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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.

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