Reflection Cube

Three-dimensional thoughts

Tag: friendship

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

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

pictures of papery, leafy hearts - representations of things I appreciate

Things I Appreciate

– When you can sit or walk in silence with your friend for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes, and not question the strength of your friendship. When silence is valued as much as the breaking of it.

Friends sitting together in silence

Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven on Unsplash

– The moments when you run out of one of your food staples, and are reminded how blessed and fortunate you are to normally have access to that food – or to food at all.

A food staple

Photo credit: Pixabay (CC License)

Random texts from friends.

Woman viewing text message

Photo credit: Pixabay

– When someone loves you for your brain, heart, soul, or spirit, and finds you attractive before even seeing a picture of you or meeting you in person (on the rare occasion that you meet someone online before you do IRL. 🙂 ).


Photo credit: Pixabay

A warm hug.

warm teddy bear hug

Photo credit: Pixabay


no music no life photo

Photo by Simon Noh on Unsplash

Candlelight (from paraffin-free soy candles 😉 ).

candlelight from heart-shaped candle

Photo credit: Pexels

When you sing to the birds on the pond and they start gliding toward you.

birds on pond gliding toward singing person

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

People who wait to hear both sides of a story or altercation before drawing a conclusion or offering their assessment of the situation (I sometimes struggle with this).

two sides being presented to third party

Photo credit: Pixabay

Women who build up other women, or who seem to be unaware that there is a competition.

women being kind to each other

Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

Men who aren’t afraid to cry or express their emotions.

Man crying

Photo credit: Pixabay

Mothers who sacrifice essentially everything for their kids.

mother and father holding child's feet heart shape

Photo credit: Pexels

Janitors in hospitals, stores, and restaurants. The position is typically a thankless one, in which they jeopardize their health by exposure to bodily fluids, germs, and toxic cleaning products.

Janitorial equipment

Photo credit: Pixabay

People who feel no compulsion to adhere to the latest fashion “rules” (especially if the latest trends disagree with them or are uncomfortable or expensive).

Person defying fashion trends

Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

Elderly people who remain optimistic and kind, in spite of all they’ve been through (like my grandma).

chipper, upbeat elderly woman

Photo credit: Pexels

What things do you appreciate in life or in people?

Thanks for reading. <3

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

INTP relationship

INTP Relationships

From a female INTP’s perspective.

See also The Struggles of an INTP Girl.


family of INTP stuffed bears

Photo credit: Pexels

In familial relationships, the INTP tends to:

– Limit emotional expression

– Limit eye-to-eye contact (not necessarily all the time, but especially when thinking out loud or sometimes when making own point).

Eye contact provides the INTP with new information from the other person which the INTP must then process. This outside information can be a distraction while the INTP is attempting to process and articulate their own thoughts.

– Be non-committal. This may play out as not wanting to verbally say “OK, I’ll do the dishes later or vacuum the carpet” (even if the INTP really is planning/hoping to get around to it.) Often, the INTP may be afraid of “promising” or committing to something when they aren’t 100% sure they’ll be able to follow-through.

I do this a lot. I evade commitment to the degree that I can (but not in everything. I’ve worked 2-3 jobs, depending on how you count it. So I’ve had to make some commitments).

But the desire to avoid commitment does not necessarily arise out of irresponsibility, so much as it does out of a desire to be dependable. Essentially, if the INTP is unsure whether they’ll truly be able to be depended on for a given thing, s/he sees no point or reason in assuring someone else that s/he will.

The INTP typically takes commitments very seriously. This is actually a sign of honesty and reliability, but is often mistaken for irresponsibility, laziness, confusion, indecision, or low enthusiasm (which is not to say that the INTP cannot possess these traits or characteristics, just that this particular pattern of behavior is not necessarily indicative of them).

Sample conversation:

Parent: “‘Morning! How ya doing?”

INTP: *Shrugs shoulders* “I’m fine.” *maintains placid, inexpressive countenance* (Because…why smile? I’m still waking up, and I don’t have any energy to seem extra happy. 😛 )

INTP: *Begins to wash dishes*

Parent: “Hey, could you grab the mail when you leave or on your way back later today?”

INTP: “Um…I’ll try to remember.” (INTP’s way of saying, essentially “yes”, without actually committing. [Knowing me, I would forget, too, so this is a disclaimer of sorts. It’s not that I’m lazy and can’t be troubled to get the mail.])

I try to reserve commitment for very few things in life. Things like marriage (should that ever happen).


INTP friendship

Photo credit: Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

In friends, the INTP values intellectual acuity, openness, honesty, transparency, authenticity, logic, and knowledge.

The INTP – while typically in need of considerable alone time – usually still values friendships (due to extroverted feeling), and will likely be drawn to “geeks” (I feel like I can safely use this word because I am a geek of sorts 😛 ), mavericks, philosophers, seekers (of various sorts), and the honest and unassuming.

The INTP generally loves interacting with people who are open-minded (see Big Five “Openness” trait), nonjudgmental, creative, quirky, and rational.

(The above statement may be more true of young INTPs. The INTP sometimes picks an ideology to stick with – and advocate staunchly – in later years.)

The INTP is not necessarily drawn to people who are “cool” in the popular or traditional sense, but rather has his/her own definition of “cool”.

“Cool” to the INTP is often equivalent to “real”, “smart”, “logical”, “kind”, “compassionate”, “informed”, “insightful”, “reflective”, or “questioning”. The INTP is likely to choose friends who possess some or most of these qualities.

Romantic Relationships

INTP romantic relationship

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

According to

Actually, INTPs don’t have any problems getting married.  In fact, one study found that they are more likely to get married than almost every single other introverted type (Otis & Louks, 1997).  If you have ever worried about being alone and unloved forever because you are an INTP, you can probably stop now.  Being “different” won’t prevent you from getting married.  Unfortunately, it may result in you getting married more times than every other introverted type (Otis & Louks, 1997).

As you might guess from that particular fact, INTPs can have problems after the honeymoon.  Marioles et al. found that partners of INTP males had the lowest marital satisfaction of all types.  Nor do INTPs themselves seem satisfied; another study found that INTPs have the fourth lowest satisfaction with their marriage/intimate relationship. (Myers, McCaulley, Quenk & Hammer, 1998).  (This isn’t as bad as it sounds though; Intuitives were generally less satisfied than Sensors, and INTPs were quite close to the midrange values for Intuitive satisfaction.  However, INTPs were the least satisfied of the Rationals.  Note also that some NFs were far less satisfied.)  According to Marioles et al.’s study, in only about 1/3 of INTP marriages were both partners satisfied.  Also, INTP males were the type/gender combination most likely to be satisfied with their marriage while having a partner who is dissatisfied (this phenomenon did not hold true for INTP females).  Female INTPs tended to be married the fewest number of years of all types….

Although I haven’t actually been married or in a relationship (which I guess would sorta fit with INTP stereotypes, wouldn’t it? 🙂 ), I can share – anonymously and generally – some of my awkward experiences with people I liked or who approached me.

I used to “reject” or avoid getting closer to guys who I was pretty sure from the outset I wouldn’t marry. This is partly due to my unique/unconventional upbringing, but also because I saw no point in becoming emotionally close to someone with whom I could not see “a future”.

I was also afraid of “sending the wrong message” to guys by hanging out with them.

I was even cautious and reserved around guys I liked. I had trouble initiating conversations.

And even when guys initiated conversations with me, I generally didn’t know what to say back. So I was basically silent, or mumbled out a few (probably stupid) words in response.

Needless to say, most of my interactions with males (and females, for that matter) – especially in my teen years – were short-lived. 🙄

In more recent years, I’ve learned that it’s actually okay to have male friends. (I know…shocking!) This has been a wonderful discovery for me, as I often tend to connect better with men.

I’ve also learned that it’s okay to flirt with guys I like and want to get to know better. (My definition of “flirting” is probably different from most people’s, but I’ve still come a long way from “not flirting at all”, haha).

INTP Romantic Relationships – Health and Longevity

Kroeger and Thuesen (1996) noted that INTPs have significant difficulty ending relationships, but if they do decide to end a relationship, “hell would freeze over” before the INTP will take back their ex.  Those breaking up with an INTP should be aware that it may be hard, if not impossible, to get them back.  Kroeger and Thuesen also noted that INTPs may be somewhat inconsistent in their preparations for events like anniversaries or birthday parties.  I.e., they may put things off until the last minute and end up snatching a gift from the Walmart jewelry department on the way home.  It doesn’t mean that the INTP doesn’t care, but rather that there were too many great ideas floating around in their head, and the time drifted by until they were shocked to discover that there was no time left.  At this point the purchase of a gift becomes an emergency rather than the thoughtful expression the somewhat embarrassed INTP had originally intended. –

(Yep, I definitely tend to procure gifts for people last-minute, and it’s generally not because I don’t care about others, but because I got so focused or distracted [depending on how you look at it] with something else (thoughts, ideas, work, business-related stuff, reflection), that I simply forgot. Or I overestimated the amount of time I had to accomplish things. :/ )

Keirsey suggests that although the NTs may need reminders to pay attention to their relationships and family life, the NT’s spouse may not be willing to give such reminders, reasoning to themselves, “It isn’t real love if it is given under duress.”  The Rationals then continue obliviously on with their projects, and cannot understand when their spouses finally tell them they are cold or uncaring.  “How can they think I don’t love them?” the Rational wonders incredulously.  “Isn’t it obvious?” –

I might be a little more conscientious than most INTPs (although I still scored fairly low in Conscientiousness on the Big Five). This may be because I’m a female, and often, women are raised to be more aware of household needs and duties.

Girls also more often tend to be assigned and/or assume responsibility for younger siblings (at least when parents are away). So they grow up feeling that they must be aware of needs around them (and perhaps naturally are more aware, though that is debatable).

Additionally, I am (supposedly) high in Agreeableness (Big Five trait), and this motivates me to complete tasks in order to maintain harmonious relationships with loved ones (because if dissonance arises in relationships, that pricks my Neuroticism [another Big Five trait in which I’ve scored moderate or high, depending on the test]).

(In case you’re wondering, 16 personalities and The Big Five tend to correlate pretty well, although they each provide slightly different angles or views of a person, and most people seem to have a preference for one system over the other.)

All that said, INTPs with high neuroticism (low emotional stability and/or wellbeing) may be motivated to be more aware of household tasks, because they will pay for it (socially and relationally, and consequently emotionally [neurotically]) if they don’t keep up with certain duties or meet certain expectations.

This may be why some female INTPs (women tend to be higher in neuroticism) tend to seem more “responsible” or “less laid back” than the stereotypical INTP. They want to maintain harmonious relationships, at least for neurological self protection (if nothing else).

That said, securing and sustaining romantic relationships may be a bit more of a challenge for the INTP female than for most females, as INTP traits tend to defy the “feminine norm”. INTP girls often end up confusing or disappointing potential companions, because they’re not perceived to be as “feminine” as many would hope or expect them to be.

Female INTPs are often mistaken for being angry, cold-hearted, arrogant, impolite, or unemotional.

Few people muster the courage to traverse icy lakes, shattered bridges, and fiery castles to discover the depths of the female INTP – her mind, her soul, her heart. Often, these treasures are hidden from public view.

The majority of girls (at least in Western culture) seem to know how (and want) to make themselves known (which reduces the requirement for cunning exploration on the part of potential lovers).

Not so with the female INTP.

According to Dr. A.J. Drenth on Personality Junkie:

At some level, INTPs feel like they need people and want an intimate relationship, while on another, they are afraid of losing themselves and their cherished freedom if they commit.

And this ties in to the whole “responsibility” thing. When an INTP is on their own, they can focus all they want on their work or subject(s) of interest. Which means they’ll basically do it all day, every day (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much). However, the Fe (extroverted feelingalso yearns for emotional connection, and as the Fe tends to be underdeveloped – because it is the INTP’s inferior function – its whims and impulses can lead the INTP into dangerous or poorly matched relationships, as the Fe function is craving emotional satisfaction only and is separated from the logic and rationality typically characteristic of the INTP.

At the same time, however, the INTP highly values independence of thought, and may view some relationships – with “feelers” or other “thinkers” – as a potential threat to that.

INTP Romantic Relationship Choices

While the ISTP seeks novelty in the material realm (Se), the INTP seeks more abstract sorts of novelty (Ne). Hence, INTPs look for partners who are intelligent, creative, and interested in personal growth. INTPs may struggle to maintain interest in those lacking sufficient intelligence, open-mindedness, or interests in intellectual or psychospiritual explorations. INTPs are especially drawn to those who have knowledge or interests in their own specialty area, making way for a sort of co-exploration of truth. INTPs enjoy discussing their interest areas and seek a partner who can stay apace with them in theoretical conversations. For these reasons, INTPs are typically better matched with another Intuitive type. – Dr. A.J. Drenth

The only counterargument I’d make here is that there are certain Sensors (S types) with whom I’ve found I connect pretty well. Namely, ISFPs. They seem like the most intuitive or open Sensors to me.

I have an ISFP relative and an ISFP friend – both of whom I seem to connect with pretty well.

I have not found quite the same connection with some other S types (but I don’t have enough data on all S types [such as ISTP] to be sure which types of Sensors I’d get along with the best).

ISFPs have a reflective side (Ni – or introverted intuition), and often seem to enjoy discussing ideas. They also tend to be safe people with whom the INTP can explore, express, and develop their inferior Fe (extroverted feeling) side, as most ISFPs are generally kindhearted and not pretentious or manipulative.

This INTP – ISFP connection seems to be particularly successful between a female INTP and a male ISFP.

An INTP female relative of mine also has a very good friend (male) who is an ISFP.

However, about that extroverted feeling:

In selecting an intimate partner, INTPs should be careful not to imbue their emotions with too much weight or decision-making power. I say this because INTPs’ emotions, whether positive or negative, emerge from their least developed function (Fe). Their inferior Fe makes INTPs prime targets for being unconsciously wooed or manipulated, especially by Myers-Briggs Feeling types. It is therefore important that INTPs not give their Fe the upper-hand in selecting a long-term partner. Despite conventional wisdom that suggests that everyone should just “listen to their feelings,” this is not the best advice for T types, especially T dominants. While having positive feelings toward an individual is certainly important, INTPs are better off using their top two functions (Ti and Ne) to determine the potential merits of a given relationship in light of their personal goals and values, as well as typological compatibility. – Dr. A.J. Drenth

INTPs must be careful not to trust their emotions, but also not to suppress or ignore them. It seems to me that most INTPs err on one side or the other (trusting emotions too much or completely stuffing them). It is important to express and listen to our emotions, but also to realize their limitations and regularly examine their legitimacy.

But the truth is that INTPs’ struggle with their inferior function is no worse than the struggles of other types with theirs. The primary difference is that INTPs’ inferior issues carry direct implications for their relationships. The struggles of other types might be more personal (which will naturally, even if indirectly, impact the relationship), whereas INTPs’ issues, because of their Fe inferior, are often interpersonal. – Dr. A.J. Drenth

And “personality compatibility” is not everything:

A caveat.  Isabel Myers (INFP) married a man named Chief, an ISTJ and a good man.  They were happy together, but according to Isabel’s own type theory they weren’t predicted to be perfect for each other.  Later on, Myers said that if she had known about type theory, she probably wouldn’t have married Chief.  Hm!  There is a lesson to be learned here: type is not everything, nor should it be the decisive factor in choosing your lifemate.  Take it from the founder of type herself. –

To sum it up:

INTPs have the potential to be great partners. Their love for learning, new challenges, and personal growth can help succeed in their relationships and to integrate their Fe. The key question is whether they have the courage to face their fears and spend time seriously exploring the foreign land of their inferior function. – Dr. A.J. Drenth

INTP Relationships in General

As an INXP or just barely an INTP – and an empathic female (so socially conditioned but also naturally more emotionally/relationally perceptive [perhaps due to empathy/neuroticism]) – my relationship struggles may have been somewhat tempered/diminished compared to those of the “typical” INTP.

However, this is not to say that I haven’t had my share of relationship issues. One problem I’ve fallen into is “going with the flow” in a relationship for a long time, and only gradually beginning to realize (or at least acknowledge) that my values have been compromised in some way, in an effort to maintain harmony, make something work, or minimize personal anxiety.

Once this realization moves from my subconscious brain to my conscious brain, I gather the “boldness” to approach or challenge someone (or something I’ve been supporting), or express my discomfort with the way things are going/happening. The other party is often then confused, thinking that “we always had the same values”, or “saw eye-to-eye on things”.

What is happening here? My Agreeableness (inferior Fe) and/or Neuroticism (probably linked with Ne [extroverted intuition] and maybe Si [introverted sensing] and also Fe) were originally motivating me to “make things work” with someone, but sooner or later, I returned to my introverted thinking (Ti), reevaluating what I was doing and why I was doing it – and to my shadow function, Ni (introverted intuition), which is good at reflecting and exposing one’s integrity or lack thereof in life decisions.

Ti (introverted thinking) may also sometimes be blind to certain ethical or moral concerns in decision making, so it’s possible that Ti itself (my dominant function) led me to make some of these poor decisions, because I was using a certain “logic” or “rationalization” in making them, but ignoring values (Feeling).

The Struggles of an INTP Girl.

What’s Your Personality Type?

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

woman studying in people-watching spot

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Indifferent

There is something that can be learned from everyone. From the “good” and the “bad”. The kind and the wicked. The gentle and the ruthless. And everyone in between.

We may learn from a person what qualities we aspire to emulate, or what characteristics and actions we want to deliberately avoid in the future.

In fact, we may learn both of these things from the same person.

By the thoughtful, knowledgeable, kind, considerate, insightful, attentive, and selfless, we are inspired to gain or improve these qualities in ourselves.

And from the annoying, difficult, blind, thoughtless, careless, and cruel in our lives, we can learn exactly who and what we don’t want to be.

We learn not to be like:

The “bully” at work or school.

The boss who micromanages everything and everyone.

The boss who doesn’t communicate.

The coworker who doesn’t communicate.

The nosy relative.

The friend who shattered our trust and shared our secret with others.

The mom at the grocery store who yells at her children.

The business leader who expects more output from employees in exchange for little care or compensation.


In every job and position, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Even in a nasty, abusive, toxic workplace, you’re being taught precisely how not to run an organization. – Ryan Holiday

The people who disappoint us can still serve a purpose in our lives, if we’ll let them.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not for a minute trying to say that what these people do is okay. Only that we can always come away from our interactions with these people stronger and smarter, if we choose to.

Likewise, we may be inspired to emulate:

The peer who reaches out to the new kid at school and makes them feel welcome.

The friend who sets aside their smartphone to give us their undivided attention – the gift of their time.

The friend who chooses to still be friends with us, even when they discover we have little in common politically or in other sensitive areas.

The woman who doesn’t disparage or smear another person – privately or publicly, even when everyone else is doing it.

The one who is brave enough to be vulnerable and share their mental and emotional struggles with another.

The boss who supports work-life balance for her employees, and demonstrates trust and faith in them.

The friend who lives authentically (quirks and “weirdness” and all), and is not trying to copy or impress anyone else.

If you are the person giving people an example of who not to be – and you know it (?) – do not take this as an excuse to continue in your actions. (“Oh, but I’m teaching them a valuable lesson and helping them become stronger by showing them what not to do and who not to be, so it’s OK.”)

I’m not kidding. I actually knew a parent like this, who treated their kid poorly (ignored, belittled him) because it was supposed to help him “develop character”.

If you are in an abusive situation in your home or elsewhere, please get help.

For an international list of helplines, click here.

There is much that we can learn from difficult situations. However, it is also important that we protect the minds and bodies entrusted to our care, to the best of our ability.

Be safe. <3



© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved


Melody Beattie quote gratitude

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Hey there, my reader! <3 I’m back! Finally. 😛

Between health crap, car issues, and other commitments this past week, I’ve found myself running short on time and energy. Also was dealing with some WiFi connectivity problems over the weekend.

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happy person standing on water in colorful sunset

Happiness is Not Wrong

For anyone who felt sh****d on by my previous post. 😛

Some lively discussion and questions sprang from my recent post, Always Acting. And it led me to want to expound and explore a few things:

It’s okay to be happy.

In case it sounded as though I’m against happiness, let me clarify.

I am not against happiness. If you are genuinely happy, radiate that sunshine! 🙂 Why would you hide it? Generally speaking, pretending not to be happy when you are would be, well, just weird.

Happiness can be contagious (as can joy). If you’ve got it, share it! By all means.

What I was examining in my post was the tendency in some (probably many or most) of us to feign happiness or pretend all is well when we’re just not feeling it, because we feel socially obligated to do so, or we’re afraid of the social and emotional consequences of not seeming happy.

Joy and happiness are two different things. Whether it’s possible to be happy in the midst of great suffering is debatable, but joy can be a cherished companion in hardship, and it has been for me. And sometimes, this joy can cause me to laugh or smile even in pain. Expressing our joy in the middle of adversity is not “being fake”.

Happiness and joy are not wrong. They only become unhealthy when you feel you must project the appearance of these things when you don’t actually feel or have them.

I have some truly amazing friends.

For my friends who may have read my previous post:

Much of my laughter and many smiles throughout my life have been sincere. I haven’t always been faking it. I have shared and enjoyed – and I remember – many sweet and beautiful moments with family and friends. And recalling such moments has helped me through some very dark times. I have these memories all because of the rock stars who have chosen to be a part of my life and to share with me the priceless gift of their time.

To my friends with whom I’ve spent considerable time over the last several years of my life: I love you, and you are more precious and dear to me than you’ll ever know. Thank you for being there for me in the sun and the rain. I hope you didn’t feel bashed, beaten down, or unappreciated by any part of my previous post or the comments (in which I delved deeper into my life and experiences).

There aren’t adequate words to express how grateful I am to have you in my life, or just how much I appreciate the individual and amazing people that you are.

There are times (e.g. when you’re first getting to know someone) in which it may be advisable not to go “too deep too quickly”.

On this point, I guess I’m a little weird in that I wouldn’t mind someone sharing their deepest fears, personal struggles, or suicidal thoughts with me at our first meeting. Let’s stop beating around the bush already, man! We’ve been talking for two minutes! But I understand that this doesn’t work for everyone.

At the same time, if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, your needs and concerns shouldn’t wait or be brushed under the rug.

Don’t wait to get closer to an acquaintance/friend. If you are entertaining suicidal thoughts even a little, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline now at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to someone who understands. <3

I don’t begrudge anyone else their positivity! 🙂

Even when I’m struggling with depression, I want to see my friends be happy. In fact, that’s one reason I’ve often acted so much. I don’t want to bring others down. Depressed people often make an extra effort to make the people around them feel valued and loved, and to make sure they enjoy life, because they know what it’s like to feel alone and sad.

And one point I wanted to add, inspired from the previous discussion:

Drugs and therapy can’t replace our need for real relationships and friendships.

You can faithfully take “medicine” or supplements, and receive therapy. And these things may help. But without fellowship – and the opportunity to love and be loved by others – you’ll never completely heal.

We’re wired to connect with people. To be plugged in. To know and be known.

To love another is medicine.

To be loved by another is medicine.

Laughter is medicine.

Physical touch (hugs, holding hands, a pat on the back) is medicine.

This is not to say that treatment cannot be helpful. I take vitamin B6 and zinc for my pyroluria (which can play a role in depression), and have seen my emotional and mental state improve significantly with this treatment. However, if I am separated from my close friends for very long, my health (both mental and physical) starts to decline.

This is why it’s so important for us to reach out to others who may be hurting, and to be honest about our own pain, whether that pain is physical or mental, short-lived or chronic. A doctor may be able to guide us through a rocky season, but clinical treatment can never replace our need for the therapy of friendship and love.

If there’s no one else in your life with whom you feel you can connect, chat with me at

Hope this clarified a few things and added some more depth to the previous conversation. 🙂

<3 Kate


social acting, smiling in pain

Always Acting

Why do I (along with most people I know) seem to feel compelled to always be smiling, bubbly, or superficial when interacting with others?

It’s not like I want to be this way.

I value transparency, honesty, and realness in myself and in others. Yet, when socializing, it can become hard to live up to these self-expectations. I feel like I must put on a show (or conceal the real, ugly show) for people. I must continuously perform.

I smile and laugh even if I have a headache and it hurts to move my facial muscles. I smile even when I feel like crying.

I’ve been practicing this for so long that I can no longer cry in public if I feel like crying, because I’ve taught my brain that it’s not safe or permissible to be emotionally vulnerable in public, or to expose others to something they might not want to see. If I do, they might not want to be my friends anymore.

Am I afraid of rejection? Do I fear that if I were to throw my real self out there – to the wolves – that this true self would get chewed up and torn apart?

If I make a fake me – a decoy – then it won’t hurt so much when people tear me apart, because they won’t be destroying my actual self. Only a persona I’ve created.

I am also afraid of hurting other people. Afraid that if I seem to be frowning – or not smiling and laughing with everyone else – that people with think me disapproving, boring, judgmental, or negative. Or they’ll assume that I’m upset with them.

When you don’t reveal your genuine self, you are alone. No matter how many “friends” you have.

No one ever has the chance to know and love the real you. And you don’t get the chance to know if you, in your “imperfect” state, would be loved by others.

You continue to reinforce in your head the message that the external, fake you is the only image worth portraying, because it is the only one that the world outside you will accept.

This perpetual acting can come with a physical cost. If you are constantly “gearing up” for interacting in an artificial way with others – then your body will endlessly be in “fight” mode – trying to survive a stressful social setting. Because you have to work hard to keep the mask on.

The body responds to physical and emotional stress the same way: it releases cortisol. This can take a toll on your adrenal glands, eventually leading to adrenal fatigue, and with that, a whole host of other issues, such as hormonal imbalance, blood pressure problems, insomnia, and compromised thyroid function.

And before you know it, this continuous “fighting” mode has led you down the path of chronic fatigue and depression.

Being fake can actually make you physically sick.

Social pretending made me sick. I’ve felt unwell to varying degrees since I was a child (for multiple reasons), but I believe that years of acting and pretending compounded my stress and my physiological issues.

But aside from the health risks of social acting, performing for others can take an emotional, mental, and spiritual toll.

The Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Dangers of Hiding Our True Selves:

 – Our internal and external characters become discordant, creating self-confusion and inner tension.

 – Pretending can be a form of dishonesty, and practicing this has the potential to lead to dishonesty in other areas.

 – Hiding our pain prevents us from getting the help we need.

 – We’ll never know if our genuine selves would be accepted, because we never give others the chance to accept us as we truly are.

 – We send the message to others (who may be hurting inwardly) that it is not safe for them to share and be vulnerable with us, because we’re choosing not to share and be vulnerable with them.

 – We can begin to forget who we are. This happened to me after years of pretending and trying to please other people in the way I presented myself or communicated, while suppressing or ignoring my own inner voice. I am only now beginning to gain confidence and an awareness of who I am apart from anyone else. I’m just beginning to find the courage to be individually and uniquely me.

How to Turn the Tide and Promote Realness in the Community

Next time you’re over at a friend’s house, and you’ve got a headache, or you’re tired or stressed, let your friend(s) see it. I know, easier said than done. But make it a social experiment.

If your experiment turns sour (i.e. people don’t want to see the real, transparent you) that just gives you more data about your “friend(s)”. Maybe you’ll begin to question the quality or strength of your friendship. Maybe you’ll even have the guts to call them out on their superficiality (something to the effect of “Hey, I wish we could be more real and transparent with each other. In my book, that’s what friends do.”).

And you know what? The more vulnerable you choose to be about yourself and your struggles, the more likely you are to attract the right kinds of friends in your life. People who struggle like you. Or people who don’t struggle like you, but are mature enough in their thinking to care for and accept people who fight different battles than they do.

Be okay with silence. Silence doesn’t have to be awkward. It’s only awkward because people have said it is. If you have nothing to say, that’s okay.

Resist the pressure to try to convince people your life has meaning. You don’t have to prove to others how busy or hardworking or smart or successful you are.

If you feel that you have little to say for your life – few things that sound impressive or “socially acceptable” (like, I’m going to this school or working that job), it’s okay. Answer honestly and confidently about your current situation. Because the truth is, nobody has it together all the time. So who are they to judge you? We all have rough seasons or unconventional periods in our lives. Sometimes, those seasons are the very best. There’s no need to downplay these aspects of our lives or cover them up.

It’s okay to be hurting or to have an unusual life or “strange” answers to people’s questions. You can’t flunk being you. Make these conversations social experiments as well, and watch how your friends react when you say “I’m trying to build my own ____business”, or “I’m kind of stuck direction-wise at the moment”, or “I’m just taking a break from things and enjoying being with my family/friends or devoting more time to my hobby/passion of ____”.

It’s okay.

Insecure people want you to think it’s not okay to be who and where you are. They have to tear you down because inside, they feel pretty small themselves. Or their lives feel meaningless. And they don’t want to be the only ones feeling that way.

Ask people how they are doing (with the expectation or desire of an answer). Probe for a more honest answer if you feel the first one wasn’t (there’s a fine line between probing and being nosy though. 🙂 )

But don’t feel that you must ask “How are you?” in a bubbly, put-together sort of way. You’re more likely to elicit an honest response if you’re just being and doing whatever’s natural for you in the moment. If you are tired, ask them the question while you’re slumped over your friend’s couch with your eyes closed. Ask them without smiling, if smiling hurts or is not you right now.

If they see you being real, maybe they’ll be inspired to be more authentic themselves.

<3 Kate



© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Girl resting on cracked cement

The Struggles of an INTP Girl

Years ago, I got the Myers-Briggs result “INFJ” on a free personality test.

I have retaken such tests throughout the years – through various sites – and have watched myself gradually “change” from INFJ to INFP to INTP.

This transition parallels my journey over the years toward becoming more comfortable and familiar with my true self, and learning to care less about mirroring other people or projecting a certain image to them (INFJ was the image I portrayed for a while. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being an INFJ! Just that it wasn’t really me).

I finally seem to be settling on INXP (about equally F and T). My most recent results are INTP.

INTP – Some Common Characteristics

As an INTP, I like my alone time. I think best and recharge the most efficiently when I am by myself.

This is true, in part, because I am an introvert, but also because my introverted thinking function desperately needs the alone time to process information.

In general, the INTP:

  • Thrives on space, autonomy, and latitude for creativity.
  • Often gets drained by social interactions, save, perhaps, with a few close friends.
  • May not always be aware of current social or fashion trends (though they often care about looking put-together).

Gender Expectations

As a woman, society (especially Western society) expects you to be outgoing and fairly talkative. That’s just what girls do, right? They’re the life of the party. It is generally expected that females will engage in small talk, keep the laughter going, dress and act “fashionably”, be tactful and agreeable, and not stir the waters.

Amenability tends to be higher on the list of social expectations for females than it is for males, and the female INTP is usually painfully aware of this expectation. But she also realizes that it may be a struggle for her to meet it. This can result in a lot of critical self-talk and feelings of shame.

Even today, women are expected to be pliable, emotional, to dress in a certain way, to talk about “girly” things (by stereotypical standards) – things like makeup, people, pop songs, pop artists, celebrities, etc. It is anticipated that they’ll be receptive and gentle, and pursue studies such as English, psychology, and music more than math, science, engineering, or technology (and don’t get me wrong, I do find the former three to be very interesting as well as the four latter. There’s nothing wrong with a woman liking English, psychology, or music. I just don’t believe women should be more strongly associated with or conditioned to pursue the former over the latter). Often, the female INTP diverges from these expectations and stereotypes.

The individualistic female INTP is likely to have her own set of culturally-deviant and relatively unpopular opinions about things. Affability is typically high on the list of social expectations for women. Therefore, for the female INTP to express her own opinions is to risk seeming “unfeminine” (i.e. disagreeable or b****y). Most INTP females do desire to maintain or gain friendships, and so, in the hopes of building or protecting such relationships, they refrain in social settings from showing a side of themselves that may, in their minds, cause people to shun, criticize, or dislike them. Consequently, the female INTP may speak very little.

In Nurture by Nature, authors Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger suggest that “Like other strong Thinking types, some INTP girls find themselves even more socially ill at ease than others their age because they are not interested in or adept at conforming to the socially expected “female” behavior and dress of their peers.”

The feelings of self-betrayal an INTP female experiences by choosing to repress those characteristics of her true self – combined with the feeling that she would not be accepted if she were to reveal her true personality and mind – may feed into the depression from which many females of this type suffer.

A great article on NT types and mental illness

When they do muster the courage to express their opinions, many INTP females are readily labeled as arrogant, condescending, or even vicious. An INTP female relative of mine has been accused of arrogance, simply because she does not hesitate to speak up when she has a dissenting opinion on a matter. She’s not trying to be condescending or rude, she just feels it’s important to be true to herself and not to be congenial to the extent of sacrificing her viewpoint.

Communication Struggles

Another reason the INTP (male or female) is often accused of arrogance is that he/she tends to utilize a wider vocabulary than the general population may employ – not necessarily in an effort to show off, but more from a desire to add color and depth to their language. They want to perfectly depict what they’re trying to say, and due to the affinity many an INTP seems to have for reading, they have the power to do so with their treasure trove of descriptive words.

In this regard, I’m a bit of an anomaly. In social, face-to-face communication, my vocabulary tends to come across as excessively infantile.

The reason?

When I’m around people (especially several people – or someone I don’t know well), my thinking brain turns off. This means that my introverted thinking is suppressed while I employ my extroverted feeling function (which, in Myers-Briggs lingo, is an inferior function for the INTP).

In social settings, I can become very distracted from my thinking world (which is introverted) as I study people and absorb the emotional vibes in the room (extroverted feeling and extroverted intuition). Because my thinking has gone “out the window”, I project myself as dull, bored, absent-minded, or reserved. Introverted thinking is suppressed as I overwork my weak extroverted feeling function. I may also become overwhelmed by all the input from my extroverted intuition, as I try to figure out how to handle or respond to all that information. (Extroverted intuition often picks up on unspoken messages, but the agony for the extroverted intuitive is that you then want to respond to those unspoken messages, rather than the spoken. But to do so [for example, to ask someone why they’re sad when they’re smiling broadly] could present socially awkward situations.)

Another reason my words can assemble rather oddly is that I must consider every possibility, permutation, or possible negative ramification of any course of action, when it comes to anything. This thinking pattern is characteristic of the INTP. So in the course of conversation, when I am trying to speak my mind or respond to someone, I constantly have a filter that’s vetoing everything I want to say, because there’s always a problem (in my mind) with the words I’m about to utter. I conclude that a given phrase will sound less than tactful…too snarky…sarcastic…bossy…insensitive…dumb…delusional…. So I say nothing. Or very little.

I apply the same filters to my demeanor and facial expressions. If I seem too happy and “smiley”, then no one will think me credible. But if I seem too solemn and serious, everyone will think I’m no fun, or that I’m upset all the time (often, men can get away with seriousness – or the appearance of it – more easily than women can).

Once I’ve filtered out essentially every possible thing I could communicate – and every possible way I could communicate whatever’s left to say – I’m left with a very childish, stunted verbal and facial “vocabulary” with which to express myself.

For example, the other day, a friend was sharing some sad news from his life with me. Here is a rough recounting of the split-second mental conversation I was having with myself, plus an abbreviated, rough recounting of my actual conversation with him:

Him: Bad news….

I should express my sadness. I feel really bad for him, and I want him to know that I do. (Although, tbh, I also feel kind of relieved for him, in this case.)

I was actually already aware of the thing he just told me, because I overheard it in his conversation with someone else earlier. So I can’t act surprised and say “Really? Wow!” or “What?!?!”, because this would suggest that I didn’t previously know about his misfortune, and I want to be honest.


Okay, that sounded stupid.

“I’m sorry.”

Ask him how he feels about the situation. If he sees it overall as a good thing.

“So are you…happy about it…or…?”

Relieved. You meant to ask if he felt relieved to some extent. Not “happy”. I can’t believe you actually did that! That’s a stupid thing to ask when someone’s hurting!

Smile. You can’t seem too sad. Guys hate it when girls pity them. At least, most guys do. So you should smile and act like it’s no big deal, to send the message that you’re not worried for him, he’ll be fine, you know things will work out, you don’t pity him or think less of him for what he’s going through.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, smiling while discussing his hardship?!?!

Speak! Say something! Don’t act like an idiot!

“I’m sorry…but…um…also happy for you?”

You idiot! You already said you were sorry! And ‘happy’ is such a boring, nondescript word. You sound so juvenile!

But…I just don’t know what else to say. All my words have abandoned me.

Look at his face now. He thinks you’re weird. He’s trying not to show it. But he thinks you’re slightly demented. Shame on you. You’ve smiled too much, and sent the message that you don’t care, and you don’t know how to comfort a hurting person. You asked stupid questions like ‘Are you happy?’ See how eager he is to leave?

Interactions With Other Females

In social discourse, the INTP analyzes and dissects everything thoroughly. Not to sound sexist – against my own kind, no less! – but I’ve noticed that in some female circles, this thorough dissection of topics is often not very welcome. The INTP female can be made to feel embarrassed for adding a more “serious” tone or analytical dimension to the conversation. Because of this, she may feel that she needs to alter her natural form of communication, in order to fit in and not feel awkward or make others feel awkward. (And don’t get me wrong – I have a couple girl-friends with whom I connect pretty well, and I really am grateful for their friendship. Not trying to make generalizations about females here.)

Additionally, the INTP usually strongly dislikes drama. This can make her unpopular among some of her female peers, if she does not wish to discuss or engage in the drama. Her choice not to engage can result in the INTP female becoming the butt of other female peers’ jokes (because if you’re not the one picking on people, you get picked on). This is not, of course, to say that all females are high-drama, histrionic, or bully types.

For some reason, the INTP female tends to end up with more male friends (which is totally cool – some of my dearest friends are male). However, she might wish for some female company with whom she can connect as well, but without fear of judgment or of being thought excessively weird for a girl.


Are you an INTP? Share your experiences and struggles as an INTP in the comments below!

Do you know an INTP? Let me know about your experiences with the INTP(s) in your life. What’s your personality type, and what’s it like relating to an INTP from your perspective?

Please keep the conversation cordial and uplifting. 🙂 <3 I reserve the right to delete comments.


My Favorite Quotes

Below are some quotes that have meaning for me. While most of them are pretty self-explanatory, I’ll briefly expound on several of these and what I love about them.


A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein

I am a perfectionist and constantly afraid of failure, so this is a great reminder for me to chill and just jump in the water. Eventually, I’ll learn how to swim.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

Same idea here. If you’re doing anything that matters, you will experience “failure”. But then, it’s only really a failure if you let it stop you, right?

Go as far as you can see and you will see further. – Zig Ziglar

I tend to agonize over my inability to see several steps down the road in life. But life’s a journey to be enjoyed. All I’ve gotta do is take another step and see what the view looks like from there. Once I take that step, I’ll see new objects from new angles. Only then can I make more informed decisions about the future.

But surely for everything you love you have to pay some price. – Agatha Christie

Isn’t that true for anything we love? Whether it’s a person, an animal, a job, a career, an identity you’re creating for yourself, a love interest – you invest, you compromise (where you can). Anything we desire requires a sacrifice of something else – be it time, freedom, autonomy, money, sanity.

I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy. – Whitney Houston

I…can definitely relate here. Like, I feel like nobody gets me like I get me (although I don’t really understand myself either, to be honest). Hence, I’m my best friend. But I’m also my worst critic, and have punished myself for things many times in the past. Anyone else relate?

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. – Jane Austen

While I may be taking this quote from Emma slightly out of context, what it brings to mind for me is my struggle to talk with those I love about my love for them. Or even to show them my love in nonverbal ways. My brain freezes up, my stomach gets fluttery, my mouth gets stuttery….

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. – Thomas Jefferson

While I’m all for choosing one’s friends carefully (like, not hanging out in crowds that’ll get you in trouble), I don’t believe “careful” means choosing people who will simply be sounding boards that boomerang all my personal beliefs and comfortable ideologies back at me. Hanging out with people with whom I disagree enables me to understand other points of view. My views might stay the same, or they might change, hopefully in a more informed direction.

When we’re afraid of hanging out with people who are very different from us, there is often a subconscious fear that we will have to adopt the whole package of that person or none of it. We’re afraid that if we socialize with that individual, we’ll turn 180 degrees and be everything that we’ve been taught to detest and even ridicule. But individuals with strong minds sift. They take what makes sense to them, discard what doesn’t, and create their own unique package of ideologies and values. They don’t buy into stereotypical, pre-processed packages that other people think they should espouse. Strong individuals don’t fit into a mold, and they are inquisitive, always seeking truth and better understanding. This frees them to listen to various viewpoints graciously and with genuine interest.

The more I see the less I know for sure. – John Lennon

Yep. Especially today. Information overload. Choices galore. Fake news. What’s a person to think?

Also, the more I observe people, the more I realize how little I know about them.

To love someone means to see him as God intended him. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

If we could see all individuals as if they had attained their full potential and consummate refinement, in what ways might the world change?

I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

When I’m contemplating quoting someone or sharing information, I often consider the source, and what people will think of me if I share anything from that source. Yeah, I’m a wimp.

Are there occasions for not sharing something accurate and of high quality, primarily because of the source? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Plato

Light exposes all things beautiful and nefarious.

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. – Henry Ford

Over the past few months, I’ve been learning that independence is an illusion. Money cannot provide true independence, because we’re always sacrificing something to get that money (like time, energy, sanity, identity when working for someone else). We are always a slave to something, or someone. (Sorry, depressing thought.) We just have to choose what we’re willing to enslave ourselves to, and what things/people just aren’t worth it.

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. – Thomas A. Edison

Most of us are “busy”. But are we possibly busy going through the motions – directionless, passionless, and reactionary? What if spending time being “lazy” and mulling over possibilities, contingencies, and ideas saved us time, energy, and grief in the long run? Without allowing space for reflection, we risk running 100 mph in the wrong direction because we did not allot the time to park, look at the map, and course-correct. We risk wearing ourselves thin by overexerting, when we might instead overexert our minds to build a machine/process/system to do the heavy lifting for us, improving quality of life for all.

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. – Henry Ford

It’s all in your head. Wait, wrong expression.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

There’s no substitute for jumping in there and getting your hands dirty – whatever “dirty” looks like. 🙂 I’ve found that approach is how I learn best. My challenge is not being afraid to feel/look stupid while I fumble around to get my bearings.

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. – David Frost

Because your product or project will be the most genuine and real if it’s coming from your heart and your natural or acquired talents. If at all possible, do what you love. Even if it makes nothing. Even if it’s a pursuit on the side. At the very least, it will foster congruence between who you are and what you do, promoting wholeness.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

What is your definition of success? I’d love to know!

If it comes as a constant surprise each and every time something unexpected occurs, you’re not only going to be miserable whenever you attempt something big, you’re going to have a much harder time accepting it and moving on to attempts two, three, and four. – Ryan Holiday

Story of my life. Something unexpected pops up and thwarts my efforts and plans. Good reminder not to let that squash me, and to keep getting back up.

We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all. – Eleanor Roosevelt

No one wants to be the only one making effort. I’ve experienced this with acquaintances with whom I think I want something more. I’m interested but afraid of rejection, he seems interested but afraid of rejection. But we aren’t sure what we’re reading. So we act like we don’t really care. We’re afraid to ever make a move.

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. – Marcus Aurelius

This resonates with me strongly – especially right now. There are many circumstances in my life completely beyond my control, and I can allow those things to make me feel trapped, or I can cultivate mental freedom, realizing that no one and nothing has the power to make me unhappy, discontent, or fearful, unless I let them/it. These emotions require the consent of my mind.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs

If you’re like me, you’re afraid to rock the boat and not please people or fit in. Robust words.

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

Old habits die hard. And often, little habits grow bigger. If you can’t trust me not to pilfer coins from the cash register, how can you trust me to accurately report company expenditures, profits, and commissions?

Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. – John Wooden

Can’t add anything to this.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You’ve got what it takes to be a mover and shaker! I know it! Forge your own path.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison

Are we prepared to get up and try again 10,000 times? Hey, T.E. did it.

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. – C.S. Lewis

Beautiful. And freaky.

Did I totally ruin your favorite quote? Do you have a different or additional take on any/all of these? Let me know in the comments below! I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

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