All 4 kinds of NTs (ENTJ, INTJ, ENTP, INTP ) have rather obsessive tendencies. Call it OCD or whatever you like, but our perfectionistic natures manifest in many ways, often leading us to ‘expert’ status in one or more areas. How has your extreme perfectionism helped or hindered you in your life?
I never had a drive for perfection – it was always more a drive to know how and why the way things are the way they are. it drove me to study all the sciences, all the schools of psychology, and all the religions. After 50 years of relentless pursuit, I evolved into a mostly spontaneous, intuitive, playful person. Living mostly “in the zone’ of effortless effort. Playing with bliss and challenges alike and still curious about almost everything.
Interesting. Perhaps the drive for perfection is stronger in the xNTJ/Enneagram One? I definitely can relate to both somewhat, but the drive to understand is definitely the stonger of the two. Perhaps it’s an xNTP thing. That said, the drive for excellence is something I can definitely also relate to very strongly.
My perfectionism is EXTREME 🙁 I can’t even buy a book without making sure the corners are in perfect condition. When I read a book, I make sure I never bend it. When I shop – I make sure logos are perfectly correct on a t-shirt and seams are in line (I notice these things immediately). I am always looking for “the best of.” All my research starts with “top rated best….” If I go to a bakery – I will pick out the “best” pastry – the lightest croissant or cookie. My artwork – I was always self-critical, comparing myself to the best ’cause I know the pros are better than me, therefore discouraging me. But even the crappy artists frustrate me because THEY’RE making a living doing what they just started to do while I was doing this my whole life (i.e. photography starting in film and suddenly everyone with a phone is a pro photographer and my chances of getting work are slimmer than ever). I can go on and on, but in essence I have lacked confidence and assertiveness my whole life in my work. Yet I KNOW I’m great in many fields – I know what I know well, but as far as making money at it? I can’t ever create unless I have the room to create. But yes, my OCD is bad. And you know what? This didn’t start until the late 90’s when I got a job as a production artist and a photo lab tech. I was trained to see flaws, colors, alignment, etc – it has been ingrained since then!
Christina, you sound classic intp, even if it took some time for it to become clear. Intp women are a really rare type, which is a cool thing, though I wonder how many more intps might actually be out there who’ve mistyped as SJs! Setting a new high bar of excellence/ accomplishment and competing with our own self-imposed standard (and feeling like we’re failing ourselves) is a common NT issue.
I’m an INTP, and I don’t have the perfectionist tendencies except that I often will not take on a new initiative if I feel it won’t be good enough because I fear it will be a waste of time. Of course, there are times that I’ll work on something and really obsess about it, when it comes to something I dreamed up myself (my vision, the architect) and I’ll spend lots of time to see it become reality. So, maybe there are hints of it. Although, there are many times I quote “don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.” Sometimes you just to move forward on to the next project and let that one be good enough.