What I learned in five years of blogging

On Blogging

Cristian Mihai

Five years. Five years of daily blogging. Five years since I decided to never give up, no matter what. To keep writing, to keep blogging, to just keep at it for as long as it took.

And what a ride it has been. Around the world, indeed. 200 or so countries. Lots and lots of people, lots and lots of stories…

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Anxiety: About Me

My brain is the bone, anxiety is the dog.

Anxiety has been with me, my constant companion, since childhood. Kids aren’t generally diagnosed in childhood when it comes to known disorders like anxiety, depression, etc. and for good reason, it’s just not a safe idea. Children can and will “qualify” for a variety of disorders just as the laws of being a child and growing up dictate. But some children do legitimately experience real issues and from a young age too. I was one of them. Had I not been a child of the 80s, things might have been markedly different than growing up in today’s more knowledgeable and aware society.

Back then, I was just Christina, and “Christina’s wound up a little tight.” As I was often described by family and teachers. I never denied it, I knew what they meant because I was far from unaware. Anxiety allows that superpower, hyper-sensitivity. This sensitivity is often misunderstood to mean easily triggered feelings or spontaneously emotive and the like. Not for me and not for most anxiety-riddled individuals. We keep a strong grip on our feelings for fear of losing control, for it seems we can’t control much else. We cannot control the demanding pace of our thoughts, nor the amount of information that we are bombarded with. Hyper-sensitivity means being aware of all things at all times. I saw every facial expression, heard every tone of voice, saw every minute bodily movement when adults spoke of, but never actually addressed, me. Things didn’t change much as an adult.

I always heard more than was said. I always saw more than was visible. I was always thinking while never sharing. Teachers often suspected that I was a daydreamer simply because I gave that impression of having the ‘lights on but no one was home,’ look. Sometimes I did daydream, but not in the scribble-in-my-notebook kind of way. No. I took lessons and began to mentally apply them before the lecture was over. While in one lesson, I was often working out the homework from another subject. Everything seemed to have a natural course of thought, I simply followed it to its end, by which time, the instructor wasn’t actually needed. This process was the only way I could keep my always anxious mind occupied. If left to its own devices, my anxiety would be allowed to build until I worked myself into a sweat over things I could not control.

This blog is more for me than anyone else, I know that. What prompted it was a brief but telling visit to my daughter’s pediatrician. My kid is not an easy patient. When she’s overwhelmed, she screams. Shots do it every time. Her scream is brief but piercing. And I’m not at all phased when it happens. The thing about anxious people, we dwell on every possible outcome, every plausible horrid scenario until we are exhausted with our own thoughts. By the time some disaster comes along, or better still something just generally “uncomfortable” does happen, we aren’t phased. In fact, I would go so far as to say a person of anxiety might be one of the calmest people in the room. I know I am. I’ve seen whatever is happening already in my head, a hundred times or so, and a hundred times worse. In this, I have another superpower. I’m very rarely surprised. I find most movies, television shows, even novels to be predictable. I find most day-to-day interactions tedious as I know what someone is going to more or less say or do before they say or do it. I may sound like an asshole, but that doesn’t make what I said any less true. It’s just what I experience everyday.

When the nurses look like they might run from the room by my daughter’s ear shattering pitch, when the doctor is incapable of maintaining an impartial face, in fact, the doctor is looking at my kid in disgust, I take over. I know what to say, I know what to do, and my child is a willing participant once more. I make a mental note to research new pediatricians in my area. If I’m calmer and more capable than a pediatrician…I mean come on.

There’s a good chance my kid will grow up with her own anxious companion. Where I kept what alarmed and overwhelmed me to myself, she lets her discomfort be known. She’s wonderfully verbal like that. So that’s something. It is the responsibility of each new generation of parents to be better than those before. If that’s true – and it is – I’m much relieved. If my kid can express herself when she feels overwhelmed then she’s already doing better than me by miles. As a kid, my normal day started with someone telling me not to be weird, and just be like other kids. “Relax,” I was told. “Just have fun,” I heard a lot. “Just be normal.”

I suppose if my child is ever inclined to read these blogs when she’s older, I would want her to know that being yourself is the new normal. As you grow up, your need to scream when overwhelmed will lessen and eventually stop. You will develop your own tricks to divert your worrisome mind. You will have bad days, and you will have brilliant days – just like everyone else. You will see the advantages to anxiety where others can only see the obvious disadvantages. You will leave many behind who cannot understand you, or just won’t take the time to. I know I did, and those folks I’ve dropped along the path to growing up aren’t missed.

I’ve envisioned the scenarios as to what life might have been like had I not had anxiety disorder. I have to say I’m not impressed. Those lives – they all look predictable to me.

ArmedWithCoffee.com
Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

Neil Gaiman & Imposter Syndrome

I’m re-posting the article and original blog of a brief look into Imposter syndrome. I know I experience such moments.

“It comes in the night. It comes for us all. Imposter syndrome, that constant feeling that you’re about to be revealed as a total fraud, seizes even the most successful among us plebes.

Exhibit A: An encounter between beloved author Neil Gaiman and another Neil, one whose historical importance can hardly be overstated. Gaiman wrote on his blog May 12 about meeting a legendary man, who said he felt out of place among great artists and scientists.

It was Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. Wrote Gaiman:

And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.

Here’s the post in full:

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Gaiman’s words of comfort to his fan, arguing that no one at all really feels like they know what they’re doing, is clearly resonating with people. A tweet by fantasy writer Alan Baxter, quoting Gaiman’s blog post, has been liked 41,000 times at time of writing.

The feeling that you are severely under-qualified for the task ahead of you, or that you’re secretly the most incompetent person in a room full of bonafide geniuses, it seems, is pervasive.”

ArmedWithCoffee.com

Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

Novel Update

First, Happy Mother’s Day! I have one child, with no plans for anymore, and I often wonder how I sometimes get through the day, never mind moms with multiples. Let’s forgo today’s coffee in favor of a mimosa…or whatever the hell you want.

Second, this blog is simply to update on Ruth, my novel.

After a few online conversations with published authors, and reading a few of their blogs on the subject, I find myself leaning more and more towards the idea of self-publishing in the digital market. Pursuing the traditional route of agent representation has proven unfruitful.

I actually read an article written by an agent that likened the perfect query to a movie trailer – A MOVIE TRAILER. Never mind that novels and movies are two entirely different mediums, but hey, forget all that. And forget the agent’s rather poor analogy (irony much?). Forget the agent actually suggested that all enquirers should forget about their themes. She’s tired of themes! she cried. She wants to be moved, she declared. She wants her breath taken away by an adventure.

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That advice article only confirmed my worst fears, an agent’s decision comes down to personal feeling. That could mean anything from a professionally developed feeling to a general, ‘damn, I stubbed my toe and now I’m in a bad mood,’ kind of feeling. An unknown enquirer is subject to the feelings and moods of an unknown agent. I don’t know how developed these agents are, if they can separate their personal reading interests from having a critical and analytical point-of-view. This new manuscript may not make you, the agent, weep with joy but perhaps you could see how others would. Just because you, the agent, can’t personally identify with the protagonist in a new story doesn’t mean others could not.

I understood agents were meant to be trained to find the different, the unique, a new style of quality in an unknown writer. You’d think the thought process might be more like, ‘You know what? It’s not perfect but that’s what our in-house editors are (I am) for. I could nurture this client. I will not let this writer fall into the hands of Amazon. I’m taking this writer on.’

This business is stacked the wrong way and it sucks. You’d think an agent’s spidey-senses would kick off by something different, but instead, I’m left with a vision of a faceless agent groaning at receiving yet another not fantastical, whimsical, YA/SF/FF, sexily-written, perfect package of a manuscript; i.e. a movie trailer.

Publishing is such a strange and ever shifting creature, I believe my direction in the digital market is the correct one.

Cynicism? You bet. Justified? You bet. After my meager 38 queries, I learned a few things. I learned that when I crafted a query, synopsis, and my sample pages (and this took hours, btw) and then I submitted my work only to receive an automatic rejection by an agency’s automated software program, that I indeed wasted hours of work. I’m guessing, but if you’ve ever encountered this before, it’s likely because you checked off the box “unpublished” when you submitted. There’s a right little fuck you to new authors, isn’t it?

I’ve also learned that when an agent writes a profile indicating what genres they are most interested in reading, it’s actually bullshit. It made no difference how well I matched my query to the agent, I was met with a standard message, “Your work does not fit my interest.” Well actually, I disagree, I wouldn’t have contacted you otherwise. It’s a standard message that’s meant to be a generic fits-the-bill rejection letter. Such a non-helpful reply is only insulting as its written from the point of view that I, the enquirer, failed to take notice of the agent’s reading interests.

So…the new plans for Ruth.

My manuscript is a behemoth, I know this. I was advised, and not by an agent but by an author, to cut it down. He started out large too, he said, and finally he got real, practical advice from other authors. No agent anywhere wants to handle a giant of a novel from an unknown like me. Okay, got it. I wish someone, like an agent for instance, had the balls to speak up earlier instead of going on and on about how an agent may not read my query, but advised that I spend as much time as possible making each one perfect. But agents have to push that antiquated advice, don’t they? They have to justify their existence at work, ‘Hey boss, I got like, 20 queries today. Good thing you hired me, right?’

Beginning this fall, Ruth is gonna take some cuts. Heavy cuts. Then I’m going to hire an editor to polish off what I don’t know how to do. I know my limits. Then I will pursue digital publishing.

Finally, I have prepped the old idea board for a children’s book. As a lifelong citizen to the State of Anxiety (since childhood), and raising a child that has anxiety issues herself, I thought it might be a good thing to tackle the topic. It seems a subject that is sorely lacking for young kids. I see children’s books about “worry,” which, true enough, is normal to the human existence. But anxiety? Not so much. I’m really looking forward to taking that project on.

ArmedWithCoffee.com
Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” (Regular Musings)

I’ve collected quotes over the years, sayings and thoughts that have meant something to me at different points in my life. Many caught my attention during a critical period of self-care, while understanding how others were proving detrimental to that cause. Other quotes are just bad ass lines found in various works (fiction, poems, songs).

Anonymous / Unknown Collection

“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.”

“When people treat you like they don’t care, believe them.”

“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.”

“Be who you needed to be when you were younger.”

“Don’t underestimate me. I know more than I say, think more than I speak, and notice more than you realize.

Extramadness.com

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”

J. R. R. Tolkien

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf the Grey, Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring

Buddha

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

George R. R. Martin

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister, A Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire

W. B. Yeats

Has no one said those daring / Kind eyes should be more learn’d? / Or warned you how despairing / The moths are when they are burned, / I could have warned you, but you are young,  / So we speak a different tongue. – “To a Child Dancing in the Wind”

J. K. Rowling

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail be default.”

Stevie Nicks

Has anyone ever written anything for you / In all your darkest hours…

Has anyone ever given anything to you / In your darkest hours / Did you ever give it back / Well, I have / I have given that to you – “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You”

The Bug

“The rise and fall of your God will tell me the story of your city / The rise and fall of your faith will show me the things I’ve been missing / Let the game begin / Let me lose or win / Let this war begin – “The Fall”

Jane Austen

“I was quiet, but I was not blind.” Mansfield Park

Edgar Allan Poe

“If it’s meant for you, you won’t have to beg for it. You will never have to sacrifice your dignity for your destiny.”

Stephen King

“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

ArmedWithCoffee.com
Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

On Writing Women (when you’re a dude)

An excellent example (in my opinion) of fiction wherein the female protagonist is written by a man is Stephen King’s, Gerald’s Game.

A copy/pasted article (click here for the original article):

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“You guys, you must stop doing this. You must. We cannot keep yelling at you about it because it makes us so angry, and we are already angry all the time, about real things, like how our lives are turning into a real world Handmaid’s Tale, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha. We cannot keep spending our energy being mad at mediocre men for writing mediocre books that inexplicably win awards and that people tell us to read, for some fucking godawful who knows reason.

So men. My guys. My dudes. My bros. My writers. I am begging you to help me here. When you have this man in your workshop, you must turn to him. You must take his clammy hands in yours. You must look deep into his eyes, his man eyes, with your man eyes, and you must say to him, “Peter, I am a man, and you are a man, so let us talk to each other like men. Peter, look at the way you have written about the only four women in this book.” And Peter will say, trying to free his hands, “What? These are sexy, dynamic, interesting women.” And you must grip his hands even tighter and you must say to him, “ARE THEY, PETER? Why are they interesting? What are their hobbies? What are their private habits? What are their strange dreams? What choices are they making, Peter? They are not making choices. They are not interesting. What they are is sexy, and you have those things confused, and not in the good way where someone’s interestingness makes them become sexy, like Steve Buscemi or Pauline Viardot. Why must women be sexy to be interesting to you? The women you don’t find sexy are where, Peter? They are invisible? They are all dead?” He is trying to escape! Tighten your grasp. “Peter, look at this. I mean, where to begin. ‘She could have been any age between eighteen and thirty-five?’ There are no other ages, I guess? Do you know what eighteen-year-olds really look like, in life? Do you know what thirty-SEVEN-year-olds look like, god forbid? And not that this is even the point, but why are these supposedly sexy and dynamic and interesting women BOTHERING with your boring garbage ‘on the skinny side of average’ protagonist? Why did you write it like this, Peter?”

And maybe Peter will say at last, “I don’t know.” Maybe he will be silent for a long long long time, and then maybe he will say, “I guess it’s scary and difficult for me to imagine the interiority of women because then i would have to know that my mother had an interiority of her own: private, petty, sexually unstimulating, strange: unrelated to me and undevoted to my needs. That sometimes I was nothing to my mother, just as sometimes she is nothing to me. That I was not at all times her immediate concern.”

“I know, Peter,” you can tell him gently.

“I don’t want to know that my mother was a human being with an internal life, because to know that would be to risk a frightening intimacy with her,” Peter will say, maybe. “Because to know that would be to know that she was only a small, complicated person, no bigger or smaller than I am, and I am so small. To know how alone she was. How alone I am. How alone we all are. That my mother survived with no resources more mysterious than my own. And yet she gave me life. My God: she gave me life. How can I pay her back for that? And how can I forgive her for it? How can I ever repay her for the good and the evil of it, my life, every day of my life?” He will be sobbing probably. “I am frightened of her. I am frightened of loneliness. I am frightened of dying. O God. My God. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.” Drool will run from his mouth as he cries. The way babies cry. He will be ashamed. You must hold him. You must say, “Shh, Peter. Shh.” Wrap your man arms around him. Hum into his thin hair as your own mother hummed once into your own sweet-smelling baby scalp. Kiss him gently on his mouth. There. You did it, men. You fixed sexism. Thank you. You’re the real hero here, as always, you men, and your special man powers, for making art. ”

 

 

Current Reading List

My 2017 list has been mostly filled with “meh” results. That’s unfortunate but they can’t all be grabbers and shakers. However, this blog is NOT meant to be a review of any of the following titles listed.

These are surface opinions or walkaway impressions – AT BEST. If you’re taking the following information as a review – don’t, cause I warned you already this blog is not a review of the books mentioned. These are simply my upfront thoughts. If you’re offended, you’ve read way too much into the blurb.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

Protagonist = pro
Lead = main character
Antagonist = anta

2017, what I’ve read so far:

Barkskins, by Annie Proulx. This is a whopping piece of historical fiction, landing at 737 pages in its printed edition. I love historical fiction and to say this author is thorough is an understatement. I actually began this epic saga in late 2016 and it carried over into the new year. I tend to read other novels in-between mammoths like this in order to have the occasional breather in story lines, but honestly every line was worth the time.

The Winthrop Woman, by Anya Seton.
Another piece of thorough historical fiction. This novel’s focus is of a woman pro who dared to be different in a time when being different could cost you your life. I’ll be looking into more of Seton’s works.

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott. I find this story to be wonderfully engaging, the author is definitely in the know when it comes to competitive level mindsets for young people and their parents. A great twist when all is revealed. I found the mother a bit tedious with the repetition of her inner thoughts, along the lines of, ‘No one really understands. Only the parents of a naturally gifted athlete could get it.’ Not that this thought or feeling isn’t true. My only gripe is that it’s a thought expressed by the lead often.

What She Knew, by Gillian Macmillian. I actually had to look this one up as I could not remember the plot, the characters – nothing. I see why. I feel I’ve read this psychological thriller before. Many times, in fact. This novel did not leave a memorable impression on me.

The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena. Not an impressive thriller, I felt the obvious strings pluck several times. I recalled it only because every character evoked within me a desire to slap them all. I kept thinking, ‘that’s why you don’t pretend to be friends with people you don’t like you miserable sacks of suds,’ and, ‘what’s the focus here? the missing baby or the lead’s underlying psychological problems?’ The story had me feeling like I was driving behind someone who was constantly braking. Stop, start, stop, start. Again, just my impressions.

End of Watch (book 3 of the Bill Hodges trilogy), by Stephen King. It was nice to get a wrap up on Mr. Mercedes and in truth, I’m glad King gave the story that old supernatural twist, something not present in the first two. It’s like coming home; lifelong King fans know what I’m talking about when I say that.

The Marriage Lie, by Kimberly Belle. This is one of those novels that I, again, had to look up. And then I remembered this is the one I struggled to finish. I believe life is too short to continue reading something that’s not very engaging. It’s, I guess, a “romantic thriller”? The romantic gush is there, the suspense is not. The lead is a psychologist and the author dropped enough surface language to imply as much, but their is absolutely no depth in the pro. Not enough to convince me of the pro’s occupation or that the pro is even taking her situation seriously. Despite the complicated goings-on, the pro’s thoughts remain at surface level and is largely non-reactionary.

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen.
I am rereading this. I have heard the argument that rereading a novel, no matter how much enjoyed, is as much a waste of time as continuing a book that’s not very engaging. I understand, but I would also argue that rereading allows a different measure of understanding as time goes by. How I read Sense and… in my college years and how I am experiencing it now are two different things. I liked it well enough then, but I’ve loving it now. How Jane Austen presents youth is much more enlightening to me now that I have exited the trials and stupidity that were my early 20s.

Upcoming reads:

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See. See is a favorite author and I am anxious to jump into it.

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. I understand this is a literary classic. I look forward to diving in.

The Princes of Ireland, by Edward Rutherford. Rutherford has written miles of historical fiction and I’m always on the lookout for a regular author of the genre.

The Secrets She Keeps (July 2017), by Michael Robotham. Robotham rescued the thriller/suspense genre for me. Truly. For a very long time, I kept away from thrillers as most thrillers just tend to read as obvious stories with a light underscore of “who done it?” After reading Shatter, a straight-up, genuine psychological thriller, Robotham brought me back in a big way. Since then, I’ve read all his works and I’m confident I’ll be a lifelong fan.

Afterwards:
The above may get me through to August or thereabouts. I’ll update with a new reading blog towards the end of the year.

Any inclusions? What have you liked so far in 2017?

ArmedWithCoffee.com
Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

Personality: The 16 Types (Blog 5 of 5)

According to the Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT), the USA population percentage breakdown of each type is as follows:
(I) = 47-55%    (E) = 45-53%
(S) = 66-74%   (N) = 26-34%
(T) = 40-50%   (F) = 50-60%
(J) = 54-60%    (P) = 40-46%*

*Depending on the statistical averages of other test providers, the numbers can be very specific, down to an exacting number, however, I believe in making room for variance. I find variance to better reflect averages when dealing with large scale population numbers, and the simple fact that people do sometimes change.*

And here we are, the 16 personality types of the MBTI.**
**Some of the following observations have been provided by Truity.**


ISTJ “The Inspector”
(11-14% of the US population)

Quiet and serious, ISTJs are practical, orderly, matter-of-fact, logical, realistic, and dependable. They are naturally inclined to take responsibility for everything they understand to have a stake in. ISTJs make up their own minds as to what should be accomplished and work towards that goal steadily, regardless of protests or distractions.

“Although they are Introverted, ISTJs are rarely isolated; typical ISTJs know just where they belong in life, and want to understand how they can participate in established organizations and systems. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and making sure that standards are met.” – Truity

Popular ISTJ Careers


ISFJ “The Protector”
(9-14% of the US population)

Quiet, friendly, responsible and conscientious. ISFJs work devotedly to meet their obligations. ISFJs are known to lend stability to any group or project. They are thorough, painstaking, and accurate. ISFJs are loyal, considerate and very perceptive, even preoccupied with how others are feeling.

“They are steady and committed workers with a deep sense of responsibility to others. They focus on fulfilling their duties, particularly when they are taking care of the needs of other people. They want others to know that they are reliable and can be trusted to do what is expected of them. They are conscientious and methodical, and persist until the job is done.” – Truity

Popular ISFJ Careers


INFJ “The Counselor”
(1-3% of the US population)

INFJs succeed by perseverance, originality, and a desire to do whatever is needed or wanted. INFJs are respected for their firm principles. They are likely to be honored for their ideals, and followed for their clear visions of how to do the most good for the common good.

“INFJs are guided by a deeply considered set of personal values. They are intensely idealistic, and can clearly imagine a happier and more perfect future. They can become discouraged by the harsh realities of the present, but they are typically motivated and persistent in taking positive action nonetheless. The INFJ feels an intrinsic drive to do what they can to make the world a better place.” – Truity

Popular INFJ Careers


INTJ “The Mastermind”
(2-4% of the US population)

INTJs have original mindsets; they are driven and energized by their own ideas and purposes. They have long-range vision and find meaningful patterns in external happenings. INTJs are naturally skeptical, critical, independent, and determined. They have very high standards for competence and performance.

“Often intellectual, INTJs enjoy logical reasoning and complex problem-solving. They approach life by analyzing the theory behind what they see, and are typically focused inward, on their own thoughtful study of the world around them. INTJs are drawn to logical systems and are much less comfortable with the unpredictable nature of other people and their emotions. They are typically independent and selective about their relationships, preferring to associate with people who they find intellectually stimulating.” – Truity

Popular INTJ Careers


ISTP “The Craftsman”
(4-6% of the US population)

ISTPs could easily be described as cool onlookers; cool, reserved, observant, and analyze with a detached curiosity. They are also known for their unexpected flashes of odd and original humor. ISTPs are interested in cause and effect relationships, how and why mechanical things work, and have an appreciation for organizing facts. ISTPs excel at finding the core of a problem and finding a solution.

“Because of their astute sense of their environment, they are good at moving quickly and responding to emergencies. ISTPs are reserved, but not withdrawn: the ISTP enjoys taking action, and approaches the world with a keen appreciation for the physical and sensory experiences it has to offer.” – Truity

Popular ISTP Careers


ISFP “The Composer”
(5-9% of the US population)

ISFPs are friendly, sensitive, kind and modest about their abilities. They do not engage in disagreements, and do not force their opinions or values on others. ISFPs are not typically leaders but are often loyal followers. They are often relaxed about getting things done because they enjoy the moment do not want to spoil the moment by undue haste or exertion.

“ISFPs are gentle caretakers who live in the present moment and enjoy their surroundings with cheerful, low-key enthusiasm. They are flexible and spontaneous, and like to go with the flow to enjoy what life has to offer. ISFPs are quiet and unassuming, and may be hard to get to know. However, to those who know them well, the ISFP is warm and friendly, eager to share in life’s many experiences.” – Truity

Popular ISFP Careers


INFP “The Healer”
(4-5% of the US population)

INFPs are quiet observers, idealistic, and loyal. Their outer lives must be congruent with their inner values. INFPs are curious and quick to see possibilities, and often serve as a catalyst to implement ideas. They are adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless a personal value is threatened. INFPs want to understand people and ways to help others reach their potential. They hold little value with possessions or surroundings.

“They are often concerned with a search for meaning and truth within themselves. Following tradition holds little appeal for the INFP; they prefer to do their own exploration of values and ideas, and decide for themselves what seems right. INFPs are often offbeat and unconventional, but they feel no desire to conform. The INFP would rather be true to themselves than try to fit in with the crowd.” – Truity

Popular INFP Careers


INTP “The Architect”
(3-5% of the US population)

INTPs enjoy theoretical or scientific pursuits. They tend to be quiet and reserved. INTPs like solving problems using logic and analysis.  They are most interested in exploring ideas and problems as opposed to general discussion or “small talk.” INTPs tend to have narrowed or sharply defined interests. They need employment or involvement that allows them to pursue their interests professionally.

“INTPs are detached, analytical observers who can seem oblivious to the world around them because they are so deeply absorbed in thought. They spend much of their time focused internally: exploring concepts, making connections, and seeking understanding. To the Architect, life is an ongoing inquiry into the mysteries of the universe.” – Truity

Popular INTP Careers


ESTP “The Dynamo”
(4-5% of the US population)

ESTPs are excellent at on the spot problem solving. ESTPs like action and enjoy whatever comes up in the moment. They tend to like mechanical things, sports, and general goings-on with friends. They are adaptable, tolerant, pragmatic and results-driven. ESTPs dislike long explanations and like hands-on work or activities.

“ESTPs are often natural athletes; they easily navigate their physical environment and are typically highly coordinated. They like to use this physical aptitude in the pursuit of excitement and adventure, and they often enjoy putting their skills to the test in risky or even dangerous activities.” – Truity

Popular ESTP Careers


ESFP “The Performer”
(4-9% of the US population)

ESFPs are outgoing, accepting, and enjoy everything; an ESFP’s enjoyment is infectious and heightens the enjoyment of others. They like to take action and make things happen. ESFPs naturally catch on to situations or the group feeling. They join groups, and are accepted by groups, easily for this reason. ESFPs are best in situations and groups that require sound, common sense.

“Although they are characteristically fun-loving, ESFPs are also typically practical and down-to-earth. They are grounded in reality and are usually keenly aware of the facts and details in their environment, especially as they pertain to people. They are observant of others and their needs, and responsive in offering assistance. ESFPs enjoy helping other people, especially in practical, tangible ways.” – Truity

Popular ESFP Careers


ENFP “The Champion”
(6-8% of the US population)

Enthusiastic, high-spirited, ingenious and imaginative. Able to do almost anything that holds their interest. Quick with solutions to problems, ENFPs are also ready to help others with their solutions. ENFPs often rely on their ability to improvise as opposed to preparing in advance. Can usually supply compelling reasons to justify their pursuits or interests.

“ENFPs love to talk about people: not just the facts, but what motivates them, what inspires them, and what they envision achieving in life. They’ll often share their own aspirations freely, and want to hear others’ in return. The ENFP is unlikely to judge anyone’s dream, and will discuss the most imaginative and outlandish of fantasies with warm, enthusiastic intensity. They love to explore creative possibilities, and nothing deflates them faster than talking about dry facts or harsh reality.” – Truity

Popular ENFP Careers


ENTP “The Visionary”
(2-5% of the US population)

Ingenious and good at many things, ENTPs are stimulating company, alert and outspoken. ENTPs may argue for fun and tend to question what’s established. ENTPs are resourceful in solving new and challenging problems, but may neglect routine assignments. Apt to turn to one new interest after another. Skillful in finding logical arguments in order to achieve what they want.

“ENTPs enjoy playing with ideas and especially like to banter with others. They use their quick wit and command of language to keep the upper hand with other people, often cheerfully poking fun at their habits and eccentricities. While the ENTP enjoys challenging others, in the end they are usually happy to live and let live. They are rarely judgmental, but they may have little patience for people who can’t keep up.” – Truity

Popular ENTP Careers


ESTJ “The Supervisor”
(8-12% of the US population)

ESTJs are practical, realistic, matter of fact, and have a natural head for business and mechanics. ESTJs are not interested in abstract theories, and desire to learn those things that have a direct and immediate application. ESTJs like to organize and run activities. They often make good administrators; are decisive and quickly move on their decisions. ESTJs are good with overseeing routine details.

“They value evidence over conjecture, and trust their personal experience. ESTJs look for rules to follow and standards to meet, and often take a leadership role in helping other people meet expectations as well. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and keeping others in line.” – Truity

Popular ESTJ Careers


ESFJ “The Provider”
(9-13% of the US population)

ESFJs are warm-hearted, talkative, and generally perceived as popular. They are conscientious, born cooperators, and active committee members. ESFJs thrive in harmony and will often strive to create that harmony. They often work with others in mind. ESFJs require personal encouragement and praise, or give what they tend to others. ESFJs are often preoccupied in those activities and professions that deal directly with the well-being of others.

“ESFJs act according to a strict moral code, and look for others to do the same. They often see things in terms of black and white, right and wrong, and they are typically not shy about sharing their evaluations of others’ behavior. ESFJs seek harmony and cooperation, and feel this is best accomplished when everyone follows the same set of rules. They have a sense of order in the way people relate to one another, and often take on roles that allow them to help enforce that social order.” – Truity

Popular ESFJ Careers


ENFJ “The Teacher”
(2-5% of the US population)

ENFJs are responsive and responsible. They feel real concern for what others think or want, and as a result an ENFJ will handle situations and decisions in deference to someone else thoughts or feelings. An ENFJ can lead a group with ease and tact. They are responsive to praise and criticism. ENFJs can comfortably facilitate others and enable people to achieve their potential.

“ENFJs are typically energetic and driven, and often have a lot on their plates. They are tuned into the needs of others and acutely aware of human suffering; however, they also tend to be optimistic and forward-thinking, intuitively seeing opportunity for improvement. The ENFJ is ambitious, but their ambition is not self-serving: rather, they feel personally responsible for making the world a better place.” – Truity

Popular ENFJ Careers


ENTJ “The Commander”
(2-5% of the US population)

ENTJs are frank, decisive, and are generally good leaders in activities and professions. They are naturally good at developing and implementing comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. ENTJs are good at anything that requires reasoning and intelligent conversation. They are usually well-informed and enjoy adding to their knowledge base.

“ENTJs are analytical and objective, and like bringing order to the world around them. When there are flaws in a system, the ENTJ sees them, and enjoys the process of discovering and implementing a better way. ENTJs are assertive and enjoy taking charge; they see their role as that of leader and manager, organizing people and processes to achieve their goals.” – Truity

Popular ENTJ Careers

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Care to share your 4-letter code? Do you have any examples of your personality at work that you’d like to share? Comment below.

Phew! Well, personality stuff is always fun but I look forward to getting back to writing topics. Oh boy, do I have a whopper to share regarding a very recent editing experience.

ArmedWithCoffee.com

Austin, Texas
@gnrmuggle

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