Anger Mgmt. Cont. / Instructions for Salvation? “Find a Psych”

The American Psychological Association article, Controlling anger before it controls you, continued. A lecture on how incompetent, and defective and hopeless you are (Original Sin).

tumblr_ny32e3shwa1udsvobo1_500Is It Good To “Let it All Hang Out?”

Psychologists (those handy elves again – what a convenient crutch for not supplying any evidence!) now say that this is a dangerous myth. (So, it’s a myth that psychs used to support? What a damning admission! LOL) Some people use this theory (letting it all hang out” is not a theory) as a license to hurt others. Research has found that “letting it rip” with anger actually escalates anger and aggression and does nothing to help you (or the person you’re angry with) resolve the situation.

Strategies to keep anger at bay (again – this “thing” that lives like a parasite in your brain – ridiculous and defeatist)

It’s best to find out what it is that triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies (but to save time, we will dictate what “solutions” we approve for you) to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.

Relaxation

Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.

Some simple steps you can try: Not exactly “confidence inspiring”

  • Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your “gut.”
  • Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
  • Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
  • Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

Practice these techniques daily. Learn to use them automatically when you’re in a tense situation. (Yes! When you are in a domestic argument, stop and do some yoga-like exercises before grabbing your gun; take a deep breath (your aim will be better), and then shoot. Note that none of these instructions address anger, nor solve the situation; they are, in fact, negative adaptions meant to control “feelings” temporarily, but subject the angry person, and the object of their anger, to ongoing  unresolved stress.) 

Cognitive Restructuring

Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined,” tell yourself, “it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.”

Be careful of words like “never” or “always” when talking about yourself or someone else. “This !&*%@ machine never works,” or “you’re always forgetting things” are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there’s no way to solve the problem. (This is the conclusion toward which the reader is being manipulated.) They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution. (It is also possible that the source of anger IS the people who are UNWILLING to work with you toward a solution, even if it’s specified in their job description or marriage vow.)

Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything, that it won’t make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).

Logic defeats anger (as a logical thinker, I find this assertion to be ridiculous -) because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself: (Note; the following “advice” is not logic – it’s rationalization for why you are a “bad person”) Remind yourself that the world is “not out to get you,” (but specific people may be!) you’re just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel anger getting the best of you, and it’ll help you get a more balanced (and unrealistic) perspective.

Angry people tend to demand things: fairness, appreciation, agreement, willingness to do things their way. (OMG! if this doesn’t tip you off as to what’s going on, NOTHING WILL! “Fairness, appreciation for your efforts and accomplishments – and workable agreements” are what you ought to expect from other people – but these “normal” expectations are paired with BEING SELFISH.)

Everyone wants these things, and we are all hurt and disappointed when we don’t get them, but angry people demand them ( Or… people perhaps, who simply want justice, fairness and honesty in their “human environment”. This “shaming” is so typical and is used against – let’s say – Black Americans who (are forced to) demand rights in practice, which are ALREADY THEIRS BY LAW as American citizens), and when their demands aren’t met, their disappointment becomes anger. As part of their cognitive restructuring, angry people need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate their expectations into desires. In other words, saying, “I would like” something is healthier than saying, “I demand” or “I must have” something. When you’re unable to get what you want, you will experience the normal reactions—frustration, disappointment, hurt—but not anger. Some angry people use this anger as a way to avoid feeling hurt, but that doesn’t mean the hurt goes away. (Negative adaptations are social demands that require individuals to “put up with” unhealthy environments.)

Do you need counseling? Here we go! Salvation for your sins…

If you feel that your anger is really out of control, if it is having an impact on your relationships and on important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle it better. A psychologist or other licensed mental health professional can work with you in developing a range of techniques for changing your thinking and your behavior.

When you talk to a prospective therapist, tell her or him that you have problems with anger that you want to work on, and ask about his or her approach to anger management. Make sure this isn’t only a course of action designed to “put you in touch with your feelings and express them”—that may be precisely what your problem is. With counseling, psychologists say, a highly angry person can move closer to a middle range of anger in about 8 to 10 weeks, depending on the circumstances and the techniques used. (WOW! What colossal BS! Does this claim come with a warranty and money back guarantee?)

What About Assertiveness Training?

It’s true that angry people need to learn to become assertive (rather than aggressive), but most books and courses on developing assertiveness are aimed at people who don’t feel enough anger. (Have we got you trapped yet, into believing that you MUST have some horrible defect that can only be “solved” by psychologists – aka the High Priests of social rules and enforcement?) These people are more passive and acquiescent than the average person; they tend to let others walk all over them. That isn’t something that most angry people do. Still, these books can contain some useful tactics to use in frustrating situations. (See our ads – go to Amazon right now, and buy our useless psycho-Bibles.)

Remember, you can’t eliminate anger—and it wouldn’t be a good idea if you could. (Because, how then, could we exploit and profit from human defects and misery?) In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you anger; and sometimes it will be justifiable anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can’t change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even more unhappy in the long run. 

To FIND A PSYCHOLIGIST click here.

 

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Genes for Skin Color / Tech Museum, Stanford

Yes, I’m a genetics dummy, but the popular idea that traits such as skin color and eye color are “caused by” a mutation IN ONE PERSON, and that this mutation AT THAT POINT faces a “test” as to whether or not it will spread through a population IS NUTS based on logic alone! There must be two or more individuals who carry a mutation or variation for it to be expressed via reproduction. I have expressed this frustration many times when reading genetics articles and papers. I’m sure that hard core genetic scientists understand this (or maybe not?), but the correct scenario does not make it into presentations that the general population can understand.

Another great post by The Tech Museum of Innovation at Stanford by Dr. Barry Starr:

Get Your Sun

Given all the concern about skin cancer, it can sometimes be easy to forget that sunlight has important benefits too. For example, people need the sun to make their own vitamin D. Nowadays we can (although we don’t always) get enough of this vitamin from our multivitamins, fortified milk, fortified orange juice, etc. But thousands of years ago, we had to rely mostly on the sun.

Which wasn’t a problem in Africa, where we all started out. There is so much sunlight there that getting enough vitamin D wasn’t the problem…the sun’s harsh UV light was. This is why Africans tend to have darker skin.

But getting enough vitamin D was certainly a problem in Northern Europe. As you know if you’ve ever visited there, it is not a place conducive to getting a lot of sun. The winter days are short and the cold weather causes people to cover a lot of their skin and stay indoors. And it is cloudy an awful lot.

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Comment: A positive technical adaptation – clothing for cold protection – is counter-adaptational for Vitamin D production. This is rarely mentioned. Technical adaptation, which dominates human “progress” does not “make up for” a lack of natural physical adaptation. When  any species of animal or plant moves into new environment, critical adaptations MUST BE MADE. Technical innovation can be fast – fire, new diets, tools, shelter, clothing, but individual physiology remains the same until evolved characteristics can “catch up”- OR NOT. “Change” to the human body has for thousands of years been directed by human-created environments (often degraded and toxic) and less by natural environments. 

It should be obvious that technical adaptions do not lead to “better” human bodies, but pose unintended consequences: agriculture, urban living and fossil fuels, while transforming the availability of energy sources for humans, have REQUIRED more and more technical adaptation to compensate for the negative effects they produce. We are “stuck” in a race to overcome the counter-adaptive results of our own innovations, and loosing badly. 

It is so hard to get enough sun under these conditions that dark skin is actually a problem. Which is probably why Northern Europeans turned from dark to pale — to get enough vitamin D. This explains the why pretty well but not the how. To understand the how, we need to go over a few basic genetics concepts. Then we’ll see how a trait like fair skin can become common. (A good “Just-So Story)

Bringing Hidden Traits Out

As anyone who looks around knows, people all look pretty different. For the most part, these differences are there because we are all different genetically. Now this doesn’t mean we all have different genes. As humans we all share the same set of genes. What makes each of us different is that we can have different versions of these same genes.

This explains why we’re all different. But it doesn’t do a very good job of explaining how, for example, two darker skinned parents can have a lighter skinned child. To understand this, we need to remember that we have two copies of each of our genes — one from mom and one from dad. What this means is that the same person can have copies of different gene versions.

For example, there is a skin color gene called SLC24A5. This gene comes in two different versions, dark (D) and light (L). People with two dark versions (DD) tend to be much darker than people with two light versions (LL). People with a copy of each (DL) tend to be in between. (Skin color is a spectrum)

Imagine that two DL parents have a child. The child will get one version of the SLC24A5 gene from mom and one from dad. Which copy the child gets from each parent is totally random. So half the time mom will pass a D and half the time an L. Same with dad. This works out to each child having a 1 in 4 chance of getting two L’s and so being much more fair skinned than his or her parents.

That is how Africans can sometimes have a lighter colored child (and, for that matter, a darker one). But now we need to figure out how light colored skin became so common. The answer lies in something called selection.

Pale Skin Sweeps Europe

slc24a5tree

Imagine a group of Africans migrates to Northern Europe. This population has lots of different gene versions. In terms of skin color, that means that there is a range of colors from dark to darker.

Most of these folks have two dark versions of the SLC24A5 gene — they are DD genetically. But a few might also be DL. These DL people would tend to be on the lighter side of the skin color range.

At some point after coming to Europe, darker skinned people started getting sick. Since most of the people had dark skin, this means that most of the people were sick. This was not a good time to be European. Not only were they sick, but their darker skinned children were too. The kids had weak bones and suffered many problems including an awful disease called rickets. Most of these children didn’t survive to have kids of their own.

Remember, though, that there were a few lighter skinned (or more naked – cold tolerant, or both) ) people who were DL genetically (they had a light version of SLC24A5). They did better because they could get more vitamin D from the weak European sun. And some of the kids inherited their parents’ less dark skin. In the next generation, the people who could go on to have kids were the lighter skinned ones. What this meant was that the relatively rare DL folks could now find each other (sexual selection as well as natural selection) and have kids. Sometimes, both parents would pass an L and make a much lighter skinned child.

These LL people were much better adapted to their surroundings and did better than even their DL neighbors. These LL folks then went on to have kids who would mostly be fair skinned. Repeat this a few times and voila, a pale race is born.

It is important to note here that lack of sun didn’t cause a genetic difference that led to lighter skin. The difference was already there in a few people. It took a pretty brutal selection to rapidly make it the most common skin color gene version in Europeans.

Odds and Ends

This is a nice, clean story. Of course nothing in genetics is so simple. There are always a few twists to keep things interesting.

For example, early results suggest that pale skin swept through Europe between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago (scientists can tell from looking at the DNA around the SLC24A5 gene). But Africans arrived there 30,000-40,000 years ago. So why did it take so long for pale skin to take hold?

One idea is diet. Pale skin swept Europe right around the time that agriculture took hold. The idea is a hunter-gatherer can get enough vitamin D from his or her diet and that a farmer can’t.

These tens of thousands of years in weak sunlight may also have allowed a random change (or mutation) in the SLC24A5 gene to be passed on. In Africa, having fair skin was bad for you. (That is, the “mutation” occurred in Africa thousands of years earlier, NOT when humans moved out of Africa.) In hunter-gatherer Europe, it didn’t much matter (Vitamin D was sufficient in their diet) So a mutation in the SLC24A5 gene might be better tolerated in Europe.

If this were the case, then the original settlers didn’t have a light version of SLC24A5 when they left Africa. It appeared while they were in Europe. (That is, the mutation could have occurred more recently- what matters is that it exists)

Another interesting twist is that SLC24A5 isn’t the only way to end up light skinned. For example, one of the reasons Asians are fair is because of differences in a gene called kitlg. Most likely a few of the settlers of Asia happened to have differences in the kitlg gene. And a few European settlers had differences in the SLC24A5 gene.

Both groups were under the same pressure to become light skinned (which had not changed: Vitamin D is NECESSARY to health, whether or not you live in a high UV environment or a low UV environment. But they responded in different ways based on the genes already within their populations.

 

Eye Color Variation / The Tech Museum, Stanford Re-Post

I’m reposting this because I’m adding a post today on how traits actually appear genetically: mutation is not the only mechanism.

From The Tech museum of innovation, Stanford University (super website)

How Blue Eyed Parents Can Have Brown Eyed Children – Two Different Ways to Get Blue Eyes

This will be the first of two articles on the latest findings on eye color.  This one will deal with a plausible way that blue eyed parents might have a brown eyed child.  The next one will deal with some of the ways that colors other than green, blue, and brown happen.  And a possible reason why more redheads have green eyes.

Eye color is much more complicated than is usually taught in high school (or presented in The Tech’s eye color calculator).  There we learn that two genes influence eye color. One gene comes in two versions, brown (B) and blue (b).  The other gene comes in green (G) and blue (b).  All eye color and inheritance was thought to be explained by this simple modelExcept of course for the fact that it is obviously incomplete.

The model cannot, for example, explain how blue eyed parents can have a brown eyed child.  Yet this can and does happen (although it isn’t common).  New research shows that the first gene is actually two separate genes, OCA2 and HERC2.  In other words, there are two ways to end up with blue eyes.  Normally this wouldn’t be enough to explain how blue eyed parents can have a brown eyed child.  Because of how eye color works (see below), if one gene can cause brown eyes, it would dominate over another that causes blue.  In fact, that is what happens with green eyes in the older model.  The brown gene dominates over the green one resulting in brown eyes.

The reason these two genes can explain darker eyed kids with lighter eyed parents is that the two genes need each other to work.  And that the blue versions are broken genes.  Here is what things look like: The key is that if someone makes a lot of pigment in the front part of their eye, they have brown eyes.  And if they make none there, they have blue.

450epistasis

Part of the pigment making process involves OCA2 and HERC2.  A working HERC2 is needed to turn on OCA2 and OCA2 helps to actually get the pigment made.  They need each other to make pigment. So someone with only broken HERC2 genes will have blue eyes no matter what OCA2 says.  This is because the working OCA2 can’t be turned on so no pigment gets made. And the opposite is true as well.  Someone with broken OCA2 genes will have blue eyes no matter what the HERC2 genes are.  Turning on a broken pigment making gene still gives you no pigment.  You need a working HERC2 and a working OCA2 to have brown eyes.

Because the two genes depend on each other, it is possible for someone to actually be a carrier of a dominant trait like brown eyes.  And if two blue eyed parents are carriers, then they can have a brown eyed child.  Genetics is so much fun!

So all you light eyed parents with dark eyed kids, stop asking those paternity questions (unless you have other reasons to be suspicious).  Darker eyed kids are a real possibility that can now be explained with real genes.

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Carrying a Dominant Trait PLEASE go to original article for this section – shows diagrams. – Google the article title – the URL is impossible.

Two of the most important genes in eye color are OCA2 and HERC2.  Both come in versions that can cause blue eyes.  And they need each other to work. (In genetics, a relationship like this is called epistasis.)  These two facts provide one explanation for how blue eyed parents can have a brown eyed child.  To understand how, a little genetics refresher course is in order.

People have two copies of most of their genes.  They get one copy from mom and one copy from dad. These genes can come in different versions (or alleles).  For the sake of this discussion, we will say that OCA2 comes in brown (O) and blue (o) versions.  Reality is actually a bit more complicated and this will be dealt with in the second article of this series.HERC2 also comes in two different versions, brown (H) and blue (h).  Since people have two copies of each gene, there are nine different possible genetic combinations.  They are:

These different combinations give the following eye colors:

Looking at the table, it quickly becomes obvious that any time there are two lower case h’s or two lower case o’s, a person has blue eyes.  As will be discussed in the next section, this is because HERC2 and OCA2 need each other to have an effect and the blue versions of each gene are broken.

But this part of the article will focus on how two blue eyed parents might have a brown eyed child.  Imagine the following blue eyed parents:

The easiest way to figure out what possible eye colors their kids might have is with a Punnett square.  The first thing to do in a Punnett square is to array dad’s possible sperm cells across the top of the table and mom’s eggs down the left hand side like this:

Shown below is a simplified version of the table in which duplicate sperm and eggs have been eliminated:

The next step is to fill in the squares with the possible genetic combinations.  Filling in the first one immediately gives a brown eyed child:

Here are the rest of the possibilities:

Each child has a 25% chance of having brown eyes and a 75% chance of having blue eyes.  This is simplified since the other eye color genes (like those that influence green eyes) are being ignored.  But it does mean that brown (or green or hazel or…) eyes are a definite possibility for these blue eyed parents.

Also note that the child in the lower right hand corner no longer carries a brown eye gene.  They will not have a brown eyed child as easily as their parents!

And the chances could be even higher with oo HH and OO hh parents.  This is what their Punnett square would look like:

All of their kids would have brown eyes!  (The table has been simplified to eliminate duplicate gene combinations.) (Also, things are actually a bit more complicated than what I have shown here because HERC2 and OCA2 are so close together on the same chromosome.  Go to the end of the article if you’d like to learn what effect this has.)

Again this is understandably a bit confusing since these parents are technically carrying a dominant brown trait.  To understand this, we need to get into the nitty gritty of how eye color and these two genes work.

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Why OCA2 and HERC2 Need Each Other

Eye color depends on how much pigment is in the eye.  A lot of pigment gives brown, some gives green and little or no gives blue.  (Click here to learn why no pigment gives blue.) OCA2 is one of the key genes in determining how much pigment gets made.  So it makes sense that if both OCA2 copies are broken, someone would have blue eyes.  Because they can’t make a lot of pigment.

lightbulbanalogyMost of the HERC2 gene has very little to do with eye color.  There is one small section in the middle, though, that controls whether OCA2 is turned on or not. If this part of HERC2 ends up broken in both copies, then OCA2 can’t get turned on.  And if OCA2 is off, no pigment gets made.  It is like the OCA2 gene is broken.

Think about OCA2 like a light bulb and HERC2 as a switch.  If the light bulb is burned out, it doesn’t matter if the switch is turned on.  Just like it doesn’t matter if HERC2 works in someone with broken OCA2.  Flipping the switch to a burned out bulb won’t give you any light!

Same thing with a working OCA2 and a broken HERC2.  A working light bulb gives no light when the switch is off.  And a working OCA2 makes no pigment when the HERC2 gene is broken. This is what happens when blue eyed parents carry a brown eye gene.  If they have blue eyes because of a broken HERC2, then they might still have an OCA2 that works.  And if they have a broken OCA2, they might have a working HERC2.

Here is how to think of it in terms of these two parents passing on their genes to the next generation:

passinggeneslightbulbsWhen these two have kids, one might pass an on switch and the other a working light bulb.  Now there is light even though neither parent could make light before.  Or in genetic terms, one might pass a working HERC2 and the other a working OCA2.  Now there is pigment where there wasn’t any before.  The end result is brown eyes.

This light bulb/switch relationship is called epistasis in genetics.  This is simply a fancy way of saying that one gene depends on the other.  And that if one breaks down, both will no longer have an effect.

So now science can finally explain one mystery of eye color.  Or at least propose one of the ways blue eyed parents can have brown eyed kids. The next article will deal with eye colors other than the big three.  And talk a bit about why some hair colors tend to have certain eye colors.

OCA2 and HERC2 are Linked

An interesting twist to this puzzle is the fact that HERC2 and OCA2 are so close together on chromosome 15.  What this means is that versions tend to travel together.  And this affects the combinations of kids that any two parents can actually have.

Imagine these parents:PLEASE go to original article for this section – shows diagrams.

If we assume the OCA2 and HERC2 genes were far from each other, we’d get the following Punnett square:PLEASE go to original article for this section – shows diagrams.

The results are a 9 in 16 chance for brown and a 7 in 16 chance for blue.  This assumes that any of four combinations of the two genes is possible.  This is true for genes that are far apart or on different chromosomes.  This does not tend to be true if genes are really close together like OCA2 and HERC2.

Imagine that these two parent’s chromosomes actually look like the ones on the right.  Because of how their alleles (gene versions) happen to be arranged, their real Punnett square would look like this:PLEASE go to original article for this section – shows diagrams.

Now blue is less likely.  And all the blue eyed kids wouldn’t be carrying a brown eyed gene anymore!  And if the alleles were arranged differently, you’d get different odds.

…Many people become confused at this point … REALLY?

because they think that this situation should happen in every case where two genes are on the same chromosome.  It doesn’t because of something called recombination.  That is a story for another day…

By Dr. Barry Starr, Stanford University

Low Tech Hunting / TarraDarraBros

Delightful series of videos from Australia! What happens when “kids” are turned loose in nature – how boys have “grown up” for tens of thousands of years to become “proper” providers and protectors for their families and communities.

 

 

Triangles Do Not Possess Mental States / Crazy Psych Research Re-post

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Oxford University Press / Brain A Journal of Neurology

Study title: Autism, Asperger syndrome and brain mechanisms for the attribution of mental states to animated shapes

What’s wrong with this statement? If you’re an Asperger, it’s obvious: Triangles, animated or static, DO NOT POSSESS MENTAL STATES.

The well-known inability of modern social typicals to distinguish fantasy from physical reality is the core of the problem: ANIMATED SHAPES DO NOT POSSESS MENTAL STATES. TO SEE  INTENTION BEHIND “ANIMATED” TRIANGLES IS THE SAME DEFICIT IN MAGICAL THINKING THAT CAUSES SOCIAL TYPICALS TO IDENTIFY DISTANT LIGHTS, PLANETS, STARS and the neighbor’s porch light as UFOS; to see the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast; to believe that God works through online dating services; to assert that coincidences are miracles; to be trapped in that mental stage of childhood in which the universe is a grand puppet show, conjured by supernatural beings to baffle infantile human narcissists. In this cartoon universe, even inanimate objects create critical distortions in perception; distortions that are the product of the self-obsessed human brain.

(My head is about to explode.)

imagesELC4DMTT

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Fulvia Castelli , Chris Frith , Francesca Happé , Uta Frith

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awf189 August 2002

Summary

Ten able adults with autism or Asperger syndrome and 10 normal volunteers (normal is a default condition meaning “not diagnosed ASD”) were PET scanned while watching animated sequences. The animations depicted two triangles moving about on a screen in three different conditions: (1.) moving randomly, (2.) moving in a goal‐directed fashion (chasing, fighting), and (3.)  moving interactively with implied intentions (coaxing, tricking). The last condition frequently elicited descriptions in terms of mental states that viewers attributed to the triangles (mentalizing)

The researchers have pre-designated the “illusion” labeled as mentalizing as normal, without questioning their own bias against (vastly more adaptive) accurate perception of reality. Instead, certain humans are pre-judged as pathological for “perceptions” that go beyond typical abilities. Do we label people who can run faster than “normal” as pathological? No; they simply represent the positive tail on the bell curve of human physical ability.  

The autism group gave fewer and less accurate descriptions (accuracy = defective perception of reality in modern present-day Homo sapiens) of these latter animations, but equally accurate descriptions of the other animations compared with controls. While viewing animations that elicited mentalizing, in contrast to randomly moving shapes, the normal group showed increased activation in a previously identified mentalizing network (medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal sulcus at the temporo‐parietal junction and temporal poles). The autism group showed less activation than the normal group in all these regions. However, one additional region, extrastriate cortex, which was highly active when watching animations that elicited mentalizing, showed the same amount of increased activation in both groups. In the autism group this extrastriate region showed reduced functional connectivity with the superior temporal sulcus at the temporo‐parietal junction, an area associated with the processing of biological motion as well as with mentalizing.

This finding suggests a physiological cause for the mentalizing dysfunction in autism: a bottleneck in the interaction between higher order and lower order perceptual processes.

Problem 1: Increased activity is assumed to automatically indicate “better” function, which is an amateur mistake in interpretation. It’s possible (and logical) that increased activity is a neutral state of interest and observation. “Reduced connectivity” could serve to block or dampen immediate irrational interpretation of activity in the environment and allow for analysis of what is actually happening (cause and effect), thus improving outcomes.  

Problem 2:  The misconceptions due to processing the environment as a supernatural domain that “works” not by natural law, but by magic: “we” are superior beings compared to any living creature, past or present. Possible “modern defects” are automatically considered to be assets…

…Maybe if one is going hunting with Elmer Fudd!

rabbit-of-seville

These “researchers” would have us believe that evolution has been working overtime to produce a “superior brain” that can be fooled into mistaking non-living objects as living beings. This is irrational; being fooled is NOT an advantage in activities such as hunting, which require that the hunter is able to discern animals as different to rocks, plants, shadows and imaginary threats caused by sensory distractions. The individual who can “spot” the living creature – and control his or her reactive response (emotion), and ANALYZE whether or not the animal presents a danger or a food opportunity, has a huge advantage. This is especially true given the wildly popular evolutionary strategy of camouflage, mimicry and “copy cat” species in plants and animals.

The inversion of values in mental processing promoted in this (totally unscientific) study is astounding and insulting. To label people who excel at accurate and detailed perception of the environment as “developmentally deficient” is outrageous. 

 

Who am I after all these years?/ Re-post

Visiting Great Gramma at her farm

Visiting Great Gramma at her farm; that’s me at the far left, looking very awkward and uncomfortable.

I grew up in a family in which mental illness was a fact of life. I’m Asperger (a valid brain type from my POV) and bipolar. My brother was schizoid. Everyone functioned – not great, but well enough, but I was the only one who actively searched for answers and treatment. It caused a rift in the family and I was essentially kicked out for wanting to be healthy. I would see my brother suffering, but he refused all treatment, even when he began to get into trouble with authorities and help was offered. It is  incomprehensible to me why a person would want to stay in a frightening and agitated state and not want to live as well as possible. But then, I observe the lives of so-called normal people and think the same thing. It’s difficult for me to remember that I once had a family, so great was the gulf between my expectations and theirs. From a young age I began building a “ghost” family of artists and writers whom I admired through their works, and from landscapes and buildings in the environment,  which is populated by thousands of strangers as well as friends. The habit became so rewarding that I just kept it up, accumulating a complex library of rich characters and environments that never leaves me. This creative act is likely to be the result of being a visual thinker.

Most everyone, especially when young, asks, Who am I? The answer for me turned out to be simple: I am everything I have ever seen.

Winter Solstice / No Relief from Time

One of the characteristics of “Aspergers” with which I identify, is this problem of “time” – setting appointments, desired or not, “somewhere” in the future, unsettles me greatly, as if a dark shadow or obstacle has interrupted, or even blocks, my “vision” of reality as a streaming field of action. I just don’t belong in a “scheduled” universe. The simple social question, “Would you like to meet next Thursday at 2:30?” produces at best, a void in my brain, but additionally, anxiety.

The-Astronomical-Seasons

I must say that this is the “unit” of time that dominates my mind: Seasons. Every other measurement is irrelevant. That is, the “time” is either “now” or a progression of seasonal change that corresponds to spatial change . Is this a “visual” thinker’s version of time?

Definition of Time –

Thanks to: http://www.exactlywhatistime.com

Time is something we deal with every day, and something that everyone thinks they understand. However, a compact and robust definition of time has proved to be remarkably tricky and elusive.

Short Definitions

  1. what clocks measure (attr. to physicists Albert Einstein, Donald Ivey, and others)
  2. what prevents everything from happening at once (physicist John Wheeler and others)
  3. a linear continuum of instants (philosopher Adolf Grünbaum)
  4. a certain period during which something is done (Medical Dictionary)
  5. a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Dictionary Definitions (None of these ring a bell in my brain – word concepts stuck within word concepts!)

  1. Various dictionaries have defined time as follows:the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future regarded as a whole (Oxford Dictionary)
  2. the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
  3. the continuous passage of existence in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, through the present, to a state of finality in the past (World English Dictionary)
  4. a continuous, measurable quantity in which events occur in a sequence proceeding from the past through the present to the future (Science Dictionary)
  5. the measured or measurable period during which an action, process or condition exists or continues (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  6. the dimension of the physical universe that orders the sequence of events at a given place (McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology)
  7. a non-spatial system in which events appear to happen in irreversible succession (WordSmyth Dictionary)
  8. the inevitable progression into the future with the passing of present events into the past (Wiktionary)
  9. the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole (Google)
Perhaps the best and most comprehensive overall definition is that offered by Wikipedia:

“a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them” 

But to my mind this definition remains “stuck” in words. What does time have to do with words? In fact, removing words makes me feel better about time. What does that mean? My experience of time is not abstract, any more than space is abstract. Time is created by events and spatial relationships; and vice versa –

Different Aspects

Clearly time is not an object or substance we can touch or see. But neither is it merely a dimension, quantity or a concept. Indeed, time has many aspects and appears to represent different things to different people in different circumstances. A few examples of some of the different contexts in which the word time is used may serve to indicate just how flexible, multi-functional (and often vague) the word is :

  • “Time stood still”
  • “Excuse me, do you have the time”
  • “It took a very long time”
  • “Adolescence is a difficult time”
  • “This is not the first time this has happened”
  • etc.

In addition, time can even be used as an adjective (e.g. a time bomb, time signature) and as a verb (e.g. to time a race, to time an event).

Past, Present and Future

Another way of looking at time is as the totality of three separate elements: the past, the present and the future.

The past may be defined as those events which occurred before a given point in time, events which are usually considered to be fixed and immutable. It can be accessed through memory or, since the advent of written language, recorded history. The study of the past, in particular as it relates to humans, is called history. The “past” as a coherent body of concrete events is entirely “missing” – we “imagine” the past from artefacts, both physical objects, and verbal-written fragments. It’s not a dependable reference, and yet, it’s a wonderful “mental place” for supernatural speculation and argument.

The present may be defined as the time associated with the events perceived directly and for the first time, i.e. not as a recollection of the past or as a speculation of the future. It is equivalent to the word “now”, and is the period of time located between the past and the future. Just how long a period of time the present incorporates, however, depends on the context, and can vary from an infinitesimal or durationless moment to a day to a whole era, depending on how it is being used. There isn’t “one” present; there are infinite “present” events.

The future is the indefinite time period after the present moment. It is the portion of the projected time line that is anticipated to occur, and may be considered as potentially infinite in its extent, or as circumscribed and finite, depending on the context. While some people may see the future as fixed and predetermined, most see it as essentially unknown (and perhaps unknowable), and open to many different possibilities and permutations. The study of postulating possible, probable and preferable futures and worldviews is called futurology. The future (for me) is a bothersome notion: unreal, unpredictable, unnecessary. It unfolds.

Psychology of Time

Various aspects of time – whether it is absolute or relative, real or unreal, etc  – have been discussed in some detail in the sections on Philosophy of Time and Physics of Time. Here, however, we turn to matters of how an individual experiences and perceives time, and here things become even less definite and concrete.

Time perception refers to the subjective experience of the passage of time, or the perceived duration of events, which can differ significantly between different individuals and/or in different circumstances. Although physical time appears to be more or less objective, psychological time is subjective and potentially malleable.

The biopsychology of our perception of time is a fascinating but little understood area of psychology and neuroscience. It looks at the way our brain processes time and time intervals, and the brain’s built-in expectation of the order and speed of events, as well as the field of mental chronometry.

Most organisms have an internal sense of time generated by endogenous biological clocks, completely independent of ambient temperatures, sunlight, etc. The best known of these is the circadian clock, which maintains daily biological rhythms and regulates sleep, hormone production, etc, but there are also other peripheral biological clocks, some of which follow ultradian or infradian rhythms. A whole field of chronobiology has grown up to exploit our increasing knowledge of these biological rhythms.

Temporal illusions are distortions and misperceptions of time that arise from a variety of psychological and other causes. The most commonly encountered examples are the effects of ageing and psychoactive drugs on time perception, but there are several other interesting effects, such as the kappa effect, the stopped clock illusion, the oddball effect, etc.

Chronophobia is the fear of time or the passing of time, a specific and well-documented psychological phobia which principally affects the elderly and those incarcerated in prisons.

 

 

INTJ Females / A Review

From: https://www.16personalities.com

It may seem I’m flogging a dead horse with this possible INTJ connection, but I suspect that females who test as INTJ personality type are more likely to be diagnosed Asperger than other females. Some anecdotal evidence points to Asperger males as NOT commonly INTJ, so if true, this may demonstrate the bias that the rare ‘intelligent and strategic INTJ female” is “developmentally abnormal” – too adept at intellectual activities reserved by God for the exalted male brain.

My highlights and comments refer to how I see the INTJ type as it applies to me as a female.

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INTJ Personality (“The Architect”)

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

Nothing Can Stop the Right Attitude From Achieving Its Goal

With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. INTJs enjoy sharing what they know (In Aspergers this is considered a socially unacceptable symptom that is highly annoying to neurotypicals), confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive (N) and Judging (J) traits, they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip. (In the Asperger diagnosis, this social indifference is a symptom of developmental disorder.)

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” Harlan Ellison

A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists  and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.

Note: I would describe this seeming paradox differently. “Starry-eyed idealist” is a neurotypical concept: INTJs are pragmatists who see the possibilities inherent in the “real world”  and therefore, “doable”. The “limits” that social types adhere to are manmade: “It can’t be done” is the social mantra: “It can” is the INTJ assertion. Cynicism is the result of having to “deal with” the social adherence to a hierarchy that blocks any attempt at “bypassing” the status quo: “It can’t be done.” INTJs hear that excuse over and over again and see their perfectly realistic plans rejected out of stubborn fear of loss of control by “pyramid people”.

In Matters Of Principle, Stand Like a Rock

INTJs radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery (?) and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. (Baloney: overwhelming resistance to progress usually wins out.) At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. But wisely keep this to ourselves after getting “beaten up” too many times – accused of being “bossy” or know-it-all females.) Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with INTJs’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect. (Yes, but I would qualify this by saying that the PERSON is not disrespected as a human being, just their specific inability to expand their horizon.)

Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas. (Typical neurotypical exaggeration; socially-dependent people overreact to new or different “ideas observations and proposals” as personal attacks. This is childish!)

This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – INTJs will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where INTJ personality types run into trouble. (Gee whiz! Could this extreme statement be a “neurotypical projection” of fear in the face of a self-confident person? Anyone who is assertive and capable and doesn’t “cater to” emotional narcissism and blackmail is a mechanical “monster”? Really? How childish.)

One Reflects More When Traveling Alone

INTJs are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. (It’s amazing how not one single person is ever asked if he or she wishes to sign this “social contract”. Yes, social conventions are stupid when they stand in the way of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and define females as inferiors. On this there is no negotiation.)

Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests. (Wow! Here is a typical social insult “masquerading” as “kindly advice”. Translation- Please go away: you make US uncomfortable and we don’t like you.)

INTJs are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. (Is this not intelligent strategy at work?) This isn’t meant to suggest that INTJs act without conscience, but to many Feeling (F) types, INTJs’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type. (Thank-you for pointing this out; it’s not as if intelligent females aren’t maligned often enough.)

INTJ Strengths

  • Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind – INTJs pride themselves on their minds, taking every opportunity to improve their knowledge, and this shows in the strength and flexibility of their strategic thinking. Insatiably curious and always up for an intellectual challenge, INTJs can see things from many perspectives. INTJs use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios. (Relevant scenarios; how this rules out “artistry” is baffling.)
  • High Self-Confidence – INTJs trust their rationalism above all else, so when they come to a conclusion, they have no reason to doubt their findings. This creates an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations. When INTJs are right, they’re right, and no amount of politicking or hand-holding is going to change that fact – whether it’s correcting a person, a process, or themselves, they’d have it no other way. (Too extreme! We “know what we know” but never stop evaluating our knowledge or conclusions!)
  • Independent and Decisive – This creativity, logic and confidence come together to form individuals who stand on their own and take responsibility for their own actions. (The lack of this quality in many social types drives us BATTY!) Authority figures do not impress INTJs, nor do social conventions or tradition, and no matter how popular something is, if they have a better idea, INTJs will stand against anyone they have to in a bid to have it changed. Either an idea is the most rational or it’s wrong, and INTJs will apply this to their arguments as well as their own behavior, staying calm and detached from these sometimes emotionally charged conflicts. INTJs will only be swayed by those who follow suit. (This is unfair: “being swayed” is not by agreement with us, but by superior ideas presented by the other person.)
  • Hard-working and determined – If something piques their interest, INTJs can be astonishingly dedicated to their work, putting in long hours and intense effort to see an idea through. INTJs are incredibly efficient, and if tasks meet the criteria of furthering a goal, they will find a way to consolidate and accomplish those tasks. However, this drive for efficiency can also lead to a sort of elaborate laziness, wherein INTJs find ways to bypass seeming redundancies which don’t seem to require a great deal of thought – this can be risky, as sometimes double-checking one’s work is the standard for a reason. (Stupid misconception! The assumption is that  “doing nothing” visible, or indulging in gossip, indicates that our brains aren’t working. They are! Double checking? Try continuous ardent checking!)  
  • Open-minded – All this rationalism leads to a very intellectually receptive personality type, as INTJs stay open to new ideas, supported by logic, even if (and sometimes especially if) they prove INTJs’ previous conceptions wrong. When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, INTJs tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses. (Yes!)
  • Jacks-of-all-Trades – INTJs’ open-mindedness, determination, independence, confidence and strategic abilities create individuals who are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. (Not really – another unrealistic exaggeration.) Excelling at analyzing anything life throws their way, INTJs are able to reverse-engineer the underlying methodology of most any system and apply the concepts that are exposed wherever needed. INTJs tend to have their pick of professions, from IT architects to political masterminds. (But! If you are female, and / or Asperger, this is not as likely.)

INTJ Weaknesses

  • Arrogant – INTJs are perfectly capable of carrying their confidence too far, falsely believing that they’ve resolved all the pertinent issues of a matter and closing themselves off to the opinions of those they believe to be intellectually inferior. Combined with their irreverence for social conventions, INTJs can be brutally insensitive in making their opinions of others all too clear. (Note that “brutal” and “insensitive” are social judgements. If you are among people who fixate on their personal emotional state, then this is unavoidable)
  • Judgmental – INTJs tend to have complete confidence in their thought process, because rational arguments are almost by definition correct – at least in theory. In practice, emotional considerations and history are hugely influential, and a weak point for INTJs is that they brand these factors and those who embrace them as illogical, dismissing them and considering their proponents to be stuck in some baser mode of thought, making it all but impossible to be heard. (Again – a misinterpretation; a bias that only “socially sanctioned emotions” exist. We experience emotion differently; we are not devoid of feelings.)
  • Overly analytical – (How can anyone be “overly” analytical? LOL) A recurring theme with INTJs is their analytical prowess, but this strength can fall painfully short where logic doesn’t rule – such as with human relationships. (Mistake: one can analyze “irrational” behavior; this does not mean that one ought to then become irrational, or attempt to “make  the other person” be rational. Escape from such a situation is then rational.) When their critical minds and sometimes neurotic level of perfectionism (often the case with Turbulent INTJs) are applied to other people, all but the steadiest of friends will likely need to make some distance, too often permanently.
  • Loathe highly structured environments – Blindly following precedents and rules without understanding them is distasteful to INTJs, and they disdain even more authority figures who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their intent. Anyone who prefers the status quo for its own sake, or who values stability and safety over self-determination, is likely to clash with INTJ personality types. Whether it’s the law of the land or simple social convention, this aversion applies equally, often making life more difficult than it needs to be. (This is mission #1 for social types.)
  • Clueless in romance – This antipathy to rules and tendency to over-analyze and be judgmental, even arrogant, all adds up to a personality type that is often clueless in dating. Having a new relationship last long enough for INTJs to apply the full force of their analysis on their potential partner’s thought processes and behaviors can be challenging. Trying harder in the ways that INTJs know best can only make things worse, and it’s unfortunately common for them to simply give up the search. Ironically, this is when they’re at their best, and most likely to attract a partner (Magical thinking! And if you are female, “giving up the search” is likely to be a rational decision. Why waste so much time and energy on a futile project?)

INTJ Personality and Emotions

INTJs are defined by their confidence, logic, and exceptional decision-making, but all of this hides a turbulent underbelly – their emotions. The very notion of emotional expression is synonymous with irrationality and weakness to many INTJs, a display of poor self-governance and fleeting opinion that can hardly stand up to the enduring light of factual truth. (Because we recognize that social typicals frequently act on impulse and ephemeral emotion and it rarely works out well. See: divorce rates)

This mistrust of emotions is understandable, as Feeling (F) is the most weakly developed trait for INTJs – like any complex tool, skilled hands can use it to remarkable effect, while untrained hands make clumsy and dangerous work.

People with the INTJ personality type take pride in remaining rational and logical at all times, considering honesty and straightforward information to be paramount (as if dishonesty and deviousness are better qualities!) to euphemisms and platitudes in almost all circumstances. In many ways though, these qualities of coolness and detachment aren’t the weapons of truth that they appear to be, but are instead shields designed to protect the inner emotions that INTJs feel. In fact, because their emotions are such an underdeveloped tool, INTJs often feel them more strongly than many overtly emotional types because they simply haven’t learned how to control them effectively. (Or not; maybe we experience emotion DIFFERENTLY to neurotypicals – feelings are linked to intellectual concerns for equality, fairness, honesty and liberation of vulnerable people from social abuse.)

There Is Not a Truth Existing Which I Fear

This is a challenging paradigm for INTJs to manage, especially younger and more Turbulent types who are already less confident than they would like to appear. These feelings are contrary to INTJs’ idea of themselves as paragons of logic and knowledge, and they may go so far as to claim they have no emotions at all. This does not mean that people with the INTJ personality type should be seen as, nor should they aspire to be, cold-blooded and insensitive geniuses living by the mantra that emotions are for the weak. INTJs must understand that this isn’t the case, and isn’t ever going to be.

More mature and Assertive INTJs find more useful ways to manage their feelings. While they will never be comfortable with a truly public display of emotions, INTJs can learn to use them, to channel them alongside their logic to help them achieve their goals. While seemingly contradictory, this can be done in several ways.

Firstly, INTJs are goal-oriented, with long-term ideas founded on sound logic. When something does cause an emotional reaction, good or bad, that energy can be used to further those goals, aiding rational and pre-determined plans. Secondly, emotions are figurative canaries in the coal mine, indicating that something is off even though logic can’t see it yet. These feelings can help INTJs to use their logic to ask questions they may not have thought to ask. “This is upsetting. Why? What can be done to resolve it?” (This is true.)

Question With Boldness

In this way, emotions are not INTJs’ way of addressing a decision, but rather an indication that a decision needs to be addressed. (Yes, yes, yes.) INTJ personalities’ Thinking (T) trait acts as a protective big brother to their Feeling (F) trait – seeing that something has upset the less able sibling, it steps in to take action, letting logic do the talking and resolving the condition rather than complaining about its consequences.

There comes a time though, when logic is simply the wrong tool for the job, when there just isn’t a rational solution to a problem, and it is in these situations that INTJs must use their Feeling (F) trait most clearly. INTJs would do well to practice this from time to time, or at least be aware of it, because however they may try, it is impossible to truly separate emotion from the decision-making process. The fact is that INTJs do feel, and deeply, and this makes them better, not worse.

INTJ Relationships

In romance, people with the INTJ personality type approach things the way they do with most situations: they compose a series of calculated actions with a predicted and desirable end goal – a healthy long-term relationship.  Rather than falling head over heels in a whirlwind of passion and romance, INTJs identify potential partners who meet a certain range of pre-determined criteria, break the dating process down into a series of measurable milestones, then proceed to execute the plan with clinical precision. (This is not true of all INTJs – perhaps especially female INTJs. Should one not be looking for a long-term relationship, other considerations apply. 

In a purely rational world, this is a fool-proof methodology – but in reality, it ignores significant details that INTJs are likely to dismiss prematurely, such as human nature. INTJs are brilliantly intellectual, developing a world in their heads that is more perfect than reality. (This is not true: the “world” in one’s head is continually evolving – society is stagnant. THIS is the problem!) People entering this world need to fit this fantasy, (Not true! They need to be flexible, open-minded, lively, have their own ideas, but not be “belief bound” and – be willing to grow) and it can be incredibly difficult for INTJs to find someone up to the task. Needless to say, finding a compatible partner is the most significant challenge most INTJs will face in life.

Politeness Is Artificial Good Humor

Sentiment, tradition, and emotion are INTJs’ Achilles Heel. Social standards like chivalry are viewed by INTJs as silly, even demeaning. The problem is, these standards have developed as a means of smoothing introductions and developing rapport, of managing expectations, the basis of personal relationships. INTJs’ propensity for frank honesty in word and action tends to violate this social contract, making dating especially difficult for them. (And all social activity: dating? I hate being the center of attention and being “fawned over”)

As they mature, INTJs will come to recognize these factors as relevant, incorporating pace and emotional availability into their plans. But the meantime can be dangerous, especially for more Turbulent INTJs – if they are shot down too many times they may come to the conclusion that everyone else is simply too irrational, or simply beneath them intellectually. If cynicism takes hold, INTJs may end up falling into the trap of intentionally displaying intellectual arrogance, making solitude their choice rather than happenstance. (And we all know that for social typicals, being ignored or alone is worse than death…their fear of being confronted by their “self” is astonishing!)

Always Remain Cool

The positive side of INTJs’ “giving up” is that they are most attractive when they aren’t trying to be attractive, working in a familiar environment where their confidence and intelligence can be seen in action. Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy (But not if you live where there are few people!) and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction. (True – we’re devoted and persistent, but not “motherly”.)

As their relationships develop, INTJs’ partners will find an imaginative and enthusiastic companion, who will share their world and at the same time grant a huge degree of independence and trust. While INTJs may never be fully comfortable expressing their feelings, and may spend more time theorizing about intimacy than engaging in it, they can always be relied upon to think out a mutually beneficial solution to any situation.

INTJs seek strong, deep relationships, and trust their knowledge and logic to ensure that their partner is satisfied, both intellectually and physically. But when it comes to emotional satisfaction, INTJs are simply out of their element. Not every partner has the sort of fun INTJs do in addressing conflicts and emotional needs as puzzles to be analyzed and solved. (No, this is not “fun” – conflict is abhorrent, especially petty conflict) Sometimes emotions need to be expressed for their own sake, and putting every outburst under the microscope isn’t always helpful. If this becomes habit, or INTJs think it may, they are capable of simply ending the relationship, rather than dragging things out. (Some things are simply not negotiable)

Truth and Morality

INTJs are bewilderingly deep and intelligent people, bringing stability and insight into their romantic relationships. They prize honest, open communication, and all factors of the relationship are open to discussion and change, but this must be reciprocated. INTJs do what they think is right, and sometimes that comes across as cold – it’s important to know that INTJs don’t make these decisions lightly. They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong, especially if they’ve devoted themselves to the relationship, and they certainly hurt deeply when things fall apart. (But, there’s a limit to stupid conflict)

The challenge is finding partners who share those same values – though Intuitive (N) types are uncommon, they may be a must for many INTJs, as sharing this trait creates an immediate sense of mutual belonging. Having one or two balancing traits, such as Extraversion (E), Feeling (F), or Prospecting (P) can help to keep a relationship dynamic and growth-oriented by keeping INTJs involved with other people, in touch with their emotions, and open to alternate potentials. (Actually, I often prefer people who are not like me at all! It’s more interesting.)

INTJ Friends

People with the INTJ personality type tend to have more success in developing friendships than they do with romantic relationships, but they none-the-less suffer from many of the same setbacks, substituting rational processes for emotional availability. This intellectual distance tends to go both ways, making INTJs notoriously difficult to read and get to know, and making INTJs not want to bother reading anyone they think isn’t on their level. (On the contrary, it’s almost impossible to prevent my brain from “assessing”, or “reading”, other people.) Overcoming these hurdles is often all but impossible without the sort of instant connection made possible by sharing the Intuitive (N) trait.

No Person Will Complain for Want of Time Who Never Loses Any

INTJs tend to have set opinions about what works, what doesn’t, what they’re looking for, and what they’re not. These discriminating tastes can come across as arrogant, but INTJs would simply argue that it’s a basic filtering mechanism that allows them to direct their attentions where they will do the most good. The fact is that in friendship, INTJs are looking for more of an intellectual soul mate than anything else, and those that aren’t prepared for that kind of relationship are simply boring. INTJs need to share ideas – a self-feeding circle of gossip about mutual friends is no kind of social life for them.

INTJs will keep up with just a few good friends, eschewing larger circles of acquaintances in favor of depth and quality.

Further, having more than just a few friends would compromise INTJs’ sense of independence and self-sufficiency – they gladly give up social validation to ensure this freedom. INTJs embrace this idea even with those who do fit into their social construct, requiring little attention or maintenance to remain on good terms, and encouraging that same independence in their friends.

When it comes to emotional support, INTJs are far from being a bastion of comfort. They actively suppress their own emotions with shields of rationality and logic, and expect their friends to do the same. When emotionally charged situations do come about, INTJs may literally have no clue how to handle them appropriately (FREEZE like a rabbit is a common reaction) a glaring contrast from their usual capacity for decisive self-direction and composure.

But Friendship Is Precious

When they are in their comfort zone though, among people they know and respect, INTJs have no trouble relaxing and enjoying themselves. Their sarcasm and dark humor are not for the faint of heart, nor for those who struggle to read between the lines, but they make for fantastic story-telling among those who can keep up. This more or less limits their pool of friends to fellow Analysts (NT) and Diplomat (NF) types, as Observant (S) types’ preference for more straightforward communication often simply leaves both parties frustrated.

It’s not easy to become good friends with INTJs. Rather than traditional rules of social conduct or shared routine, INTJs have exacting expectations for intellectual prowess, uncompromising honesty and a mutual desire to grow and learn as sovereign individuals. INTJs are gifted, bright and development-oriented, and expect and encourage their friends to share this attitude. Anyone falling short of this will be labeled a bore – anyone meeting these expectations will appreciate them of their own accord, forming a powerful and stimulating friendship that will stand the test of time.

INTJ Careers

Professional competence is often the area in which INTJs shine most brilliantly. Their capacity for digesting difficult and complex theories and principles and converting them into clear and actionable ideas and strategies is unmatched by any other type. INTJs are able to filter out the noise of a situation, identifying the core thread that needs to be pulled in order to unravel others’ messes so that they can be rewoven into something at once beautifully intricate and stunningly simple in its function. Yes! Except that this is often an unwelcome ability for “drama addicted” neurotypicals who demand perpetual mediocrity in the workplace or in other group efforts.

The real challenge for INTJs is that in order for their innovative (and to less insightful individuals, seemingly counter-intuitive) ideas to be heard, they need to have a friendly ear to bend, and developing an amiable rapport with authority figures is not exactly in INTJs’ list of core strengths. In their early careers, INTJs will often have to suffer through menial tasks and repeated rejections as they develop their abilities into a skill set that speaks for itself.

INTJs will often find ways to automate routine and mind-numbing tasks, and as they progress, their natural confidence, dedication, and creative intelligence will open the doors to the increased complexity and freedom they crave.

Where’s My Drawing Board?

INTJs tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions from questioning colleagues and meetings-happy supervisors. For this reason INTJs are unlikely to be found in strictly administrative roles or anything that requires constant dialogue and heavy teamwork. Rather, INTJs prefer more “lone wolf” positions as mechanical or software engineers, lawyers or freelance consultants, only accepting competent leadership that helps in these goals, and rejecting the authority of those who hold them back.

Their independent attitude and tireless demand for competence mean that INTJs absolutely loathe those who get ahead by seemingly less meritocratic means like social prowess and political connections. Double yes! INTJs have exceptionally high standards, and if they view a colleague or supervisor as incompetent or ineffective, respect will be lost instantly and permanently. INTJs value personal initiative, determination, insight and dedication, and believe that everyone should complete their work to the highest possible standards – if a schmoozing shill breezes through without carrying their own weight, they may find INTJs’ inventiveness and determination used in a whole new capacity as the winds turn against them.

Timid Men (Women?) Prefer the Calm

As their careers progress further and their reputation grows, so will the complexity of INTJs’ tasks and projects. INTJs demand progress and evolution, new challenges and theories, and they often accomplish this by pushing into more active strategic positions. While they don’t care for the spotlight, INTJs do enjoy controlling their ideas, and will often expand into low-profile but influential roles as project managers, system engineers, marketing strategists, systems analysts, and military strategists. (Traditionally male job-jobs. I usually work for myself; I’m a great boss.))

But really, INTJs’ vision, creativity, and competence in executing their plans make them viable in just about any career that requires them to think about what they’re doing. While some careers, such as low-level sales and human resources, clearly do not play to their strengths, INTJs are able to build a niche into just about any institution, including their own, that they put their minds to.

INTJ in the Workplace

Above all else, INTJs want to be able to tackle intellectually interesting work with minimal outside interference, no more, no less. Time-consuming management techniques like trust-building getaways, progress meetings, and drawn-out, sandwiched criticisms are only going to annoy INTJs (Annoy? Absolutely avoid like the plague) – all they need, be they subordinate, colleague, or manager, is to meet their goals with the highest standard of technical excellence and to be surrounded by, if anyone at all, people who share those values.

On paper this makes them appear to be exemplary employees, and in many ways they are, but there are many types, especially those with a combination of the Observant (S) and Feeling (F) traits, who will find a work (or any other) relationship with INTJs extremely challenging. INTJs have a fairly strict code of conduct when it comes to their work, and if they see coworkers valuing social activities and “good enough” workmanship over absolute excellence, it will be a turbulent environment. For this reason, INTJs tend to prefer to work in tight, like-minded groups – a group of one, if necessary.

INTJ Subordinates

INTJs are independent people, and they quickly become frustrated if they find themselves pushed into tightly defined roles that limit their freedom. With the direction of a properly liberal manager, INTJs will establish themselves in a position of expertise, completing their work not with the ambition of managerial promotion, but for its own intrinsic merit. INTJs require and appreciate firm, logical managers who are able to direct efforts with competence, deliver criticism when necessary, and back up those decisions with sound reason.

Note that it is INTJs’ expectations of their managers that are being defined here, and not the other way around, as with some other personality types. Titles mean little to INTJs – trust and respect are earned, and INTJs expect this to be a two way street, receiving and delivering advice, criticisms and results. INTJs expect their managers to be intelligent enough and strong enough to be able to handle this paradigm. A silent INTJ conveys a lack of respect better than all their challenges ever will.

INTJ Colleagues

Active teamwork is not ideal for people with the INTJ personality type. Fiercely independent and private, INTJs use their nimble minds and insight to deflect personal talk, avoid workplace tension, and create situations where they aren’t slowed down by those less intelligent, less capable, or less adaptable to more efficient methods. Instead, they will likely poke fun by forcing them to read between the lines and making them deal alone with work that could have been easier if they’d only taken INTJs’ suggestions.

INTJs are brilliant analysts, and will likely gather a small handful of trusted colleagues to involve in their brainstorming sessions, excluding those who get too hung up on details, or who otherwise have yet to earn their respect. But more likely, INTJs will simply take the initiative alone – INTJs love embracing challenges and their consequent responsibilities, and their perfectionism and determination usually mean that the work comes out clean and effective, affording INTJs the twin joys of solitude and victory.

INTJ Managers

Though they may be surprised to hear it, INTJs make natural leaders, and this shows in their management style. INTJs value innovation and effectiveness more than just about any other quality, and they will gladly cast aside hierarchy, protocol and even their own beliefs if they are presented with rational arguments about why things should change. INTJs promote freedom and flexibility in the workplace, preferring to engage their subordinates as equals, respecting and rewarding initiative and adopting an attitude of “to the best mind go the responsibilities”, directing strategy while more capable hands manage the day-to-day tactics.

But this sort of freedom isn’t just granted, it’s required – those who are accustomed to just being told what to do, who are unable to direct themselves and challenge existing notions, will have a hard time meeting INTJs’ extremely high standards. Efficiency and results are king to INTJs, and behaviors that undermine these conditions are quashed mercilessly. If subordinates try to compensate for their weakness in these areas by trying to build a social relationship with their INTJ managers, on their heads be it – office gossip and schmoozing are not the way into INTJs’ hearts – only bold competence will do.

Conclusion

Few personality types are as mysterious and controversial as INTJs. (To neurotypicals, not to ourselves) Possessing intellect and strategic thinking that allow them to overcome many challenging obstacles, INTJs have the ability to both develop and implement a plan for everything, including their own personal growth.

Yet INTJs can be easily tripped up in areas where careful and rational thinking is more of a liability than an asset. Whether it is finding (or keeping) a partner, making friends, reaching dazzling heights on the career ladder or adapting to the unpredictable, INTJs need to put in a conscious effort to develop their weaker traits and additional skills.

INTJs – male or female – need to be INTJ – not some other personality type!