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5 Scientific Facts About the Introvert Brain

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Coined by Carl Jung in the early 20th century, the terms “introversion” and “extroversion” have gained widespread popularity thanks to the prevalence of human personality theories in online circles. 

Questionnaires such as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator or Raymond Cattell’s 16 personality factors make use of the concepts, making them well-known among those who seek to better understand themselves and their behavior. Nowadays, most people savvy enough to enjoy personality questionnaires will identify themselves as “introverts” or “extroverts.”

Determining the exact distribution of introverts and extroverts worldwide is nothing short of impossible. However, certain studies speculate that introverts make up for anything between one-third and one half of the world’s population, leaving their numbers rather even.

And yet, despite being relatively common, introversion is still commonly misunderstood by the general public, including introverts themselves. 

But current scientific studies do not share these proclivities. Instead, multiple independent researchers have discovered a few essential elements needed to understand the biology, science, and psychology behind introversion and extroversion.

As it turns out, introversion is more complicated than just not enjoying loud parties. Continue reading

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    5 Unexpected Advantages of Being an Introvert

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    As all introverts know quite well, this is a world that unequivocally favors extroversion. 

    Traits such as assertiveness, the ability to take risks, and outward confidence are rewarded in all settings—home, work, and even amongst friends and strangers alike. Suggestions such as “speak out more” are prevalent, and many often see a quiet temperament as a hindrance. 

    But despite this apparent predisposition, introversion has a clear set of advantages in a plethora of areas. The strengths of introverts may be less visible, but that does not make them less powerful or less desirable. Many of them are, in fact, valuable tools that can set anyone apart from the crowd.

    And sometimes, these advantages are nothing short of unexpected. 

    1. Introverts can be exceptional leaders.

    Culturally, society often associates leadership qualities with extroversion—a leader must be outspoken, daring, risk-prone, and assertive. 

    However, it turns out that it may not be a universal truth. 

    Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler expresses in her book The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength how introverts can be exceptional leaders, as long as they develop their natural strengths and reinforce their preexistent skills. 

    Introvert leaders are naturally prone to listening to others, a quality that allows them to understand when to step away from the spotlight and allows for a more cooperative environment. Similarly, their analytical nature will enable them to perceive their team’s biggest strengths in a more conscious way. 

    While this type of leadership may not thrive in all fields, it’s instrumental in environments facing unpredictability and complicated settings, as introvert leaders are prone to remain calm in the face of changeability.

    Likewise, workplaces that place value in creativity and individual thought may benefit from an introverted leader, as they are known for more allowing freedom of thought to their employees, instead of the traditional leadership expected from extroverts.

    2. Introverts are perceptive.

    Many people discuss introverts’ analytical minds and their predisposition towards rationality, but few know that it all boils down to how observant and perceptive they really are.

    While extroverts focus their energy on engaging with the environment and seeking social interactions, introverts prefer to sit back and calmly process the information before their eyes. 

    Since they are less likely to enthusiastically engage with others, introverts direct their focus on understanding critically most non-verbal information. As such, they’re more likely to recognize other people’s subconscious signals—body language, facial expressions, and tone shifts. 

    Subsequently, introverts can pinpoint small details that may have gone over the head of their more extroverted friends. While this can help most introverts pinpoint domestic issues—such as a change in the humor of a friend during a casual discussion—it can also be a valuable asset at the workplace. 

    An introvert’s perceptive mind and keen observational skills can make a difference when it comes to analyzing a problem, something that may be more complicated for extroverted folks.

    3. Introverts are better at decision-making and solving problems. 

    Introverts’ perceptiveness mentioned above and their keen observational skills also make them particularly skilled at solving problems. 

    A study made in 2016 by Rehana Khali on a sample of 370 participants concluded that introverts are unequivocally better at decision-making than their extroverted counterparts. According to the research, half of the extroverted individuals made rash and impulsive decisions, while 79% of introverts relied on their perceptions and thoughts before carefully making a choice.  

    Introverts are prone to think more carefully and slowly, and less inclined to risky moves. While this may make them seem slow and indecisive, they are far more likely to select a choice based on their analysis and careful study of the environment, therefore guaranteeing a more rational decision. 

    Likewise, this makes introverts the go-to problem solvers of the group.

    Laurie Helgo explains in her book Introvert Power, how introverts’ brains have more activity in their frontal cortex—the area of the brain that gathers information and engages in complex mental exercises to find solutions. 

    Introverts, then, take their time to carefully consider the information they have gathered and use a calm approach to select the best-suited solution to the issue they’re facing.

    4. Introverts are excellent team players. 

    The most prevalent misconception surrounding introversion is the belief that introverts have an aversion to social interaction and, subsequently, are deficient team players. 

    Nothing further from the truth.

    While it’s true that introverts can become overwhelmed through prolonged social exposure, it does not equal to shyness. Most introverts can engage with others with no particular issue, and their introversion only makes them crave some quiet time after social activities are over. 

    In fact, introverts are excellent team players. While extroverts enjoy the spotlight and may be prone to imposing their points of view and actions through their energy-driven activities, an introverts’ naturally introspective nature makes them thoughtful during group activities and more likely to listen to others’ contributions.

    Better yet, since introverts feel more comfortable working “behind the scenes” and don’t enjoy the spotlight, they’re less likely to clash with the more outspoken personalities that can often lead the group.

    5. The future favors introverts.

    As mentioned at the start of the article, the world rewards extroverts. However, current developments prove this is changing, and the future may place more significant value to the skills of introverts.

    As communication networks keep evolving—and working from home gains momentum—it seems there is no better time to be an introvert. Those that can thrive in their own space without the busy and crowded environment of workplaces have their time to shine, and it seems as if humanity is evolving past the need for physical presence for specific jobs.

    Likewise, as society continues to change, the extroverted qualities that used to be the guaranteed formula for success are slowly losing power. Instead of dominating society, extroverts and introverts are recognizing their talents and particularities. 

    Skills long understood to be predominant in introverts—such as empathy, analytic mindsets, creativity, and the ability to thrive independently—are slowly becoming highly sought-after. 

    The future, friends, seems bright for the quiet ones.

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  • Psychology

    5 Tips to Avoid Making a Bad First Impression.

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    When meeting someone new, we have a chance to set the tone for how we will be perceived. Sometimes, in an effort to put our best foot forward we can inadvertently leave a bad impression. Whether you’re meeting with a new romantic prospect for the first time, interviewing with a potential employer, or introducing yourself to a new colleague or associate, here are 5 solid tips to avoid making a bad impression.

    1. Don’t Show Desperation.

    Often when we meet new people, there’s a strong impulse to try and appear as impressive as possible. However, talking too much about ourselves and our accomplishments can come across as narcissistic, self-absorbed and desperate for approval. This can reflect badly in the eyes of the other person. It is important to keep in mind how you are making the other person feel. Make an effort to show more curiosity about them and avoid relating everything they say back to you. Ask follow-up questions rather than use every opportunity to promote yourself.

    2. But don’t interrogate your subject.

    There is a balance to good conversation and asking too many questions about the other person without divulging much about yourself can also come across negatively. If you’re talking to a narcissist, this may go unnoticed. For most people however, there’ll be a reciprocal interest in knowing more about you and so you should by all means share things about yourself that can add to the conversation. Encourage the other person to talk about themselves but be ready to reciprocate when they pass the ball back to you.

    3. Don’t let a bad mood ruin everything.

    Don’t let a transient sour mood become the first impression that others have of you. It’s important to be yourself and be genuine, but recognize that everything you do can set the tone and timbre of how others will perceive you now and in the foreseeable future. Put your best foot forward and suppress whatever negative feelings you might be experiencing at the moment. Otherwise, be transparent about what you are going through so people can at least understand where you are coming from.

    4. Avoid Negative Body language.

    Non-verbal communication can speak volumes and in many cases overshadow what is communicated with our mouth. Pay attention to what you are communicating with your posture, eye contact and gestures. Avoid closed body language like folded arms and hands. Slouching and a lack of sustained eye contact doesn’t come across well and generally conveys low confidence and untrustworthiness. Anxiety can also sabotage your self presentation so try not to talk too fast or fidget nervously. Matching the other person’s talking speed and tone as well as mirroring some of their gestures is a psychological trick that can instantly create positive rapport with people.

    5. Be an Active Listener.

    Being a good listener is important. It is not enough to just passively sit and wait for your turn to speak. You should show that you are actively listening to what is being said with visual cues such as nodding and smiling. Even if you are not particularly interested in what the other person is talking about, giving them your undivided attention is a basic sign of respect. Looking around the room or down at your phone while someone is talking will convey to them that you aren’t really engaged with what they are saying. Any sign of distraction or lack of responsiveness will definitely leave a poor impression.

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  • Psychology

    31 Signs You Are Highly Narcissistic

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    Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), is one of the 4 “Cluster B” personality disorders classified in the DSM-5. Psychologists estimate that around 1% of the population are affected with NPD. These days, the term may be misattributed to normal healthy ego behaviors like good self esteem and moderate self care. A healthy level of narcissism is normal and causes little harm to others. Narcissistic Personality Disorder on the other hand, encompasses an array of problematic behaviors that create dysfunctional and abusive relations with others. Continue reading

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  • Psychology Relationships

    How To Break up With A Narcissist or Sociopath

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    Ending a relationship with a malignant narcissist can be difficult and dangerous. Being discarded or rejected by their partners can cause them narcissistic injury which can enrage them and trigger violent situations or malicious payback. Furthermore, narcissists have ways of roping you back to them and deceiving you with their manipulations. It is important therefore that individuals exercise caution and care when planning to emancipate oneself from a relationship with a narcissist. There are also a number of online forums and resources to help victims of narcissistic abuse. Here are 5 approaches to terminate a relationship with an abusive narcissist. Continue reading

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  • Psychology

    7 Tactics To Combat Narcissistic Abuse

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    Narcissists are people defined by the DSM as having an excessive sense of self-importance, rampant grandiosity, and a lack of empathy for others among other things. Narcissistic abuse is a topic around which many online communities and support groups have been formed. Narcissistic abuse can be tough to counteract in part because victims of it may not even realize it is happening.

    Understanding and recognizing the tactics narcissists use to manipulate and control is the first step in dealing with and overcoming them. In Shahida Arabi’s book, “Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How To Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself” she identifies an array of maneuvers taken straight out of the Narcissistic abuser’s playbook and shows us how they can be used against them. Here are 7 tips you can use to combat narcissistic abuse. Continue reading

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  • Psychology Relationships

    The art of Seduction – How To Flirt (4 Simple Tips)

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    the art of seduction

    Many people believe that the art of flirting is something that you either have or you don’t. This isn’t true at all. The art of flirting is something, which can be mastered by anyone with an interest in learning how to flirt. It’s a practice-makes-perfect skill, which is learned from the inside out.

    According to an article from psychologytoday, people flirt for a number of different reasons, such as:

    • To gauge the interest of another person.
    • To push a platonic relationship into a romantic one.
    • To make interactions fun and playful.
    • To manipulate someone into doing a favor.
    • To validate one’s own self esteem and their ability to attract others.
    • To simply get in another person’s pants.

    Everyone masters the art of flirting differently, but there are some basics of the art of flirting which might help you to find the flirt within and bring it out to play.


    The first thing to know about the art of flirting is that it works best when not done in an overtly thirsty and desperate way. You don’t need to be the most attractive person in the room and you don’t have to be the smartest, most athletic or most outgoing either. The art of flirting is designed to bring out the wonderful qualities that are unique about you and to let them shine so that others can be drawn to them. In this way, the art of flirting begins from the inside. This is an art of quiet confidence and the more natural and organic you are, the better your chances of success.


    Flirting is an art, that is primarily non-verbal. They say that the eyes are the keys to the soul and you should use yours as a starting point for the art of flirting. Have you ever been glancing around a room, bored and disinterested in what was going on around you when a stranger caught your gaze and held it for a few moments? For most people, this causes the heart to race and the mind to start whirring, wondering what it was about them that caught someone’s attention. People are drawn to others who are attracted to them and you can convey your interest at many levels with the different types of looks you give to people. The art of flirting will incorporate many different types of gazes.

    If you are in a public setting and just want to catch the eye of a stranger, meeting their gaze and holding it for a few seconds then letting it go followed by meeting it again is the best method. But in a face to face interaction, some experts suggest that eye contact should be sustained and direct. “No, you don’t look away. You continue to stare. Gaze deep into their eyes. It doesn’t even matter if you’re paying attention to what they’re saying.” – psychologytodayThis quickly conveys that you are interested in flirting with them and you will be able to tell from their reaction whether or not they share your interest. More aggressive flirting is done through giving the object of flirtation a look, which says, “I am thinking dirty things about you”. Sometimes this is done with a lingering gaze, sometimes with an up-and-down-the-body glance and sometimes with a stare, which suggests that you are hungry and looking to devour them.


    In addition to eye contact, the art of flirting makes use of other types of body language. Positioning your body in such a manner that shows you are open to communication is crucial to the art of flirting. Touching the other person is also a big part, but it should be done cautiously. You should read the other person’s body language to determine whether they are welcoming the signals you are sending out. You’ll be able to tell if it’s appropriate to touch their arm or lean your leg against theirs while talking. The art of flirting consists of a combination of conveying your intentions while reading the signals of the other person. A successful combination of these two things which stems from a foundation of casual confidence in your own self worth makes the art of flirting enjoyable and fun.


    The standard way to ingratiate yourself with an attractive person is by lavishing them with compliments and flattery.  But if the person is really attractive, they’ve probably been approached this way a million times already. To differentiate yourself, take a different tactic and show your interest by poking fun at them and making humorously ambiguous remarks about them. This technique is known as negging and is a way of showing active disinterest by slightly knocking them off their pedestal with a vague or backhanded compliment. It is a form of reverse psychology and when it works, it can turn the tables and make the other person feel invested in the challenge of winning your approval and impressing you.

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    Great Places to Live For Introverts

    Being an introvert can sometimes be tough and it certainly doesn’t help much if you are an introvert living in a big city like New York or Los Angeles! When there are crowds of people everywhere, things can get a bit overwhelming so it is best that you choose your home town wisely!

    If you are an introvert and you are wondering what would be the perfect place to live, don’t discount larger cities or towns as some of these can be sanctuaries for an introvert.

    We have put together a list of 7 great places to live if you’re an introvert! Take a look and maybe consider making one of them your new home! Continue reading

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  • article Psychology

    6 Life-Changing Self Improvement Hacks You Can Use Today

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    We are each a work in progress and the pursuit of self improvement and self betterment is a lifelong process that is never complete. There is always room to grow and learn. This wisdom comes naturally with time and experience, but there are a number of habits you can incorporate into your life that will instantly benefit you. Here are 6 scientifically supported ways to boost your well being and success in life right now.

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  • article Psychology

    6 Signs Of High Intelligence That May Surprise You

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    Science is always uprooting our understanding of how the mind works. The field of neuroscience in particular has taken some commonplace notions about intelligence, and turned them right on their head. Here are 6 correlations of high intelligence and behavior that may surprise you.

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    9 Rare and Interesting Psychological Disorders

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    Mental illness affects a significant swath of the population and fortunately much of it is treatable. Here is a list of strange and interesting mental disorders that you might not know about.

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  • article Psychology

    13 Misconceptions & Myths About Introverts

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    Being an introvert can be difficult in part because many people do not quite understand them. Since most of the world is dominated by extroverts and extroverted ideals, people of an introverted disposition often feel forced to adopt a persona that extroverts seem to take for granted as suitable for everyone. Continue reading

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  • article INTJ Myers Briggs Psychology

    INTJ Depression Causes and Symptoms

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    Are INTJs Prone To Depression?

    [dropcap]E[/dropcap]very Myers Briggs type feels the pangs of sadness, but INTJ depression, like all depression, is more than the occasional despair we all feel from time to time. Normal sadness is a natural response to upsetting events and set backs that take the wind out of our sails, but it is a relatively short-lived experience for most people.

    Depression however can linger for much longer, and in the process may have debilitating affects on work performance and concentration and also damage relationships. It is a mental illness that afflicts 1 in every 21 Americans and it manifests in a variety of forms under an assortment of names like Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dysthymia and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

    The occurrence of depression, especially INTJ Depression is not a sign of weakness nor something that can be redressed with a simple attitude adjustment. People who suffer from it cannot simply “snap out of it”. It afflicts women more than men, possibly due to hormonal factors that are more present in females. There are various treatments for depression including Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications. Scientific studies have shown that good nutrition and physical exercise are also effective at improving symptoms mood disorders such as depression.

    The INTJ is among the types considered most prone to depression. This may be due in part to their statistically low satisfaction in relationships and excessive isolation. An INTJ may often feel at odds with a world filled with superficiality and banality. They don’t easily identify with others and this will often lead to misunderstandings on both sides of the divide.

    Although INTJ people are upfront about what they think and feel about others, they often ignore rather than address much of what bugs them. They maintain a poker face in most situations and are not easily goaded into losing their temper. They may internalize unexpressed resentments that may have a toxic influence on their psyche and lead to intense outbursts.

    INTJ Existential Depression Causes

    The causes of depression are complex and varied but genetics may play a role (an even bigger role in bipolar disorder). Research suggests that a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors are at work. Some people may have a genetic vulnerability to depression which may run in the family but external familial relationships may also contribute to this.

    Depression can occur along side other serious illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression symptoms.

    The onset of INTJ depression can be very gradual and thus may be mistaken for normal sadness. The effects are cumulative and may develop over the course of years until it becomes obvious that it has been hindering quality of life. It can lead to nihilism, suicidal thoughts, depersonalization and anxiety. Causes of depression in the INTJ personality type may include:

    • Being unable to look after themselves and feeling dependent on others.
    • Severed relationships
    • Repeated failures related to their goals and plans
    • A radical change or major life-shift
    • Feeling powerless and not in control over their lives
    • Being persecuted or having their work rejected

    Others may not even recognize INTJ depression since INTJ people often do not exhibit tell tale signs for others to see. They soldier on in stoic fashion publicly but frequently withdraw into solitude where they may brood and wallow in a pity party to which no else is invited.

    very depressed intj

    very depressed INTJ

    Signs Of A Very Depressed INTJ

    • Anhedonia – Inability to experience pleasure and interest in things normally enjoyed.
    • Diminished motivation and confidence
    • Excessive reliance on alcohol or caffeine
    • Sleeping too much or too little
    • Feeling sluggish and energy-depleted
    • Feeling excessive anxiety, restlessness and worry
    • Consuming prescription medicine above the recommended dosage.
    • Having low self-esteem and irrational feelings of guilt
    • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
    • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
    • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
    • Appetite and/or weight changes
    • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
    • Restlessness or irritability
    • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

    INTJ Depression Stages

    When they descend into depression, an INTJ will exhibit a number of progressively self destructive and self defeating characteristics such as:

    1. Isolationism 

    An INTJ will isolate themselves even more than normal when they are in a depressed state. They may spend excessive time in their heads fixating on negative thought loops and unhealthy  behavior patterns. At this time they will have little to no interest in connecting with people or reaching  out to others for help. They prefer to sort out their issues on their own, but feedback from a trustworthy confidante can be of help in bringing an INTJ back to normal. On the other hand, INTJs are also said to be one of the types most likely to seek out professional help for troublesome situations.

    2. Nihilism and Misanthropy

    INTJ types carry a reputation for being high-handed and blunt in expressing their contempt for what they view as stupidity from others. They may cultivate an abidingly anti-social attitude that may leave them with a sense of loneliness over the lack of kindred spirits or like-minded souls with whom they can relate. This can engender spitefulness from others and social ostracism which may only reaffirm or further deepen INTJ’s grievances against the world.

    3. Loss of Purpose

    The INTJ’s sense of willful purpose and desire to take action and affect change will give way to hopeless despair. In their demoralized state, the INTJ will have difficulty mustering the energy to do much of anything productive. They will be hard on themselves and second guess their abilities. They will feel generally defeated and powerless in their capacity to control their future.

    4. Self Medicating with Recreational Drugs and Alcohol

    Many INTJs will turn to drug use and drinking habits as an unhealthy coping mechanism fueled by inferior extroverted sensing. This of course only makes things worse and numbs the pain rather than heals it. This is often part of the downward spiral that will reinforce feelings of worthlessness and leave an INTJ feeling hollow and dead inside.

    5. Hindered Problem Solving Skills

    Under depression, an INTJ will feel less intelligent and there is science behind the damaging effects of depression on intelligence. INTJ types are excellent problem solvers but this ability will be noticeably impaired by the low-functioning malaise depression creates.

    6. Reckless Behavior

    INTJs will be inclined to make bad decisions when in a depressed state and may engage in risky behavior such as gambling or impulsive acts that are poorly thought out. They may throw caution to the wind and allow themselves to just unravel and take whatever comes.

    intj depression

    intj depression

    Treatment for INTJ Depression

    Because INTJ types have a great ability to self-identify the sources and causes behind their psychological torment, they are often capable of overcoming their depression through private analysis and reflection. Here are some tips for anyone dealing with depression:

    1. Focus on making a distinction between your emotions and moods. Emotions are temporary fluctuations of feeling whereas mood is a more persistent state. Temporary thrills like junk food binges may feel good for the moment, but will likely not improve your overall state of happiness.

    2. Taking action in and of itself has an antidepressant effect and can boost self-esteem and suppress negative thinking surrounding yourself. Physical exercise is one way in which we can feel improvement in ourselves. It is stimulating and can activate a number of psychological reward systems related to accomplishment.

    3. Venting and verbalizing your grievances can have a therapeutic effect on depression. If you don’t have a therapist, ranting to a friend or sympathetic listener can help lift your mood. According to psychologists, this has to do with our desire to manage our status in the eyes of others. It is emotionally satisfying to unload some of our emotional baggage in front of someone else.

    4. Get rid of unrealistic personal demands on yourself stemming from unhealthy or unnecessary beliefs. You may be depressing yourself with self-defeating expectations that often set you up for disappointment. “I must appear intelligent at all times or I won’t succeed.” “I’m not good enough to date her.”

    5. Find constructive, long-range creative projects to work on. Doing creative work has greater benefit in alleviating depression than mindless busy work which may only provide a temporary distraction.

    Where can I go for help?

    If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your health provider or check out the NIMH Help for Mental Illnesses webpage at Another Federal health agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), maintains an online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator at . You can also check online for mental health professionals; contact your community health center, local mental health association, or insurance plan to find a mental health professional. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.

    If you or someone you know is suffering from depression: 

    Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TYY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)


    Other INTJ Posts:

    25 INTJ Statistics | Facts About INTJ

    6 Reasons Why INTJs Love ENFPs

    How To Spot An INTJ In Public

    The INTJ

    101 Things INTJs Hate

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  • article Psychology

    A Twisted Sense of Humor May Be A Sign of Intelligence

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    So here’s a joke:

    man walks into a rooftop bar and takes a seat next to another guy. “What are you drinking?” he asks the guy. “Magic beer,” he says. “Oh, yeah? What’s so magical about it?” Then he shows him: He swigs some beer, dives off the roof, flies around the building, then finally returns to his seat with a triumphant smile. “Amazing!” the man says. “Lemme try some of that!” The man grabs the beer. He downs it, leaps off the roof —and plummets 15 stories to the ground. The bartender shakes his head. “You know, you’re a real jerk when you’re drunk, Superman.”

    If that made you lol, then chances are you smart, you really smart…

    Matter fact… maybe you a genius.

    Why? Well according to a January 2017 study published in Cognitive processing Journal, individuals who enjoyed dark humor tested significantly higher on scales of verbal and non-verbal intelligence than those offended by off-color jokes. A research team led by Ulrike Willinger at the Medical University of Vienna gathered a sample comprised of 156 adults and recorded their responses to 12 dark humor cartoons taken from German cartoonist, Uli Stein’s “The Black Book“. Dark humor (also referred as gallows humor) is defined as being “a kind of humor that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement and presents such tragic, distressing or morbid topics in humorous terms.”

    The study rated participants across a number of variables including dark humor comprehension, dark humor preference, aggression, mood disruption, and verbal and non-verbal intelligence. For each cartoon, individuals were asked to rate on a 4-point scale the difficulty of understanding the joke, the vulgarity of it, the level of surprise by the punchline and how well it fit, the novelty of it, their interest in the subject matter, and the amount of pleasure they derived from it. The researchers found that the results pitted participants into 3 highly correlated groups.

    • Group 1: showed moderate black humor comprehension, moderate black humor preference, low aggressiveness, average verbal and non-verbal intelligence and low mood disturbance.
    • Group 2: showed moderate black humor comprehension, low black humor preference, high mood disturbance, average verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and high aggressiveness .
    • Group 3: showed high black humor comprehension and preference, high verbal and non-verbal intelligence, no mood disturbance and low aggressiveness.

    Researchers concluded that the cognitive and emotional complexities involved in processing dark humor allowed people of higher intelligence and calm temperament to better recognize and appreciate the comedy in otherwise upsetting and disturbing content matter. Higher intelligence also correlates with a better ability to use humor as a coping mechanism for dealing with trauma, tragedy and stress.

    Psychologists have long attributed a relationship between humor and intelligence and many theories assert the key concept behind humor is the recognition of incongruity. Humor itself has been described as the resolving of incongruities or a “reconciliation of paradox”. It is believed that much of the same right brain skills involved in problem solving are also required to process and understand jokes. Smarter people are able to process the morbid and disturbing contexts of dark humor without being put off by it and hence comprehend the meaning of the joke enough to enjoy it.

    Here are descriptions of the 12 cartoons used in the study. See if you find them humorous or not.





    Santa Claus, standing on a long, thin tail and having some drops of blood under and on both boots, has been giving Christmas presents to a penguin, a dog and a cat, standing in front of him. Having distributed a fish, a dog biscuit and a tuna tin to them, he still has a gift wrapped cheese left in his hands.

    Santa Claus: ‘And who put the cheese on his letter to me?’


    Death, impersonated by a skeleton in a hooded coat holding an hourglass and a sickle stands at the doorstep of a man’s apartment.

    The man: ‘I am sorry, we do not die at the front door.’


    Up on a veritable height a man stands at the outer windowsill of an apartment block. Having a noose laid around his neck and a fixed knife directed to his stomach he puts a gun against his head. Beside him on the sill lies an emptied bottle labelled as poison and an envelope. Inside the apartment are two police officers, one of them pointing at the man saying:

    ‘Hey – I know this guy from elementary school. I remember that we called him Eberhard, the efficient.’


    A man scratching his chin apparently out of confusion is clutching the receiver of a public phone box. The voice coming from the receiver says:

    ‘Here is the answering machine of the self-help association for Alzheimer patients. If you still remember your topic, please speak after the tone.’


    A general practitioner is explaining the result of a medical test to a couple with her being pregnant:

    ‘To begin with, here is the good news: Your child will always find a parking space.’


    Four men are standing high up on a bungee jumping platform. One of them is holding a rope fixed on the one end to the platform. The other end of the rope is tied around a leg prosthesis that is turned upside down. One of them is telling the others:

    ‘I didn’t examining his certificate of disability in all detail.’


    A group of surgeons in an operating theatre is in the middle of what looks like a heart surgery. Without a sign of warning the heart springs out of the patient’s body right into one of the surgeons’ faces. Another surgeon remarks:

    ‘That’s the most amazing case of tissue rejection I’ve ever seen!’


    In a morgue a physician is lifting a white cover sheet off a body with a woman standing beside him. The woman confirms:

    ‘Sure, that’s my husband – anyway, which washing powder did you use to get that so white?’


    Two women, apparently real chatterboxes, are having a chat over coffee.

    The first one: ‘He is crippled, she is crippled and what’s more they are going to have a baby.’

    The other one: ‘I do hope things straighten themselves out.’


    In an operating theatre a surgeon has one arm deep in an opened body. Another surgeon explains the situation to a man in a suit:

    ‘The autopsy is finished; he is only looking for his wrist watch.’


    A dentist is on a root canal job with the patient being completely tensed up due to pain. At the back of the patient’s chair the tip of a rotating dental drill, apparently having worked its way through the patient’s mouth and neck comes into sight. The dentist asks his patient:

    ‘Does it hurt?’


    After having committed suicide the body of a man hangs from a light fixture in a living room, hung by his tie. His wife enters the room with a friend and looking at him she complains:

    ‘And once again the green tie with the blue suit. Come on, what have I been nagging him about for all these years?’

    6 twisted jokes to make you LOLOLOL.

    Q: What’s white on the top and black on the bottom?

    A: Society.

    Q: What’s the difference between John Wayne and Jack Daniels?

    A: Jack Daniels is still killing Indians.

    Q: What’s the difference between a garbanzo bean and a chick pea?

    A: I wouldn’t pay 40 bucks to have a garbanzo bean on my face.

    Q: Who’s the opposite of Christopher Reeves?

    A: Christopher Walkin.

    Q: How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman?

    A: Zero.

    Q: What did Kermit the Frog say at Jim Henson’s funeral?

    A: Nothing.


    Willinger, U., Hergovich, A., Schmoeger, M., Deckert, M., Stoettner, S., Bunda, I., Witting, A., Seidler, M., Moser, R., Kacena, S. and Jaeckle, D., 2017. Cognitive and emotional demands of black humour processing: the role of intelligence, aggressiveness and mood. Cognitive processing, pp.1-9.

    Hauck, W.E. and Thomas, J.W., 1972. The relationship of humor to intelligence, creativity, and intentional and incidental learning. The journal of experimental education, 40(4), pp.52-55.

    Source: If You Laugh at These Dark Jokes, You’re Probably a Genius
    Source: Can Psychology Explain Humor?
    Source: Intelligence & Humor: Are Smarter People Funnier?
    Source: Cognitive and Emotional Demands of Dark Humor Processing: The Role of Intelligence, Aggressiveness and Mood
    ource: If you have a dark sense of humor you might be more intelligent


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  • article Psychology

    Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts | TED

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    In this TED presentation, Susan Cain, the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” shares her experience as an introvert in a world dominated by extroverts. She makes the case for why introverts must be allowed to operate from their place of strength in both school and the workplace rather than being forced to be like extroverts. Susan discusses the value and struggle of being a introvert and why they should be supported and not sabotaged or forced to conform.

    Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her book QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society — from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Ghandi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperament — but because of them.

    In 2015 Susan Cain announced the launch of her mission-based organization Quiet Revolution that aims to change the lives of introverts by empowering them with the information, tools and resources they need to survive and thrive.

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