Archive for May, 2009

posted by VJ on May 22

SitsThinks2I’ve been doing some research lately, and read yet another brilliant article by Dr. John Beebe that was type related. In it, he decries the amount of mis-typing that goes on in the Jungian analyst field, and describes how discouraged many therapists are about using type because it’s so difficult to get it right.

Beebe gives an example in the very first paragraph of someone who was mis-diagnosed. Beebe writes, “For example a patient diagnosed by his therapist as an introverted intuitive (because he did not seem to do much and vividly reported dreams that were full of imagery), is discovered to be an introverted sensation type…”

So okay, mis-typing happens all the time. It’s practically the order of the day. What’s the big deal?

Well, just between you and me, I waded through the entire rest of the article with bated breath, waiting for Beebe to dispute this negative characterization of introverted intuitives…. and he never did.

Never mentioned it again.

Yes, I realize the point of that article was not about defining what an introverted intuitive looks like, but still… shouldn’t the record be corrected about that? Beebe should defend our honor here. After all, we don’t want to give the wrong impression, do we?

Or… wait.  IS it the wrong impression?

I’ve been contemplating that question for the past several days. Maybe there’s something to such a characterization after all.

Does that idea stick in my craw? You bet it does! It hits me hard — punches me right in the inferior function.
Hey, I *want* to be an action-oriented, doing, happening kinda gal. I want to motivate, inspire, change the world.  Set it on fire!

And — I confess. I can barely seem to keep up with my blog sometimes. Left to my own devices, I’d rather curl up with a book and read more than anything.

In fact, that’s one of the big “sticking points” between my husband and me. I wish he’d clean up the garage, or take care of the trash, or DO a bunch of chores that need to be handled. On his part, he’d probably like me to clean up the house, hang up clothes, sew on that missing button. I suspect we both want the other to be what we ourselves are NOT.

How did that go again? …”he did not seem to do much and vividly reported dreams that were full of imagery.”

Maybe Beebe doesn’t dispute that characterization because it actually fits. Hmm…

Now you may call me crazy, but as it happens, I’ve never understood the idea of prison as a punishment. Some of it sounds pretty good to me. Think about it: you get a roof over your head, three squares, a few chores you have to do, and it seems like inmates get to read a lot and earn college degrees. Many of them “find Jesus.”

That sounds like a pretty good deal to me! I don’t understand why people get so wrapped around the axle about how awful losing their “freedom” would be. That would *give* me the freedoms I need.

Sure, it would be hard on a marriage, but my most vital freedom is: having “dreams that [are] full of imagery.” As long as I’m able to generate those on a regular basis, I’m more likely to flourish.

My freedom feels restricted when I don’t have the space to engage my dreaming. When I can’t get enough sleep, or when I’m so stressed that I can’t occasionally sit and re-connect with myself — that drives me crazy. I need my self-connection time! It’s non-negotiable. I’ve needed that my whole life.

Come to think of it, I’ve always been a little anxious around other people because I’m not all industrious and hard-working. It’s not that I can’t work hard — far from it. But I’m not the kind of person who’ll bustle around and vacuum the house, dust the furniture, file the papers, straighten the bookshelves. I’m not perpetually on the lookout for things to DO in order to “keep busy.” I’m just not industrious that way. The very idea of chores is a total turnoff. I’m always looking for electronic gadgets to handle my housework for me — be they dishwasher, robot vacuum, or self-cleaning oven. Anything to get out of *that*.

“He did not seem to do much…”

Is that a reflection of me…?

I wonder.

At minimum, I have resistance to considering that possibility. Which might mean there’s more truth to the portrayal than I’m comfortable accepting.

All the time I encounter people who are interested in type, and I have recently noticed that one glaring signal that I’m probably not speaking to a correctly typed INFJ is when I hear about a lot of activity — lots of socializing, lots of go-getting, doing. When they don’t display what I might describe as a “contemplative” demeanor, it flags me that something doesn’t add up right.

I remember a retreat I went to where the first night all the extraverts got by on very little sleep, and seemed to crawl all over the campus before I even woke up in the morning. They already had a strong sense of the entire landscape before I ever rolled out of bed. They knew where the roads went, what buildings were nearby, where all the animals were, what kind of plant life was plentiful, and even how beautiful the sunrise had been!

I’m not that adventurous. I’m more inclined to lie in bed and enjoy my dreams.

I’m brought to mind of an old saying — you’ve probably seen it. It says,
Sometimes I sits and thinks. And sometimes I just sits.

Does that describe me?

Maybe it does, more than I want to admit. How about you?