The Self-Analysis of an INxP

Reposting To Make The Link Publicly Accessible.


The Self-Analysis of an INxP

ThinkerBy Curt Wildy

Introduction

I haven’t published a non-Christianity-related post in a very long time. I am posting this piece in light of my deep interest in Jungian, Myers Briggs, and Keirseyan personality-typing / cognitive function analysis. It is my belief that if we knew each other’s temperaments, types, and even “sub-types” we would be better able to communicate, educate, and otherwise interact with one another. I would encourage everyone to take one or more of the various MBTI-type tests available online; but then again, my personality type is one of the few that would be really interested in doing so. If you are interested in discovering your temperament and type for free, consider taking one or more of the following:

This post originally stemmed from a discussion as to whether one could be an INxP (a “cross” between an INFP and an INTP) which would give the individual equally developed (or, as some put it, highly developed) Ti and Fi cognitive functionality — with Ti being introverted thinking and Fi being introverted feeling. It is commonly deemed impossible by some, unhealthy by others, to have equally developed (or highly developed) Ti and Fi functionality since it is thought to make one too introverted (guilty as charged, I guess).

Both INTPs and INFPs are minority personality types in that INTPs make up about 1% to 3% of the population as do INFPs (with INxPs having one of the (potentially) lowest populational representations of all types/sub-types). The NT temperament accounts for 12.5% of the population and the NF temperament about 14% with a total for intuitives of about one quarter of the population; compare that against SJs who are about 40.5% of the population and SPs who are about 33% making up a total of about three-quarters of the population.  Sensory-oriented people far out number intuitively-oriented people; hence the abysmal state of the world… just kidding… sort of… no really, just stating that in (half) jest. For an understanding of what all the Ti, Fi, NT, NF, SP, SJ, stuff really means, please visit such sites as:

According to Jung, Myers Briggs, Socionics, Keirsey, et al, one has to fit within one of the sixteen identified personality types. Within those sixteen personality types, there is room for much difference; so there is no hindrance to uniqueness in individual identity and personality. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take long to realize that most everyone fits within the four temperaments identified by Keirsey and within the sixteen types (four within each temperament) identified by the others mentioned above, including Keirsey.

This self-analysis is likely to be of interest only to those who are into personality typing in general, and into the question of “x”/borderline sub-types in particular (I hope I’m wrong and that others find it interesting as well). Again, it is believed by the majority of those who research these things that “x” sub-types are not possible for the Ti and Fi functions. Based upon both my own consistent, personality-type results (which, after multiple tests of various types [professional and lay], always place me on the border of INFP and INTP) and upon the analysis put forth below, I aim to prove them wrong. The italicized words below represent those that are most associated with a particular type per the various type-description books and websites available.

Let The ‘Self-Analysizin’ begin…

As an INxP, my primary mode of living is focused internally, where I deal with things according to how they rationally and logically (INTP) fit into my personal (ethical, moral, religious) value system (INFP). I also base my values upon what is most logically and rationally (INTP) in adherence with my worldview which has an equally powerful feeling-based perspective (INFP). Since my Christian faith dominates my worldview, my “thought” time (non-family or work time) rests heavily on Gospel/biblical matters. After that, such free time is spent on personal development; aesthetics; and the social, psychological, and political world about us — all in light of the  Bible (which including struggles with sinful self).

Alone, my INFP characteristics dominate; I am often searching for a deeper spiritual/biblical/psychological/social understanding. However, I have a deep interest in the fine arts, music, language, and “weird” science. Like most INFPs (but also many INTPs), I am into self-improvement/exploration material and strive to find out the deeper meaning of life (e.g. What is my purpose? How can I best serve my loved ones? What would God have me to know and do?). Amongst other people however, my INTP characteristics dominate. On a grand scale, my INTP thought processes are fine-tuned to match, serve, and validate my INFP values. My love of learning, theories, answers, acquiring knowledge, logic, etc. (INTP) all primarily serve to further both my religious and secular worldview and value systems (INFP).

My fundamental desire in life focuses on understanding the world better (INTP) and making the world a better place for those groups and individuals whom I care deeply about (INFP). My work life, however, revolves around computers and knowledge management (INTP). I prefer one-on-one interacting, teaching, and training whereas many INTPs prefer sitting in front of a server with minimal human interaction.

Extended group interaction mentally drains me, often requiring extended periods of rest or downtime to recuperate. I much prefer either quite time with a small group (especially when matters of theological, secular, or aesthetic relevance are discussed) or else solitude (so that I can reflect on things more deeply). Some perceive me as anti-social; I am not. I am selectively social in light of my small-group orientation. However, especially if it is an opportunity to help others, my under-developed extroverted functionality can kick-in. Yet, I find extended periods of small-talk (needless banter) tedious; like unto a mild version of Chinese water torture. Forced social interaction is also draining. I am the type that likes to feel things out, get to know people from a distance, before becoming social. I am also one who disdains celebrating a job well done until the job is completed… and well done. I am much more apt to work, work, work and then play than I am to play first in the hopes that it will help the group “work better.” As a result I am highly thought of in regard to my work ethic, productivity level, and creative awareness but not as much for my social skills (in light of my perceived aloofness and ‘all work no play’ attitude). The more cohesive, efficient, and productive the group the more my social responsiveness increases.

Though it may come as a surprise to many, I have a rich sense of humour (no, really I do… seriously); it is more apt to come out in writing than in person and, unfortunately, can be quite sardonic, witty, and biting in nature (INTP). If engaged in such thought/activity for too long, I soon become drained which can lead to periods of stress, poor mood, etc. (an aspect of my INFP-side since such things go against my biblical paradigm regarding foolish jesting, lack of gravity, etc.). Although I appreciate some degree of levity, excess jesting, especially in environments that do not seem appropriate, can become quite tedious at best (INFP).

As with most INTPs, I resist needless tradition and can be quite the iconoclast. I do not like doing things (or believing things) simply because most others do it / believe it or because some prominent figure or another does it / believes it. I do not like my time or effort to be tied to convention. However, I will strive to uphold tradition (forms of character and conduct as opposed to rituals) that have biblical merit and this ties-in with my aversion to prolonged jesting, for example.

I am an idealist, which is the term found in many type descriptions for my set of INFP-based values/characteristics. And yet, as a Rationalist (INTP), my mind is constantly working to generate new theories or to prove/disprove existing ones and to reaffirm the logic behind my (INFP-related) core values and beliefs. Like an INTP, I approach problems/theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, often ignoring (or not limiting myself to) existing rules and opinions and defining my own investigative/problem-solving approach. I do not like doing things the “traditional” way if that way is comparatively inefficient or ineffective. I seek logical explanations and relational patterns for anything that interests me and always look for ways to streamline, improve, and fine-tune my thought and work processes (INTP). I am objectively critical in my analysis but, like an INFP, I think much about how my delivery will affect the peace and unity of those that I respect within a group. However, my INFP side will give way to my INTP side if my attempts at logical, objective, rational discussion are met with excessive irrationality, subjectivity, or appeals to emotion. Like many INTPs I take word definitions, and nuances in definition seriously, and have a strong focus on the need to define terms, come to terms, stay on point, think rationally, etc. Frustration ensues when engaged in prolonged dealings with those unable or unwilling to discuss matters in a detached, objective, systematic manner.

Like INTPs, I love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories, loving to discuss them with others within my small group. Yet, I can also appear dreamy, aloof, and distant – spending a lot of time inside my own mind – especially to “outsiders.” However, I also enjoy playing the diplomat and helping to solve intrapersonal problems and working out interpersonal disputes when it comes to those (groups or individuals) whom I care deeply about. I also like to explore the more intrapersonal and interpersonal matters of life with others through small-group conversation. Though I seek peace and tranquility during such discussions, when my core values and beliefs are attacked (e.g. the Gospel and other core biblical doctrines), or when those whom I care about deeply are attacked, I will defend them staunchly, thoroughly, and relentlessly — until I am confident that the matter is as fully addressed as possible.

Regarding decisions, if it is a decision that I really do not care about, my INFP side dominates (I consider the feelings and wants of others and base my decision on that). For any decision that is mainly emotional or pleasure-based (e.g. where to go for vacation, what to do for entertainment, which novel to read), my INFP side likewise dominates. However, for any issue of relevance to my core religious/secular beliefs and values, my INTP side definitely dominates. For core-value matters, I see no basis for personal subjectivity or feelings if they run counter to the facts. I hold to loyalty to the facts over loyalty to the individual. This does not mean that I do not value interpersonal loyalty; it simply means that I will not allow friendships or family relationships to cloud my view or judgment on matters that pertain to that which is objectively right and wrong. I will not side with someone out of allegiance when it means compromising core values, objective reality, or the clear truth. However, I will craft and temper my delivery to take into account their emotional needs. In this sense, I love furthering the unity amongst groups of my personal peers (friends and family), and work to do so, but not at the expense of my core values or my rational/logical (real or perceived) understanding of things. Truth is paramount over unity but unity is highly valued nonetheless and I will seek to find a way to mediate without compromise where possible.

Unlike many INTPs, I have no “difficulty giving the warmth and support that is sometimes necessary in intimate relationships” a la the INFP. However, once I experience emotional burnout from dealing with the excessive problems of others, or from a lack of emotional reciprocity, my INTP side kicks-in and I begin to cease to value attending to other people’s needs or feelings. Likewise, especially when under stress (particularly, frustration-based stress), I can definitely become overly critical and sarcastic with others as can the straight INTP.

Like the INTP, I value merit over status, title, tenure, or “credentials.” No matter what their rank or position, I respect those who are efficient, proficient, objective, productive, and just (with a reasonable degree of mercy — so long as it doesn’t equate to becoming a pushover). I find it difficult to respect those who are lax, inept, inefficient, unduly partial, overly-emotional, and seriously unproductive. Obviously, if they have mitigating issues like mental or physical illness, etc. my mindset will be different.

So there you have it, the self-analysis of an INxP that most people will never bother to read (and I do not blame them). It was fun, interesting, and insightful for me when I first drafted it and even more so as I revised it. I encourage others to consider their own temperament and type and to evaluate their own thought processes and biases. Note also that I included the “good” and the bad. It is not enough to “just be yourself” or to “flow with your type;” no, the goal is to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Truth. The goal is to be more and more conformed together to the image of Christ. My desire is that the Lord will overcome my nature and help me to overcome my natural (temperament and type) shortcomings. All temperaments and types have positive aspects and negative aspects; they each have certain types of sin more often associated with them. Rationals may be too cold, detached, and impersonal in their delivery (nigh even to formalistic). Guardians are most apt to be legalists and/or to hold to unfounded ritual and tradition. Idealists want to change the world and everyone in it and may find fault with those who are not “experimental enough;” and Artisans may be the most apt to engage in carnal/sensual/worldly discussions and doings. May God give us strength to address all aspects of our negativity — our sin.

To God be the glory; the Source, Ordainer, and Manifester of all things!

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