I recently moved to a new city two hours away from my childhood home and three hours away from my college. Needless to say, I think I finally figured out how to get to most places without GPS and I know where the gas station and the mall are (I have my priorities) — although I must admit that I still don’t know how to get to my church from my house and my siblings’ high school is a bit of stretch. Our neighborhood is lovely and I often see mothers pushing strollers, elementary-age kids learning to get rid of their training wheels, fathers jogging with their dogs, middle-schoolers kicking a soccer ball around in the park. The only word I can think to describe is the one I’ve already used: lovely.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no one in the neighborhood who is my age. This area appears to be lacking college students coming home for the summer. I don’t have any friends.
Having stumbled upon this realization this afternoon at my brother’s baseball game while surrounded by cheering mothers holding toddlers, I quickly attempted to rationalize my fear by telling myself, “I don’t need friends. I have my family. I have friends in my hometown. I have friends at my college. I don’t need friends here.” Although that inner voice had spoken with such confidence at the beginning of the pep talk, it grew ever softer with every sentence and it was almost inaudible by the time it had finished. But not wanting to be burdened with such a thought during a fun afternoon (my brother was doing quite well at shortstop and the game was actually exciting for their skill level), I pushed such a notion into the crevasses of my mind and was determined to ignore it for quite some time.
However, the idea that I could be friendless here kept pushing through the temporary barricades that I had set up to imprison it there. By the time that I had eaten dinner, I had already measured the opportunities I wasted to make friends, predicted the doors that might open for me, analyzed my personality, and prayed about it twice (yep, that’s how you know I’m serious). I finally came to this conclusion: Opportunities wasted were in the past and must stay there and I would be sure to take advantage of favorable circumstances should they come by again; however, there was an aspect of this that was out of my control and that my prayers would eventually be answered, but that for the time being, the only thing that was left in my hands was my personality.
That was it! I thought. There was something about me that keeps potential friends at bay.
I could never solve a problem that I didn’t understand and so I researched. One of the best personality-determining tests was the Myers Briggs test; it was about 60 questions and I knew that I could finish it in about 10-15 minutes. And a quarter of an hour later, I was staring at the 4 letter code that represented my personality: INTJ. Only 2% of the US population has this code and only 0.8% are females!
Great, I’m an INTJ. Now what? I asked. Not really understanding, I delved deeper.
The Myers Briggs tests uses a combination of four different scales: how people respond and interact to the world around them, how people gather information from the world around them, how people make decisions based on the information gathered, and how people tend to deal with the outside world.
Responding/Interaction –> Extroversion VS. Introversion
I’m introverted. According to the study, it is very hard for INTJ’s to make friends (what encouraging news…) and often do not see the need for a large social circle since they are so naturally independent. Usually assumed to be arrogant, INTJ’s have a natural filtering system that requires them to seek friends with equal levels of intelligence so that they will not become bored. INTJ’s often don’t enjoy physical contact with even close friends and they see their few friends as “intellectual soulmates” rather than social validation. INTJ’s often tend to suppress their emotions and don’t know how to react to someone on a emotional level. On the plus side, because of this, we make very low-maintenance friends and will usually encourage our friends to become more independent.
Gather Information –> Sensing VS. Intuition
I’m intuitive. INTJ’s are typically quite imaginative and thinking outside the box comes easily for us. Idealists and cynics at the same time, we often can form brilliant plans and execute them with ease. One example of this is to think about a giant chess board and imagine the pieces moving around by an unseen hand, strategies unfolding and leading to the winning of the game — this is the inside of an INTJ’s mind. Although we make excellent leaders, we will usually be the one behind the curtain, pulling the strings. Everything should be questionable and open to reevaluation.
Decision-making –> Thinking VS. Feeling
I usually make decisions after thinking about the pros and cons, rather than doing what I feel is right. We are always focused on making the right decision because we tend to be perfectionists and consider each problem to be a solved a moral obligation. Although we are naturally curious, we are very rational and our one-track minds are very motivated to reach the end goal. Our weakness is that we usually suppress our emotions and consider them stupid and irrational; since we don’t know how to deal with them, we pretend that they don’t exist.
How they Deal with the World –> Judging VS. Perceiving
I am decisive and often use guidelines to steer myself towards the right decisions rather than improvising or keeping my options open once I have made a decision. INTJ’s are fiercely independent and prefer to work alone so we won’t be hindered by anyone that we considered to be of lower intelligence. We don’t have respect for anyone that we don’t think is competent enough to do the job. We love challenges and we see little point in small talk or networking due to the fact that we believe we should measured by the results of our work. In the same way, we hate manipulation and we have no problem criticizing others.
So this is the type of personality that I am. I cannot disagree with a single fact mentioned above and I can remember specific moments when I have fulfilled all of these certain characteristics. From this point of view, it seems impossible that I will make very many friends and even the ones I do make probably won’t be very close to me. But according to this information, it also seems that I will be okay with that. I guess we will just see what happens. I hate to turn to prayers as a last resort, but it looks like that’s my only option.
My name is Sydney Sheltz and I am an INTJ.
(*all information was found on the following sites: myersbriggs.org, 16personalities.com, and personalitypage.com)