Can strategic thinking introverts handle chaos better than others? Edward Lorenz’s “Chaos Theory” suggests that, “Although many complex systems appear to behave in a random manner, Chaos Theory shows that, in reality, there is an underlying order that is difficult to see.”
In a world that can arguably be called random and disorganized, strategic thinking introverts seem to find order through pattern recognition and deep analysis. Through voracious reading and incessant solitude, this brand of introverts is able to make sense of a complex world, as they build their own inner paradise.
While the world crashes and burns, strategic thinking introverts build intellectual empires in their midst.
The American Academy of Advanced Thinking (AAAT) defines Strategic Thinking Introverts as, “Inwardly driven people who are preternaturally sensitive to discovering deep patterns and insights within people and perspectives in pursuit of intellectual excellence”.
These traits are best exemplified within INTJ, ISTJ, and INTP personality types.
Although many of the introverted personality types under the Myers-Briggs Trait Indicator (MBTI), can be described as inwardly driven, and sensitive to incoming information, AAAT identified INTJs, ISTJs, and INTPs as the ones most hardwired towards intellectual curiosity and excellence.
Typical names given to strategic thinking introverts are: The Architect, The Logistician, The Strategist, The Mastermind, and The Logician.
It is important to make these distinctions because many people lump all introverts within the same category. However, merely because people appear the same on the surface does not warrant the necessity of sameness within one’s intellectual understanding.
Just as the DISC personality profile attempts to allow participants to self-assess their core interaction style with others, some time and attention should be invested in understanding the dominant traits of introverts within the Myers-Briggs Trait Indicator as a means of understanding why all introverts are not created alike.
There are 9 things I wish people knew about me as a strategic thinking introvert that provide clarity and structure in my life. They are as follows:
1. Well-researched advice is better than mere opinions. Since I was a child, I have always loved books and reading. This sounds like a cliché coming from an introvert. However, I have always been interested in how and why people and things work. As a self-proclaimed social scientist, I have spent a lifetime questioning and investigating everything. Family and friends would make less mistakes in life, if they consulted with me before making critical decisions.
2. Love is intellectual. No matter how much I love and care about you, I would never make life altering decisions based purely on emotions. There were times when my guts were on fire at having to end a relationship when the long-term potential of the relationship became null and void. While most people “blink” or make decisions contrary to their well-being, I never blinked. And there is no one I would want to reunite with today.
3. Betrayal cannot be forgiven. Most of my relationships grew organically. There was a never a time I can remember when I forced a friendship to flourish. Once the psychological contract was breached, there was no way possible to reconcile the friendship. If the other person’s actions violated my personal constitution, I lack the ability to resume the friendship because I no longer trust his or her reasonability. And once reason has been undermined, the person cannot be trusted to uphold expectations and responsibilities.
4. Any reasonable request will be honored. To this day, no one could ever claim that I did not honor any reasonable request. If the other party felt that I was unapproachable, that had nothing to do with my willingness to honor a request. In hindsight, I rarely attracted needy people because my energy and life force convey a strong constitution towards independence. And while everyone may need assistance in life, most of my friends and colleagues either solved the problem on their own or found a more agreeable ally.
5. Enlightened self-interest is the key to success. Enlightened self-interest is when an individual, as well as the public receive a benefit from the individual’s actions. Rarely, have I acted in ways that I didn’t see a benefit to myself as well as the other party. It didn’t mean that I was always looking for something in return, but I never gave until it hurts. Strings were attached only in purely professional or transactional relationships. Because I am introverted, and didn’t explain my actions, the other person was left with a sense of abandonment or betrayal. Often, it was a matter of executing on a good idea, which the other person failed to do at the appointed time.
6. Fear has always been a motivator. Whether it was fear of being bullied or fear of failure, I have always used fear as motivation for repairing an emotional or intellectual breach. Exercising and learning self-defense were responses to feeling unprepared in the event of a physical attack. Reading political theory or military history served to enhance my ability to create advanced strategies in achieving a goal.
7. Asceticism is a way of life. Although I have always enjoyed the creature comforts in life, living like a Tibetan monk has always served my intellectual endeavors. My places of residence have always been set up as mini a “Bootcamp” to produce optimal results. My focus on achieving goals were never diminished, altered, or undermined by distractions.
8. People are mere conduits for progressive outcomes. For the uninitiated, it is believed that utilizing people to affect a specific outcome is a negative concept. To “use” people is antithetical to the notion of fair play or karma. Negative or nefarious manipulation of people is uncivil. However, using human resources to execute bright and progressive ideas is the core to great achievements. Again, as a strategic thinking introvert, I did not always explain my aims, but the other person benefited because the aspiration was mutually satisfying.
9. Paradise exists within the mind. No place or person has ever been as exciting or adventurous as my imagination. To frolic in my field of dreams has served as my sanctuary no matter what situation was playing in the outside world. Books have been my role models, and self-reflection has created countless moments of clarity. A famous philosopher was once asked, “How do you know so much about human nature?” His reply was, “Because I study myself.”
It feels special to exist as a strategic thinking introvert. While the world is in a state of frenzy and chaos, I see opportunities for progress and success. As people advocate for tearing down systems and processes, I see these structures as tools for self-actualization.
For strategic thinking introverts, the outer world does not feel hopeless, because we have always lived within our self-created inner world of ideas and imagination. And this inner world has prepared us for outer calamity.
In the end, the only paradise that exists is the one we create.
Related: Strategic Apparel
Chaos Theory. (n.d.). Learning Theories. Retrieved from: https://www.learning-theories.com/chaos-theory.html.
16 Personalities (n.d.). Neris Analytics Limited. Retrieved from: https://www.16personalities.com.