Reflection Cube

Three-dimensional thoughts

Category: Relationships Page 1 of 3

smart phone - electronics - electromagnetic frequencies - technology - health effects - psychological effects - dangers

Smart Phones – The Profound Medical and Psychological Effects


<3 Kate

Please see disclaimer.

tick on leaf - Lyme disease, vector-borne illness, symptoms, disease, autoimmune conditions, aches, pain, headaches, fatigue, brain fog

Explaining Away an Uncomfortable Truth

So…warning. I’m kinda ranting here. 🙂

A family member of mine recently got diagnosed with Lyme.

Since then, while sharing this recent discovery with her friends/family, many have asked her, “Do you think that’s really what it is? Are you sure Lyme is really what you have?”

To which my family member’s inward response has been something to the effect of “Of course that’s what I have! I have the matching symptoms, and my doctor diagnosed me with it! Finally, I have a reasonable explanation for my symptoms!”

Lyme can actually mimic – or cause – a lot of other autoimmune diseases, so you may think you have fibromyalgia or adrenal/chronic fatigue or multiple sclerosis…and really have Lyme. It’s more likely that someone would think they have another autoimmune disease and in fact (or in addition) have Lyme (or a similar vector-borne and/or low-grade infection), than the other way around. Lyme is way more common than many realize (and can be transmitted through many means other than a tick bite, including through mosquitoes, spiders, and bodily fluids – saliva, tears, etc.).

Will Lyme Disease Plague America?

Defeat Lyme Disease Without Antibiotics

Juice Feasting Can Heal Lyme Disease Naturally

Such incredulity can be annoying, because it makes the sufferer feel that their diagnosis is invalid – at least socially. Which, for some, makes them question their own sanity (though it shouldn’t). Maybe they really are just a hypochondriac after all….

Except that…they know they aren’t.

It’s All In Your Head

Note: Not making any judgments or assessments about my family member’s friends or family here, or their motives/reasoning in asking the questions they did. Most people mean well when they ask such questions.

But this brings us to an interesting phenomenon about the human brain.

We tend to like to explain away or discredit facts that make us uncomfortable.

(Looked for the official name for this phenomenon and about the closest I got was Terror Management Theory…which…doesn’t exactly fit, but bears some resemblance.)

It’s a form of denial – an attempt to ignore, redefine, or disbelieve something that is terrifying or unsettling – even if that thing doesn’t directly affect you.

Having a loved one diagnosed with a serious condition can be irritating, frightening, burdening. (And it can also make undiagnosed sufferers wish they had an explanation for their similar, hidden symptoms (but sadly, they’ve come to believe the lie that any illness that is not completely outwardly visible is mental, and can’t have a medical diagnosis or root. So they think they’re just crazy for feeling what they feel.))



You can’t win! If you don’t have a diagnosis – and your symptoms are less visible (e.g. fatigue, faintness, brain fog), people think you’re lying about your health issues. And if you have a diagnosis, they don’t believe that either (“they” not representing all of humanity, but those who believe more in the prevalence of hypochondria than the growing reality of hidden illness).

A better question to ask in such situations might be, “Do you think that there could be an additional disease or factor in the mix? Or does Lyme pretty much explain all your symptoms?”

You’re acknowledging that the Lyme is a reality, but just expressing curiosity in asking if there might be more to the puzzle.

Or just a simple expression of sympathy. “Oh wow, I’m really sorry to hear that.”

Ever taken a personality test, read the description for the result you got, and gleefully exclaimed with relief “Yes! Finally, I make sense! There’s an explanation for my weirdness!”

Well, that’s how someone often feels when they get a medical diagnosis. Even if the diagnosis is very grave, it generally feels so much better to finally have an explanation for what’s going on. You know that you’re not actually going totally crazy, as many doctors have likely suggested to you in the past.

To have someone then attempt (however unwittingly) to shatter that source of relief and security is frustrating.

You’re thrilled that you can finally explain your health problems, and be confident that there really is a legit reason you feel the way you do. Finally, you know what monster you’re fighting, and you can learn what weapons to use.

And then, the very people you’d assumed would understand instead try to explain away your proof.

They doubt that you’re really up against that monster.

If the listener or questioner actually has some nutritional/medical knowledge (amateur or professional) and they have good reason to think you might have something else or something additional, then they should bring that up.

I would want to know if there were the possibility that I actually had a much more serious disease that I needed to be addressing, which symptomatically manifests similarly to the one with which I’d been diagnosed.

But to simply suggest – without any basis – to the diagnosed, “Um…nope, I don’t think you have that,” or press them with “Are you really sure that’s what you have?” – when they have clearly shared that they suffer from the symptoms for that illness and have been diagnosed – is uncaring at best, and cold and insensitive at worst.

Why would they be referring to it as their diagnosis if they weren’t reasonably sure? Why would they say “I have [X] disease” if they weren’t convinced it was so?

Denying the existence of the problem is not helpful. If someone has Lyme or cancer, suggesting to them (without any basis) that you doubt they really have that disease won’t make it go away, much as you’d like to see them stop suffering, or to think that your friend/relative really can’t be suffering from something so serious or painful.

My family member works really hard to encourage other people, keep pressing through, and give of herself. So a lot of people don’t see just how much she’s going through and fighting to do and give all that she does. They look at the surface and think “Hm, doesn’t look like Lyme disease to me. Look how chipper she is!” Or, “She’s not lying in bed at home all the time, so she can’t have such a serious illness.”

The sufferers of autoimmune disease today are the canaries in the coal mine. They are suffering because our environment is changing rapidly – being corrupted with water toxins, mutagens, toxic vaccine adjuvantsindustrial poisons, and EMFs – which are particularly problematic for those who have been poisoned with heavy metals.

These environmental changes are awakening (pulling the trigger on) genetic mutations in extra-sensitive individuals. But it’s coming to a theater near you soon. What is happening now to the most fragile and sensitive will eventually become problematic for everyone.

Everyone will have autoimmune disease. Unless the environment – including “medicine” – becomes massively cleaner, you or your children will develop autoimmune disease. Many of their symptoms may be hidden (not outwardly noticeable in some way to the observer – or visible on the skin), but very real nevertheless.

It’s just a question of how rapidly the environment will become so toxic that even the strongest can’t withstand it.

We need to realize that this “mysterious” increase in cases of “hypochondriasis” is largely a mask for a growing and already pervasive problem: hidden illness, and the hidden threats to our health.

Please see Disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 10 – Futility and Death

Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 5 – Religion Doesn’t Really Need God

Niceness or politeness vs. kindness - you can't be both nice and kind - which one are you? Picture of cozily-dressed nice or kind woman smiling

Nice vs. Kind

It’s Okay to Not Be Nice

It’s taken me most of my life so far to learn this, but:

Being “nice” – or niceness – is not necessarily a virtue.

Making someone uncomfortable is not necessarily synonymous with being unkind (depends on how and why you’re making them uncomfortable).

Just because someone dislikes us, our boundaries, or what we stand for does not mean we should change who we are to be “nice” or to make them comfortable. We should not sacrifice or compromise our souls or our sanity for political correctness or popularity.

It’s okay to disagree with someone.

It’s okay to try to keep your distance – as much as possible – from someone who’s acting inappropriate around you – even if they’re pretending to be gentle/safe and acting like you’re hurting their feelings for staying away. Predators prey upon the goodwill and compassion of others all the time.

This is not to say that everyone in your life who makes you feel guilty for avoiding them is a predator. But if you’re getting a weird vibe from someone, you should not feel obligated to stick around simply to seem “nice”.

Jesus Wasn’t “Nice”…But He Was Kind

Jesus was kind, but he wasn’t polite for the sake of politeness.

He wasn’t nice. He confronted the Pharisees, overturned the money tables in the temple, and rebuked Peter after Peter rebuked him for prophesying his death.

Jesus ate with (*gasp*) the tax collectors and sinners! He ignored the PC rules of the time.

Jesus was kind and compassionate, but he wasn’t concerned with being or appearing “nice”, polite, or politically correct in order to maintain popularity or ensure the comfort of others.

In fact, Jesus made a lot of people uncomfortable. His words of truth pierced many like the blow of a sword.

He taught his disciples to be innocent as doves…but also shrewd as serpents. He told us to turn the other cheek, but also instructed his disciples to flee if persecuted.

Nice vs. Kind


“Nice” is politically correct.

“Kind” is more concerned with saying what’s actually correct.


“Nice” doesn’t have any enemies or any real friends.

“Kind” has many enemies but also a few true friends.


“Nice” protects your ego.

“Kind” protects your soul.


“Nice” is concerned with appearance.

“Kind” is concerned with the inner man and the hidden things.


“Nice” will stop being nice when it becomes politically or socially inconvenient.

“Kind” will never stop being kind. It is concerned with truth, not with trends. It is concerned with love, not likability.

Much of the time, to be “nice” is to be unkind.

Nice people are flimsy. They don’t sharpen themselves, and they don’t sharpen others. Kind people sharpen both themselves and others, because they are in tune with reality rather than fantasy, a selfish desire for popularity, or wishful thinking. They seek only truth and speak only truth.

It’s okay to express your beliefs, even if others might label you “judgmental”, “intolerant”, “closed-minded”, or “irrational”. It’s okay (and important) to pursue truth, even if that makes others uncomfortable.

It’s okay to ignore the fashion trends and dress comfortably – in a style that works for you. It’s okay to defy the pressure of your peers and dress more modestly or cozily than they dress – or suggest or “demand” that you dress.

It’s okay to close your eyes during a sermon, without worrying that the pastor or others might think you’re asleep. If closing your eyes helps you to listen better, do it. Don’t worry about looking “unrighteous” or offending the pastor or someone else. You’re there to meet God, not to feed the pastor’s ego or perform for the congregation.

It’s okay to follow a diet that suits your health requirements, even if others shame you for not trying their food.

It’s okay to cook the same meal for everyone in your family (provided it’s a meal that works for your most allergic/sensitive peeps. Most of the time, I have to prepare something different from what my family eats, and I don’t think most people would want to subsist only on the foods in my limited diet for very long). But you shouldn’t feel obligated to cook multiple meals for others simply to cater to their tastes because they don’t prefer your healthier food, and want to eat shortbread, biscuits, pork, and trans-fat-laden alfredo noodles made with artificial ingredients instead of your lovingly prepared meal of salmon, soup, and salad.

If they want something else (especially something less healthy), they can make it themselves.

It’s okay to not be nice.

It’s okay not to cater to every last whim and wish of others. You’re only one person, and not everything that other people want is actually good for them, even if they do an excellent job of convincing you that you’re a terrible person for “depriving” them.

And trying to please everyone is not good for you, either.

Nice people don’t change the world – at least for the better. Kind people do.

Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Cloudy pink and white heart #Valentine's Day #love #romance #affection #attraction #relationships #loneliness #singleness #holidays #marriage #dating #life #depression #sadness #hope #joy #mentalhealth #healthyrelationships #strength #insight #standards #selfcare #patience #waiting #lifestyle #choices #decisions #heart #heartache #heartbreak

Single on Valentine’s Day?

You’re not alone in that. <3 😉

Me too.

I happen to not be a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. Not really because it reminds me I’m not in a relationship, so much as the fact that I quickly tire of seeing that much of that shade of red (you know, the typical bright Valentine’s Day red) everywhere, and if I were to celebrate, I can’t eat chocolate anyway, can’t drink wine, can’t tolerate synthetic fragrances, and cards collect dust (I mean, I appreciate them, but I wouldn’t feel hurt or upset if someone didn’t want to bother to get me one. Because then I’d either have to throw it away after reading it (which feels a bit heartless), or I’d have to find a place to put it. Cards are most meaningful when random, unexpected, or given during a rough patch in life.)

Plus, it saddens me to see Valentine’s Day transform into an opportunity for people to get upset or hurt if their loved one forgot the “special day”, and consequently neglected to give/do anything in recognition of the holiday and the relationship. Like, don’t you do and give something to recognize the relationship every day? Maybe things that go unnoticed or are taken for granted, but don’t you cook for each other or do the dishes or keep the books or talk or embrace often?

Perpetually single girl speaking here. I’m just observing relationships and married life in confusion, awe, and perplexion, imagining how I’d operate and function in such a world, and wondering at the seemingly nitpicky complaints and troubles that so easily mushroom into major ones in that environment.

But truly, I hope that if and when I’m in a relationship someday, our love would be deep-rooted and solid enough that I wouldn’t need mini trinkets to bolster my sense of security or convince me that we’re still “in love”. Indeed, even in a “shaky” or “poor” relationship, such tokens would offer little to reassure me.

I would hope that our love would be marked by give-and-take every day. Not of things or stuff or cards. But of service, sacrifice, mutual learning, counsel, trust, and sharing of information, quality time where possible, and lots of hugs and touch. 🙂 And when one of us couldn’t meet expectations or had to rely more on the other to “carry the load”, we would still stick together. We wouldn’t say “Hey! You didn’t meet your work or love quota for the day!” We would extend grace.

I may be an idealist who’s never been in a relationship, but having been fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness lasting love between my parents and many other couples, I know that this kind of love is possible. The problem is, it takes work, persistence, and a lot of pain along the way. And most of us are terrified to run that gauntlet.

And I also realize – from witnessing other couples’ relationships (including some really unstable marriages) – that there are some incredibly toxic people out there who truly seem to be incapable of give-and-take, negotiation, other-mindedness, learning, or reasoning. Hopefully, we are able to recognize warning signs and red flags early on, before we ever commit.

Seriously though, if it’s a solid relationship, a holiday isn’t necessary to know that. If your love is strong, you don’t need presents or tokens other than fellowship and hugs (if physically possible – I know this is something military spouses often sacrifice) and steadfastness to know that you’re secure and loved.

And to love someone in the first place, you actually don’t need any of those things at all. Love is something you give without expecting anything back. If you expect something back, I’m not sure it can really be called love. Once reciprocation or ROI is expected, it becomes a transaction. Business.

business-marriage-handshake awkwardness

All of that said, I get it. February can already be challenging enough, without the added pain of a holiday that reminds many of us of what we don’t have. Of things that aren’t (whether the thing that isn’t is being in a relationship or being “remembered” on Valentine’s Day).

In response to this painful reminder, some of us even go so far as to mourn our singleness on Valentine’s Day with black flowers and ice cream “binge eating” sessions.

Valentine's Day black flower #black #rose #flower #blackrose #singleness #depression

Pixabay photo (CC0 License)

Valentine's Day girl eating ice cream gif #depression #loneliness

That be you? Hope this “infographic” can offer some encouragement. <3

Valentine's day #singleness #loneliness #love #romance #attraction #relationships #patience #growth #time #freedom #blogging #writing #katerichardson #reflectioncube #life #joy #peace #waiting #lifestyle #decisions #choices #February #holidays #heart #sadness #depression #longing #desire #improvement #maturity #identity

Photo by Kate Richardson / Reflection Cube 2018

With that, my lovelies, I send you mega cyber hugs, and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. <3

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

more than meets the eye - lens, filter, distortion, objectivity, bias, clarity, perception

More Than Meets the Eye

There’s more to each of us than others see.

More layers. More systems and subsystems. More untold stories.

Often, we are quick to assume that we understand why a person is acting the way that they are. I am guilty of this.

Although at times our perceptions and inferences may hit the bullseye – accurately nailing the reasons for a person’s behavior – at other times, we err in our assumptions, perhaps because our brains are so eager to assign some explanation to a confusing phenomenon.

Our brains hate to not know or not understand. So they will continually try to make reason out of (seeming) insanity, or label as insane that which seems, on the surface, to be without reason.

Scenario #1

You’re a cashier at a retail store. One customer comes through with “tons” (like, hundreds of pieces) of makeup – cheap and expensive brands, and practically every possible color of every possible product – lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, etc.

You carefully scan and bag every piece of makeup.

And then….

“I’m sorry…actually, I’ll have to cancel everything except these twenty-five items.”

You feel your heart sink into your stomach. You’re not sure what hurts more: seeing someone attempt to spend so much money on makeup, or seeing them practically cancel the transaction after you’ve both wasted a lot of time at the checkout.

Thankfully, your customer hasn’t paid yet. Your best option, at this point, is to simply void the entire transaction, put all the unwanted makeup in a bin to be returned to the floor by some poor sales floor employee (assuming your customer doesn’t want to hold the cart and come back to purchase everything later), and again ring up the twenty-five items.

But why? Seriously, how could a person not think ahead? And why are they wasting so much money on makeup?

Here are some possible answers or explanations – things which wouldn’t necessarily be readily apparent from your vantage point:

  • Your customer is starting a business as a makeup artist, but forgot that she wanted to set-up a separate business bank account first. The twenty-five items are personal or for gifts.
  • Your customer lives with a chronic illness which causes severe brain fog, and therefore struggles to think ahead very well or remember things.
  • Your customer wanted to give away all the makeup to a charity, so that women in underserved communities could still have access to products that would help them feel “put-together”. Sadly, her heart is bigger than her pocketbook.
  • Your customer is accustomed to buying anything and everything with credit cards and has been racking up debt, but is trying to establish a different spending pattern, and only at the checkout – while witnessing the snowballing total – mustered the resolve to say “no”. Although the whole scene may seem pitiful to onlookers, this is, in fact, quite a red-letter day for her.

Scenario #2

Your friend hardly speaks when with you. But you’ve seen him talk to other people. Ouch.

It’s possible that:

  • He finds you smart, cool, and attractive in many ways. He wants to impress you, and feels nervous in your presence.
  • He’s got a crush on you, and his brain chemistry changes when you’re around, so he loses many of his mental faculties. He gets fluttery inside and his brain goes out the window.
  • You’re both just not sure of the best questions to ask each other yet. You’re still building that foundation of familiarity with each other. It usually takes your friend a while to warm up, especially with those he particularly admires or respects, and your relationship just needs time to spread its wings. Maybe you see him talking with other people, but that doesn’t mean that their conversations are as deep as you’re desiring yours to be. Perhaps you have imagined that they are enjoying the type of conversation you want to enjoy with your friend, but you don’t actually know the degree of intimacy and depth of their communication. And if you walk over and listen to find out, your friend, of course, gets quiet, because of the aforementioned or other reasons. 😉

Scenario #3

Your coworker just said something that totally shocked you. You never expected those words to come out of his mouth, and you take it personally. You feel completely disrespected and crushed.

Perhaps your coworker:

  • Isn’t naturally very agreeable (diplomacy and politeness simply don’t come to him very naturally, or he doesn’t see the value in them). But he has no intentions or awareness of being disagreeable.
  • Has a brain wiring that is less conducive to understanding the nuances and subtleties of communication and social graces, but totally didn’t mean to offend, or intend the statement to sound the way it did.
  • Grew up in a rather cloistered community and is now working extra hard to hone some fundamental social skills.
  • Just lost a loved one or got diagnosed with a fatal illness, but hasn’t told anyone and isn’t ready to talk about it.
  • Just got chewed out by your mutual boss.

Scenario #4

You reach out to hug your niece, and you can feel her body stiffen. You conclude that she must either hate touch or strongly dislike you – or both. Could be, but some other possibilities are:

  • You happen to be hugging her right by the door where there’s a draft.
  • Your niece generally feels pretty cold anyway.
  • In the community in which your niece grew up, most or all forms of touch have been demonized, and it’s sometimes a challenge for your niece to switch gears now and convince her brain that it’s okay to embrace someone.
  • She grew up in a familial environment where touch and physical affection were scarce, and so she doesn’t quite know how to handle it, even if she likes it.
  • She associates hugs with punishment (it was something that only came after discipline). Or her primary memory of touch as a child is of being corporally punished, and she rarely, if ever, received physical affection.
  • You remind your niece (perhaps not even in character or appearance, but simply by your gender) of someone else who once violated her (or currently does).
  • Your niece craves touch but doesn’t believe she deserves it. And/or, she expects anything good – such as touch – to be taken away suddenly and forever – and that fear is manifesting in her body. She doesn’t allow herself to fully enjoy anything, due to this fear.
  • She’s trying to keep her head from getting smushed into your shirt, because she has makeup on, so she stiffens in a caring attempt to prevent you from smushing her face into your shoulder to the detriment of your clothing.

The issue may not be at all that she doesn’t like or love you, even though it totally looks that way.

If you grew up in a family where physical affection was on par with verbal communication in terms of importance or prevalence – sort of like drinking water or breathing air – this reaction by your niece is, no doubt, very puzzling to you. It feels as though you’re trying to speak to a person with aphasia. Perhaps they sort of comprehend or want to understand your language, but they struggle to “speak” it back to you.

Or she may totally understand your language and want to reciprocate by speaking it in-kind, but environmental factors (makeup, temperature) are getting in the way.

Our Filters

We don’t always know why people act the way they do. I have certainly made my share of assumptions about people’s motives or stories. And I also frequently get misread by others. 🙂 I think misreading others and being misconstrued happens between all of us a lot more than we realize.

If we could somehow remove the distortions, biases, and personal filters through which we interpret others’ lives, might we gain more compassion, understanding, and respect for them? If we saw all that they’d endured, and how that plays out in their current behavior, would we have more patience? Would we make friends with someone we’d previously shunned, after hearing their story?

If our conclusions about others’ actions and the reasons for them were derived from observation through crystal clear lenses – completely separated from the tainting influence of our personal experiences and feelings – what would we discover? If we were able to take ourselvesour egos and personal experiences – out of the equation, what would be left in our perceptions of others?

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that a complete separation between our thoughts and our personal filters is possible.

We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. – Anonymous*

Yet if it were possible to make this separation – even partially – would the “insane” and “idiotic” and “unintelligent” and “heartless” and “cold” and “thoughtless” and “brash” and “shy” and “fearful” suddenly seem more “reasonable” or “normal”? Would we find they’re just like us, but with different backgrounds and in different bodies? Would we see in them the person that we ourselves could have been, in different circumstances?

If we were in the practice of asking ourselves – upon observation of a “strange” behavior or person – the question, “I wonder how they got there?”, how might that change our view and treatment of others whose behavior we don’t understand? And might we gain new friendships? Business connections? Hire different employees? Establish other long-lasting relationships?

All that is gold does not glitter – J.R.R. Tolkien

We are all more than meets the eye.

* There is uncertainty as to where this quote originated.

Please see Disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

signs an INTP likes you and might be interested in you - bear holding heart

Signs an INTP Might Like, Like You

Is your crush an INTP? Wondering if the interest might be mutual?

None of the following clues can be considered absolutely indicative of an INTP’s interest. However, if you see many of these signs in conjunction, there’s a good chance that they may like, like you (or “at least” consider you an inspiring friend or acquaintance).

They study and strive to become proficient/knowledgeable in your field of expertise.

If an INTP likes you, they often want to understand the depths not only of who you are, but what you know and the areas in which you shine. They’re attracted to your mind and the prowess you display in your element, and they want to be a part of it. Because to be a part of it is to be a part of you.

Be it chemistry, cooking, business, or massage, an INTP may very well apply themselves to master – or at least decently understand – the things of interest to you.

Actually, this is how I learned the violin. I once had a crush on a dude who played tons of instruments, and I wanted to be like him, so I bought a cheap violin and some educational materials and started learning. Who would’ve known that such a pursuit would actually lead to a passionate love of the violin, and further down the road, the opportunity to participate in an orchestra? 😮 My crush on that guy transformed into a crush on the violin, which lasted even after this fellow moved away and (I think) almost relinquished his dedication to playing or mastering musical instruments, and after I gradually moved on.

They talk to everyone but you at a social gathering.

Generally, the guy I like will be the one in the room I struggle the most to talk to (especially initially). If I like you, it’s pretty much a given that I already respect you. And if I respect you, then I don’t want to mess anything up in your presence. Goofy, I know. It’s not like you or I are perfect, so why should we hope to appear perfect, or put the other on a pedestal? When I think about it that way, it helps me to remember that you’re human. And then sometimes I can talk more, but it still sounds awkward and stilted.


They stalk you online to discover anything they can about your work,  passions, and philosophies.

Definitely done this! 😳

Unfortunately, this clue may not always be so accessible to the stalkee. How would you know if someone is shadowing you online unless they tell you they are, or frequently engage with your statuses/posts/profiles?

They start hanging out in social settings where you are more than they used to or than seems typical/comfortable for them.

Spending extra time in public can be draining for the INTP, especially because of their function stack. Some INTPs struggle to use their dominant function (introverted thinking) very well when in social settings, so if they’re making more time to participate in social gatherings where you are, there’s at least something or someone keeping them there. Either they find the company of your group to be particularly intellectually stimulating, or there’s another interest – possibly a person in that group – that’s capturing their attention and undivided focus. (Or both could be true.)


They start wearing the same piece of clothing all the time after having an extra positive experience with you when wearing that article.

Okay, maybe this is just me. 🙂 But I am an INTP, so…this is true of at least one INTP. 😀

And it could be a totally quirky, stupid, or practically ugly piece of clothing. But if the INTP has reason to believe that you prefer seeing a given shirt or jacket on them, the concern of quirkiness or frumpiness will go out the window, and they’ll wear it to death in the hopes of a continuation of positive connections with you.

I observe the tone and hue of my interactions with people and, rightly or wrongly, sometimes connect the nature of those interactions (at least in part) with what I was wearing. I learn through observation what colors or styles on me tend to (possibly) irritate others, and which ones tend to make me appear more approachable or competent (or whatever message I’m trying to send). If I like you, and we have an especially warm or memorable interaction when I’m wearing a particular clothing article, then chances are I’ll keep wearing it every or nearly every time we see each other. 😀

Stuffed bear holding heart

Pixabay photo (CC License)

What’s your personality type, and what are some ways you slip someone a hint that you’re interested – intentionally or not (besides actually telling them or asking them out)?

Please see disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

INTP cognitive function stack in real life

INTP Functions

Short Preface

“INTP” is not a label. Nor is any Jungian type. These letter combinations are simply tools for better understanding one’s actions, subconscious and conscious thinking patterns, filters for receiving information, and processes for making decisions.

Human personality is way more nuanced and intricate than four letters can possibly represent or capture.

If you’re an INTP (or even if you’re not), maybe some of these experiences will sound familiar. Or maybe they won’t. 🙂 Let me know in the comments what parts sounded similar to or completely different from your experience!

Introverted Thinking (Primary/Dominant Function or Driver)

Introverted thinking is something that rarely shows up in public for me. However, if I don’t have the chance to exercise my introverted thinking (Ti) and realign with it frequently in solitude, I begin to feel dead inside.

Thus, I love to spend time alone thinking internally or out loud. And almost without fail, I feel refreshed after doing so.

Many a fiery emotional episode in which extroverted feeling (another function) took the reins has been quelled by the soft, steady rain of thinking in seclusion – reflecting on a situation objectively and connecting with my “inner self”.

Introverted thinking is very difficult for me to express in public, because I am in an extroverted setting, and I therefore call on my extroverted functions for support, which necessarily requires the suppression of some other systems, including introverted thinking.

This is unfortunate, however, because thinking is my strongest function. When my most seasoned warrior is out of commission, things get awkward. Which means that basically every social setting has the potential to be awkward for me and/or for others, because Ti is MIA. I transform into a very boring conversationalist, because what is there to talk about if practically no thoughts of any depth are accessible?

For this reason, I communicate with others the most deeply and articulately in writing, and second-best in a one-on-one setting with one soul which has been discovered to be deeply kindred with my own. Once this discovery of connectedness, similarity, and unity has been made, the need to act extroverted evaporates.

Once barriers have been removed and we begin to feel like the same person – or at least two deeply merged personalities – then the extroverted shields and props begin to crumble, and introverted thinking can make an appearance, leading to deeper sharing.

The problem is, it is often very difficult to discover such similarities in another person in the first place, if sharing the depths of one’s soul and one’s most complex thoughts is not the default mode for the INTP.

The INTP often faces a dilemma, in that they can sometimes only share with another once some form of sharing has already taken place – enough to create a bond.

What has been helpful for me here is that I am often “bolder” online or in instant messaging than I am in person, so on the few occasions that I am introduced to someone online or I have the opportunity to engage in lengthy conversations with someone through instant messaging, establishing a connection is more likely. This is how most of my (relatively few) deep connections have come into existence.

Extroverted Intuition (Secondary Function or Co-Pilot)

Extroverted intuition is a handy tool in social interactions. It aids me in reading the meaning of words, unspoken messages, and the body language of others in social settings. Usually (though likely not always) I can catch or realize retrospectively when I have offended someone, even if they deny it.

However, this can also be a painful function to have near the top of the stack, because you often feel like you’re jumping inside the heads of other people, and this can result in information overload. Additionally, you can sometimes sense when other people are concealing the deep, dark, hurting parts of themselves, and that is painful to watch – especially as someone who values authenticity and freedom to express oneself and share one’s problems.

Of course, I certainly respect a person’s right not to share their struggles. But if they seem like a captive to their problems or they appear to fear rejection or judgment from me, it hurts, because I want them to feel free to share with me and to know that I’m safe and I’ll understand. But sometimes, I don’t know how to tell them that without making them feel uncomfortable or putting them on the spot (again, social verbal ineptness from weird function stack).

Introverted Sensing (Tertiary Function or 10 Year Old)

Referred to sometimes as the “10 year old” (see Personality Hacker), the tertiary function is often less mature, and should generally not be the driving factor or primary influencing force in major life decisions.

Introverted sensing is the part of me that loves candlelight, the smell of warm, homemade apple cider, the beauty of quiet, sparkly winter nights, and perhaps even the nostalgic, chilling feeling of imagining myself living in a different era.

However, you can probably see why this corner of my world wouldn’t be the most reliable one from which to draw information for factoring into weighty decisions. This doesn’t mean it can’t play a part at all, but it is important to be aware of which pros and cons in decision making might be based on – or distorted by – Si (introverted sensing), and to remove the distortion if possible, or otherwise assign a lesser weight/magnitude to those pros and cons.

Extroverted Feeling (Inferior Function or Three Year Old)

Extroverted feeling is my inferior function. It is the part of me that craves harmony, seeks to please others, and can render me prone to fearing social disapproval or rejection.

This part of me fears both being unloved and being disrespected (the latter actually a bit more). When either of these things (emotional needs [need for love] or physical/emotional/mental boundaries [need for respect]) seems to be violated, my extroverted feeling tends to show up. And blow up.

Usually, “blowing up” manifests for me as desperately searching for a place to be alone and cry incessantly until I’m physically incapable of doing so anymore.

For some INTPs, a blowup of extroverted feeling involves shouting, lashing out, or making rash statements – external responses contrary to the nature of their otherwise generally calm demeanor. My reactions tend to be internal, but nevertheless very out of control.

Extroverted feeling is also the INTP’s weakest tool (but only tool besides extroverted intuition) for really interacting with society in a “socially acceptable” way. Hence, the stereotypical social struggles of the INTP (a stereotype which my experience and personality happen to match).

Social settings require the INTP to either not talk or “perform” or “be on” at all, or else to overexercise their extroverted feeling function, which can present as extreme awkwardness and/or excessive friendliness with little depth of conversation. The INTP is operating in a gear that is relatively unfamiliar and weak for them.

In my social interactions, I mostly smile, laugh, nod, say “Mmhmm”, listen, and ask questions (when I can think of them). My dominant Ti (mirror function of inferior Fe) is forced to take a backseat until I am alone again.

Are you an INTP? Did any of this resonate with you and your experiences? Or sound way different?

Not an INTP? What’s your personality type, and how does your function stack play out in your life?

INTP Relationships

The Struggles of an INTP Girl

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Approaching the end of a hallway - resembling end of old year - and nearing a corner - resembling the transition to a New Year

Goodbye, 2017

For me and my family, 2017 came with a fair amount of hardship.

In 2017:

– Half of the constructed but unanchored frame of the facility for my family’s (not yet launched) business got destroyed by strong winds in January. (Thankfully, insurance covered the loss, and no people or products were in the building when it collapsed. Additionally, this experience was instructive regarding necessary improvements for future construction plans. Perhaps this loss actually prevented us from a bigger loss in the future, when the business is in the production phase.)

– My family of six went from being a 1.5-income family to a (practically) zero-income family.

– I gradually became so sick that I could barely move or even think.

– A couple other family members also struggled with physical issues.

– The aforementioned family members and I all struggled with anxiety and/or depression.

But if I had to do it over, I’m not sure I would change anything about 2017.

Some good that came out of the hardship:

– I finally had the chance to begin to heal my mind from years (probably a lifetime) of anxious, limbic responses to stress and perceived threats. This isn’t to say that I’ve “arrived” by any means. The battle against anxiety is still very real. But I am learning new tactics. I was finally able to find some peace and mental strength, perhaps in part because I had to practice finding beauty and meaning in seemingly dark, ugly places of meaninglessness and uselessness. But addressing nutritional deficiencies also helped me with my anxiety and depression a lot. Again, the war has not been won (sometimes depression and anxiety are lifelong struggles) but I’ve gained new weapons – or perhaps learned how to more effectively use the ones I previously had.

– I learned a ton about genetics and different biochemical pathways in the body, and finally learned why I had been sick – to varying degrees – for most of my life.

– I started two blogs (…technically more. I’m now doing some writing in other corners of the web, but that’s mostly secret or pseudonymous. 😉 )

– I had a lot of time to read and absorb new information.

– My skin – which suffered for years from terrible acne and scarring – finally had the chance to begin to heal up.

– I had to become more inventive and resourceful, due to a decrease in funds for things. Financial solutions I had employed in the past sometimes required more creative substitutes.

– I had more time and mind/soul space to focus on prayer, meditation, and introspection.


Some other beautiful things that came out of 2017:

– New or deepened friendships.

– Some experience with Python and other programming languages and tools.

Improved health (especially this month).

– Random surprises and generosity from friends. Events I got to go enjoy with friends for free, amid my financial struggles this year.


Despite everything I learned this year – and all the beautiful moments – I am very ready for 2018. 🙂 I have a deep sense of excitement and hope for this year. And even if it ends up being as challenging as 2017, I know I’ll learn things.

Goodbye, 2017. Your memory will be cherished, but you will not be missed.


What are some of your memories (good, bad, or neutral) from 2017? What are your hopes for 2018?

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

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