Sorry if this is long, but i've edited it significantly to just include what i think might be the most relevant data. Thank you so much to anyone who reads through it all and can offer me some advice on what i may be
I decided that the easiest way for me to ask for help would be by listing all the functions and the traits that i think i exhibit from them. If i'm understanding a function wrong or putting traits in the wrong function, let me know and if someone thinks they can help me figure out my type from this data please let me know. Much appreciation to anyone who can help
First, Why am i confused?:
I've grown up in a rather hostile environment for the first 18 years of my life (verbal, emotional abuse). As a result of being raised in such chaotic circumstances and having to repress so much of myself for so long, I now have difficulty separating my natural strengths from functions that i had to beat myself up to develop in order to survive. I worry especially often that i may be mistaking my shadow functions for what i think are my natural strengths and seeking to develop the wrong things.
Initially when i learned the myers-briggs I thought I was INTP. I was always socially awkward as a kid, teen and young adult. I easily resented others for logical inconsistencies, i loved puzzles and video games, making lists, building systems for things. I had a huge imagination which i fed by consuming music, film, and all the arts and loved those things because of how characters, plots, aesthetic elements triggered my mind to make connections between ideas and emotions and make sense of both. I was quiet and rarely expressed my emotions, i loved organizing and was great at school whenever i started (always 4.0's in the first semester) though I always lost interest and stopped applying myself as I went on (always 2.0's in the last semester). People often thought i was rude, shy and/or self-absorbed and spacey, but in reality i just didn't know how to communicate my thoughts or feelings to others. I was always thinking (or feeling out?) what was going on with other people and rarely conscious of what I was feeling or how to distinguish between thoughts, feelings and reality. And I often would have these bursts of emotion or crying over small things too, which would shock people because i usually appeared so quiet and withdrawn, just keeping to myself and doing my work, and i often couldn't explain why to others. When i did develop a few friends, I would monitor my behavior according to how i thought they'd like me to act. This would always drain me and i would need recovery time but i would walk away feeling better about myself and having had a good time. Still, i couldn't sustain friendships with anyone for very long this way, which eventually made me depressed when i noticed and questioning of my identity.
Once I moved out of my parent's house when i was 18, I started developing friends for the first time, went through a series relationships and this helped me to begin gathering data on myself outside of a chaotic environment. I still suffer severe anxiety living with roommates and some of those relationships were abusive, which is why i still am not crystal clear on how to translate this data in a way that separates shadow behaviors from strength behaviors, but I did start to notice sides of myself coming out that I always felt inside but doubted was real and thus began to think I might be an ENFP or INFP. With the aid of drug experimentation, i became much more expressive and much more interested in making social connections. I realized most of my anger towards others was mostly out of a repressed desire for connection with them and then i started to learn how to be warm to others. I began to create internal systems that justified the value of emotional intelligence and lost interest in math. I became much more vocal about social or political wrongdoings and very interested in sustainability, permaculture, rather idealistic leanings. I started making more music.
I still needed recovery time though and i couldn't be with people for too long or i would begin to get irritable and/or get confused on who i am. Learning the functions helped me at first to possibly narrow down what I might be, and then i started to think i might be an ENTP. But now that i'm taking into consideration that the same functions behave differently depending on what it's interacting with and what order it's in, I feel completely lost. I also have difficulty distinguishing intuiting from thinking/feeling. There's so many variable in this jungian system, I seriously think I could be ANYTHING.
What I identify with in each function
- When i'm with people i'm comfortable with or want to impress or in a good mood, my facial expressions can involve my full face usually. My voice can highly fluctuate with emotion too. I can have pretty exaggerated expressions. My eyes widen, my forehead scrunches.
- I'm sensitive to criticism and highly sensitive to other’s needs/wants.
- I tend to mimic people's behaviors, adjusting my gestures, expressions and communication style according to what they're putting out and what i think would fit with their style.
- I take up other people's emotions and problems as my own rather automatically, getting frustrated when they can’t solve it.
- i've always really yearned for external harmony, belonging to a group and connection with others.
- I also yearn for expression in most of my life - arts, tattoos, very interested in making my clothes and attire and room be symbols to convey my feelings on things and the way my mind works.
- In the past i’ve purchased things just to fit in with a subculture. I go through phases where i like to think of myself as being a part of something (counter cultures like punk, burners, hippie, etc.) and frame my beliefs to myself according to those larger groups.
- i don’t see how ethics can be decided reasonably without external context - to me, culture seems to dictate ethics or what is considered “right” and so ethics seem highly relative to circumstance, time, place, relations, etc. I’m highly skeptical of “absolute” inherent value.
- When i'm not comfortable with someone or in a bad mood i tend to close up my emotions and speak in monotone.
- After performing socially or being with friends for an extended period of time i sorta need to be left alone.
- I often can decide whether i like or dislike something right away, and have difficulty sitting through something i don’t like without becoming cynical, critical, dismissive.
- When i have strong emotions about something, I have much more difficulty caring or thinking about what the other is feeling - I just get totally consumed by what i'm feeling in reaction to that idea or thought that they're conveying to me and then tend to feel strongly no matter what the other feels/stop caring about looking for signs of what the other feels. I try not to show this, however and struggle to appear engaged/collected.
- When i feel something, it’s important for me to express that personal individual feelings on whatever it is that triggered it.
- I often question these tests and classification systems because putting people into boxes seems to be restricting to individual potential. This may be why i have such trouble classifying myself, other details always seem to refuse to fit in. I also find it silly when people argue over what genre something is or how something should be classified.
- I need to talk my ideas out to others and get their approval in order to confirm their validity.
- I love making lists, charts, organizing my workspace. Without that my mind becomes cluttered and overwhelmed/easily distracted. I've got a keen sense of spatial organization to prevent that.
- When i'm putting ideas and thoughts into execution, i have difficulty stopping because i feel so charged by the action of getting things done.
- Details annoy me unless they’re relevant to the task at hand. I’m completely unable to remember them. Theory is also impossible for me to grasp without real examples to illustrate.
- My learning is goal-oriented. I don’t want to know an entire system at first because that makes it way harder for me to grasp.
- I see the value in consensus because i am highly aware of the subjectivity
- When i talk, i'm not learning or making breakthroughs as i talk.
- I prefer to work in individual rather than group projects because I want to have full control. Having full control both helps me understand/learn better and helps me have breakthroughs easier. Other people tend to distract or throw off my thinking process and how i’m putting parts together.
- When i learn something, i really need to know how it relates to every part around it in order to really absorb/understand it and remember it. Something learned in isolation is meaningless to me.
- I tend to dive into one or two ideas very deeply at a time, so much so that when i'm studying and thinking about that idea, everything else i encounter in my life becomes filtered through the lens of that idea.
- My thinking process is not usually pragmatic but more personal. Something makes logical sense to me if personal experiences can be used as evidence. Otherwise it’s just an abstraction.
- The scientific method appears fallible to me and external consensus seems relative to time, place, culture. Therefore, theoretical systems seem far more timeless to me (even though i have difficulty learning theory without tangible real-life examples and I think those theoretical systems also need to be put to external consensus, albeit with attention to cross-cultural, time period, etc application)
- I have difficulty debating, presenting directions, facts, etc.
- I like the idea of starting new projects but have difficulty finishing them to completion.
- I love novelty. My humor is very scatterbrained and imaginitive and involves absurdism/jumping all over the place.
- I want badly to be appreciated by others and when i write music i leave clues directly related to my intended message.
- I need external validation for the connections i make otherwise i worry about the possibility that i’m pointlessly finding significance where there is none.
- I feel i am constantly imagining what could be, how to better something, rather than what it is. this is automatic before i can even think about it.
- I tend to connect invisible trends and ideas to build long term systems that I use to apply to situations and predict future trends.
- whipping out new ideas isn’t as auto-instinctual for me - i mostly feel like i spontaneously combine things that already exist in my storehouse of data.
- I like definitional freedom. this sentence: "How are we unconsciously limiting our understanding by assigning such rigid definitions in the first place?" resonates significantly with me. Such thoughts often bubble up out of nowhere and interfere with my ability to present logical arguments in a linear fashion to others.
- I seem to have a knack for identifying unconscious assumptions that limit the understanding of conceptual viewpoints.
- I appear to see underlying things others don’t usually see.
- I love to use analogies to illustrate a point.
- I’m interested in the big picture, simplifying ideas to their core and tend to know how to connect existing ideas to find patterns easily.
- I learn best via hands-on experimentation and figuring stuff out as I go.
- I have a strong appreciation for sensory pleasures - textured surfaces, sex, dancing, music, nature, bodywork like yoga and massage or progressive muscle relaxation and food and need am ever changing diversity of sensory pleasures.
- i may tend to overindulge, especially with food and laziness.
- I like to stay on the cutting edge of music, films, tv shows. I believe whatever is being made now has the potential to be the best because they’re working with far more data than anything made before and i also believe that culture is evolving and progressing towards something.
- details bore me unless they’re relevant to the task at hand. I also have difficulty recalling most of the details of past experiences
- i’m usually one of the first to comment on the aesthetics of a place when exploring it for the first time.
- I wish i could live completely in the moment and am hoping to use most of my faculties to achieve a leisurely life without obligation. I have difficulty adhering to time constraints and schedules and prefer to be my own boss or work freelance so that i could just basically work when i feel like it, and do things as they come to me in the form of desires, rather than be pushed from one task to the next.
- (However i’m quite clumsy when doing something new and horrible at sports
- Sometimes my recall usually has a strong visual and experiential quality to it, as if i’m methodically bringing back past experiences in order to understand the present more. I can’t describe the details of those experiences but i can recall feeling or meaning quickly.
- I do feel i tend to live in the past.
- I’m detail oriented particularly when learning, just because it’s impossible for me to remember anything about what i’m learning unless i understand how it fits into the other parts.
- I sometimes feel i’m automatically relating new information to information i already know. this helps me give new information more meaning, thus help me remember it.
- I used to collect a lot of material things - books, then music, then video games. Nowadays i prefer to live minimally because i’ve become so anti-consumerist and materialist, but i still find myself collecting art pieces or jewlery which have symbollic significance to me or create an atmosphere/collective power to whomever sees it, myself included.