INTP: The Logician, The Sincere

The problem with me is that I am too blunt.  Too direct and too forthright.

I don’t know how to soften my speech when I am irritated. I don’t know how to criticize while making it sound like a joke. In fact, I really despise people who do that. Double dealing, double face….I am too old for that game.

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When I joke, I joke. You don’t have to wonder whether I am secretly being sarcastic towards you. I made it a point that people would not be offended by my joke. I don’t have any hidden agenda when I joke. I want to give you a laugh and we could have a good time. The joke would not be a disguised attempt at making you ‘terasa’ in a public setting. That’s just weak.

When I want to criticize you, you can bet your life that I will be utterly forthright without bothering to disguise it in a joke. I can only promise you not to do it in public. However, if our argument happens in public, and I feel attacked, then I will have no choice but to defend myself. (So, don’t call me out in public if you cannot handle the return heat. I have no problem causing a scene.)

I don’t mean to offend people. But when I do, it is always because I am provoked, first. Perhaps you are being argumentative yourself, and I am just replying and defending my position. When you are too slow in comprehending my point, I become impatient and then I snap. Sorry, but damn it, please don’t argue with me if you are not up to it. (Just know that I am right. Hahha)

I won’t leave you guessing about what I really mean. Am I serious? Am I joking? Am I angry? Am I pleased? Am I entertained? My words, my moods and my facial expressions are all congruent. I am an open book, easily read. 

With me, ‘passive-aggressive’ is not something I do very well. If I am aggressive, there is nothing passive about it.

At least with me, you know where you stand.

Pretension is really wearying to me.

I suffer inwardly just by pretending to agree (either with bosses or colleagues). Something inside me want to rebel when I cannot say what I really want to say. And is it surprising that I tend to avoid authority (or anyone else who makes me feel uncomfortable) when I cannot be myself?

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That’s why I am not a team player. I can work in a team…but you have to assign me a solitary task that we then compile at the end of the dateline. Don’t ask me to share my workload because what will usually happen is, either I end up doing everything myself (satisfying my standard and my specification) or I just let the other person do whatever she/he wants while feeling dissatisfied that I have to compromise on what I want to be done (yeah, I am a control freak with poor insight).

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I do my best work alone. If I need help, I shall ask for it. Otherwise, I really don’t want any interference. I don’t want supervisors. I don’t want team mates. I want freedom to do whatever I please, as I please, without worrying about having to convince, cajole, persuade, beg, or seduce (hahah!) anyone into agreeing with what I want to do. It’s just too much effort.  Being in the society is too much effort.

But that’s utopian. Something I can never attain.

So, I learn to tolerate society. In small doses.

My best friend is someone who knows me automatically without me even having to explain why I am upset about a statement/an action/ a concept/ a worldview. She would glance at me and said

“I knew…you  hate this, right?”

“I know what you are thinking….don’t say it.”

“Ni bagi kat Afiza….memang siap budak tu.”

With her, there is no effort required for me to be understood. No explanation is necessary. It’s all easy.

And because she is an extrovert (but a logical one), our relationship is mutually beneficial. She is happy to talk and I am happy to listen. Only interrupting when I want to clarify ambiguous points. Ours is  a harmonious symbiosis. 

***

INTP makes the best debater.

Do you know why?

We are logical.

Yes, we can be emotional too. But we are emotional about things having to be logical. We are emotional about things having to be fair. Following a certain rules and pattern of logic. 

When you speak of facts that have nothing to do with the  issue, it makes us annoyed.

I will give you an example. When I question about the delay in the way Mahkamah Syariah deals with divorce cases, some people would then say;

“Mahkamah Syariah adalah sistem yang digunapakai untuk menguatkuasakan undang-undang Allah. Syariat Allah adalah yang terbaik dan paling adil untuk semua orang. Kalau bukan Allah yang mencipta kita yang paling mengetahui apa yang terbaik untuk hamba-hambanya, siapa lagi yang lebih layak untuk undang-undangnya dituruti?”

I wanted to pull my hair! (Kau ni faham bahasa tak? Dulu belajar subjek pemahaman/comprehension, kau gagal ke subjek tu? Nak suruh aku cakap bahasa apa bagi kau faham ni! Kau tak payah nak cakap kat aku undang-undang Allah lah yang terbaik. Yang tu aku pun tau! Aku persoalkan kau punya sistem. Sistem kau tu tak perfect sebab sistem tu kau yang buat dan kau ni  memang langsung tak perfect. Kalau aku cakap direct macam ni, kang kau dah sentap. Waktu tu, baru kau nak faham ke?)

The words in the blue bracket were the things I REALLY wanted to say…but because I have learned to be polite, I could not say it. So I suffered inwardly.

Oh, how I suffered.

So with a tight face, I only said “No one is questioning the perfection inherent in the laws of God. We are questioning YOUR system of implementation,” Faham tak lagi? Kau nak suruh aku pakai ayat apa pula ni bagi kau faham apa pokok persoalan yang sebenarnya? Janganlah berleter benda tak berkaitan just nak tunjuk konon kau ada point! Sedangkan the real issue kau tak address!! (ini sambungan ayat dalam hati sajalah. Dah berapi dah jiwa aku! Sikit masa lagi, for sure aku akan snap!)

This is a tactic some uses in debate, you know. They don’t really address the question. They just say general facts that people cannot dispute and rely on that facts to make it seems like they are right.

(Contoh general facts: Undang-undang Allah yang terbaik…. Keadilan yang hakiki hanya dalam undang-undang Islam…. Langit itu biru… Bumi itu berbentuk sfera… Lautan adalah 2/3 daripada bumi… Bulan memantulkan cahaya daripada matahari…. Jirim terdiri daripada unit asas yang dipanggil atom…. Atom terdiri daripada elekton dan nukleusnya terdiri daripada proton dan neutron) These are all indisputable facts. So when they quote these facts, of course people cannot argue with them. Whether or not the facts that are used have anything to do with the debate, they don’t really care. They just think they have a point. Gosh!

I admit that I myself have, at times, done such a tactic in the past when I was desperate. The difference is, I am aware of what I do and if people call me out on it, I will admit the fairness of the criticism. But some people don’t have that self-awareness… and reasoning with them becomes a lesson in endurance.

***

One day, a whatsapp message appeared in my whatsapp group asking me “Afiza, it is your turn for CME presentation.”

And my reply was, “I am not going to present. There are 4 others who were scheduled to present their topics a few weeks ago and no one presented. Ikut turn lah.”

This has happened many times in the past. I adhered to my date of presentation in the past. But not many people did afterwards. And then no more CME. Every year it is the same old story. This year, a new schedule for CME has been produced. There were a few names scheduled to present before me, but none of them did. Suddenly this week, they asked me to present.

I was not going to do it.

Looking back, I could simply shut up, right? Just ignore it. I could simply deal with that question the way others did.

“Oops lupa.”

“Oops EL”

“Ooops MC.”

And in the past, everyone just left it at that. They did not have to compensate for their turns. So looking at previous pattern of events, I could get away with it without bothering with any argument, kan? Why bother, right? And coincidentally, I really was on leave. I could have just said “Oops..on leave. Not in Alor Star.”

Yeah, I could just say that. Avoid confrontation. Avoid argument.

But pretension of any kind is my abhorrence. I won’t deal with it like that! The truth is, I did not forget to prepare my presentation. I remembered very well when I was supposed to present. In fact, the day before I was supposed to present, I already told one of my colleagues clearly that I was not going to present tomorrow because others before me hadn’t.

I don’t do EL. I never had any EL so far. I never had MCs since I entered my department.  So, those were not the excuses I gave for not presenting. 

My issue was: Others have not presented before me. So, why should I? Why enforce the rule only on some people and only for some of the time? Why not enforce the rule for everyone from the very beginning? Why me??

That’s my issue. That’s my honest issue. And that’s how I deal with it. By stating exactly why I was not presenting. Not by citing any other reasons (lupa, EL/ MC), cuti), avoiding my real issue, and hoping it would go away and I wouldn’t have to justify why I was not presenting. 

I am not created that way…giving excuses. I want to rebel with myself if I do not say what I want to say. And at that time what I wanted to say was “It is not fair that you ask me to present CME today when others have skipped their turns!”

So when someone then issued statements such as “CME is actually for knowledge-sharing. It is not to burden the presenter. It is actually a good learning process.” (General facts. Like the moon and the sun and the earth and the atoms. Got it? I am allergic to those statements.Why are you making statements that I did not even question in the first place? Why did you offer such statements when those statements were not even in dispute, to begin with?)

So I said. “No one is questioning how good CME is. No one is questioning the purpose of having CME and that sharing knowledge is good. That is not the issue. I am questioning the SYSTEM of knowledge sharing. In this case, the system is to ‘take turns’ presenting. “

The issue is, why do I have to present when others before me haven’t? Why do you enforce it on me and ignore others? CME as a a good way of learning, is not the issue in dispute, here! 

Comprehension, people!!

I have trained myself to automatically attack fallacious argument. Just giving away standard statements that sound good and sound true, doesn’t mean you contribute anything to the actual point of the argument. It’s like in debate. Even English teachers cannot be a good judge in a debate  if he/she is not trained in basic logic, comprehension and fallacies.

Having good command in language is not enough (although it is a good start). You have to know logic and patterns. You have to be trained at spotting fallacies. You have to be sensitive at contradictory statements so that you can pounce on them!

And that is something INTP is deadly accurate at. We love patterns. Spotting discrepancies in statements is a hobby! It invigorates our brain.

Some people would feel at lost in an argument. “Aku rasa macam aku dah betul. Tapi bila dia cakap pasal CME ni bagus, sharing knowledge ni bagus….apa aku nak cakap balik? Memang apa yang dia cakap tu betul. Kenapa nampak macam aku yang salah?”

You can never trick an INTP like that. We deal with it dead on. We just tell you that you are confused about the issue of the debate. We said it straight “I never question the statements that you are making. So, why do you feel you have to say those statements? I don’t know what prompts  you to suddenly offer such statements that don’t add anything to the issue we are dealing with.”

And when I am in that argumentative mood, I trample on people’s feelings (unfortunately). Feelings become secondary and less important compared to the truth that I want recognized.

That’s the great thing about being an INTP. But it is also the worst thing about being an INTP. We hurt feelings….and sometimes we don’t care.

But sometimes we do care. But oopsss… we did it again. Hahah.

Luckily, INTP don’t need much friends.  We are introverts.

And we are happiest  that way. Leave us to our books and we are content. The society is just too unpredictable…illogical…no patterns.

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I know, I am harsh. Look, I am working on being nicer. Just…haih…it’s so difficult!

***

So the conclusion from the whatsapp conversation is that, from next week, everyone must adhere to the dates of their presentation. If they somehow cannot make it, they must find a replacement. Fair and square.

Isn’t it lucky that I made everyone face the issue by simply refusing to present and then tell them the real reason why I refuse? It solves the problem. The problem being: people not adhering to the system and demotivating others who follow the system in the past. Now that the issue is out in the open and not swept under the carpet (thanks to my forthright manner) everyone will know not to simply EL / MC / disappear without finding a replacement for their presentation, next time.

I am satisfied.

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Hahahha! Yeah! I soooo get it!

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