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I've been having a lot of conflict lately with trying to discover who I am and what I want out of life (just finished first year of college and it was a shaky transition) and stumbled upon a form of the Myers Briggs test on the Collegeboard site (The people who do the SAT's). I was originally just trying to use it as a form of helping me figure out careers and majors, but once I delved into how it worked and what each type meant and such I began to see it as potentially helpful in figuring out more about myself.

When I first took the test in High School, I was clearly in the intuitive, "visonary" category (Which fit with me wanting to be an engineer and looking to the future and all that) but taking it again recently put me with the Sensory, "traditionalist" category. I branched out from there and took every test I could on the web and read every description of S and N I could find but have hit an absolute roadblock.

I'm completely sure that I am an I and a T, a little uncertain about the P or J and completely at a loss about the S or N. I have been under a lot of stress lately and can't seem to sort out what I do naturally from what is an adaptive function anymore. All the descriptions of S and N seem so simple that any action I try to analyze can be argued on either side. Even more confusing is that there seems to be some overlap between different explanations of each function and the traits attributed to them.

I read the descriptions for some of the overall types (ISTJ, INTJ, ISTP, and INTP) and see them all as applicable on some level. I'm concerned I might be biased though as I really WANT to be on the N side of things as the idea of being a "traditionalist" opposes a lot of my values (though that may just be because I'm a teenager).

I've been driving myself absolutely crazy analyzing every action I take, reading every article I can find, and searching my memories for some way of making a decision, but I'm just at a loss at this point. I was hoping someone could help me see things with a fresh perspective or help me determine my preference, as I cannot seem to understand the distinction between S or N and the cognitive processes.

I'll try to give some basic information on myself but I can't help but feel biased given my value preference for N and my perception that S is seen as a "less intelligent" function.

-I worry. A lot. I've struggled with an anxiety condition my whole life, mainly relating to school but extending to a lot of public places. I question whether a mental disease has any bearing on preference though, or whether its just clouding the matter.
-I'm not artistically creative in the least bit. In woodshop I just made a series of boxes because I couldn't really picture anything else. The fact that I'm terrible with my hands and was always afraid of the machinery didn't help.
-I have a constant fear of failure and often sell myself short, leading me to underachieve.
-I was able to succeed academically because I was very fortunate in that I have the uncanny ability to remember information. If I take the time to read the material and understand it, and pay attention in class, I've never had to study to do very well on exams. I I know something is important, or if I find it interesting, I can remember it with precision.
-I can remember information very easily but names and dates escape me. My memory sometimes needs a "jumpstart" and after that I can ramble off lots of pieces.
-I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking. Even as a kid my favorite thing to do would be to just sit on my swing outside and think about things.
-I tend to get obsessed about things in a short-term sense. I focus in completely on something for a while but move on once I'm "done" with it.
-I have always done well academically regardless of the subject. Science was easy because I found it interesting, same with histroy (though the names and date part required extra effort). English was usually interesting except for the poetry units that I struggled with. My writing has often been praised by my teachers, who have remarked that it reads as if I was speaking to them.
-Continuing with my writing, I have always enjoyed reflective writing assignments because they force me to actually structure my thoughts and "finish them", often leading me to come to new insights. Once I get writing I easily flow from one idea to the next and find new understandings as I do. Though I enjoy reflection, I hate research papers as they prohibit this exploration of my ideas.
-I have a need to understand ideas or else I cannot go on. I fixate over understanding anything and cannot move on until it makes sense to me. It bothers me when I don't understand something (which is what led me to make this post =) )
-When I get threatened I tend to retreat and just shut down. I don't handle stress or pressure well.
-I was always seen as "odd" in my school. Though everyone was pretty accepting, I often did things differently or thought in a different way than kids. I never really cared what people thought about me, but I did enjoy that my intellect allowed me acceptance.
-I'm fairly certain the majority of my friends are N, though whether this is because we bonded over being on the fringes or our common interests in video games, fantasy, and sci-fi is debatable. I should note that I definitely feel they are "more N" than me (Whether that means I am S or just less N is still a question though)

I'm going to stop there before I start rambling too much, and leave people open to ask any questions to fill in gaps I may have missed. I just want to end with saying that I play a lot of video games and was thinking that the character or personality people adopt may say something about their personality, and was wondering if people think this may hold true or if the ideas of video games as escapism or idealism defeats any connection to someone's true self. I ask because I am far more certain about the persona I value and adopt in video games and think that might provide some insights.
 

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My vote is for intp. Feeling different from others, and enjoying exploring ideas were the main two things that I could point out to support this, amongst a sea of what is obviously Ti at work here. I could relate to a lot of this when I was younger, also.
 
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i'm going to have to say you seem more N. INTP or possibly INTJ. i think we should take you being stressed into consideration, so here's a site (you may have seen it if you have been researching). and while i'm certainly not as knowledgeable as i should be on the functions, i do know INTPs are more afraid of failure - INTJs are more confident. a negative comment on INTPs was that they are an "unmotivated INTJ". INTJs also usually devote more focus to certain areas in order to master them, while INTPs are rather strewn about.. INTJs focus on problems even after they understand them, INTPs seem to get bored with their method and lose motivation.

maybe this will be of some use to you, if you have not come across it yet:
Extraverted Thinking (Te):
- Relies on objective facts outside the thinker as the decisive factor.
- Abstract ideas have less importance.
- Focuses on details, including irrelevancies.
- Goal is the solution of practical problems, planning programs, developing formulas, etc.
- May be overwhelmed by facts, smothering their meaning and paralyzing the thinking.

Introverted Thinking (Ti):
- Relies on the abstract idea as the decisive factor.
- External facts are used as illustrative proof of the abstract idea.
- Focuses on similarities, dismissing irrelevancies.
- Goal is formulating questions, developing theories, yielding insight, etc.
- May neglect facts that don't support the idea.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe):
- Serves to make the individual always feel correctly (conventionally.)
- Adapts the individual to the objective situation based on the customs and conventions of the environment.
- Finds value in the collective ideals of the community.
- Goal is the formation of harmonious emotional relationships.
- May suppress the personal standpoint entirely.

Introverted Feeling (Fi):
- Guides the emotional acceptance or rejection of various aspects of life.
- Adapts the objective situation to the individual by excluding or igonoring the unacceptable.
- Finds value inside the self from inner appreciation and abstraction.
- Goal is the fostering of inner emotional life and outer realization of inner ideal.
- May find no objective fulfillment or outlet for expression.

Extraverted Sensing (Se):
- Values the object sensed rather than the subjective impression of the object.
- Impression is of concrete reality.
- Leads to concrete enjoyment of things.
- Attention is focused on the strongest stimulus.
- Develops a pleasure-loving outer self.

Introverted Sensing (Si):
- Values the subjective impression of the object rather than the object itself.
- Impression is subjective, arising from some meaning or significance of the object.
- Leads to ideas through archetypes rather than physical reality.
- Attention is directed by inner interests. Other stimuli may be ignored.
- Develops an eccentric and individual inner self. May appear irrational to others.

Extraverted Intuition (Ne):
- Uses inner understanding in the interests of the objective situation.
- Aims to change the objective situation.
- Searches for emerging possibilities in outer objects.
- Finds self-expression natural and easy.
- Finds value in the initiation and promotion of new enterprises.
- Needs a developed judging function to complete its activities.

Introverted Intuition (Ni):
- Uses the objective situation in the interests of inner understanding.
- Aims to change the subjective understanding of the objective situation.
- Searches for new ways of viewing and understanding life.
- Finds self-expression difficult.
- Finds value in the interpretation of life and promotion of understanding.
- Needs a developed judging function to express visions and to put them into practice.
 
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