You are my heroAnyone else noticed this trend?
It's the two ways in which I don't really relate to INTPs very well.
My problem with both pathological shyness (=social anxiety) and false modesty (=constantly belittling your own accomplishments or focusing only on your weaknesses) is that I believe they're both rooted in the same basic problem:
[wait for it]
You're thinking too long and too hard about yourself and how the world reacts to you or might react to you or could react to you in a worst case scenario. Instead of being less self-absorbed than others, you're actually more self-absorbed. Guess what? Nobody cares 1/10th as much as you do about how you come across in life. Most people have their own lives and their own problems, and whatever tiny faux pas you made three years ago was probably never on their radar. If they remember it, and they probably don't.
You don't need to become an extrovert to be successful or fulfilled in life. But you do need to stop focusing so hard on yourself and how others perceive you all the damn time.
Sometimes I even wonder if some of the INTPs here are extroverts who have severe social anxiety, based on how much they seem to care what other people think of them. The preoccupation with being one of the crowd, or being acceptable to the crowd, just doesn't ring "true" to me as an introvert.
<---- Just doesn't care.
Guess what? Not caring frees up a big part of my brain that allows me to experiment, take risks, and to do what I want to do in life. And you've only got one, so it'd be a shame to waste it.
I do like the whole self-absorption idea. Whenever I catch myself over thinking a social encounter with someone, I have to slap myself and sing that song "you're so vain, you probably think this song is about you, don't you" in my head. Not every crappy thing that someone does is about me. In fact, half of the perceived mean things people do are ecause they were just absent-minded or going through a tough time and didn't even realize who that manifested in such mean behavior.
It took me awhile to realize (and I am still learning) that people are people. We are all on the same playing field, the only thing that really separates us are our personal mindsets.