A Useful Problem Solving Tactic

My husband & I were recently talking about the Myers Briggs personalities.  For those of you familiar with the types, he’s an INTJ & I’m INFJ. 

I mentioned how INFJs are often thought of as too logical for the feeling types & too feeling for the logical types, so we don’t always fit in with either.  We use both emotions & logic to make decisions & problem solve, & I find this incredibly useful.  Many people don’t do this.  Since he’s the logical T type, I had to explain how my mind works when there is a situation I need to deal with at hand.  I thought it might help others as well, so I decided to share.

Basically, I think of the situation like I’m looking at a show on tv or a movie.  This allows me to detach emotionally enough to come up with a logical resolution.  He mentioned one of our favorite true crime shows, “Homicide Hunter” with Detective Joe Kenda, because it sounded to him like when they recreate the detective’s work when he first arrived at crime scenes.  It was actually a good description!  If you have seen this show, you know what happens.  They set the detective at the scene & remove the other police officers, witnesses, & victims.  The detective is left with an empty crime scene & he can start piecing together what happened as he looks around.  Certain things get his attention like a pool of blood, a knife in a sink, or items that obviously were spilled.  Each of these clues fits together in his mind & begins to form a picture of what happened. 

That is exactly how I problem solve!  When something happens, I pull away from it for at least a few minutes.  I look at situations & mentally remove unnecessary pieces so I can focus more on the clues.  Emotions enter back in once I have a clearer idea of the situation.  Keeping them out at first allows me not to make an overly emotional assessment of the situation.  Emotions are necessary though so naturally they come back in when they can serve me better. 

An example of this is years ago, someone I didn’t know well accused a man I knew of molesting her sisters as children.  I was taken aback!  She just spouted this out of nowhere plus knowing this person, I couldn’t believe it.  After the conversation was finished, I thought a great deal about it.  It was difficult, especially considering what I write about!  A part of me wanted to tell her she was lying, that’s impossible, but the victim advocate part of me wanted to offer help or at least empathy.  I considered the situation as I described, examining the clues first.  This person & her family didn’t even live in the same state as the accused man for most of their life.  I also saw this man a great deal in my life & not one time, did I see anything even slightly inappropriate in his behavior.  How could he hide his deviant ways for that long?  It’d be impossible!  He also loved children & was a good, Godly man.  I realized either she was misinformed or was lying because she hated the man in question.  I’m grateful that I took the time to consider this situation though because it helped me to find out the truth & treat the person accordingly.  For the record, I never spoke to her again.

If you are in a situation that you need to figure out, I would like to encourage you to try doing it as I suggested.  It really is very helpful for creating good solutions while also giving you a good perspective on the situation that isn’t unbalanced with too little or too much emotion. 


Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

31 responses to “A Useful Problem Solving Tactic

  1. I’m INFJ also. Perfect description! We see stuff others don’t see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We really do!

      I’m thinking as hubby gets older, he’s getting closer to the cusp of INFJ. He still is more thinking than feeling but he’s getting more feeling than he used to be. He also picks up on some very subtle things now that 15 years ago he would’ve overlooked. It’s pretty cool, really.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is awesome! I used to be on the cusp about the last letter. Wavered between P & J. I should probably take the test again. But that is the reason I usually don’t want to go to class reunions and such. I feel them all too much.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think it is too! Since he’s almost 100% German, I never thought there would be any wavering in the T. Germans are known for being so logical after all. My family is also mostly German so I’ve seen that T thing in action LOTS.

          If you want to take it again, I suggest this link. Reason being, it gives you percentages. Like mine says I have I think it’s an 88% preference for I over E, that sort of thing. My J preference over P is slight though, I think it was like 33%. That way you can see exactly where you stand. You might be like me with the slight preference for J over P.


          Liked by 2 people

    • ibikenyc

      So am I 🙂

      I’m sometimes gobsmacked by what goes past people.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I know that feeling. Sometimes you just want to sit them down & ask, “How did you miss that?! Are you really that blind or are you purposely ignoring things!?”

        Liked by 1 person

        • ibikenyc

          Unfortunately, for me it’s more often caused me to essentially gaslight myself. At those times, the more egregious the behaviour seems to me, the quicker I am to tell myself it’s “just me,” and the harder I try to talk myself out of my misgivings.

          Of course, I have now made it my Prime Directive to NEVER again do that to myself but rather to run, screaming, and ask questions later!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! German on Dad’s side, Irish on mom’s. I get it!


  3. ibikenyc

    Thanks for that link! 🙂 Love the percentages.

    I, too, continue to be an INFJ, as follows:

    I, 53; N, 41; F, 31; J, 50.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re quite welcome!

      The percentages are so helpful, I think! It’s cool knowing just how much you lean towards the qualities.

      Very cool! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • I like knowing the percentages. I am I-41, N-19, F-25, J-41.

      Somebody should start an INFJ Group blog. Hmm, maybe someone already has.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pretty sure there are some out there… I know of a couple on FB. I’m not in them though because I’m I- 88% lol

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m sure I’ve had seasons of I-88 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

        • Cynthia, it’s been bothering me that I replied to your comment about you being I-88%, with the statement that I have probably had seasons of I-88. Because, as I thought more about it, my comment seems condescending — as though having a lower percentage of introversion might not be as ‘bad’ as having a higher percentage.

          I just want to clarify that I don’t feel that way AT ALL! On the contrary, I think that being so much higher on the scale of Introversion, is probably a sign that you are a lot more self sufficient than I am. All the helpful books and blog posts you’ve written, plus the many informative videos you’ve done — I haven’t accomplished 1/10th as much with my life. So clearly, being I-88% is an awesome thing!!


          • Really?! I didn’t take what you said that way at all! I know being such a mega introvert is kinda unique, but I don’t think it makes anything about me any better or worse than anyone else. Actually I laugh about it.. the older I get, the higher that percentage seems to get. Pretty sure I’m moving into a cave at some point… lol

            Maybe I am pretty self sufficient in some ways, but that was simply a survival tactic. Being an only child & surrounded by narcissists for the majority of my life means I had to find ways to survive on my own. Doesn’t make me special.

            You have accomplished plenty in your life, so don’t even go there! You survived some pretty horrific stuff- that is amazing!

            I do appreciate your concern but please know I wasn’t the slightest bit offended. ❤

            Liked by 2 people

            • That makes me feel a lot better, thank you! I absolutely did not mean it in a negative way. There have been long stretches of time in my life when I preferred to stay away from everybody, for various reasons. Probably if I had taken the Myers Briggs percentage test then, I would have scored a lot higher in introversion.

              Which makes me wonder — do you know if it’s typical for people to change their percentages throughout their lives?

              Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell the difference between my complex developmental PTSD issues, and other issues. For example, when I was in the first grade, I absolutely could not sit still and be quiet in class! I drove my teacher nuts! During that time, if they had known about ADHD, I am sure I would have been given that diagnosis. I definitely was not introverted then! But during that time, there was a lot of trauma and abuse going on in my home. I really think my behavior was probably a cry for help. But after first grade, I went the other way, and everyone was calling me shy and bashful.

              Anyway, personality is an interesting thing. I still have a few ADHD tendencies crop up now and then. Like when I want to watch a movie — staying focused for that long on nothing but the TV or movie screen is torture! But when I was about 30 years younger, I had no problem staying focused on a movie from beginning to end! I used to love movies.

              Hmmm… I wonder if my history of head trauma caused that change?

              Anyway. I need to go focus on something else now, lol. God bless you, Cynthia. I’m praying you stay safe and well through this crazy pandemic!


              • I know you didn’t. Never even occurred to me you meant that negatively. 🙂

                Probably so.. I think IN** types in general tend to retreat into our “caves” of sorts during the more trying times. Seems like something we just do. No planning. Just happens.

                I don’t know as in I haven’t researched things, but from my own experience? ABSOLUTELY! I even changed my personality type. Prior to the carbon monoxide poisoning, i tested INTJ. I think that life experiences as well as physical or mental injuries can cause us to change, so naturally our personalities change with those changes. Yesterday hubby & I were going through old paperwork & found where he took the MBTI back in August, 2000 & tested ESTJ. Now? He could be the poster child for INTJs.

                Your experience makes sense to me. Everyone adapts to whatever is going on, good or bad, so you simply adapted to your situation, horrible as it was.

                I am the same with watching movies! I love kicking back with tv but I can’t sit still to watch a movie all the way through unless I’m working on a craft, playing a game on my tablet or doing something online. Sitting there for 2 hours straight, staring at the tv is impossible anymore. It used to be very doable. Not sure if that is trauma related or what. I’d like to know so we both had answers!

                Thank you so much. Hope you have a wonderful day! ❤

                Liked by 1 person

  4. I just did a quick search. Apparently there are lots of INFJ groups. Well, I’m happy just staying right here. Because: I-41%! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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