INTJ and useless information

Useless information is in the eye of the beholder. Information becomes useless not because the information itself is useless but because the consumer of information makes no attempt to incorporate the information in some aspect of his life.

I believe that all information can be useful at some point, so my take on learning is that no topic is off limits. I believe that what I learn can be just entertainment now but can be useful in the future. When I as an INTJ learn something I understand the risk of not being able to use the information in daily life. But I rather see the uncertainty as a glass half full instead of a glass half empty.

I as an INTJ don’t see information that has already entered my brain as completely useless, even though I seem to have no use for it. Yet I do judge a piece of information at first glance to determine whether it will be worth my time and energy. Information is determined to be useless before it enters my brain.


Illusions that INTJs want to keep

These are only reflective of my experience. They are in no particular order and they might be repetitive.

  1. That there is such a thing as exclusivity in relationships.
  2. That I am not a statistic.
  3. That I am immune to emotions.
  4. That rehearsing conversations really prepares me for real life situations.
  5. That having conversations that happened in real life in my head can change the reality of what happened or can make me feel better about my failures.
  6. That my sub conscious thought that most people are less smart than me won’t get me into trouble.
  7. That I don’t get really anxious around conflict.
  8. That my thoughts about myself and my success in life are based a solid sense of identity and not on my circumstance.
  9. That I know what I want for my life on Earth.
  10. That I can be in tough situations without being affected.
  11. That I feel more connected I feel to people in real life than how connected to people that I see on YouTube or TV.
  12. That I don’t deal with more insecurities about my abilities than I want to let on.
  13. That I am pretty normal.

Inappropriate things you want to do but can’t.

  1. Giving a very difficult name to write to a Starbucks employee just to see how he/she responds. (I have not done this, but I have commented it to Starbucks employee. I get the desired emotional reaction without any scolding)
  2. Giving curse words in another language as your name on the E.T. ride at Universal just to see if you can make E.T. curse. (Doesn’t work. Tried.)
  3. Do “Wax on! Wax off!” during an announcement of the washing of the feet ceremony at the local church.
  4. Photo or video bombing important pictures.
  5. Doing the piano distortion when the preacher says something funny (I have done this before… I usually get scolded by spiritual people who can’t handle humor.).
  6. Doing a comedic sketch in the middle of a sermon.
  7. Play a recording of a trumpet sound in the middle of a Christian service and disappear, especially those churches that believe in the pre-tribulation rapture.
  8. Put a snake or a spider inside the pulpit to scare the speaker when they look down into the pulpit.

How do INTJs like to be treated

  1. INTJs want to be treated without judgement of who we are
  2. INTJs want to be treated with respect for who we are and what we bring to any situation
  3. INTJs want you to stop annoying us with superficial crap
  4. INTJs want you to listen to our ideas without interruption
  5. INTJs want to be treated with patience, especially when it comes to social situations because we are still figuring it out
  6. INTJs want to be treated with mercy when the situation becomes too much for us
  7. INTJs want for others to not confuse sadness with being tired
  8. INTJs want to be treated as intellectuals
  9. INTJs wants you to take our correction and our suggestion as us genuinely wanting to make the world to be better

INTJ and my thoughts on loyalty.

This is only my experience and thoughts in this area. It is not meant to represent all INTJs. I don’t know them all.

I can’t say that I crave being loyal to someone or something. I haven’t thought about it enough to be certain about that statement. I can say that I am not opposed to showing loyalty to someone, something, or an organization. This loyalty is not given, though. It is earned.

If I think about where has my loyalty been focused on, it is not put in people necessarily. I am willing to be loyal to whoever has a certain set of morals and beliefs. I am willing to be loyal to whoever has the same goals that I have. I am willing to be loyal to those that have earned my respect.

My loyalty is expressed by my being present around those who I am loyal to. My loyalty is shown by my desire to back them up in whatever cause they have… even if it does cause some inconvenience or discomfort. My loyalty is shown when I take their side in whatever conflict that arises.

I am not loyal to someone because they have a position. I am not loyal to someone because I am told that I need to be loyal to someone. As an INTJ, I would be the first to question my motives for loyalty and would stop being loyal to someone or something if I find that these are the reasons for loyalty.

I am loyal to something when it is aligned with my beliefs. I am loyal to something that offers the space for me to develop and grow as a person. I am loyal to something that shows potential for improvement from my efforts. I don’t want to waste energy, time, and effort on being loyal to something that I then find out that it ain’t worth it.

I do want to be considered as someone worthy of other’s loyalty at some point. I think that it would be the biggest privilege because it means that I can be a positive influence in their lives. Yet I know that it is the biggest responsibility that I can have as a person: that God puts in my hands a certain aspect of someone else’s development. I don’t want someone else’s loyalty if it’s not founded on a solid base. I want for other people’s loyalty to be based on an informed decision. I shouldn’t expect other people’s loyalty if I am in a position of leadership if I am not loyal to something… to someone.

At the same time, if I am a leader I should be loyal to those that I develop. It may or may not look like Coulson of Marvel Agents of Shield or Gibbs from NCIS, but I haven’t dedicated enough time to this to say it with 100% certainty.

Stepping up as a leader.

Stepping up as a leader is something that I do when everybody else sucks and I can do a good job. I don’t do it often, because either the already established leader is doing a good job or I just don’t care enough to take charge.

Stepping up as a leader means recognizing that the action is necessary for the betterment of the group and environment. It also means recognizing what I need to be in the moment. Stepping up as a leader is a response that is based on an assessment of the environment and the people and the impulse of stepping in to ensure that something is done well. It is as logical as it is a gut instinct in me that is in play.

Stepping up as a leader means that you become responsible for the direction that the group takes and the results that are obtained from that moment. At the moment that I step up, I know that I am responsible for everyone’s wellbeing and production in that context.

Stepping up as a leader is a risk. I am putting myself out there to be judged for how I perform. I am risking failure. I know that I can make crucial mistakes that are to the detriment of the group.

Stepping up as a leader is not for everyone. It takes a certain set of traits to become a leader. It also depends on what your standing with a group is. Even in the book Machiavelli the author stated that you can’t be a good king if no one follows you. If I know no one will follow me, then I know that there is no point in stepping up as a leader because it will be a waste of everyone’s time.

Stepping up as a leader is a formative experience for the person that is doing this. If done with humility, then this action can form the leader mentality and character over time and practice.

The effect that “Whose Line is it Anyway?” had on me.

The show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” has a soft spot in my heart because of the influence that it had on my development.

As any typical INTJ, I wasn’t in a very good social standing in all of my social environments (home, school, church) during my adolescence. I was so different from everyone else and just didn’t have the social skills to have a good social standing. Because of this I had to deal with a lot of rejection.

As an adolescent, I wanted to be noticed for something outside of my parents and 4 other siblings. My thought process was that I would be able to do this by showing that I am smarter than everyone else. So my paradigm from 15-16 years of age was “I want to make them think”. What that really meant was “I want to say things that are so awesome that people have to shut up and acknowledge that my brain is awesome”. Selfish and douche-bag like, I know.

In the summer of 2007, when I was going from 11th to 12th grade of high school, I was watching TV and found a re-run of the show. My curiosity was sparked and payed more attention to what whose line actually was. During that day two things happened:

  1. As I saw what the improvers did and the response that it garnered from the audience and myself and I got the desire to adopt improv comedy as a part of how I deal with social situations.
  2. My social paradigm changed. It changed from “I want to make people think” to “I want to make people laugh”. Really what I wanted was to use what I did to control people’s reactions. Yet I knew that this was an upgrade to my previous paradigm.

What I did afterwards was typical INTJ: I dedicated hundreds of hours to study what they did, how they do it, and try to find how I can translate those principles in social situations. I especially focused on what Colin Mochrie did, because I saw that he always found ways to make the other cast members laugh in a very witty and sometimes out of the box ways. I identified with him more when I saw in an interview that he stated that he was shy as a kid.

This journey has taken more than a decade. Along the way, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. I learned to work with the way I speak to make sure people know that I am being sarcastic and funny. I learned how to time what I say within the context of a conversation to make a joke or say a funny comment. I learned to take calculated risks to get a laugh. I learned that the knowledge that you have can and should be used in the form of a joke. I learned that comedy is a marathon, not a sprint. I learned when to take the attention for yourself and when to be a second fiddle to someone else. I learned how powerful laughter is to encourage a connection to be made with someone else. I learned how useful making jokes is to break the ice, but it is not the end game of social situations.

The journey to incorporate comedy and improv into my daily life has been one of training my brain to tackle social situations as an improv comedy show: taking whatever the other person gives you and run with it to make anything funny. Because I as an INTJ suck at improvisation, being able to train my brain for improv at a formative age really helped improve my social skills.

Now I watch recent Whose Line clips from YouTube and I am nostalgic and thankful for what being exposed to improv comedy did for my development.

How does an INTJ show that they are a friend.

I’ll be very honest. I try to keep myself free of having a lot of friends. I do this because I am not always willing to do what I expect for a friend to do. Yes. I admit it. I am selfish. In a way having friends is an inconvenience… but I know that I as a friend am an inconvenience. So I know that at times I need to force myself to be a good friend. So with that I know that the first indicator that I am being a friend is if I force myself to do things that are inconvenient at the time.

The second thing is that if I see that a friend is telling me something because he needs to let something that they are feeling out, I do everything I can to listen attentively. I turn this switch in my brain where I temporarily shut up my brain to take in the information that he gives. I say temporarily because doing this takes away a lot of energy for an INTJ and after we do this we feel physically and mentally tired.

The third thing is that I make time for our friends. We are willing to plan things with our friends and seek them out. I at least value planning my own things. So if I am willing and able to make time for someone else, then that person is quite privileged.

The fourth thing is that I have expectations based on what I am willing to do back. I limit my expectations on people because I know that people suck. So to minimize the amount of deception that I feel, I limit the amount of expectation on the human race. I do make some exceptions though. So if I expect something of another person, it means that I consider that person part of my inner circle.

The fifth thing is that I am willing to help them become the best version of themselves that they can be. The way I do that is be helping them do things and sharing with them what I think they can/need to do to be better over time.

The sixth thing is that I open myself up to them. I force myself to show the sides of myself that are typically hidden from everyone else. This is key because I have learned to keep a mask on at all times. Showing who I am and what I stand for means taking risks and expending energy in flexing the emotional muscles that I do my best to not use.

The seventh thing is that I pray for you. No one will really see this, but I have noticed that I as an INTJ show that I am a friend if I pray for them.

INTJs theoretical model for preparing to give a sermon.

As an INTJ, I am always thinking. One of the things that I have thought about is how I want to prepare a sermon. I have turned the answer to the “How I want to prepare for a sermon?” question in theory and model form.

As a Christian INTJ, I live a more contemplative form of Christianity where I maintain myself open to God’s interruptions. It’s easier for us that way. Because of this, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to put into sermon form whatever I learn from those interruptions. So the pre-first phase to prepare a sermon is getting the main idea.

Once the topic is in place, I am left with the task of preparing the sermon itself. I do the body of a sermon in an outline form. When I write the outline, I only put the minimum necessary to help me recall what I want to say about the topic. It is my preferred style because I can focus inwardly to get the rest of the rest of the content instead of having to get that from a paper.

Because the way I activate my intuitive processes is by asking myself questions and them waiting on my brain to subconsciously get the answer, I tend to structure my sermons in a question and answer form. I usually tend to follow the “The newspaper model”: “What? Who? How? When? Where? And why?” I call it the newspaper model because it’s what I was taught about how journalists wrote the beginning of newspapers articles.

Once I have the sermon prepared, assuming that I have already been assigned a date to preach, I make time to practice the sermon. When I practice, I try to keep in mind several things:

  1. I want the sermon to last between 30-45 minutes long, which is 3-4 pages of outline in Courier New 14 font. This is because I need to make my sermons fit into Thursday time slots for preaching. I also always practice with a chronometer.
  2. Reading of the Bible and the introduction shouldn’t last more than 5 minutes. My mentality is that I want to have as much time as I can to dedicate to the topic at hand. The way that I do this is making sure that I have my introduction is written in the outline as I would say it. I know from experimentation that if left to my own devices I would extend the introduction more than it should be.
  3. If I do it for the home crowd of my church, which is what I plan for, I try to make it so that the flow of the sermon goes from the base of what is known to whatever new idea I want to present, as if I am constructing an image in people’s minds.
  4. I also want people to walk away from the sermon with an idea of how to apply it in their daily life.

When I practice my sermon, I use 4 things:

  1. My phone’s chronometer. This way I know exactly how long my sermon will be.
  2. The final version of the outline on my tablet to get familiar with what I need to say with each bullet point.
  3. A surface to function as the podium.
  4. The Bible. I practice everything, including reading the Bible and praying for the moment.

What I look to determine during the practice is:

  1. What will I say?
  2. How will I say it?
  3. How will I move physically to enhance the sermon/calm my nerves?
  4. How long will I talk about each topic?
  5. How can I give this to make it relateable and applicable in their lives?

To be able to prepare good sermons, you have to be confident in who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer to your audience. You also have to allow that to be seen in a way that hasn’t really been seen before. I as an INTJ have to prepare myself for that, because I have many walls up at all times.

INTJs theoretical model for preaching.

I as an INTJ love to preach. It is an opportunity to share what I have learned from God in recent times. I love it because I don’t get any response from other people until after I am finished. So I have an already thought out model for how I go about doing this.

When I start to preach I use the local church protocol when delivering a sermon because it allows for the physical nervousness to subside before I give any meaningful content.

The way I preach is based on three aspects:

  1. A sermon. Duh!
  2. Health Education intervention. I am a Health Educator, so I don’t believe in not using my education in whatever I do. I tend to be intentional in making sure that the content I bring is understandable and applicable in people’s lives. I make sure to market whatever I bring up can better the audience’s health.
  3. TED Talk. I love the laid back feeling of a TED Talk. I love the fact that they are such experts in their field/life experience that they don’t need to shout to get their point across.

 Because of how I practice my sermon, I tend to preach in chunks. How that looks like is:

  1. Read the bullet point behind the podium.
  2. Discuss whatever I need to discuss about the topic while moving around the altar.
  3. Get back to the podium from wherever I am when I am finished discussing a part of the outline… in silence.

I try to do as much of the sermon outside of the podium as I can. I do this because I plan it this way. I think that stepping out of the podium brings a bit of closeness to the audience because I am speaking to them in a more horizontal way. I also do it because being behind the podium makes me nervous. I know that being behind the podium has its function, but I prefer to not be behind it all the time.

When I preach I never do any praise to God during the sermon. Why? Because I believe that most people do it as a crutch to avoid any silences or indicators of nervousness. I already have enough to say to be wasting time by doing crutch praise.