Long stereotyped as social outcasts, brilliant eccentrics, and unapologetic sociopaths, Rationals frequently find themselves as both beneficiary and victim to prejudice- it’s not enough that they’re powerful; they have to be misanthropic too. It must be something about those Killer Whales (ENTJs), Spiders (INTJs), Chimpanzees (ENTPs), and Owls (INTPs) that makes society want to brand them as the mustache-twirling, cat stroking archvillain that longs to rule- or destroy- the world. Perhaps it’s because a majority of Rationals rather like the idea of being a super genius, albeit an “evil” one, and find pieces of truth in the caricature. Of course, just because something is true doesn’t necessarily mean that the insight comes with nuance, and when looking closer at the relationship between Rationals and the majority of society, i.e. the Guardians and Artisans of the world, two things become clear: there are plenty of people who would love to be an NT, and there are even more people that have absolutely no idea what that means.
Power & Innovation
Rationals seek knowledge. This one statement probably best explains why so many people mistype themselves as an NT. Who doesn’t want to be certain that they’re smart? Is there anything more incriminating in present day society than to admit to having an average intelligence? And yet, for a Rational, wisdom is not about certainty. In fact, most Rationals would readily admit that they’re not certain they have it, declaring only that their life goal is to strive for it. In terms of how knowledge is used once attained, Rationals can be split into two groups: those that focus on application, and those that focus on invention.
The pragmatic Killer Whales and Spiders view knowledge as a tool to consolidate power. Whether they are building companies or designing systems, their ability to apply the information that they’ve meticulously collected helps them create entities that dominate their respective markets through pure efficiency. In the minds of these Rationals, every object has its true function, and these categorizations are determined not by tradition, but by effectiveness. There is a design to the world that the rest of us can’t see, and Killer Whales and Spiders take pride in ensuring that everything is placed in its ideal niche- think Aristotle’s taxonomy or Darwin’s evolutionary biology. However, this penchant for perceiving the world as a bunch of bits and pieces that need to be utilized for maximum impact can make these pragmatists appear cold and manipulative. They often do not take the time to explain their reasoning, seeing that as an inefficient way of spending their most valuable resource, time, and will concentrate only on moving their chess pieces into their precise positions, regardless of the fact that those pieces that they’re playing with are actual human beings.
Chimpanzees and Owls, while not dismissing applied knowledge outright, prefer to focus their attention on using data to spur invention. No idea is too ridiculous, no experiment too strange. These Rationals revel in pushing the boundaries of intellectual exploration, devising new ways for us to understand and interact with the world around us. Practicality is not a particular priority; Chimps and Owls are primarily concerned with building “cool” things and theorizing “cool” concepts. In fact, for them, novelty is more motivator than deterrent. Unfortunately, to have so many ideas bouncing around in their heads leads to a lack of focus, as Chimps and Owls can be the most scatterbrained of all the types. Misplacing important items is often the norm. In order to regain their concentration, they will go to enormous lengths to detach themselves- thus minimizing distractions- from the outside world, such as self-enforced isolation. This habit of withdrawing from society coupled with a complete disregard for physical limits places them at a tremendous risk for self-destruction- not to mention making their loved ones sick with worry.
Ideas, in and of themselves, are a contradiction. They hold tremendous power- in fact, a capability to drive the world- and yet, when it comes to their constitution, they are composed of nothing, save for the electrical charges bouncing from neuron to neuron. Ideas can be a complete mystery, and the struggle to comprehend the seemingly incomprehensible, to control the seemingly uncontrollable, that is the purpose of a life spent as a Rational. It permeates everything that they do. Whether it’s as a parent, a lover, or a working professional, a Rational’s first instinct is to seek a greater understanding of the current environment. This is the root of misunderstanding regarding NTs. It is not that they don’t love, it’s just that the way their love manifests itself is incredibly different than what is usually expected. When a Rational loves someone, their first instinct is not to protect, it’s to understand and enlighten. And when a Rational works, it’s not for the sake of productivity as much as efficiency. Moreover, most Rationals view love and work as one and the same- out of all the types, they are the most likely to be workaholics- a means for expressing the passion that simmers just below their cool veneer.