So some time ago I penned a post about the INTJ Conceit and recently I have been accused of conceit again (and again). I am quite over it and the misconception is severely affecting my desire to interact with other human beings at all. I’ll get over it, however I am going to continue the saga of the strong misconception that the INTJ is full of themselves, which I can assure you, is far from correct.
Perhaps it is the way we talk, the way we express ourselves, maintain calm under pressure or adhere to some personal moral code and standard of living. Perhaps it is our work ethic, or boundaries or our desire for a little order in our lives. Whatever the reason, it all seems to be translated as, “I am superior to you”. I hate it.
I am superior to no one. I am of little value, a simple human animal that is here to survive like anyone else. I am nothing and deserve nothing. If I want something, I have to work for it. That isn’t me talking down to myself, that is just reality. I don’t recall a single instance where I have thought I was better than someone. I don’t hate anyone and I certainly don’t judge anyone. Honestly, unless it affects me personally, I could give a shit what anyone says, what they think, do, how they live or what they desire to do with their time. None of that is my business, or anyone else’s.
Now I will describe a few of the vast myriad of things that seem to display an aire of superiority to others. Some or none of these may be INTJ things; these are just my things and I warn you, some are really stupid:
I keep things clean; my life, my home, my office and my appearance. To a person who likes to live with a little less order, they assume I look at them with disdain for the way they live, simply because I live differently. If I try to explain that I don’t think that way at all, it only makes it worse. I am not superior because I live a certain way. I personally do not understand these reactions.
I am eccentric as hell, especially about food. If it has been sitting open for more than a day in the fridge, count me out. Do I look at you with disdain if you pick it up and eat it? I could care less…it’s your botulism, so do with it as you please. I am just a paranoid fuck and emetaphobic, and I am comfortable with that. This translates as my being too good to eat old leftovers. I am not too good; I just can’t. I would rather starve, and that is my unfortunate choice. I envy people who lack this deeply engrained fear. <<– See? A huge flaw. Yes, I have them. In fact, I have lots of them.
Me. All day, everyday as I am in fact, a nutcase
I like to educate myself, almost constantly. This automatically means I am better than anyone else who doesn’t like to continually educate themselves, correct? I prefer education over recreation about 90% of the time, so this translates to, “I am more intellectual, therefore better than you”. Wrong. It is just my preferred way of utilizing personal time. I sincerely don’t think I am more intellectual or smarter than anyone and learn things from all sorts of people from all walks of life I would have never learned buried in books. It is all perspective.
I am blunt. Unfortunately people cannot seem to handle blatant truths, and I have a lot of trouble softening my words. (Clearly another flaw). Even if I am blunt about nice things, it is taken wrong most of the time. My blatancy seems to come across as superiority to many, which is disheartening. The problem with this is the more I try to soften the edges of the words, the more condescending I sound. Can’t win this one.
I wear black. I just prefer it, but this automatically means I am some cold power-bitch. What people don’t realize is that I wear black for simplicity and to think less about fashion, not to make some a statement of superiority. I wear black t-shirts, black sweaters, black hoodies and jeans 99% of the time. It is just easier, and my daily fashion is not something I want to think about. I do throw in a red sometimes, and I don’t think that helps at all.
I drink black coffee. I cannot even believe this is a thing. I have been drinking my coffee black for the entirety of my very dedicated coffee drinking career, however the second I order my coffee black with a group of people, I get the comments. “Wow, that must be how you keep your figure”, or, “I would drink black, but I have to use soy” or some various snide envious statement about drinking black coffee. Why? I don’t understand it at all, but it happens every time. Can’t someone just like the taste of black coffee without making a statement that, “I am so disciplined in my diet that I don’t need sugar in my coffee, therefore I am better than you?” Damn. Who the hell has time to think about a diet? That is the last thing on my mind when I order a black coffee.
I am brutally efficient when it comes to my work. I always have been. I tend to call it laziness or the fact that I am just an efficient employee. Just because I do my work a bit differently, albeit faster than most people, that must mean I am just better at everything and look down on inefficient noobs, right? Couldn’t be further than the truth. You know what I am not? Miss bubbly personality, and you will think I am superior for that too, even though it is a character flaw and a trait I wish I had one atom of. I think I am efficient because I can bury myself in work to avoid the expectation of socializing.
I am not social. Like, at all. I can certainly network, if the occasion calls for it and there is a defined purpose, but being social and making small talk? Shoot me in the face. I don’t return your small talk because I feel fake and awkward when I try, not because I think you are a damn idiot and I am too good to talk to you. The aloofness is a damned problem that I cannot seem to shake, even at 40.
All that being said, I can already see the comments. Oh poor me, I am an INTJ and I have so many problems. I don’t have problems, just differences which don’t translate well to most people. I have no complaints about the way I am, but the misconceptions are unfortunately always a challenge.
Also published on Medium.