Updated: Oct 26, 2020
I personally can't bear the idea of being seen as incompetent. That's probably one of my defining points of being an INTP. It makes it a little tough to put out content on time. I think many INTPs would agree with that feeling, and yes even though it's centered around information, it's very much a feeling.
You can track that feeling in your body if you pay attention to it when it happens. My energy pulls back, I feel like I want to hide, I get a little shaky, and I do everything I can to just ignore it or move on so I don't have to feel it.
That's common for a lot of people in a variety of situations. To feel something is human, including embarrassment.
But like anything I've ever talked about in relation to mental health, the only way out is through...through healthy processing. That means feeling embarrassed and expressing that you're embarrassed through your Extraverted Feeling process.
You would be amazed at how many people will show compassion with your honest emotional expression. All you have to do it say...to extravert the feeling.
"I don't want to look stupid."
"I don't want to feel useless."
"I don't want to feel helpless or be at the whim of someone else's knowledge or expertise."
"I'm supposed to know how to do this."
As a result of that is that it can be very hard to ask for help. There have been many situations in my life that I've needed to ask for help and I just didn't because I was scared to look stupid.
I didn't tie my shoes until 4th grade.
I still don't know how to blow a bubble with bubble gum.
I didn't know how to tell girls that I liked them.
I don't want to inconvenience my partner when I'm feeling bad about something.
I had no idea how to say hi and make friends.
I still take over a conversation when my partner wants to chime in and feel included.
I still think people don't like me when I don't have an interesting piece of information to offer them.
I absolutely fear the negative judgment of my content and it won't connect.
I suck at smoking weed. I never breathe right and it's always in a circle of people that can tell you're not doing it right.
That last bit just happened recently. Instead of brushing it off and never doing it again, I asked for help. They walked me through it since I never really did it as a kid and well, I eventually did the thing. It was great! Competence achieved.
Sharing your discomfort allows for the opportunity to connect and learn something new. Yes, you are showing that you don't know a thing. That's okay! You're going to be exposed. That's okay! If you're with people you've chosen to be around they're more than likely to help you be okay. Others like being of use as much as you, if not more!
And being okay doesn't mean making it go away, it means working through it. Talking it out, figuring it out, gaining comfort, expressing how you feel, and actually resolving the issue...not pushing it down.
Your role in life as an INTP is not centered around knowing everything, it's moreso around collecting information regardless of the means. That means we need to open ourselves up to being taught at times by others when there are things we simply can't figure out on our own. That's going to be uncomfortable but I believe in you. I believe that you're brave enough to do because I promise you, you'll survive.
Join our Finding and Maintaining Relationships for INTPs to find and nurture community and connection without sacrificing who you are as an INTP. This course also features my partner Molly, an ENFP, to bring some of the feeler-perspective to the table.
This is our way of showing that you are capable of loving and being loved just like any other personality type.