Yes, there’s a bit of arrogance in publicly describing my arrogance or introvertedness, but I feel it’s a necessary step.
Scott Hanselman’s latest sparked me to write this when he mentioned his Myers-Briggs type in his latest post on tact. The problem with people is that we’re all so different that even our understanding or even perceptions of the same behavior are completely different. I would probably arrive at the same exact conclusion Scott did about the bad taste presentation. But probably for very different reasons.
A couple years back, I worked for a pretty cool company that had a (novel to me at the time) way of dealing with teams — everyone took a personality test and everyone on the team had the results of every other member of the team. I was a young arrogant developer seeing absolutely no purpose to this exercise: I just wanted to write code. Then I learned I’ve been cursed with INTJ; my project manager and the QA also learned about my curse. Here’s the kicker: any friction I’ve ever had with QA and my project manager VANISHED. Overnight. They understood my quirks, my habits, my approaches, my strengths, my weaknesses and how I saw other people’s roles in my life.
So, on that note, after reading the INTJ description, Hello, I’m your friendly neighborhood INTJ.
I have already judged you. No, I won’t tell you what I’ve decided about you and yes, that judgment can change if you give me more data. If I think you’re a fool, the worst you can do is open your mouth and prove it. Then you might as well not exist. If I admire you, you won’t have to work too hard at keeping that. But I have my limits and they’re pretty rigid. If you cross them, you may not find out right away. That’s my problem, not yours.
I can work hard. But I choose not to unless there’s a reason. If there’s a more efficient way to do something, I can spend a ridiculous amount of time looking for it, often longer than doing something the less efficient way. I can learn more, but unless I really want to, I will not.
I will not indulge your idle chit-chat unless we’re already good friends. If you just met me and are trying to tell me about your cat’s “cutest noise” or why your wife’s cousin shouldn’t be involved with someone I don’t know, you may get silent treatment. For a while. A couple weeks at least. I expect you to figure it out on your own. But you probably won’t. That’s my problem in expecting you to be like me, not yours in not being like me.
Yes, I am fully aware how terse, arrogant and cold the above makes me look. No, it does not mean the same thing to me as it does to others. Yes, I know how you perceive me. No, I will not change for you. I may change for me. If you are good friends with me, you have seen a much softer caring side. If you are not, you may have observered it toward others, but not you and have felt like I’m intentionally being a jerk toward you. You are wrong.
If you’ve worked with me, you may have seen me at my worst — completely detached from personal relationships, looking almost angry, etc or just the opposite, 100% unfocused, entertaining lazy ideas and surfing the net. This is either because I’m focused or bored. If you ask me about it, that is what I’ll tell you. This is truth. Question it and you will get the same answer. You may have seen me at my best too — turning around impossible deadlines, finding bugs that others have been trying to find for several months, coming up with previously unimagined ways of saving money or implementing technology. When challenged, I will give you my best. When not challenged, you will know I’m bored. I will probably send up 20 tweets a day and browse Craigslist for things I will never buy.
On a final note — you probably have a personality type too. If you tell me what it is, I will feel challenged and research it. I will also (for the sake of efficiency and correctness) learn your strengths and weaknesses and learn to apply myself toward you in a way that takes advantage of both. This would be a good thing.