Never try to conform. Rebel. Be critical. Think. (With the help of some insightful people)

As eilamona on Tumblr pointed out – and on a personal note – INTPs should never try to fit in: “The world is built for extraverted judgers (and sensors also have an easier time since there are lots of them) – but it’s a huge mistake to try to fit in. All these years, we have developed our unique qualities as an INTP. It’s your choice whether to hide them like weaknesses, or play them up as strengths.”

If you force yourself into conformity the consequence will be as Virginia Woolf so accurately put it: “Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.” Or as Rita Mae Brown said: “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

Of course, one can simply ‘play into’ conformity but not fully ‘commit’ like author Richard Wright implies: “The thing to do was to act just like others acted, live like they lived, and while they were not looking, do what you wanted.” And, in the end: “I am inclined to satisfy the claims of my own ideals rather than the expectations of others.”

I’m trying to figure out what my life is to become. Not what everyone else expects it to be become or how it should unfold. Not what everyone else sees fitting: The most conventional and efficient way; what an industrious life should be.

No, I see life as so much more than ticked off boxes and filled in formulars proving you are a person. I believe life should be one’s own and that that should be enough. (Ack, my unfailing idealism!). Not so much for selfish reasons, but for the sake of life itself. Granted to you. Asking you to take care of it. Taking the path less traveled. Or, at least, walk the straight main road with everyone else – but a little more ahead or behind; setting the eyes on other parts than the never-ending horizon, letting the gaze wander, become distracted and see what the others do not see. Once in a while letting your legs walk the course of your curiosity. Dare to.

I do not want to keep on freeloading on the welfare system for my own selfish benefits, but I do not want to ‘sell myself’ to the outer world either. It’s almost an instinct to refuse to do so. An instinct not matured or outgrown with age, but consistent and childlike still.

Life is hardly this black-and-white and compromises are to be made, but my damned integrity balks and rears like a stubborn mule, like I’ll become tainted if I compromise it. Or maybe it is something else? Fear? Cowardice? All of them?

I wrote a poem about fluctuating between worlds, of lives half-lived, and it’s true. I need to get out of my comfort zone and the ‘security’ of fictive worlds and dreams. To face reality. At least, once in a while. To dare.

And yet …

“A dream is not reality, but who’s to say which is which?”. Besides, “dreams are all I have ever truly owned”.

I ask myself what makes me most happy? Living in a world of dreams and imagination, of fiction and music, or living in the real world? I know the immediate answer as it is, but it is not a happy answer. I wish it was different. That life, for once, managed to let its claws sink into me and hold on. My own, humble attends to do so towards life have proven fruitless, pathetic.

I keep searching for my bravery – and hold onto it.

*revised 13/8/17*

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Full-fledged INTP? – 2.0

Last time I didn’t get through even half of the relatable ‘You know you’re an INTP when…’-memes, and it has been nagging in the back of my mind ever since. So, now, I finally got my act together and spent some of my buck loads of spare time to write down those I missed (instead of applying for jobs *sigh*). See how many you can tick off for yourself. 😉

You know you’re an INTP when…

… you can be best friends with someone for over ten years yet still not feel any kind of emotional connection.

… you can’t be bothered to proofread before submitting something.

… your default emotion is ambivalence.

… you simultaneously feel inferior and superior to people.

… you try to show amiability by critiquing.

… you reblog so you can read it later, but never get around to it because something else catches your interest.

… you consider yourself your own, longest-running psychological experiment.

… you feel the need to teach your teachers how to teach.

… people ask you “what are you thinking about?”, and your response is “too much…”.

… you tag everything you reblog on tumblr so you can find it again later.

… you are unable to take personality tests and receive accurate results because you know how to manipulate the variables to achieve a particular result.

… you find yourself switching sides in an argument if too many people agree with you.

… the very thought of being an ESFJ makes you shudder.

… death isn’t scary until you remember all the things you need to learn before dying.

… even hanging out with your best friend for too long is tiring.

… you think for someone while trying to determine what they’re thinking.

… once you figure out the person you like, you grow bored of them.

… you have a list of ‘must reads’ or ‘must do’ items that never actually gets read or done.

… you think you’re no good, but think that other people are worse.

… you have lots of “friends” but no one to hang out with.

… you can see patterns in the behavior of other people and act, around, or againt those patterns.

… you strive to blend into the masses while not letting yourself become part of them.

… your catchphrase is ‘I was just thinking that!’.

… you struggle to unite your scientific and spiritual thinking.

… regardless of how many people you know, you don’t belong to any cliques, you’re a drifter.

… in groups you don’t speak up because “It’s so obvious, everyone must already know”.

… you considered stopping reading fiction because ‘its all been done before’, but quickly came back to it to escape reality.

… you submit to the “notion” that quoting every other word is adding “merit” to your argument.

… you say ‘never mind’ after reexplaining it once if they still don’t get it.

… you try to edit and make something shorter, you end up adding even more than you initially cut out.

… you try to write something down but give up because your brain gets too far ahead of your hands.

… you find someone’s brain attractive before all else.

… your interest in someone is mistaken for caring about them.

… you’re supposed to be cleaning your room but instead you reorganise your book shelf and neglect everything else.

… you spend more time arguing with people you agree with than people you disagree with.

… you can’t find the balance between explaining enough so people understand you and explaining so much that they feel patronised.

… you take other peoples ideas, improve, alter and refine them to make them your own.

… you never completely finish things. There is always something left undone.

… by the time you’ve figured out exactly what you want to say the conversation has moved on.

… you fluctuate between getting your act together and acting random.

… you hate superficial people, yet you pretend better than they do.

… people call you a cynic, and you reply that you’re simply realistic.

… you constantly use the phrase ‘but going back to…’.

… small talk not only bores you, but you find it downright insulting sometimes.

… you shun trends and fads purely because they are popular.

… you recluse into your own mind for salvation.

… you decline opportunities to experience things because you can already imagine what it would be like.

… you solve problems in leaps and jumps rather than using a step by step process.

… you are an expert at the ‘but why’ game.

… you like something in theory, but are disappointed by the reality of it.

… you go to bookstores, pick a book then stand in the aisle and read the entire thing.

… social cues have never been a strong point.

… you become tongue-tied when you try to explain your emotions.

… you believe no one else understands the true meaning and beauty of irony.

… you edit your own posts so that they are precise or to avoid finality.

… if you had a super-power, it would be the ‘revise’ button.

… you like all types of music, but only really good music.

… you find yourself in situations where you don’t have time for anything, even if you have all the time in the world.

… you come up with brilliant ideas for your blog but forget them well before you can actually make the posts.

… characters other people believe to be weird or crazy seem relatively normal to you.

… you will argue any side of an argument just to find out what the other person’s rationality on the matter is.

… you are clueless in how to properly respond to random displays of affection.

… you spend excessive amounts of time trying to decide what to post/reply, then just end up deleting it entirely.

… you sound uncertain to other people, even though you’re ∼99.99% certain that you’re correct.

… you know more inside of your head than outside.

… you have pondered over the merits of being intelligent versus knowledgable.

… you would download the entire Interweb into your brain.

… you make completely random yet accurate observations.

… you wish there was a ‘M’ option for Y/N questions.

… you are most attracted to interesting people, people who don’t give everything about themselves away.

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