January 27, 2005


K and I have fallen under the spell of the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. She’s an ENFP; I’m an INTJ. According to the literature, our types are ideal romantic partners – it has something to do with how my dominant function compliments her dominant function. (That sounds kind of hot, no?)

I’ve learned some interesting things about INTJs. We’re the rarest of the sixteen types (less than 1% of the population), the most self-confident and independent, the least likely to believe in a higher power, and the least likely to deal with stress by watching TV. Collectively we have the highest GPA. We’re known as the “free-thinkers” or “masterminds.”

Sadly we’re also a bunch of assholes. Consider the following passages lifted from the literature (I’ve simply replaced every instance of INTJ with ASSHOLE):

Fellow workers of ASSHOLES often feel as if the ASSHOLE can see right through them, and often believe that the ASSHOLE finds them wanting. This tendency of people to feel transparent in the presence of the ASSHOLE often result in relationships which have psychological distance.

By nature, ASSHOLES are independent individualists. They see their visions so clearly that they are often surprised when others do not see things the same way. ASSHOLES are strong at critiquing and as a result tend to notice the negatives. To them, a job well done should be reward enough in itself.

ASSHOLES can be unsparing of both themselves and others. Anyone considered to be “slacking,” including superiors, will lose their respect – and will generally be made aware of this.

ASSHOLES apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the ASSHOLE from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake. … ASSHOLES many find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Other people may have a difficult time understanding an ASSHOLE. They may see them as aloof and reserved. Indeed, the ASSHOLE is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire.

ASSHOLES live in a world of their own conception. They simply ignore rules, concepts, and directives that do not suit them.

In social situations, ASSHOLES may neglect to observe small rituals designed to put others at their ease. ASSHOLES tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship).

Most people do not understand ASSHOLES and try to keep away from them.

To be fair to my type, I tried to balance these passages with others that describe how collectively appealing we are. My idea was to replace all instances of INTJ with SUPER-SEXY BRAINIAC. It failed.