INTx Preview Interview #2 - A.J (INTP)

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JOEL MARK WITT: Hey it’s Joel Mark Witt from Personality Hacker.

ANTONIA DODGE: And I’m Antonia Dodge.

JOEL MARK WITT: And we are continuing our short series on the new INTX Program we’ve created here at Personality Hacker. Two reasons we’re doing this short series is one, to give you a little bit of more information about the actual program, give you some taste of it. Little snippets. Some context around what it entails and what’s in the actual program and number two, we want to give you actual content, things you can go and use in your life ‘Aha’s’ you might have in some of this content so that’s why we’re doing that.

ANTONIA DODGE: Now remember that INTX Unleashed is an interview series with top performing INTP’s and INTX’s. I mean INTJ’s. All of them are INTX’s. Now we recognize that INTP’s and INTJ’s have very different cognitive functions or mental wiring. However, there is a lot of similar challenges that they experience in life and so we believe that whether we’re interviewing an INTJ or interviewing an INTP, we believe that you’ll get a lot of value from all of these interviews.

JOEL MARK WITT: In fact when you get the program, if you invest in it make sure you listen to the opposite ‘type’ of yourself. You can learn a lot from a different perspective. So if you’re an INTJ listen to the INTP and learn something from it.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah and vice versa of course. And to remind you from the first recording that we’re using the guide of Maslow’s Hierarchy, indicating that we have touched on every level of personal development whether you’re down in survival and fearing for your life all the way up to self actualization and ready for Ego Transcendence and everything in between in Maslow’s Hierarchy, everything gets touched on in at least one of the sessions. So no matter where you’re at in your growth process you will find something for you.

JOEL MARK WITT: In our last recording we had a snippet from Brent Brewer where he talked about, he’s an INTJ, he talked about the chaos that he was seeing as a young man all around him and the unreasonableness of people’s decisions and it baffled him and we unpacked that in the last session or last recording. This recording we’re going to hear from an INTP A.J. Drenth who talks about doubt, because NTP’s, INTP’s in particular, one of the superpowers they bring is actually bringing doubt to the world.

In other words questioning the validity of something, questioning the accuracy of something. Questioning, “Does this make sense?” What’s interesting about this next clip we’re going to play from A.J. is NTP’s, INTP’s don’t just question the nature of reality and the way people show up, they question the very things that are important to them in their life and A.J. talks about questioning relationships.

Listen to this clip. Listen to how A.J. describes the doubt he has in relationships and then we’re going to talk about it right afterward.

A.J. DRENTH: I do think it’s definitely helpful if INTP’s got to learn how to disclose their feelings but it also requires growth on the part of the partner because one of the INTP’s fears is that because we have doubts about a lot of things not just doubts about philosophy it’s doubts about our relationships and if the INTP’s partner cannot effectively handle the expression of both doubts the INTP is going to not share them, you know, because there is a fear of, “If I express those concerns, maybe he or she will leave me or maybe it’s going to cause more problems than it’s worth?”

There has to be that trust built up and I think if somehow the relationship could begin on the proviso that I the INTP am going to question everything and you need to know that going into this relationship, that I may even well at times, question the relationship but that doesn’t mean that the relationship is in jeopardy it’s just saying that we need to work through these doubts together and discuss them. That’s one thing that I’ve learned.

JOEL MARK WITT: So, you can see some of the fear that comes up? At least for A.J. in describing how this doubt that comes into his INTP nature. He has to make sure his partner realizes that when he expresses doubt it doesn’t trigger them to think, “Oh man, he’s no longer in love with me, this is not working out. This relationship is in jeopardy.” I think that’s really illustrative to what INTP’s fear in intimacy in relationship.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, and so before when we talk to Brent, we could see some … a phenomenon that’s very specific to INTJ’s and how that can cause some challenge seeing the world as chaotic. In this case we’re talking about a phenomenon that’s unique to INTP’s which is literally doubting everything even things that are good in your life. That can also create its own challenges.

But I thought A.J.’s point was very good, which is this needs to be communicated to the partner and the partner will have to demonstrate some growth so that when you communicate that there will be doubts that will come up and it’s not a sign that the relationship is in jeopardy but it is a sign that I am doing the INTP thing that when you communicate this to your spouse or your mate and he suggested doing it from the very beginning setting expectations early but let’s say you’re in a relationship already … being able to have the self awareness and the self knowledge to communicate that to them so that when it happens you’re aware of it happening. They’re aware of it happening and you don’t place a narrative or a story on it.

That it doesn’t mean that there’s turbulence or trouble. It just means that you’re evidencing a very natural part of your wiring and so therefor that natural wiring doesn’t get an opportunity to poison the relationship. There’s already an awareness of what’s happening, there’s language around it. If you’re an INTP in a relationship, and this is something that’s been happening to you, feel free to play this clip for your spouse. Feel free to use this as a demonstration of how this happens for people just like you and it’s actually quite normal and that it’s not a sign that there’s anything that’s a problem or there’s anything that’s wrong with your spouse but rather it’s just a natural part of your wiring and it comes with the package.

JOEL MARK WITT: A.J. goes on to describe this ‘on’ ‘off’ switch in relationships, it’s a really interesting description of … It’s like there’s these moments where he feels super, he’s married, so he describes this super connection with his wife, his spouse, his lover. Where it’s almost like this starry eyed puppy dog romance but then when that’s not on it’s turned off. It’s almost like this toggle switch. Either he’s accessing that part of himself or he’s not, it’s a very interesting conversation because you really get in the sense of how the INTP’s moving through the world and the response that your spouse, your lover or the partner that you’re with might have to you.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah and how to mitigate maybe some of that whip lash that they might experience. If you’re able to communicate this to them and they’re able to understand the processes that’s happening because he mentions in the interview, when it’s turned off it’s OFF, and you need that time. If you don’t have time to just completely flip that switch off, then you’re going to be getting a major need going unmet and eventually you’ll blow up. So, it’s really an interesting interview. He also talks about how to survive a relationship after the initial honeymoon period is over. Not for yourself but for your spouse. In the honeymoon period you have a lot more of that flip on. Right? You have a lot more of that puppy dog component and the carbonated … the hormones and all that stuff really helping feed into the relationship and then all of a sudden the honeymoon period is off and your spouse is like, “Where’d you go?”

So he talks about how to survive that element of the relationship and really set those expectations early on how the INTP mind works. He also talks about integrating your feelings-side to connect with others and to not be at your feelings-side’s mercy, to get a control over it and not have it control you. How to navigate out of feeling meaninglessness in the world and a sense of absurdity and essentially that existential crisis, which is actually a theme that comes up over and over and over again in these interviews. How to really get a hold of bringing meaning to your life. He also talks about finding like-minds and how he was able to create a small network of intimates even though he’s not necessarily somebody who is super social but he was able to find a way and it was also one of the ways that he created meaning.

Able to find a way to attract like-minds into his life and have that little set of intimates.

JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah we’d love for you to invest in this program if it makes sense for you. There’s probably more information you’re looking for to make sure you can make a really good decision and in the next session … So, we just talked about with Brent and A.J. we kind of diagnosed some of the problems or some of the challenges, we just picked two here for INTJ and INTP. Obviously there’s a bunch more in these sessions but in the next one we’re going to high light a piece from actually Catherine Lively who talks about, she’s an INTJ, and she talks about this idea of roles. Taking on roles as one of the, let’s call it failed solutions that she brings up and we talk about why it failed for her. Why didn’t it work out the way she wanted it to work out in the next session.

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