Monthly Archives: November 2013

Kindling the Fire Through Gratitude

My post Lighting the Fire led to a spirited debate over what causes/maintains/builds attraction inside of Marriage. During the debate Velvet suggested that there was such a thing as “utilitarian tingles,” deriving from a man’s provision. Naturally, this evoked a considerable amount of opposition from male commenters, as well as the author of this blog. Elspeth instead suggested that there was a sort of “negative tingling” in play when a man can’t provide. This made sense to me, as a man’s ability to provide is tied to his employment, which is tied to his Status.

Matters went back and forth, and a number of other topics were addressed, including how nerds are clueless about women, how men shouldn’t take relationship advice from women, and why so many men seem to think that women can only love conditionally. Fortunately, just as the thread was dying, Je Suis Prest left this comment:

On the subject of utilitarian tingles, I’d like to suggest something I’ve been thinking of that may or may not be correct…

I think there are two distinct things being said on that subject:
1) that the lack of provision prevents tingles; and
2) that provision is attractive.

In general, I buy the first statement. If a woman has spent the day stressing out about feeding the kids and finding enough money for rent, she’s not likely to be interested in procreative-type activities when she gets some time alone with her man. Stress has numerous negative effects including killing the mood for both men and women. Also, if a woman thinks of her husband as being less of a man because he doesn’t have a job, that attitude will definitely move him down on her mental scale.

This is a good explanation of the “negative tingles” concept arising from a lack of ability to provide. But the real gem of her comment is this:

At first, I was disinclined to accept the second premise, but then one of my female friends sent me a message about a thankfulness challenge that she’s embarked on. (Bear with me, this does tie in to the main point). She found that the more she looked for things to be thankful for so that she could journal something each day, the more she realized how blessed she was throughout the rest of the day. I’m wondering if when Velvet describes provision as being attractive, she’s experiencing something similar. If a woman is actively looking for attractive aspects of her husband and takes note of how well he provides for her, I can see how that would lead her to think about what a good man he is, how lucky she is to have him, and how many other women would want a man just like him. All of those thoughts could raise his status in her own mind and make him more attractive. I can also see how it would be possible for a woman who is actively looking for positive things about her husband to be warmer and more pleasant to him, which could lead to his interactions with her to be more positive and how that could feed into attraction as well. Could it be that this is what is meant by utilitarian tingles?

[I put those parts that I think were most relevant in bold.]

I think JSP is definitely onto something here. Gratitude has a profound effect when a wife shows it to her husband. It affects them both in a positive way, and binds the two of them even closer together. The way I see it, when a wife develops a healthy sense of gratitude for everything her husband does for her, she is elevating him in her eyes. This increases his Status relative to hers, which has the double effect of both satisfying her hypergamy and making him more attractive. Increased gratitude can only be a net gain.

Commenter Deep Strength then followed up her comment with his own:

That would be taking on the attitude of gratitude and thus by extension our actions change to that of “praos” (the greek word for gentleness / meekness / humility) which is a key player in submission. One of the fruits of the Spirit. The very opposite of which is entitlement.

The reason why we as Christians would willingly submit to God and his commands because we know of the grace and mercy that we are afforded in Him through Jesus. We are forced to accept humility / meekness / gentleness before Him, as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That is, we cannot do enough to save ourselves on our own. It is the gift of God. And this is why we willingly do the will of God, even though it cannot make up for the gift that He has given.

Provision in this sense can be viewed as something to be grateful for, and thus as wife realizes she is grateful for that she willingly can take on “praos” which leads to submission.

He has kindly provided a missing link here, connecting gratitude to submission. This allows us to see that in a wife with a respectful attitude and a warm Christian spirit we get this:

Provision—>Gratitude—>Submission—>Attraction—>Everyone Wins!

When we see things in this light, we can understand that everything a wife does is connected to her attraction to her husband. While his dominance and overall masculinity is important, it is only part of the puzzle of ensuring a healthy relationship between the two. She must also clothe herself in “the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4). A good place to start is with being grateful for all that her husband does for her, because every act of gratitude just adds more kindling to the conjugal fire.

Heart of Flame

Here are some other discussions on gratitude:

Sunshine Mary-

Be a low-maintenance wife

Women’s arrogance and the downfall of assortive mating

Elspeth-

Transforming my mind as a Christian wife

If anyone knows of any other good posts on gratitude, let me know so that I can include them here.

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Filed under Attraction, Desire, Femininity, Marriage, Red Pill, Women

Rethinking the Scale and Testing Subjectivity

One of the things that really surprised me when I dug into the utility of the “1-10 scale” in my post Should a Woman Know Where She Ranks On The “1-10 Scale”? is how varied male evaluations of a woman’s attractiveness could be. I always knew that there would be some disparity, but I was not expecting to hear multiple tales of women being rated both 5’s and 9’s, all by different men. I concluded that the answer to the question was No, but I was unsatisfied with this. So, after some further thinking on the subject, as well as some prompting by a few readers, I have decide to delve once more into this subject.

Categorization

Briefly I want to talk about an idea that I bounced back and forth with a reader concerning a more accurate, or at least, more streamlined system than the 1-10 scale. In it I divided women into quartiles, ranging from: Very Attractive in the first quartile, Attractive to Plain in the second quartile, Plain to Unattractive in the third quartile, and Very Unattractive in the fourth quartile. The reader indicated to me that a woman who fell into the Attractive to Plain category might feel offended, as being called “plain” could be considered an insult. Being a cold and unfeeling man, and an INTJ to boot, I wasn’t terribly moved by this. However, I did realize that the line/region between Plain and Attractive was far more significant than that between Very Attractive and Attractive.

A quintile system was proposed as an alternative, with the categories of Very Attractive, Attractive, Plain, Unattractive and Very Unattractive. This seemed an improvement to me, because it allowed for some of the elasticity that you find near women of “Plain” features. But then I realized that it was just a condensed version of the 1-10 scale. Very Attractive equated with 9-10, Attractive equated with 6-8, Plain was 5, Unattractive was 3-4 and Very Unattractive was 1-2. The real advantage of this system, or the quartile system,  is that it replaces an arbitrary value like a number with a clear descriptor. Each man might have a different idea what a “6” represents, but with a descriptor like “Attractive” you are more likely to see agreement on what it means.  Also, because it creates just a few broad categories, you are more likely to see consistent results in terms of what women are rated as being.

Another idea I had concerns the notion of “Plain” women. It is generally accepted in the manosphere that men tend to find what is attractive in women, rather than what is unattractive. Otherwise stated, men may be picky, but they have a much easier time identifying what is attractive in a woman and basing her overall “rank” off of that, rather than what they find unattractive about her [Obesity being a glaring exception to this].  What I think may be a consequence of this is that men are not apt to label a woman plain for long. Given enough exposure to a woman, a man will probably begin to rate her upwards, out of the plain category. So the only women who really rate as “Plain” and stay that way are those who have nothing positive or negative about their appearance. Since this isn’t likely to be terribly common, you tend to end up with a distribution curve that looks less like a bell curve and more like this:

1-10 curve

I am curious to see if any of my readers have thoughts on these ideas. Is the quartile/quintile system just another folly like the 1-10 scale, fraught with subjectivity and lacking in precision? Or does it have merit? And is “Plain” less common than would be expected?

What kind of Divergence?

Now that I have my thinking out loud done with, I want to move into the heart of this post: trying to figure out just how subjective male evaluations of female attractive happen to be. My last posts on the subject touched on this and I think it is time I addressed it head on. We know that men have individual preferences that manifest themselves in what they are looking for in women. But how diverse are the preferences? Essentially, what is the spread? Answering this via anecdote is ineffective in my view. Something with a little more depth to it is required. You really need to test it, by comparing a large sample of male opinions about a woman’s attractiveness.

When I first started this post, I wasn’t sure if someone had tested this before, but reader The Shadow Knight clued me in that Heartiste had explored some of this ground before. Several times, in fact. CH’s original post is gone, but he did leave up the re-cap/analysis post written in replay to this original. There are a couple of points in his post I think worth highlighting.

Nevertheless, despite the justifiable criticisms of the methodology listed above, and the specter of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, there was considerable agreement on each girl’s ranking. Plus or minus one point and a few wiseguy outliers, most men share the same opinions about where women fall on the 1 – 10 looks scale. Beauty is not an artifact of individual male minds. It is an objective reality. That this should be so and that men are wired with preferences for the more beautiful over the less, proves that men exercise some choosiness when deciding on a mate, just like women do. Pickiness is not gender specific, though women are pickier than men in general.

This paragraph sums up a lot of my views and expectations. I always thought that a large enough sample size would get you a fairly accurate view of female attractiveness, and the data (found in the linked post) seems to support that. Furthermore, CH and I agree that there is an “objective reality” when it comes to beauty. This leads to an interesting paragraph about mid-range values:

As I predicted, there was stronger agreement at the tails of the beauty distribution and more fussiness agreeing on the middle rankings. Every man knows a 3 and an 8 when he sees one, but one man’s marginal 6 could very well be another man’s solid 7. Looking at the bar graphs, this observation is confirmed by the wider spread (heh) of the votes for the 4-7 group.

I have a theory about why there is so much divergence in rankings for women towards the middle of the 1-10 scale. The reason they tend towards that point is because they possess a few markers of attractiveness, but only those few. Since they have so few, men who rate those features highly will tend to give them a higher score, while men who don’t care for those features or don’t like them will rate those women lower. Their physical features essentially demonstrate how men value certain features more, and those women who are most attractive, and consistently rated as attractive, tend to have all of those features.

When a reader/commenter proposed a simpler three tier system to categorize women (I system which I considered and rejected swiftly), Heartiste had this to say:

This is mostly correct. I’d separate the middle tier into two subgroups: Lower middle (4,5) and Upper middle (6,7). The distinction is important, as there is a critical and abrupt change between the two groups that has important implications for how men treat these women.

In other words, CH was suggesting a tier system which was a near match for the quartile system I had proposed earlier in this post. Although he treats 5’s a little differently than I do (by suggesting they are in the lower middle tier, the general structure is the same.

Conclusion

I originally was going to host a series of videos with attached polls to gauge the attractiveness of various women, but I have decided against it. At this time I am unable to discern a moral basis for carrying out the study, and that gives me pause. Plus my gut instinct says that I shouldn’t do it. So for the time being I will hold off conducting any kind of social experiment on female attractiveness. Instead, I will rely on Heartiste’s studies and be satisfied that there is at least some evidence that you can get an objective measure of female beauty.

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Second Thoughts

I have a new post ready to go, but I’m hesitating about posting it. Here is how I described it in my preview post:

After having talked privately with a number of people, I want to address the subject of the “1-10 scale” again. Specifically, what I want to cover is just how subjective it really is. We know every man has his own set of criteria on what he likes, but I’m curious just how far it extends. So what I’m planning on doing is posting a number of videos of some female ASMR artists (a mix of some I like and others who I think would provide a good variety of physical features). Then, underneath each video I will have a poll to give readers a chance to rate the attractiveness of the woman. I’m very much curious to see just how much of a “spread” there is.

My interest in the post is mostly to see how much of a distribution there is to male evaluations of female attractiveness. Now, in the past I would have considered only my own thoughts on the subject and would have just carried on with posting it. However, I have been somewhat more… self-aware as of late, and so I realize that there might be other factors to consider. Principally that my post calls for men to rate a woman on the 1-10 scale, with the results being visible to everyone. There is always a chance that one of these women could find their way here and see the results. Since women are naturally quite concerned about their physical appearance, this could be potentially embarrassing, insulting or distressing for them.

I would appreciate it if my readers provided some input on the matter. At the moment I am still inclined to publish the post, but I am open to changing my mind.

Update: Thanks to TSK for suggesting I check out Heartiste’s site for a previous example of this kind of test in action. I’ve integrated it into my post. Right now I think I am going to post it sometime tonight, but as a private post first. I will give interested readers/commenters whom I am familiar with a chance to look it over and give their thoughts on whether it should be opened to the public or not.

Update 2: I have decided not to post the poll/study for now.  I will publish the rest of the post, and will save what I worked on in another post, but will hold onto it for now. While I couldn’t think of any clearly immoral reason to go ahead with it, I also couldn’t think of any clear moral reason to support it either.  I was reminded of an old post by CaseyAnn recently, titled The Lie of “Amorality” (non-Catholics can simply replace Catholic with Christian for the same general effect) wherein I read this:

From this we can see that there is, in fact, a moral dimension to everything. Everything follows, in one way or another, an implicit moral code that either favors order, natural law, and the love of God – or encourages disorder, perversion, and disregard for God.

Since I couldn’t discern how such a poll favored “order, natural law, and the love of God”, I concluded I should not proceed. If I ever do come upon a good reason, then I will go ahead, but not until such a day.

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Lighting the Fire

This post is a response to Sunshine Mary’s thread titled Is it possible to generate sexual attraction in a marriage where there has never been any? I’m going to try and answer that question, and hopefully clear up a few things in the process. Here is the central question that she asked:

But let’s say there is a situation, however rare, where a woman has married a man to whom she is not sexually attracted at all.  Is there anything that can be done by either the husband or the wife to create attraction where there was none to begin with?

I would say that the answer is yes. Both the husband and the wife can help “create” attraction where there was none before. It is possible to create a spark in order to get the fire started.  Although I would say that only the husband can generate attraction. Before I explain further, some clarification is required.

Clarifications-

I noticed there was a lot of confusion over the meaning and use of words like attraction and arousal. I’m sure that other manospherians have their own definitions of these terms, so I’m going to briefly explain how I use the words in order that the rest of this make sense.

Attraction- Refers to sexual attraction. A good description would be sex appeal.

Attractive- Short for sexually attractive. Signifies an individual whom a member of the opposite sex would be willing to have sex with.

Arousal- A state of sexual excitement.

Desirable- An attractive individual who also possesses certain character and personality traits that members of the opposite sex want in a mate.

See here for ideas on what men find attractive and desirable in a woman.

The Goal

There are two different approaches here: the women making her husband more attractive in her eyes, and the husband making himself more attractive in his wife’s eyes.  The LAMPS formula provides some guidelines on how either process would work, as it explains what features women find attractive in men. Raising the value of one of those categories increases a man’s overall attractiveness to women.

In order to “create” attraction where there was none before, a man needs to move from “unattractive” in his wife’s eyes to “attractive.” In my post Romantic Architecture I provided a graphic showing how this might look:

1-10 Scale of men- Hypergamy doesn't care

The goal is for the husband to move from below his wife’s attraction floor to above it. That means increasing his effective LAMPS “score” in his wife’s eyes to a level where she will be sexually attracted to him. Athol Kay’s MAP is one example of how a man can go about this. Working out, getting a higher status, better paid job and becoming more masculine are all critical steps in a man becoming more attractive.

Something from Nothing

Some of the commenters at Sunshine Mary’s blog seem to think that you can’t create attraction from nothing. But this is what happens with every man that a woman encounters. He starts off as a blank slate to her, and as time passes she will evaluate his attractiveness and decide how he measures up. Given the hypergamous nature of women, it doesn’t make sense to presume that men start off attractive in the eyes of a woman. No, the only logical conclusion is that they start off unattractive indifferent[NSR has pointed out that the word Indifferent is a superior choice here, and I agree] and then are rated upward.

The problem that an unattractive husband faces is that his wife has a highly developed evaluation of where he fits on her “scale” of male attractiveness. Essentially, his position has hardened over time. Even if he raises his LAMPS values, he will be fighting against that deep seated impression of him that she holds. This means that he will have to work harder to raise his attractiveness in his wife’s eyes than would be the case for another woman who doesn’t know him as well.

Of course, that assumes there was no attraction to begin with. In the graphic above  there was a very clear line separating attractive from unattractive. I’m not convinced that the line is actually like that in real life. It could be that in reality there is no distinct point separating the two, but instead a blurry region of uncertainty where a man might be somewhat attractive. At such a point he might or might not be able to arouse a woman, with outside environmental factors making the difference (alcohol,  where she is in her cycle). Or it could be that it is the man’s position which is uncertain, with him occupying not a discrete point but falling within a certain region that might nor might not cross the line from unattractive to attractive. At this point I can only speculate.

Attraction v. Arousal

I wanted to really quickly distinguish between how attraction and arousal work for men and women.

The male arousal threshold is lower than the male attraction threshold. A man can be aroused by a woman to whom he is not attracted. For a visual understanding:

1-10 Scale of women with attractive and unattractive lines

The “not unattractive” region would be one where a man might not necessarily find a woman attractive, but might still be aroused by her. Since men can be aroused fairly easily by certain stimuli (especially visual and tactile), even a woman who is below his standard attraction floor can arouse him. In fact, I suspect that you could rename the “not unattractive” floor to “arousal” floor without affecting its accuracy.

Women, on the other hand, have an arousal threshold that is higher than their attraction threshold. This means that, barring extreme circumstances, a woman can only get aroused (think Tingles) by a man that she finds attractive. The more attractive the man is, the easier it is for him to arouse her. This plays into why there are two types of duty sex. There is duty sex where the woman is attracted to her husband, and duty sex where she is not. If she is attracted to her husband than it is just a matter of him arousing her during their conjugal relations in order for her to enjoy it. When she isn’t attracted to her husband, I suspect that he cannot arouse her during intercourse, and as a result she cannot enjoy it. In fact, the experience is probably quite unpleasant for her, because any physical pleasure she receives is more than offset by her mental/emotional distress at having intercourse with an unattractive man. This link between attraction and arousal in women is why duty sex is a “hard sell” to wives who aren’t attracted to their husband.

Submission and Attraction

Here is what Sunshine Mary said about submission’s role in attraction:

  If a woman decides that she is going to train herself to see her man as sexually appealing, what she needs to do is view herself as his subordinate in the relationship.  If she sees herself as being owned by him, as having a duty to obey him and serve him in all ways, including sexually, that increases his relative power in the relationship without his having to do anything.  I am not talking about D/s role-playing, either, a subject about which I know very little. I am talking about a radical transformation in how she views herself in relation to her husband.  Feminine submission to masculine authority generates sexual attraction in the same way that game does – by changing the power dynamic in the relationship.

I think that she is on the right track here. When a wife submits to her husband’s authority, she can alter her attraction to him. It is not so much that she (or he) is generating attraction, but that she is recalibrating her attraction filters to him and him alone. Two things are happening: she is changing her status in relation to his, and she is magnifying the effects of his Masculine Power.

The hypergamous nature of women means that a mans Status value depends not only on his overall position in society, but also his position and authority in relation to the individual woman. By submitting to her husband, a wife lowers her position relative to his, and enhances his Status value in her eyes. This makes him more attractive, which makes it easier for her to submit to him in the first place. As for Power, as a general rule the more submissive a woman is, the more feminine her nature will be. This will contrast more strongly with the Masculine Power of her husband, boosting it in her eyes.

By itself I don’t think that this is enough in most cases. While she can magnify her husbands Status and Power in her eyes, he still has to have a certain amount to begin with in order for it to move him from unattractive to attractive. If he is close to the line to begin with, than submission might make all of the difference. Certainly if she has the opposite attitude it stands to reason it would lower his attractiveness in her eyes, and so fixing it might boost him above the floor. I should note that there is also the risk that a wife who doesn’t submit, when faced with a more attractive husband (who will naturally have to be more assertive as well) will rebel against him. The power shift in her relationship threatens her, and fear may induce her to actively fight her husband in whatever manner she can.

Conclusion

Yes, it is possible to generate attraction where there was none before. It isn’t easy, and will take a long time for the husband to chip away at his wife’s impression of him. But it can be done, both by him improving himself and boosting his LAMPS values, and by his wife adopting a submissive attitude.

Update:

Ballista has challenged my “blank slate” idea of how women rate men as attractive. His words:

The issue is not “creating attraction from nothing” as she frames it, but “creating attraction from disgust”. To clarify the definition, disgust is the exact opposite of attraction. Many marriages exist for reasons other than attraction, namely because women can’t have the bull alphas (or apex alphas as you put it).

In other words, this woman didn’t start with a blank slate (and actually women almost never do – their own perceptions color men they deal with from second one with a man). She came to look at the peon beta with disgust because she couldn’t have her very own apex alpha. But her baby rabies, or the need to have status with the herd caused her to settle for this lesser man that repulses her the moment she looks at him.

What Ballista is proposing is a different idea on how attraction works for women. Rather than being a 1-10 scale, it is more akin to the -10 to 10 scale that Deep Strength has discussed at different occasions. Here is a visualization of this:

-10 to 10 scale of male attractiveness

While I think that such a model has merit, I disagree with him that once a man enters the disgust phase, he can’t claw his way back out. However, I must acknowledge that both of us are speculating here. There aren’t any studies which have ever covered this to be the best of my knowledge. And as Deep Strength has pointed out, most marriages that enter the negative territory tend to dissolve quickly. So testing out which of us is correct is something that nigh-well impossible to accomplish.

Perhaps Ballista is correct that women who “come into marriages with bitter hearts and that bitterness comes out in disgust towards the sorry victim of her rage,” cannot change their impression of their husband. I’m not convinced he is correct. But I have to acknowledge that he might be. Which again explains why I am very discerning when it comes to a potential wife.

 

Update 2: Ballista has written a post in response to this thread and its comments.

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Filed under Alpha, Attraction, Beta, Desire, LAMPS, Marriage, Men, Red Pill, Women

Quick Preview of Upcoming Posts

I have a couple of posts in the pipeline right now, and hope to have the first of them up later tonight or early tomorrow.

After having talked privately with a number of people, I want to address the subject of the “1-10 scale” again. Specifically, what I want to cover is just how subjective it really is. We know every man has his own set of criteria on what he likes, but I’m curious just how far it extends. So what I’m planning on doing is posting a number of videos of some female ASMR artists (a mix of some I like and others who I think would provide a good variety of physical features). Then, underneath each video I will have a poll to give readers a chance to rate the attractiveness of the woman. I’m very much curious to see just how much of a “spread” there is.

Another post will cover a subject I’ve briefly discussed before, but haven’t addressed in a while: discerning whether chaste men or women have a more difficult time of it in the present SMP/MMP. Inside of that, I’m looking at a few smaller things.  Like  the difficulty in determining whether someone is an acceptable spouse candidate or not, how unchaste women ruin the playing field for chaste women.

I also want to write a post covering sexual attraction, arousal, marriage, submission and the like. Mostly in response to this post on Sunshine Mary’s blog. This will probably be the one I write up first, as it should be the shortest.

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Reader Poll- Personality

Motivated by my last post, I am throwing up a poll to see where my readership falls on the Myers-Brigg’s Spectrum. You can find an example of such a test here.

Actually, while I’m at it, I think I will put up another poll and see what the breakdown of my readership is between men and women.

 

Edit: If anyone wants to leave their results in the comment below, feel free.

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What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I thought with this post I would provide a little insight into who I am. Namely, by providing some links to what I’ve been reading lately, as well as delving into my personality a bit.

Feed Your Head

Here are some of the posts that I have found particularly enlightening over the last week or two:

What are we teaching about what it means to be a Christian?– Loving in the Ruins

Types of Wives– Hearth to be Lovely

Rebellion as a Deadly Threat, and How to Love Men– Calculated Bravery

Zeal and Discernment– His Lordship’s Domain

Is Provision something we selected for? -Sarahs’ Daughter

and its follow up:

Do you need her help?

Frank Musings on Women’s Modesty – Resting in Apricity

Guest Post – by Zippy Catholic

(There was also a deep conversation that took place been Zippy, Scott and Cane Caldo in Zippy’s About page which I recommend to those interested in Christian theology and philosophy. It starts roughly here.)

Good Manners/Etiquette– Embrace Your Femininity

Christianity’s 26 Idols of the Age– Amos and Gromar

“What she said was not for the job or lover that she never had…” – Ace of Spades

The List and My List– Free Northerner

Marry the Lieutenant– TempestTcup

Uneasy Quiet– The Social Pathologist

Oh, and in honor of the title to this section:

 Who is that Masked Man?

Spurred onward by someone who is wiser than I, I decided to take a Myers-Briggs Personality test to see where I placed. The results, which were based on this test, were as follows:

Strength of individual traits: Introversion – 49%, Intuition – 4%, Thinking – 16%, Judging – 33%.

So apparently I am an INTJ. Unsurprising, as I had tested myself years before and found the same results. Although I think the previous results were stronger in all of the fields. A little bit about INTJs:

The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious. INTJ personalities radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas. INTJs usually begin to develop that knowledge in early childhood (the “bookworm” nickname is quite common among INTJs) and keep on doing that later on in life.

NTJ personalities are perfectionists and they enjoy improving ideas and systems they come in contact with. As INTJs are naturally curious, this tends to happen quite frequently. However, they always try to remain in the rational territory no matter how attractive the end goal is – every idea that is generated by the INTJ’s mind or reaches it from the outside needs to pass the cold-blooded filter called “Is this going to work?”. This is the INTJ’s coping mechanism and they are notorious for applying it all the time, questioning everything and everyone.

INTJ personalities also have an unusual combination of both decisiveness and vivid imagination. What this means in practice is that they can both design a brilliant plan and execute it. Imagine a giant chess board where the pieces are constantly moving, trying out new tactics, always directed by an unseen hand – this is what the INTJ’s imagination is like. An INTJ would assess all possible situations, calculate strategic and tactical moves, and more often than not develop a contingency plan or two as well. If someone with the INTJ personality type starts working with a new system, they will regard the task as a moral obligation, merging their perfectionism and drive into one formidable force. Anyone who does not have enough talent or simply does not see the point, including the higher ranks of management, will immediately and likely permanently lose their respect.

Most of this seems a fairly accurate assessment of my personality. I am definitely a bookworm, and approach most of life from a highly rational perspective. While I can be very emotional at times, I rarely show it, and certainly not in public. I love strategy games of all types, except, funnily enough, for chess (which I find lacking in depth compared to other games, the rules being too restrictive). Imagination? Check. Plans? Love ’em, especially when they turn out as they should. Despise higher-ups who get in the way of fixing problems? Double check.

I found the section on flaws to be particularly apt:

Every personality type has many weak spots and INTJs are not an exception. There is one area where their brilliant mind often becomes completely useless and may even hinder their efforts – INTJs find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their earliest stages. People with this personality type are more than capable of loving and taking care of the people close to them, but they are likely to be completely clueless when it comes to attracting a partner.

That certainly describes me to a T. I suspect that many other manospherians tend to fall into this category as well. Driven by curiosity, I decided to see what else they had to say about INTJ’s and relationships. Some of it I found fascinating because it matches a bit of my experiences:

Paradoxically, someone with the INTJ personality is most likely to attract a romantic partner when they are not actually looking for one. As most INTJs have difficulties with dating and relationships, their self-confidence takes a major hit in those situations and the INTJ then overcompensates by showing off their intelligence, which makes them even more unattractive. Only when the INTJ returns to his or her usual self, their self-confidence starts glowing again and this makes it much easier for them to attract a partner.

This is something that has been a challenge for me for most of my life. Looking into my past, I realize I had more success attracting women who didn’t interest me as compared to those who did. This is because when I did direct my attention to an individual woman, my “Beta” (lack of Masculine Power) personality became more apparent.

The part on leaving relationships struck me in a powerful way:

People with the INTJ personality type may terminate the relationship if they are confident that it is at risk of breaking down, and not look back. INTJs’ approach to dating is quite similar – they will not keep trying if their mind is telling them that the likelihood of a strong relationship is very low. However, the calm exterior can be deceiving – it is more than likely that the INTJ will feel very hurt inside and spend extensive amounts of time figuring out what went wrong, especially if they had devoted a lot of time to dating or making the relationship work.

I tend to be very self-critical, and don’t take failure particularly well. While I don’t emotionally invest easily, I tend to invest heavily whenever I do. So I can easily see this assessment being accurate. I have no doubt that if I need to, I can and will walk away from something that won’t work. But it will hurt just the same.

Perhaps more relevant than the other parts of the relationship advice section were the suggestions on personality traits to look for in a mate:

Preferred partners: ENFP and ENTP types, as E and P outweigh the introvert and judgemental tendencies of INTJs. INFJs are also a very strong match as the intuitive connection between INTJ and INFJ is likely to be instantaneous.

That gives some ideas on the kinds of personalities I should search for. I’m not sure how much of a match I really would be for an extrovert; I need to give this further thought. Unfortunately, the logical alternative, INFJs, are also the rarest of the different personality types. Finding one who also meets my criteria is easier said than done. Well, no one ever said it would be easy.

Conclusion

And that brings this post to a close. Feel free to post other links you think are worthy of inclusion. Or you can analyze my personality and try to plumb the depths of my soul. Of course, if you would rather talk about Myers-Briggs in general, or discuss your own personality type, then be my guest.

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