When INTJs Go Bad… Hannibal Lecter

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Let’s talk about the most infamous INTJ in literature and film… Hannibal Lecter, the calm, calculating psychopath-turned-serial-killer in the books by Thomas Harris. A successful psychologist, in the books we meet him already behind bars, serving a life sentence for his crimes… in Brian Fuller’s television series, he’s not yet been caught, and the entire first season (which just wrapped up in a chilling finale last week) revolves around his manipulations of the people around him.

Myers-Briggs testing works on the belief that everyone is comprised of four letter variations based on their instincts and how they respond in certain situations (developing “patterns of behavior”). Different combinations of these letters give you distinct but similar personalities (no two people are the same, but share tendencies and traits).

I vs. E Function:

Introverts: need time alone to recover from time spent with people. They define themselves through private thoughts and feelings and reflect before they act.

Extroverts: feel most happy and fulfilled when with other people. They define themselves through external sources (friends, family, politics, and favorite things) and adapt to their environment.

S vs. N Function:

The Sensor: interprets situations and surroundings based on environment (how they’re raised, the moral code of society, traditional values). They tend to live “in the moment” and focus on current perceptions (such as the 5 senses). They value honesty and tend to be honest.

The Intuitive: interprets situations and surroundings through their own “inner knowing” or “instinct,” relying on imaginative leaps to collect information. They are curious and long-term planners. They aren’t focused on truth-telling and form their own “moral code of ethics.”

T vs. F Function:

The Thinker: makes more impersonal, logical decisions based on facts and potential outcomes (is this relationship going anywhere? Is it kinder to put this pet to sleep then let it suffer? How can this situation be fixed?). Because of this, they tend to be blunt. They’re interested in the “how” and the “why” (how does it work, what happens if I change this, and why do it this way?).

The Feeler: focuses more on human needs and relationships; they make decisions based on personal values and the emotions of themselves and others (how can I avoid hurting their feelings? Is everyone included?). They want love and harmony in relationships, form strong bonds with others, and find it hard to be neutral or detached.

J vs. P Function:

The Judger: make decisions and stick with them, take external information and form concrete conclusions off it (I’ve seen this person behave in this way, and conclude THIS about them), and are often unwilling to compromise. They dislike open-ended situations, finish what they start, and plan things in advance.

The Perceiver: is flexible, curious, and unstructured. Their conclusions are open to changes based on new information. They disregard rules and deadlines and want tons of information before making a decision (which often means postponing decisions indefinitely). They’re spontaneous and sometimes act on impulse.

Different mixtures of these different letters create different individuals, but the higher the percentage on each letter changes how that person (or character) responds within their type.

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Hannibal the Cannibal

Hannibal Lecter scores very high on the last three letters—his tendency is to make up his own moral code (the N dictates his personal beliefs and “moral ethics,” messed up as they may be, and his manipulative nature), then react to it in a logical manner (the T is what makes him so dangerous, since he never reacts without great intent and much thought, as opposed to “snapping” or panic responses), and finally, execute his own brand of justice (the J forms a conclusion such as “this person doesn’t deserve to live,” and acts on it without any remorse).

One could argue that his high combination of letters (the higher the combination, the less “empathy” this particular type tends to have) is what makes him psychotic; or you could say he’s just insane. (But then you’d have to define insanity – is it being out of touch with reality? If so, Hannibal isn’t insane because he sees reality and manipulates, dismisses, and acts within it to execute his plans. He’s evil, yes… insane, no, not by that definition.)

The Hannibal of the television show and the Hannibal of the books and films present themselves differently to the people around them.

Book/film Hannibal is much more openly cold, sadistic, and emotionless… since everyone around him now knows exactly what he is: a serial killer and psychopath who “gets off” on crime scene photos.

TV Hannibal projects a more empathetic side around others (like with his therapist, whom he openly lies to about his feelings for coworkers) but the audience can see his psychopathic nature working underneath – in his total detachment from violent situations and results (like his almost-smiles at crime scenes).

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Hannibal’s actions are done for three reasons: to corrupt others, to test others, and for his own amusement. He maneuvers both Abigail and Will into a situation where they must commit murder to defend themselves. He tests each with violent situations (Will, with Abigail’s father, and Abigail with the death of her best friend) to see their reactions. He manipulates both into relying on him to keep their secret and persuades them to trust him.

INTJs are curious; they can imagine the results of certain behaviors and situations but like to see them play out, to see if their theories are correct. The moderate INTJ (like most “sane” variations on this type) will refrain from too much experimentation out of a moral conscience; Hannibal, as an extremist without any external moral guidance (he has his own set of polite rules and sticks to them) isn’t afraid to act out on his curiosity, which is partly what makes him so diabolical and dangerous.

By the end of the first season, Hannibal has laid the groundwork to get Will Graham arrested for all his crimes and built up an infallible emotional (Will’s self-doubt, guilt, and suspicious behavior) and physical (planted evidence) case against him. He’s taken a man on the brink of a mental collapse (due to his INFJ nature, Will is increasingly disturbed by his ability to get inside the head of serial killers) and convinced not only almost everyone around him that they have no alternative but to find him guilty, but also broken down Will’s mental state to the point where he almost believes himself to be the murderer.

Other Characters

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Abigail Hobbs

Abigail is an INFJ: she has only one close friend and thinks before she speaks, withholding information in order to get it (I). She’s quick to figure out the intentions of others (“I know my parents are dead,” “You want me to reenact the crime,” and “You called my father!”) and knows something is “off” about Hannibal without being told (N). Her reactions are often logical and made without emotional ties (“I want to sell the house,” rather than being distraught over her parents) but she’s also worried about how OTHERS react to her (F), and she forms strong conclusions (J)… much too late to save her. She is defiant but also “controlled” by Hannibal.

Bedelia du Murier

Only one character on the show isn’t manipulated by Hannibal, his therapist. Bedelia is an enigmatic woman with just as much rigidity, emotional distance, and icy control as Hannibal. She makes us wonder if she’s ignorant, on his side, or approving of his behavior.

Her type is ambitious… she could be an INTJ if she knows and approves of his behavior, an INFJ if she’s oblivious to it and has a moral conscience, an ISTJ if she’s oblivious to his larger patterns of behavior, or an ISTP if she’s still information-gathering and hasn’t reached a conclusion.

She lives as a relative shut-in and never leaves her house or associates much outside her profession (I). Her advice wavers between staying in the restraints of therapist guidelines (S) and implying a higher moral authority exists for Hannibal (she warns him not to reveal himself to the FBI, an N trait). Her cold responses to emotion-based therapy intimate a Thinker over a Feeler. Finally, if she doesn’t know exactly who he is, she suspects and accepts it (“I like you, Hannibal”) and also lies for him (J rather than P).

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Hannibal and her relationship is twisted and ambiguous. Either he is manipulating her, or she is manipulating him in a mutual game of intellect.

He gathered evidence on her (J), put her in a dangerous situation with a patient (a T trait, to find out “what might happen” and get what he wanted), saved her life and in doing so, revealed his deeper nature to her.

Yet, Bedelia seems to know much more about him than she lets on… she watches his reactions to her behavior, which makes me wonder, is she just as dangerous as he is?

I hope we find out next season.

51 Replies to “When INTJs Go Bad… Hannibal Lecter”

  1. Bedelia represents the inner soft core of an INTJ, which is hidden under 100km of solid rock.

    Insightful blog you have here Charity, I found your site from your INTJ videos on youtube.

    I am still learning about MBTI, it’s peaceful when every little bit of things you knew about people and yourself sudden just clicks and fit together in the big picture so well.

    I found your site through your INTJ fandom video at:

    I am hooked onto the music, would you mind telling me what the name of the music is so I can find a high quality version of it? Many thanks.

  2. Ah, I see that you’re a Hannibal fan! 😀 I’ve never been a fan of the Hannibal books/films but I’m currently going through the first season of the TV show and, much to my amazement, I’m loving it! Hugh Dancy & Mads Mikkelsen are both absolutely wonderful in the roles. There was also this one moment that REALLY made me happy since I’m also a Phantom of the Opera fan. You know the bit where someone is trying to strangle Will and he escapes by putting his hand at the level of his eyes? I had a huge grin on my face during that 😀

    1. Isn’t it magnificent? I… may be counting down the days to season two. Wait until you reach the end and see the conclusion — the confrontation between Hannibal and Will is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on television.

      Ah, yes, “keep your hand at the level of your eyes…” I hadn’t thought of that, but now I won’t be able to avoid thinking about it. Phantom is another one of my favorite things!

      1. It really is but it can be sooo hard to watch at times! I always have to look away during the more violent scenes and I love Will so much that it pains me to see him suffer. I love the show but when I actually try to think about why I love it I’m not entirely sure why! I think it’s mostly down to Dancy & Mikkelsen’s acting – so of course I’m really excited about their final confrontation now. As you’re clearly an analytical type why do YOU love the show so much? 😀 I think it would help me to understand why I enjoy it so much you see.

        If you don’t mind I’d also be interested in your opinion about Hannibal’s feelings towards Will. It’s my understanding that Will’s dark side fascinates him and that Hannibal wants to drive Will mad because he’s intellectually curious. But is there more to it than that? Does he want Will to be some kind of sidekick or protege?

        1. (Have you seen the trailer for season two?! OH MY GOSH… it looks like they’re opening season two with a scene from the second season finale — when the truth is out.)

          Why do I love the show so much?
          1) It’s intelligent. The audience has to keep up.
          2) The scripts are brilliant. The writers’ ability to weave a complex plot around the framing of Will Graham is ingenious — but you don’t realize HOW ingenious it is until you get to the finale, and suddenly all the little things Hannibal has been doing carry immense meaning. (The chicken dish he fed Will, for example, is known to worsen the condition Will has — he’s effectively driving him MORE insane, knowingly.)
          3) The acting is incredible — particularly from Mads. The crimes are all overdone, grotesque, and melodramatic — which is contrasted through Hannibal’s micro-expressions and total lack of human emotion. (Have you noticed he rarely blinks and when he does, it’s in response to someone else blinking? He’s mimicking them.)
          4) Total evil fascinates me. I want to know WHY and HOW, and Hannibal is a complex puzzle of utter inhumanity that I feel driven to “know” and understand. (And on some level, even though I hate what he’s doing, I admire how brilliant he is.)

          Does Hannibal want Will as a protegee? I don’t think so — I think he considered Abigail as a potential protegee due to her intelligence and coldness, but soon realized that her sense of guilt over her participation in her father’s crimes meant she had too much compassion to be a useful psychopath. I think he sees Will as someone to victimize — to tear apart intellectually just like he tears apart his victims literally. Hannibal is consuming Will, not by eating him, but by destroying his life and his sanity. Just like he enjoys tormenting Jack Crawford, flirts with seducing Alana Bloom, and pushes his therapist to violate her principles, Hannibal gets a sick kick out of tearing Will’s mind to pieces. But I don’t know — that’s the fascination of Hannibal. What IS his motivation?

  3. I love this analysis of Hannibal and the other characters on the show! Hannibal’s true nature is something that we only get glimpses of in the show, most of the time just seeing the “person-shaped mask” (probably misquoted that) that Hannibal’s psychiatrist talks about. It’s interesting to see characters according to the Myers-Briggs personality test (We had to take it in school and I scored an INTP– it’s interesting how spot-on it was!) I wasn’t sure how to contact you, but I love your webzine and I’d be really interested in contributing to it! My blog is http://cloudyskies98.blogspot.com/ and I write a lot about books, tv, and movies… I wrote a review of Hannibal, too, although I didn’t delve into his character as much as you did 🙂 http://cloudyskies98.blogspot.com/2013/07/hannibal-nbc-review.html
    I’d love to get in touch with you!
    (My name is Skye by the way)

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 It’s SUCH a mind-blowing show, isn’t it? It gives you so much to think about! (Which especially appeals to us T-types!)

      You can contact me at femnista at charitysplace.com. Do you have any idea what you might like to write about, in future issues?

      I’m pretty busy the next few days with company, Skye, but I’ll read and comment on your Hannibal review later in the week. 🙂

  4. Excellent analysis. I’ve been enjoying dissecting Hannibal’s character while watching the new NBC show. I have a very similar personality to Lecter–very high N & T percentages–and have been trying to use that similarity to differentiate which actions/tendencies are a result of his extreme personality and which are a result of sociopathy. Aside from the whole killing and eating people thing, I think the only other area where his sociopathy really influences him is the extent to which he carries his manipulation of others. An extreme, yet healthy INTJ won’t manipulate (or do something just to elicit a reaction) any more than an INTP would… probably less. His other tendencies may be influenced to some extent by sociopathy, but they are more ambiguous and could certainly be attributed to personality.

    Speaking of fictional characters, it would be amazing if you wrote a post on Spock.

    1. Hannibal is a fascinating character, he really is — I remember that conversation he had with Dr. Crawford in which he subtly accused the therapist of being too ham-fisted in his manipulation of a patient; he said the best manipulation is when they’re unaware of you doing it to them — he then proceeds to set Will up in a situation where he knows what the outcome will be (leaving a gun and his keys on the table, knowing Will will drive off and shoot an escaped prisoner outside Alanna’s house).

      My percentages are pretty low on the T, but I’m still tempted to manipulate people — but I’m aware of it and trying consciously not to do it. The thing is, I still know HOW I’d do it.

      Spock does deserve his own post. I’ll have to think about him and write one. 🙂

      1. Even though I’m a strong T I don’t experience the desire to manipulate people too much. Generally I only manipulate very emotional people to either calm them down or keep them from having an emotional outburst. But then I suppose that could also be called tact. 🙂

        1. Interesting! That makes me wonder which two letters are the factoring components! (Could it be the N — the person who makes up their own rules — combined with the T — the desire to see things play out?)

          It’s good that you use your skills only for good. 😉

          1. I doubt it’s the N & T since I’m a strong N as well. It may just be an individual style thing. I tend to be very commanding, so if I want to get something done I usually don’t have to manipulate people to do it. I suppose if I ran into a situation where that didn’t work, manipulation would be more of a temptation.

            Question: would you consider regularly faking social skills (for example, making small talk, pretending to be engaged in conversation, etc.) manipulation or simply adapting to cultural norms for the sake of making life easier?

          2. Generally, I’m most tempted to manipulate people a) out of boredom, b) I don’t like them, or c) I want to punish them for irritating/ignoring me. Then again, I’m just plain ornery anyway so it may just be me. 😉

            I’d call it adaptation. Most people need small talk, so I let them have it, even though I’m not really into it. (If we never progress past small talk, though, I start avoiding those people!)

  5. You’re making me want to watch this show even though I know it’ll have me shaking in my boots! Maybe, just maybe, mind you, I’ll agree to an episode when I visit you.

    1. If you do, I’ll show you the finale — there’s not much violence/gore in it, but it brings all the plot points full-circle (and I don’t think you’d get lost).

  6. Hrm… I must say, I disagree on your analysis with the letters- the letters tend to cause a lot of confusion in personality types. Everyone is thinkers AND feelers, everyone has sensing and iNtuition, the question is how much, and where. Someone can be an extroverted individual, but still be a “I” type, because their first function is an introverted one. (both my best friends are that way) That’s when you get into the cognitive functions. XD There are certain “F” types that are bigger “thinkers” than certain “T” types. I would highly recommend you check out Davesuperpowers’ videos on youtube- he’s an INTJ who is excellent at explaining the functions.
    (here’s a starter vid that explains things better than I ever could =P)

    1. Thanks, that was interesting and I’m sure others will find it helpful as well. 🙂

      I’d say that the best way to sum it up is: your percentages (are you a 55% T? 12% F?) impact your behavior, which means based on each percentage of every letter, there could be a million different personalities inside one single type.

      1. Thank you so much, Charity for opening up this blog. Taking the time to write plus, you have great grammar and editing skills. The ideas you present gives me time to think. Furthermore, it help me out to really know about my own personality and evaluate myself… Keep up the good work…

  7. Maybe, I am not an INTJ after all. I think this post suck… Sorry, you’re so into explain who is what. I haven’t heard really much of your side. I guess INTJ are either good at this or suck. I got to say I much rather go surfing. I bet hate messages are going to be floating my way. But hey heck it. Here’s a self-righteous girl posting thing she’s not. Peace… Got be just me… B-)

    1. (I don’t know how to ask this without sounding rude, but is English your second language? You seem to be leaving words out, which makes it difficult for me to understand your meaning sometimes.)

      After countless INTJs have harped on me for talking about myself, I’ve taken a much more distant approach to diagnosing the traits of an INTJ. As stated in the first several paragraphs, each INTJ will be different based on the percentages of their test (how high their percentages are with each letter, means each combination of percentages will turn out a different INTJ, with different hang-ups, character traits, and interests).

      If you’d rather go surfing than analyze fictional characters… yeah, you may not be an INTJ, since our first function seems to be thinking about things. 🙂

      1. Yes, my second language is English and happy for that. It’s definitely not my first language. Plus, it’s not rude to ask. On the other hand, most of the people are naturally thinkers. Most people analyst situations because humans are meant to think. I hung out upon (different types of people with different backgrounds). I believe some people make bad choices. Here’s where the kicker is, “feeling trapped upon (reality). Reality making them to think about the bad and good, yet an “escape” is only temporary; therefore, escapes towards what makes them feel happy. “I have escapes also yet rewarding myself is an escape.” This usually is about circumstance on cannot control. – Meaning, that their life made up by circumstances; which, create their train of thought. For example, the chance to escape is just a bad habit. This is the same of making “poor choices.” – I shouldn’t focus any attention on this… Poor thoughts produce poor thoughts. Also, negative plus a negative which produces one result. I believe most people are actually are Introverts by nature. Whether, we acknowledge that or not. – A person “thinks” and we seem to have a deep connection than just being Extroverts… Being keen an “introverts” is habitual “concern for oneself” by nature. We flip-flop from introvert to extrovert depending on the situation. We are meant to survive “whether selfish or not.” I come to the conclusion upon why do we think as we do. We response to situations in different manners we each do. While, Myers-Briggs testing is great, “my opinion” we are mostly Introvert. I haven’t read much on Myers-Briggs himself. I think my time should be spent on different matters than finding out INTJ personality in depth and challenging Myers-Briggs notions. Yet, by reading your blog I found flaws in my character that of which I would like to correct. One being emotional fortitude, some people may see flaws. Yet, if we were created the same it would be a boring world.

        Disregard that last message. I wrote with no care.

        Why did you choose Charity as your blogger name?

        If you’d rather go surfing than analyze fictional characters… yeah, you may not be an INTJ, since our first function seems to be thinking about things.

        I like to analyze my own character while surfing. Although, real people are more interesting than fictional characters. Movie to me have low-motive, unless they stimulate my mind… Seem to me you like the personalities realm of things. That’s great because I get to read about it.

        I thought this information would be fun:

        Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
        This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

        Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
        Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

        Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
        Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

        Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
        On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

        Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
        Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

        Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
        Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

        Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
        Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

        Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
        Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

        Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
        Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. My challenge – Jeb Corliss is an introvert; he is a thrill seeker and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

        Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
        A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

        http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts

        1. I don’t agree that most people are thinkers – if so, they’d have the common sense not to wear sandals and shorts in the middle of winter, in 30 degree temperatures. 😉

          Being an Introvert or Extrovert really has little to do with social skills – an Introvert can be outgoing, but needs time alone afterward in order to be ready to see more people, while an Extrovert (and believe me, I know some) doesn’t ever need a break from people. An Introvert will naturally want to keep to smaller groups, whereas an Extrovert will say, “The more the merrier, let’s invite everyone we know to our party!”

          Do I think there are MORE Introverts than Extroverts? Yeah, I do.

          It’s good that you have other interests. This just happens to be one of mine, since as an INTJ, I really don’t “get” other people, and knowing their type helps me understand their decisions better.

          I chose “Charity” as my blogger name… because it’s my first name! 🙂

          That is fun information, thanks for sharing it with my readers.

          1. Do I think there are MORE Introverts than Extroverts? Yeah, I do.

            Whew! Oh good, it’s not just me then 😛 I read once that 80% of people were Extroverts vs 20% Introverts, and I was like “What the–???” Because I usually feel like in group situations, I’m the one who’s told “You do the presentation–I get all nervous talking in public!” or “Well, you’re the outgoing one, just try to draw everyone out of their shell!”

            …an Extrovert will say, “The more the merrier, let’s invite everyone we know to our party!”…

            Ah yes, this is true, but I must add as a caveat, only the truly AWESOME people will be at that party. The party I’ll have if all my internet friends are ever in the same space-time continuum that is :P, don’t worry, you’re on the invitation list 😉

            Really interesting point about percentages factoring into one’s personality. I’d seen some personality quizzes offer percentages for each attribute, but hadn’t given it much thought before!

          2. I think a lot of people don’t understand Extrovert vs. Introvert — they think the latter means you’re some kind of anti-social shut in, so the E/I portion of the test gets skewed (I think if you only take the test once, and not several times over a couple of years, in different moods, your test may or may not be accurate in the first place, because its reliability is entirely based on how TRULY HONEST you are about yourself, and how well you ACTUALLY KNOW who you are!).

            My instinct in groups is to be quiet until I’m comfortable with people — we’ve been going to our current church for a couple of months now and spending quite a bit of time with our pastor and his wife, and it’s only recently that I’ve felt comfortable enough to open up and be my charming, sarcastic, amusing self in their presence.

            You may want to make sure your Introverted friends know one another if you do ever have a big bash between them — I’ve been encouraged a few times by various lj friends to attend “lj get togethers” and if I knew fewer people that were going than I didn’t know, my answer was usually no! (It wasn’t just my introverted-ness talking, it was logic and practicality too — how much fun am I likely to have? how many hours on a plane? how do I get there once I arrive? how much money is this going to cost?). Carissa is also an Introvert but more spontaneous than I am and always trying to get me to do things — half the time, I say, “Nope, I’m not going to Disneyland with you.”

            I have a great theory about spiritual gifts being directly tied into personality type tendencies (like, some types are more prone to certain gifts)… but that deserves a future post of its own!

          3. Regarding your last paragraph, I can very much see this. I’d love to read this if you decide to expand on in in a post.

          4. I want to post something along those lines but I need to do some more research first — maybe I can think it through and share it in a couple of weeks! 🙂

          5. You may want to make sure your Introverted friends know one another if you do ever have a big bash between them

            The big bash will be the epic book launch of one of my epic novels, they will have no choice but to attend. ^__~

            I kidd, I kidd. But reading through this is very insightful, while most of my friends, and my Mom (ISFJ) are introverts, there’s a lot I don’t know and I think this is shedding light on why some people are a bit unfriendly, or jump to the conclusions that introverts “don’t like them.”

            My instinct in groups is to be quiet until I’m comfortable with people…
            See, this is exactly what I do, if I’m thrust into a group of people I suspect might not like me (Like when I was 13 and my Mom sent me to a camp to “mingle with people my own age” and I wound surrounded by shrieking, boy crazy girls). I remain quiet, observing as much as possible for a while, biting my tongue even if I do feel the urge to jump into the conversation.

            The thing is, I suspect there are extroverts who recall doing this, so if they see an introvert “holding back” in a get together, instead of thinking “awww, they just need a little time to adjust” automatically assume “OMG–I bet they’re just being so quiet because they don’t like me!” Hence the oft unfair reputation some introverts get for being “cold” or “unfriendly” 😛

            I have a great theory about spiritual gifts being directly tied into personality type tendencies (like, some types are more prone to certain gifts)… but that deserves a future post of its own!

            Yes! Yes I second this! This reminds me of when my Mom attempted to introduce/explain the concept of MBTI to my Dad (ESTJ), “Just try to answer honestly, no answer is good or bad, it’s just the way you are.”

            I think if people are born with certain inherent personality traits–there’s a reason for it. All personality type has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Though unfortunately I think some types might be a bit more valued by worldly standards. What I am curious about though, is why some types are much rarer than others?

          6. Oh, I see… so you’re forcing us to show our loyalty as friends, by urging us to turn up en masse to your book launch. Very smart! 😉

            After dating someone who didn’t open up very easily for awhile, I put an end to the relationship because I found it frustrating – but the other night, I asked mom, “Do you think I might be as hard to get to know as ____ was?” and she said, “Maybe.” I don’t want to be that person, or to turn into my grandmother (a woman so self-contained she never told you ANYTHING) so I have to force myself to open up. Even so, I never tell anyone, not even those I trust most, everything… maybe for the same reasons you hold off for awhile, because I’m afraid that in telling them too much about myself, they won’t like or respect me anymore.

            Some Introverts may not just be holding back and adjusting to a group, but also analyzing other people in the group – figuring out “do I like this person? Do they rub me the wrong way? If so, why?” Sometimes, I have legitimate reasons for immediately disliking people (too loud, too pushy, too curious or obnoxious) and sometimes I can’t put my finger on what it is about them I don’t like. The more comfortable someone makes me, the easier I open up – the intense, eye-staring sort that fire questions at me and expect me to quickly answer will shut me up fast.

            My theory is that some gifts are traits of certain types (could “spiritual discernment” be a natural spiritual progression of a J type, which means you internalize evidence and draw conclusions on it?) while others have nothing to do with type (then again, they might – a gift-giver may not be a hugger, which means they might more likely be an Introvert… or an F aware of other people’s needs and feelings).

            I also think certain types are genetic, to a large degree – and that various behavioral problems are certain types carried to extremes (sociopaths/psychopaths – extreme INTJs, Aspergers – extreme ISTJ/INTJ, etc). I suspect that types have more to do with behavior than psychology in some cases.

            The rarity of certain types is indeed interesting. That, I can’t explain.

          7. I’ll post up a picture of me wear shorts and sandals while in 30 degree temperature. LOL JK… Yet, I can tell where you are getting to: people make bad choices in life. As an INTJ would say, “what are you thinking? Or, you are definitely thinking…”

            “The more the merrier, let’s invite everyone we know to our party!” I couldn’t put it any better…

            My other interest is seeing how government keeps sending… Yet, that’s another topic one I keep to those whom love business… It’s great you have a metal personalities reference, this makes you see how people are when they wear sandals to the snow. Right? LOL

            Nice name.

            Well great posts so far…

  8. I am thinking that personality types are a favorite subject of yours. 🙂

    Anyway, this was a fascinating read. It even helps explain a little bit more about myself, because as an INTJ (although close to an INFJ) this makes perfect sense. Action, reaction, explained in succinct detail.

    1. Nooo… really? 😉

      It gives me something to talk about! I haven’t quite gotten into nailing other types yet, but I’m working on it (I’m trying to train myself to look at a character overall and in pieces, and figure out what type they’re likely to be, by knowing what type others think they are and watching for indicators of it… the S/N is the hardest one for me to latch onto, because an N can have moral guidelines based on things other than an “inner knowing” — ie, religious beliefs).

      Thanks for the compliment — I’m glad you found it helpful. Most things describing the different reactions with the letters are so abstract, you can’t really wrap your head around them! (I must be taking a page from my mother’s book — make it simpler!)

      I can see some F-traits in you! You’re very kind! 🙂

  9. This was fascinating to read. I read the books a few years ago, but I should reread them. And I want to watch the movies.

    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      I need to reread the books! I found the author’s writing style… distracting. The movies are good — but … yeah, gory.

      1. I barely remember the books, just that I enjoyed them. But isn’t there a movie that you didn’t like based on the books? Or am I thinking of something else?

        1. There’s a lot of movies I don’t like for being bad adaptations, but the Hopkins-Lecter films aren’t one of them! (I rewatched Red Dragon last night and… man, Hopkins scares the hell out of me.)

          1. Ooh, good to know! I’ll have to watch them one of these days. I want to reread the books first, but maybe I shouldn’t since the books’ll be in my head and I’ll be constantly comparing the two. (Related: it’s why I can’t watch the HP books before watching the movies–the more you get into the series, the more unalike they become.)

          2. I may have to lend them to you edited, so you don’t have to put up with… stuff.

            Often, I choose to read books after seeing the movies — that way I don’t automatically resent the movie for changing a lot of things. Sometimes, though, I’m still surprised and irritated by needless changes! I think the Hannibal movies are pretty decent adaptations, though — two of my Hannibalites (friends who know more about the characters than I ever will) absolutely think the movies are brilliant — not having read the books many times, I can’t argue with them! 😀

  10. Wow another awesome post! Your breakdown of the four aspects of MBTI isn’t quite like anything I’ve seen on the internet! Just curious though–would you say INTJs are more frequent in fiction than fact? I know it’s a relatively rare type, but it seems like most archetypal villains are INTJs?

    Another thing–why is that INTJs are rarely depicted as heroes, despite the real life examples that history offers?

    1. Thank you!

      I was browsing around yesterday looking for intelligent conversation, and someone posed the notion that percentages determine a lot of different outcomes inside the same “personality type,” which makes a lot of sense — a 100% Introvert might be a lot more socially self-conscious and quiet than a 5% Introvert! Which… makes sense when it comes to Hannibal Lecter.

      Regarding whether or not INTJs are more common in fiction than reality — if 1% of the entire world’s population is INTJ (which is what they say, anyway) then that’s 1 in 100 people. Is 1 in every 100 villains and/or heroes an INTJ? They might tend to be by default since the scariest possible thing to a feeler-sensitive reader (and audience) is someone without remorse, emotion, or compassion — ie, your typical psychopath. But whether or not they are manipulators determines their INTJ status — some villains are cold, detached, and cruel but not particularly manipulative OR long-term planners (like Tavington in The Patriot).

      Heroes generally need to be warm and personable to offset a scary villain! Usually, INTJ heroes or heroines have a questionable factor about them which renders them anti-heroes or anti-heroines (like Edward Rochester and his questionable moral ethics). There are a few stand-out heroes though… like Gandalf. 🙂

      1. Ooh, ooh, an INTJ hero! That sounds like such a neat idea because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that was undeniably a hero! Is that even possible? Do they have to be anti-heroes or can they be heroes? What say you!?

          1. Ah, yes, Darcy! He had slipped my mind, poor man.

            I still forget that Gandalf is an INTJ. He seems so very different from others of that type I guess his percentages are lower in some areas so it changes the dynamic and helps with his interactions with others.

          2. Darcy is SO INTJ. He proposed thus:

            “I hate your family and think they’re all stupid, and rude, and immature, and being married to you would humiliate me beyond my wildest dreams since you’re so far beneath me, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about you — so, marry me?” 😀

            Gandalf has low percentages across the board, but:

            I) he enjoys traveling alone and often goes away from others for quiet time
            N) he looks at the long-term instead of the immediate (Helm’s Deep, the Ring in the Shire)
            T) he doesn’t make very emotional decisions (although his Fe kicks in later) and likes to mess with people’s minds (“Is it a good morning…?”)
            J) he gathers information and makes immediate judgments (ie, you’re an idiot… when did you turn into a witless worm?)

            Gandalf has some of the best insults in the series, too, I might add. 😉

          3. Ahhhh, so Gandalf messes with people’s minds the same way you do, in the playful fashion! I love that exchange he has with Bilbo, and I love that PJ pretty much kept it straight out of the book. So his T can be interchangeable with F sometimes, although I agree he is a much stronger T.

            I always found it interesting that Darcy’s logical side about Elizabeth never quite kicked in. He wanted it to, but the attraction was too strong. That must have driven him absolutely nuts! I much rewatch the newer version of it one of these days. It’s been, ohhhh, somewhere around 5 years since I’ve seen any version of P&P. My bad!

          4. Gandalf cares about people the same way I do — his first instinct is to get annoyed with their choices (like Pippin touching the palantir) and then to try and help them (by bringing him out of his trance). He’s never really all that “cuddly” but he does love them all.

            Poor Darcy fought his attraction for Lizzie with every fiber of his being — but his desire to be around her (partly because she was so unlike everyone else — so clever and witty and at ease with herself, which would have interested him as a socially-awkward person) overcame his common sense… but not his rudeness.

            The new movie is lovely, I’m glad I love it now.

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