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When did you first notice that something about you was a little 'off'?

Perfectly Normal Beast

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I've been thinking about certain types of childhood experiences and trying to work out the extent of the role they play in the formation(?)/reinforcement of character traits which (according to my observations of cats!! and my family) are presumably innate to at least some degree.

I have a rather patchy memory of my childhood but these incidents two have recently asserted themselves:

Aged around 5 at nursery, the teachers are playing the 'birdie song' on a stereo, teaching the lyrics and actions, encouraging everyone to sing and join in a group performance.
I was, if i recall correctly, appalled at the inanity, horrified at the other childrens' but especially the teachers' enthusiasm for such asinine nonsense...and the 'groupness' of it. I can't recall exactly what happened next... i may have repressed the memory due to the terrible trauma(!), i think i just refused to join in and observed in horror from the corner of the room.
What i'm not sure about is whether this incident, and others like it made me aware that i (already) wasn't quite like the others or whether they somehow made me not quite like the others.

Aged 7 or 8 at school - i found a small object i could not identify whilst playing at break and took it to the supervising teacher. I said to her "I found this peculiar object, do you know what it is?", she said "Don't say peculiar, say weird. It's off someone's coat" (it was just a toggle which i'd failed to recognise out of context). This same woman was later my form teacher and would put me to work helping other children who were behind (and needed better help than i was able to give), forbidding me from working on the next level of the topic.
This woman showed me that adults/authority figures were not to be respected arbitrarily (for obvious reasons!) and that teachers were not necesarily interested in helping children to learn as much as they were able, especially if it might cause them some inconvenience.
I think my continual questioning/challenging of authority figures throughout the rest of my childhood and adolescence began with this realisation, or did it just awaken inclinations that i was born with?

I'm not asking for specific responses to these examples, but i would really like to hear about childhood experiences which made you feel different, isolated, inclined to challenge what you were told etc. Has anyone studied this and found/come up with a theory on the extent to which our characters are shaped or brought out by these experiences? Or is this question unanswerable at the current level of understanding?

Tell me about your childhoods fellow introverts/INTPs!
 

DelusiveNinja

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In elementary school, when I was the only one asking questions in all my classes. I eventually became the teachers pet, but now my teachers loathe my name because of my brother's bad reputation. I should of thought about this more.
 

Thurlor

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When I was 3.5 years old my mother took my brother and I to visit our grandparents in the Netherlands. I can distnctly remember an incident where we had all gone for a drive and I was required to guide us back home because everyone else was lost (had forgotten the way). This made me realise that adults aren't 'all powerful'.

Interestingly, I have another memory of that same visit to the Netherlands that involves me getting lost. I had awoken during the night to go to the toilet and it was soooo dark and I didn't know the apartment well. This resulted in me getting thoroughly lost in the lounge room, where I curled into a ball and cried after wetting myself. I was found asleep in the lounge room in the morning. To this day I remember the layout of that apartment perfectly.

The first time my father punished me for something my brother did I realised he was a dick. This led to me 'beating on' on my brother until he owned up. I ended up getting into trouble again for 'taking things into my own hands' which made me think my father was an even bigger dick.

When I was 6 years old I asked the Religious Education teacher what colour Adam and Eve were and who made god. It was requested (of my parents) that I not attend if I couldn't keep my opinions to myself. This led to me internalising most questions I had on most topics.
 

Valentas

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When I asked questions my chemistry teacher could not answer :P
 

Rome96

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I was always a few years ahead in school, even though I was a year younger than everybody else in my grade. When I was 10 years old the teachers used to ask ME questions whenever they failed to come up with an English translation for a Swedish word.. It was weird. Once at age 8 or 9, when I finished everything in my english class, the teacher gave me a copy of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in english and I read it in a day, even though I'm from Sweden. I guess I felt a bit different that day, haha. The thing is I really liked the adulation I got from the teachers and the jealousy from classmates, so I didn't really care that they kept prohibiting me from reading higher material, and I usually just caught up with my reading outside of school time. I don't think I noticed that I was "off" until around age 13, when the social paradigms started up. I was different from everybody else in that I liked reading and educating myself and hated playing sports. I also didn't speak that much.

At around age 14 I started questioning the importance of the educational system and realized how monotonous and life-sucking it was. We just went there, got fed and then went home. I never really learned anything, all my learning was done on my off time, so I didn't really need to go to school. I didn't enjoy the social aspect of it either so there really was no reason for me to go there.. During philosophy lessons, I actually think that I changed my teacher's views on certain issues. So I started disobeying teachers and putting off school work, showing up late etc. I tried convincing my parents to let me start in a correspondence school, but that attempt failed miserably.. Over time I became more and more asocial and introspective and I actually like myself better this way. I'm not sure if I can tie it all back to a few events, I think it was just a long process from the ages 13-17.

I think those experiences help develop thoughts that were there already, such as the pointlessness of the educational system or the social obligations that you have to suffer through each day. Would I have been the same person if I had been born in a different place and experienced different things? Obviously not, but I don't think I would've been that different either. Personality is both gene-dependent and based on experience, right? I'd still have those genes and my intelligence and would probably have gotten stuck in the same kinds of thoughts. So the big things about me wouldn't be too different, I think. Not sure if a question like that can have a definitive answer though. Sorry if this is a bit too long, hehe. It's hard to stop writing once you've started. :P
 

Architect

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Let me see, I don't have a lot of specific memories but I remember continual and general isolation. I always had a few friends, but somehow the other kids were on a different wavelength that I could never break in to. I see this now with my son, but fortunately for him he understands what is going on and is OK with it. He calls the heavy S sporty cliques "The Turd Mob".
 

Valentas

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Ah, I remember when my classmates saw me as a stranger. I did not participate in dumb talks, never liked parties and there was only one girl who understood me. Yet she definitely was a sensor..
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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The first time my father punished me for something my brother did I realised he was a dick. This led to me 'beating on' on my brother until he owned up. I ended up getting into trouble again for 'taking things into my own hands' which made me think my father was an even bigger dick.

When I was 6 years old I asked the Religious Education teacher what colour Adam and Eve were and who made god. It was requested (of my parents) that I not attend if I couldn't keep my opinions to myself. This led to me internalising most questions I had on most topics.


I've been trying to remember the first time i realised the same about my parents. Something equally unjust i imagine - these things are somehow glaringly obvious to children. 'Taking matters into you own hands'?? Tsk, tsk, YOU WILL RESPECT THE HIERACHY!
I love the idea of a 6 year old asking an R.E. teacher (in my experience they tend to be very religious themselves which is worrying at best) what is possibly the hardest of all questions re the lord! Thanks, i'm still sniggering to myself!
I got lots of trouble for giggling once as the family we were visiting assumed the required solemnity for saying grace - yes, terrible manners, i know but i was 6 or 7 and had never witnessed it before - it just seemed so...contrived and strained. I also think the negative reactions led to internalising questions and also to concealing various opinions and facts, in order to avoid the angry/hysterical response which was inevitable from certain adults.
 

SOLROCK

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In elementary school I remember dreading the prospect of recess because I simply could not understand it. However I was adamant about interacting so I chose the most convenient route of chatting up or at least trying to talk with the kids who were being punished. You see at my school the punishment for misbehaving during class was standing on the playground against a wall and watching the other children play. Come to think of it the whole punishment seems a bit sadistic which is hilarious. Anyway I being the silent protagonist I am never really did get in trouble but I also felt very out of place on the playground so I would sit against the wall and mutter to myself and stare at the other kids. The capstone to this story is a shining moment when one of the caretakers spoke to me after nearly a year of just ignoring me "don't you want to go play with the other kids?" to which I replied "No not really." I then proceeded to draw an anaconda in the sand and explain to her that it was one of the largest snakes in the world and that it was known for eating small children and possibly frail adults. Why did I do this? because the day prior I had watched a special on anacondas and I thought they were the coolest thing ever so I decided to share my useless snake information with my now quite horrified caretaker. Beside the dialogue from the interaction all I really recall was the look on her face. It was one of bewilderment, disappointment and almost sadness. This isn't a particularly amazing memory and its not the most interesting and yet her face is burned into my memory.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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I was always a few years ahead in school, even though I was a year younger than everybody else in my grade. When I was 10 years old the teachers used to ask ME questions whenever they failed to come up with an English translation for a Swedish word.. It was weird. Once at age 8 or 9, when I finished everything in my english class, the teacher gave me a copy of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in english and I read it in a day, even though I'm from Sweden. I guess I felt a bit different that day, haha. The thing is I really liked the adulation I got from the teachers and the jealousy from classmates, so I didn't really care that they kept prohibiting me from reading higher material, and I usually just caught up with my reading outside of school time. I don't think I noticed that I was "off" until around age 13, when the social paradigms started up. I was different from everybody else in that I liked reading and educating myself and hated playing sports. I also didn't speak that much.

At around age 14 I started questioning the importance of the educational system and realized how monotonous and life-sucking it was. We just went there, got fed and then went home. I never really learned anything, all my learning was done on my off time, so I didn't really need to go to school. I didn't enjoy the social aspect of it either so there really was no reason for me to go there.. During philosophy lessons, I actually think that I changed my teacher's views on certain issues. So I started disobeying teachers and putting off school work, showing up late etc. I tried convincing my parents to let me start in a correspondence school, but that attempt failed miserably.. Over time I became more and more asocial and introspective and I actually like myself better this way. I'm not sure if I can tie it all back to a few events, I think it was just a long process from the ages 13-17.

I think those experiences help develop thoughts that were there already, such as the pointlessness of the educational system or the social obligations that you have to suffer through each day. Would I have been the same person if I had been born in a different place and experienced different things? Obviously not, but I don't think I would've been that different either. Personality is both gene-dependent and based on experience, right? I'd still have those genes and my intelligence and would probably have gotten stuck in the same kinds of thoughts. So the big things about me wouldn't be too different, I think. Not sure if a question like that can have a definitive answer though. Sorry if this is a bit too long, hehe. It's hard to stop writing once you've started. :P

My early academic life took a similar path - i was top of the class and whichever teacher's pet i wanted to be (not including the one from my anecdote!). Given special assignments etc. Don't think i'm boasting please, i'm not even that smart and quite a dunce in some areas. I also started questioning and then rejecting the validity of the education system, also starting at around age 13, and refusing to participate in the grade chasing, rote learning and the supposed seriousness of it all - so if i don't learn these endless lists of latin verbs my life will be a miserable failure, you say? - pah!
I agree that both genes and experience play a role, i'm just quite fascinated how the experiences affects what's already there. I think i would have had a much better childhood education if i hadn't been continually rebelling against the disciplinarian authority, the restricting syllabuses and suffocating expectations (and eventually getting expelled from high school). I continued my education alone, mainly reading books (from the library, there was no internet lol) and re-entered the system on my own terms when i was ready. I don't wish that things had been different but i'm sure i would have loved to have the internet as a teenager, as much as i can't imagine my life without it now i can barely imagine my life back then with it...the instant access to information about everything is such a motivation to learn about everything!

No, your reply wasn't too long! I enjoyed reading it, thank you. You are rather wise for your years and clearly doing a good job of educating yourself!
 

Solitaire U.

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In my youth, when it occurred to me that other 12 year old boys had nice butts.

Actually, at the time the idea struck me as way more than 'a little off'. In fact, I recall it as being much more than a little devastating...

...but to my ultimate relief, it turned out to be just a passing phase.

That's honestly the most 'a little off' I can ever recall being.
 

Lol

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I must have noticed it as soon as I started Nursery (pre-school). For most of the time, I would play on my own and refuse to interact with others. I didn't think I was shy, if I remember correctly I never wanted to play with other people in the first place rather than being too self-conscious. But I guess the staff thought otherwise and informed my parents. They were surprised because I was the complete opposite at home, I'd never stop talking.

Alas, nothing changed.

I still refused to interact with the other children, to the point when they had to call my older sister from primary school to come and play with me. Whenever we were called to come back in, I'd stay outside until they carried me inside... One time I had chewing gum and one of the staff member told me to spit it out but I refused. General INTP stuff, questioning and rebelling against rules and authorities.
Another time is when the teacher tried to get us to sing a song.
I didn't want to do it, so I wasn't going to.
The teacher got quite mad and sent me to the front of the class room where I distinctly remember walking up and down, hands behind my back like a mad scientist would, thinking how stupid all of this was.
 

DelusiveNinja

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When I didn't care about the things I knew I couldn't change in my state/position. Such as, mass murder of other people in other states and countries, or history. I can possibly help create history, but I can't change it.
 

Abe

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I think I was in elementary school when I began noticing that the other kids just said things for the sake of saying something. Half of the things they said didn't even make sense and I always tried to correct them and "make them smarter". This led to them following me around and asking my advice on everything which was ridiculously annoying.
Also the first day I started school (I began in the second grade) I had absolutely no social skills, so I sat down in front of the first person I saw ( a little boy) and asked to be friends. Everyone thought I was peculiar because all of the girls were to shy to talk to the boys. Personally, I didn't know there was a difference other than they used a different restroom.
Another thing I noticed quite early, was that the majority of the people in my community were very close minded. They hardly questioned anything and I highly enjoyed playing devils advocate just for the sake of making them think twice. It often worked, especially among my peers.
 

SpaceYeti

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One thing that comes to mind as an aspecial case, is when I asked for help with a computer program. It was before the second half of second grade, because I had not yet moved. It was in the late eighties, because I'm old. I asked my teacher for help in how to do a particular thing, though I don't recall what. She tried to show me, but I got offended and pushed her hand away. I asked her a question that could be answered with words, I could do it myself once I knew how to. The teacher reprimanded me, told me not to push her hand away, and I said something about not putting her hand in my way, then.

There was also the time I got distracted in kindergarten, didn't listen to the instructions, so I copied off of the girls across from me... I drew me as a girl with long blond hair wearing a red skirt.

The biggest one, though, was the simple realization that I enjoyed learning. This was back in elementary, and everyone was all anti-learning, because they hated school. I realized I liked the learning, I hated the schooling.

Something that drove my mother crazy is something I see my son do. I'd get home from school, and she'd ask me how my day was. I'd reply with a single word, like "Good." or "Alright". That bothered her, but I was baffled what else she expected me to say.

There's also the time my mom told me to put the clothes from the washer into the drier, which I did... I didn't start the drier, and she was furious. She didn't tell me to, though.

How about the time a girl started making out with me, (a bit older than the earlier examples), and I didn't know what to do about it. She kissed me while I sat there thinking what to do, wondering why she would come onto me so strongly, and then how I would catch on if she tried anything more subtle, and then realized she had been the whole time and I'm just a moron with social cues.

There was the one time a kid I was getting along with who lived down the road from me and rode my bus to school asked for my number, and I replied "Why do you want to know it?" in sincere curiosity.

Also, when my teacher in first grade told us that addition was just like subtraction, except in the opposite order, and I answered all my problems by adding and putting the answer on top.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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In elementary school I remember dreading the prospect of recess because I simply could not understand it. However I was adamant about interacting so I chose the most convenient route of chatting up or at least trying to talk with the kids who were being punished. You see at my school the punishment for misbehaving during class was standing on the playground against a wall and watching the other children play. Come to think of it the whole punishment seems a bit sadistic which is hilarious.

You think standing against a wall is a sadistic punishment? - i was made to do gymnastics in nothing more than knickers and a short little t-shirt!
Thanks though, i'd completely forgotten the 'lose out on playtime by standing facing(!) the wall' thing, they had that at my primary school too but i was still a good girl then and scared to defy the rules by trying to interact with the 'bad kids'!

Beside the dialogue from the interaction all I really recall was the look on her face. It was one of bewilderment, disappointment and almost sadness...and yet her face is burned into my memory.

I remember that look so well...i still get it sometimes, when i actually speak to people! :eek:
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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I must have noticed it as soon as I started Nursery (pre-school). For most of the time, I would play on my own and refuse to interact with others. I didn't think I was shy, if I remember correctly I never wanted to play with other people in the first place rather than being too self-conscious. But I guess the staff thought otherwise and informed my parents. They were surprised because I was the complete opposite at home, I'd never stop talking.

I think i was a bit shy/clueless about introducing myself but also never really saw any kids whose play i wanted to join in. I was much more confident around adults.

Another time is when the teacher tried to get us to sing a song.
I didn't want to do it, so I wasn't going to.
The teacher got quite mad and sent me to the front of the class room where I distinctly remember walking up and down, hands behind my back like a mad scientist would, thinking how stupid all of this was.

:D Agree! - it was all very stupid. Wtf was with all the enforced performing?? Our music teacher would make us line up and sing a song whilst walking up and down the line, listening to each girl separately to see if they were off key. Remembering this, i am astounded by my own mental fortitude evidenced by the fact that i am currently not constrained by a strait-jacket!
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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Also the first day I started school (I began in the second grade) I had absolutely no social skills, so I sat down in front of the first person I saw ( a little boy) and asked to be friends. Everyone thought I was peculiar because all of the girls were to shy to talk to the boys. Personally, I didn't know there was a difference other than they used a different restroom.

This makes me wonder whether you lacked social skills or whather you had not yet learned the social conventions which the other kids had learned in first grade. I was moved around a lot as kid - between 2 countries and several schools and often made innocent 'blunders' like this because i was clueless about what was normal/acceptable. Also, i'm an only child so learnt nothing at home about interaction with other kids aswell as always being the stranger and foreigner. Such, such were the joys!
(i stole that - it's the title of George Orwell's delightful and awesome autobiographical account of his (appalling) school experiences http://orwell.ru/library/essays/joys/english/e_joys )
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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The biggest one, though, was the simple realization that I enjoyed learning. This was back in elementary, and everyone was all anti-learning, because they hated school. I realized I liked the learning, I hated the schooling.

You know it's weird, i had exactly this experience but thinking back on these issues has made me realise that by about age 12 or so the situation was completely overturned - everyone else suddenly cared about learning, good grades etc and now it was me who had become 'anti-learning' - mainly because i despised the system so intensely.


There was also the time I got distracted in kindergarten, didn't listen to the instructions, so I copied off of the girls across from me... I drew me as a girl with long blond hair wearing a red skirt.

You realise this makes you seem adorable?! :eek:

Something that drove my mother crazy is something I see my son do. I'd get home from school, and she'd ask me how my day was. I'd reply with a single word, like "Good." or "Alright". That bothered her, but I was baffled what else she expected me to say.

:D Have you tried "Fine." ? I still do this. Unassailable evasion.


There was the one time a kid I was getting along with who lived down the road from me and rode my bus to school asked for my number, and I replied "Why do you want to know it?" in sincere curiosity.

I seem to recall similar awkward replies to "do you want to be bfs?" :eek:

Oh god, this thread has awakened some long dormant horrors.
Thanks for sharing all those stories, SpaceYeti!
 

Architect

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One thing that comes to mind as an aspecial case, is when I asked for help with a computer program. It was before the second half of second grade, because I had not yet moved. It was in the late eighties, because I'm old. I asked my teacher for help in how to do a particular thing, though I don't recall what. She tried to show me, but I got offended and pushed her hand away. I asked her a question that could be answered with words, I could do it myself once I knew how to. The teacher reprimanded me, told me not to push her hand away, and I said something about not putting her hand in my way, then.

There was also the time I got distracted in kindergarten, didn't listen to the instructions, so I copied off of the girls across from me... I drew me as a girl with long blond hair wearing a red skirt.

The biggest one, though, was the simple realization that I enjoyed learning. This was back in elementary, and everyone was all anti-learning, because they hated school. I realized I liked the learning, I hated the schooling.

Something that drove my mother crazy is something I see my son do. I'd get home from school, and she'd ask me how my day was. I'd reply with a single word, like "Good." or "Alright". That bothered her, but I was baffled what else she expected me to say.

There's also the time my mom told me to put the clothes from the washer into the drier, which I did... I didn't start the drier, and she was furious. She didn't tell me to, though.

How about the time a girl started making out with me, (a bit older than the earlier examples), and I didn't know what to do about it. She kissed me while I sat there thinking what to do, wondering why she would come onto me so strongly, and then how I would catch on if she tried anything more subtle, and then realized she had been the whole time and I'm just a moron with social cues.

There was the one time a kid I was getting along with who lived down the road from me and rode my bus to school asked for my number, and I replied "Why do you want to know it?" in sincere curiosity.

Also, when my teacher in first grade told us that addition was just like subtraction, except in the opposite order, and I answered all my problems by adding and putting the answer on top.

These don't sound unusual, just things a headstrong introvert might do, such as an ISTP. My ISTP brother was just like that.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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Let me see, I don't have a lot of specific memories but I remember continual and general isolation. I always had a few friends, but somehow the other kids were on a different wavelength that I could never break in to. I see this now with my son, but fortunately for him he understands what is going on and is OK with it. He calls the heavy S sporty cliques "The Turd Mob".

Do you think your youthful experiences would have been vastly different if you had had the same understanding that you have (presumably) helped your son to reach? Or an INTP parent, which i'm assuming you didn't have.
I was so contrary at some stages, i'm not sure what my reaction even to INTP parenting would have been.
But i guess things might have been a little easier :eek:
 

Architect

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Do you think your youthful experiences would have been vastly different if you had had the same understanding that you have (presumably) helped your son to reach? Or an INTP parent, which i'm assuming you didn't have.
I was so contrary at some stages, i'm not sure what my reaction even to INTP parenting would have been.
But i guess things might have been a little easier :eek:

Absolutely, he's much better adjusted and relaxed than I was. I came from a big extended family, and I don't think there was a single N in the blessed group - except for me. They loved big experiential family events where you sit around and eat, tell funny stories and what not, while I just felt like an outsider, every day of my growing up both in school and home. Lots of gardening, fishing and the like.

My little INTP started down this path, was getting down as he began to realize that he doesn't fit in with any. We have counselled him on this and now he understands that it's OK to just have a few friends and to be different.

His best friends presently are ISTP, ESFP and a few others I'm not sure about. He had a playdate with the ESFP the other day that was a riot - he had the best time. They just goofed off and did a bunch of funny stuff. I think that his comfort level with himself and others is higher which has allowed him to find a better middle ground. I think his friends view him as the "in house nerd", which is OK.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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Absolutely, he's much better adjusted and relaxed than I was. I came from a big extended family, and I don't think there was a single N in the blessed group - except for me. They loved big experiential family events where you sit around and eat, tell funny stories and what not, while I just felt like an outsider, every day of my growing up both in school and home. Lots of gardening, fishing and the like.

Hmm,yes, my family had those sorts of gatherings too - hoardes of rowdy foreign cousins and lots of joyous reunion hugs and kisses and tears from assorted over-perfumed aunts. I would pretend not to understand the language very well and escape to read quietly in a corner. I think i felt more like an outsider at home than at school.

My little INTP started down this path, was getting down as he began to realize that he doesn't fit in with any. We have counselled him on this and now he understands that it's OK to just have a few friends and to be different.

That's what i expected you to say - that having someone who understands the sense of alienation etc explain it to you as a child (i'm assuming from the playdate that he's still quite young) would greatly hasten your acceptance of it. Perhaps he'll even become quite fond of it, i did eventually.

His best friends presently are ISTP, ESFP and a few others I'm not sure about. He had a playdate with the ESFP the other day that was a riot - he had the best time. They just goofed off and did a bunch of funny stuff. I think that his comfort level with himself and others is higher which has allowed him to find a better middle ground.

I like how you know the types of your son's friends!! I'm imagining you observing the children playing...taking notes on their behaviour...raising an eyebrow here or there...calculating type...:twisteddevil:
 

Brontosaurie

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When I was 6 years old I asked the Religious Education teacher what colour Adam and Eve were and who made god. It was requested (of my parents) that I not attend if I couldn't keep my opinions to myself. This led to me internalising most questions I had on most topics.

they should all be killed

now i shall try and fail to recall some formative childhood experiences. i remember asking questions which in retrospect seem to have made people uncomfortable, although at the time this wasn't obvious at all; the thought that adults possibly didn't know an answer never occurred. i assumed they had good reasons for not replying, or evading by changing subject. i was somehow content, albeit frustrated, with my role as a child.

i remember my mother telling me aged 6 "you are already more intelligent than many adults", which i firmly refused to believe.

then around age 14 things turned and i started loathing the adult world because i couldn't maintain trust in something so conclusively defective. i'm still on it, the only difference being that i now treat the people in it as victims deserving my sympathy and assistance rather than perpetrators. as hinted above, though, some of them could use a little death.

also i remember trying to explain determinism and the "butterfly effect" to my parents by providing the example that if hitler hadn't lived, perhaps the chain of events would have been altered so that i wasn't born. silly modal realism - bypassing the necessitarian implications of determinism - but it baffled them. i can imagine this being a very common INTP/INTJ/INFJ childhood experience.

in fact i had some strong Ni experiences as a child but i'm more of an INTP than an INFJ now. perhaps my indifferent or awkward demeanor has evoked such conditioning. perhaps low self-esteem has extraverted my intuition by transforming it from serious conviction into mere temporary flights of fancy.
 

The Gopher

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I don't think I ever noticed. At least not as a child. Not to say plenty of splendid and wonderful things didn't happen but I was oblivious to being different being a problem.
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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now i shall try and fail to recall some formative childhood experiences. i remember asking questions which in retrospect seem to have made people uncomfortable, although at the time this wasn't obvious at all; the thought that adults possibly didn't know an answer never occurred. i assumed they had good reasons for not replying, or evading by changing subject. i was somehow content, albeit frustrated, with my role as a child.

It was before you realised that real 'adults' didn't actually exist?! I also would assume that there was a legitimate reason for the lack of answers to awkward/difficult questions (mummy, why does god kill babies?) - some mysterious adult knowledge which could not be revealed to me yet - in my naive innocence. Later realised they were all just as clueless as me but they were bigger and carried briefcases.

i remember my mother telling me aged 6 "you are already more intelligent than many adults", which i firmly refused to believe.

Your mother sounds cool.


then around age 14 things turned and i started loathing the adult world because i couldn't maintain trust in something so conclusively defective. i'm still on it, the only difference being that i now treat the people in it as victims deserving my sympathy and assistance rather than perpetrators. as hinted above, though, some of them could use a little death.

If the first fails, you have a good back-up plan.


also i remember trying to explain determinism and the "butterfly effect" to my parents by providing the example that if hitler hadn't lived, perhaps the chain of events would have been altered so that i wasn't born. silly modal realism - bypassing the necessitarian implications of determinism - but it baffled them. i can imagine this being a very common INTP/INTJ/INFJ childhood experience.

I enjoy the grandiosity of your childhood thought experiments. Wow, Hitler. Mine were much more mundane i'm sure, but my parents were nontheless also baffled.
 

Architect

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I like how you know the types of your son's friends!! I'm imagining you observing the children playing...taking notes on their behaviour...raising an eyebrow here or there...calculating type...:twisteddevil:

Pretty much. Do it with everybody actually, my natural mode is to observe and collect data on everything. Sometimes it comes in use, sometimes not. For most people I unconsciously just lump them in a bucket ... "SJ male ... "STJ female ... Introvert indeterminant " and only analyze to a likely type for people who are important or are interesting.

Even online, there is a prominent individual on this board who thinks he is an INTP but is not :phear:
 

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Hmm...prominent? I obviously haven't been around as long as you have enough to observe everyone...
but i'll take some wild guesses, excuse me if i mention some one not prominent , but in terms of mistyped: Most likely, Scorpiomover? Meh, but he's not famous as far as I can tell...perhaps you are referring to one of the mods then...I suppose they're all "prominent." Hmm, absurdity? He was mumbling about something about him possibly being an Ni dom. If it's not the two I mentioned then...@BAP? Although I haven't read nearly as much on him as the other two...mmm...interesting.

So, I don't actually know who is famous...besides @Architect that is...

List:

SpaceYeti (prominent? but curious)
Absurdity (prominent, but still haven't read enough)
BAP (haven't read enough)
Scorpiomover (prominent?)

who thinks he is an INTP but is not :phear:


Two clues.
current pseudo-INTP
and of the male sex.

INVESTIGATE!
 

Brontosaurie

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i would guess Chad.

my poor little Fe thinks it's me ;) o the horror of not being INTP.

DIALECTIC and BAP always strike me as utterly incomprehensible. that's usually not an INTP trait. it could be an INFJ trait.

SpaceYeti is a good guess, too.
 

TimeAsylums

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i would guess Chad.

my poor little Fe thinks it's me ;) o the horror of not being INTP.

Ah :/ I didn't even guess him because I thought he was less prominent than the others, but yes imo he's not an INTP.

also, Idt your prominent enough for @Architect to call you prominent Bronto, or I woulda put you on the list too as a lot of the times you don't strike me as INTP, but if I put you on there, I'd put Duxwing on there too.
 

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why keep it a secret?

I keep making comments to the individual to this effect but so far they're either being ignored or misunderstood. I thought about a "call out" thread where we could debate the issue, but thought it inappropriate to call somebody out like that. It's their business to figure out who they are, who am I to judge?

At any rate a curious bystander could peruse my recent posts for clues.
 

Brontosaurie

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Ah :/ I didn't even guess him because I thought he was less prominent than the others, but yes imo he's not an INTP.

also, Idt your prominent enough for @Architect to call you prominent Bronto, or I woulda put you on the list too as a lot of the times you don't strike me as INTP, but if I put you on there, I'd put Duxwing on there too.

i take "prominent" as a more contemporary notion. not like "famous" which is more about long term prestige.

prominence is neutral to me, at least in this context. might be wrong.
 

Cherry Cola

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I keep making comments to the individual to this effect but so far they're either being ignored or misunderstood. I thought about a "call out" thread where we could debate the issue, but thought it inappropriate to call somebody out like that. It's their business to figure out who they are, who am I to judge?

At any rate a curious bystander could peruse my recent posts for clues.

fu I looked at your posts and now I'm more confused about who it is, basically all it did was expand the possible options : (

Gonna answer the OP from an INFJ's perspective:

I started noticing I was a little bit of when I was 6, my poor motor skills compared to other kids were becoming apparent by then. I was told to run properly as I ran in a strange sort of galloping way that didn't allow me to reach the same speed as normal kids.

Turns out I've got snapping hip syndrome as well generally weird hips. I could never sit with my legs straight out as a kid, had to cross them instead, trying to reach for my toes was just hopeless. Despite the stiffness which prevented me from sitting the way most kids did I could still pull my leg over my head. I also broke one of my legs when I was 3 and that leg had clearly visually noticeably less muscle tissue and was stiff as hell, probably why I developed the weird galloping running style.

At this time I also started noticing how much and how obviously a lot of other kids lied about things, such as having a bunch of cool toys, not having done some bad thing which they had done, retelling events inaccurately etc. This behaviour baffled me. Didn't they get that I got that they were lying? That it was super obvious a lot of the time?

Past 6 I quickly grew quite introverted, switched schools got new friends but all in all soon ended up being a more markant outsider than before. At 6 I was still part of the main crowd, I was much more careful, wussier and gentler than them, but I provided my part by also being enthusiastic and spontaneously imaginative, in a way that they couldn't, betraying a rich inner world; I was comfortable enough with the people back then that I dared more or less be myself, sharing my honest thoughts on matters, which became more of a problem later on.
 

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Like so many problems it's so painfully obvious when you see the solution.
 

TimeAsylums

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Seriously though, do the thread! Put it in the arena just in case it gets too hot or something!! it'd be great!!
 

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It has to be SpaceYeti.
Current INTP yes
sort of doubtful yes
prominent? uhh...maybe? 4K + posts
but this post is the most suggestive out of the other two i mentioned.

Bingo. The clue is in this thread up above where I compare him to an ISTP.

I'm highly doubtful our dear Yeti is an INTP. He's just like my ISTP brother and I'm rather convinced of it.
 

SpaceYeti

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These don't sound unusual, just things a headstrong introvert might do, such as an ISTP. My ISTP brother was just like that.
Even the making out thing? I mean, okay. I was told those were strange at the time. Maybe not.

Also, I'm okay with not being an INTP if, in fact, I'm not. I am what I am. I'm okay with that. However, this sticks out;

"They typically have strong powers of reasoning, although they're not interested in theories or concepts unless they can see a practical application."

It took me many years to understand that theories and concepts had no value beyond the subjective value I placed on them if they had no actual application. This was something I struggled with, and had a large hand in my becoming so broke that I had to do something drastic to fix my life (join the Army).

Also, this doesn't apply;

"They are attracted to motorcycles, airplanes, sky diving, surfing, etc. They thrive on action, and are usually fearless."

I have zero attraction to any of that. The closest I come is loving my car, which is far more a symbol of freedom to me than something fun or exciting to drive. It is fun to drive, but I don't drive it just to be driving. I require a destination, a reason to be driving. I accept action as a necessity, I do not enjoy it (except virtually, perhaps, such as with RPGs and video games, and what-not).

There are other things not quite Yeti in there, but those could easily just be my unique non-ISTP-things and the acronym still applies. I don't think I am ISTP, but if I am, then I am. It's whatever.
 

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Even the making out thing? I mean, okay. I was told those were strange at the time. Maybe not.

Ever see Annie Hall? The thinker women who starts comparing her lover to a Hedgehog in her mind while he's "on top of her"? Pretty amusing ... and I know some feelers who do the same thing.
 

DelusiveNinja

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Ever been to a school party just to see what happens and felt complete out of place, kinda just sitting there alone watching everyone lose their minds in the crowd as if it was the club.
 

Cherry Cola

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Ever see Annie Hall? The thinker women who starts comparing her lover to a Hedgehog in her mind while he's "on top of her"? Pretty amusing ... and I know some feelers who do the same thing.

Brontosaur, why didn't you mention this? Now I shall actually watch the film.
 

SpaceYeti

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Ever see Annie Hall? The thinker women who starts comparing her lover to a Hedgehog in her mind while he's "on top of her"? Pretty amusing ... and I know some feelers who do the same thing.

Okay. Different people aren't exclusive to certain activities. Exactly what is it I do which suggests I'm an S instead of an N? I'm curious, and would sincerely like to know if I am.
 
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