Hard to be completely respectful and the JW attitude

by scratchme1010 13 Replies latest jw experiences

  • scratchme1010

    Recently at work they conducted an MBTI test for me. For those who don't know, the MBTI test is a personality test used by organizational psychologists in companies and organizations. It is supposed to describe the best way you communicate, the best way of giving and receiving feedback, and for managers that test is supposed to explain to them the best way to manage their employees (I'm over simplifying, I know).

    My profile came up as some kind of introvert (and when I was told that I said "What? Me, an introvert? No way!"). The profile has these letters that describe your personality from different perspectives, and mine is INTJ. They call that profile "the scientist" or "the architect". Introverted - iNtuitive - Thinking - Judging.

    Here's the thing, regardless of how useful or effective the test is, the place where I work goes by it and uses it as a handbook. People in my work group commonly talk about each other using those MBTI terms, and sometimes I hear people saying things like "that's the J in me". I am like, whatever. Honestly I think that those tests are lame attempts at having shortcuts in getting to know and learning how to work with people, or an excuse to explain what otherwise would be chaos and constant conflict. Again, whatever.

    Anyway, one thing that I hated when reading in my profile, but unfortunately I believe was on point, is the fact that I seem to thrive or communicate better in a negative way, using negativity, even my humor. According to the profile I'm supposed to use "negative humor" when trying to be humorous. And yes, I hate to admit it, but it's true. Just take a look at most of my post replies and see how negative I tend to be, even when I'm being humorous.

    Is negativity negative (what I mean is, does negativity has a negative effect)? Not necessarily, at least in my experience. At work, for example, when we're interviewing candidates for job positions, I love playing "the devil's advocate". The questions I ask and how I frame them help providing a great deal of information about how a candidate can handle him/herself in different situations (BTW, I am the only INTJ in my group). Most importantly, negative doesn't mean untrue, nor does it mean inaccurate, nor dishonest. it only means negative.

    When I feel strongly about something, I do love using my negative humor, sarcasm and struggle with people skills (typical traits of the INTJ personality) to make my point. Furthermore, in many conversations I have, and in many instances when somebody claims that I have been offensive to them, I find myself stating "I'm not being offensive; I'm just saying something you don't like hearing. (Depending on the situation, sometimes I add "Grow up!")".

    Which is why I am posting this in an ex-JW forum. For some reason, as I was reading my profile, most of the instances in which I could think about when describing situations where my personality profile was evident, had to do with my JW upbringing.

    The most notable was this one time when both my JW parents were alive and I went to visit them in the Dominican Republic where they retired. My parents have always been very crass when talking about other people's religious believes, as they feel/felt superior for being in "the truth". They loved mocking people when they saw them doing anything religious that was not according to their "truth".

    One of their typical mocking jokes was about people leaving flowers on graves. They would always make stupid comments about the dead not being able to see or smell the flowers. Every time they saw a roadside memorial with crosses and/or flowers, one would tell the other "Look, apparently those pagan idiots expect the dead to go there to smell the flowers! What a waste of time and money", or something like that. Sometimes their choice of words was not exactly nice; it wasn't pleasant hearing them (leave alone growing up hearing them all the time saying that).

    One day they did that same disrespectful mocking joke while driving with me in their car. We passed by some roadside memorial and there they were, making some stupid comment. "Look, another idiot expecting the dead to come smell the flowers". Fed up with their cockiness, and also me now being an independent non-JW adult, out of the JW nonsense for decades, I said "Well, I know of people who are worse. I know of idiots who claim that they are going to live 1,000 years".

    And that's the best example I could come up with about my INTJ profile accuracy.

  • schnell

    Well, ridicule is (mostly) the only weapon against unintelligible propositions.

    I hear you. I get a lot of flack from family about being negative too, because I'm critical of our precious beliefs. I don't get it from work though, where my focus is on work.

    I always roll my eyes at tests like that. They're just an excuse one way or another. A perceived type is often misperceived and does not ever constitute the whole you. I might find something interesting in a Jungian archetype or two, but even Jung would advise against identifying exclusively with any one of them.

  • tepidpoultry

    I share some of these thought /speech patterns,

    Apparently this can also be caused by feelings of abandonment,

    I think that our experiences can give us quite a cynical outlook,

    I often thought about a loving God destroying a naked bloated Biafran kid,

    What I was thinking is what is this person going to feel about Jehovah's gracious goodness and be moved to praise his name,

    Still we try to think and make sense about everything,

    Also, maybe the brothers more so, we just have to shut up and bite our tongues so much I think it leads to a lot of sarcasm etc

    Thank you for your interesting post,


  • Luo bou to
    Luo bou to

    I found comfort in visiting my daughters grave site and if I left flowers it would not be because I thought she could smell them insulting F'''' idiots

  • rebel8

    I had a thread on INTJs here a few years ago. INTJs tend to be skeptical and logical, so it makes sense more INTJs would make their way out of the borganization.

    shortcuts in getting to know and learning how to work with people

    That's exactly what the test is, IMO, which has pros and cons. If you use it to stereotype or not hire people, that's a bad thing. If you use it as a tool to better respect and communicate with others, that's a good thing.

    As a former behavioral health clinician, IMO, a good amount of psychology is soft science and pseudoscience. IMO most personality tests are just that. But I do respect MBTI because it is fairly accurate and is simply describing who you are and how your brain reacts to things.

  • Vidiot

    "Look, another idiot expecting the dead to come smell the flowers."

    Translation: "sour grapes", i.e....

    ..."I wish I could do that, but I don't want other JWs to know, so I'll project an over-the-top impression that I have a polar opposite viewpoint (because I have a five-year-old's grasp of basic human psychology)."

    "Well, I know of people who are worse. I know of idiots who claim that they are going to live 1,000 years."

    Another good reply might have been...

    ..."The flowers aren't for the dead, they're for the loved ones who are still alive, who miss the ones who've died (dumbass)."


    Maybe I'm INTJ, too.

  • Diogenesister

    Lou Bou to I fully understand what you mean. It's a constant source of pain to me that I have no where to do this for a loved one. I used to think it was just for the mourner, that they have a special place to remember loved one's. But I plan to ensure my children have somewhere specific to leave flowers for me, and I find comfort in knowing that in a funny kind of way.

    I don't find it pagan or foolish whatsoever. Like so many other things the WT denigrates, it's called being human.

  • scratchme1010

    Luo bou to and Diogenesister, I agree. It's about us normal human beings with feelings, when we place flowers in people's graves. When my mother passed away earlier this year, I made a little memorial collage of pictures and laminated it. I placed it in her grave. My JW family removed it when I left.

    They are offensive and hurtful and cocky about it.

  • exjwlemming

    cheers! I'm a card carrying INTJ too. ☺

  • dubstepped

    Well, if I remember correctly I too am an INTJ. I also shared that "devil's advocate" part of your personality and the negative and sarcastic tone, though I've worked hard to tone things down so as to better be heard by others. I also find you to be one of my favorite posters, so welcome to the club.

    I believe that the JWs foster such a personality, even the literature having an air of superiority and mocking tone. I also believe that it attracts people that naturally had that to begin with.

    I'm really sorry about what happened to the collage you made. I felt a little gut punch just reading it. I'm also sorry for your loss.

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