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In this episode, Joel and Antonia use the “FIRM Model” to talk about the important childhood lessons for ExxPs and IxxJs.

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In this episode Joel and Antonia use the "FIRM Model" to talk about the important childhood lessons for ExxPs and IxxJs. #ENTP #ENFP #INTJ #INFJ

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  • Erik Bland
    • Erik Bland
    • November 21, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I am an INTJ, and I have certainly also experienced, at times, prolonged internal analysis of some interaction with another person, while the other person didn’t seem to be bothered by it. I can relate to Joel and Antonia’s idea that, as IJ’s, getting out of our comfort zone can benefit us in the long run. I can also definitely agree with your idea that it shouldn’t have to be excessively ‘forced’. I think society seems to prefer extroverts (as you mention), so it could be easy to accidentally try to force an introvert to be someone they’re not with, justifying it as being for their own good.

    That said, I wanted to discuss my own experiences as being an IJ when it comes to protecting my own vulnerability versus going out into the world. I’ve identified three stages I’ve gone through so far:

    1) Going out into the world does help. This wasn’t forced on me by my parents, but it happened naturally as I moved away from home and went to college, and was required to do things on my own and interact significantly with the outside world. This did not turn me into an extrovert, but it did greatly increase my comfort in interacting with others, when it is necessary to do so. This supports Joel’s and Antonia’s idea.

    2) That was a great first step, but it only got me so far. Focusing on personal growth, for me, means spending a lot of time going inwards. I focused on learning how I make decisions, how I decide upon my values, and how my emotions work. This has been tremendous for me in allowing me to reduce my vulnerability and go out into the world. I metaphorically think of it this way – when I was younger, I had the classic INTJ ‘armor’, or exterior impenetrable attitude to protect myself, which I think of as a mirror to deflect painful things. As I’ve developed, I’ve turned that mirror into a transparent glass. Now much more can come in, but I haven’t become more vulnerable. Instead, as I’ve developed myself, I’ve become more inert, or unreactive. Things from the outside world can come in, but they are much more likely to pass right through me without doing harm. I don’t need to hide as much to protect myself, because I am much more confident in knowing who I am and why I do what I do.

    3) Finally, I learned to accept that I don’t need to change who I am unless I want to. While I have worked on interacting with the world in some ways, I haven’t done so in every way. And I’ve decided that it’s okay. I’ve consciously weighed the benefits and costs of ‘learning’ a new way of interacting with others, and some simply aren’t worth it to me. I’ve tried to give myself the freedom to be okay with that (even if the world tells me otherwise), and not force myself into situations where the end result is something that will satisfy the world at the expense of myself. *Disclaimer – I do sometimes still focus on satisfying the world at the expense of myself, just because I don’t want to be a complete jerk, and I would prefer to leave the world better off after me than before me. Deciding when to submit to the world and when not to is easier in theory than in practice, and I’m not always successful, but sometimes I am, and it helps a lot.

  • Dan McCaffrey
    • Dan McCaffrey
    • September 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    This was the first time I had really heard a description of the FIRM model (haven’t gotten to that podcast yet, and confession…I haven’t bought 11 copies of the book b/c I don’t ever read), but it was simple and amazing. I was literally agreeing with you out loud and laughing out loud at certain points. I’m an INFP, so this episode didn’t directly apply to me, but I could definitely identify with the ENFP fixation of freedom.

    Similar, but somewhat different, I also was realizing this morning that as part of maintaining my freedom, I don’t like to be “needed” or depended on for anything. At least I try to limit that as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I have 4 kids and a wife and I am certainly needed in my family, but I’m constantly trying to get everyone else to become independent. When someone is sick and I need to step up my game, I find myself getting resentful because of not having as much freedom. This is weird to me b/c I actually love taking care of people and having them feel loved, but maybe I just want to do it on my own terms…. Still in this mode of discovery, but this episode opened up another thing to churn around in my “real” introverted world.

  • Cristina Micsa
    • Cristina Micsa
    • August 29, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Such an eye-opening podcast! Thank you! Both, my daughter and I are IJs and we struggle to articulate our boundaries. It seems mean to us to go tell other people that they overstepped our boundaries. Are we supposed to ask them to step back and until they do we don’t have contact with them? Or just tell them they did and give them another chance? Help!

  • Trisha
    • Trisha
    • August 14, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    This episode was incredibly accurate for me as an ISTJ and my spouse, a ISFJ. What particularly resonated was the comment about IJs often obsessing over something that they said or that happened that they feel awful about, only to find out that the other parties involved don’t even remember it, or if they do, it hardly affected them. It’s one of the most valuable growing points that I’ve gained from learning about my personality type and types in general. I’ve gone through so much self-inflicted anxiety from ruminating on past events, even if they were YEARS ago, and worrying about how they were perceived by others. This episode was a great gentle reminder that not everyone perceives things the same way and usually what I obsess over is barely noticed by others, which helps in letting go.

    I understand and generally speaking agree with the importance of bravery for IJs, but I disagreed with some of the specifics called out in the podcast. Forcing yourself to do things you’re uncomfortable with is important in order to prepare for challenges in life, and perhaps especially for IJs, but certain preferences that were called out as somewhat sad or unfortunate on the podcast I don’t think should be viewed that way. My husband and I are around 30, and 9 times out of 10 we prefer a quiet night in together to broader socializing. We don’t really know our neighbors. Why is that bad if it makes us happier and how we most enjoy spending our time? Why is our culture’s extroverted ideal better? When I was younger, I was forced to go on playdates and socialize or do something as seemingly simple as pick up the phone, being told “you’ll have to do it when you’re older”. While I see the value of encouraging bravery, I was often miserable and felt like I was wrong for preferring to be by myself. I recognize that my parents were doing what they thought was best, but I resented them for it at the time and it often added to my sense of feeling different or ashamed. I’m not a complete hermit, but when I was old enough to make the choice I cut WAY back on social activities, relieved that I could spend my time how I wanted. Encouraging bravery is good, but the degree to which it’s pushed on a child could do more harm than good.

  • Kmarie
    • Kmarie
    • August 9, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Ha ha I meant insulating not insulting:)

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