The Matter of Children: Seeking Input From My Fellow INTJs
I’m so amused by how many more followers this blog has gained, along with some of my other online accounts, since I tested INTJ on the Myers-Briggs Type Index and started writing more about it. Apparently we need to stick together, even if it’s just in the online realm. Which suits, don’t you think?
Since I have your attention, I want to get some input from my fellow INTJs. What do you think about kids?
I will be honest: In general, I don’t like children. I don’t know if this is primarily because of being an INTJ, or partially, or if it’s just a coincidence that I’m both an INTJ and I don’t like kids.
I’m not dead-set against having children of my own someday; I’m totally convinced that I would love my own offspring. But as a whole, I don’t enjoy being around children, I don’t find their antics cute, and I find it painfully awkward to interact with them. I find that children get more endurable as they get older (until adolescence and then oh good lord who even knows at that point), which means I find babies the least appealing of them all. This often contributes to my feeling like a broken sociopath, by the way.
Even when I was a kid myself, I didn’t like babies. I had a baby doll that you could feed and change her diaper, but it was never my favorite toy. I played more often with older characters like Barbies and Jurassic Park action figures, or just animals. Or I read.
. . .
The funny thing is, I feel about kids the way I feel about people in general: keep them at a distance until I get to know them on an individual level. There are kids in my life that I like very much and even look forward to seeing. They are the exceptions, yes, but they do exist.
There are a lot of reasons why I think this is all connected to being an INTJ. For one thing, lots of other INTJs don’t like children. My own father is one of them. (Both my parents aren’t really “kid people,” though my mom is not an INTJ.) He loves me and he loves my stepsisters’ kids, but in general he’s not kid-friendly. Like me, he does better with older kids and really not with babies. Our relationship is the best it’s ever been, since I’m an adult and we can talk about grown-up stuff like current events and taxes.
Another non-kid-friendly INTJ example: C.S. Lewis. A while back I read The Abolition of Man, which I found mostly dry and puzzling. Then, I stumbled across this: “I myself do not enjoy the society of small children…I recognize this as a defect in myself—-just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or colour blind.” I’m pretty sure this made me laugh until I cried. I was already madly in love with Lewis at this point, but now…well, let’s say I’m reconsidering my disbelief in soulmates.
. . .
Which brings me to another reason why I’d say this is particularly an INTJ thing: When you prefer intense, in-depth conversations, kids aren’t really ideal. Especially the younger set. They’re awkward to talk to. At first I thought this might be a generally Introvert thing rather than specifically INTJ, since Introverts generally prefer deep conversations. However, I hear that a lot of Introverts, and people who may not be Introverts but consider themselves socially awkward, prefer conversation with kids because kids aren’t as inhibited by social rules. Because of this, many Introverts feel freer in talking to children, since they don’t have as strong a need to “perform” a certain way as in conversation as with adults.
I think a bigger deal with INTJs is that kids are irrational. And if there’s something we INTJs can’t get enough of, it’s reason and logic.
Anyone who dares to disagree with the fact that kids are completely irrational morons need to check out the blog Reasons My Son is Crying and be proven WRONG. (I can’t stand reading that blog for more than a couple minutes because it pisses me off. This is what I mean when I say I don’t find kids’ antics cute.)
Also, kids are unpredictable and spontaneous and insane, in stark contrast to the planning, control, and structure preferred by a person with Judgment leanings. They also aren’t exactly long-term, abstract thinkers, so their iNtuitive sides aren’t well developed.
The final thing that makes me believe that my dislike of children is connected to my being an INTJ is that it makes me feel like an asshole (or “broken sociopath,” as I said earlier).
As excited and proud as I may be about being an INTJ at times, a lot of stuff about being an INTJ makes me feel like an asshole: Dislike of arbitrary social niceties, desire for control, dislike of surprises, being dismissive of superfluous details, preference of reason over sentiment, and generally withholding familiarity with people until I deem them worthy. But nothing makes me feel like one more than my dislike of children. I constantly hear from blog comments and church pulpits how people who don’t want/like children and selfish and ungodly. In all the Christian fiction I’ve read (even some by Lewis), women who ignore or loathe their feminine duty must learn their lesson—or else meet a bitter end.
So this is why I want to hear from my fellow INTJs. Do you like kids? Other peoples’ kids? Your own kids? The population in general? Why or why not? Is it, in your opinion, connected to your personality type? Or is it something else entirely?
And if, INTJ or not, you love kids, you’re welcome to put in your two cents, but if you want to go on and on about how I’m “wrong” in not liking children, trust that, much like relationship advice, I have heard it all before. And yes, I realize how horrible I am for it.