the greatest education you can give her.
I think she is a highly driven, perfectionistic INTP that displays J-like behaviour, but that might as well just be my projection of my qualities on her. Close collegues in my university assumed I'm an INTJ (and I score J on tests), but I identify more with Ti than Te.

I agree with everything else you've said, exploration seems like a necessity for any healthy intuitive. I don't micromanage her, primarily I try to "meta-manage" her by showing a good example, giving advice and such, I only act strict and command when she gets seriously out of the line, such as speaking foul words to someone, not cooperating in family, et cetera, and she generally submits when she hears me raising my voice a bit.
 

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My little sister (13 y.o.) seems extremely similar to me. She is INTP (INTJ seems to be the only other option)
For INTPs, the P/J preference can get blurred ...
  • Over-planning (versus actually finishing something) can look like a J.
  • Being highly opinionated can look like J's black/white worldview.
  • I would look closely at her spontaneity/adaptability -- Being willing to adjust to changes in plans, or even delighting in breaking plans is totally a P thing.
  • Although everyone procrastinates, INTPs make a profession of it -- using it as part of their process sometimes.
She primarily wants independence, yet prefers leading to following.
Many INTPs don't want to be either the leader or the follower ... they want to chart their own course (often alone). Ideally they will have someone to help catch their ideas and projects that fall by the wayside and bring them back to the forefront.

... challenges INTP females encounter in their life because of their gender.
There really isn't a classic FEMALE NERD to idealize and demonstrate how to succeed in life. This can be very discouraging.

The world expects nerds to be male ... and many of her interests may be highly populated by males. Her independence may have no problem with being surrounded by males, even enjoying becoming "one of the guys". But this makes dating difficult: everyone you're compatible with is a great friend you don't want to take a chance of losing.

What were you main issues in adolescence? What would you advise to your younger self?
I was highly stressed out (family matters and feeling like an alien on this planet) so I would say to myself:

RELAX! This is just school -- You'll probably never see these people again!

And I would also tell myself to read Please Understand Me to discover there is an entire category of people like me.

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Not all INTPs are the same but our general strategic/planning mindset and general lack of executive impulse can lead to the dreaded "Not working up to potential." I don't have any specific advice about how to fix a lack of motivation (still working on this, myself).

Check out the Clifton Strengths Assessment (~$20) for more about strategic / executive etc. They also have a kid's version of the test (~$10).

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ALSO: Be careful to watch for detachment / discouragement leading to depression. Act early to help her if you see the signs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

That's just my 2 cents worth -- Hope it's helpful,

~ Sunny 🌞
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@SoSaysSunny thank you for this extensive reply. I especially found interesting what you've said about the lack of a good role model in our culture for "female nerds". In late highschool I finally started accepting who I am, and some cultural icons like Albert Einstein made me feel more comfortable with myself and my cognitive preferences.

When she was around 9 years old, she was attracted to becoming a scientist. Right now she is more interested in being an architect one day, but I told her not to obsess over it too much because it's still a long way to go for her. She excells in math and IT stuff, so it's quite possible she will end up surrounded by men in her profession. Maybe she will prefer that sort of company, but it comes with a price because of almost unavoidable romantic feelings that tend to develop.

At the moment, she isn't lacking in motivation at all. She procrastinates with some aspects of her duties, but usually she is dilligent and in many situations puts work before play. I primarily worry that she may run into social problems that could lead to resignation, because she lacks the usual charm, pliability and interests of extroverted feeler girls, so she might be thought of as too weird by majority of guys and girls in her school.
 

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ISTP throwing in my two cents.

My primary problems in adolescence were social awkwardness and uncertainty about the future coupled with an intense pressure to succeed (a lot of it internal, some external from family). Some of that is normal across teenagers. Inferior Fe didn't help, obviously. I don't remember letting gender norms bother me much. I never cared about being a normal girl as such. And it didn't seem to bother other people, either. I found that people will tolerate your quirks for the most part if you're good-humored, which is how ExTPs seem to get by.

To be honest, I don't think I listened to much of the advice my parents or older sister gave me. The best thing they could have done is just be supportive, engage normally instead of making everything about imparting a lesson or pushing me to do this or that, and promote a positive emotional environment. My family tried their best, but they also stressed me out like nobody else.
 
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