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As an INTP, what inclination drives you most: to undertand the world or to affect it?

  • To passively understand the world from a distant and withdrawn position.

    Votes: 31 43.1%
  • To actively affect the world with my mind and thoughts, to make it a better place.

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Both. I want to understand the world actively while trying to shape it.

    Votes: 37 51.4%
  • Neither/I don't know (explain)

    Votes: 3 4.2%

  • Total voters
    72
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Discussion Starter #1
Some INTP's seem to want to influence the world with their minds, indirectly or directly, but in some shape or form. Other INTP's may give a damn about that and just want to sit back and passively understand it all - interpreting and analyzing it from a very withdrawn position, in a hands-off sort of way. Which are you more inclined to?

Part of me wishes to create architectural designs and solutions to problems that can be used to shape the world, but I'm not always inclined to want to directly shape the world with my thoughts. Like Leondardo da Vinci, I sort of just see the idea of playing with the possible solutions in my head as adequate and sufficient, in and of itself. I really wouldn't need to actually apply these solutions to the world (although I'd wish they were by someone else).

The other part of me does not care to change the world at all. I could just sit back with complete apathy, as a distant stranger who seems hardly engaged as to the actual shape of things. Instead, my mind seems to want to make sense of the world, first and foremost, rather than actually attempting to design it or affect it in any certain sort of way.

I think the latter is the stronger impulse that drives me.
 

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Some INTP's seem to want to influence the world with their minds, indirectly or directly, but in some shape or form. Other INTP's may give a damn about that and just want to sit back and passively understand it all - interpreting and analyzing it from a very withdrawn position, in a hands-off sort of way. Which are you more inclined to?

Part of me wishes to create architectural designs and solutions to problems that can be used to shape the world, but I'm not always inclined to want to directly shape the world with my thoughts. Like Leondardo da Vinci, I sort of just see the idea of playing with the possible solutions in my head as adequate and sufficient, in and of itself. I really wouldn't need to actually apply these solutions to the world (although I'd wish they were by someone else).

The other part of me does not care to change the world at all. I could just sit back with complete apathy, as a distant stranger who seems hardly engaged as to the actual shape of things. Instead, my mind seems to want to make sense of the world, first and foremost, rather than actually attempting to design it or affect it in any certain sort of way.

I think the latter is the stronger impulse that drives me.

I voted to understand and to shape. Though there are times when I feel like just observing it, and not caring, when I'm disappointed by my fellow humans...
 
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I voted both... because:

And about whether we INTPs want to analyse or change the world through our thoughts: I want to do both and usually these two goals are intertwined and seemingly the same in my thinking. Sometimes I already changed reality in my head and are absolutely certain that my thoughts are already made reality... untill reality smacks me in the face by showing me that reality is still the same old inferior version of my perceived and self-constructed reality.
 

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I chose "understand" only. the times I feel the desire to shape the world, it is in impractical and tyrannical ways. like "all the stupid people should be hauled off somewhere" and "hairstyles, baby names, and typefaces must have my approval or they shall not be used."

if I could somehow affect the world with my thoughts without having to formulate plans and take action, I would. muahahaha. to make it a better place, of course. a better place according to meeeeeeee.

after thinking about this some more--with regards to how the physical world aside from human beings works, I just want to understand. with regards to humans, the tyrannical, impractical, maniacal stuff.
 

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I am more along the lines of "passively understanding the world from a distant and withdrawn position". I think that is more part of the Introverted function, and as we Introverts start to develop our Extroverted functions than perhaps "To actively affect the world with my mind and thoughts, to make it a better place" will become the new way of how we interact with the world.

I do not care to interact with most people. I am usually very passive and overall judge and criticize. In return I realize that it has no benefits of motivating me to get to know people. I sit back, watch and analyze the world. When I do, I make consumptions that may or may not be correct. I analyze situations rather than taking part in them; this is not very productive at all. Because of this, people note that I am always quiet. I just don't have a lot to say about myself or my views because I am too busy studying other people (and not in a weird, creeper way either).

If I was not this way that I think I would be so much more productive, but I am not. I analyze so much that I tell myself 'Stop planning. Stop watching others and start living and making your own choices instead of paying attention to other peoples live'.
 

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Both actually, but voted neither, because the explanation for the option "both" didn't appeal as sufficient enough.
I like to sit back and view, I used to like it even more, but as time has passed I've become more comfortable with the idea that sometimes I'm expected to be participating in certain situations. So I do my part if I get the feeling and then roll back to being in a spectator's role. Sometimes I do things just to see what would happen, not because I'm expected to, so this would be like semi-passive, for I come in for a second and mess with something and right away take a step back to observe the consequences.
In conclusion most of the time passive or semi-passive and I turn on my active mode when I see that everyone else around is doing totally the wrong thing
 

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I voted both. First I need to understand the world. I want to know how things work, why people do the things they do, how to control, manipulate, affect things. I need to understand the inner mechanisms of the universe. And then I want to act. Because I see the way things are now, I see the systems that are set up, and I hate them. They're. Not. Working. And I want to fix them. Because when the system is broken, it begins to affect me. Too many things are in the way, too many people ignoring reality, so many things we could be doing, but the systems are broken. And there's no one to fix them. I want to be that person. I want to fix the systems. I want this world to be a better place, for me to live in. It's probably selfish. Yeah, I want other people to see the things I see because it's amazing what we could do, the things we could know. But mostly I want to change people, change the world so everyone will get off my back :tongue:

Of course, because of my P-ness I'm too lazy to actually do anything about it :sad:
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I chose "understand" only. the times I feel the desire to shape the world, it is in impractical and tyrannical ways. like "all the stupid people should be hauled off somewhere" and "hairstyles, baby names, and typefaces must have my approval or they shall not be used."

if I could somehow affect the world with my thoughts without having to formulate plans and take action, I would. muahahaha. to make it a better place, of course. a better place according to meeeeeeee.

after thinking about this some more--with regards to how the physical world aside from human beings works, I just want to understand. with regards to humans, the tyrannical, impractical, maniacal stuff.
Very brilliant post. Made me laugh, and I relate entirely.
 
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Voted both. I think changing the world is superior, but it's not in my nature to do it as an INTP.

Couldn't care less about fixing systems (in general). I just want my way. I want to ban people from building ugly buildings, I'd love to end urban sprawl, impose minimalist lifestyles on people for the sake of the enviroment (the whole of society is saying goodbye to its decandant ways and getting a massive makeover), I'd make holding repulsive moral beliefs illegal, force people to "accept the truth", etc.

And I want to be famous in general (my name, I mean, I don't want to be a celebrity except to appear on talk shows...an hour with the camera on ME, ME rambling on while EVERYONE had to listen to MY ideas! Oh, it would be heaven. I want to become a commentator so bad. We INTP's are good critics).

Anyway, I'd love to be responsible for some massive social movement that utterly revolutionizes the way people think, live and see the world. Even if I'm not the mastermind; I just want credit and to die knowing I did my part in shaping it.

And I'd have a temple built to myself of course. And have people bow to me and chant hymns of praise to me and all that.:tongue:

I have terrible delusions of granduer. I was one of those kids who fantasized about taking over the world.:crazy:

But yeah, I actually would much rather do than understand, which is odd for a Ti dominant. I have more of a drive to understand, but I feel locked up if that understanding doesn't lead anywhere.

EDIT: But seriously, I WILL be an architect one day. I will design and build my own house (I used to for fun as a kid...and I know I am talented at it). According to my own vision. It will be vast and ornate and unusual and beautiful and with sustainable, super-efficient systems everywhere. It is the highest form of visual art, methinks.
 

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I want to be a photojournalist, and I used to say that it was because I wanted to change the world by exposing truths, but honestly, I just want to do it for myself. If doing what I love affects people in a way that changes the world, that's awesome, but I'm not actively setting out to do so.

Reading this over it sounds kind of depressing..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I want to become a commentator so bad. We INTP's are good critics).
Indeed. I've always felt the urge to speak my mind about everything, as though others need to hear what I have to say. The commentator, the critic, the evaluator, the judge, and many other roles are always calling out to me, urging me to use my analytical mind to set things right.
 

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As a general approach to life, I think it is important to have a holistic understanding of things as a prerequisite to wanting to have an "effect" on the anything. Ideally, I think that behaviors and values should be grounded in how the world works - if they aren't, they're just garbage.

I often find that there is a tension between extremity of wanting to understand vs wanting to have an effect. I think having an extremely strong vision of how things "ought" to be tends to limit one's openness to seeing what actually is - emotional investments that human beings routinely have in their ideals are strong enough to blind them from anything in the world that might demonstrate how their goals fundamentally are incompatible with how the universe operates.
 

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I would like to just sit back and relax, watch the world go by like a river with a smoothie in hand and music flowing through my brain from earphones, but I don't know if it's society's conditioning or my actual true nature that makes me get right back up from my seat and try to change something, either in myself or around myself. For example, I sit on the sofa, watching the cityscape outside while resting my eyes from the intense laptop session I had from doing homework, and I immediately feel this kind of, 'I shouldn't be doing this...' kind of feeling. So I get up, walk around in the living room for a bit, and all is well. Unless I'm super tired and want to stay on the sofa forever and ever like there is no tomorrow.

I know E.B. White's quote, "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." is a cliché, but I can really relate to this. I want to use my potential to be able to literally make the world a better place. I feel frustrated when my abilities aren't recognized for what they can really do and when I myself am too lazy sometimes to grab every opportunity as it comes by. I also relate to INTPs being secret perfectionists. I may seem laid back sometimes, but deep inside, I am always struggling to see the best of me and to have some kind of positive impact wherever I am.
 
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I voted "To passively understand the world from a distant and withdrawn position.", but that's not exactly true.

I would like to change the world but :

-I don't understand it, so I don't know what to do.
(Every option can be logically defended; have to rely on "what feels good", and that doesn't feel good.)

-I don't feel entitled to; probably because of not relating much to humans; "This world sucks and could be better, but it's their choice; who am I to force a change? Just a stranger passing by."


I can't wait to be 40 and overcome that.
 
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I voted for 'passive.'

I'm don't really want to change the world; if I happen to do so, that's neat but the reaction would dwell down rather quickly. I'm curious to what others do more than what I can do. I know me; not them.
 

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I chose both, if solely because whenever I get the chance, if life goes the way I plan—stubbornly, I keep reminding myself it will—then I will take a passive role in just watching to learn what I'm dealing with, but eventually I want to help.

This might be because I tend to watch a lot of documentaries and I see all of these people suffering, be it from just their naivety or lack of a little nudge in a suitable direction. I want to help people, in an extroverted sense by actually being there to help instead of throwing my cash and labor at a damned charities.

I kind of hate charities. : |

But, yeah, I guess mostly I view the world from a passive point-of-view, I prefer watching because it's more interesting, and sometimes I feel like you're missing the more interesting things in life when you're only doing-doing-doing. I don't want to change the world, but I do want to sort of push people that want or at least can change it into doing so. It's not my job, I don't want credit it for it, but I'll help if needed.
 

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if I could somehow affect the world with my thoughts without having to formulate plans and take action, I would. muahahaha. to make it a better place, of course. a better place according to meeeeeeee.
"The world is a mess and I just need to rule it."
- Dr. Horrible (possible INTP?)
 

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I voted "To passively understand the world from a distant and withdrawn position.", but that's not exactly true.

I would like to change the world but :

-I don't understand it, so I don't know what to do.
(Every option can be logically defended; have to rely on "what feels good", and that doesn't feel good.)

-I don't feel entitled to; probably because of not relating much to humans; "This world sucks and could be better, but it's their choice; who am I to force a change? Just a stranger passing by."


I can't wait to be 40 and overcome that.
it doesn't change with age........ you either become more discusted or find ways to reframe others perspectives :p
 
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