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Self-assessment: An INTP deficiency

manishboy

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As a proto-probablo-quasi-INTP, I note an odd characteristic. On the one hand, I tend to be better calibrated than the average bear. I'm not necessarily smarter than average, but I am able to adapt my mental models quickly in the face of new information. Over time, this leads to better calibration overall, and makes one, among other things, a good guesser.

On the other hand, I find myself lousy at self assessment, and especially any assessment that involves the opinions of others. I can size up people quite well: I adjust, adjust, adjust until I can almost make understand what it's like to be them. But for some reason, I just can't seem to grasp how they experience me. In fact, I conjecture that it's because of that incessant re-calibration that I may be less able to account for the opinions others hold of me.

Do you also find this a problem? If so, any strategies useful to overcome it?

I'm not certain this is an INTP-only problem. But it's an interesting weakness given the exquisite care with which I construct and reconstruct my worldview.
 

Jennywocky

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As a proto-probablo-quasi-INTP, I note an odd characteristic. On the one hand, I tend to be better calibrated than the average bear. I'm not necessarily smarter than average, but I am able to adapt my mental models quickly in the face of new information. Over time, this leads to better calibration overall, and makes one, among other things, a good guesser.

On the other hand, I find myself lousy at self assessment, and especially any assessment that involves the opinions of others. I can size up people quite well: I adjust, adjust, adjust until I can almost make understand what it's like to be them. But for some reason, I just can't seem to grasp how they experience me. In fact, I conjecture that it's because of that incessant re-calibration that I may be less able to account for the opinions others hold of me.

I identify strongly with much of what you have said.

I do find with my self-assessment, if I shut out the external world briefly (to get rid of Other People Noise), I have really sharp assessment of myself. But somehow I get confused when all those expectations and external input comes zinging at me. (Like, "I" know "myself" when I'm not around others.)

Basically, also, I can "go inside" someone else and see things from their perspective / get a strong sense of them; but for some reason when I try to assess myself, it's like I go into each person looking at me and see myself through each of their eyes at once, and it's "too many viewpoints" overload and I just can't get my bearings. But when I'm just focused on one other person, I'm only really trying to grasp them -- how I see them externally, and my triangulated model of them from the inside-out.

I also get confused as to how a particular individual views me, it's not nearly as clear. If I get strong feedback at a particular moment in time, then that registers with me and I'm okay; but as time passes, I no longer consider that piece of data reliable and need feedback again -- things change over time, deterministic factors can push something further and further off-course even if the changes were incrementally small. I find I need to "trust" people's view of me rather than knowing it; I just can't see it; I and I don't like just "assuming" what someone thinks of me. Sometimes it's easier to avoid people, since I keep losing track of that element and I don't like depending on blind trust.
 

Sinny91

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I know myself quite well, and I also know how others perceive me quite well.
This is largely because I am honest with others about my motivations and methods, and in turn I gain honest feedback. I find that this cuts out a lot of the tedious work in social interactions.
 

Yellow

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@Jenny & @Manishboy
I have this issue too (every single point resonated), though it never really occurred to me that it was a thing. Now that I think about it, you just effectively doubled my self-awareness.
 

manishboy

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Jennywocky said:
(Like, "I" know "myself" when I'm not around others.)

Jennywocky said:
but for some reason when I try to assess myself, it's like I go into each person looking at me and see myself through each of their eyes at once, and it's "too many viewpoints" overload and I just can't get my bearings

both of the above resonate with me. Your last point is subtle but also rings true.


Sinny91 said:
I know myself quite well, and I also know how others perceive me quite well.

I admire such consummate self knowledge. As for me, the more I know, the more I don't.
 

Seteleechete

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If I carefully think it through I can know fairly well how others will perceive me and my actions but this never works in a pinch. I think it has to do with my information filter, anything I subconsciously think is unimportant will be filtered out of my mind before reaching active thought. I just skip the part about how they will react/feel about me. I am unsure of why. One theory is that I feel it is unimportant (even though it isn't).

Another is that I expect them to react like I would/in a certain way, from the start and already having this information I don't update it on the spot as the situation changes, I do update it afterwards but that takes time. Basically going into a conversation I decide beforehand how they will react and assuming that I already have accurate information I don't bother/forget/ignore picking up cues that show me wrong.
 

Kets-Mean-Kitty

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I once read an article about INTPs that relates to this topic. I'm trying to find it...

But basically, I the concept you're describing has to do with the tertiary trait of introverted sensing. I read that as INTPs get a little bit older, the Si comes out, and we become hyper-critical of ourselves, our past selves, and how the world perceive(d) us. The article mentioned that INTPs often feel embarrassed or ashamed of their actions and all that.

On a personal level, I can totally relate. I'm never sure if people think I'm funny and quirky, or weird and annoying when I make a joke, for example. But just because I don't know, doesn't mean I'm oblivious. If they laugh, I try to figure out of it was a sarcastic laugh, a laugh to make me feel good about myself, if they actually thought it was funny, etc. So then I just get paranoid and assume the worst and probably end up acting stranger as a result. :confused:
 

reeya27

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It could also be the fact that you see others from an entirely new perspective that begins free of bias for the most part. But, when you self-analyse yourself, you're more likely to view it with bias and only view certain parts that you focus on, which could make you miss other aspects that others would notice. Also, your might hold yourself to a different standard of how you would like to be if you were able to improve yourself, and that's a viewpoint that others don't take. There's a few differences in viewing others stepping aside from their body, and self analysing yourself, having lived with yourself for a significant time period and extensively analysed everything about yourself.
 

EditorOne

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It may also have something to do with being unable to give proper weight to the emotional lens through which others view us. Not being easily able to "read" the emotions of others means you can't quite understand their perception of you, does it not? I'm apparently oblivious to emotional subtleties. Didn't realize one lady had a thing for me until she ... oh, never mind. Didn't realize a fellow harbored a deep dislike of me until the results of his petty machinations hit human resources. I'm also pretty bad at noting the gradations between cooperation among colleagues, false friendship by an ass kisser, and false friendship from a calculating backstabber waiting to gain promotion at my expense.
It's a jungle out there. Dangerous beasties and us with a pitiful rationality back by an occasional intuitive leap as our only defenses.
 

Sinny91

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I admire such consummate self knowledge. As for me, the more I know, the more I don't.

Don't get me wrong, I too only know that I do not know; but for example if I tell a goofy joke in a social setting and was unsure how it went down, I would immediately ask the audience how it went down and gain the knowledge straight from the horses mouth.

It could also be the fact that you see others from an entirely new perspective that begins free of bias for the most part. But, when you self-analyse yourself, you're more likely to view it with bias and only view certain parts that you focus on, which could make you miss other aspects that others would notice...

...having lived with yourself for a significant time period and extensively analysed everything about yourself

This is something I'm guilty of, but something I aim to minimise by asking for honest feedback. Also, I've lived alone from 16 - to present, I've had a lot of time to self reflect.

I'm apparently oblivious to emotional subtleties. Didn't realize one lady had a thing for me until she ... oh, never mind. Didn't realize a fellow harbored a deep dislike of me until the results of his petty machinations hit human resources.
.

This happens to me a lot also, ignorance is bliss.
 

Esurient Fere

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As a proto-probablo-quasi-INTP, I note an odd characteristic. On the one hand, I tend to be better calibrated than the average bear. I'm not necessarily smarter than average, but I am able to adapt my mental models quickly in the face of new information. Over time, this leads to better calibration overall, and makes one, among other things, a good guesser.

On the other hand, I find myself lousy at self assessment, and especially any assessment that involves the opinions of others. I can size up people quite well: I adjust, adjust, adjust until I can almost make understand what it's like to be them. But for some reason, I just can't seem to grasp how they experience me. In fact, I conjecture that it's because of that incessant re-calibration that I may be less able to account for the opinions others hold of me.

Do you also find this a problem? If so, any strategies useful to overcome it?

I'm not certain this is an INTP-only problem. But it's an interesting weakness given the exquisite care with which I construct and reconstruct my worldview.

Oh yes. I think self perception is always flawed. We either confuse what we are with what we want to be or what we're afraid of being.

Socially I've found the best way to deal with it is simply ignore it. Do your thing and people will think what they will of you. Those that don't get you wouldn't get you anyway. It also takes the stress of maintaining a posture away. Granted there are still situations I still posture or blend in. It's all about what you need a the time.
I've found I can get deep enough inside of other peoples heads I can predict what their reactions will be and respond to them before they happen. It freaks some people out but mostly impresses the snot out of them. ( Then they wonder why I'm so clueless in other, emotional situations :D )
I've found meditation to be useful for finding a centre. Paired with a very honest look at your motivations and mindful focus on what you want, (or what your goals are.) it could be helpful. I have some success with it.
 

manishboy

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Seteleechete said:
If I carefully think it through I can know fairly well how others will perceive me and my actions but this never works in a pinch.

I find the same. Calibration seems to fail under duress.

Kets-Mean-Kitty said:
I read that as INTPs get a little bit older, the Si comes out, and we become hyper-critical of ourselves, our past selves, and how the world perceive(d) us.

I hope you find the article. I've noted that I've become better at remembering little details, like bringing water on long hikes, and figured this was Si showing through. Hadn't considered it might also have a more problematic manifestation.

reeya27 said:
Also, your might hold yourself to a different standard of how you would like to be if you were able to improve yourself, and that's a viewpoint that others don't take.

Good point. I have noticed even in work meetings I'm more interested in evolving, pushing ahead to new insights, than in projecting a fixed impression. This has made me vulnerable to scrutiny by people who don't think that way.

EditorOne said:
Not being easily able to "read" the emotions of others means you can't quite understand their perception of you, does it not? I'm apparently oblivious to emotional subtleties.

That's the thing: I am keenly aware of people's emotional states, often better than they are, but somehow this ability is clouded when it comes to assessing others' impressions of me. It's like some curse from Greek mythology--you are doomed to understand others but not their understanding of you.

Esurient Fere said:
Socially I've found the best way to deal with it is simply ignore it. Do your thing and people will think what they will of you.

I'm just learning this trick. It actually takes a lot of focus and can sometimes verge on feeling like a physical pushing away of the attention of others.
 
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