Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

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Over this past Labor Day weekend, I found myself reading excerpts from distinguished professor of psychology and management Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced me-HIGH chick-sent-me-HIGH-ee) seminal book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People (HarperCollins, 1996).

He writes:

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

Mihaly describes ten traits often contradictory in nature, that are frequently present in creative people. In Creativity, Mihaly outlines these:

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

“It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure and that most workshops try to enhance.”

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

But this playfulness doesn’t go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, and perseverance.

“Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not. Vasari wrote in 1550 that when Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello was working out the laws of visual perspective, he would walk back and forth all night, muttering to himself: “What a beautiful thing is this perspective!” while his wife called him back to bed with no success.”

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.

We’re usually one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

It is remarkable to meet a famous person who you expect to be arrogant or supercilious, only to encounter self-deprecation and shyness instead.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

When tests of masculinity and femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.

Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. Yet without being objective about it, our work is not very good and lacks credibility. Here is how the historian Natalie Davis puts it:

“I think it is very important to find a way to be detached from what you write, so that you can’t be so identified with your work that you can’t accept criticism and response, and that is the danger of having as much affect as I do. But I am aware of that and of when I think it is particularly important to detach oneself from the work, and that is something where age really does help.”

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.

“Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.”

Paradoxical or not, what I have learned most is that there is no formula for individual creation. As Mihay says, “creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals.” So, more than anything else, what it takes to be creative is resourcefulness and the courage not to give up.

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Dear Heart,

I have a vein to pick with you, as I’m feeling pretty insecure and unsafe about a few things.

As you know I cut you out of my life for years because your desires were too big for me to handle and I was not strong enough to support and manifest them.

However after a painful game of tug of war, your strength eventually outweighed mine.

I surrendered respectfully and we re-connected. I listened to your every wish and did what you asked, as much as it broke my ego from every direction. I became your servant and your organizer and everyone thought I was mad for the choices I made.

I left my relationship, my career, I moved, I travelled.

I shocked everyone! I felt love again, true passion. I found my creativity, I found myself.

Things have been great. Now you want change again? You’re teasing me with dreams of far away places as I close my eyes to rest. You whisper in my ear as I’m waking up. You want me to uproot and explore again.

Why? Don’t you think about the future? Do you even have a plan?

If you are all about love, then why do you make me do things that hurt?

Why do you draw me towards people and then ask me to let go? Don’t you realize this breaks their heart? And mine too? It breaks you!

Why do you inflict so much pain on yourself?

Heart, sometimes I wish you were content with clothes, cooking and children like the other women. Don’t you realize people think we’re lost, reckless, crazy?

Heart, you’re too wild for me. But I promised I’d always listen to you. Please just tell me everything is going to be okay.

Yours truly,

Head x

***

Darling Head,

I know it seemed like my desires were too much for you to handle, but they were never too big, you just allowed fear to make the final decision every time until we eventually disconnected.

You see Head, all I see from down here are opportunities to experience love and to grow. This requires change, movement. Either we’re moving deeper into something, or moving on from something.

I’m here to push you out of your comfort zone.

The pain is the cracking open as I become vulnerable, expand to my absolute limits of love, learn to accept love in, or let it achingly pour out.

Love is constantly connecting us to and moving us on from people and experiences. Some connections last a lifetime, others last only a moment. It’s painful to accept that some things don’t last forever.

There is beauty in this pain.

Let other people think we are lost. The truth is, their hearts may be just as wild, they just haven’t been brave enough to really listen. The laws of the heart are too divine for us to understand, they are beyond time and space, they exist only in the moment, they don’t need a plan, they are the plan.

If we continue to be fearless and move with the flow of love, I promise you—everything is going to be okay.

Love,

Heart x

(ref. Annalise McLean)

dont let her go

I can teach you how to love me.

If you take the time and truly want to know. I can teach you what each of my head tilts mean. I can teach you all the secrets of my body. I can teach you how to handle me when i am moody, how to console me when i am crying, what to say when i act strange or distant around you.

I can show you my wicked smile, the one that only comes out sometimes, the one i put on only when the root at the base of me and all the darkness of the world come prancing up on my spine when i have to let it wiggle and scream because without that it would consume me, as i become the immediate channel for something great and deep and wide and appalling.

I can teach you why and how it hurts when i don’t get attention. I can teach you, that sometimes i will push you away, but inside i will slowly die because i do not want that, and i regret every moment and secretly hope you will not listen and will not go… that in reality i want you to hold me tight and lift me in your arms, and never let me go… i want you to fight for me…

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I can teach you how while i have claws, i have choice about when i use them, i can teach you how to declaw me faster and better each time.I can teach you how to preempt my tantrums, how to make it safe for me to come out and play, how to bring forth my love like shining beacon of depth and warmth and delight and freedom.

I can teach you what to do when i reach for you – or maybe you already know. Maybe there are things you already know about me, about how to be with me, just from the way i move or sit or stand or share or the way i light up or shut down.

I can teach you these things, offer them up like so many pebbles, worn and smooth and pure, because i found them and ground them away down into their essence, made them soft by my own tears and trauma. I can bring them to you like a secret offering, fetching from depth of my soul and my anguish, inspired and transpired by the innocence with witch a child places total trust and responsibility in the hands of people who don’t and can’t know everything right all the time.

I learned these things, in fact, to teach you.

When it was hard and i wanted to stop and i wanted it to stop and i wanted to make it stop, when i wanted to arrest the humiliation or destroy the awakening or hold onto the hate or shutter the screams or beat my fists across walls or cover my ears and board up my eyes and silence my mouth forever, i thought of …

The only thing i need from you, the only gift i need you to give me, the only rendition and chorus i require, is for you to ask…

I need you to ask.

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People that know me, know that i am very fascinated by the human nature, by people’s interactions and the main question is “Why?” Sometimes i feel like a two year old kid that constantly asks his parents the most annoying question, “why this or why that.” I try to find the answers on my questions in books, and so far it has been working…

Todays question that i asked myself and couple of my friends is, “Why some women yell and scream during an argument with men? And why some are not…”

Since my recent life changes i have been living with my sister. We both have same mom and dad, but yet… we are so different in many ways. One of the difference that we have is the expression of our emotions. I am “still waters” like my mom always says, i am quite, reserved, don’t like any arguments and try to avoid them at any cost. Yelling to me is like a red flag, it makes me irritated, annoyed, and i stop respecting that person. When i get angry, and i do get angry, it is not that i am immune to emotions, i go to the ladies room, look in a mirror, grab the counter, then close my eyes and compose myself… sometimes i can even growl a little to get the frustration out, and afterward i am fine. But i guess i do not let go easily, if i was hurt, or lied to i will remember it, i forgive but not forget. My sister, is loud… Emotions are going out constantly as loud as possible, but also she calms down fast. So in our family we learned to ignore it… she is just who she is – loud 🙂

But living together, i started wondering, why does that happen. We both grew up in same environment, same parents, so why do we deal with emotions on such different level?..

I asked couple of my male friends as to their opinion on why women yell and scream during arguments. Here is a basic summary: 

  • “What i think… The main reason is to counter balance the natural physical massive strength of the men… Like small dogs that scream to big dogs…Knowing that they cannot win physically… it is a way of making psychological pressure…”
  • “…Depending on the situation… When women know that they are in a weak position, they use the card of “screaming and being hysterical” because they want to cut the lost discussion…”
  • “…pure pressure. some men afraid of women emotions, so they give in their demands, just to avoid argument.. and women use it as a weapon…”
  • Diana König, journalist and broadcasting author, writes: “If the scream of babies is their first communication method, then is the scream of adults a recession from communication. By screaming, in the opposite of calling, the voice becomes overloaded, over amplified, and it loses it’s control, it’s fundamental sound”.The scream is there before language and it appears where the language reaches its limits.
  • Allen S. Weiss, writer, notes: “The scream reveals the chaotic depths of linguistic and vocal systems”. The use of the term “chaotic” makes assimilations to un control or not wanting to control and that as a vocal expression, is related to scream.
  • Elaine Scarry, writer and literature professor, talks about language in connection to pain and she thinks that pain almost destroys the language because it brings us back into a state where sounds and screams are dominating as they where our means of communication before we learned how to speak. Pain cannot actually be communicated, as it is a personal experience and can only be experienced individually. Pain, as any other concept is actually an individual experience that can only be communicated as an idea and it also is to be interpreted as.

I agree to certain degree with all of the points above, but reading through psychology articles and research, i realized  that i will never find a distinctive answer to my question as to “why?”, i have to accept we are all different and we handle our emotions differently. I could talk on this topic for hours, discussing different scenarios and situations and still would come to the same conclusion – we are all unique, each in our own way, and we need to respect our differences… And by that i mean, not raise voice to the yelling point… We all are emotional creatures, some more emotional, some less, and raised voice is an abusive gesture no matter what the reasoning behind it is… Yes, there is situation in life that probably require such measures, but i believe that with little communication many disagreements can be resolved. 

But sometimes i wonder, who really wins, me – the one that controls my emotions and holds them in, or my sister that lets her emotions out and gets over it?.. In my opinion emotions are like a by-product of the neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system. There should be an outlet for emotions that stored in I would guess, otherwise they would remind of a soda bottle that if you shake it a little – it blows up 🙂 I think my outlet is creating, putting the negative and positive emotions to work and creating projects, art, sewing, painting, cleaning, hiking,  anything that burns off the energy. So maybe finding a correct outlet would make person more content and emotionally stable…

 

A week ago, i had a very interesting conversation with a friend, and he mentioned theory about biological aspect of the beauty. I have thought about Plato “golden proportion” theory but to hear it from male’s perspective was quite interesting.

Over thousands of years philosophers devoted a great deal of time to prove or invalidate the biological side of beauty.

In ancient Greece, Helen of Troy, the instigator of the Trojan War, was the paragon of beauty, exuding a physical brilliance that would put Cindy Crawford to shame. Indeed, she was the toast of Athens, celebrated not for her kindness or her intellect, but for her physical perfection. But why did the Greek men find Helen, and other beautiful women, so intoxicating? 

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Guido Reni 1635, situated in Louvre Museum, Paris

Maybe i am wrong, but i think, one of the first philosophers that considered biological and mathematical aspect of beauty was Plato. Plato wrote of so-called “golden proportions,” in which, amongst other things, the width of an ideal face would be two-thirds its length, while a nose would be no longer than the distance between the eyes. Plato’s golden proportions, however, haven’t quite held up to the rigors of modern psychological and biological research — though there is credence in the ancient Greeks’ attempts to determine a fundamental symmetry that humans find attractive.

6:9 :: 8:12

In which 9 is the arithmetic mean, and 8 the harmonic mean between the extremes 6 and 12.

Plato’s writings on beauty are based on his doctrine of ideas. He explained that what we know from everyday experience is not knowledge but only belief or assumption (Gk. doxa) and we should try to find behind it the permanent real knowledge (Gk. episteme) which consists of “ideas”. One of the ideas is “beauty” (Gk. to kalon), or the permanent property which belongs to all beautiful objects. This property remains the same irrespective of whether somebody admires the object or not.

“That which is apprehended by intelligence and reason is always in the same state; but that which is conceived by opinion with the help of sensation and without reason, is always in a process of becoming and perishing and never really is.” (Plato: Timaeus, trans. Benjamin Jowett).

“That which is always the same” or the constant essence of beauty might consist of e.g. proportions of the dimensions. This idea is attributed to Pythagoras (ca. 532 BC) who is said to have discovered the fact that certain arithmetical proportions in musical instruments, e.g. the lengths of strings, produce harmony of tones (on the right, an illustration from Gafurio’s Theorica Musice, 1492). On the basis of these musical harmonies the Greek tried to explain also the beauty in the proportions of the human body, of architecture and other objects.

Vitruve (I:III:2) said that a building is beautiful when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due proportion according to correct principles of “symmetry” (where “symmetry” means “a proper agreement between the members of the work itself, and relation between the different parts and the whole general scheme, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard. — The definition of symmetry is found in I:II:4).

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Carle Vanloo, Elizabeth Petrovna 1760

On the other hand, it seems senseless to say that beauty has no connection to subjective response or that it is entirely objective. That would seem to entail, for example, that a world with no perceivers could be beautiful or ugly, or perhaps that beauty could be detected by scientific instruments. Even if it could be, beauty would seem to be connected to subjective response, and though we may argue about whether something is beautiful, the idea that one’s experiences of beauty might be disqualified as simply inaccurate or false might arouse puzzlement as well as hostility. We often regard other people’s taste, even when it differs from our own, as provisionally entitled to some respect, as we may not, for example, in cases of moral, political, or factual opinions. All plausible accounts of beauty connect it to a pleasurable or profound or loving response, even if they do not locate beauty purely in the eye of the beholder.

Nevertheless, eighteenth-century philosophers such as Hume and Kant (my personal favorite) perceived that something important was lost when beauty was treated merely as a subjective state. They saw, for example, that controversies often arise about the beauty of particular things, such as works of art and literature, and that in such controversies, reasons can sometimes be given and will sometimes be found convincing. They saw, as well, that if beauty is completely relative to individual experiencers, it ceases to be a paramount value, or even recognizable as a value at all across persons or societies.

Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste” and Kant’s Critique Of Judgment attempt to find ways through what has been termed ‘the antinomy of taste.’ Taste is proverbially subjective: de gustibus non disputandum est (about taste there is no disputing). On the other hand, we do frequently dispute about matters of taste, and some persons are held up as exemplars of good taste or of tastelessness. Some people’s tastes appear vulgar or ostentatious, for example. Some people’s taste is too exquisitely refined, while that of others is crude, naive, or non-existent. Taste, that is, appears to be both subjective and objective: that is the antinomy.

Both Hume and Kant,  begin by acknowledging that taste or the ability to detect or experience beauty is fundamentally subjective, that there is no standard of taste in the sense that the Canon was held to be, that if people did not experience certain kinds of pleasure, there would be no beauty. Both acknowledge that reasons can count, however, and that some tastes are better than others. In different ways, they both treat judgments of beauty neither precisely as purely subjective nor precisely as objective but as inter-subjective or as having a social and cultural aspect, or as conceptually entailing an inter-subjective claim to validity.

There is social aspect, for example every country has its own criteria that counts as “attractive”. For example, Chinese men prefer women with small feet. In Shakespearean England, ankles were the rage. In some African tribal cultures, men like women who insert large discs in their lips.Aside from symmetry, males in Western cultures generally prefer females with a small jaw, a small nose, large eyes, and defined cheekbones – features often described as “baby faced”, that resemble an infant’s. Females, however, i read a study, have a preference for males who look more mature — generally heart-shaped, small-chinned faces with full lips and fair skin. But during menstruation, females prefer a soft-featured male to a masculine one. Indeed, researchers found that female perceptions of beauty actually change throughout the month.

 

In my humble opinion, i think real beauty of the woman is in her qualities, her actions, spark in her eyes, her smile, her grace and kindness, her confidence and her knowledge…. There are so many aspects that makes a woman beautiful in my opinion… that we cannot objectively say someone is beautiful or not until we actually  get to know a person. Yes, inner world is so cliche, and human beings are such a visual creatures, but i still believe that the beautiful “shell” of the woman is only one third of the actual beauty of any woman, or even less… Symmetrical and proportionate face is great, 90-60-90 body is fantastic, but physical attributes can be accomplished in this world quite easy, gym and possibly if necessary minor cosmetics, but what is inside cannot be hided or changed. You can look like a proportionate Barbie, and the moment you open your mouth – well guess. Yes, most males attracted to such type, because as i said we are visual creatures, but normal, self sufficient and smart male would never go with such woman beyond just “play”, so i positively encourage young generation of women to not be lazy and rely on their nature given gifts but pursue something more substantial.

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I am very interested in psychology and how our mind, personality and brain work together. So on this Christmas morning i finally decided to try MBTI, and see how accurate it is, in regards of my personality. Results were amazing, as you can see below, pretty accurate. I am INTP – Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical. That is 100% me 🙂
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INTP personality
“Philosophers”, “architects”, “dreamy professors”… These epithets are most often used to describe the INTP personality type. INTPs love theories and believe that everything can be analyzed and improved. They are not that concerned about the real world and practical things – from the INTPs’ perspective, it is often less exciting than ideas and intellectual pursuits. People with this personality type have no difficulties noticing patterns where others cannot – this makes them brilliant theorists and analysts.

The accumulated knowledge is the most valued asset of any INTP. Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork which is constantly absorbing, processing and generating all kinds of theories – this is how the INTP mind works. People with the INTP personality type possess the most logically precise mind of all personality types – they can easily notice even the tiniest discrepancies between two statements, no matter how much time would have passed in between. It is a bad idea to lie to an INTP. They may appear dreamy sometimes, but this is not because their mind is resting – quite the opposite.

INTPs are enthusiastic and impartial when it comes to dealing with problems – they drill through the details and then develop a unique approach and ultimately a viable solution. INTPs are usually very intelligent and insightful people, able to remain unbiased in any situation. They absolutely love new ideas and theories and would never miss an opportunity to discuss them with other people – however, this never-ending thinking process also makes them look somewhat pensive and detached, as INTPs are perfectly able to conduct full-fledged debates in their own heads.

People with this personality type may also find it quite difficult to explain their thoughts to others, even when it becomes obvious that their theories are not easily graspable. INTPs may also move on to another topic before their co-workers or partners have figured out what the INTP wanted to say.

INTPs cannot stand routine work – they would much rather tackle a difficult theoretical problem. INTP personalities really have no limits when it comes to theoretical riddles – if there is no easy solution and the topic is interesting enough, an INTP can spend ages trying to come up with a solution.

INTP personalities are usually very shy and reluctant when it comes to meeting other people. However, INTPs can also be very friendly and confident when they interact with people they know well or talk about things that interest them. INTPs are flexible and relaxed in nearly all situations, except when their beliefs or logical conclusions are being criticized. In those cases, the INTP is likely to become very defensive and argue tirelessly.

Sharing many personality traits with other T types, INTPs do not really understand or value decisions based on feelings or subjective opinions. In their opinion, the only good solution is the logical solution – INTPs do not see a point in using emotional arguments. Such an approach preserves the “sanctity” of their intellectual method; however, this also makes it difficult for INTP personalities to understand other people’s feelings or satisfy their emotional needs.

Individuals with the INTP personality type are likely to be very open-minded and even eccentric. These traits, combined with their capacity for inventiveness and original thought, make up a very powerful mix – it is not surprising that INTPs are responsible for many scientific discoveries. An INTP is unlikely to care much about social expectations and the “usual” goals such as job security – however, they will do their best to find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed.

One of the few bottlenecks that INTPs impose upon themselves is their restless fear of possible failure. No other personality type worries that much about missing a piece of the mental puzzle or overlooking some crucial fact that might lead to a better solution. Unlike their more confident INTJ or ENTJ cousins, INTPs could spend ages reflecting on their actions. Even when an INTP is arguing with someone, this should be taken with a grain of salt – they might as well be arguing with their own mind.

Some famous INTPs:

Socrates, philosopher
Rene Descartes, philosopher
Blaise Pascal, mathematician, philosopher
Isaac Newton, physicist
Carl Jung, psychologist
Albert Einstein, physicist
James Madison, the former U.S. president
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former U.S. president
Gerald Ford, former U.S. president
Tiger Woods, professional golfer
INTP relationships and dating
Even though romantic relationships and dating are inherently difficult for INTPs, people with this personality type take them very seriously. The main problem that INTPs are likely to face in this area is that they are not naturally sensitive or emotional individuals – consequently, understanding another person’s feelings or expressing their own is not something that an INTP is well equipped to do.

Furthermore, INTPs strongly dislike being at the centre of emotionally-charged situations. As interpersonal conflicts are virtually inevitable even in happiest romantic relationships, INTPs may find those situations quite frustrating and consequently try to avoid or ignore emotional conflicts in their relationship, especially during the dating phase. If there is no escape, the INTP will try to find a solution, but likely rely on the analytical approach, which can be very different from what their partner (especially if they belong to one of the F personality types) might expect. INTP personalities should try to include this in their thought process, especially when it comes to dealing with conflicts in the earlier stages of the relationship.

These weaknesses aside, INTP personalities tend to be very loyal and faithful partners. INTPs are also unusually direct and honest, even if they have just started dating someone. People with this personality type always stick to their commitments and are actually quite easy to date and live with – they have simple daily needs and do not demand much from their partners. However, despite seeking simplicity in dating and romantic relationships, INTPs do not lack passion or romantic feelings. On the contrary, people with the INTP personality type tend to be extremely creative individuals whose vivid imagination allows them to always remain very enthusiastic and passionate in romantic relationships. Anyone dating an INTP may be quite surprised by this sometimes.

INTPs’ simple daily needs are a complete opposite of their inner world, which is bound to be very complex and colourful. However, there is a certain logic behind this – INTPs purposefully seek simplicity in the “real” life so that they can focus all their mental power on the inner world.

People with the INTP personality type are likely to use their rich imagination to achieve as much as possible in intimate situations. While their enthusiasm can be very impressive, INTPs should be aware of their tendency to prioritize the inner world – it is entirely possible that an INTP will imagine an intimate situation in a very exciting and interesting way, but will choose not to reveal that to their dating or long-term partner.

Another potential issue that someone with the INTP personality type should try to resolve is their tendency to overlook their partner’s emotional needs. As already mentioned above, INTPs are not naturally sensitive or emotional, but their partner might have a very different personality – it is important for an INTP to try to understand their feelings and communicate on the emotional level, instead of simply relying on commitment and dedication and believing that this is all that is needed. Of course, their partner should also be aware of INTP personality traits and quirks, and try not to demand constant flow of emotions from the INTP.

Preferred partners: ENTJ and ENFJ types.

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Recently in my life happened too many coincidences and I try to understand what it is and why it is happening… 

I started to read and research what it could be, why in life sometimes can happen so many coincidences at once… I liked a quote that Albert Einstein said: “Coincidences is God’s way of remaining anonymous”. I tend to think it is God’s way. But in my research i found this article that Deepak Chopra said about our mind and coincidences… And i found it as an interesting opinion, so i decided to share this with you…

From “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire” by Deepak Chopra. © 2003 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House, Inc. 

 Most of us go through life a little afraid, a little nervous, a little excited. We are like children playing hide and seek, wanting to be found, yet hoping we won’t be, biting our nails with anticipation. We worry when opportunity approaches a little too closely, and hide deeper in the shadows when fear overcomes us. This is no way to go through life. People who understand the true nature of reality, those whom some traditions call enlightened, lose all sense of fear or concern. All worry disappears. Once you understand the way life really works—the flow of energy, information, and intelligence that directs every moment—then you begin to see the amazing potential in that moment. Mundane things just don’t bother you anymore. You become lighthearted and full of joy. You also begin to encounter more and more coincidences in your life.

 When you live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, you connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities. This is when the magic begins. This is a state I call synchrodestiny, in which it becomes possible to achieve the spontaneous fulfillment of our every desire. Synchrodestiny requires gaining access to a place deep within yourself, while at the same time awakening to the intricate dance of coincidences out in the physical world.

 When a coincidence arises, don’t ignore it. Ask yourself, What is the message here? What is the significance of this? You don’t need to go digging for the answers. Ask the question, and the answers will emerge. They may arrive as a sudden insight, a spontaneous creative experience, or they may be something very different. Perhaps you will meet a person who is somehow related to the coincidence that occurred. An encounter, a relationship, a chance meeting, a situation, a circumstance will immediately give you a clue to its meaning. “Oh, so that’s what it was all about!”

 The key is to pay attention and inquire.

 Another thing you can do to nurture coincidence is to keep a diary or journal of coincidences in your life. After years of note-taking, I classify coincidences as tiny, medium, whoppers, and double-whoppers. You can do this in any way that is easy for you. For some people, it is easiest to maintain a daily journal and underline or highlight words or phrases or names of things that show up as coincidences. Other people keep a special coincidence diary. They start a new page for each significant coincidence, then jot down any other connections to that event on its page.

 For people who want to delve deeply into coincidence, one of the processes I recommend is recapitulation. This is a way of putting yourself in the position of observer of your life, and of your dreams, so that connections and themes and images and coincidences become clearer. Because our connection to the universal soul is much more obvious when we are dreaming, this process allows you to access a whole new level of coincidences.

 When you go to bed at night, before you fall asleep, sit up for a few minutes and imagine that you are witnessing on the screen of your consciousness everything that happened during the day. See your day as a movie. Watch yourself waking up in the morning, brushing your teeth, having breakfast, driving to work, conducting your business, coming home, eating dinner—everything in your day right up to bedtime. There is no need to analyze what you see, or evaluate, or judge… just watch the movie. See it all. You may even notice things that did not strike you as important at the time. You may notice that the color of the hair of the woman behind the drugstore counter was the same as your mother’s when you were young. Or you might pay special attention to a little child who was crying as his mother was dragging him down a supermarket aisle. It’s amazing the things that show up in the movie of your day that you may not have consciously noted during the day itself.

 As you watch your day go by in the movie, take this opportunity to view yourself objectively. You may find yourself doing something that you’re particularly proud of, or at times you may notice yourself doing things that are embarrassing. Again, the goal is not to evaluate, but to get little insights into the protagonist’s behavior—this character that is your self.

 When the recapitulation is over—which can take as little as five minutes or as long as a half hour—say to yourself, “Everything that I’ve witnessed, this movie of a day in my life, is now safely stored away. I can summon those images on the screen of my consciousness but as soon as I let them go, they disappear.” The movie is over. Then, as you go to sleep, say to yourself, “Just as I now recapitulated the day, I am giving instructions to my soul, my spirit, my subconscious to witness my dreams.” Initially you may not notice much of a change. But if you practice this every night for a few weeks, you will start to have a very clear experience that the dream is the scenery, and you are the person watching it all. When you wake up in the morning, recapitulate the night, just as you recapitulated the day at night.

Once you are able to recall the movie of your dreams, write down some of the more memorable scenes. Include them in your journal. Make a special note of coincidences. Nonlocal intelligence [literally “without location,” the spiritual domain, the field of potential] provides clues in our sleep just as it does in our waking hours.

 What starts to happen, then, is that gradually we see correlations, images that repeat themselves both in dreams and in everyday reality. More coincidences provide more clues to guide our behavior. We start to enjoy more opportunities. We have more “good luck.” These clues point out the direction to take our lives. Through this process of recapitulation we see recurring patterns and we start to unravel life’s mystery.

 This process is especially helpful for departing from destructive habits. Life has certain themes that it plays out. Sometimes those themes operate to our advantage. Sometimes they work against us, especially if we repeat the same patterns or themes, over and over, hoping to get a different result. For example, many people who get divorced fall in love again, but they end up in exactly the same kind of relationship they were in before. They repeat the same trauma, relive the same anguish, and then they say, “Why does this keep happening to me?” The process of recapitulation can help us witness these patterns, and once we discern them, we can make more conscious choices. Journaling isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps bring insights and coincidences to the surface.

 So remain sensitive, observe coincidences during both your daytime living and your nighttime dreaming, and pay special attention to anything that breaks the probability amplitude—the statistical likelihood of a space-time event. We all need to plan things to some extent, to make assumptions about tomorrow even though we actually don’t know what’s going to happen. Anything that upsets our plans, anything that takes us off the trajectory we think we are on, can provide a major insight. Even the absence of events that you expect can be clues to the intent of the universe. People who have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning to go to a job they hate, who find it difficult to become engaged in their professional activities, who feel emotionally “dead” after a day at the office, need to pay attention to those feelings. These are important signals that there must be a way to get more fulfillment out of life. Perhaps a miracle lies in the wings. You’ll never know unless you form an intention, become sensitive to the clues from the universe, follow the chain of coincidence, and help create the destiny you most desire.

 Of course, life can be difficult, and we each have daily chores, responsibilities, and obligations that can become overwhelming. Coincidences may come flying at you from all directions, or they may seem to dry up entirely. How do you find your way in such a complex world? Take five minutes every day and just sit in silence. In that time, put these questions to your attention and heart: “Who am I? What do I want for my life? What do I want from my life today?” Then let go, and let your stream of consciousness, your quieter inner voice, supply the answers. Then, after five minutes, write them down. Do this every day and you’ll be surprised at how situations, circumstances, events, and people will orchestrate themselves around the answers. This is the beginning of synchrodestiny.

 For some people, answering those questions for the first time can be difficult. Many of us are not used to thinking in terms of our own wants and needs, and if we do, we certainly don’t expect to fulfill them. If you haven’t defined your life’s goal for yourself, what do you do then? It would be helpful if the universe would give us one big clue, or a giant compass, if you will, pointing to the direction we should be taking. In fact, the compass is there. To find it, you need only look inside yourself to discover your soul’s purest desire, its dream for your life.