Twitter Ain’t Therapy*

*Or at least it shouldn’t be used as such

Due to this straightforward way of thinking, ENTJs tend to have the greatest difficulty of all the types in applying subjective considerations and emotional values into the decision-making process.
-From the Wikipedia article on ENTJs

I’ll be up front: I’m an ENTJ.
Anyone who has ever taken a Keirsey Temperament Sorter or an MBTI type assessment knows that the usefulness for truly revealing deep insight into one’s character of these tools is somewhere between “nicely illuminating” and “not much better than this morning’s horoscope”. There’s very little causation chocolate in that correlative peanut butter, at least in my opinion. However, there are some valuable nuggets that can be used for self-introspective purposes.
For instance, check that blockquote above. What that basically means is that ENTJs tend to be black and white thinkers. What it also means is that they tend to have difficulty in empathizing with others’ emotional positions. This (can) lead to three decided downsides for both the ENTJs and those who have to deal with them:

  1. We don’t understand why others, when given the exact same set of facts, come to conclusions other than the ones we draw
  2. We tend to have a poor sense of how our words and tone are likely to be perceived by others
  3. We tend to get caught up in our own decision-making process, assume others make the same leaps of logic as we do and then get frustrated when things don’t work out according to our plans (either because of simple logistics or the active “failure” of others to read our minds)

Practically, this can result in me making decisions whose logic and expected outcome make perfect sense to me, yet leave others either scratching their heads or actively insulted. If I manage to succeed in these endeavors, the slights tend to get forgotten (for the time being), while if I fail, my previous shortcuts tend to make a bad situation worse.
I’ve been blessed to have a wife who is an INFJ and who is willing to call me on my failings, albeit in a loving way. “Do you know how you came across when you said [X]?” is a common refrain from her and, while probably a good 75% of the time the answer is “No, I don’t know”, I am getting better at grokking these situations in aggregate.
So how does this apply to Twitter? I’ll tell you: the frictionless ease with which one can share one’s thoughts on Twitter means that I can say insensitive stuff and insult people in real-time all across the world and not even realize it. To top it off, I’m even less sensitive to others when under stress and/or short on sleep. Given that

  • I have a brand new infant
  • I have a two year old who wakes nightly between 2:30 and 4:00 AM
  • I’ve gotten wrapped around several political axles recently

yesterday was probably a day I should’ve simply taken off vis-a-vis Twitter. Alas, I didn’t, and I managed to tick a few people off when trying to forcefully advocate for my own positions.
Thus, to those I have previously offended: I ask your forgiveness for any insult I have caused. For those I will undoubtedly offend in the future: I’m not asking for a license to insult, but please realize that I probably don’t know how I’m coming across to you, I probably should’ve taken a moment or two before shooting my mouth off, I will (almost certainly) feel bad once I realize what I’ve done. So, please, know that if I insult you, it’s probably because I didn’t take enough time to truly recognize the fact that you’re another human being and not a Risk piece to be influenced, a severe character defect that I’m trying, with God’s grace, to stop doing.

2 Replies to “Twitter Ain’t Therapy*”

  1. I feel like I’m reading about myself. Almost. I have spent years becoming more aware of how I come across to others. I’m not insulting either, just too in my head and analytical and always trying to sort details in my head into a coherent summary. I do think I’m not J anymore either, but I have to dig the paperwork out to know for sure. But hey! Aren’t we just smarter than most of the rest of the people we encounter? As a friend who’s a Meyers Briggs trainer told me years ago, I “should be running the company,” not working for it. Never happened.

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