An INTP “grip experience”

I wrote this in response to:
This is the most fascinating stuff I’ve stumbled upon in my readings over the course of the last four months and makes so much intuitive sense to me right now. I was trapped in an emotional affair/limerent experience for two years with only partial awareness of the experience and no real willpower to stop it (did not disclose until I finally confronted the fact that I had to get myself out of it– after I moved away). It’s only when I ended it that I realized the full magnitude of what I had done to my mind and how wrong the whole affair was. My mind went into complete overdrive with obsessive thoughts about what had happened? why? what had I been thinking? I read post after post on emotional affairs, limerence, etc but nothing seemed to satisfy my need to know why I had let this happen, why I had kept my feelings secret, why hadn’t I been fully aware of the consequences and what the attraction to this other person was in the first place. Plus, I seemed to be handling the situation a lot worse than my husband, and our thought processes seemed opposite to those described in the books (usually the betrayed obsesses, the betrayer wants to move on). Not so! I just let my mind go wherever it wanted. It lead me to question my existence, my self-worth, my identity, which had somehow gotten all wrapped up with this other person. I was left with a void, nothingness. When I finally stumbled upon the different personality types last week, it started to all make sense. I had experienced the addictive effects of what you are calling a “grip experience” and its nature has led me to conclude that I must be an INTP. I had connected with another individual with my Ti (entertaining, scientific debates)- Fe (he was a big flirt, admired and respected me, needed me to teach him things). The same thing happened when I met my husband (Ti- psychospiritual conversation) and Fe (also a charmer). I wonder how many INTPs fall into the same trap of emotional affairs and limerence as a way to continue to satisfy Ti-Fe once the effects of romantic love have faded? The experience inevitably lead me to question my ideas/values about love, monogamy and marriage. Scary stuff. But I would not have “discovered myself” without it and been able to look back on unhealthy behaviors that I’ve used in the past to fill that void. I find that since I connect with so few, when I do find someone who seems to “understand me” it’s like the earth has just moved. But, in the end logic won (thank goodness) and I am using the experience to gain a deeper understanding of myself, my thought processes and my Fe weaknesses with the hope of preventing this in the future & living a healthier life.How do other personality types react during and after their “grip experiences”? What triggers them at the start and how do they eventually decide to “quit” their natural drug of choice?Comments welcome!


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About intpblogger

I'm a 29 year old female currently wrapping up my PhD in Neuroscience, which looked at the molecular underpinnings of learning and memory. I've just recently stumbled upon the fascinating world of personality types and how our type guides our perception of the world, the people around us and the decisions we make. I'm especially interested in the process through which neuromodulators, released during periods of stress, bonding and romantic love/limerence influence our personalities (and how this might differ between types). My posts will be based on a mixture of thoughts, personal experiences, ideas and things I've read along the way. Since I've traditionally stuck to the molecular/cellular side of neuroscience and possibly scoffed at social psychology in the past (ashamed) I only "discovered" Myers-Briggs theory and myself a week ago, after a seemingly long period of a what I would call an "identity crisis". But more on that later. As an INTP (I think), I'd like to think I have some unique insight to share with all of you, but I don't necessarily think I hold all the answers nor will I be able to express them as clearly as some would wish. So, I welcome all clarifications, challenges, criticisms, different perspectives, thoughts, personal experiences from other INTPs as well as all other personality types that choose to join me on this journey. The idea here is to gain insight into my mind and the mind of others through the mutual sharing of ideas, thoughts and experiences. Onwards.

2 responses to “An INTP “grip experience””

  1. pbzepellin says :

    Hi fellow INTP lady

    I dont know if this blog is still on – i have read your first 3 posts and i can tell you that every word, thought and feeling connects. I do not know if there have been other people who have commented and if i am just echoing their thoughts but i do feel i should leave my comment. I will of course be reading your other posts

    I can easily recognize the “grip” of Fe in my life too. Not in romance but in my work sphere and also in social life. And i do know i am prone to it in episodes – i can snap out of it, i think…over time but at that moment it is like i am obsessive. I work in market research and we make presentation of our findings to clients. There was one with this obnoxious client who was not letting me speak (remember INTPs always want to be listened to, not necessarily agreed with but it is important to us to be heard).. and i guess his sabotage of my presentation invoked the grip sequence. every point he said i wanted to counter argue with .. my boss .. most probably an ISTP intervened and actually asked me not to speak anymore.. which of course made the grip stronger and had me sulking and broody – which as an INTP was damn obvious to everyone in the room !! it definitely gave me an immature image. it didnt help that my boss kept disagreeing with my findings and well instead of defending my logic – said we will change things etc. Now obviously no one was the master of my findings but me.. so now i go over it – he may have intervened only because i was not handling the situation well. it may just have been with the purest of intentions but well i saw it as over bearing (INTPs anyhow dont trust authority, esp unearned authority) Since i was In the grip of Fe.. that made me resent him a lot. When the presentation got over, i managed to make it out safely and my boss asked if i was angry and i said yes.. blamed it on the obnoxious client but did not tell him he also was to blame which was what was going on in my mind. i am fairly happy that i did not blurt at least that out and then since i did not want any more social contact i went home…instead of to the office..

    When my boss the next day ventured to behavior . i did try to have a rational discussion – i agreed that i did not handle that well. now where he made a mistake was to try and point out possibly flaws in my logic.. which was kinda obviously not working. it was a round about discussion between a strong Intuitive and Sensor so it really led to nowhere. i think, though i am not sure, i am not sure if i was again in grip so was being too logical but i do know it was a honest attempt from my end to discuss study findings but well it led nowhere.. he kind of walked out of the conversation

    anyway i have been toying with the idea of leaving anyhow for a while.. and this incident provoked it and i went to him and said that this was not working for me.. and obviously not for him either so can i leave. he had given feedback earlier that he feels i am technically strong but not a people person – i think that is why he has been giving me reports and projects to do on my own. deal is I am incredibly P… and hate execution like any INTP.. so i procrastinate and delay things horribly. which obviously does not work for anyone…

    well thats where i am now. what i am not sure of.. is that if my decision to leave is feeling driven which being an inferior thing may not be the wisest thing to do.. or whether it is driven by the time i spent earlier analyzing and making alternate moves – in which the best ways was to freelance on own (since i am not a team player and am independent) or to go study. if i freelance i have the advantage of being independent which may drive me to be more responsible and make me more interested in Doing and finishing things 🙂 i have a discussion with my boss in a couple of days. i do see he wants to retain me and has indicated the same.. but i am not sure if that is prompted by the fact that he needs the staff strength now. there again, goes my Fe need to feel wanted and respected for myself.

    now i need to decide and it may just about be the most important decision i make as far as my career is concerned… Love fellow INTP

    • intpblogger says :

      Hi fellow lady INTP,

      Thank you for your comment. I can definitely identify with your struggles at work– I feel the exact same way when someone challenges my decisions/ideas/thoughts/etc, because when fully formed my ideas are usually well-thought out/researched and have become a strong part of my identity as an INTP. I’ve had the exact same strong outbursts at work when something does not go my way… being in the grip of Fe feels like (and must look like) a child’s tantrum. I’ve also recently (in the last year or so) come to the decision that I need to confront life as a freelancer (to lead a happier life), where I am “free” to make my own decisions about what I want to work on and how I want to go about doing it. I find there is too much energy invested in the initial stages of getting people to understand how I work best (and a lot of external pressures to work in the exact opposite way– as a “EJ”!), time and energy that could be better spent on my own projects/goals! The only thing I worry about is the loss of social support/structure, and like you said, the deep need to be needed, appreciated and respected for what we, as INTPs, can offer. However, my intrinsic motivation to accomplish something meaningful and important is very strong and I think in time, through writing/researching/etc, I can form a network of like-minded people who share similar values & goals, whether the network is formed in person or online, I’m not sure. I’d love to find more intuitive introverts, and I think the best way to find them might be online… lol…

      Best of luck in your work and life!


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