INTJ Responses For Those Difficult Times

We’ve all been there. Standing in the corner, staring at everyone. Watching all the…the…EMOTIONS. Thinking to ourselves,

“How did I end up here? Of course I know how, but – what now? Quick! I have to seem human!”

Our brains work differently so it is sometimes difficult for us to align with the emotional responses of those around us. It is not personal. Well, not to us.

If the INFJ is the warmest robot, the INTJ is the coldest human. Lies! We SEEM cold, but we DO have feelings. We just don’t really care about other people’s feelings. Only if those people are in our innermost circle. Then possibly. Maybe. Depends.

We must also endure bouts of loathsome small talk. What do we say? No one cares! Blah blah blah! Where is the nearest escape route? We need the words to make the small talk work while we silently make our grocery list and plan weeks in advance.

Funerals, weddings, over-excited sporting events or even just the casual situation where we must console another homosapien who unexpectedly bursts into some sort of emotional state…these can be awkward times for the INTJ. We must blend in with the fellow human beings so we constantly hone our camouflage techniques.

Fear not fellow unicorns. I have devised a list (you know how much we love lists!) of never-fail responses so you can now plan (you know how much we love plans!) to go forth into life prepared.  Behold, a list of pre-fabricated responses to enable your dialogue in the most mundane and human of situations. (*User is solely responsible for adding emotion or tonal inflection to the following words)

PHRASES FOR THE INTJ:

When someone is upset:

  • “You are not alone.”
  • “I hear you and I understand.”
  • “You’re doing the best you can.”
  • “I hope everything will be OK.”
  • You are not alone.

When you are trapped in small talk:

  • “That is important.”
  • “I see.”
  • “That is a valid point.”
  • “If that is what you wanted then I believe you have achieved your goal.”
  • “So it is.”
  • Wow.”
  • Interesting.”

When you need to end the conversation: (no you may not just walk away mid-sentence)

  • “It has been lovely speaking with you, but I must go…”
  • “Nice to see you. Have a good day/evening”
  • “Thank you for your time. See you later.”
  • I am needed elsewhere…”
  • On that note…”
  • (act like you see someone. Hold up your finger.) “Can you excuse me for just a moment?”

When someone is crazy excited about something dumb:

  • “That sounds great.”
  • What a difference!”
  • “Amazing.”
  • “Wow.”
  • Congratulations.”
  • You go!”
  • “You will be great.”

When someone forces you to look at photos of their baby/kids/Christmas wreath/whatever:

  • “Look at that.”
  • Yes. That is a ______.
  • “I can tell you are proud.”
  • “Nice.”
  • “Wow.”
  • “That is a tiny baby.”
  • “I see.”

 

 

 

 

 

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The Introverted Salesperson: An Oxymoron?

Hello. My name is Sarah and I am an introvert (an INTJ to be specific).  I must function in this world – I must work and make a few dollars somehow. Thus I am an Introverted Salesperson. Is that an oxymoron?! Yes. A surprising amount of people who are in sales are, in fact, introverts. How do they survive?

First I will dissect the Introvert to help gain a better understanding of how this works. An Introvert gets their energy – recharges their “battery” – during quiet downtime. Usually this recharging time is completed at home or some kind of personal sanctuary (a library, a park or somewhere lovely and chill). The Introvert “spends” their energy when they are socializing and working with other people. The ebb and flow of this function is natural. The key is to not allow yourself (the Introvert) to run that battery into the red, or worse – deplete yourself!

Introverts come in a variety of degrees, which means some folks can socialize more and their batteries last a lot longer. Some of us know our battery lifespan and hope and pray we can finish up our socializing before we get too tired! Over the years I have toughened up and my battery lasts longer than it used to. This brings me to the next question; How can an Introvert make a decent salesperson?!

I have worked in service industries for years as waitstaff, a barista at a coffeehouse and other odd jobs. I am currently a professional photographer. I can function in a service industry better than a sales or commission-based industry because in a service industry the customer already WANTS the product or service. I do not have to “push” or “persuade” anyone into any decisions. This alleviates a lot of pressure from my Introverted self. However, I have also worked several jobs where I had to be a salesperson. This is truly challenging for me. First of all, as a customer, I loathe salespeople. I KNOW they are doing their job – it is nothing personal. When I am the customer and I go into a store, I already know exactly what I want and if that business does not have what I need, I move on to the next option. I also know that not everyone operates like I do (thank goodness). When it is my turn to be the salesperson I have to reconsider my perspective on things.

I created and adopted an approach to sales that helped me function successfully in the world of capitalism and also saved me from burning out my Introverted batteries. Using common sense and intelligence, I adapt this approach to fit the client/sales relationship for each customer.

1) THE INTRO: I am not a nosy, pushy or talkative person. I do not like to pry. I feel safest by initiating the meet-and-greet with a simple approach. When I meet with a client I always say, “Hello! My name is Sarah and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.” Whew. Done. The ball is in the customer’s court. When it comes to physical contact I have to use my best judgement. I have learned that there are a lot of people out there who do not like to be touched. Most people expect a handshake, but I am hyper aware of those who keep a little bit of distance between us. Never force physical interaction.

  • I live in the South so sometimes during an introduction, unexpectedly, a client will grab me up and hug me. I just let it happen. It is a Southern Handshake.

In a service industry setting (as a professional photographer) I adapt this approach to fit each meeting which means I still take the initiative to greet my potential client. I say, “Hello! I am Sarah. Lovely to meet you.”

2) LISTENING TIME: If the customer needs assistance they speak up and ask questions. I listen. I do not interrupt. I make eye contact. I use my good manners. I allow the customer to ask questions and finish speaking before I respond. This behavior validates the customer, shows respect for the customer and creates a trust between the salesperson and the customer. Easy-peasy! Work from there to meet the customer’s needs. Done.

In a service industry, like my photography business, I sometimes open the conversation by saying, “Thank you for calling me. If you have a moment, I would love to hear your ideas and share your vision for this project.” This promotes an open conversation where I can listen and allow the client to talk. This VALIDATES them. I watch their body language, listen to what they are saying – I take it all in and I do not interrupt them.

3) PLANS: Once a meet-and-greet has been initiated and the questions have been asked and the ideas have been shared, now the plans can begin. In a sales environment you can meet the demand with a product – or products – and satisfy the customer’s quest. Easy. Even if they are picky – let them be picky. It does not cost me anything to hear someone be specific or state their crazy needs. Smile and listen. Out of an entire day, how long do you have to deal with this picky or difficult person? Probably minutes. You got this.

In a service industry like photography I glean all the information the client has shared and together we create a plan. If I need to ask questions, I make sure those questions are clear and concise. Do not lump 2 or 3 questions together. Ask the client if they have questions.

  • Once when I worked at Macy’s in the upscale women’s clothing department we had a male customer. The other sales ladies fussed saying he was difficult. They disappeared and let me, the rookie, “handle him.” This gentleman was in his 50s and I greeted him. “I need to buy my sister something beautiful for her birthday,” he said.  I said, “Does she have a favorite color?” “She wears lots of reds and she is a business woman,” the man answered. I walked over to a rack which had some gorgeous red suit sets and held one up. He shrugged and nodded. “What size?” I asked. He pointed at me. “Actually maybe about your size.” I grabbed my size and rang it up. He was ELATED. We had it gift wrapped. He returned two weeks later to gush about how his sister LOVED the suit! Later I asked the other salespeople why he was so difficult. They said, “He never knows what he wants and can’t answer questions…he doesn’t know much about women’s clothes.” These women weren’t LISTENING!

4) SEAL THE DEAL: Once the customer’s needs have been met, always close the deal with some statement of appreciation. The whole secret to human interaction is trust and validation. Everyone needs to be validated on some level at some time, even during a sales transaction. Keep the human element in the deal and send the customer away with a sense of validation.

In a service industry I do the same. Validate the client! Forget rolling out the red carpet. Just the act of listening along with the act of acknowledgement can have the power to endear and build trust. “I am here to serve you” is the message the client should receive. By doing these simple acts I am capable of providing quality customer service AND functioning successfully in the business world.

As an Introverted Salesperson I have long understood one more super important thing:

LET YOUR WORK SPEAK FOR ITSELF.

That takes a load off of you right there! Do your best work each time and understand that just as actions speak louder than words, your work will speak louder than any advertising. You do not have to shout from the rooftops or sell yourself when your work is outstanding. Most Introverts have an incredible work ethic and can be perfectionists. The quality of work is not my issue. It is the “people” part of the equation! Good clients are worth minutes, and even a few hours, of your life. You do not have to overexert yourself to be a great salesperson. You can be an Introverted Salesperson and stay sane. Keep things in perspective. You got this!

 

 

COMEDY: It Saves Lives

Some folks are beautiful. Some folks are savvy. Me? I’ll choose funny any day. Why? Because in my world, comedy is everything. Funny folks often have a history behind why they choose comedy, because let’s face it, being funny can be hard.

At a young age – around the 4th grade – I started honing my material. I was the new kid in school, the skinny goofy redhead with enormous buckteeth and freckles, awkward…the perfect embodiment of comedic nuances. One of my first introductions to true comedy was from my 4th grade English teacher, Mr. White. After we would complete our lesson for the day, Mr. White would look around the room – as if to be certain no other adults were listening – and he would say to us, “who wants to listen to records for a few minutes?” Spindly 10 year old arms would fly up into the air and he would stride to the back of the room, which is where the turntable was. I will never forget the first record. Bill Cosby Himself. We children would sit motionless, mesmerized by Cosby’s voice as it took us on a journey of wit, ridiculousness and sarcasm. I had never heard anything like it. I remember that being the first time in my life that I laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up, cry or wet my pants. (It was the parenting bit). I was addicted.

Once our class finished Cosby at a rate of 10-15 minutes per day at the end of each class, we moved on to Gallagher. I was already a bookworm and loved words – so Gallagher’s puns and wordplay were sheer intellectual bliss for me. His oxymorons opened my eyes to the dark irony of the world around me and I started seeing hypocrisy with punchlines. I was 10. Next we listened to Eddie Murphy – well, parts of his routine. Mr. White drew the line when it came to sex and language of a certain caliber, so he would sometimes dash back to the record player and we would hear the light scratch of him lifting the needle and then gently replacing it at just the right spot. I did not realize at the time that Mr. White obviously had every routine memorized.

Another huge influence on my sense of humor was my mother. My parents had a bad marriage and there was abuse. My mom had two kids and stayed with a man who did not love her because of lots of reasons I did not understand when I was younger. In retrospect, my mother had a wicked good sense of humor about a lot of things despite the odds. She laughed at herself a lot – because life was sometimes funny and as intelligent as she was, there were still crazy circumstances and situations she had to navigate. I learned the art of self deprecating humor from my mother. She could siphon out the irony in a situation faster than anyone I knew. She was dry. She was sarcastic. She was surviving as best she could. That impacted me in a way that saved me in years to come. I developed a dark sense of humor early.

High school. We have moved again and I was the new kid. We moved to Alabama, which meant culture shock lent itself to my humor. I wasn’t the best looking girl, but I could be funny. I had already learned this: if you can make people laugh, it will endear them to you. And so I made people laugh. I gravitated towards funny people. Comedy was my happy place and I would go to great lengths to find the secret formula for making others laugh. No matter how miserable my home life was, no matter how ugly or worthless I sometimes felt – there was always material there somewhere. Find it. Use it. Make people laugh.

When I was in the tenth grade I had already read countless books by comedians. I remember Erma Bombeck was especially glorious. To have the kind of intelligence that was not performance related but instead showcased in the written word; THAT was new turf. I read everything I could. Movies were funny, but in the same realm that sitcoms got a laugh. I needed something tangible to feed my habit. Then I saw Buster Keaton’s movie The General. Fifteen minutes in I knew I was watching a legend. Outside of Looney Tunes, slapstick had never been my predilection. Keaton’s performance combined exquisite timing with physical comedy and a level of acting that accomplished so much without any spoken words. I was smitten.

My thirst for good comedy never stopped, but it wasn’t enough to be inspired by others. Comedy was part of my fabric. From youth I was analyzing how preposterous social standards were, questioning people’s habits and behaviors, mentally noting the ironies and the absurdity of the world around me. I joined drama clubs. I was a theater major in college. Most women fought over the lead roles while I was often cast as the comedic relief in a play. I couldn’t have been happier.

After college there was a period of time where I was not in good health and even homeless for a short while. I was still funny. More so, I believe.  My sense of humor saved me from the world and most importantly, from myself. Life, everything – all of this is temporary. I never take myself too seriously. If a friend is having a bad day, the least I can do is make them laugh. Comedy has given me purpose. It is my coping mechanism. It is how I make sense of crazy things. Comedy is an intellectual tapestry of human behaviors and triggers. I love this.

Laughter has been my drug of choice. Comedy saves lives.

 

ART: A Common Sense Guide To Surviving

I am an artist. I was born an artist – it is in my heart, my soul, my blood. I did not wake up one day and say to myself, “I think I will try painting,” I was painting while I was learning to walk. My art, my talent, is very personal and very dear to me. I have spent thirty years in the art world. I have done commission work. I have participated in juried art shows. I have had art exhibits at various galleries. I have been a member of various art groups and associations over the years. I have been to art auctions. I have created art shows for local communities. I have taught art both in local school systems and privately. I am now an art agent and my passion is finding a community’s hidden artists and bringing their talents to light. Because my own art is such a driving and therapeutic force in my life, I have explored nearly every aspect of the art world. This, my friends and artists, is a brutally honest look at what I have learned from this life-long experience. Some of you aren’t going to like what you’re about to hear.

Art is subjective, just like music and other creative arts are subjective. Art has hundreds of genres and styles. Everyone has a different definition of what’s good. This is a beautiful fact about art – a piece of artwork can speak to different people in different ways; it initiates the act of comprehension, both emotionally and intellectually. Like book critiques and critiques on music, art critics run the gamut when it comes to this super-subjective medium. What one person likes, another does not. This is where we encounter our first problem.

For those of you who are artists and you have not yet dipped your toes into the pool that is the commercial art world, please listen closely. The commercial art world is composed of galleries, exhibits, juried art shows and commissions. It has been my observation over the past thirty years that talent rarely enters the frame when an artist is chosen as the “next big thing.”  If you doubt the art world is about politics and who you know, visit a gallery. Visit an exhibit. Better yet, go to a juried show and see who placed. Yes, some pieces are superb, but I have been confused more than once when these bizarre politics come into play. More often than not the recipe for success in the art world includes knowing the right people – and by right people I mean those with money who follow the latest fad –  quantity over quality, accepting commissions from elite sectors, and last but certainly not least, expounding upon your personal woes. The following is a true story:

I spent two years working in a very wealthy, very elite community within a large city – one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the US, in fact. I was all over the art there – trying to discover the art and artisans within their community. (A community’s artisans are often the soul of that community – their art is a legacy and a reflection of their area.) A very popular gallery took artists’ works and marked them up 300% – a common practice. (If an artist wanted $100 for an oil painting, it sold for $400 and the artist got their original $100. I affectionately call these Art Pimps.) Art collectors in the community were excited about an invitation-only exhibit for a particular artist and my friend had an invitation. I had heard about this artist and his paintings were coveted. I wanted to see his work. With a bit of timing and some happenstance, I went the day before the opening and saw his work before it hung on the walls. I was shocked! The piece to be auctioned off was messy at best – a painting smeared in muted colors and portraying semi-human figures with abstract tendencies. Good or bad? Depends on who is looking at the art – but that is not what got to me. I started asking people why this painting was so coveted. The answer was both consistent and shocking. Patrons shared the tale in hushed tones. It went something like this, “The artist is gay and his father never accepted him. He and his father have not spoken for years. He found out his father was dying with cancer and went to visit him, to try to make amends before his death. The father would not even acknowledge his presence. When the son (artist) left the hospital, he drove down the interstate at over 100 miles an hour, and finally attempted suicide by veering off the road to wreck his car. THIS PAINTING was in the trunk of his car when he attempted suicide! The emotion of it is incredible. He just got out of the hospital himself – they don’t think he’ll be at the gallery but we’re hoping…..”

That is a true story. Not once did I hear anyone say anything about the painting and its compositions. It was sheer sensationalism from the start. That painting sold for over $8,000. The artist came to the gallery on crutches. He signed autographs. I have witnessed this type of event several times since – where people are more interested in the human story than the actual work. I have seen this happen in the music world, as well. A singer cannot sing and the song is not great, but the clothes are flashy and their personal life is a tabloid sensation. This phenomenon, which I call the “Freak Factor” has a whole lot to do with how some artists ever get in the limelight. The more bizarre the artist and his/her life, the more expensive the painting will be. My advice: suffer for your art. It definitely pays.

Let us take a moment to discuss art shows. Every city and most towns have art shows, and there are judges. These judges should be qualified to handle these shows, and by qualified I mean educated in the world of art. They usually choose art professors, artists of repute, and art historians to judge these events. Do not be afraid to ask about their qualifications. If they are affronted by your curiosity, be wary. Warning: if you think toddler infused beauty pageants are a disgusting display of human emotion, enter an art show! I have seen artists tear into one another, spread rumors about one another, accuse each other of cheating by stating their works aren’t original….the list goes on. Sadly, most of these people do not have a life outside of these events and they are desperate for some good old-fashioned recognition. Not all artists are involved in this embarrassing display, but I have witnessed it too many times to discount it. If you enter a show, be genuine and let your work speak to patrons. Be gracious. Observe. Visit other booths and offer compliments to those whose works you admire. Art shows need sincerity like children need hugs. Do not participate in gossip. BE HUMBLE.  Know above all else that your status or lack thereof in the art show is NOT a reflection of your talents. I have another true story.

There was an artist who was a realist and did portraiture. Her works were incredible. She was an empty-nester who picked up a paintbrush after spending 20 years raising children. She had a natural talent. A friend (me) convinced her to join a local art association. She met other men and women whom she believed shared her passion for the creative process. Then it happened. The group decided to compete in a large juried show out of town. This woman was new to the show arena, so she simply packed up her paintings and displayed them without any fanfare. (Most artists create “booths” which emulate a miniature gallery atmosphere.) This woman won a blue ribbon in four categories and sold every single painting she took to the show! A museum curator approached her at one point and expressed great interest in her works. What she didn’t notice were the other members of her group. They were seething with jealousy. In the following month, they rescheduled their meetings and did not inform her, made NO mention of her successes in their newsletter, and excommunicated her from their association. It was ugly. The woman was crushed. The disillusionment was rampant. How could this happen?? Remember the beauty pageant allegory? While not all artists are pit bulls with paintbrushes, please have your armor handy when you do encounter the jealous types. If you still want to delve into the art world, it helps to have a very thick skin.

There is a valid reason for the starving artist theory. The other day I had coffee with an incredible artist who is a friend of mine. He is virtually unknown in our community, and yet he is a treasure! He is world renowned for his magnificent watercolors paintings of birds – especially pigeons. He has done commission work and even book covers. A Vietnam vet, he is reclusive and humble. He paints because he doesn’t have a choice. Inspiration is his muse and he answers whenever she calls. He is a purist when it comes to artistic talent. By this I mean he paints only that which he is inspired to paint, and he has even denounced commission work. I see him two or three times a year – when he’s ready for a visit. If I am blessed, I get to see one of his beautiful paintings! He was expressing his personal convictions concerning art, and here is what he said:

“A woman asked me the other day, “Look at your hands! They do not look like they could hold a brush much less paint!” I told her the painting – the art – doesn’t come from my hands. It bleeds from my heart, from my soul, through my fingers and onto the paper. I am so sick of people, when they see my works – which you know the paintings are like my children – they say “If I could paint like that I’d be a millionaire – you should sell your work!!” Well, I have sold my work, and it breaks my heart. Each piece is so personal, so intense, I know its meaning, I know its feeling – I created it! I made it! How can I sell that to a stranger who does not know it? I have done commissions, when I had to. I think every artist does. But my work – the paintings I create in my mind and birth onto paper, they are precious and they are gifts. I give my art away, like a kiss or a flower. When you give someone a piece of your art, a piece of your heart, it is a great gift. Dollars cannot give you that. Some people say I’m talented, I don’t know about that. I do know I paint because it keeps me alive, gives me purpose, makes me whole.”

Amen. There is an immense sense of irony involved in the argument that art can be priceless. Indeed, to the point of free! As an art agent, I recognize the starving artist theory in other artists. There are the artists who are chomping at the bit to get into the arena and make some dough, and then there are the artists (my favorite) who have incredible talent and no idea anyone else would be interested in their work. To me, these are the best artists! Sure, they may be convinced they can make a little money down the road, and that is great. In the beginning, however, finding them is like unearthing gold treasure. I love scouting new talent, as I love art of every shape and size. The artists who see their works as an extension of their selves are the ones who make me grin. The art they produce is obviously inspired and a treat for all who see their work. These people give their work away – as gifts to friends and family. Some are daunted by the prospect of pricing their art. Those who do price their works usually cover costs alone. Having seen thousands of paintings in my lifetime, and knowing what paintings can go for, I am pretty good at slapping a gallery price on someone’s work. Pricing art is another article for another time, but often people are shocked when I tell them various prices for various markets. Their answer says it all: “I thought $20 would cover it.”

A good exercise for any artist is to venture out and find local artisans. Go by word of mouth and see if there are any artists in your community. Most of them have no idea they represent the culture of that community!! Find them, look at their work, get to know them. Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a work of art by its creator!  Example: a weathered farmer in our town makes the most beautiful stained glass windows you’ve ever seen. He makes them in his barn when he has “a few minutes”. Who would have known? I told him I would love to see one of his pieces in the city’s art museum! He scoffed and laughed. See? It’s like panning for gold and striking it rich. Art is the heartbeat of the region – the soul of an area. Art is a reflection of a peoples and their culture. The art of a community is the legacy of that community. Nurture that legacy and discover some great art! By doing this, you will grow as an artist. Do not allow commercialism and mainstream attention to dilute the quality of your gift. If fame and fortune happen and you get noticed, magnificent. Better to be recognized for your gifts and your works than for your dirty laundry and your gimmicks.

Let us recognize those artists who are talented and starting to make money. BE CAREFUL. Ask yourself a few valid questions. What am I worth? What is this painting worth to me? What prices are other artists with similar works getting? So many times I see great artists underestimating their work. Regardless of market and style, examine your ability to do something most people cannot do themselves. Art is called a gift for a reason. If you are an artist, you are gifted. You have something to offer which other people would love to have. There was a time when people feared the invention of photography would cause the extinction of portraiture. They were wrong for a reason. Nothing can compete with a hand crafted painting of a person. The ethereal and intellectual aspects of art are too many to delve into here, but know that your ability to create art is a talent with a fan club. Now, take your works of art and drive around to galleries and show them what you have. If they like what they see, stay in control of the conversation. Ask them what their policy is. Are they Art Pimps? Do they want to be in total control of your pricing? If so, what do you make? Do you name your own price? If so, what percentage do you get? There are no laws governing the financial dealings of art brokers and art dealers – so you need to have your game face on. Decide ahead of time what you’re worth and what you’re willing to pay someone to showcase your work. Sadly, there are a lot of people who would love to make big bucks off your incredible painting – while you get a small portion of the money. Be firm, be professional, and remember that they are not the ones who make a name for you! YOU are the one who makes a name for yourself by the works you create.  Galleries and shows are vehicles used to publicly display your work. A good gallery is one that respects you as an artist and encourages good pricing while taking a reasonable fee or commission for your successful sales. A good gallery nurtures its artists and educates the surrounding community about art. Stay away from the used car dealerships of the art world. After a few conversations, you’ll be able to spot the art pimps without much effort. Good luck out there!

Without art, this world would be desolate. Art is so many things to so many people. Art is valuable and necessary. Art is therapeutic, both in the creation of works and in the viewing of those works. As an artist, be true to your talent and know your art is valuable and worthy. As in any business venture, do your research and be savvy when negotiating your gifts. If an artist is interested in entering the public eye, I always ask what they desire to gain from the experience, and proceed accordingly. The art world is a vast world and not every experience is bad. Use common sense and ask questions. My hope for all artists, including myself, is to continue the creative process and thus better the world one painting or drawing or sculpture at a time. Now stop reading and go create something!

Pet Peeves of an INTJ

The Art of Askance:

Growing up I learned that in life there is always a right way and a wrong way to do things. I learned this from my Momma, from Sunday School, from watching old movies, from reading countless biographies (I went through a phase) – you get the point. I liked this idea – it made perfect sense. I also liked etiquette and good manners and being respectful (see “old movies”). I remember being a kid and encountering an issue or a problem and thinking “What would Audrey Hepburn do?” It was awesome.

Early on I noticed a glitch in the Matrix. It seemed folks forgot how to properly ask for things. As I got older the problem grew worse. When I ask for something from someone, I understand that I am asking them to give me their time/energy/talent/money/whatever and that the whole point of asking is because I am not entitled to thing for which I ask! Now it seems “ask” has been changed to “assume”, and you know what they say about assuming!

Every. Single. Week. I encounter someone who asks me to do or make something for them and 99.9% of the time it goes like this:

“Hey, you know what you oughta do for me?…”

“You need to do such and such – I already told so-and-so you would!”

“You know what you could do? You could make me a _________. I would love that!”

I bet you would. And no. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. THAT IS NOT ASKING! That is RUDE! Hand on my heart I recently met with a potential client to discuss the possibility of me doing some professional photos for an upcoming book. This was a professional meet and greet – to see if the job was a good fit. I showed up on time, with credentials and business card in hand. The other party was late, unprofessional in behavior, could not answer my questions and finished with this: “Get started and when you finish email everything to me. I have other projects for you – as soon as you finish this.” WHAT?

I INTJ death-stared the man down for a good full minute and then I said, “Sir, I am not accepting this job. We never even discussed pay. There will be no other projects, either. You haven’t even given me your email address or phone number. I am sure you will find someone.”

Never once in our conversation did he say, “I have some specific photos I would like you to take for this book. The pay is $$$. Will you accept this job?” What is happening in this world? And it isn’t just on a professional level. Everyday folks are making plans on my behalf without even asking me what I want to do – or can do – and worse, getting upset when I say no to a question they never asked. I cannot wrap my head around this. I am 1) not a mind reader and 2) not your puppet. Never EVER assume I will do/say/make ANYTHING for you. Have enough respect to address me properly and ask for something the right way. It is the least we can do to show respect towards one another.

Mooches

I have layers of friends. There are the few and precious Inner Circle Peeps, the Friends, the Acquaintances and then the rest of you are waiting in line out on the streets as far as I am concerned (nothing personal, I’m an INTJ). To my few and precious Inner Circle Peeps – my loyalties are fierce and my love is real and my door is always open to you. You know who you are. Everyone else – do not invite yourself to my stuff. Do not impose. And imposition is the real issue here – because I can make anyone a cup of coffee. Those who expect and demand I make them a cup of coffee are the problem. It is the Mooch I cannot abide. INTJ’s are hyper aware of people who are balanced, people who are Givers and people who are Takers.

Givers need observation because they will spend all of themselves on others and not let anyone pamper or help them. I have a soft spot for these people – my Mom is a Giver to a fault and while I love that about her, it gets her in trouble. A Giver is not a threat – but whenever I am around one I am always careful not to take everything they offer because I know too well they deplete themselves. I say no to them because I know what they sacrifice. There is a purity in the Giver. A Giver friend always meets expectations and never shows up empty handed or expects others to cater to them, treat them, and they have no sense of entitlement. It is their selfless humility that makes them so vulnerable, and beautiful.

Takers come in different forms with different intentions. Some Takers are not even aware of themselves – whether by habit or by personality or by upbringing they are who they are. Taker friends are not really good friends. They make decisions which are self-serving even if they can sometimes appear philanthropic. If you find yourself doing all the leg work in a relationship – you are involved with a Taker. If a friend does not demonstrate that they can easily make the same efforts and sacrifices on your behalf that you have on theirs, they are a Taker.

A mooch is the worst of the Takers. Some are motivated and malicious and know what they are. They take every opportunity they can and manipulate others. Mooches will glom onto you or your successes, or come use up your talents or steal your energy and they will enjoy it. A mooch uses people to get something they need or want – usually without asking (see #1).

I will sniff out and drop a mooch in a heartbeat. As an INTJ, I cannot stand manipulation and selfishness. A sense of entitlement is like a poison arrow. It is almost impossible to use and abuse an INTJ because they will simply walk away – shutting the door on such behaviors. Genuine mooches are easy to disown.

Plans That Aren’t Plans

Someone invites me to meet them for dinner at a specific place at a specific time. I arrive. They do not. Stuff came up. I know Life happens – but LET ME KNOW!

Hypothetical Scenario: A friend wants to go to the bookstore. Yay bookstore! I break my own rule and ride with them (I always take my own vehicle for a myriad of reasons, including I can leave when I want). Friend goes to gas station, to WalMart, to drive-thru, to mall, to…AGGHHHH! It has been 4 hours! I thought we were going to the bookstore? “Oh, we are…soon.” This is death for an INTJ. I can be flexible and even spontaneous – if I have a plan! Why on God’s green earth would you invite me to the bookstore if we were going everywhere BUT there? I know adventure in this form does not bother most people, but some of us just need an outline. (This is why the best surprise party for me would be the one I knew about ahead of time). I have patience and tolerance when I have an idea of what, when and where I need to apply them. It is the unknown – the meandering – that makes me crazy. I’ll meet you at the bookstore. In my car. It’ll be fun.

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

As an INTJ I already process and analyze stuff and I weigh every possible scenario. Quietly, in my mind, while I do dishes. I am also a skeptic so I quietly question everything and sniff out potential motives to better ascertain my approach on something. I am also a gut-driven person and to date my gut has not been wrong. When I smell a rat, there’s a rat.

Everyone has a problem with lying because, well, it’s LYING! But lying – that is an easy one. What I seek to understand is the Big Picture. Before I jump on the Negative Bandwagon I need facts. I need to know both sides of the story. I cannot blindly agree that someone or something is terrible/horrible/perfect/fantastic. My mind is Switzerland until I can piece together the puzzle that creates a finished scene. THEN I can begin the process of forming theories or even, dare I say it, an opinion about someone or something. The good news is – this creates an environment where fairness is valued and administered. The bad news – I can’t always hear both sides of the story or get all the facts. Back to my gut… The irritant pertaining to this subject is that, as an INTJ, I do hate lying – especially when I KNOW it is a lie – but I also hate when others want me to jump to their conclusions and grab a torch and pitchfork. Stahhhp.

There are, of course, plenty of pet peeves but these touch on problems inherent of the everyday world. I would love to hear about your INTJ pet peeves.

 

Introverts: Activate the Bubble!

When I was a teenager I had some serious issues with the general public. I started working at the mall, in a coffee shop. While the job itself was fun and amazing, working with the general public was NOT. I already hated the crowded halls of my high school, long lines at grocery stores and pretty much shopping in general. Why? People. I love individual people but I hate crowds. This is part of being an introvert and an empath. Sixteen-year-old me had to adapt, and fast, if I wanted to survive my new job.

My sweet mom knew I had issues. (She, too, is an introvert). At one point she said, “Sarah, imagine yourself inside a big bubble, like a Glenda-the-Good-Witch bubble. You can see and hear everything but you have a layer of protection.” Code: Activate Bubble. My imagination was already ripe for the picking (I grew up to be a Theater Major after all), so it was not difficult to pretend I could activate a giant imaginary bubble – a force field of sorts. If only my bubble could float around like Glenda’s!

At first, this was a challenge. My Bubble was flimsy and popped easily – people got to me or I got that all-too-familiar sickening feeling when I was forced by circumstance to be in a large crowd somewhere. I practiced this imaginary bubble thing – and over the course of several years, I got really good at it. Maybe too good sometimes. In the early days the Bubble would only last a few minutes and then I would crumple. Pop! What started out as a weak decorative bubble  grew into an acrylic bubble (think of those chairs from the 70’s!), and eventually that grew into what I referred to as “the Steel Bubble”. Like I said – this took me years to master.

What was actually happening to me on a mental level was something that has served me well my whole adult life. I developed and nurtured my own coping skills. The bubble? That was just the vehicle I needed to promote and integrate these coping mechanisms. My imaginary Bubble Shield allowed me to peruse exterior circumstances and decide what I would “allow” to affect me. This force field provided a view of the surrounding world without the threat of being attacked by sensory overload. I could cope.

As my Bubble grew stronger I was able to work many jobs in service industries – all serving the general public. Anyone who has ever worked at a mall or a grocery store or as a waiter or waitress – well, ANY job dealing with the dreaded public – KNOWS how hard it can be! There are times when the noise gets to you. Some days the sheer negativity wafting off of people can almost knock you down. As an INTJ personality I always loathed the endless small talk and hearing everyone’s life story – I hated the complaints and chatter. My Bubble worked overtime.

I have always been stingy with my time and energy and creativity – it is mine and I do not want to spend it all frivolously or on wasteful ventures. Working with the public was a necessity because I needed money to survive. I had to cope somehow – and even though my Bubble wasn’t completely bullet proof – I cannot imagine the mess I would have been without it. My Bubble allowed me to stay sane and keep some reserves for myself until I could scurry home and quietly recharge my soul’s battery.

Today, my husband and I have three beautiful, intelligent children. ALL three of them are introverts. All three of them are also empaths. Guess what I have taught them? Oh yes – we started young and now they use their own Bubbles. Whenever we load up the Suburban to head out to a birthday party or a big public event you’ll hear one of us say, “Activate your Bubble!” It has made all the difference in how they are able to cope in this crazy world. Nowadays my Bubble is Titanium and Kevlar. It’s pretty impressive. Even my husband jokes about his Bubble sometimes. It is a ridiculous concept – but it works.

 

INTJ: Welcome To Your Super Power

So you just found out you are an INTJ. Isn’t it wonderful? To finally know the truth about what your gut instincts and your intuition have been telling you all along? It is true; you are above mere mortals. Perhaps you knew you were different but couldn’t put a pin on why (which is extremely frustrating for an INTJ). Being an INTJ (and especially an INTJ FEMALE) is like having a super power. No, it IS a super power. Here are some reasons why.

SUPER POWER #1: WE CAN SEE THE FUTURE

As an INTJ your analytical powers rank you among the Jedi. When intuition and intelligence merge into one being, great things happen. An INTJ can observe and assess a situation / event / relationship and then process that knowledge into 100 different paths of outcome, divide those future possibilities by their realism, add potential patterns, multiply the predictable responses to each scenario and come up with a mental picture of what the future should look like. Did I mention that an INTJ does all of this in a few seconds while simultaneously making a mental grocery list? No flow charts necessary.

An INTJ is a decisive person with a vivid imagination who values realistic and rational outcomes. The super power? You can pretty much predict the future – or futures – and 99% of the time you will be right. (However, we hate the phrase “I told you so” because too often an INTJ sees an outcome that is irrational or negative and does not WANT to be right.) This is why it is difficult to shock or surprise an INTJ (besides, we hate surprises). Companies pay huge sums of money to individuals who can predict future trends. If only we cared about such trivial things as trends.

SUPER POWER #2:  WE CAN SEE INTO YOUR SOUL

I mentioned observation earlier and allow me to elaborate. In a normal conversation an INTJ will listen to what you are saying. They will also watch your body language while you say what you are saying, listen to the intonation of your voice, listen to what you are NOT saying and plug your words into the context of the situation at hand. An INTJ will also apply skepticism (it is inherent – no offense), seek potential motive and “digest” all of this information at once. Sometimes it is difficult not to interrupt a person’s soliloquy  with the phrase, “What do you want?” And the observational powers go even deeper than that.

It is impossible to manipulate an INTJ. We smell motives. While most people are deeply scarred by insults and criticism and unfairness and prejudice, we are plain irritated by it. It angers us. INTJ’s are immune to emotional manipulation and will avoid it  (this is why we avoid salespeople)! We do not judge others based on their race, their creed, their religion, or their sexuality. We understand that no one asked to be born and that we have no control over how we came into this world. We also understand that emotional tactics such as guilt trips, insults, back stabbing and manipulation are all too common in society. We know the difference between confidence and arrogance. We know when someone is being honest and sincere as opposed to when they are full of BS.

Within a few minutes of being in a conversation with someone (or seconds if you are an empath like me) you will instinctively know with your INTJ super powers whether or not a person is self-centered, has a selfish motive, is greedy, is lying, is trying to manipulate you or is a negative / toxic person. This is an extremely handy super power that saves an INTJ from becoming entangled with negative and damaging people. While we still learn lessons through experiences, we spend a lot less time mucking through toxic relationships. Our “spider senses” save the day!

SUPER POWER #3: A WICKED STRONG WORK ETHIC

Every INTJ I know (and that is not many) is picky about what they do. If an INTJ does choose to do / create / invest in something, that means they have already analyzed the outcomes and have decided that a job is worth their time and energy. Even better – if they commit to a project or job that means they are passionate about it. An INTJ hates waste and loves quality and efficiency. We keep our standards high. We push ourselves to meet our own standards and expect others to do so as well. If an INTJ signs up for a task – you can believe they will execute that task by giving 110% and will do so without a trace of ego. In fact, an INTJ will prefer to work behind the scenes and take great satisfaction in a job well done.An INTJ is a workhorse and will even push themselves hard to get everything done to perfection.

An INTJ is not a primadonna. We already know we are awesome. We are well aware of our capabilities. We know we will nail the task and work hard to make it the best it can be. An INTJ can see the big picture and can work well with others but works best when left alone. An INTJ can “steer the ship” when they have to, but hates to steer the ship and would rather allow someone else to be the figurehead.  We can also keep people at arm’s length and be professional without getting attached or involved with anyone. The confidence carried within an INTJ is the sort of confidence every person should have. Believe in yourself. Know who you are and of what you are capable. Isn’t this the goal for everyone? An INTJ may have a few insecurities – but you will not see them. INTJ’s are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.

Another aspect of this super power is that INTJ’s can do many different things and they are often great at those things. Hobbies, jobs, experiences – an INTJ learns quickly and can master many trades and skills in a short amount of time. Such individuals are called “multipotentialites” and companies have recently discovered that these types of people make the best employees. Combine a strong work ethic with a constant desire to learn new things and you get a powerhouse. INTJ’s also love research, which means they do not show up unaware. An INTJ does their homework and knows ahead of time what is expected of them. The best INTJ ability? INTJ’s are the best when it comes to the phrase “Fake it til you make it.” We will fake it until we do make it, and you won’t know the difference.

SUPER POWER #4: THE INTJ DEATH STARE

I was an adult before I knew this had a name. The INTJ Death Stare, or “The STARE” is a real thing and it is intimidating. Remember that “look” your mother gave you when you were a kid and you were acting up in public? Multiply that look by ten. As an INTJ I can tell you that the STARE just happens. It is instinctive. An INTJ does not muster or conjure the STARE. When something ridiculous or irrational happens – the kind of stupidity an INTJ simply cannot wrap their head around – the STARE comes out. In fact, an INTJ is prone to having their thought life showcased in their facial expressions. It is, after all, as reactionary as we get. Eye rolls are for beginners. Add some furrowed brows, one raised eyebrow and a Mona Lisa smirk to that list and you have some outlandish INTJ emotional responses going on!

The mother of the INTJ arsenal is definitely the STARE. If I had to describe the STARE, I would say it is a sinister scowl combined with the presence felt when Lord Vader enters the room, coupled by the soul-burning sensation of  the Eyes of Truth boring into your soul. Add a dash of shock – the kind of shock one might experience after being shot – and top it off with the kind of longevity and duration that makes a staring contest seem like child’s play. The recipient of the STARE is either emotionally scorched and has nowhere to hide, or in disappointing cases, is oblivious to the impending death and cannot understand what is happening. This leads me to the Door Slam Effect.

Like the INTJ Death STARE, INTJ’s are known to handle bad situations and especially toxic relationships with what is called the Door Slam Effect. When we are done, we are PAST done and all that tolerance is gone. Forever. INTJ’s can be extremely tolerant and respectful, but the line they draw in the proverbial sand is deep, clear, highlighted, has signs around it and has a map leading to it! Cross that line and you are dead. Dead to the INTJ. An INTJ, when “finished” with someone, will simply cut them out of their life. Poof. Gone. And there is no remorse on behalf of the INTJ. In fact, they will feel like they have made the best decision. It will be a relief to them. As a practice, an INTJ will start pulling away from a person or a toxic situation. This process can be so subtle others may not recognize what is happening. By the time the INTJ has vanished, it is past time to reconcile. No drama. No fights. No accusations or displays of anger. Poof. Done. By the way, the Death STARE usually comes right before the Door Slam.

SUPER POWER #5: MISS INDEPENDENCE

An INTJ woman is oh so special. This woman does not need anyone. If she has someone in her life, it is because she wants them in her life. This woman is strong, intelligent, confident (not arrogant), rational (not cold), quiet (not aloof), reserved and tactful (not a reactionary prone to loud outbursts), decisive (not wishy washy), practical (not high maintenance), and beautiful on the inside and the outside. Every woman should want to be this woman. (Too biased? Sorry not sorry.)

INTJ women do not doubt themselves. They know who they are and have had a sense of self-awareness since childhood. These women function with the concept of free will and have complete confidence in making the decisions that affect their everyday life. Using the scales of morality, an INTJ woman can easily weigh decisions and process her environment and how she survives / adapts to that environment. An INTJ woman is never the victim. (She may, however, leave victims in her wake!) An INTJ woman also has a wicked sense of humor and an elegance that slays (think Morticia Adams). Sarcasm and wit will always win and make for incredible coping mechanisms.

An INTJ woman is ethical and treats others with the respect every human being deserves while she silently ascertains their position through her judgements. An INTJ woman does not need a group or squad; she functions freely on her own and enjoys her solitude. When she chooses to spend time with others it means she greatly values those individuals and can be fiercely loyal in her friendships. An INTJ woman is protective of those she loves and can make an amazing Mama Bear. An INTJ wife does not need constant attention and can use her intuition to know her lover’s wants and needs.

The INTJ woman is immune to trends and social pressures, and yet she is radiant and outshines those who work to meet social standards. If there is a secret to be kept, tell it to an INTJ woman! She understands privacy and her active use of discretion and her respect for the delicacy of another person’s soul makes her the best vault for sensitive information. Most women can hold on to a grudge for years. An INTJ woman can hold on to a secret.

If you are an INTJ woman – THIS…THIS IS YOUR GREATEST SUPER POWER. You are a unicorn among horses and in this world you have the ability to set new standards and be the kind of example others follow. People will always be drawn to you but many of them won’t know why. People will either adore you or loathe you – and those who dislike you will only know that there is something about you that makes them uncomfortable. If you are an INTJ woman then you are AMAZING. Do not ever allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

And if they do, just use the STARE.

 

 

 

The Creative INTJ

We have all seen those little posts where they define each personality type and then list the “ideal jobs” belonging to these personalities. The INTJ always gets World Domination – no, but really we get suggested jobs like bankers, financial analysts, engineers, neurologist, attorney, judge…but artist?

I am a professional artist. I LOVE being creative – no, I HAVE to be creative or it starts coming out in weird ways (“Babe, who spray painted the chicken coop purple??”), so I have tried my hand at many different art forms and mediums. Oil painting, water colors, leather, photography, textiles, collage, sculpture, 3D mixed medium, the list is endless. Art is in my genes. My mother is a professional oil portraitist descended from the Dutch Masters and my father is an architect. And both are musical, and so am I. Some folks are just creative. I am creative. Everything I do has a smidge of creativity somewhere within it. I think in colors and sounds and patterns and fibonacci sequences and music and tone and imagery. I constantly visualize things done five different ways and what it would look like.

Now, I have worked in the art world for 20 years. I have taught art. I was a theater major and a business minor in college. I have taught children’s theater. (I am a drama teacher now!) I have worked in galleries. I have had exhibits and I have been in art shows. I have been in plays, written plays, directed plays, built props and scenery for plays. I have worked as a professional photographer. All of these have been satisfying outlets for my personal creativity. Yet one of the most interesting jobs I held in the art world was as a consultant and mentor to artists who make the choice to go public – try to sell and exhibit – their art. Stereo-typically, creative folks are a messy, free-spirited, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants race of people. I have also learned that many artists are TERRIBLE when it comes to business and numbers. So, creative person = brilliant artist + disorganized business person. I have seen it countless times.

I am an artist. Add Female INTJ to that. Yeah. Layers. LOTS of LAYERS. Being a creative and artistic INTJ offers a unique phenomenon. I can do both. I can also see where another artist is veering off course and is naively preparing to self-sabotage their art career. I can price art whereas most artists have no idea what their worth is. I understand the ways different galleries function and whether or not it is a waste of my time and energy to sell in that establishment.  I understand that, unlike manufactured goods, art is a unique and limited endeavor that can increase in the item’s value over time. Artists use talents to make things most people cannot make. That is a lucrative skill! That is WORTH a lot!

I am also much more organized than most of the creative people I know. I have a thing about cluttered surface areas – I like my desk and tables clean. I like tidy. I like to know where stuff is. And yet I am not bothered by other artist’s mess because somewhere in my soul I get it. I am a perfectionist when it comes to myself, but I am flexible and tolerant and patient with others (unless they are being irrational or making a repetitive clicking noise. #INTJ).

I am not impulsive. I am not super emotional. I analyze and pre-plan my works long before they ever manifest on paper or canvas. I loathe most commission work because I feel like it robs me of my own creative voice and ideas. Commissions make me feel like I am spending all my talent and energy on someone else – money is rarely a motivator for me. I am stingy with my gifts and talents – and if I create something for you that means I REALLY like you! I am subjective about art and view the works of others as a narrative and visual emotional response. Some art touches me deeply.

I feel like creative INTJ’s have the unique ability to stand in both worlds and see them with all of these magnificent visual layers. I believe creativity is intelligence having a lot of fun. My art is where my emotions DO leak out far enough to be seen. My art is my soul on canvas. Being an artist has taught INTJ me that mistakes and failures are my university. I learn and get stronger, better. An INTJ artist truly does get to make their own world, and yes, dominate it if they feel up to it.

I have tried for years to find another professional artist who is also an INTJ. So far no luck. I know you’re out there. If you’re reading this, do you find it easier than your fellow non-artist INTJ’s to communicate your thoughts and visions because of your creative flair? Do you help other artists become better in their business? Do you advocate the arts and artist’s rights in a way that is difficult for some artists to clearly communicate to others? Just wondering. Also – I would LOVE to see your work!!

And if you want to know how I really feel about the “art world”, visit my article “ART: A Common Sense Guide to Survival” published on DeviantArt:

https://sarahredhead.deviantart.com/journal/ART-A-Common-Sense-Guide-To-Surviving-214243524

 

Robots? INTJ’s? Whaaaaaa?

My nickname is Stone Cold Sarah. Why?

One time we lived in a little neighborhood and the family across the street suffered a terrible tragedy. One of their children passed away one morning and the mother was desperately trying to get help. NO ONE else was home on the street – but I was a stay-at-home mom with an infant. I was home. This young mother banged on our door and I instinctively grabbed the phone on my way to the door. I called 911 and then went to her house to try to help. Once the ambulance arrived I got out of the way – and returned home to my own children.

Later that night another neighbor asked me what the hell happened that morning – word had gotten around. Me, being a firm believer in stating the facts and not embellishing someone else’s story, briefly described what happened. Mouths dropped open. “You were THERE?” the neighbors said. How had I gone so long without telling everyone the gory details of the day’s tragedy?! Imagine someone respecting another person’s grief and privacy. The gall. But that is not why they made fun of me.

Another neighbor reported weeks later that they were incredulous that I showed no emotion when discussing “the facts” about a child’s death. “You were stone cold – like “hey a boy died and I called 911…” I found this amusing. Stone Cold Sarah had a new nickname.

Then, when I worked as a dog groomer, (accidental hobby that I discovered I was great at doing and could make good $$$) (YES I became certified – #INTJ) we would occasionally have a customer come in and cry because they lost one of their fur babies. The other groomers would always send ME out to “handle the grief”. Apparently these other groomers would break down and cry alongside the client and things would get messy. I would listen attentively, nod appropriately, patiently wait for the tears to subside and then politely ask, “So are we doing the puppy cut on Fifi this time or the Teddy Face?” Life would go on. Stone Cold Sarah.

I won’t bore you with other stories of my robot ways – but I will say that sometimes I have the unfortunate reaction of laughing when something bad happens (this was NOT the case with the child). This is a reaction and it is called the pseudobulbar effect and it is a real thing. So there have been times when someone fell or got hurt and I laughed. I could not control it. Which adds to the whole insensitive / cold thing. So yeah.

INTJ’s are not insensitive and cold. They feel more deeply than other types and are extremely protective and passionate about those people they deem their innermost circle. However, we do NOT waste energy and time on reactions and melodramatic behavior. It bleeds our souls dry to put out that much energy on emotional reactions. We save up for the important moments – when life will demand our emotions. We may seem a bit dry, a bit guarded, a bit automated. That can be a great thing – to have someone “strong” enough to handle intense situations without getting too messy. I rather like it. I am pretty low-maintenance after all.

Remember that your local INTJs are full of love and deep (deeeeeeeep Challenger Deep) emotions and they are safe, where others cannot use and abuse them. Rationality and Practicality Reign – at least until our favorite fictional character dies unexpectedly or our favorite chocolate coffee drink gets discontinued. Then you might witness an INTJ make a face. If you are one of the Chosen Ones in an INTJ’s life, then you are blessed because INTJ Loyalty is wicked fierce and so is their love and protection.

 

INTJ Posts – Do They Describe Me? Vol. 1

I love to cruise Pinterest – a LOT – and have a LOT of boards. One is for INTJ stuff, of course. I love these posts. These memes. These tidbits of info shining small pools of light on the deep multi-faceted personality that is the INTJ female. We will judge the INTJ accuracy of these statements on a scale of Storm Trooper (terrible miss) to Annie Oakley. Here are some of my favorites:

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Honey, I am sooo in the background that I am camouflaged and you have to squint to see me. I am a ninja. And I want to do what I do and leave me alone and let me do it. Do NOT force me to stand in front of everyone and take credit for something. I will cut you while you sleep. INTJ Accuracy level: Annie

 

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Fibonacci Mother Truckers. Patterns are EVERYWHERE and they do not lie. Neither does body language. People showcase behavioral patterns and it is crazy that I seem to be the only one who examines the consistency of others’ behaviors. Recently we heard about someone we know doing something outlandish. When asked about it, I said, “That certainly isn’t consistent with her behavior over the past 5 years. I believe it is a rumor.” Annnnnnnnd I was right.  INTJ Accuracy level: Annie

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From the keyboard to your eyes this is hands down the solemn truth. I answer the phone for my mom, my husband and my kids. Good luck everyone else. (But if you say it with a meme I will break my finger replying). INTJ Accuracy level: ANNIE ANNIE ARE YOU OKAY ANNIE

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Mmm, something about this irks me. It’s not a phase Mom. It is a deliberate decision to stretch my wings and try something I want to learn and see if I can master it in a ridiculous amount of time and once I have mastered it I move on to the next thing because I already did that other thing. Ha. Phase. And obsession sounds harsh. Hobby, though…Hobby is a lovely word. I have mastered / tried LOTS of hobbies. I have tried/mastered leather work, oil painting, horseback riding, being a barista, some jewelry making, writing and getting published, photography (winning awards and being published), cooking macarons (that was my most recent “hobby” – took me three tries before I finally got those little pieces of mouth joy right), giant props (don’t ask – theater major), cosplay (still a hobby), cooking, driving a 5 speed…I digress. I even tried working out and getting fit. I keep the hobbies I love the most. The others I donate to the emotional thrift store of my soul. Accuracy level: probably Annie Oakley.

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If I had a DOLLAR for EVERY time I have said the phrase, “Did you hear what you just said?” I would have somewhere close to $300. I do not use the phrase “I don’t care” much. I do say, “You’re not making any sense” and sometimes there really is no point. That last one gets me. I also say, “Can you afford to be wrong?” and “Are you done?” a lot – maybe too much. I also say, “No.” It is my favorite sentence. INTJ Accuracy level: Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western.