One's preferred environment (tangible) has to do with things like: music on/off, lighting dim/bright, company present/absent, temperature warm/cold, food spicy/sweet/enough?/not enough?, and so on.
One's preferred environment (intangible) is a natural outgrowth of the above. it is my suspicion that for each desired activity, there is an ideal corresponding physical quality that must be set into place. most often i suspect it is more than one physical component. so, for example, if i were to want to watch a movie, i could hypothetically do the following: turn the music off, the lighting dim, send the company away, turn the air conditioner up. yet perhaps i am hungry for spicy food and all i have is licorice, which i dislike. the idea is that my environment is not entirely conducive, then, to my watching the movie.
the tangible preference itself seems like a good start to identifying one's quadra, but how one creates his preferred environment, whether or not one cares to create one, and how one reacts to being thwarted from creating it seems more indicative of type.
i had not realized how important my environmental props were to me until I lived with my INFj friend. i naturally would just go into a room and set everything into place/motion in order to do whatever I wanted to do. for every desired activity, there is a corresponding environmental formula. for every desired level of productivity or lack thereof, there is a perfect combination and positioning of tangible stimuli.
now at times i reach the point where i am so anxious as a result of not being able to turn music on or walk naked or adjust the temperature as I wish, etc., that i suddenly must just make everything right or leave altogether. it doesn't take me long to feel irritable. however, forcing these conditions does not feel right. e.g., my roommate starts to realize i was unhappy in complete silence and states: "go ahead and turn on the music." i thank her, but really it is too late. i recognize that the conditions I require do not always occur naturally, but i also know that i must be afforded the freedom to create them before I get anxious as a result of their absence. i had thought that perhaps everyone had various preferred environments (tangible) which corresponded to a desired activity, etc., and that people's relaxedness/productivity depended on their ability to maintain their preferred stimuli and then change them as it became necessary.
now i'm not so sure. my INFj friend claims she never thinks about "setting up her environment," as I've been calling it. Clearly she does not get it because it's been 6 mos. now and I've told her many times what I require. Yet just yesterday she thought turning on the weather channel and telling me about it would make me feel more at ease.
anyone else very sensitive to being afforded the freedom (naturally, without someone saying "go ahead") to arrange physical objects /characteristics into optimum position?
the desired intangible part should dictate the motion of the tangible part.
do you automatically know which mood an environment must evoke in order for you to reach a desired level of productivity or engage in a particular activity? if you do, yet suddenly are not free to do so, how do you react? i generally do not stress or even think about setting up the environment (i just tweak it until it fits) unless somebody clearly wants something different or makes it appear that mine is interfering with their mood / productivity, etc. really, it's normally just like a baseline set of conditions which allow me to do whatever else i need/want to do.