Sherlock Holmes — The Sign of Four
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I’m going to take this opportunity some of the comments left on this post, which was about INTJs having difficulty doing things that don’t personally interest them. There were quite a few comments on that post that basically said, “Isn’t that true for everyone?”
Fair enough. Nobody finds doing things that they don’t care about as easy or satisfying as things they enjoy, but most other types can suck it up and do what needs to be done, and then, afterwards, feel accomplished (or at least relieved that it’s finished.) Not so with the INTJ.
An INTJ may pay their bills weeks late, not because they didn’t have the money, but because the process of paying bills is just too tedious. They may fail classes because they didn’t do any of the homework because they found it dull and redundant. They may live in constant clutter, or just throw away a particularly dirty dish because cleaning is too monotonous. They might not sleep for days at a time because sleeping is boring.
And it’s not just that these things are uninteresting. To an INTJ, doing something that doesn’t interest them is indescribably exhausting. Sherlock Holmes demonstrates this perfectly. When bored, he will lay around for days on end, not even speaking, he’ll sink into depression, he’ll shoot holes in the wall, and he even took up cocaine just because he couldn’t bear monotony. Likewise, when something catches his attention, he won’t eat or sleep or do any of those “normal routine” sort of things as long as he’s on the case. Later, in The Sign of Four, Sherlock sums it up by saying, “I have a curious constitution. I never remember feeling tired by my work, though idleness exhausts me completely.”
This is certainly one of the weaknesses of the INTJ type, and is often marked up by others as simple laziness, but it’s so inexorably linked to how their minds work, to all the things that make this type great, that you would never be able to have all those positive qualities without this unfortunate side-effect.