Sorry for the trouble, everyone, but it's been an absolute nightmare trying to distinguish between IEI and EIE, as well as subtypes, so I figured I'd throw a questionnaire and give it a shot. I've posted a questionnaire or two here before, but that was also when I was about 14-15 (I'm 21 now), so I figure that this will be drastically changed from my previous questionnaires. This will also be crossposted to reddit, so feel free to comment there as well? Thanks!
1. What is beauty? What is love?
There’s so much going on in this question. In terms of beauty, we could talk aesthetic beauty, we could talk inner beauty (as in beauty of character), etc. – I think it’s difficult to necessarily say what beauty is in the sense that each concept of beauty has a depth of meaning to it – I can’t properly explain what beauty is without narrowing down on aesthetic beauty, or spiritual beauty, etc etc., or else the definition essentially becomes so broad it barely encompasses anything. On a broader level, it means something “pleasing to us”, whatever that may be.
Love is also pretty difficult to define. I could try to list material experiences that convey what I THINK love is from a personal standpoint, but it’s hard to say that that the experiences I convey would actually encompass what love is. I would say is that love is feeling like someone is home to you, and that being in love adds passion to that in a way where every day is both intensely emotional and comfortable in a good way.
2. What are your most important values?
I’m good at understanding the values of others, but I am consistently terrible at recognizing my own values, or at least putting them into words in a way where it’s easily comprehendible. I want to say it’s something as simple as valuing family and the people I care about, communication, trust, honesty, etc., but it’s hard to say that my values are firm in that regard. I think that my values are very much informed by the communities that I’m in, and shift as necessary based on the people that I’m around, or maybe I’m the one shifting it by finding a community of people who share similar values – I’m not really sure.
3. Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
I practice Buddhism…somewhat. The thing is, Buddhism is a cultural norm for my culture, so it’s very easy for me to fold into practicing it, and a lot of the beliefs make sense at a material level – okay, there’s probably a creator, and people probably can get reborn, because the alternative is infinite oblivion or infinite heaven/hell, which…probably shouldn’t happen, if you want to believe in an ethical system with actual checks and balances as opposed to being threatened by “you will go to hell, FOREVER”. Realistically, though, religion and spirituality are ways to cope with a fear of death as well as an ethical system designed to ensure that people have an incentive to do good in the world.
4. Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
I would say that power is the ability to get what you want using tangible (or intangible) things. Powerful people have an aura of confidence, they are self-assured that they can get what they want by extending their tangible resources (money, tools, etc.) or intangible resources (people, capital, privilege, etc.). The strength of willpower defines power to me, and that strength of will, the ability to decide what you want and literally manifest what you want in life, is what I think the ideal is.
War and militaries are, of course, an extension of the system. War functions as a way to ensure that resources are not only gathered, but sustained, in a sort of “power game” with very deadly, real-life consequences. Our political sphere is essentially a deadly dance of diplomacy, a giant game of chicken, with war as the last-resort option to brute force a solution.
5. What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
I’m a psychology and philosophy double major, so my primary interest is in people – the way people work, what’s on their minds, how people socialize, the way people approach things like love, etc. – I thoroughly enjoy long conversations about that. Other than that, I can be found reading almost consistently (either fanfics or nonfiction books, most of the time), and I’m on a competitive debate team, so I do occasionally enjoy spirited debate on some randomly relevant topic just for the fun of it. I also play video games, and I enjoy the technicality of certain video games such as Pokémon, so a lot of my interests tend to revolve around fantasy, there’s some sort of hidden technical element underneath that allows me to plan without being too jargon-y (I give up at math equations), and worldbuilding in any form is amazing.
6. Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
The broad general trends of medicine, yes, perhaps, such as the spread of COVID-19 and its effects on the world around us, but in terms of health, I am awfully neglectful of my own health. My friends have commented that my sleep schedule is the worst they’ve ever seen (seriously, I’ve done a 12 PM-9 PM sleep schedule at one point), I have terrible self-care habits, and am basically unable to relax, ever, unless it’s goal directed in some way, shape, or form, and my body essentially acts as a machine that I use to get what I want, so a lot of the time, I can get sick without realizing it or rationalizing it as “oh it’s not actually THAT bad, I guess I’ll go to class” in the middle of a vertigo attack when I’m totally unable to see properly.
7. What do you think of daily chores?
Daily chores are a necessary evil for me. I’ll never take joy in cooking or cleaning, even though I really want to become a better cook, and I’m absolutely terrible with keeping track of basic habits, but if it’s scheduled, I’ll grit my teeth and do the cleaning/laundry/cooking. I mean, there is something enjoyable about having a nice song picked out as you clean, but the sheer time it takes as well as the anticipation? No thanks.
8. Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
I like shows that are either casually funny in a domestic way, such as Brooklyn 99 or Parks and Rec, where nobody is actually hurt and everyone has a good time, or shows that feature a lot of drama, suspense, and action, such as Game of Thrones or Love is Blind (seriously, some of the shit that goes down in that show is absolutely wild). I can enjoy action movies sometimes, but I like movies with deeper plots that leave me thinking at the end about implications, or what the deeper theme of the movie is.
In terms of fanfiction and books, I usually go for the same thing – either epics that leave me consistently breathless at the detail and worldbuilding, slow burn novels where the suspense and drama add to the tension to end in a perfectly satisfying ending, or cute novels or one-shots detailing some kind of domestic event or something adorable to keep me motivated.
9. What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
I’m not really much of a crier, if I’m being honest, but that’s maybe only because I’ve been socialized to believe that crying is weakness (and it’s something I’ve been doing my best to unlearn, because that’s not healthy). I do cry at emotional turbulence in my personal life, and sometimes out of sheer frustration, but a lot of my crying is done out of sadness in the same way that a pressure valve needs to release itself in order to function properly.
Smiling is much easier for me though – I tend to smile at a lot of things – things I enjoy, being around my friends, feeling comfortable in an academic environment, reading/watching something that brings positive emotions, etc. – I can be a smiler, and though I will never smile extremely obviously, like some of my other friends, where you know when they smile, I do smile a lot, and remain relatively stoic/melancholic in the meantime.
10. Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
I feel at home with my best friend, most of the time. He’s a confirmed LSI, if that helps, and our dynamic is pretty great, in the sense that we instinctively understand each other, are comfortable with one another for prolonged periods of time, and our conversations bounce easily as I draw him into discussion, or he draws me into discussion. In a comfortable environment with someone who trusts me wholly, I let down my guard – I can be me, in all of my intensity or lack of intensity and he understands how to react. Other than that, a good conversation with other people, a decent philosophy class (where the words are actually useful and not just a bunch of jargon put together), a competitive academic environment where a group is competing for a good outcome, a new book or fanfiction that’s simply a hidden gem, etc. – that is where I belong.
11. What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
I have been told by my LSI best friends and others that I tend to have a stubborn streak and can dominate in conversations, either accidentally, or on purpose. If I want something, it is clearly obvious, and I can outstubborn someone to it, often tunnel visioning myself in the process. I’m also extremely passive when it comes to asking others for favors, or exerting myself, which is a major problem for emails and texts, and I tend to “disappear” on people sometimes, which can be frustrating for them and for me.
In terms of things I dislike about myself, I dislike my passivity, my whininess (sometimes – I can throw a fit if need be at some points, with my LSI best friend stoically handling it), my anxiety and decision-paralysis, which is something I usually need someone to kick me out of by giving me a clear choice to take, and I dislike my inability to properly set boundaries with people sometimes.
12. What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I’m a decent planner – if you ask me for a 10-year plan I can probably predict the way that you should go. I’m also extremely good at one-on-one conversations, and it’s very easy for me to be personable and work with people, using my psychology and philosophy knowledge. I have a bit of a pragmatic streak as well, and between that, my planning, and my ambition, I usually end up with things going fairly smoothly for me. I like all of those traits about me, because it lets me help people with things that they need and gets me where I want to go.
13. In what areas of your life would you like help?
I need someone decisive in my life, who can tell me what’s what, first and foremost. Someone who can be spontaneous, and ruthlessly logical, to push me to be the best person I can be, because I need people who can tell me to “go do the thing that you’ve talked about for ages”. Someone who is willing or able to take care of the day to day stuff, like chores, paperwork, or self-care or something, because I couldn’t bother with most of it, quite honestly.
14. Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
My ruts are mostly because of either a failed or struggling relationship I have with someone close to me, or it’s because I don’t actually know what I want to do with, say, my life. A lot of the times, I shut myself even further down and stay in my room, and just kind of read and obsess a little over it – it usually requires either someone (like my LSI best friend), noticing, offering some kind of stimuli, and pushing me to confront the situation and asking me all the hard questions so I know what the solutions are.
15. What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like people who mean what they say and say what they mean – it’s funny because I deal in symbolism and hidden messages but I like knowing that people are going to be brutally honest with me and will say “hey, this is what I want”. A strong force of will is also preferred, as there’s nothing more attractive than a guy who knows what he wants, even if he is a bit cocky – I find that part pretty cute. I get along best with other Betas, normally, but Alpha SFs are pretty cool and Gamma NTs can occasionally make me want to tear my hair out but they’re pretty good conversational partners when they’re not telling you what to do.
16. How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I’m a romantic, and I’m not very used to the physical components of a relationship, but I want someone who is willing to explore that physical side of a relationship and make it sensual, considering that I’m pretty terrible in that. Someone confident, self-assured, says what he means and means what he says, and a hardass with a soft side that only reveals itself when you truly get to know him – that’s the kind of person who I’d want to be with, which is why I’m convinced my Dual is definitely a Beta ST.
17. If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
Oh god. So many concerns here – what kind of education is the kid getting? Are they allowed to develop their interests? Is the home a healthy place for them to develop their emotional side without accidentally traumatizing them? Are they happy in their home? What about their physical health – am I doing what I need to do to keep them healthy? I’d definitely consult a ton of parenting books because I’d have no idea what the hell I’m doing and ask for lots of help – check out child psychology literature or something.
18. A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly, I would pause, and try to figure out if it’s worth it arguing for my belief – I’m used to debating, but I don’t want to burn any unnecessary bridges. Is this a major value of theirs or just a minor, offhand thing? Can I convince them otherwise? Those thoughts would be running through my head as I try to calculate exactly how worth it would it be for me to argue.
Outwardly, I’d keep my face neutral, and quickly divert the topic if I want to avoid a debate or activate my inner stubbornness and go all-in on debating someone. This has led to hours-long debates in the past, both for fun, and also just because I’m stubborn and I want to change their minds.
19. Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
People are fascinating – there are whole social dynamics and it’s like a game that never ends. Learning about people, being kind to people, helping people – I enjoy that, both in the game sense, where I can manipulate, but also just because helping people is no bother as long as you genuinely mean it – it’s not hard to be genuinely interested in or wanting to help people. I could list a bunch of social problem, chief of which being various types of discrimination (racism, sexism, classism, ableism, etc.), or the ways in which we handle our relationships with others, but I’d say that all of them center around our treatment and awareness of others around us, compared to how we treat ourselves.
20. How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
My friends are mostly the “who stays and can deal with my quirks” type of people – I have a lot of acquaintances, and I’m good at appearing harmlessly friendly, so a lot of the time, I’ve noticed that people just “know” who I am, which makes me both slightly uncomfortable but also, it’s nice to be known, sometimes. I behave mostly like me, with a few modifications to increase their comfort, or emphasizing certain parts of the friendships that they like and minimizing the ones they hate – I’m fairly good at modifying my reaction to people as necessary. My best friend gets the full, unfiltered, experience, and I think it goes unsaid that we’re both totally honest with each other, and we like it that way.
21. How do you behave around strangers?
Ooh, that’s interesting. First, figure out the purpose of socialization – if it’s just a passerby or a situation where I probably shouldn’t converse, I won’t say anything. If it’s someone I probably should converse with or if it gets too awkward, I try for small talk with probing statements, to figure out what kind of person they are. It’s easy to see how they’d react, say, to an emotional outburst, or to a quiet reflection about some deeper topic, but if they seem uninterested or I’m personally uninterested, I keep it very light and easy so that I don’t have to fully commit to a conversation. People love talking about themselves, so I deflect, deflect, deflect until I hit a common ground and go all in on it, and I like to say that there’s a tangible “rapport” that you can feel around people, where you can figure out if they like or dislike you, so you just manipulate it appropriately. Generally, though, after that first or second good conversation, I tend to disappear and it’s probably a bad thing, but it works for me.