Being ENTP, dyslexic and there effect on relationships?

The Breath of God

I have drafted this blog for a while now and rewrote it a few times, then I read Chris’s blog post about Aspergers and decided it was time  to post it and be done thinking about it. I’m going to split the big post up. This one about relationships. The other about what its like being dyslexic and daily life. Of course they both intersect.

Now to be absolutely clear I’m talking for myself, but doing some very basic research online, its clear there is a trend. But, outside peoples first hand written accounts I can find little academic research.

I’m also going to refer to the myers briggs personality indicator later, feel free to rant and rave about how much bollox it is but I see it as a useful frame for reference purpose.

I’ve had a lot on my mind. Some of it was slightly upsetting, some best ignored and some best forgotten. But out of it came the thoughts I’ve been thinking for a long while.

  1. Do I actually want to meet somebody and settle down (or similar)?
  2. Being incredibly social, confident and regularly meeting new people how am I still single? (said without sounding like a douche bag)

The answer is yes I do want to meet somebody and maybe settle down (if thats how you want to put it) but being very social seems to get in the way of  love, some say to me. This is why I kind of went with the sapiosexual term (although I do appreciate, its not really a sexuality – thanks Tom Morris for the long blog hammering this home – I hear you).

Ian Forrester

About me (cheers Adewale for the picture)

I am quite extroverted, charismatic and a slightly charming ENTP. Looking at the traits which seem to be associated with dyslexics who have made it into places and positions which best suit them, this seems quite common. Its hard not to fall for the charms of someone with such traits. Most people only know, dyslexia traits in relation to learning, education and perceived notions of intelligence. There seems to be far less about other aspects of being dyslexic.

My hypothesis is there is a strong link between dyselxia and the personality types ENTP and INTP.

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crack-pot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.

– Thomas J. Watson

Being extroverted, I enjoy the company of people a lot. The feeling of connectedness is comforting and enjoyable. I feel enriched by people. I can spend time alone but I feel bored after a while, maybe this is why I spend so much time in the bar/cafe downstairs and work best out of a busy environment like a coffee shop.

This is why my holiday in Tokyo was always going to be amazing for me. Even with its culture shock, I loved it. Somebody at work went to Tokyo at the same time as me and described it as one of the most loneliness places they have ever been. I was slightly shocked by this although I can understand where they were coming from.

People have commented that maybe the reason why I don’t need/can afford to be so picky, is because I  fill my time with the company of other friends. For some reason the percentage of female friends is higher than most men I know too. Don’t ask me why, but I have thoughts (for another blog post maybe)

So what about intimacy? Of course I would argue the time shared with certain friends can be pretty intimate, but if you mean sex… well thats a different kettle of fish and been redacted.

The fear of missing out

My life is a blur of work/personal/social, I couldn’t really imagine it any other way. I’m unsure if this is a dyslexic trait or a personality type as I haven’t seen this in a lot of other dyslexics. But its clear I tend to get bored if I’m not working on one of many personal/work projects. There is a slight fear of missing out but really its about as Jason Silva comments, about choice collapsing possibilities. I love and work in abstracts and linked possibilities. This practically makes me slow to pick from a menu (a very basic example) as collapsing the possibilities is a pain.

I fill my life with stuff to do because I really do enjoy it. I know for others it sounds like a nightmare. But I admit there has been times when its impossible to get a date in the calendar because I’m so busy.  I did try and leave spare time in my calendar as a new years resolution one year, but failed.  It wouldn’t be totally wrong to say I might too busy for love but not in the crappy way that article says. Heaven knows what would happen when/if I have children. Although I’m sure things will just change as they do.

Diabolo

Defining my own reality

ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up and pushing them in clever new directions.

I define my own reality, this can be seen as quite arrogant but frankly I have tried to live by what society and others suggest. I  recognise patterns which work for a while then breakdown. This isn’t to say I’m not willing, can not compromise or change. But there are some things which I know can’t be easily changed from previous experience.

Sometimes life isn’t about chasing love. It’s about creating it. And that’s what I’ve got to do now. I’ve got to create my own love so that future love has a fighting chance. I owe myself that much…

I certainly think this is true hence why I persist. I’m carving out something unique by spreading some love around by sharing my reality with friends and family, you only have to look at the amount of parties, BBQs, etc I do and have done. My hope is I’ll share it with someone who understands and loves the way I view the  world.

one thing ENTPs are good at, it’s coming up with a never-ending stream of innovations and ideas to keep things moving forward, and this is evident in their romantic relationships as well. For people with the ENTP personality type growth is key, and even before they’ve found a dating partner, they imagine all the ways that they can experience new things together, to grow in tandem. This can be an overwhelming process if their partner doesn’t match up, but when ENTPs find someone who shares their love of intellectual exploration, watch out

Limits of growth

Continuous growth comes at a cost

Continuous growth is something in economics I’m unsure about because of the sustainability of it. How ironic I worry about the sustainability in economics when the endless learning and intellectual exploration is a goal I pursue.

ENTPs see either growth or stagnation and don’t buy into the idea of a happy status quo, making them demanding as much as they are exciting. Some may tire in the face of this constant improvement – while ENTPs’ vigor can be attractive, it can also wear down even the most patient partners.

I’m consistently doing, trying, achieving new things/projects and to be honest I can see how tiring it is for some of my past partners. Heck its even tiring for me sometimes (rarely) It takes a lot make me super excited but the idea of improvement, sharing and exploring ideas certainly excites me no end (literary! )

…ENTP personalities may even ignore their partners’ feelings altogether, instead immersing themselves entirely in some distant idea or opportunity, inaccessible.

I am known to be distant or too busy doing something else, not only physically but mentally. I’m unsure why but I just seem to disappear elsewhere. Like when I was young, I would daydream about linked concepts and opportunities. Its weird because I seek the flow state but its like I’m bored or something? This obviously seen as a reflection on the partner and therefore you can only imagine the chaos this causes in relationships.

Of course I battle with myself to try and turn things around but honestly I have tried so hard over time and its just me, I accept it as a weakness and my greatest strength. We all have our issues, deep down that nobody wants to talk about. I try to be up front and honest about stuff but so far its not really worked out.

Rumi - What you seek is seeking you

What I’m seeking?

Knowing myself, I tend to look for something quite different in potential partners. Its certainly not about the looks, with a understanding of how I think, its hardly surprising I’m about what goes on in the mind. Lots of my friends laugh as I tend to pick personality over beauty. Not to say beauty doesn’t factor into things but its not my primary focus. Confidence, independence and geeky passion for growth and improvement are super sexy to me.

I need lots of space and freedom to explore, I would hate for my partner to be waiting for me to get home, especially when I get into something. The ideal partner would be out doing her own thing too, when we come together it would be special. This isn’t what everybody sees as a healthy relationship but looking around, I know it can work. I have friends in serious committed relationships who spend much time apart for various reasons.

There is a theory that the ideal person for a ENTP would be a INTJ

The ENTP and INFJ were meant to be together because the ENTP shares his intuition all the time. Most people do not like to hear intuitions and theory they don’t understand in conversations. The INFJ has the same skill at idea generation that the ENTP has. When the ENTP talks, the INFJ can listen and understand his very advanced intuitions. INFJ’s and ENTP’s both like systems. The INFJ finds people systems more interesting; the ENTP systems of things. When they communicate something special happens. The ENTP talks and the INFJ comprehends and listens automatically. That means the ENTP feels listened to and completely understood.

I have no idea if this is really helpful as its unlikely that I would ask women for their personality type. On top of that, as we already know, love is far more complex and unquantifiable.

Flowing memories

So why am I sharing this all?

I don’t know, I guess there is a feeling that being open and honest may explain some of the relationship breakdowns or why I’ve been dating quite a bit. I of course hope it will make it easier for others to come to terms with there own quirks and intricacies.

It certainly feels like the longer I wait the easier it is to be honest about this stuff. Although I’ve already said maybe too much. However its worth noting this post was about twice the size with many more spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Its hard collapsing all those possibilities, taking opportunities to flow with people and balance them with traditional notions of relationships. I say traditional because I’m very happy to see things changing for the better, changes which reflect the diversity of the people within it. Maybe one day I won’t be that unusual, till then I guess I live up to my personality type and hope some lovely independent, geeky, feminist women read this and think oh yes I the sound of him (I joke).

Ian and Tara

But seriously, some of this sounds quite emotional? I’m really fine with everything, I edited out a lot. This is more an acknowledgement of the tricky reality I will always face when it comes to having a long meaningful relationship.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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