While I am aware that Myer-Briggs classification is pseudoscience, I have often found it a useful way to get to know yourself better. In my case, it has been practically transformative.
For one thing, it explained a massive bunch of the difficulties I went through while growing up. In fact, I am still going through them now.
One main difficulty is handling emotions and relationships, something that women are supposed to be good at. Welp, not me.
For the longest time, I had scoffed at the notion of emotions, spirituality and all of that. I once thought mediation was a rubbish thing too. I had near-zero ability to connect to my feelings and went through life like some sort of a robot. In some ways, it was kind of liberating – not having to care about a significant number of things that bothered other people.
But I wasn’t alive, not one bit.
I realized this when I went through a few traumatic episodes. I had ignored all the signs that something about my life was wrong. This led to a failure that I am still not proud of. Nevertheless, I am glad that it happened. If not, I wouldn’t have learnt.
Due to these events, I began to recognize the importance of acknowledging what your emotions are saying. They are like warning signs – not very different from the big yellow/red ones that you see on the roads.
And then, through this, I started to become more aware of how I affect the emotions of others. I used to be frustrated that people do not appreciate my direct way of engagement. I still am, actually. But now I also acknowledge the importance of tailoring your message in a way that will help other people accept the message that you are trying to convey. At the end of the day, isn’t that more important?
I used to be a big loner, but now I make an effort to maintain my relationships with the people I want to keep in my life. I did not realize the importance of having a supportive network of loved ones until I needed them. And now, I aspire to be part of someone’s supportive network too.
Finally, in recent times, I realized I am getting more attuned with people’s manipulative intentions too. Before this, I was incredibly naïve.
So how did I get here? These are the critical steps I took.
1) Introspect +++
Yes, my growth was triggered by big negative events. But I don’t think you necessarily need one to allow for that sort of growth. I do believe it will impact your rate of growth, however. Anyways, what you really need is the motivation to do so. For INTJs, that usually means a good and logical reason. So fellow INTJs, consider this – are emotions really all that useless? Do you really not crave for quality companionship? Do you NOT want to learn about what life can offer? Is staying alone and safe in your bubble really worth not trying? I used to think so, until I personally experienced what being out there and learning from other people could do for me. To put it simply, my life is now filled with colour. Previously, it was like some dull grey-white newspaper. And now, because I am able to feel more, my memories of the recent past are abundantly clear. In comparison, my teenage years were blurry as heck.
2) Be Open To Growth
I don’t think INTJs usually have a problem with this, but I do think we have some difficulties with being open to growing in certain areas. I know I have a tendency to not work on things I am bad in coughdirectionscough but…that really isn’t a good reason to stop working on it altogether. It takes a bit of grit, but over time, I really do think it will all work out. If there is one thing we ARE good at, it is picking up on new things. If you want to get an idea of how to build emotional growth into your routine, you can check out my blog on how to build a new habit .
3) Practice & Ask For Feedback. Rinse & Repeat.
Sounds kind of redundant but let’s be real – do people really do this? Especially when we’re talking about building up social skills. Engage others and watch their reactions. If they are people who matter to you and are willing to be honest, I am sure they will give you the feedback that you ask for. Emotions are the INTJ’s blindspot so there is no way in hell we will be able to navigate this alone.
So – what do you think? Do you have any questions on growing your emotional side? I’m all ears 😀