Thinker Versus Doer

11 December 2013
11:57 PM


It was February when I told you about learning something new about myself which surprised me. That was because I took a personality test, the same one I took so many years ago, and the result was that I am apparently an INFJ now. I have always been an INTP (though sometimes being identified as INTJ when tests were done at school). I even wrote you a very long e-mail about it that I still have yet to send–it’s full of bullet points and perhaps I was thinking aloud more than talking to you, ha.

I was wary of the test you sent–four question blocks! How can that be accurate? But I went ahead and took the plunge.

My first result–I am The Analytical Thinker:

  • They like to get to the bottom of things – curiosity is one of their strongest motives. They want to know what holds the world together deep down inside.
  • Analytical Thinkers have little interest in everyday concerns – they are always a little like an “absent-minded professor” whose home and workplace are chaotic and who only concerns himself with banalities such as bodily needs when it becomes absolutely unavoidable.
  • It takes some time before Analytical Thinkers make friends, but then they are mostly friends for life. They only need very few people around them.
  • Constant social obligations quickly get on their nerves; they need a lot of time alone and often withdraw from others.

As for career advice:

  • You are not particularly suited for dealing with others, working as a part of a team and be in the position of “continuous exchange“, you would much rather work alone, and dwell on your thoughts undisturbed.
  • You usually put a critical distance between yourself and others that enables you to be the keen and incorrupt observer of life. This distance can be truly bridged by only very few other people.
  • You prefer to work independently and appreciate having a lot of time and quiet in order to concentrate on the really important things: Structuring ideas, comprehending complex causalities, understanding of the universe, its rules and the logical analysis of systems. You absorb new information like a sponge and your memory is legendary. Once you have learned something, you’ll never forget it – unless you consider it to be irrelevant for some reason and decide that it seems to be better purging it from your data storage.
  • Creative problem solving and jumping out of your paradigm to development daring future visions are a part of your greatest strength. At the same time you are the most acute and rational critic of your own ideas, each one of them will be rigorously examined and discarded at the smallest indication of contradictions or lack of logic.

It also mentioned something about being self-employed, ha. Ha!

But because I was I, of course I had to take it again. There were some statements that nagged at me while looking at the question blocks the first time–some thoughts in A were true for me, too, even if I chose B. So I had to go back, and see if I’ll change my mind, and choose something differently.

The result? This time I am The Sensitive Doer:

  • They are open to and interested in everything that is new or unknown to them. However, if their inner value system or their sense of justice is hurt, Sensitive Doers can suddenly and surprisingly become forceful and assertive.
  • Creativity, imagination and an especially keen perception are just a few of their strong points.
  • Sensitive Doers like to work alone; if they are part of a team, they do not get involved in competitive or power games and prefer living and working together harmoniously and openly.
  • Sensitive Doers are completely satisfied with a small, close circle of friends as their need for social contacts is not very marked.

As for career advice:

  • You need a working environment without intrigue or political manipulation, and with the least possible deployment of elbows.
  • …it is very important that your work is compatible with your (high) values and ideals. In the long term, it is not satisfactory to just do any job with the sole objective of finding money in your account at the end of the month. You need the feeling of being able to totally identify yourself with your job, and to fully support whatever it is that you do every day.

I know I’m only making this harder for myself. So I took it for the third time. I got the second result again. I took it for the last time. I got the first result.

Is it uncanny that for Day Eleven of the #GraceAndGratitude workshop, we are talking about self-acceptance?

When I wrote that email last February, I said I couldn’t believe my results. I thought it was problematic, even. I suppose it was because I was feeling the pull of being different, and having various selves—and how it would be quite nice if I could actually explain myself to myself, you know?

Today I read a letter from D. We’ve exchanged emails lately after ModPo ended. I shared with him some of my poems, which I normally don’t do. I received his reading, and found that I really liked it. I also found myself responding well—being honest, vulnerable. It was difficult, and at the same time, easy. You know?

To read Sarah’s note tonight about receiving, allowing, accepting—I recognised a lot of myself there.


Maybe it’s time to accept that I am both of these things (thinker and doer). Probably always have been. That some traits become prominent now as I’m growing into the person I’m supposed to be, or want to be. That changing in some ways doesn’t mean that I’m a completely different person. Or—if ever I was, am, someone else now, that’s okay, too.

What do you think?



2 thoughts on “Thinker Versus Doer

  1. I think you are both a Thinker and a Doer. I think you embody both of those results, and both of those types. I think you can choose which one to use or utilize for any specific moment or goal in your life. I think you can easily be multiple selves, and I think those selves all need acceptance, and the chance to change or grow as well. I think you are being you wonderfully.

    It’s so funny, isn’t it — how only four question blocks can pinpoint specific things about your personality, the way you work, the way you function, the way you thrive? I have infinite respect for whoever built this test. I think it’s fascinating.

    Andrew and I had a long conversation about the overlap of our types, and about the things that are specifically different. (i.e. I have a hard time bringing up problems if they will cause conflict, but he has a hard time with indirect or obscure communication. He is very adventurous and abhors boredom, but I need to feel structured and stable and supported). We talked about ways we could be aware of that in each other, and in which case, who needs to defer to whom (i.e. It is my responsibility to communicate clearly, and in a way that I feel confident conflict can be avoided, if that’s what I’m afraid of. He needs to be conscious of supporting me in a way that I feel stable, even as we approach new adventures together).

    I’m also a INFJ =)


    • I think it’s great that both of you took the test. Your conversation was exactly the way I imagined it would go, after the results were out =)

      Hooray for INFJs! Although–I still need to read about it, and understand it better. I mean–I probably know what/how it is, as the test already says I am one, but I still need to know more.


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