Alien Isolation

fantasizing-in-code  asked:

Hey my father is an ESTP and my mother is an INFJ while I'm an INTP. I love them to hell and back, but hardly ever understand them as they also struggle a lot to understand me. My ENFJ 8 year bro just acts a lot like "their child" while I'm feeling isolated and alienated from my family.

Well, this is a thing that most INTPs go through, no matter the personality types of the family members. There is a frightening temptation that lots of INTPs go through, and that is to think that we are just a little more intelligent than everyone else, and that no one can understand us.

While it’s true that lots of people struggle with understanding just how an INTP brain works, it’s also true that we INTPs don’t give them a whole lot of help. There’s an arrogant streak in us that says, “If they don’t get me, then why should I help them?”

It’s not a nice thing to think about, so we generally just find a way not to think about this side of ourselves. But this side definitely exists. We have a propensity to think of ourselves as more intelligent and therefore better than others. So, this sort of thinking leads to isolation from others. Because if they can’t understand us, then how can they enjoy themselves around us, and how can we enjoy ourselves around them? We don’t really think this to ourselves in those exact words, but our attitudes are basically this. 

The fact is, you are exactly as isolated as you allow yourself to be. For instance, ENFJs love people and want to be around them. ENFJs don’t alienate or isolate others. So, I’m guessing your little brother would be thrilled if you would hang out with him and be around him. Also, he’s eight. Don’t expect him to understand you or make a detailed outline of your personality. Most people wouldn’t even start thinking about that sort of thing until their twenties or so. 

As for INFJs, they are among the hardest personality types to understand in all of MBTI, along with INTPs. You’ve got two of the hardest types in the same family. It’s going to take a lot of work for you two to understand each other and open up to each other. Don’t brush your mom off for not trying hard enough. Maybe you need to try harder.

As for ESTPs, they can actually read people and understand them pretty well (which point, considering that in your family you have an ESTP married to an INFJ, seems self-evident), so maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to think that he doesn’t understand me if I were you. See, ESTPs are quick to figure people out, but they aren’t always interested in forcing people to their own way. They’re practical about things, and if your dad sees that you’re not interested in opening up to the family, he’s not going to force you to do it. If this seems like alienation to you, maybe you should think about it from his perspective. What’s practical about estranging your kid when you aren’t sure that your kid really wants to talk to you?

There are others in your family, you see. And you need to think about their needs. I have a hunch that your parents may be thinking about yours more than you know, but dealing with an INTP is never easy, even when that INTP is your own kid. (I know, because my parents have told me this.)

So, maybe start looking at things from another perspective. That is something that INTPs are very good at, after all. We might as well use it for something useful.

I hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by.

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