Despite the fact that I am an INTJ and therefore more likely to solve the problem of world hunger than talk about my feelings, I’ve tried therapy. I made honest efforts, even though I privately thought it was all pseudo-science and guesswork and I could do just as well with a journal for, well, the price of a journal. But I acknowledge that there are, occasionally, things about which I am not entirely correct, if only by the law of large numbers. I’m right so often that I have to be wrong every once in a while, just to keep the universe from collapsing. (Right now, my Sainted Mother is doing some collapsing of her own, from laughter.) So, hey, maybe one of those things I was wrong about was therapy, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. So very, very wrong. Just in case the world needed more evidence of why INTJs and psychology don’t mix, here is an amalgamation of Therapy Sessions I Have Had:
Well-meaning Therapist: So, littleblindgirl, what brings you to my office?
littleblindgirl: A car.
Well-meaning Therapist: Sorry, I meant, why did you make an appointment to talk with me?
littleblindgirl: Why are you sorry?
Well-meaning Therapist: I just–I mean–I just phrased the question badly. I’m sorry.
littleblindgirl: I’ll forgive you if you want me to, but you shouldn’t be sorry. You should be more clear.
Well-meaning Therapist: Well, thank you for that. Now–
littleblindgirl: You’re welcome.
Well-meaning Therapist: I beg your pardon?
littleblindgirl: Isn’t that what one says after being thanked?
Well-meaning Therapist: Oh–I suppose–I mean–
littleblindgirl: Because if the rules on that have changed, I really think someone should have told me.
Well-meaning Therapist: It’s fine, I just–
littleblindgirl: I can’t be blamed for saying the wrong thing if I’m saying what used to be the right thing but isn’t anymore because someone changed it and didn’t tell me.
Well-meaning Therapist: That’s very true–
littleblindgirl: I mean, I think these societal rituals are meaningless wastes of time and they bore me to tears, but I engage in them because it makes other people slightly less awkward to be around.
Well-meaning Therapist: (grasping desperately at something remotely resembling therapy): Do you often feel awkward around people?
littleblindgirl: Changing the rituals without proper notification just makes things more awkward, which defeats the purpose.
Well-meaning Therapist: True, but back to the “awkward around others” part–
littleblindgirl: It doesn’t make sense.
Well-meaning Therapist: (surreptitiously clutches stress ball) What doesn’t make sense?
littleblindgirl: (gazing severely at Well-meaning Therapist) I thought your job was to listen. If you had been listening, you would know perfectly well what doesn’t make sense.
Well-meaning Therapist: I was listening! Now, I want to talk about how you feel awkward around others–
littleblindgirl: If you’re not going to listen, I don’t understand why I should continue to pay for these sessions. I can write in a journal if I want to express myself to something that doesn’t listen. For that matter, I could run for political office if I wanted to express myself to something that doesn’t listen.
Well-meaning Therapist: Stop!
littleblindgirl: (taken aback) Stop what?
Well-meaning Therapist: Stop talking and listen to me for a minute. (Pauses to make sure littleblindgirl is actually listening). Why did you make an appointment to talk with me today?
littleblindgirl: My friend thinks I may be a robot.
Well-meaning Therapist: Really?
littleblindgirl: She may have meant “cyborg”. It’s a common mistake.
Well-meaning Therapist: Have you talked to your other friends about this?
littleblindgirl: How could I do that?
Well-meaning Therapist: (relieved at finally being able to talk psycho-babble) It’s all about active communication. You have to say what you really feel and truly listen to what the other person has to say–
littleblindgirl: I mean, how can I talk to people who don’t exist?
Well-meaning Therapist: (stumped)
littleblindgirl: Isn’t that what you’re for?
Well-meaning Therapist: You know what? You’re right.
littleblindgirl: Yes, I know.
Well-meaning Therapist: (takes a deep breath, thinks about bilking insurance companies) Why don’t we talk about how that made you feel?
littleblindgirl: How it made me feel?
Well-meaning Therapist: Yes. Tell me what you were feeling when your friend said you might be a robot.
littleblindgirl: (long pause) You want me to talk about my feelings?
Well-meaning Therapist: Yes. Yes, I do. I want you to understand that you’re in a safe space and you can open your innermost self to me. I want to know what’s going on in the heart of the little blind girl. Tell me everything!
littleblindgirl: (longest pause yet) Are you sure there’s not just a pill I could take?
And there you have it. One of my therapists, and I’m not kidding about this, fled the country after our first session. Rationally speaking, I know that probably had more to do with the massive amounts of money he embezzled rather than our therapy session, but I’ve never been sure I wasn’t the trigger. I mean, if you were facing the prospect of another therapy session with a hardcore INTJ, wouldn’t you run as fast as you could in the opposite direction? I know I would. And, hey, while I was right about therapy being a waste of time, that means I was wrong about being wrong about therapy being a waste of time, so the universe need not collapse. At least, not because of me.