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Discussion Starter #1
1)What aspect of your personality made you unsure of your type?

I’ve long been confused about my type, because while I know my dominant function is intuitive perception, I can’t dermine if it’s Ni or Ne, and I’m unsure if I’m on the Fi/Te or Fe/Te axis, though I’m pretty sure I’m not a high Fe user. I recently took a cognitive function quiz which didn’t help at all, I scored about 80% Ne, 75% Ni and inconclusive results otherwise (low scores for most everything else). Typically, I score xNTP, xNFP, or xNTJ on normal tests.

2) What do you yearn for in life? Why?

I know exactly the life I want, but am unsure how to achieve it or unsure it even exists anymore. I am a professor of economics or political science or philosophy (when I was younger, I would have said literature but I studied literature in college and ultimately got fed up with how insipid and essentially self-indulgent academic literary criticism is). I have several well-respected publications and my thoughts are respected in my field and might even have some respect among lay-people, thought that’s not really too important. I sometimes consult for businesses or government to help solve problems. I have also published a few works of fiction which are loved by many. I have a healthy relationship with a wife, maybe a child but preferably not, and a few good friends to have over for dinner to talk about what interests me. I travel twice a year to places with interesting museums and cultural sights. Not really interested in “adventure” vacations, more of the “grand tour” type of trip. Overall, I want to have an impact on the world artistically and philosophically. I want to change the way people think, which is the only real way to change the world.

3) Think about a time where you felt like you were at your finest. Tell us what made you feel that way.

When I get to explain something, when I win an argument (a “win” is changing someone’s mind), when I’ve been thinking about something for a while and it all sort of falls together in an “aha” moment, when something I thought was going to happen happens just like I said it would.

4) What makes you feel inferior?

Being wrong, being ignored, having to “fit in” to prescribed roles, having to be emotionally expressive, working on something I don’t care about or think is stupid, having to justify myself, having decisions made for me.

5) What tends to weigh on your decisions? (Do you think about people, pro-cons, how you feel about it, etc.)
I try to think about what I get out of it. Will it help me get somewhere I want to be? Will it teach me something? Is it something that will make me happier?


I also try to consider the trade-offs. For everything you get, you have to give something, so is what I’m giving worth what I’m getting and vice versa.

Of course, I also consider what I personally, subjectively want, but those are more ideals than specifics. In other words, I have vague personal principals like “equality” and “justice”, but those are, well, vague. I can’t quite explain what they are, but they’re kind of like stars in the night sky, which I have to check with to make sure I’m going in the right direction. But they’re outlines, not a map.

Also, I can be a little anxious and pessimistic, so I usually tend to think about worst case scenarios and how to avoid being trapped by a decision. I want to consider the eventualities, and make the right choice that puts me in a position to succeed in the future.

6) When working on a project what is normally your emphasis? Do you like to have control of the outcome?

I want to be told what the end result needs to be/do and by when, and want to be left alone to do it my own way. If the end result is what they asked for, who gives a shit if I didn’t follow standard procedure? If the results are solid, the results are solid.

7) Describe us a time where you had a lot of fun. How is your memory of it?

Working on a research project I cared deeply about. Time ran faster, I was in a state of flow and things sort of came together on their own. Like I was discovering something I already knew but had forgotten.

8) When you want to learn something new, what feels more natural for you? (Are you more prone to be hands on, to theorize, to memorize, etc.)

I read about it. I read a lot about it. As I read, a theory or pattern starts to emerge and then I can start to understand the big picture. I tend to learn best by understanding the theory of the thing, rather than through case studies. Case studies are useful to illustrate a point, but I tend to get irritated by people who think everything is a case study and that there isn’t an underlying pattern or trend influencing things under the surface. People tend to ignore the larger forces at work in the world (economic incentives, advertising, national education policies, diet) and prefer to believe that everything is a choice made at the individual level rather than accept that there are decisions made for them or influencing them to make certain decisions. For me, it’s important to understand the deeper forces so that you can resist what needs to be resisted, destroy what needs to be destroyed, and change what needs to be changed.

9) How organized do you to think of yourself as?

Depends. When I was younger, I was very disorganized, but uncomfortable about that disorganization. Now that I’m older and starting out in the “real world”, I’ve become more conscientious and, as a result, a little less anxious. I find it’s comfortable to reduce my material needs (i.e. have less stuff) because then I only have stuff that I really value and is easier to keep organized.

Anyways, I still have some trouble being organized in the sense of keeping a schedule and color-coding my appointments. I understand the importance of it, but I hope one day to just outsource all of that to an assistant while I focus on bigger concerns (I know that’s an arrogant thing to say, but it’s the truth).

10) How do you judge new ideas? You try to understand the principles behind it to see if they make sense or do you look for information that supports it?

The answer to this is essentially the same as question 8. Find a lot of information until it sort of coalesces into an understanding and then pull back further to see how that understanding fits into the bigger understanding. If those don’t fit together, one of them’s go to give (or both! might be both are wrong and I need even more information).

11) You find harmony by making sure everyone is doing fine and belonging to a given group or by making sure that you follow what you believe and being yourself?

The second one. People should be able to pick their own groups they want to affiliate with (of course, it rarely works that way or is a clean process). I prefer groups that are either very specific (i.e., a trade group) which I am (very) distantly involved with, or a social group that has almost no objective purpose or organization other than the enjoyment of each other’s company. Social clubs and fraternities and the like are extremely stupid. Also, I despise the concept of “networking”. I understand that professional relationships are useful, but I really wish they weren’t.

12) Are you the kind that thinks before speaking or do you speak before thinking? Do you prefer one-on-one communication or group discussions?

It really depends. If I’m with people I trust or am part of a discussion I find interesting, I’m actively engaged and will talk without hesitation. Ideally, this is a group of friends where we’re discussing some political issue and debating the nature of the problem or solutions or whatever, or trying to interpret a movie we just watched.

13) Do you jump into action right away or do you like to know where are you jumping before leaping? Do actions speak more than words?

I prefer to look before I leap, but if I have to jump in to something with little thought, I can. Usually, my judgement of a situation as it’s developing is good enough, so I can make decisions in the moment. But like I said, I like to have some idea of why I’m doing something. I tend to have a goal but figure things out as I’m going. Words are important, but important in that they lead to action and change, otherwise what was the point of the words? Words can be literally magical. You can say something, and if you say it right, you alter the state of the world. If that’s not the definition of a spell, I don’t know what is.

14) It's Saturday. You're at home, and your favorite show is about to start. Your friends call you for a night out. What will you do?

Ignore the call, wait until I know it’s too late to meet up with them, and then text to say I was in the shower or something. I enjoy seeing my friends, but I kind of really hate “going out” unless I’m very drunk, which is kinda stupid anyways.

15) How do you act when you're stressed out?

Shut out the world. Retreat inwards and try to figure out what to do. Re-evaluate myself and my beliefs. Ignore my physical health. Lash out at people.

I’m trying not to do these things.

16) What makes you dislike the personalities of some people?

People who don’t think, but just react. I can’t be specific, but for a time I had a job where I had to take calls from people who were upset with something my organization was doing. And I cannot begin to describe how much these people irritated me, because I KNOW for a fact that they did NOT THINK about what they were upset about. They would say things that are demonstrably false or incomplete, and rather than try to think about things and try to understand WHY things are the way they are, or make sure they had the correct understanding of the situation, they called us to get upset and spew idiocy about how we’re evil. They didn’t actually want to understand, they were just upset and want us to know they were upset. And the thing is, I actually AGREED with some of the people sometimes, but not for the same reasons which was even more irritating because they were right for the wrong reason, which is the same as being wrong. Most people just react, never stop to think about things. I’m fine with people disagreeing if they actually came to that disagreement through really thinking it through, but if they just have an emotional reaction and STAY there, never using that reaction as a chance to evaluate their beliefs or the situation, then I have no respect for them. I believe everyone is capable of thinking, but I think most people are afraid of it or it leads them to conclusions that make them uncomfortable. They want to live in Plato’s cave and never see the light. Sometimes (most of the time), it feels as if I’ve stared into the abyss, and seen the darkness in it’s depths, and when people try to turn away, I feel like I have to grab their heads and make them look. They have to look, because if they don’t look, they won’t understand, and the dark things at the bottom of the abyss will churn away in the shadows, unchecked and unchallenged. If everyone would just look, understand the situation, then we can organize and fight back. But instead, everyone just looks away and I watch as the dark things gnaw at the pillars of the earth.

17) Is there anything you really like talking about with other people?

Movies, Books, Music, Philosophy, Politics/Economics, History,

Really dislike sports talk.

18) What kind of things do pay the least attention to in your life?

For the longest time, I treated my body with either disregard or mistreatment. When I was younger, I struggled with overeating and got really fat by the time I graduated high school. In college, I vacillated between extreme under-eating, and extreme over-eating until a few years ago I decided to take control. I have to stay conscious about it at all times (literally track everything I eat, remind myself to get good sleep, take regular showers, etc), but I’m at a healthy weight now and am looking to start exercising to get to where I want to be.

19) How do your friends perceive you? What is wrong about their perception? What would your friends never say about your personality?

They would probably say that I’m overly intellectual, really argumentative, big-R Romantic, somewhat aloof, disappointed and vaguely sad, but also sometimes inspirational and encouraging. They’re probably right, but the thing I hate is when they act like I’m arguing just to disagree, which almost never happens (intentionally, at least. My opinion does change, and often). They’d never say I was particularly sentimental or emotionally ebullient.

20) You got a whole day to do whatever you like. What kind of activities do you feel like doing?

Go to a museum or a used bookstore. Drink a lot of coffee. See a movie. Play an interesting single-player video game (multiplayer is kinda repetitive and I’m not very good at it). Have a conversation with a close friend.
 

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@FlameOfTheWest

The Fi-Te axis in you is evident. They stuck out almost immediately to me, in close quarters with one another. My immediate thoughts were that one was aux and the other was tertiary. INFP or ENTJ simply doesn't make since for such a reason.

Furthermore, you clearly use an intuitive function first. This leaves ENFP or INTJ for an intuition dom who is on the Fi-Te axis. You clearly aren't an Ne dom. The extent to which you use Ni is obvious to me as well. I can pick out specific points that illustrate this if you would like, but INTJ makes sense to me more than the others.

So much of what you wrote was using Ni-Fi... The concept of a big picture, the insights which you have ascertained (Ni-Fi) and the desire to spread them. Not caring about the details or process of a project, but rather the big picture (Ni>Ne>Si.) The plan in which you have to spread your ideals (Ni-Te).

Your Ni vision is clear and predominant, and the following judging functions are your methods of spreading it and accessories for how you came to your conclusions.

As for enneagram, I'd be interested in digging into that further with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You clearly aren't an Ne dom. The extent to which you use Ni is obvious to me as well. I can pick out specific points that illustrate this if you would like, but INTJ makes sense to me more than the others.
I see that, but there are behaviors that make me think I'm an Ne type, like my constant inability to decide on a career path. For example, I changed my major almost seven times in college, and I can't seem to settle down on a career path (in my head) and am willing to completely uproot myself to follow a good opportunity. I have a folder in my desk of story ideas from a wide range of ideas, which I always associate with Ne (maybe I've accepted certain stereotypes about Ne that are simply the result of other psychological factors?) On the other hand, I have always sort of KNOWN what career I want (a sort of philosopher/artist), I'm just not sure how to get there. But I can see what you're saying, I guess I just struggle with some inconstant behavior.

As for enneagram, I'd be interested in digging into that further with you.
Sure, I usually test as a 4 or 5, I think
 

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I see that, but there are behaviors that make me think I'm an Ne type, like my constant inability to decide on a career path. For example, I changed my major almost seven times in college, and I can't seem to settle down on a career path (in my head) and am willing to completely uproot myself to follow a good opportunity.
This can be an argument for Ni or for Ne, I'd say. The reason is the important part. My INTJ brother and ENTP friend both changed majors quite often, for different reasons. For my INTJ brother, he wants to change the world in an exact way with an exact lifestyle (namely, technologically with AI), but examining them and experiencing them meant he had to alter things. For instance, he wanted to do neural networking research, but upon doing research, discovered that he found it too corrupt and constrictive on his idea to change the world. For him, the big picture and scheme of his life is the focus, and it takes a lot of thought to change dramatically.

With my ENTP friend, he'll run into an article he likes about a certain job and get fascinated and obsessed with it and orient a future around it. There was the astronomy phase for a while. But then, out of nowhere, something entirely unrelated (anthropology, animation, AI work, marine biology) will pop up and steal the show.

TLDR; with my Ni brother the issue is "I have an abstract goal and I don't know the concrete specifics of how to reach it." with the Ne friend, the issue is "All of these totally unrelated things I could do sound fun and great, and I can see myself having a lot of fun with them all! It's just too hard to choose one thing!"

I have a folder in my desk of story ideas from a wide range of ideas, which I always associate with Ne (maybe I've accepted certain stereotypes about Ne that are simply the result of other psychological factors?)
Would you mind expanding on your reasoning here and what you mean by wide range of ideas?

On the other hand, I have always sort of KNOWN what career I want (a sort of philosopher/artist), I'm just not sure how to get there. But I can see what you're saying, I guess I just struggle with some inconstant behavior.
This sort of knowing of how you want the future to be with a lack of assurance on the details sounds like an Ni struggle, IMO. You know the essence and the broad scheme of how the future is meant to be, but the concrete method of going there is difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
TLDR; with my Ni brother the issue is "I have an abstract goal and I don't know the concrete specifics of how to reach it." with the Ne friend, the issue is "All of these totally unrelated things I could do sound fun and great, and I can see myself having a lot of fun with them all! It's just too hard to choose one thing!"
I've been editing this several times to try to explain it, so forgive me for that, I keep reading over it and feeling it's not quite right. Anyways, it's sort of both. Here's the deal. I know what I want the world to be and look like, and I absolutely cannot live a life where I don't do something to try and make it real I think I'll always feel like something of a coward or a failure. But I don't know how to do it at all, so I keep looking for the right path. I keep looking for the "right" career that would allow me to be fulfilled and be in the position to make some kind of change. I've considered a PhD (in a variety of areas, literature, philosophy, political science, economics), or a professional degree (much less interested, too granular and detail-oriented) or a career in journalism or even trying for a behind-the-scenes career in Hollywood. That last one is a bit different, but I suppose it's because I sort of have an internal struggle over whether you change systems through culture or culture through systems. Also I personally really really like writing stories and poems and photography for fun.

Would you mind expanding on your reasoning here and what you mean by wide range of ideas?
Lots of different story ideas. One I keep coming back to is a sort of blend of cyberpunk with high fantasy (that's an extremely simplistic explanation), but there are a ton of different ideas, most of them fantastical. It's very easy to outline the generalities of a story, but hard to follow through and some of them just don't hold my attention while others I keep coming back to. Like I said, I really like writing but if I'm completely honest, I sometimes feel like I want to have a more... direct? impact on the world. It's hard to explain.
 

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I read most of it and I'm seeing Ti mostly. Ti-users are abstract system-builders in the sense that they want to understand a system fully, rather than use it to do something. From your answers I see a lot of that. You research things not to answer a question, but to understand the underlying system (please correct me if I'm wrong). That's Ti to the max.
Ti-dominants also value being correct in an argument over letting the other back down. Like when you said you feel like you've won an argument when you have convinced the other party, that's Ti-Fe at work. Te feels like they've won when the other party backs down.

From the rest I see INTP as lots more likely than ISTP. You seem much more into theory than practice, which seems like a great place for an INTP to be.

One question for this though: you mentioned you're already a few years older (I'm guessing 35+ from your description). How old are you (if it's not a too impolite question)? My reason for asking is that people develop other parts of their personality, making their daily lives often a bit different from younger members of a personality group.
If you're INTP that would mean you would've started developing Si from around your 30's, giving you more attention for facts, rather than just theories. From this age an INTP would start having a lot more control over their memory functions and find themselves being a more stable and dependable person. From 40 (or I think for some people a bit later) you'd start to develop concious control of your Fe more and be more in tune with the group and society as a whole. Older INTP's can be a bit more motivated to attend activities with other people and be more responsive to social feedback (although not too much, you're still getting your energy from Ti).

I'm always open to being wrong, but the way you formulated your answers seems a high indicator for your being an INTP.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Ti-users are abstract system-builders in the sense that they want to understand a system fully, rather than use it to do something.
Yes and no. I'm an extremely curious person, and enjoy learning almost anything and everything (I once spent a few months studying alchemy and the occult for crying out loud), but I want to find a way to use everything I've learned to change things. I see things differently from almost everyone else, and I kinda feel like I have to do something to change things. I often feel like I'll go crazy just watching things happen. But I don't know what that "fighting" looks like. Sometimes I think the answer will come by trying to change structures of society (through laws, tax incentives, etc) and sometimes by norms (philosophy, art, music, popular culture, education), you feel me?

Ti-dominants also value being correct in an argument over letting the other back down. Like when you said you feel like you've won an argument when you have convinced the other party, that's Ti-Fe at work. Te feels like they've won when the other party backs down
So, the thing about that is that I'm very argumentative in that way, but I can't remember ever doing that stereotypical ti "devil's advocate" thing. I'm actually a very earnest person in most of my life, and when I argue for something it's because I believe in what i'm saying. I can't stand people being wrong because they don't have all the information or haven't considered the bigger concept (I can't stand when some's argument against something is based in a subjective "that's not what my experience teaches me"! Sorry, but i don't give a shit if your individual perception is wrong, I have 10, 25, 100 different individual perspectives that disagree with you, so why is yours more valid? Because it's yours??? That's just plain not coherent.), and I especially can't stand selfishness and how it manifests in the way people act. Anyways, I don't argue for the sake of it, I argue for a reason and that reason is to change minds by MAKING them see the truth. Sometimes it feels like I've stared into the proverbial abyss and let it stare back into me, and now I kinda feel like I have to grab everyone I meet and make them stare too, because if we ignore the abyss, it will always be there, festering and belching up dark things, but if we all see it for what it is, we can do something about it.

How old are you?
25.

I've only started being more productive in the last few years. College was a hard time for me, I was fighting off serious depression for much of it so I go terrible grades for the first few years, somehow got out of it and started getting great grades, did an undergrad thesis, got a few research fellowships after I graduated and am now working in a relatively good job. Over this time, I've learned to follow through on things and work harder. When I was much much younger, I would literally not do things I thought would be boring or didn't want to do. Now, I'm much better
 

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Thank you for the response. That indeed makes you sound a lot more like an Fi-user than a Ti-user. Some of your wordings really threw me off in your original post. I agree with Bitterself that INTJ might be a type you'd want to look into to see if it fits. I'm not ruling out INFP, but I'm not convinced of Ne from anything you mentioned. You seem more like an Ni-user to me.

I'd suggest to read up on the INTJ type (beyond the stereotypes and try to go into the theory of it) and see if it fits you at all.
 
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