Podcast – Episode 0289 – Personality Type Envy (The Grass Is Always Greener)

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about dealing with personality type envy and the feeling that other types have it easier than you.

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about dealing with personality type envy and the feeling that other types have it easier than you. #MBTI

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Showing 14 comments
  • Anonymous ENFJ
    Reply

    I totally catch myself saying to myself, “Oh man, if I were an ESFP, I would have so much of this shit that I’m struggling with on lock.” This was a great podcast. Thank you for making it!

  • Ty
    Reply

    I never get runner’s high either! And in my head the entire time I was running it was just a monologue of “I hate this. This doesn’t feel good. Are we done yet? Can we stop early? This is boring. We should go to the library. It’s going to close soon so you have to turn around right now if you want to go.”

    I finally had to accept that I will never be the person that’s like “I just love running so much. It’s like I don’t even think, I just AM. All the stress just melts away.”

    Uhhh, no. Running was a constant inner emotional drama and test of my will power.

    Until I discovered I could make my N work for me by listening to really interesting content while I run. Now once I get into a rhythm I get so engrossed that I kind of just forget I’m running. I wish I could actually love it, but so far the best I can do is distract myself entirely from the fact that it’s happening.

  • V
    Reply

    Would love to hear more specifics about Antonia’s journey in developing social acumen/charisma. I’m an INFP. I understand motivations, which leads to understanding people’s feelings in a given moment, but of course that doesn’t equate with being social. I am shy and lack charisma. It’s hard for me to make friends. It’s especially hard when I already have trouble finding others like me.

    Anyways, great podcast as always.

  • Dana
    Reply

    Well, this is timely! I am having huge Type envy right now – simultaneous with Type patriotism, in the best Fi-dom tradition. (Not that other types don’t do this too, of course. I’m just generalizing my current personal Fi difficulties in decision-making and opinion-holding. Basically, right now it’s all about me! So this comment may read more as a journal entry, because I’m in the midst of… I don’t even know how to articulate it. I guess I’ll just dive in and hope I make sense and don’t sound completely self-obsessed.) #INFP

    1. I have huge Te envy right now. I just want to be able to get stuff done without overthinking EVERYTHING constantly! And I want some of that Te ability to make money – the starving artist deal has gotten real old, and I’m tired of constantly thinking about money. (whine, whine, whine, as I sit here at my laptop with a full stomach in a comfortable home where I can go get a drink of clean water at will… #firstworldproblems)

    2. I have Si envy: I’m tired of forgetting things, losing things, and frequently missing all sorts of details, not to mention double (or triple) booking myself because I don’t bother looking at my calendar, or writing things on it.

    3. I’m tired of Fi obsessing over every last thing before it can make a decision, and then feeling guilty about whatever decision it makes because no decision has 100% positive effects – do I throw that plastic bread bag in the trash or the recycling? Do they *really* recycle it, or does it actually just get sent to China and burned or put in a landfill there? I don’t know, and it takes so long to figure out the truth, and then things change again… and really I should be growing, harvesting, and grinding my own wheat organically so I can make my own bread and not use plastic bread bags at all – but then there’s all the gluten, and isn’t that bad for me and I should probably just stop eating altogether because every action I take is going to negatively impact me and/or the planet in some way and oh, damn it I’ll just go to the stinkin’ McDonald’s drive thru and get some fake food filled with sugar because we’re all going to hell in a handbasket anyway so who cares! #Fithedarkside

    4. I don’t really have Extravert envy, but I sure would love to have access to more than my one energy-fill-up station at home! It makes it really hard to house-sit, which is what I’ve been doing most of this summer to earn some extra money. I think my 10yo Si also makes it hard not to be in my own home; my Ne copilot is so exhausting! I’m not sure I can articulate this accurately. I specifically said yes to a ton of housesitting this summer because I felt stifled and bored with my home (a small condo I’ve lived in for 20 years) and routine. I was hoping to have a new appreciation for my space after a big chunk of time away. Maybe I will when I get back to “normal” in September, but right now Ne distractedness and less-developed Si routinization are really dukin’ it out – over the last couple weeks I’ve lost several items (anyone seen my debit card lying around??) and keep forgetting to do things, not to mention wasting a ton of time constantly wandering around this (comparatively) giant house trying to figure out where I set things down.

    I guess that’s all my whining for now. On a more positive note, I do appreciate my deeply-held Fi value for individuals; it makes me respect people, look for the best in them, treat them kindly, and (mostly) assume good intent, all of which tends to come across in a positive light and generally makes people like me and enjoy my presence, which I also value. And my Ne, while making me easily bored with routines and repetition (practically every job I’ve ever had ), also gives me a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about new ideas and learning new things, which is a lot of fun. I likely wouldn’t need the great flexibility of my current lifestyle if I didn’t have that Fi+Ne combo, but at the same time, I’m sure I wouldn’t have the ability to maintain (survive) such non-traditional choices without it. All in all, I really wouldn’t change my personality type for anything – but I sure would like an ESTJ to come over and make the stuff I get done in my head appear in the real world a lot more often!

  • Jess
    Reply

    That’s REALLY interesting regarding solitary confinement. I’m an INTP and I’ve thought of this too…but in reverse: I’m confident I’d be good for quite some time in solitary (in fact, I’d probably come out having written a novel in my head or solved some of the world’s tough problems as I tend to shy away from self discipline unless it’s forced upon me lol) but I think about how demoralizing and defeating it would be to be in prison and to NEVER have that time alone to re-energize as I imagine there would be constant interaction/noise/lights/stimulation/etc. Fascinating.
    I’ve ALWAYS envied sensors (they’re just CAPABLE and PRESENT) a little bit but I’ve rarely envied feelers–although it IS hard to be a woman with high Ti at times (and I imagine high Te as well, for sure).
    Extroversion: I do at times def wish I could be less socially awkward/more normal during social interactions but not enough to want to change types.
    Judging: I can sometimes actually pass for a judging type when I really need to and I love my systems so this one is less applicable (although I am ALWAYS late and 99% of the time, I leave the planning to my INTJ).
    I sometimes imagine being a super competent INTJ or ISTP (I like to study ISTPs bc we both have Ti at the top but theirs is matched with SE which is sooo alien to me haha. And that high Ni-Te combo is so mysterious and exotic to my mind). I would never give up being an INTP though; it’s just really a lot of fun getting super exited over books and Science and having a canine for a best friend haha. This was very interesting, thanks.

  • ISFJ
    Reply

    Hi, thank you for putting this blog. This is very relatable and I am gonna share it with my best friend she is also an ISFJ

  • S.U.
    Reply

    To Sensors: Ni-land is a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live here. Its true if you are the best seed, planted in the right pot and in the right soil at a university undisturbed and safe you may grow to be happy there because they will never take away your water supply but in the real jungle if you dont find your place you can float like a feather in the sky forever. You may get a great perspective below you but you never really get to land. Or in other words if you are an INTJ with dominant Ni and smart enough to get to be a professor at a university where you cant get fired and are protected from the real world then you might be happy because Ni likes safe calm low pressure stable environments. Many INTJs though may not be that smart so they can struggle to fit in to society so they may feel like outsiders all the time observing but not participating. Be happy being a Sensor.

    • Travis
      Reply

      As an INTJ, I don’t completely agree with this. INTJs are highly adaptable. Drop me in any environment, and I will quickly assess the situation, determine the resources needed for success, plan/strategize to obtain those resources, and execute. This is all assuming that I actually desire to succeed in the environment. I am an auditor at a top tier accounting firm, which is what I believe is the “real jungle” (impossible deadlines, extremely political culture, up-or-out hierarchical structure, 12-16 hour days juggling between managing my staff, meetings, discussing accounting issues, entertaining clients). Yes, my sensor peers seem to handle our work culture with more ease, but I like to think I am thriving here too; especially when we are faced with a complex issue and my sensor peers want to put a band-aid on it. Guess who slides in with the calculated plan that not only solves the problem, but ensures that similar issues don’t materialize in the future? That would be me, swinging through the “real jungle” like Tarzan.

      • S.U.
        Reply

        You are probably lucky your interest, accounting, is very common. Te seems do well with money and society is all about money and jobs in accounting are everywhere so you can maintain focus. My background is more in the arts and maybe I am more abstract thinker than most so getting down to existing and being happy in concrete reality is proving difficult.

    • Amaya
      Reply

      I can see both sides here, between S.U. and Travis, my INTJ comrades. I’ve mostly been in the real world because my absolute distaste for arbitrary authority figures with no real competence makes me very unsuited for an environment in a University or some other highly political/heirarchical structure. This was especially a big problem when I was younger (think 18-25).

      In the “jungle”, I think my biggest problem is that if I am not constantly stimulated in a “normal” jungle job, I jump ship. I just get bored really easy–I need a intellectual/ambitious mountain to climb and conquer.

      I also think it’s harder for female INTJs because we are expected to be much more socially adapted than men. If a man has a super analytical mind, he can get away with more social faux pas, from my experience. If a woman has a super analytical mind, and she’s not very socially savvy, she’s called a know-it-all-expletive-that-starts-with-a-C. I had to learn the hard way how to get in with my supervisors and basically create an environment where I’m kind of cacooned and undisturbed to do my work.

      Ultimately though, I just had to work for myself. It’s both wonderful and horrible. Wonderful because I set up the structure, and people pay me to solve problems in the same manner. Horrible because I’m also responsible for very jungley things, like dealing with billing every month (uuugh money is a very uncomfortable and social trip-wirey topic).

      It’s probably the best balance–no arbitrary authority figures that will drive me up a wall with their inane nonsense, no incompetent peers getting in the way of efficiency, no stupid repetitive tasks that can easily be automated so I can spend my time doing things that actually matter… But I still have to exercise social skills, occasionally hire someone to help me out, and balancing “real world” Sensor responsibilities like bringing in new clients, showing my work, and billing my clients, because at the end of the day the buck stops with me.

  • Seely
    Reply

    As an INFJ, I very much relate to approaching life from a meta perspective and having difficulty just getting present and enjoying the moment. And in fact, not just enjoying the moment, but fearlessly flinging yourself into it!

    I feel like so much more of a perceiver when around my fairly Te-heavy family. But I certainly feel that lack of extraversion around Ne/Se types. I long for the cohesion my Fe (Harmony) wants, because it can seem like people are just drifting around on different pages, and even though I have the vision, I still lack the step-by-step awareness & discipline I feel Si and Te can bring. (Not to mention charisma, as Antonia said. Which will perhaps come with the growth of my co-pilot, but can feel so fake, yet I get misunderstood and misjudged even when I speak gently and honestly).

    Perhaps some of this will improve as I seek out like types. I love intuitive conversation, as you have mentioned before, and it has been such a pleasure to meet others who are similarly peaceful, easygoing & not wanting to rush through life. To be acknowledged and appreciated for what you bring to the table is a wonderful experience. To just be seen- As Personality Hacker does so well for all of us.

    That said, I do have some moments where I fling myself out of my introversion into Fe and Se, but really wish I wouldn’t then get shushed! It feels like you can’t win in society sometimes, and for us introverts we do need to manage our energy. It can be very difficult to just pull extraverted behaviour out of a hat or on demand, but when it comes naturally we do want to revel in it.

    I feel like I’m at a point in life where I really do need to assess where I’m and what I’m doing. Because I’ve felt the pressure to be different from who I am, and although I’ve grown a lot in some of my weaker areas, I’m not sure the gifts I have are recognized. And it would be a shame to blend forever.

  • Mary
    Reply

    – [ ] The podcast was excellent as always and pointed out a lot of things that I had not realized were differences because of the dichotomies and would love to hear more about the functions as well. I am an intj and I grew up in a very N, particularly NT, environment. My dad is an ENTJ, my brother is an INTP, my mom is an ENFP, and I do have a little sister who is an ESFJ. I was, and still am, very close with my family, probably because it was easier to relate to other N’s as many others have attested to in describing seeking relationships outside of their families. I am currently in a relationship with an ISTJ, and have been for 1.5 years, and I am slowly coming to realize that I think my N heavy growing up environment has instilled value and conceptual systems anchored on intuitive thinking in a way the prevents me from understanding and leveraging S qualities. This is particularly true with the Si of my significant other as having Se as my three year old presents fairly clearly the advantages of that. For example, the podcast wonderfully explained the difference between having a meta perspective and being present in the moment, which I had not really realized I was doing. However, from that I conceptually see on a very high level, but don’t all the way really understand, particularly in application, how a meta perspective isn’t always more effective. I know there’s reasons why, but I’m having difficulty finding them and I think it’s at least partially because my Te definitions of effectiveness are basically only centered on N based ideas. This creates problems in my personal life because although I very much enjoy and benefit from my relationship with an istj in the present, when I run future simulations or problem solve, the frameworks I come up with don’t have any place for my istj or his skills and I sometimes wish, in a Pygmalion project way, that he could just develop these skills that fit into this optimized vision that I have. However, I know that he is very intelligent and talented and skilled, and I am beginning to realize that I need to do a massive reframe of my own conceptions regarding sensing types in general, and particularly Si, in order to really understand and be able to leverage the sensors in my life. This is particularly true on an individual level because I mostly understand the benefits of Si on a societal level. With that, how can/will Si help me on a day to day basis? Additionally, how can I discern the differences between Si and Te? because sometimes I feel like the strengths of istj’s that are described can often be accounted for within my own Te. How can I create a life that integrates N and S strengths? How can I reframe my perspectives to understand the benefits of Si?

  • Erik Bland
    Reply

    Thanks to the team at Personality Hacker for putting together this podcast.

    I am a highly-introverted INTJ, and I certainly agree with Joel and Antonia’s comment that (the United States) seems to value extroversion much more than introversion. This can be frustrating, as certain key societal values aren’t intrinsically available to introverts. For example, the idea that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” to get things accomplished. Joel and Antonia mentioned that leadership roles, for example, tend to favor extroverts more than introverts. I think the problem is much deeper, in that we unconsciously choose to place such a high value (status, success, and resource gain) on leadership roles, which favor extroverts, over roles that may favor introverts.

    There are also times when introversion isn’t really understood by others, for example when I go out of my way to avoid interacting with people, such as ordering food on a website rather than by phone. Or when I need to rehearse, in my mind, what I will say when I must interact with a stranger at the bank or DMV, for example. These types of behaviors are often met with confusion, or even occasionally hostility.

    That said, I don’t really wish to be more extroverted. I certainly accept that my own personality type has weaknesses as well as strengths, but I like the strengths and I don’t mind (most of) the weaknesses. The only exception might be extroverted sensing, which is my inferior function. Even though I dedicate a lot of effort to physical fitness, and am reasonably competent at physical activities, there are certainly others who exceed my performance at feats of strength, dexterity, or hand-eye coordination, even if they don’t dedicate as much time to practice as I do.

    I’ve commented mainly on weaknesses inherent in the INTJ personality type, but it also has plenty of strengths and I wouldn’t trade this type for any other. However, for the sake of brevity (and because it’s somewhat off-topic), I will save that discussion for another time.

  • Danielle
    Reply

    As far as extroverts having loud energy, I find that I’ve learned to tone it down in some ways. It’s almost like I had to as a survival mechanism. I am a loud person in general, and as I got older I found loudness of voice and energy really put people off, and I felt increasingly isolated and alone as a result. So, I find I have adopted a mix of quieting my energy down and making it as inoffensive as possible. I think this is also part of me being a self-preservation 6. SP 6’s are warm and friendly and seek to build alliances to build up a web of protection. So, I have adjusted my outward persona to be very warm, sweet, and friendly. A good amount of it is authentic, I am compassionate and care about everyone I encounter. As I get more comfortable with my surroudings, I’ll start voicing opinions that might be controversial, offering my honest and uncensored opinion, asking questions, and playing devil’s advocate at times.

    I do find myself rather lucky that I don’t have a very strong preference for extroversion. I can be alone for long periods of time in my own head. As an only child, I learned fairly quickly to entertain myself and exist in a more solitary framework. I enteracted with other people my age, but early in life, most people surrounding me were older. I became very good at conversing with adults, but the trade off was that I was horrifically awkward around my peers. So, I did not have many friends and had trouble keeping friends at times. This only increased my introverted extrovert tendencies. At first, I actually thought I had to be an introvert.

    I probably have the most envy for the thinking types, typically NTs. I find that many of them are far more articulate and to the point than I am.

    I have gotten considerably better at compartamentalizing in the moment, but I am still in awe with how some thinkers can remain calm in the moment and restrain their emotions from flooring the gas pedel and taking over. Of course, the trade off is that sometimes thinkers can be misconstrued as cold or emotionless. The intersting thing is that, even as a feeler, I think I can come across this way at times too. And I think part of that stems from the work I’ve done to compartamentalize my emotions and hold them back momentarily so I can address whatever situation is at hand. Obviously, there is a spectrum and I think I more perceive my behavior as cold than it is actually seen that way by others. I often shy away from intimacy, I am as about as romantic as a fork, and I struggle with responding to geniune displays of emotion towards me. I’m also fairly tough in that very few things offend me or get under my skin. Now, the things that do provoke me tend to unleash an extreme reaction. But there area lot of things that I just feel “meh, whatever” about. But at times, I have wondered if it’s okay for me to even show up that way. It all feels authentic. But I feel like people expect more of a response from me. When my maternal grandmother passed a few months ago, I did not cry at all. I was completely stoic at the funeral. Sure I was sad, but I had had time to prepare for it. In hindsight, I had also been grieving her loss for years before she even became terminally ill–albeit that’s another story. I doubted that I was acting properly actually, and I asked my dad if he thought my behavior was too cold. He said I was fine. There were several individuals there that I was not going to be warm and fuzzy with in any capacity, and I was on guard because I was anticipating someone starting a fight. It’s sad to say I had to be constantly on defense because of a few individuals, but that’s just the toxic situation that exists there. My dad told me I was fine. We actually both thought one individual was overdoing the emotions, almost to draw attention to themselves. And there was some geniune morning and distress. So maybe some stoicism was needed from the close relatives to balance everything out. Then again, my mom is also a feeler and she was rather stoic. But that’s more because she was completely exhausted and was more in her dominant Fe mode of talking to everyone and making sure everything was managed and taken care of. Anyway, I wonder if thinkers feel they have more leverage to show up as more stoic and less emotional. It’s my impression that they do.

    I’ve also seen sensors ignore the patterns and it looks horribly painful. There was one time I all but told a friend about the pattern she was disregarding in her life. Now, I think she was also completely disregarding her auxilary Si, which should have been able to learn from repeated past experiences. Over and over again, she kept dating guys who reminded her of an emotionally abusive ex. And she did not seem to get why she kept getting hurt over and over again. She also adopted some really dangerous thought patterns such as it’s okay if your significant other dictates who you are friends with and the god-awful “boys will be boys” defense some people try to pull to defend guys who either physically violate significant others or attempt to. That one is extremely screwed up because the majority of men are perfectly capable of being respectful in that regard. Not every person my friend dated around that time was bad, but there were enough of them that she got hurt numerous times. Realizing “oh, he reminds me of my ex” should have been an alarm that pursuing a relationship might end in more suffering, but she was taking it as a greenlight. Thankfully, she has since matured and grown up. At the time, I thought she was just a bad judge of character. In hindsight, I think she’s actually a fairly good judge of character who struggles with responding appropriately or just flat out ignores it.

    Also, in some ways I feel grateful that I am a perceiver because I can imagine the society shift away from metanarratives is terrifying. Or at least the uncertaintly feels very destabilizing for some people. Albeit, it’s destabilizing for others; however, I think the J types are more prone to recognizing this and having it impact them on a visceral level. I notice the chaos, but I trust myself to be able to improvise my way through life guided by my own personal values. And I also feel that we have an opportunity as a society and a world to find new systems and new narratives that might work better, and I think the world is also in need of that.

    All in all, being an ENFP is really great. I’m not sure I would chose to be another type. I mean it would be interesting to be an INTJ for the day, but I’m not sure how I would still function as me. I could probably be an INFP without too many major changes, but I feel like if I were another type I wouldn’t be the same person. And I’d like to keep the strengths I have. I am always trying to work on the feelings of envy I have. It used to be really strong. When the concept of “seven deadly sins” comes up, I tend to think “yup, that’s me” when I hear envy. Envy is definitely one of my pitfalls. But I found that my envy has always been less directed at personality type than it is to opportunities and connections and abilities and resources. But that’s just my particular brand of envy. My big thing has always been being envious of people who have large family networks they have positive relationships with, and more specifically people who have grandparents actively invested in their lives. My maternal grandmother did not seem to desire a relationship with me at all from the time I was in my early teens. This hurt understandbly, but it also contributed to envy.

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