It Is The Principle Of The Thing!

I did the Myers-Briggs Test a few weeks ago. Just for fun.

I am an INTJ (the first time I did it) and an INTP (the second time I did it).

I don’t even know what those are, to be honest.

But what the result tells me is :my thinking is dominant than my feelings. I can make myself un-feel things that my thinking tells me as irrational and stupid. It is a matter of principle with me that when my feelings do not fulfil my thinking checklist, I will ignore my feelings and go with my thinking. In other words, I can mould and shape and bend… my feelings to follow my thinking. Hard evidence. Rational arguments. Facts.

I believe, in the long run, it will hurt less.


I think I am pretty easy to understand.

I always say what I mean, and I mean what I say.

I don’t play political games with people.

I am not passive-agressive. I don’t say one thing (just to pacify that person) and then do exactly the opposite. I will state my objection clearly, from the very beginning. When I was asked to do a task that I am just not very keen on (departmental audit came to mind) I wouldn’t hesitantly said “Tak apa. Saya boleh buat” like I was so happy to do it. I just went right out and said I was not happy; but if I had to do it then I would do it…but for the record, I was NOT happy and it is beneath me to pretend otherwise! Pretending is not something I do convincingly. I like plain speaking. In my opinion, that is more honourable than making empty promises I don’t mean to keep.

That’s integrity.

With me, you know where you stand. From the very beginning, I won’t keep you expecting things from me I am not willing to give. (You see, that’s why I can never be a playgirl. hahah. I don’t give pretty promises convincingly enough and men would know I am lying because I will look so uncomfortable giving those promises.)

When I am aggressive, there is nothing passive about it.  I am aggressive and people won’t have to wonder whether “dia ni marah aku ke tak?”

Nope. If I am angry, you will know it. I will give you so many signs that you must be severely autistic with impaired theory of mind not to know it. Furthermore if you ask me whether or not I was angry with you, I won’t deny “Tak adalah…saya tak marah pun.” (lepas tu muka macam merajuk tak habis lagi. Nope!)  Even if I would not verbally admit my anger, I would instead say “why do you think I was angry with you?”.

I don’t like to manipulate people (because only weak people have to manipulate others because they are not confident in the righteousness of their cause) and therefore I shred manipulative people to pieces. People who manipulate others operate on the basis that the people they are manipulating will be foolish enough to fall for their manipulation. It is an insult to be at the receiving end of such an attempt because they actually think you are that stupid. When anyone even attempt to manipulate me (even in nice, soft voice, praising me this and that), it makes me become colder than the north pole. The more my patients try to get UNWARRANTED MCs from me by weaving all sorts of sob stories, the more I am going to be firm about not giving it.

When I want to get what I want, I use honest reason and logic. Because I respect myself. And I respect you. Because if I don’t respect you, why would I try to reason with you? I would just tell myself “Oh, he’s dumb. I am wasting my time.” The fact that I am even bothering to get you to do what I want by arguing with you, should tell you that I respect your intelligence. That I believe in appealing to your reasoning.

That I actually believe you have some reasoning, to begin with.

Those who are close to me used to tell me “Hang kena diplomasi sikit, Afiza. Puji-puji dulu….baru minta apa hang nak. Use your charm. Senyum la.”

Pfft! I hate that advice. I really do. For example,should I smile if I am requesting for blood investigation being done for my patient, that the colleague from another department forgot to do and refused to do after I requested it? You didn’t do something you should do, and when I requested for it to be done, you refused?? I could NOT compute how else am I supposed to STAY nice? Should I perhaps say “sorry, but I have to trouble you for some blood investigation being done for this patient” when a) I am NOT sorry at all; I am annoyed   b)it is your job, anyway and you are the one who should be sorry that you didn’t do your job properly in the first place before referring to me.

I would smile…when I am genuinely amused. If I don’t smile, chances are good that nothing is amusing.

And why should I use my charm to get people to do what’s right, anyway? Shouldn’t they be flattered that I don’t consider them foolish enough to fall for something as superficial as charm, but rather I value their intelligence to consider my request on the basis of its merits?

Listen: The more I respect you, the more I argue with you. Because I wouldn’t have bothered, otherwise. I am an introvert, I limit interaction ONLY to what interests me and what is important enough. If you are not important, I would ignore you. I show my contempt to people by ignoring them; I won’t even bully them, I just won’t have anything to do with them. Period.

Listen: I NEVER show contempt by arguing. If I argue, I respect you…but it’s just that in my book, respect does not equal to agreement. I respect people who I disagree but can argue with.  

If you are a debater you would understand. You would know that debaters would come into a debate fully prepared because they respect their opponents. And they show those respect by reasoning with them. Debaters believe that their opponents can see reason….that is the WHOLE BASIS of what debate is all about. 

On the other hand, once you earned my contempt,  I would just say “dia memang macam ni”  and ignore you until further notice. Yup…beneath my notice. Is that what they prefer? That I just be dishonest and say yes to them in front of their face and turn back from them doing exactly what I want anyway?

Here’s a story:

On the day I was taking my driving test, a fellow student who was waiting for her turn to be examined made a small talk with me and told me, “Hang tau dak, abang JPJ ni gatal-gatal. Hang kenyit mata sikit, flirting sikit. Senang pass punya!”

Maybe she was joking but I was horrified by the very suggestion! I believe in my driving skill, ok! I believe, I could pass without condescending to such tactics (read: charms) at all. Furthermore, that’s like…ugh…. such a dirty trick!! (For the record I failed the first time, because I did not pull my handbrake at the T-junction and apparently that was mandatory. But please… who the hell pull handbrakes at the T-junction, in REAL life? I was too bloody honest! When he told me why I failed, I was not even tempted to smile or wink-wink at the examiner asking for his sympathy…I did not even bother to beg the examiner. I just don’t do that sort of thing and I don’t function that way. What I did was arguing : apsal pula kena tarik handbrake waktu kat T-junction? Saya kan dah tekan brake. The examiner said: bila dalam exam, awak tak boleh pandai-pandai suka-suka hati awak. BIla dah dapat lesen, buat apa awak nak buat)

See how I even respect the JPJ officer? If I tried to flirt and wink-wink at the officer, that means I’d already assumed that he was easily fooled. In my opinion, he would be insulted by that assumption and would probably fail me even worse.  If I were in his shoes, I would be pissed off that people think I can be so easily fooled.


You see, it is the principle of the thing!

I don’t demand for something that I don’t have a right to expect. And I don’t want you to give it to me just because you ‘kesian’ or you are ‘attracted to my charms’ (which is highly unlikely because I am not charming) or ‘you are naturally kind’.

OF COURSE, it’s good if you are naturally kind, but it’s even better if you are naturally kind AND ALSO you are able to give me what I want because you believe I was right in wanting things done that way.

“That’s your problem, Afiza. Hang asyik rasa hang betul. Depa tak rasa hang betul. So, kalau dah hang nak juga apa yang hang nak, hang kena use your charms la. Request lah a favour. Say it nicely.”

Grrrrr!!! I just….tak boleh!

Doesn’t mean I am not nice, though. I have a soft spot in my heart for an elderly pakcik who would ride his bike in the middle of the afternoon for miles just to come to the clinic to take meds for his schizophrenic son. That’s such a…pure sacrifice… that earns my admiration, because I know many people with a car would simply let their schizophrenic relatives default treatment. I have a weakness for people who need help but refuse to beg for it, so I would spare them the necessity of asking and offered it automatically. I don’t always adhere to the two-years rules for getting my patients the welfare money when they need it (but instead of demanding for it like it is their basic rights, they request for it with hope and looking so disappointed when I said no at first.) When they bear their disappointment without argument it makes me feel bad (feels like I have kicked my own cat) and I would then try to help them anyway by consulting with a specialist who I knew is more lenient about approving welfare money. I would smile at patients who suddenly become unexpectedly well after years of chronic symptoms.

See? I do smile at my patients, you know. I believe that smiling is therapeutic. And other than smiling because I am genuinely amused, I also smile when I greet my patients because I want them to feel comfortable with me. I also smile when I remember to do so because it is sunnah and just a nice thing to do to people that I know. In this case, I am not pretending. My smile is not at cross-purpose with my real intention.

But if I smile (sedangkan aku tengah bengang) just to get what I want by being oh, charming….that is PRETENTIOUS! And it’s WEAK! It’s like you don’t believe in the righteousness of your cause.

I don’t fight with people as my default modus operandi. I always request nicely, first. I argue reasonably. But once I have raised my voice and you still refuse to see reason, then I have to play dirty. No, not by using whatever little charms that I don’t have…but by going to a higher authority and pulling rank…which is something I HATE to do.

I don’t want you to give me the blood investigation I request because my specialist says so. I believe, even if the instruction comes from my houseman, you should weigh the request on the basis of its own merits. Not by whose order it comes from!  I respect you…to want you to comply with my request just because it is reasonable. Not because I had to get my specialist to talk to you.

“Afiza, you are too bloody idealistic, for this world. This world doesn’t work that way. Be realistic lah”

Fine! At least, I work for my ideals and choose my action with that frame of thoughts in mind. At least my ideals involve believing the best in people, (until they fail to see reason and I had to do something drastic). But that doesn’t mean I am above playing dirty when I have no choice other than to be realistic.

It’s just that when I had to play dirty, I hurt myself too.

So don’t push me! My idealism won’t stop me from violating my own rules if it can prevent me from abusing a more significant principle.

That’s fiqh Al-awlawiyat (fiqh of priorities).

It’s also choosing the lesser of two evils.

I am idealistic. But I am not a doormat people can push around. Once you have pushed my bullshit button, I have no choice but to go all out.


So, please. The take home message is : Just weigh a request on the basis of its needs and merits for the sake of our patients rather than our own convenient and our egos.What I want for my patient is usually reasonable and warranted, and that is the ONLY reason I want you to give it to me. 

I promise you, if my request was not fair in the first place, I would have been so embarrassed to ask, let alone demand it. And if I was made by my superior to ask for something unreasonable when it was not fair to you, I would be ashamed and would request for it humbly, phrasing the request on the basis of your favour towards me. What I would NOT do is, ‘pujuk-pujuk’ you using my charms trying to fool you or manipulate you into thinking that what I ask for is reasonable when it actually isn’t. Instead, I would be forthright and said “I am sorry. This may be a bit inconvenient and I would totally understand if you might not agree, but if I could request for….”

You see? Who says I don’t know how to be GENUINELY nice? It’s just that when I DO say sorry, I mean it. I don’t say it just to be nice while deep inside feeling all fiery. Like, I know my request is unreasonable but I have no choice but to ask, and therefore I really AM sorry. I don’t say ‘sorry’ just to charm you into giving me what I want.

I just….don’t work that way! Believe me I tried being charming a few  times….they worked a few times, but each time, I just didn’t like how I sound.

But sometimes my heart told me “If only you keep on TRYING  being more nice….you know how practice makes perfect. You can get what you want with less trouble.”

But that wouldn’t be me in 2015. Perhaps when I am much older, and more mellow….maybe….well…Erm….NOT.

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