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19 May 2014 @ 12:19 pm
LJ Idol Season Nine: "Net-Assisted Navel-Gazing"  
Net-Assisted Navel-Gazing
lj idol season nine | week nine | 1232 words
Keep Calm And End This Meme


Who can resist those random online quizzes that come around? Thanks to those, I now know that I write like David Foster Wallace, I am more like John Watson than any of the other BBC Sherlock characters (though my Personality Defect is being a Robot), and that my TV boyfriend is Chuck Bartowski.

When I first took that last quiz, I didn't even know who Chuck Bartowski was—so how accurate could the results be? A couple of years later, when we started watching the show, I realized that he was totally my type. Chuck is sweet, smart, and he likes to laugh—which is also true of the man I married. I do worry about anyone who might have gotten Gregory House as their result. Are those people who like to wear skimpy clothing and be regularly insulted? That's definitely the way House would treat them. Who needs that?

Our office used to offer a class in personality styles and behavior, which is based on the Merrill-Reed four-part quadrant/subquadrant scheme:

analytical driver analytical driver
amiable expressive amiable expressive
analytical driver analytical driver
amiable expressive amiable expressive

Your peers fill out anonymous surveys about your behavior, and the results determine your personality "type." This approach is more about how you're perceived than how you see yourself (and in a work environment, that's more important). Then you attend a training class.

One of our first exercises was very revealing. Everyone was separated into a group of their own 'quadrant' to work on a project with a time limit. I was an Amiable Driver, in a group with a driver of each flavor. The first thing the Driver Driver said (through clenched teeth) was, "I am not a Driver Driver," pretty much proving the opposite! We discussed our project, and quickly formulated our idea. The Expressive Driver insisted on throwing in some random thing not related to the goal, but I persuaded the Driver Driver and Analytical Driver that including it wouldn't really harm the larger outcome. We inadvertently represented our 'types' to the letter, and it was completely automatic. Scary!

When the time was up, the Analyticals had not finished the assignment (too busy arguing over details—this is typical). The Expressives had accidentally completed some other unrelated project, and both the Drivers and Amiables had finished satisfactorily… but the Amiables had enjoyed themselves immensely, and were practically humming with happiness. The class taught you how to better recognize and value other people's styles, and become more in synch with them, and was much more helpful than I'd expected.

Our company has drifted away from this kind of training. My current manager suggested that our team might take the Myers-Briggs test instead, and then meet up and discuss our personality types in the hope of better understanding each other. She hasn't mentioned it again, but Myers-Briggs is one of the most popular approaches to social styles these days (for better or worse). Plus, there are free online tests for it. Why not give one of them a try?

I wound up with the same personality type as my daughter, who is very much like I was at her age. However, in the larger population, it's rare—and found in only about 0.08% of women. I always knew I wasn't like most other women, but still! That's pretty unnerving.

This is the INTJ personality type—Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging. As I read the various descriptions of it, the assessment is a lot more truthful than I'd like:

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

You can see how damning that last part is, and one website helpfully offers a summary of "Ways INTJs can irritate others," including,

…being single-minded or stubborn, not taking sufficient account of current realities, and not expressing appreciation for the contributions of others (particularly where it hasn't been fully competent). You may not delegate enough, and to others it can appear that you make decisions that are unrelated to the present facts.

The tendency toward global ("big picture") thinking and strategizing includes getting a thorough grasp of a system or idea, and what's needed to make it successful. I thinks this also leads to a strong tendency to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others… but you may expect everyone else to do the same, and often, they don't or won't. They'll frustrate you, and in return feel that you judge them harshly (and by normal standards, you probably do). They'll trip over problems that you think are utterly foreseeable, while most people actually don't think multiple steps ahead—so the problems are not obvious to them.

Multiple Myers-Briggs sources really hone on the biggest weakness as having difficulty in romantic relationships, because of being too logic-focused and utterly disliking 'social games' (which can include basic flirting). Remember that Personality Defect Test up above, with the Robot result? This is really similar.

Often, these tests ask you to make choices without context. Is logic the best way to make decisions? Probably most of the time—unless you're deciding something about relationships or feelings. In that case, you may factor in some logic, but ultimately you have to feel good about your decision— so, emotion needs to weigh heavily. Do you tend to keep a lid on your emotions? The test can't tell whether that's because you have no emotions, or because you're private/introverted/easily hurt. I try not to inflict anger on other people (but don't always succeed), and try not to leave myself open to getting hurt except by people I know very well. My daughter is much the same, and that isn't a lack of emotion at all.

Attempts to classify people externally from afar are always suspect—I've seen Hillary Clinton listed as both an INTJ and as several other things. This site lists some famous 'potentials,' and even separates them into positive and negative sections. It starts off with Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla (maybe), Stephen Hawking, and some out-of-the-box social-structure thinkers such as Karl Marx, Ayn Rand, Martin Luther, and Jean Paul Sartre (some INTJs obviously have a strong revolutionary streak). But then you get down to people like Vladimir Lenin (maybe), Ted Kaczynski (the Unibomber), and Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik.

I.e, a collection of murderers, maniacs, and manifesto-writing terrorists. Whyyyyyyyyyy?

I know why, actually. Any personality trait taken to extremes can cause problems. The cautionary group of "negative" representatives is about what you'd expect for those who have initiative, a disdain for random rules and authority, and too little heart. They prize their version of the "ultimate rightness" over actual human beings. When you inflict your vision on the world instead of trying to persuasively argue for it, the effects can be just devastating.

If you're interested, you can find your own Myers-Briggs Type Index. Both of these tests gave me the same results. But will that knowledge help you? Will you like what you discover?

For my MBTI type, one should clearly stay away from writing manifestos! Though this entry itself has gotten pretty long, hasn't it?

Also, avoid narcissism! As well as possibly memes (Internet and otherwise), because half the time, "Meme" = MeMeMeMeMe!

Well, uh-oh. Somehow, we've arrived here anyway.

Does that mean I'm already doomed?


If you enjoyed this entry, you can vote for it along with many other fine offerings here.

Ariss Tenoh: (inkvoices)ariss_tenoh on May 19th, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
I'm an INTJ too and let me tell you that people find me weird^^ and can't believe a woman can be logical. *rolls eyes*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 19th, 2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
Yay! For the matchiness, at least. :D

It's an uncommon type (< 2%), and SO rare for women.

I actually think the "I" is the biggest disadvantage there, in that more extroverted people get a bigger "pass" from society as a whole. We still see extroverts as the "norm" and introverts as defective, even though a lot of that is hardwired and inherited!

You might find this funny: years ago, I came across some article talking about how men and women regularly miscommunicate because women will want to vent about something that's bothering them, and men think they're expressing a problem to be solved. Frequently, the venters are not looking for a solution! At all!

I talked that over with another female engineer, and I said, "You know, I'm good with venting the first time. But when people keep complaining about the same thing again and again and never DO anything about it, I lose patience." And she said, "Is THAT what's going on? I've never understood that! Either fix the problem or stop complaining!"

At that point, we realized that we were both from another planet as most women... but at least, it was the SAME other planet. ;)

(no subject) - ariss_tenoh on May 19th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jexia on May 20th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cheshire23 on May 21st, 2014 12:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 12:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
sohumicaruslived on May 19th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
I don't mean to be persnickety, I don't (fwiw, my MBTI tends to be INTJ as well) - but the MBTI has been academically basically discarded; it doesn't appear to measure anything real when you actually have the statistics of a large number of people's tests to analyze. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator#Criticism .

The test that academia is currently happy with is the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits; they're fairly confident that it measures something real because experiment after experiment has pulled out these five factors.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 19th, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you aren't living up to your personality type? What with the throwing away the popular and embracing what seems to Explain It All? ;)

I'll check it out. The INTJ type description is really, really accurate for much of my personality, in a way that many of the other types aren't. Except for the part about 'feeling,' but again-- it focuses on how much you express, so that's a gray area.

I took another test years ago that had 12-16 personality types, and any three of them were similar facets of each other with some aspect of the personality riding stronger. That one was true as well.

I don't think we're going to find any True Universal Thing regarding personalities, because there are so many little differences and subtleties. But in the popular realm, MBTI still seems to be the bandwagon thing (and I'm years late to it!)

Edited at 2014-05-19 10:00 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - icaruslived on May 19th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - reckless_blues on May 20th, 2014 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - improper_me on May 22nd, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 22nd, 2014 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - improper_me on May 22nd, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2014 03:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - improper_me on May 23rd, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bridget Ilene Delaneykagomeshuko on May 19th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
I'm an INFP bordering sometimes crossing into INFJ territory.

As for the online quizzes, I find some of them to be completely biased and not true at all.
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on May 19th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
You too?


I came out right between E/I the only time I officially took the test, back when I was attending a career seminar how-to-get-a-job program. I remember the person giving the test saying that meant I could go either way depending on my mood. I remember thinking, "Wow, that must mean I'm psychotic or something..."

Which I'm not. But it goes to prove how fluid some of the test results can be.
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo on May 20th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kagomeshuko on May 20th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
rayasorayaso on May 19th, 2014 11:27 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much, in part because I could relate all those test scores to the wonderfulness of the real you!

The fact that one of these tests is obsolete but still floating around the web only adds to your point.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
I think I first took that TV Boyfriend test about 5 years ago, but I took it again a few nights ago and the results were the same.

Also true of the Robot thing, though. :O

At least YOU love the results of who I am. That's what really counts. :)
John Louisgrail76 on May 20th, 2014 01:42 am (UTC)
Or that Myers-Briggs is a meme? Hmmm.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
It basically is-- given that it's a trend that people piled onto, and they've let the results affect their thinking.

Plus, as some are saying above, it is perhaps about as valid as some of the other memes I linked. I'm still reserving judgement... ;)

Edited at 2014-05-20 10:59 pm (UTC)
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on May 20th, 2014 12:32 pm (UTC)
Haha! The House reference! AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
Seriously, he's in that poll. HOW would you get him? And then, what would you do with him?!? o_O
Rebeccabeeker121 on May 20th, 2014 08:40 pm (UTC)
I'm yet another female INTJ, maybe we all gravitate to LJIdol?

It's a fabulous personality type for my old job as a stage manager where everyone expected a bit of prickliness as long as things got done.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 20th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
It's possible that we gravitate toward LJ, or at least, that the English-speaking ones do (since LJ seems to want to be Russia's next Facebook).

It IS a useful personality for getting things done, and for finding problems ahead of time. The difficulty there (at least, in my profession) is persuading other people that there is GOING TO BE a problem, and getting them to head it off. Even if you have the solution to avoiding the problem, the amount of, "No really. Customers will make this mistake, and it will cost us money, so we have to keep them from doing that," is sometimes exhausting. :O
bleodsweanbleodswean on May 21st, 2014 12:20 am (UTC)
Hee. I cannot bear the thought of taking any kind of "personality" or "IQ" test. It gives me the willies. Seriously.

But this was fascinating!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
So long as you don't think the test or results define you, it's all good. Because they don't-- the tests themselves have limitations.

The Meme ones near the top are fun, though. Try the "Personality Defect" quiz (which has funny interjections along the way). Since I got Robot 5 years ago and again this week, I'm curious what ANY OTHER ANSWER might be like. ;)
blahblahblah, whateverkathrynrose on May 21st, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
I'm an INFP. I've been using the Meyers-Briggs for years in work and small group situations and it's always been helpful, whatever people are saying about it now. Someone always wants to sell the newest thing.

Years ago, I consistently scored ENFP. After a "major life event" I've consistently scored I instead.

I've also noticed that where you takt the test can have an effect. When I've taken it in a work setting, I ride the border of F and T.

One more funny thing - the first time I took the test, I was in college and having a problem with my significant other. We went to counseling and took the test. My Sig O scored very, very J. I had zero J responses. When the counselor looked at our results, he said, "I think I can guess what some of your problems are." :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
Hahaha-- despite how accurate the test may be, I think the J vs. P results were very telling, for the two of you. Wow.

Good thing you didn't marry that person! :O
(no subject) - kathrynrose on May 21st, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Teo Sayseternal_ot on May 21st, 2014 11:12 am (UTC)
I enjoyed reading this..coz I take those quizzes just for fun..sometime they turn out to be right sometimes wrong...I am an INFJ according to the test..loved the discussion that followed here..:) And yeah the personality test rocks..\m/..:D

Edited at 2014-05-21 11:23 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
Did you take the personality test? I looked at some of the other descriptions, and they were all similarly or more offensive as mine. The Televangelist! The Sociopath! The Emo Kid! But they're all funny. :D
(no subject) - eternal_ot on May 22nd, 2014 05:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on May 22nd, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eternal_ot on May 23rd, 2014 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
lriG rorriMlrig_rorrim on May 21st, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC)
This was great fun, and provided some insight into you! I'm another female-type person who tries to solve problems when people are venting. Problem-solving is just my automatic response. I want to help make it better! It's been hard for me to learn that sometimes just listening is making it better. (But I'm also a J, so secretly I'm all like "ok, it makes it better... but not AS better as it would be if you would do such-and-such instead of spending energy venting..." Heh).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Yes! Like you, I think in terms of making things better by problem-solving, so 'listening' is something I've had to learn, too. Though as I said, a couple of times around the same track and I'm going to think the person should DO something about their problem already, if they hate it so much!
☾witches on May 21st, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
IK of a lot of female INTJs even though apparently it's one of the rarest types! :O
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
I wonder if we gravitate toward each other, as being among the few other woomen we understand?

Also, the 'I' in there is telling. "I don't often socialize, but when I do, I like to stick with introverts." ;)

Because often, really extroverted people are loads of fun in limited doses, but can overwhelm us, leading us to stick to our own, socially-challenged kind. ;)
mistearyusdiva2mistearyusdiva2 on May 21st, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have taken a few of these tests on a whim .... I just find them to give results based on my mood on that particular day .... Maybe I am not truthful enough with the answers or maybe I dont know as much about myself as I should .... Or maybe I am just someone with multiple personality .... Gosh now I am gonna be careful the next time i take one of these tests !!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
The more 'balanced' your personality, I think the more you may flip-flop on answers-- so in the real world, that could be a good sign!
AlexPGPalexpgp on May 21st, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
It's always good to sit down with a salt shaker, filled with many grains of salt, when considering such tests.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
True. :D

When I look at some of the other possible results on the Personality Defect test, the Robot doesn't look too bad. :O
Veronica Richveronica_rich on May 21st, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
I'm in that designation too, supposedly. I'm not sure why it's rare in women if so - because we aren't that way or because we've been conditioned to not be that way? (Gender expectations really do muck up objective science sometimes.) interesting!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 21st, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
It's so hard to say. If you are already somewhat wired to that personality, you will be likely to be less prone to adopting typical gender roles/interests "just because everyone else does it," I think. But if you were less indoctrinated in those gender roles/interests, you may gravitate closer toward matching that type!