I’m an INTP woman. We’re hard to find and we’re hard to be around. I get it, it’s ok, I don’t blame you or take it personally.
It’s not only anecdotal: someone wrote a paper about how difficult and undesirable INTP women are. And when I was in grad school, a fellow student wrote a paper about me and what my “presence in class” felt like (it was a psych program). My response: oh. ok.
When I was single, I would sometimes spend entire weekends alone without seeing anyone for 64 sweet hours and I loved it. That’s what I remember as the good old single days. Being alone. I hide. I avoid people, sometimes even the ones I really love. I know that it’s hard, maybe next to impossible, for people to know just how difficult it is for me to be around people. And the more social the person, I’ve realized, the harder it is for that person to understand.
The best thing ever to happen – and I am so lucky for this – was that I met and then married an INTP man. I don’t hide from him, I don’t want to be alone when I’m around him. And he’s probably the only one who would understand me when I say that being around him is as easy/refreshing/recharging/comfortable as being alone. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt that anyone has understood what all is going on here, how hard some of this stuff is for me, why I am consistently misunderstood; and probably the best thing: he can tolerate how fucking annoying I can be.
Because I get stuck on things that don’t make sense to me and I cannot let them go (I made my own mother cry once, like two months ago, doing this). Social customs and pleasantries seem pointless to me and I can’t handle them. I hate social events. I make everything more complicated than it is and I am not a good communicator because of this. I make different assumptions than most people do which creates misunderstandings and yet I never seem to learn that not everyone makes these same assumptions. I ask questions that sound stupid to people who don’t realize I’m a few steps ahead of the conversation and skipping the obvious. My first impressions are terrible (my long-term impressions tend to be better but there’s a bit of a selection bias there).
I’m making it out to be worse than it is by describing the worst of it. It’s fine, I’m normal, I can pass. I am capable and happy. Life is fantastic. But I’ll always feel like an alien in this world. That feeling never goes away.
Image credit: JP King