How well do people really know me?

2014-12-29 19.13.18

Tonight, I shared to my boyfriend that I really like my personal time and space, even during my holidays. I don’t like spending every single free day I have with my friends, and most of the time, I enjoy being alone. I even went as far as to say that there isn’t one friend I have that, at some point or another, I have not gotten irritated with. My brother overheard this and called me an introvert.

I have never seen myself as one. In hindsight, it seems like I have no trouble getting to know new people and initiating conversations. At least, that used to be the case. The older I am, the more reserved I become. I find it increasingly difficult to approach other people, and I close myself off to those I already know.

This is true even with my closest of friends. I put on a different facade in front of different people; a person that I think they would expect me to be. I share my thoughts and feelings with the people around me, but sometimes only when prompted. Other times, I only share superficial emotions. I realized, then, that no one knows me for who I really am. Who I become when I’m alone is someone I don’t even recognize.

I have come to see that “friends” who claim to know me the longest, don’t even know the person I’ve become. They hold on to the notion that I am the same girl I was when I first met them, and this is especially true with regards to my schoolmates. Take, for example, my best friend. She holds on to a certain view of me that is different from what my boyfriend thinks of me. Therefore, I ask, which one of them knows me better? My answer? None of them. What they know about me is only 50% of what I am really made out of. Of course, I don’t blame any one of them. It is what I choose to reveal to each individual, how I reveal it, and under what circumstances, but I do differently with different people.

A while back, I took the 16 Personalities test you can take HERE. The results I got were quite surprising — I got INTJ, “The Architect” (you can read more about INTJs HERE). Now, usually, I don’t put much faith in personality tests such as this one, but I took the test again more recently, and got the exact same results. Both times were the same — the more I read on, the more I learned about myself. All the questions I had about what was wrong with me suddenly became clear, and all the suppressed parts of me resurfaced. I have broken down the different components of some of the things that apply the most to me. It is important to note that the results of this test are not 100% accurate and parallel my attitude and personality, but it comes pretty darn close.

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.

This rings true especially because of my constant desire for control. There is nothing I thrive on more than control, and I have the next few decades of my life planned to the T. I know exactly what I want and how I plan to achieve things– and if things go awry, I become anxious and turn into a special breed of crazy. Take, for example, my undergraduate studies. The previous semester was particularly hectic for me. I had little time and endless tasks. Lecturers were way more strict than I was accustomed to, and I could feel my grades slipping through my fingers. The 18-year-old me would have given up, saying “I know I’m not going to do well anyway, I might as well leave it up to God.” The 22-year-old me, although pulled down by the weight of piling assignments, deteriorating exam marks, told myself, “You are not going to jeopardize your future over one shitty GPA.” I had a plan to graduate with at least a dean’s list, and although I still had many semesters to go, I was not going to squander it. All because I couldn’t stand the idea of losing control of my own self-written prophecy. In the end, I got what I was aiming for this semester, and that is still not enough for me. 

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.

Definitely not proud of this, but it is too real. I tend to be overtly judgmental towards other people who do not pull their weight and I become easily impatient with people who do not put in the effort to contribute to tasks like group assignments. This is why every semester is highly stressful for me, to the point of rage. Having to deal with people who are incompetent only drives me to become frustrated, and this frustration often leads to me regaining total control of that task. I especially do not like it when I am being grouped with people I am supposed to “help”. Why should I be forced to help those who do not want to help themselves?

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.

Don’t believe me? My MUET reading scores prove this to be exactly true.

Sentiment, tradition, and emotion are INTJs’ Achilles Heel. Social standards like chivalry are viewed by INTJs as silly, even demeaning.

My boyfriend can attest to this. Strangely enough, he just told me that I have a problem with being romantic– every time he tries to open the car door for me I ask him if I look like I’m too disabled to do it myself.

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

I can count with my hands the number of friends I hold near and dear to me. I often joke to my mother that I will have the cheapest wedding of all time because I don’t even have many friends to invite. As aforementioned, I just do not find it necessary to keep up with a large circle of friends. Even within that small circle of friends, I find it difficult to engage in self-disclosure. I much prefer listening to other people talk about themselves than talk about myself. Talking too much about myself makes me uncomfortable, for the most part.

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.

My patience for people surrounding me quickly dwindles when I am in a work environment. It is ironic because I love writing and I really want to be a writer one day. The problem is, talking to other people to tell their stories is difficult for me, but I am at peak comfort level when I’m blogging.

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.

Refer to blockquote #1 and #2. But this is only because I do not produce half-assed work, and I believe no one should, especially not when I am in the picture.

And again, I affirm that these qualities, for the most part, reflect my personality. I write this as a way to grapple with the fact that there is so much I have yet to learn about myself, and there is a lot of room for self-improvement, something I constantly strive for when I’m working. For my friends who claim to know me, I ask, how well do you know me?


Author: Natalie Ha

I remember being enthralled with the written word ever since my parents started reading fairytales to me at a young age. Seeing the power it has to influence behaviours and mindsets, I have learned, over the years, to translate my thoughts onto paper, in an attempt to positively disrupt the lives of others. Having my written works published in various forms of media has empowered me to weave stories that people can resonate with. I look forward to the life-long process of perfecting this craft, and hope to see my work touch the hearts of many in the future. This blog attempts to do just that - and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy penning it down.

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