I don’t blame my INTJ-ness

I really don’t.

Lorna Timbah
2 min readMay 10, 2014

Not at all.


I do admit that, 95 percent of the time, I need to make a very conscious effort to soften my features. I first found out about my default scowl face back in 2010, after taking the Keirsey Temperament Sorter for the tenth time and getting INTJ for the sixth or seventh time. I started reading the INTJ forum. I was shocked at how accurate the temperament described me. I hated it.

Then I started reading about the INTJ death stare. And I remembered how my mom used to refer to me as her “daughter with the scowl.” So I decided to do an experiment — time my webcam every few minutes to snap me as I sit in front of the computer doing work, or surfing, or just doing stuff that I normally do.

It was an eye opening experience, as I stare at photo after photo of me supposedly relaxed and calm expression. God, I looked horrendously scary. No wonder people sometimes stop at my desk and asked me if I had a good day.

Since that day, I have to consciously control my facial muscles as to not look too tensed or focused, which I hated because I’m the happiest when I focus but apparently it’s scary as crap. Sometimes, though, my son would call me out of it.
“Mom, you looked like you wanted blow off on that guy,” he told me one time, after an acquaintance dropped by our table at a cafe to greet and chat briefly.
“What?” I answered. “I was merely focusing on what he was saying.”
“Yeah. You might as well bite his head off.”

Out of curiosity, I did the same webcam test again today. You know, in case I grew out of that INTJ scowl.
Big mistake. Or maybe not. At least now I know.

And so my struggle for a pleasant facial expression continues.



Lorna Timbah

Back-end Web developer, Blogger, WordPress + Google + open source fangirl. Theoretically pragmatic optimist.