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"You don't understand. I'm a good person."

Monday April 22, 2019

Don’t we wish everyone could see how good we are? Not in the “good at doing things” sense, but in the “giving, loving, wants to help, wants to do good things” sense.

But most of them can’t just see it in you. Most of those other people don’t even think you’re you! They think you’re them. They know their own psychology best, and they project it, typically the feared parts of it, onto you.

Would they cheat you, lie to you, try to sell you some BIG IDEA in order to take advantage? Well, if they could, maybe they would!

Therefore: You’re probably a cheat.

Most people don’t realize that us INTJs work hard to identify an “objective good” (as objective as possible, that is) and pursue it. “Is it likely that this action on my part will really help humanity down the road? Maybe not, but will it even just help this one person? OK, if so I’m going to do it.”

Others work hard at an objective agreement, perhaps. Something between two people. Good enough! “It’ll hold us together, support us both. It’s our thing. Others aren’t a part of it.”

But you—INTJ—why did you just do that silly thing “for humanity”? What does that even mean? You’re barely even taking care of yourself! Get it together or you’ll lose your shirt!

OK, Before This Gets Out of Hand

I hope I just made it clear: I understand this part of your INTJ psychology—I do that stuff too, sometimes, and of course I hear about it from clients too. The world just doesn’t understand how good you are.

But. There’s a lot of waste going on here, cognitive waste and other kinds as well. So I’ll just suggest:

First: As soon as you experience the thing and make the sacrifice, or do the good deed, write about it, talk about it, or otherwise do some concrete reflection on it. Get those thoughts out of your head. It’s important to move quickly from disconnected perceptions (Ni) to executive summaries and analysis (Te/Ti) as soon as possible, so that over time this process works to your executive, big-picture benefit in a way that’s efficient, maybe even measurable, and maybe even (Fe!) not detracting from your status in the eyes of those who would otherwise support you.

Second: Watch out for people who would love nothing more than to manipulate you, if you care this much about how good you are. One of the things I do during relationship coaching is help people understand who is more likely to do this and why, and why that doesn’t even mean they’re “bad”—it says more about differing perceptions and viewpoints. Still, there are some bad people out there—and you can learn about them, learn how to decide who values your work. Seeing your good works “wasted” on people who don’t value your sacrifices and values won’t make you happy and can lead to depressed feelings.

Third: Regarding the valuing of your work: Do more of the work you personally value. The more subjective this work, the better. It can be physical work, or just a real quick intuitive thing! For example, invent a new world and visit it within your mind. Fill it with people you like. Write a bit about them so you’ll remember this later. As a more physical example, dance to a song you like, something that fills you with energy.

Finally: Take care of yourself gently. If you’re in a caretaker role (parent, teacher, etc.), this is doubly-important. Take frequent breaks from normal activities. Do something interesting—learn a new thing in 5 minutes, or develop a plan to learn a new thing. Also, take a break now and then from hard play. Lots of INTJs are into hard play activities. Do something soft as well, and see if you can feel a difference in the nature of the experience. Pet a cat for 20 minutes while you listen to a podcast. Do some yoga or tai chi. Intuitively: Feel yourself pulling more of that good energy into your body, energy that will help you do more good because you feel good.

To Summarize

This giving, doing-good energy is really strong. It can do amazing things. But it needs to be cultivated, it needs to be guarded, it needs to be used wisely and the less it is wasted, the happier you’ll be. INTJs are more than capable of coming up with just such a strategy.

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