I had two new labels slapped on me this past week, which I’m not ecstatic about, seeing as how I’m not into fitting people into labelled boxes, and the process of applying labels is not exactly ‘scientific’. However, I find myself identifying with both labels more than a bit, so there’s probably something in it. Or not.
Firstly, after much avoidance, I was finally corralled and someone administered the Myers & Briggs Type Indicator assessment. And, surprise, surprise, I scored as INTJ with a whopping 96% for the Introversion part, which tells me that I was feeling particularly just-leave-me-alone at the time. If I took the test again I’d probably score something else, but once the result was known, people around me were nodding their heads and laughing in DELIGHT about how WELL my characteristics matched the personality assessment, so yeah, whatever.
Apparently, less than 1% of females score as INTJ, maybe as few as 0.5 – 0.8%. Hmmm.
I’ve been reading up on the supposed INTJ characteristics, and I have to admit that it sounds like me. A LOT like me. Oh, alright, it is me. Someone showed me this and I showed it to Mr V, and he raised his eyebrow, smirked, and said, ‘Spot-on.’
Why am I sharing this? Well, it may explain a few things about me, I guess. For instance, my inability to function in group situations and my unwillingness to tolerate incompetence led me to quit most of the MA courses I started over the past few years. At the time I thought there must be something really wrong with me, but yeah, maybe it’s just the way I am.
I’ve been avoiding these sort of personality tests for a long time, since I was studying to qualify as a counsellor and scored way, way off the chart on a ‘social needs’ test that had my classmates looking at me with big eyes. And then there were the times I made classmates cry during group activities because I was ‘mean’ to them – well, I was actually just telling them to STFU and address the task at hand because we had a time limit – but yeah, sadly, I don’t play nice with others in group situations.
The other label I acquired is ‘Reading OCD’. I was talking to a doctor and mentioned the problems I’ve sometimes had with reading over the past few years, and she pricked up her ears. Apparently, ‘Reading OCD’ is a thing, although not officially recognised, but quite a few people seem to have it. Seeing as how I have OCD that manifests in other ways, I guess it’s logical that I might have a problem with reading as well. *SIGH*
Sometimes, when I read something, especially if I *need* to read and understand it, my brain gets into this weird ‘did I understand what I just read / did I read that correctly / did I miss anything important / do I really know what that word means’ loop. So, I have to read and re-read and re-read sentences and paragraphs and pages, and look up words to make sure of their meaning. I know. It’s crazy and weird and exhausting and it means that sometimes I don’t get much reading done at all. I’ve only had this problem for a few years and I’m thinking that my OCD has probably sneaked into my reading process, and I didn’t recognise or name it until someone else stuck a label on it.
I was given some strategies to try to overcome the compulsion to re-read, so I shall do my best to implement them. It’s a bit disappointing, though, because you’d think I’d have picked up on it myself, but therein lies another mystery of the brain: often we just don’t see what’s staring us in the face.
INTJ – not exactly a scientific analysis of my personality, but it does sound eerily familiar.
Reading OCD – seems to describe what I do.
Maybe, one day, I’ll write about living with OCD. It’s not just about having a tidy sock drawer or perfectly arranged books – I have neither, actually. OCD is a debilitating mental illness that can really blight your life if you let it. My main strategy is avoidance – I just don’t do what my brain nags me to do, and maybe that will work with the reading problem.
Anyway, I shall end this TMI post with a link to my new website, a blog dedicated to unearthing the books hiding in my TBR book mountain, unimaginatively called ‘the book mountain’, and which resides at tsundoku.me . I’ve only got three posts there so far, and the reading project tab is kind of a work (not) in progress. But, you get the idea…
P.S. Can you let me know if you have a problem viewing the new site on your device? The theme is supposed to be responsive and self-adjusting, but I’ve only tested it on a few platforms. Thx. :)
Edited to add:
Mr V was fairly sceptical about the Myers & Briggs test, even though it seemed to peg me quite accurately. Reluctantly, he did it and scored ISTP which is totally bang-on-the-money, right down to the career in the military. Yep.