Those four letters are the Meyers Briggs Personality Test results that most describes me.
It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.
With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. INTJs enjoy sharing what they know as well, confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive (N) and Judging (J) traits, they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip.
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.
INTJs radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with INTJs’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect.
This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – INTJs will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where INTJ personality types run into trouble.
One Reflects More When Traveling Alone
INTJs are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.
INTJs are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. This isn’t meant to suggest that INTJs act without conscience, but to many Feeling (F) types, INTJs’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type.
- Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind
- High Self-Confidence
- Independent and Decisive
- Hard-working and determined
- Overly analytical
- Loathe highly structured environments
- Clueless in romance
INTJ PERSONALITY AND EMOTIONS
More mature and Assertive INTJs find more useful ways to manage their feelings. While they will never be comfortable with a truly public display of emotions, INTJs can learn to use them, to channel them alongside their logic to help them achieve their goals. While seemingly contradictory, this can be done in several ways.
Firstly, INTJs are goal-oriented, with long-term ideas founded on sound logic. When something does cause an emotional reaction, good or bad, that energy can be used to further those goals, aiding rational and pre-determined plans. Secondly, emotions are figurative canaries in the coal mine, indicating that something is off even though logic can’t see it yet. These feelings can help INTJs to use their logic to ask questions they may not have thought to ask. “This is upsetting. Why? What can be done to resolve it?”
There comes a time though, when logic is simply the wrong tool for the job, when there just isn’t a rational solution to a problem, and it is in these situations that INTJs must use their Feeling (F) trait most clearly. INTJs would do well to practice this from time to time, or at least be aware of it, because however they may try, it is impossible to truly separate emotion from the decision-making process. The fact is that INTJs do feel, and deeply, and this makes them better, not worse.
The positive side of INTJs’ “giving up” is that they are most attractive when they aren’t trying to be attractive, working in a familiar environment where their confidence and intelligence can be seen in action. Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy, and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction.
INTJs seek strong, deep relationships, and trust their knowledge and logic to ensure that their partner is satisfied, both intellectually and physically.
INTJs are bewilderingly deep and intelligent people, bringing stability and insight into their romantic relationships. They prize honest, open communication, and all factors of the relationship are open to discussion and change, but this must be reciprocated. INTJs do what they think is right, and sometimes that comes across as cold – it’s important to know that INTJs don’t make these decisions lightly. They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong, especially if they’ve devoted themselves to the relationship, and they certainly hurt deeply when things fall apart.
The challenge is finding partners who share those same values – though Intuitive (N) types are uncommon, they may be a must for many INTJs, as sharing this trait creates an immediate sense of mutual belonging. Having one or two balancing traits, such as Extraversion (E), Feeling (F), or Prospecting (P) can help to keep a relationship dynamic and growth-oriented by keeping INTJs involved with other people, in touch with their emotions, and open to alternate potentials. (My husband is and INTP, I believe).
INTJs will keep up with just a few good friends, eschewing larger circles of acquaintances in favor of depth and quality.
Further, having more than just a few friends would compromise INTJs’ sense of independence and self-sufficiency – they gladly give up social validation to ensure this freedom. INTJs embrace this idea even with those who do fit into their social construct, requiring little attention or maintenance to remain on good terms, and encouraging that same independence in their friends.
When they are in their comfort zone though, among people they know and respect, INTJs have no trouble relaxing and enjoying themselves. Their sarcasm and dark humor are not for the faint of heart, nor for those who struggle to read between the lines, but they make for fantastic story-telling among those who can keep up. This more or less limits their pool of friends to fellow Analysts (NT) and Diplomat (NF) types, as Observant (S) types’ preference for more straightforward communication often simply leaves both parties frustrated.
It’s not easy to become good friends with INTJs. Rather than traditional rules of social conduct or shared routine, INTJs have exacting expectations for intellectual prowess, uncompromising honesty and a mutual desire to grow and learn as sovereign individuals. INTJs are gifted, bright and development-oriented, and expect and encourage their friends to share this attitude. Anyone falling short of this will be labeled a bore – anyone meeting these expectations will appreciate them of their own accord, forming a powerful and stimulating friendship that will stand the test of time.
Now that you have read (probably) too much about me. I would like to briefly discuss the Meyers Briggs Personality Test and hit some highlights of my INTJ personality type. Click this link to read more on how the origin of how the personalities are measured using 16 Personalities.
The letters for your personality run as follows
I or E – Introvert or Extrovert
N or S – Intuitive or Sensing
T or F – Thinking or Feeling
J or P – Judging or Perceiving
That being said… no one is always 100% an I or 100% an E. For example, I fall around 55% introverted & 45% extroverted. (Other personality tests have proven this to be true.)
A few key points I see prevalent in my day-to-day coming and goings
INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.
Most people think that because you are quiet, you have nothing to say. Or, because you are private, you do not ever contribute. I say WRONG. We all have a voice with opinions, dreams and desires. If I do not share what they are, or make it obvious… does not mean they do not exist or that I purposely want to keep them from you.
White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.
I do enjoy small talk, but I DO NOT like being lied to. I strongly reject lies of any sort and if you lie to me, you will likely be placed on a list of people to do not associate with until trust is regained. Honesty IS the best policy. I would rather you hurt me by telling the truth, then lie to try to please me.
Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy, and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction.
I typically do not make friends easily, as a lot of people see me as serious or cold-hearted. Truth be told, I am typically in my own brainy thoughts and comfortable there. If you talk to me and I do not know you, I will be polite and kind. Sometimes, this confuses my friends in public places. I can only attribute this to the small percentage of the warm/ extroverted traits.
Why would I OPENLY PROVIDE you with all that glorious goodness of how I work/ think/ feel/ sense/ etc?
Because I have a story of stepping outside that INTJ personality. A story that made me SO thankful for God’s goodness and mercy. (I was recovering from a nasty cold, with head & body aches, praising & worshiping God through the “storm”).
Last Sunday, we HAD Church. Our hearts were open to receive, the Holy Spirit stirred us, and our minds were renewed with the Word of God. It was a glorious service all around. After it finished, I was speaking with my Mother-in-Law on stage about a woman I recently became Facebook friends with who started serving in the Church. (Let us call her Lauren). Lauren had a well-kept profile with many examples of love, kindness and authority. I was intrigued. After mentioning that I would like to connect with Lauren, there she was in front of the stage at the altar, praising God.
I NORMALLY do not do this, but I told my Mother-in-Law I was going to go to talk to Lauren. Now, I had no idea what I was going to say but I felt this peace as I was walking towards the altar. Standing in front of her, I say ,”Hi Lauren. I do not know you and you do not know me, but I was looking at your Facebook profile a couple of days ago. I was impressed… wait, that is not a good word. I was admiring your leadership potential.” I began telling her how I saw a leader in her among women and that God was going to use her mightily. She started crying. I told her that I admired her strength and even though we do not know each other personally, I am blessed by her presence and was glad to have her in the church.
She was wiping tears and telling me that it was confirmation from God. I hugged her and said she was blessed.
God uses us where we are at. Yield ourselves to Him and he gives us ability to do more than we could ever think or imagine. No matter how “stone cold” or “soft” you might be.