What do you study or do for a living? How did you come to do that? What do you like or dislike about it?
I am a university student studying to be a librarian, prior to that I studied history and philosophy for two years at another university. I'm liking it so far, it's working out really well for me.
I realised that this seemed like an OK career path for me when I was a teenager starting high school. I had moved to a new town and was very shy, so I couldn't make any friends at all. I also cared very little about school, because I was too depressed and apathetic most of the time. So in school, I would skip most classes and just sit in the library and read classical novels instead. I liked to read these because they delved into the deeper questions of life, and I could relate to a lot of the characters, especially in Dostoyevsky's, Kafka's and Proust's works.
The librarians working there were always very friendly and kind, and they seemed to take an interest in me being there so frequently, so I managed to befriend them a bit to talk about literature. At that point in my life, besides my room and the forest I lived in, the library was one of the only places of peace and quiet, so I liked to hide there to get away from all the noise and gossip of my peers. That's when I realised I should probably be a librarian, because the library to me is a place of calm and comfort, filled with knowledge, and I'd like to inspire others to read and attain knowledge as well.
What else do you do on a daily basis? What are your interests and hobbies? Why do you do them?
I'm very into music. I still remember as a very young kid just pushing random keys on my sister's piano, being amazed by all the sounds it made. When I was 8 years old, I started playing drums, and I really enjoyed it, but then my mother had to sell my drum kit because we were poor.
Since about 11 years of age I've played guitar, and it's my "main thing". I also like to sing in conjunction with my guitar playing. I've always had a creative drive, and for the most part I just like to noodle around on my guitar for hours upon hours, coming up with various songs, ideas and lyrics, experimenting a lot with different setups, tunings, frequencies, etc. If not that, I listen to it online, and am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting music.
I'd say I do music only for my own sake. It's the only reliable thing that keeps me sane, and many times the only thing that gives me meaning, and to which I can flee no matter what. I do hope to fulfill certain goals though, such as record an album on my own in my home. I've played guitar on another person's album, and I also have experience with the entire studio process, so I hope to scrape together something of my own eventually.
What are your values, and why?
In my personal life I value authenticity, compassion, genuine creativity, humility and the ability to seperate the serious from the not so serious.
Politically I am centrist. I often feel like I can see the perspectives of each and every side at the same time. Many times it seems to me that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and it seems like people are too quick to make unfounded judgements based on whatever political camp they identify with. As for myself, I feel so aware of the nuances of everything it can sometimes be hard to make concrete judgements, unless it's an issue I feel strongly about or can approach from a logical perspective.
I also don't like the notion that offensive opinions should be silenced. There's a lot of things I don't agree with, but I still think it's everyone's right to express it. For this reason I feel alienated from many parts of the modern liberal left, even though I have a good amount of left wing opinions as well. To some degree this also applies to my social interactions, but there are limits based on what's appropriate, polite, etc.
Describe your relationships with family and friends. What do you like and dislike about them?
My relationship with my family is complicated. I come from quite an inhibited, emotionally absent and broken family. I moved out when I was 16, and have very little contact with them as a whole. I see my mother maybe once a year, my father maybe 2-3 times a year. We don't talk much in between those periods. I have a good relationship with my grandmother though. We talk once a week and she's a sweetheart, very caring and considerate, and I know she only wants what's best for me.
As for friends, I've never really been one to have a lot of them. I'm very shy and I think I give people the impression that I don't want them to talk to me. It was only when I entered university that I managed to make some real friends, most of whom were NT types and who had a genuine interest in what they were doing, who were generally very intellectually curious which made it easy to have deep and interesting conversations with them. Even though we've all moved our seperate ways now, I still make it a priority to try to meet them at least once a year. Besides that I don't really have any friends for now, and I never go out to meet anyone either.
What do you look for in friends? In romantic relationships?
In friends I just look for relaxed people who are themselves and with whom I can joke around and be silly, and with whom I can have interesting conversations and perhaps drink beer. In romantic relationships I guess I just look for someone with whom there's equal attraction, the rest sort of comes on its own. I feel like I probably need more emotional support than I let on, because I easily have doubts in myself and my abilities, but I tend to not show it, instead resorting to stoicism. I can't really come up with much else, it's hard for me to know/express my own needs when it comes to romance. I'm trying to get better at it.
What conflicts have you encountered recently with other people? Why did they happen? Which kinds seem to happen on a regular basis?
I'm not really one who gets into conflicts a lot. I genuinely feel like I tend to get along with most people, even if I may disagree with them and their ways of life (and I express it too). I've been involved in some conflicts though, usually involving Fi-valuers who seem to feel like I've trampled on their values by expressing my own views that are contrary to theirs. I don't know if it's just that, or if I've sounded arrogant or some such thing while doing so. Those are the only conflicts I seem to (unintentionally) be involved in, really. I understand where they're coming from, they take values personally, whereas I typically don't, so naturally there will be some clashes. But when it happens, I try to be very diplomatic and let them know that it wasn't my intent to hurt their feelings. I also try to recognise if I've been wrong myself, and let them know that.
What are your strengths? What do people like about you? What do you like about yourself?
I don't know what my strengths are. Patience, maybe. The few people I've known have expressed that they like that I'm honest and don't care about fitting in, that I'm a good listener, non-judgemental, accepting and caring. I've also been called very funny many times. I guess one thing I do like about myself is how independent I am, in some ways that's indicative of good self-esteem, which is something I often feel so lacking in otherwise.
What are your weaknesses? What criticism do you often face from others? What do you dislike about yourself?
My main weakness has to do with extroverting myself, both socially and practically. I'm very withdrawn and always had a tendency to isolate myself to extreme measures. I don't really like showing the world that I exist, I don't like receiving attention or any of those things. I struggle with the initiation phase of dating, of making friends. I also struggle with practical things: getting stuff done, doing things in time, cleaning, bureaucratic stuff, making phone calls, whatever. Lately I'm beginning to come to the realisation that nothing will happen unless I apply the force needed to make it happen, so I'm really trying to work on that. I'm tired of waiting for things to happen, because when I do that, nothing happens at all and I just miss out on everything. But it's hard to do things I simply don't feel like doing, everything is so dependent on mood for me.
What goals, aspirations, or plans do you have for the future, and why?
Honestly I just hope I'll make it through this education so I can get a job that won't make me want to kill myself more than I already do. I'm a very simple person. I just want to live in peace and get by, I don't require much else from life. I hope to have a place of my own out in the country where I can live peacefully, take daily walks in the woods, and build my own music studio where I can play and record music whenever I want, however I want.
If you won the lottery and didn't have to work anymore, what would you do?
Well it'd be a huge relief for me. First of all I'd pay off my mother and sister's debt, buy my mother a house in the woods that she always dreamt of, and send money to the people I know who are in need. If I really won so much money I never had to work again, I'd honestly just drop out of school and dedicate my whole life to music and take it easy, probably travel quite a bit. Take some interesting university courses every now and then. I'd want to send money to charities I care about as well.
What kinds of things do you do to manage and/or beautify your environment (your room, your house, etc.)?
Nothing at all. My home is like a prison cell. No decorations, nothing. Just a bed, a desk, a chair, my clothes and my music-related stuff. I tend to not be sensitive to my environment or even care about it, so I pay very little attention to it.
How do you behave around strangers?
I'm generally friendly but also shy. A bit nervous, but I'm good at cold talk and know how to get a conversation going if I just want to. If not, I'm just very few-worded, which is most of the time.
How do you react to conflict? What do you do if somebody insults or attacks you?
I typically react to conflict in a very calm and level-headed manner. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of it, but I also don't add more fuel to the fire, because it usually strikes me as being pointless. If somebody insults me it depends a lot on what they're saying, I mostly just stay quiet and wait for them to calm down so we can have a normal conversation about it. It's unusual for me to react back strongly, but it has happened.
Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Yes, for reasons described earlier e.g. difficulty putting myself out there and acting in the real world. My reaction seems to be to just embrace it even further. I have a hard time putting myself in motion, I tend to just let myself sink down, lots of inertia and apathy.
Would you ever be interested in starting a business? Why or why not? What role would you play in it? What kind of business would it be?
No. It seems like too much of a tedious process, and I don't want to sell anything. Leave me alone!
How do you dress or manage your appearance?
Most of the time I like to dress black. If not that, usually very dark grey or blue, and earthy colours. I try to dress tastefully, but still in a way not to stand out. I've received compliments on the way I dress, but I'm not really very interested in fashion, I just have a decent sense of it even if I mostly don't take it that seriously.
What were you like as a child? How have you changed since then?
I was surprisingly extroverted and quite precocious. My relatives called me "The Professor" because I was very curious about lots of things yet also quite absent-minded. I didn't mind to be the center of attention, not that I sought after it, I just had a way of attracting it with my jokes, my observations and way of approaching things. I was also the class clown for a long time, teachers didn't like me simply because I talked too much and studied too little. When puberty hit something changed though, that's when I became more like I am now, I've been extremely introverted and inhibited ever since.
Do you like kids? Why or why not?
Yes I like kids, because they're very playful and open, and they usually see things from a different perspective. I'd love the teaching aspect of being a father, to raise them well and teach them everything I know. If I ever get lucky enough to have kids some day, hopefully I'll be able to give them everything I never had as a kid.
What are your spiritual or religious beliefs and why do you hold them?
I've mostly been pretty agnostic but have always felt a longing for faith and spirituality. I did consider myself a Christian for a few years, and I think in many ways I still am, but I don't follow any established tradition or dogma. I want to though, I really want to, but there's no organised faith I feel like I can believe in fully. I've struggled a lot with "spiritual disheartenment" and existential angst. But ultimately I do believe in some kind of monotheistic God, and I pray sometimes. I have great admiration and respect for those priests, monks, nuns and other religious people who dedicate their whole lives to their faith. I'm not a Satanist, I just like to joke about it because it cracks me up.
Are you comfortable taking leadership roles? In what areas? Why or why not?
Typically not. I don't like the added responsibility it brings because I fear I may not be able to live up to it. If I had a lot of power I'd prefer being the second-in-command, or the advisor to the one who leads.
How often do you get angry? What kinds of things make you angry?
I don't get angry that often. But I can get annoyed if people are being disrespectful in some way, or if they just talk down on others all the time. If I see someone being unfairly treated I can get angry and I'm not afraid to intervene in those situations.
I admit I can also be annoyed if people don't know what they're talking about. People who are opinionated but who never back it up with any logic, any reasoning, that really annoys me. Anyone can spout their feelings and attitudes about a certain thing, it's harder to back it up with reasonable arguments. And if you can't do that, I think you should just be more humble about yourself, rather than define the world through the lense of your own, very subjective feelings.
What is your sense of humor like? Do you joke around a lot?
I joke around quite a bit yes. I like to point out the absurdity of things, or just straight say or do things that seem silly to me. Often times the humour just lies in how you say things, how you time them. I've got a pretty good grasp of that I think.
Your friend bursts into tears. What do you do? How does it make you feel?
I feel for them and with them, and offer to hug them. I will then offer them all my attention and listen to whatever pains them, with the goal of making them feel better, perhaps by trying to figure out how to resolve the problem. It's very dependent on the situation, I try to feel people in, it's all very situational. I just want people I know to know that it's okay to express their true feelings to me. I want to offer what help I can give.
Do you like surprises?
Well I like pleasant surprises of course. As for neutral surprises, I don't know, I'd prefer not to be surprised in that case. I don't know how I'd feel about a surprise birthday party to be honest, I'd probably feel like it's a bit intrusive, but I'd try to express gratitude and friendliness because it's a nice gesture.