Psychological games that people play : 9. The Observer / Investigator

the investigator

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For my first post on this series, please click here.

Much as society places emphasis on the extroverts and the ability to be eloquent and articulate, there is a group of individuals whose character lies in the opposite end of the personality spectrum. It wouldn’t be fair to say that such individuals are all introverts and/or shy but stating that most of them are wouldn’t be too far off the mark. And they would surely be glad to play the role of the Observer / Investigator.

“While the strengths of the extroverts lie in mapping out their thoughts and building rapport with others through their speeches and conversations, the Observers / Investigators have their strengths deeply entrenched in mere observation, using this act to investigate and questions the enigma of life itself. They might turn this curiosity in a direction of their own choosing, such as in philosophy (along the lines of Platos, Aristotle and Socrates), science (in the footsteps of Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawkins), criminal investigations ( along the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Dr Watson), nature ( exemplified by Diane Fossey (“Gorilla in the Mist”) , Charles Darwin and David Attenborough), and many other diversified fields of (at times esoteric) interests.”

Often quiet even in social occasions, the Observer / Investigators are at times regarded by others as somewhat mysterious or queer, what with their deep focus and observation on what is happening around them. While they do respond to questions and verbal prompts by others, they almost never elaborate much on their replies, choosing instead to focus on what sustain their interests. Passive by nature, most would rather that the conversation topics progress in a natural cycle, choosing to take part, instead, on what sustains their interest.

“In addition, the Observers / Investigators usually have a rich inner world. It is thus, not surprising to find that most of them seem to drift in and out of this physical realm. Often immersed in their thoughts and mental conceptions of ideas, they are often what others would have considered as “space cowboys”. This is especially so if their field of interests lie in abstract subjects such as philosophy and spirituality. However, if their interests are in more concrete areas such as criminology and science, then this will bring their focus closer to the five human senses and hence, closer to this materialistic realm.”

Because of their strong focus and emphasis on details, most Observers / Investigators are also dedicated and meticulous writers, often zooming in on aspects of things in our surrounding that most of us often do not notice: a crack on the wall, an insect crawling across the table, a fleeting grin that appeared and disappeared from a person’s face almost at the same time, a hesitant pause before a person’s reply, or a constant noise in the backdrop of a phone conversation.

One can say that the Observers / Investigators are sensitive to a fault. They might even be considered Highly Sensitive Persons, a term first coined by Elaine N. Aron.  And its precisely this religious fixation on things and people that elevates their observation skills to a level matched by only a few. Through this observation, the Observers / Investigators are able to figure out things that most of us aren’t able to.

“Most Observers / Investigators are often voracious and avid readers, which makes them knowledgeable, especially in the fields of their interests. Couple this with their knack for associative thinking and we have a recipe for the thought leaders (the Observers / Investigators) of the world.”

What business professionals do for the world through their actions, the thought leaders often do the same with their thoughts. If business professionals are considered to the doers and the implementers, then the Observers / Investigators are the thought leaders and creative visionaries that shape these businesses. Often, one cannot do without the other.

 “More mighty with the pen than the sword, the Observers / Investigators share a closer affinity with the intellectual aspects of life, often opting for professions in the creative arts, psychology, publishing, education, research and development and law enforcement. This is because it is through these fields that the Observers / Investigators are able to fully optimise their potential in contributing their thoughts and ideas to this world. The competitive environment in the business and corporate world may not be suitable for most if not some of them. Ultimately, what they need is not a colosseum to take out the mightiest of gladiators on chariots, but a quiet and serene-like environment where their thoughts and ruminations can materialist, and eventually be brought to fruition.”

Assertiveness and domination have never been their forte.

Their strongest strength lies ultimately in intellectualism.

the perfectionist

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Alter ego of the Observer / Investigator

 The Perfectionist

Meticulous to a fault, the Observer / Investigator will turn into the Perfectionist, the term of which has a negative connotation in modern times. Searching for the impossible, chasing after one’s shadow, running an endless race or living a fruitless dream are some common remarks being thrown at such individuals in their pursuit of perfection.

However, it cannot be denied that chasing after perfection has its use, since most masterpieces of the world – be it in writing or visual imagery – arises from a perfectionist’s initial mental conception and eventual materialisation.

“In the midst of my pursuit for perfection, I often chance upon the next best thing – idealism” is a response that most perfectionists would have told us if we question their faith and devotion to perfectionism.

In the next blog post, I will conclude this series with my thoughts on the subject.

Stay tuned. 🙂


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