Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Typing Video: Micah

In this video Micah takes an unusual approach to the questionnaire. Many people have asked me whether they could write out notes beforehand. I prefer that they don't because this affects the spontaneity of the answers. It's my fault for not adding this to the instructions earlier, but the point is that Micah wrote some notes because he felt that his self-presentation would not be what he would like it to be if he were to just answer off the cuff. This suggests attention to Fe and in particular Fe with Ni. It is framed as a question about accuracy but the psychological motivation seems to be about what is expressed externally.

In fact Micah has an extremely consistent emphasis on Fe and Ni throughout the video. His main professional interest is in storytelling, a common NiFe theme. He is attracted to stories, literature, everything mythical and symbolic. He focuses on writing now but also liked the "energy" of the theater. Stories for him are a way to travel through a world that you have not directly experienced, a kind of escapism. This is a common theme with Ni ego types, including Gamma NTs, who are often found creating or consuming speculative fiction.

He enjoys the emotional aspect of stories; it's important for him to impact someone emotionally with his writing and he is attracted to stories that have an emotional impact on him. This impact can be negative but is usually positive. (more Fe with Ni)

Even more striking is Micah's statement that art is not "completed" until someone experiences it and emotionally reacts to it. This is an attitude that not many people would find relatable, let alone express it themselves - unless they had high Fe. Along similar lines: "art is a social concept", the audience "gives their energy" (8:57). If art stands still, or has no audience, then it's not alive. All Fe with Ni. Micah notes that this doesn't mean he just writes what people want to hear, but the idea of someone getting excited about it drives him to create.

Micah occasionally uses lofty, dramatic language - people are "concepts", the most "worthy" things to study in the creation - as opposed to God, the creator. Every great writer is a "philosopher" - that is, they give some kind of deep commentary on the nature of life. He naturally views things in terms of the large-scale of society - the idea of authenticity being "very cliche in today's age", "just the culture we live in". It's very common for Beta NFs to want to make some social commentary with their art.

Occasionally some Se comes forward too: putting on a happy face at work is a "battle thing", "tactics" - "won't be at a disadvantage", "can influence them".

Ti values can be seen in the emphasis on fairness, treating everybody equally, and the analysis of belief systems like religion. Micah sees it as "lazy, cowardly" to not broaden your understanding by thinking about your religion. He values "intellectual bravery" in considering different perspectives (Ne), but although he is good at doing it, he would prefer to "clear out the nonsense", going back to valued Ni.

Micah views his relationships in terms of external emotional cues (Fe), and needs to have shared interests to talk about, things he is passionate about (also Fe). He would need them to give positive reactions, or the "right" reactions to his writing, especially in the context of a romantic relationship.

Respect is important to Micah. In context it seems like this is coming from Se: "I want this respect". He finds it disrespectful to be dismissive or interrupted, which can make him angry and lash out. However he sometimes does not express the anger outwardly and may just leave.

Micah describes having difficulty finishing things, likely due to lower Se, which is involved with willpower and self-discipline. However he also becomes hyperfocused about certain things - "have tons of energy but I don't use it productively". This may suggest somewhat higher Se (with low Te), such as Se mobilizing.

Weak Ti is also apparent in his difficulty structuring times, such as a plan for the day.

The disinterest/annoyance with dealing with mundane things such as replacing shoes is an example of subdued and weak SiTe.

Now, all of this makes Beta NF likely, but when it comes to EIE vs. IEI the evidence is less clear. Micah seems more like a classic introvert: he keeps to himself, doesn't display a lot of emotion externally, and most of his interests involve him being by himself, taking in information.

But looking at things functionally, we see something else:

For Te: Micah doesn't seem totally averse to evaluating his career path in terms of usefulness. He would be interested in starting a business, and considers whether it would be financially successful (maybe due to some awareness of typology here).

For Fe: He describes himself as an attention seeker and is very sensitive to how he's perceived. He views relationships purely in terms of the external cues, and is unsure of how they are "under the surface", suggesting ignoring Fi rather than demonstrative Fi. It's also a bit odd for an IEI to be so extremely focused on the reaction to their work - normally I'd expect them to describe at least some internal motivation for it. (Not that Micah doesn't have one, but it's not described in any detail.) He also describes difficulty in structuring his time, needing external help with it.

For Se: Maybe the most striking piece of evidence for EIE is when Micah says that he has "tons of energy". IEI is a type with low Se and are more likely to feel a deficit of energy if anything. (There may be exceptions to this such as Alexander Grothendieck, who was sort of a workaholic, but they seem rare.) He also describes demanding respect in his interactions as noted.

For Ne: Here his discussion of examining one's views comes to mind, as well as his interests in crime, typology, and tying things back to his interests in creative ways.

Overall this video suggests EIE, with bold extroverted elements, but IEI is not out of the question. Micah eschews physical appearance, which may suggest lower Se (maybe less so in men), and despite having lots of energy he has issues with willpower and self-discipline. He says comfort is his "drug" but it's hard to see whether this is more about his self-perception or whether it actually stands out as a quality in his life. His attitude towards conflict is also maybe more subdued than normal for an EIE - more "freeze" than "fight".

I also followed up with Micah after watching the video, but I find the evidence presented here is more clear. Micah is active in the typology community so hopefully his type will become clearer over time.

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