Marc's INTJ Blog

Daily Journaling Template Updated

Friday September 13, 2019

I just published some updates to my daily journaling template: Daily Journaling Template, Markdown Format

The updates include:

  • The latest version of my DaySCOR Scale, with updated instructions
  • Updated example schedule items
  • New questions examining personal / subjective archetypes
  • Updated the goal question with an “incremental progress” cue

I continue to use this template myself, and find that it has become one of my most useful tools for near-instant stress relief. Over time, this habit also tends to build a pool of documentation which can be used for knowledge capture.

Filed in: /22/ | /35/ | /48/ | /30/ | /46/

What it Really Takes to Be a Mastermind

Monday September 9, 2019

One of the unfortunate requirements of interpersonal communication is, some labeling is required. This is certainly true when discussing personality type.

In my opinion, one of the more unfortunate personality type-related labels is “Mastermind”, a label often applied to the INTJ type.

While I love having my ego stroked as much as anybody else, I think “ego” is an important word to keep in mind here. Because if personality type can teach us one really important thing, it’s that there are many types of ego, and any individual who becomes obsessed with their own ego is going to have problems.

Having An Ego Means Not Paying Attention to Other Important Stuff

(Note: In Jungian-oriented psychology discussion, the ego concept is quite a bit different from the day-to-day, conversational use of the “ego” term. Having an ego doesn’t mean you’re an unhealthy person. And trying to avoid having an ego can be a dangerous exercise for your personal health.)

For every gifted aspect of our own personality type that we INTJs love, things like our deeply intuitive perception skills, or our broad knowledge exposure, there’s a corresponding lack of attention to something else. And while this lack of attention is normal and even helpful in many ways, it becomes a huge and risky blind spot when we spend too much time propping up that single, ego-defined dimension of our character.

Fortunately, I’d say that many, if not most of the “I know I’m an INTJINTJs I’ve met in real life have been aware of this: There’s so much more flavor to be found in life after you learn to stop giving your ego so much attention. There’s also the comparison angle to think about: There’s definitely a richer life ahead when you start to realize you don’t have to be better than others, for this reason or that one. (As if that such a thing could be quantified! But I believe that part of the INTJ ego often wishes this were so; it would seem to make life and its goals so much easier to define.)

Being Good at Comparing Things Can Mean Having A Comparison Flaw

I remember—much to my embarrassment—spending way too much time in my younger years thinking, “I’m better than that person because of X, and even if they were better than me at X, I’d still be so good at X + Y + Z that I’m probably the only person in the world who…” Boy, did I know how to destroy a potential friendship before it even got started!

In effect, I was frantically attempting to bury my insecurities using my ego functions. What I perceived as a strength in that person had gained some amount of unwanted control over me, and I pushed back with whatever tools were first to come to my attention. I attempted to look ahead, to foresee a grand judgment-day showdown in which individuals were all compared, skill by skill, factoid by factoid, in front of a grand bar of judicial discernment.

If you’re reading this, and you know what I mean, hopefully you have cringed pretty hard by now. If not, feel free to take a break to do so. :-)

So what do we do with this silly Mastermind title?

I think we need to own the fact that this label exists for both good and bad, and probably do some kicking of our own asses with it. Hopefully in a patient and farsighted way.

I don’t think we need to go off on a rant about Keirsey, who developed the term and applied it to the INTJ. He did this from a temperament perspective, but let’s just say that the label itself has started to slip out of his grip, being applied to INTJs in general, across various personality models. (Perhaps that’s been a bit maddening for him? In reading his books, he seems like he really appreciates precision…)

Still, Keirsey thought that INTJs were “the most self-confident of all the types.” (He also had some interesting things to say about our vulnerabilities.)

But let’s embrace the term “Mastermind,” embrace it in the sense of Jung’s extraversion. Let’s get hands-on with it, engage with it, and in a wise way. Below are some ideas for what it can mean, in the positive sense, to take on this title:

1. Taking a Most Important Perspective

A primary characteristic of the INTJ-as-Mastermind is what Dario Nardi calls the “metaperspective”. Seeing oneself from the outside. Thinking big-picture. Transcending the ego and looking after the collective need. Let’s use this gift to keep our ego in perspective. It is one perspective-taking style among many.

Speaking of perspectives, is it too much to ask that we keep in mind that INTJ intuition is subjective? I don’t think so. This is the “i” in “Ni,” the introverted, subjective nature of our favored intuition function. It is important, then, to remember: Our intuition, and thus our perspective on a given issue, is only as good as the quality of our past experience with the issue. We can critique all we want, but is there a chance that others have a deeper, more nuanced, and thus a higher-quality, more educated perspective? Well, it’s worth considering before jumping in to cast stones.

2. Broadening Our Minds

Let’s also remember that the INTJ Mastermind constantly gobbles up knowledge, facts, and uses them to feed the intuition. Let’s keep doing that and broaden our perspectives. Even though personality type models are powerful, humans are more than capable of working with multiple models. Let’s keep that multiple-model perspective, and in doing so we’ll be able to be more agile, powerful, and less ego-attached problem solvers.

3. Being—gasp—Vulnerable, for the Sake of Growth

A personal treasure: Let’s stay open to having our egos smashed. Let’s stay open to exposing ourselves to things that will show us that we are nothing. The more we prize our existing knowledge, our existing insights, and our existing state of mind, the more vulnerable we make ourselves to the future, and all that it holds. Such a move would be, I think, very un-mastermind-like. Yet it can happen to any of us, as we reflexively push the world away, a la Jung’s introversion concept.

As we become more of a new, better, smarter self, it will only help us to hold ourselves lightly, to learn to laugh at our mistakes, and even to learn to harbor serious regrets.

4. Knowing Other Egos, and Their Value

And finally: Let’s explore those other functions, even the painful ones. Let’s use that knowledge to become expert analysts, consultants, people who can help others feel rightly proud of themselves. Anybody can criticize. Let’s show others their gifts, and at the same time, let’s be aware of key personal blind spots and slowly build flexibility in those traditionally brittle areas. We can learn from other types at least as much as we can learn from our own. Let’s stretch our minds and allow in some crazy possibilities.


Over time, I hope we can help an increasing number of INTJs learn that one of the most helpful tricks you can teach your ego is to lay down its arms long enough that you can begin to grow in other important dimensions. This ought to be a valued lesson for such a contingency-minded type as ours.

And of course—there are other titles and labels out there. The Architect. The Critic. Even “Balzac,” a label from the world of Socionics. In some ways, some of these labels will define us. In other ways, they never will. Where possible, let’s put them to use in such a way that they do us some good, and let’s apply that good forward to help lift everyone else up, too.

Filed in: /26/ | /46/ | /22/ | /6/

Reader Question: Weight Loss and Health

Monday August 19, 2019

An INTJ reader writes:

Struggling with weight and health issues have similar story to what you went thru. Any tips because I can sure use it.

My Reply

First, sorry to hear about it. :-/ I know how much it sucks.

Some suggestions:

  • Track it. You don’t have to track your weight every single day. But even once a week can help.
  • Get others involved. If you can, visit a doctor. Ask for their opinion. Schedule your next appointment with them and keep it. It is important to remain open to outside feedback.
  • Write about it or talk about it. Writing “I hate this” is fine. But I suggest you at least write a few sentences every time you reflect on your weight or health. Or have a pretend phone call with yourself, and talk about it out loud. Decide on some things you’ll do.
  • Blame your circumstances. I encourage you to blame your circumstances, because you can change them. Sometimes all it takes is some small changes: Going to bed earlier, writing your stresses in your journal before you eat (to avoid stress eating), asking others for suggestions in working with stressful situations at work, and so on.

You’ll find more information on this topic under the Dieting and Fitness tags, in the sidebar.

I also hope you’ll be gentle with yourself through this process, and make time to have fun, learn new things, and be optimistic about future change. :-)

Filed in: /30/ | /46/ | /16/ | /8/

Regarding Recent Inquiries About Freelancer Pay

Monday August 19, 2019

Some INTJ readers have written me to express a concern that they receive ridiculously low pay for work performed, working as new freelancers or new business owners. They feel desperate to find a way to get better pay.

First: Please stay with this issue. Don’t avoid it. Talk about it with friends, advisors, whoever. Don’t let it just sit there and make you feel frustrated inside. Get the words out, get the feelings out, and eventually you can start a simple list of ideas for moving forward. But whatever you do, don’t bottle it up inside—get help.

Improvement in this area usually involves:

  • Setting professional boundaries with clients
  • Avoiding the inner-emotional buildup to an over-emotional response
  • Understanding that you are the one who gets to decide who and what you work for
  • Finding ways to be patient while you learn the skills needed to increase your pay (usually these are soft skills, not e.g. how to write code faster)
  • Taking care of your health while navigating a stressful situation
  • Learning what you really need out of life, vs. what your various inner voices tell you that you need
  • Adaptive strategies, for example learning how to handle large payments that come in all at once

I have coached a number of business owners through this process, and one potentially-encouraging piece of advice is that there are a million ways to survive even the lowest pay, so hang in there. You have to trust & remember that with your systems-improvement view, you will eventually be able to overcome this issue. But first, you’ve got to stay with it, track it, and wrestle with it directly as needed.

(By the way, some people have the opposite problem: Imagine you are a wealthy, healthy, 50-year-old INTJ. You feel you are on top of everything in your life, but still somehow you struggle to sleep, feel frustrated with life, never seem to get what you want out of relationships and wonder why the problems you face are so elusive. You have everything—shouldn’t life be great? The people around you never seem to care that you have so much money, or that you did such an amazing job with your career. Instead, everything feels somehow sad. Still, you are proud to tell people you have no regrets…or do you?)

Filed in: /46/ | /14/

Recent INTJ Reader Question: Dealing with Dips in Business?

Monday August 19, 2019

An INTJ reader from Canada writes,

Advice on how to deal with dips in business?

[I had four potential clients] who were interested and who were supposed to get back to me for work. Nada.

I don’t mind focusing on other stuff (music, writing, gym) but at the same time I need to keep pushing forward and I’m not sure how. [Freelance] listings are a bit dry this week too.

My Reply

Sure, I’ve experience those dips in business before myself. They may come again in the future, too—it’s unwise to think your business will never experience any kind of downturn, in my experience.

One of the traditional INTJ blind spots is “weakness.” It can really bug INTJs to talk about it. This is often the reason why, when other people talk about their weaknesses or fears, an INTJ can start to feel agitated, and jump in with (even unneeded) suggestions. Hearing about or talking about weakness can make us uncomfortable even at a subconscious level. But we can get better at tolerating this information, and we can use that growth to help ourselves become stronger. Understanding this about myself helped me make some dramatic and effective changes in my life. The topic of weakness is not one that should be avoided. At one level, weakness is fixable, but at another level it is existential, or ever-present.

Also, I think anybody with a business, or who runs a business, learns to see that these dips and other hazards exist and can be worrying no matter how big you are, no matter how much money you make, and so on. And even to an experienced person, the next dip can always seem like the final dip, the real torpedo that sinks the ship, or whatever. It can really be scary.

In the abstract, one answer I’d give to “what to do” is: You gotta find your own dip routine, is what I’d offer. Refine it over time.

And for those of you who want more information:

If it worries you that much, I’d attack it on paper first. Try to take it head-on. Here are some suggested steps.

  1. Acknowledge that it exists, and get into why it sucks and how it sucks (you might feel like you just did that in your message to me, and that’s great).
  2. Plan for ways to take care of yourself. You know how everybody who goes to the hospital gets put in a bed, right? A famous comedian made fun of that. But really it reduces nervous system strain. So I think you have to find those activities that help you take care of yourself and reduce unneeded strain.
  3. Next, watch your cyclic mood. Your body has that natural cyclic tendency, and it affects your psychology. So you kind of wait until you are in, say, “list making mood” and it’s easier to just find yourself listing things you do.
  4. Then you list and plan for things you WANNA do, like even 3x more than the HAVETA do stuff. So you know you’re not killing yourself, you’re being gentle. You’re doing things that match your values, mixed with some things that may seem annoying or doubtful.
  5. Then, think about people who can help you shoulder this burden. Like, would you feel comfortable telling a working professional you’d like their advice on what to do as a copywriter when work is low? If you can do this in person, it can open up a channel for you. Back when I was starting my first business, I had a colleague like that. I could just call them up and say, “I’m in between projects, and wondered how you’re doing, and if you’d like to brainstorm anything we can work on together?” (I didn’t say that all at once, but you get the idea)
  6. Then at this point you’ve built up momentum. I shouldn’t even have to say “do” here because you won’t even have to force it. You’ve got a list, you can start anywhere, and you’ve talked to people. The doing should do itself, and that should feel pretty great.

Finally, INTJs tend to get bonus “luck points” the more they research things. So please continue to research this topic, especially if you see it possibly happening again in the future.

Filed in: /14/ | /48/

Quick tip: Find a way to move beyond Ni + Te dominant ego ASAP.

Tuesday August 13, 2019

I’ve seen this too much lately and it’s hard to watch. The Ni + Te INTJ moves in, unintentionally creates drama and other havoc without even knowing what is going on. They think they are just helping people, being informational or some other nonsense. Meanwhile people who have every excuse to feel insulted based on their own subjective perceptions are, behold: Insulted. Quietly they repress it in an act of temporary good character.

Next, forces beyond the INTJ’s control react to that state of affairs and the INTJ is made to feel serious pain. If they are lucky, they listen to or consult someone who has access to other preferred and relevant functions and they make little changes. They become more flexible, versatile, adaptable.

If the INTJ is not lucky, they are crushed by the response and turn to some harmful activity—you know the drill—extremities of the sensory. And they tell themselves they saw this coming, or it’s a conspiracy, or whatever.

If you delay this development process, it can crush your life.

Q: “But shouldn’t those other people just say something, if their feelings are hurt? Be direct!”

A: Do not poke the sleeping dragon.

It’s not just INTJs, either. I’ve seen this with all types. Just yesterday I saw an ESFP practically self-destruct because Se + Fi reasons. All ego. And it’s just a good way to turn life into a war.

Filed in: /14/ | /15/ | /25/ | /30/

Astrology? Recent INTJ Study Updates & Other Stuff

Tuesday August 13, 2019


A Japanese word. Pronounced like “gone” if you’re American. Meaning: Cancer. In this case, hifugan. Skin cancer. A thing which apparently just won’t leave Australia alone according to a chart I just read.

And as in, I have it. Had it. Maybe have it still. I’m not sure.

God, what an explosion of mental activity occurred as I was told a biopsy would be needed, perhaps even a lymph node biopsy. I went in for a skin check and let the doctor know about the recent activity on my arm, a mole-like spot that seemed to be growing. The looks of concern were accordingly concerning and I could tell something needed to happen.

And my lymph nodes? What even are those? I’m no doctor. They just sound gross. Don’t take my gross stuff out. Keep it in there doing who knows what. I have blog posts to write.

I had flashbacks to the ’90s. Watching cancer drama shows on TV when nothing else was on. Those films never ended well, did they? Jesus. Maybe I could go out like that Tokyo bureaucrat from one of my favorite films. Build a little park before I’m dead and buried. Jesus.

“I’m sorry, I need to lay down,” I told the doctor. The assistant fetched me a small bottle of apple juice. I felt like I was going to pass right out. I have a long history of getting woozy in doctor’s offices, including one dramatic incident in which I ripped my ear open on some medical equipment on my way down to the embrace the floor from that high table, after having passed out. A neurologically induced drop in blood pressure is well within my repertoire.

To skip ahead a bit, I went in for surgery. I now have a long, gnarly, depressing scar on my forearm, and a mandate to report back for further examination. It’s been a busy few weeks. Mostly in terms of mental activity.

So before I depart this mortal sphere guys (kidding!), I thought I should at least share my recent study notes.


  • I started researching this because I was noticing patterns: On this kind of day / week / month / year, this kind of activity “works” or “occurs.” And these kind of relations don’t work. Or do. Weird! On this other day / week / month / year, it doesn’t! Jungian psychology gives a few little ideas on how or why this might ooccur. But who else studies this? Well, I think astrologers do, for one…
  • To clarify, I don’t “believe” or “disbelieve” astrology; what I do is 1) experience it and 2) entertain it. Kick it around. And hopefully bring some organization to the experience, like with bullet points or something.
  • I do believe that it’s important to close with Jung’s “object.” To really make contact with a thing before you talk about it, criticize it, whatever. Previously I trusted my intuition way too much in this regard, and it kind of turned me into a grump! So getting hands-on with some new topic before criticizing it is now my friend.
  • When I hear black & white remarks about a thing, this I distrust. You know who really knows the thing? It’s rarely the person who says, “THAT THING IS AMAZING,” or “THAT THING IS AWFUL.” It’s usually the person who says, “well, it’s not perfect, but it’s not terrible either. You see, what you need to understand is…” you see? The nuanced viewpoint. In my experience, every tool, every mental framework, has its leverage point or set of leverage points. Finding those leverage points is important. Finding them is a matter of nuance.
  • There are many different systems of astrology. I had no idea there were this many. I feel like more people who criticize astrology should know about this? From Human Design to Vedic Astrology to Sun Sign, to Medical Astrology, to Electional, to…well actually you know what? Have an incomplete list because those are usually at least a little bit instructional.
  • There is a lot of tarot work mixed in with astrology, if you watch videos on Youtube. In fact, a lot of what I watched on Youtube is SO WEIRD and yet SO INTERESTING.

Speaking of which. Here are some Youtube videos and channels I explored a bit, and found at least a little bit interesting or helpful in understanding things (no affiliations, etc.):

  • Beginning Astrology: Before You Even Learn the Zodiac was really helpful as a general overview, introducing the concept of different systems. The lecturer seems to know his topic well and I found that is voice was really easy on the ears.
  • Sasha Bonasin has a pretty infectious energy to his approach. I generally want my INTJs to be aware of this kind of energy, and adapt it or attract it or do what they can to experience it on the regular, if they find it lifts them up a bit. (It’s easy to be skeptical, and I find that this energy is really good at repelling the inner skeptic, giving it a much-needed break to come back less grumpy and perhaps more accurate or appropriate).
  • Stargirl the Practical Witch was kind of a cool channel to experience. I liked her general laid-back affect and found it easy to tune in without feeling blown away, so to speak.
  • Debra Silverman has a pleasant, upbeat affect which I appreciated.
  • The exquisitely-named Empress Moon Tarot 777 was psychologically good for me, outside of whatever was happening with the cards. I found that watching the videos was calming in that effeminate way. She reminds me of some ISFP friends.

This is a pretty early list; I’m sure there are way more out there that I haven’t yet experienced. Let me know if you think there’s something I should see.

Another important takeaway from astrology

You know what’s also really nice about astrology? It has a deep undercurrent of “take care of yourself” messaging and a pretty rich library of ways to express the nuances involved in this. For this reason alone I would suggest that a dip into the topic might be really good for an INTJ. We INTJs are not really known for taking gentle care of ourselves, and yet it’s something that’s certainly worth mastering if we want to feel like we are on top of life.

You could say that astrology attempts to break through and speak to your feminine side. INTJs can be over-masculine, kind of like this chart illustrates. This is worth knowing about.

Let’s take the extreme case, in which predictively speaking, you find that astrology does nothing for you. Moving away from that predictive aspect, which by the way seems to be decried by many astrologers themselves (I had no idea!), the various books and videos you’ll encounter will, outside of any predictive-type content, also do the following:

  • Encourage you to be gentle with yourself when things are not going well
  • Encourage you to practice setting boundaries with other people. This alone is huge for just about anybody
  • Help you to critically examine (at least at a basic level) the things that are going on in your life.
  • Encourage you to continue to critically examine what’s going on in your life, through various means—the senses, the intuition, etc.

I could go on. Most of this is really effeminate stuff. But these are big pros in favor of at least looking into astrology as an explorer.

I’m biased because I’m a life coach, but a lot of INTJs with whom I’m familiar seem only too eager to work themselves to the bone, studying, planning, or working for increased prosperity and security in contingency. And most of them don’t really know how to sense that about themselves, that bone-workedness factor, which is even more sad.

On the flip side of that tendency toward workaholism, there is often a tortured inner effeminate aspect that will absolutely unleash real and life-shattering chaos if it is not treated with due care ASAP. I have spent a lot of time helping my clients find that new equilibrium at an individual level. And no, it doesn’t make you more girly, it doesn’t turn you into a crystal healer—it makes you into a more peaceful and powerful person.

Well, that’s probably enough on this topic for now. But so far: I’m pretty impressed, and will continue to dip into the topic as time permits.

Other Studies of Late

  • Solar: Being a ham radio operator has put me into contact with a lot of people who live off the grid. Otherwise normal people—a DJ, a business owner, a retired cop—who happen to know the basics of working with electricity. It’s kind of shocking how easy this is, in fact. I’m going to be doing more experiments with solar power. In the meantime, check out this fun channel which has been pretty inspirational, even if I would personally prefer to take a less chaotic approach to my experiments. :-)
  • Old Programming for New Apps: I built a personal productivity app using Free Pascal and the Lazarus IDE. It was surprisingly simple and what little I remembered from learning Pascal in high school was easy enough to brush up on using a free PDF e-book. Within minutes I had a usable app up and going. Within another two hours I had built the app I imagined, and while it will probably never be quite good enough, I look forward to adding some more features. By the way, if you check the Internet Archive and find that all the good old Pascal books are checked out, I think this is why. You can even build mobile apps and web apps with this software and it’s 100% free and easy to figure out with a little study.
  • Simulation in Practice: I’m working on upgrading my Fighting Green Dudes rules over time. But for now, I find them pretty fun to play. One of my next improvements is to take the rules to space for ship-to-ship combat and possibly colonization. I’d definitely like to make some moves into peaceful colonization-type simulation experiments, and the road map seems pretty straightforward.

OK guys—have a great day and let me know what you’re up to in this short & sweet INTJ life. I’ve received some kind emails recently and really appreciate them all.

Filed in: /30/ | /14/ | /32/ | /11/ | /26/ | /35/ | /22/ | /46/

Can an INTJ Create Drama? Heck yes! Just Be Direct.

Friday July 26, 2019

Here’s reliable method for creating drama: Just be direct with people. Say stuff directly. Examples:

  • “You gave me the wrong hamburger.”
  • “This situation needs to change.”
  • “The sky is very blue today.”

This kind of wording will force many if not most other people into a Feeling position either inwardly or outwardly. Even inwardly, if nothing is said in reply, it’s not necessarily a great thing; you can end up facing a form of suppression of feeling, and the compounded results (Feeling + Feeling + Feeling, adjusted for inflation and interest and whim) are usually not pretty.

Consider some possible feeler-like responses to the above examples:

  • “Mistakes HAPPEN, I’m sorry about your BURGER.” (uppercase for mad-words)
  • “Well duh, a-hole.”
  • “What does that even have to do with me.”

Now consider some alternate, Thinker-like responses which might be received:

  • “We get about one out of every ten orders mixed up somehow. Overall that’s a 90% success rate.”
  • “This situation may need to change, but we currently lack the resources.”
  • “Yes, and the trees are very green.”

You see how those read? Even if you get a Thinker response, there’s a chance you have just played a chess game in which YOU will now become a Feeler, and maybe an enraged one at that.

“You’re not seriously mad that I poked your hornet’s nest, are you?”

I hope you can see how being direct around the usual company is like “go ahead and attack me back, right now” invitation-language in a lot of cases.

And yet, I sometimes hear from TJ personality types: “Why can’t people just be direct? Just be direct, tell me what’s going on, and we’ll figure it out.”

The correct answer to “why,” as long as Feelings are involved, is probably something like “CHAOS WILL ENSUE. DO NOT SHAKE THE BOX.”

How being LESS direct can make you MORE productive

I witness this all the time between friends and family members. They don’t know what’s happening. And even if they’re TJ types, some of the best advice they could possibly receive would be:

Stop being so direct.

And I probably won’t tell them that; it would be too direct. They have a Feeler side too, even if they don’t want to talk about it.

Part of the art of mastering direct and impactful problem-solving (one of the activities we INTJs really love) is learning to incorporate indirect commentary and sentiment. Learning to feel people out. Hearing a sentiment, not being sure about what it means, and giving a few gentle opportunities / hints to keep talking about it. Giving others permission to be indirect and still talk about the problem. Talking about a problem indirectly, as a way of painlessly drawing others into your position and getting their helpful feedback.

The funny thing is, INTJs love getting really good hints while they do their research. A really insightful search engine result here, a tidbit of expert advice there. Such hints help us be even more efficient. We don’t really think of them as “hints” so much as partial-answers, but they’re definitely also hints.

So: Which would you prefer: A potentially-useful hint given in indirect language, or no hint at all?

Well, the great news is that you’re surrounded by people who will give you hints like that long before they will ever say something really direct.

In other words, as a successful, socially-adjusted adult, your finest moments of productivity and productive problem solving will probably involve a lot of indirect, Feeler-type work. That’s society. That’s life!

Do you have a Feeler side? How about that opposite-type ESFP? Have you ever felt hurt when someone was direct with you? Did you feel like you were able to talk about it, did you move along without saying anything, or did you explode like a downtrodden condiment packet? I’ve definitely been there myself…

In Practice

  • Practice listening to indirect language in order to become more aware of its use. Developing the ability to recognize it when you hear it / read it can help you identify important opportunities or potentially-helpful information. Look for it in emails, listen for it in movies. For example, how delicate is the lover’s language within the relationship? What do they seem to want?
  • Do you live or work with someone who frequently takes a Feeler role? (People of any personality type can take on any psychological role) Listen to how they talk about other people who are direct with them.
  • Listen for indirect language in relationships. What would be the super-direct version of what was just said? Did the indirect language help to reduce tension or other inflammation? Could it be that the person using indirect language is hurt that their partner is too direct with them?
  • When you hear a really good indirect phrase, write it down. Such phrases can help you get your ideas across even to groups of hostile people.

Filed in: /30/ | /25/ | /48/ | /11/ | /15/

Predict THIS! Some Astrology Notes

Friday July 19, 2019

So last night I read this in the introduction to Astrology by Sandy Anastasi (emphasis mine):

“Today, unsurprisingly, most people associate astrology with the ability to tell the future, although in this sense, here in the Western world, it is no longer as accurate as it was during the Middle Ages. Experienced astrologers can still make the same kind of potentially accurate predictions, but individual consciousness has changed. Modern man is exerting more freedom of choice than ever before in the history of our planet. As a result, more often than not we are able to alter the circumstances of our lives, thereby averting potential disasters in them. For this reason, modern-day astrologers find themselves more and more often in the role of counselors as opposed to fortune tellers.”

I found it pretty fun to consider this model, in which modern man wakes up and decides, “That thing that’s coming to destroy me? I’m changing that.” Pretty weird and fantastic, in the sense that I’ve never heard anyone relate such an event (or evolutionary process along those lines) before.

Even though I definitely believe that circumstances matter, and sometimes despite best efforts your day might be more of a “Netflix day” than a “check off every to-do list item day,” I do wonder if there’s an astrologer’s timeline all drawn up somewhere, with a note like “1500 AD: Mankind Grows a Pair.”

OK But Still, What About Prediction?

Yesterday I was doing a search over at which is a pretty amazing resource. One of the thumbnails that came up was this kind of interesting looking guy, I had to guess ENTP based on the video thumbnail, so that meant I had to actually watch the video.

And so I’m watching my horoscope for today (Update: The video seems to have disappeared?! Strange) and thinking, “I wonder if there will be anything accurate? That’d be such a trip.”

Sure enough, there was something interesting. He tells me tomorrow (I was watching this the night before) would be a good day to sell an old car or something!

And we had already decided to sell our car a few months ago. So I got kind of excited. And? TODAY it sold! To a really great guy! We didn’t do anything at all, the guy just met us and we transferred the title, and it was practically effortless.

Sometimes, man. IDK.

Are you into astrology? It’s a new sort of thing for me, and I’m mainly just entertaining it, as opposed to believe / don’t believe. Mostly what I hear from internet INTJs is “it ain’t scientific, oh and BTW MBTI is also a horoscope,” (I’ve discussed the science-related fears here on the blog before) but some other INTJs tell me they like kicking it around.

BTW I’m back from vacation, had a nice time getting out of the house and office. Also visited my ESFP mom. Confirmed that even at age 83 she still sleeps like 3 hours a night and believes she can pretty much take anybody.

Filed in: /30/

A Primer: Who Needs Your Energy, #1

Monday July 1, 2019

INTJs have access to a special sort of energy that I’ll call, “seeing what the hell is going on.” Maybe: SWTHIGO. (OK, I wrote that prospectively, just to see how it would look, and I think I like it!)

As we travel through life, we all need to feel that our energy is being put to constructive use. As you interact with others, your sense of your own values being cherished, reinforced, and nurtured is going to depend a lot on whether & how that energy is being used.

So, some questions:

  • Who around you needs your ability to see “what the hell is going on”?
    • Who were those people in your past, present, and future?
  • What did/do/will they need to see?
  • Why do they need to see it?
  • How do you end up finding yourself around those people?
  • How will you take care of yourself after the other party is “full” and you have lost their attention?

Now, a big one, an exercise for your intuition, if you’ve worked through the questions above:

  • Who do you see yourself helping to “see,” next? Under what conditions? What do they need from you?

This is all very prospective—let’s keep an open mind.

(I do worry a bit that by using the term “what the hell is going on” above, I may reinforce a tendency to be brutally direct. This is not my intention. People need gentle, positive feedback. Especially if you are not the one who will be doing the work to put the advice into action, it’s important to strike a balance between direct and indirect, between “heaven” and “hell” so to speak)

Filed in: /22/ | /46/ | /25/ | /15/ | /35/

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