Picking up from my weakness, my inferior function (Fe) as an INTP; summarized:
Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others. Fe drives the INTP to desire harmony in community. At their most relaxed, INTPs can be charming and outgoing among friends, or when they have a clearly defined role in the group. When under stress, however, INTPs can feel disconnected from the people around them, unable to use their extraverted Feeling to reach out to others. As their inferior function, Feeling can be a weak point; when threatened they will hide behind a wall of stoic logic. This can lead them to bottle up their emotions to preserve reason and harmony; but a failure to deal with these concealed emotions can lead to inappropriate outbursts. (via Wikipedia)
I’ve never been in love or had any romantic experiences, I’ve no great faith in marriage and I find compromises a necessary evil I would like to try out (or have to try out as society demands) but don’t think would fit me very well. I sometimes think I’m too independent to ever give myself to another human being. Maybe too independent for my own good …
Though I’ve never been in a relationship, I reckon it would be much like what David Keirsey describes accordingly to Rational Role Variants (which, in the case of INTPs, is ‘the Architect’):
“Architects take their mating relationship seriously and are faithful and devoted – albeit preoccupied at times, and somewhat forgetful of appointments, anniversaries, and other common social rituals. They are not likely to welcome much social activity at home, nor will they arrange it, content to leave scheduling of social interactions to their mate. If left to their own devices, INTPs will retreat into the world of books and emerge only when physical needs become imperative. Architects are, however, even-tempered, compliant, and easy to live with – that is, until one of their principles are violated, in which case their adaptability ceases altogether. They prefer to keep their desires and emotions to themselves, and may seem insensitive to the desires and emotions of others, an insensitivity that can puzzle and frustrate their mates. But if what their mates are feeling is a mystery to them, Architects are keenly aware of what their mates actually say and do, and will often ask their mates to give a rationale for their statements and actions.”*
When I’m on a rare occasion is personally confronted with this failed/untried aspect of my life, I bridle and hide. Personal experiences with sex and relationships are some of the few things in life that makes me genuinely uncomfortable to address, whereas many find this very natural to talk about. Everyone seems to expect that you have some experience in this and find it highly unusual if you haven’t. That it has something to do with your character. That it is my own fault. Yet, how can it be my fault? Society has become more and more sexualized and we’re being sexualized from such an early age, the normative way of thinking is that, ‘naturally, you must have tried some of it’ before you’re even 20..! Jeez. It’s not like it’s a grocery list, you know? How can you possibly condemn or judge another human being for things we cannot control. I cannot force myself on somebody or force somebody to like me. Certain things happen when they happen, okay?
Already, I’m instinctively trying to draw this to another and more abstract and objective level; distancing myself, not just in self-defense but because my brain naturally tries to decipher a more general problem within society concerning this.
Ironically, few are willing to discuss out of the heteronormative sphere. It still makes many uncomfortable, and, of course it does – we still have such a long way to go before we all can be comfortable about this. I have no grievances about questioning and discussing sexuality and gender, but I’ve discovered those subjects are still very tender when we’re down on an entirely basic, everyday level, even in such a tolerant, modern country as my own. For instance, people are still (naturally) confused about my gender/sexuality at times, I think, thinking I’m lesbian or something else (I don’t know), though I’m entirely straight and couldn’t be more confident about my sexuality as such. Funny, they never ask, they just presume (I think I see a theme here). I should be flattered but when people always presume and never ask, it starts to leave a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth. ‘Then do something about it!’, some might say. Like what? Not being myself? Being someone else? One you would expect me to be..? Or how about ‘putting myself more out there’? (Yuck, hate that sentence!) I refuse to dress or behave according to any heteronormative expectations about ‘how to attract the opposite sex’. Bleah! I have no intention of dressing up for anyone but myself, and if people don’t find me interesting, well, then they are not the right people.
Yet, scaringly, I even find myself sometimes thinking it is weird for a 25-year-old having none of those above-mentioned experiences. Just writing about it makes me uncomfortable. Huh, you should see me actually trying to verbalize it to someone. We’re talking major mental block, tongue-tied, lots of squirming and red face/eye averting alert. OK, so, either I’ve just been unlucky with meeting the right guys (it’s not like I can’t to talk to them; actually it’s the opposite quite often) or I send them some special vibe that tells them ‘I’m sorta the cool tomboy/sister type you can totally hang out with and discuss weird nerd stuff with but wouldn’t otherwise think anything of’…? Huh. I guess I do not give off the traditional, feminine kind of vibe – but what the fuck is that, anyway..?! Some institutionalized, heteronormative way of categorizing what is female and what is male when these categories don’t even exist but were just made up long ago when people didn’t know better..!! Ugh, it makes me so angry when I think of all those who suffer under these restrictive ideas – well, all of us do, really, even if we don’t realize it. Which is exactly why it is a problem.
So, now we’ve ended with the aggressive defense mechanism. See? I cannot help totally overanalyzing myself. I honestly don’t know what I get out of this – other than I get to vent and whine. My generation do so love to whine, after all, they say.