12 type secrets of the INTJ personality

INTJ

Comprising only 2 percent of the adult U. S. population, the INTJ is a rare personality type that has a unique set of skills and abilities. People who identify as this type are analytical problem-solvers who naturally see the “big picture.” INTJs are eager to improve processes and systems with their original ideas. They have a knack for seeing possibilities for improvement, whether at work, at home or in themselves. Like their type “cousins” the INFJs, INTJs often become catalysts for real change. Whereas INFJs desire to better humanity, INTJs strive to improve systems. (Not sure what your personality type is? Take this free, quick personality test from our partners at Personality Hacker.)

Here are 12 less obvious aspects of the INTJ personality type:

1. They’re smart. Really smart.

INTJs tend to be life-long learners who are enthusiastic collectors of knowledge. You may find them reading non-fiction books, watching documentaries or conversing with those who they see as their intellectual equals. In fact, the INTJ is one of two types with the highest college GPA, according to Truity.com. (The other type? The INFJ.)

2. Their intelligence can be a double-edged sword.

INTJs are walking think tanks who streamline the world, writes personality profiler Antonia Dodge, co-owner of Personality Hacker. People of this rare personality type excel at developing long-range strategies, designing complex systems that can be replicated and finding any weaknesses in infrastructure. Unfortunately, our society tends to marginalize problem-solvers who ask us to overhaul the way we do things, because true solutions take time and require a painful transitional period. Living in a world that seems short-sighted can make INTJs jaded and cynical. On the job, they may feel like their true talents are being wasted.

3. INTJs just ‘know’ things.

INTJs use their dominant function, introverted intuition — which is their main way of taking in and processing information — to form impressions and develop theories. This function works passively and subconsciously, which means INTJs often know something without really knowing why or how they know it. This results in sporadic “aha!” moments, as introverted intuition suddenly reveals an idea or connection to them, seemingly out of nowhere. The challenge for INTJs is to translate their amorphous revelations into more rational, communicable forms, writes Personality Junkie blogger Dr. A. J. Drenth.

4. They can be perfectionists.

Valuing quality and accuracy, INTJs strive to constantly increase their competence. They work methodically and systematically on tasks, and they’re often perfectionists with very high standards of performance for themselves and others.

5. As introverts, they need downtime to recharge.

When they get talking about a topic that interests them, INTJs can appear to be extroverts. In reality, INTJs are true introverts who must frequently spend time alone to recharge their “batteries” and do what they do best, which is reflect, analyze ideas and make connections.

6. INTJs think critically and clearly.

People of this personality type tend to thoroughly examine information they receive. They think critically and clearly, and for INTJs, the true test of an idea is if it will work efficiently and effectively in a given context. They are generally quite curious about the world around them and want to know the guiding principle behind what they see. Often they have ideas about how to do something more efficiently, and they’re more driven by outcomes than personal feelings.

7. Female INTJs smash gender stereotypes. 

The INTJ personality type is rare, but to be a female INTJ is even rarer — only 1 percent of adult U. S. females identify as an INTJ (3 percent of males are INTJs). Both male and female INTJs tend to be reserved and analytical rather than chatty and emotionally expressive, so female INTJs may feel like they don’t fit the stereotypical expectation of femininity. Friends and family members, who may not fully understand the INTJ personality, may prod female INTJs to “just smile more and loosen up,” or they may question the INTJ’s lack of emotional exuberance. In reality, there is nothing wrong or lacking with the female INTJ’s communication style — instead, it is the natural way for the INTJ to be.

8. INTJs are selective in their relationships. 

INTJs value intelligence and authenticity in their relationships, and they are actually much more sensitive than they appear, writes Dodge. For this reason, INTJs are highly selective about the friends or partners they bring into their life. When it comes to romance, INTJs often have clear ideas about what makes for a solid relationship, and they are often unwavering in their pursuit of this ideal, according to Truity.com. They can be almost scientific in choosing a mate, and they often have a rigorous list of requirements their partner must meet.

9. INTJs need partners who give them space.

INTJs make loyal and devoted partners in romantic relationships, but they are highly independent, so they value partners who give them enough space to pursue the interests that are important to them.

10. INTJs may struggle to act.

This is because their dominant function, introverted intuition, is a perceiving function, not a judging function. Perceivers feel more comfortable taking life as it comes, while judgers tend to actively shape their lives, relationships and environments. “More proactive types, such as ENTJs, might even deem them somewhat lazy or apathetic,” writes Dr. Drenth. “But calling INTJs (or INFJs) lazy is to miss the point of what it means to be a Perceiver. Since INTJs’ first and foremost job is to Perceive rather than Judge or act, functioning in a passive mode of perception is actually their most authentic form of ‘work,’ work that can ultimately be of great benefit to society.”

11. Many INTJs have made incredible contributions to society.

According to Truity.com, famous INTJs include Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Greenspan, Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll, Cormac McCarthy, and Sir Isaac Newton.

12. Real personal growth happens when INTJs turn their theories into action.

INTJs are wired to be agents of change, so producing ideas and developing theories without actually implementing them feels unsatisfactory. The way INTJs can grow and develop themselves on a personal level is by actually putting their theories to use. “When an INTJ gets into action and begins reaching mile markers, their concepts are no longer abstractions. They can be vetted, improved upon, test/iterated,” writes Dodge. “But most importantly, the INTJ is making an impact on their environment, which may be one of the most satisfying things they experience.”

Image credit: Deviant Art


What’s your personality type? We recommend this quick, free personality test from our partner Personality Hacker.


Read this: Introverts’ and extroverts’ brains really are different, according to science


Read this: 21 signs you’re an INFJ personality type


 


35 Comments

  • INTJFemale says:

    Rather accurate on most counts, excluding No. 7, regarding Female INTJs and the ‘changing of stripes’ to something more chatty, nurturing, and feminine. I am a young INTJ female, a few years away from 18, and I have yet to meet anyone with an Extroverted personality that is truly nurturing or maternal. Every Introverted personality type person I have met has been, either very nurturing and maternal or instinctually knowing what to do with their own/other people’s children or others in need of support. Extroverts seem to have a façade of parental expertise, but their children are, more often than not, merely another ploy to expand their narcissistic vortex.

    For example, Mrs. Anony Mous constantly posts pictures of little Timmy scoring his first goal on the little league soccer team, hashtag ‘Feeling proud.’ She receives many likes and comments, making sure to comment and like every person back. (Obviously, if she were really proud of her son, she would have told him or showed him in some way more personal than on a social media page that will receive a grand total of five minutes of glory before being swept away in the sewer plant of Forgotten Facebook.)

    I am a second-generation Introvert. My mother is an introvert with an INFJ personality (guess I one-upped her there, heh). She used to have a social media page, and others – her more extroverted friends – would force and beg and nag her to post pictures of her children/activities/self/etc. She later gave me the page so I could communicate with my friend who lives out of state. She is the most in-depth, maternal, motherly, and (sometimes) mollycoddling woman I know. A stay-at-home mother proud of her home status and an excellent mother to her children.

    My father is an extreme introvert, INSJ, I believe. He had a social media page my mother created for him and he used a grand total of once to speak with an old military comrade. Not only is that page gone, he never once used it for pictures of his kids, himself, his activities, his work, or anything at all. If he is proud of something one of his children has done, or if one of us kids are upset about something, he will pull us aside and confront us one-on-one to talk with us.

    I have yet to see an Extrovert really use their children the proper way by not using them for self-gratification, and instead treating children the way parents should provide for their children. I’ve also never seen an Extrovert helping others emotionally or supportively without overtly screaming it to the world on what good people they are.

  • Intj female #2 says:

    INTJ FEMALE– I am a 51-year-old INTJ female and I think your assessment concerning extroverts is dead on. Why? Because I have been saying a version of the same thing for decades. With extroverts it is all show and words but no real action or honest, engaged concern. They rarely ever truly inconvenience themselves or actually scrafice to help another human being. It is all smoke and mirrors and part of the never ending “_______ Show,” (just fill in the person’s name). That’s what my introvered daughter and I refer to the continous sagas that we are just all “extras” in–the “Bill Show” or the “Debbie Show.” It is all about them all the time and their children are in a sense just “extras” too in their show.

  • INTJ Female #3 here – ive found there has been pressure for me to change my stripes, I am often told to talk more – and sometimes when I do – I can be told I am too loud, too intense. Social situations like weddings make me the problem child – maybe I didnt dress right or refuse to dance – which makes me look rude or people come over and ask me whats wrong.

    If I am quite people asking me- if I am OK -gets me paranoid “maybe there is something wrong with me after all!”. I have had “you should loosen up” before too – which is a strange thing to ask. When I get questions like these when I am completely comfortable in a situation it makes me want to walk out of the room. Nothing is wrong with me this is just me being me. It is shame most people don’t understand or ever consider in their lives that we all have different personalities and are not clones of one another.

    • Kim says:

      Beautylavender, you are so right on. You are not alone with your thoughts and others’ actions.

    • Doug Jenkinson says:

      Yeah, that ‘If I’m Okay’ thing is definitely irritating to us INTJ’s. I usually don’t reply or give them a funny look, basically throwing that nonsense back onto them in a direct or indirect way. I think INTJ’s garner a lot of personal power through their silence and this rubs others the wrong way.

    • Aaron Langley says:

      I completely agree. My partner was worried yesterday because I was quiet and full of thought, she asked cautiously if everything was alright. I explained that most of the time I am happy and that most of the time I am quiet, therefore if I am quiet then I am most likely happy 😀

  • EmikoNiwa says:

    Woah, woah, woah. On number 9. Introverted Intuition IS a Judging function. I think the issue is with introversion as a whole. It’s a passive/reactive assessment tool. In inverse of the extroverts active/passive tendencies. That, and the action function (Se in both INFJs and my cousin the INTJ’s function list) is the inferior function. It takes awhile to get a Introverted intuition dominant person to act, but when we do. MOVE. You’re in the way.

  • INTJ Female #4 says:

    I (a 15-year-old INTJ) semi-agree with point seven. There /is/ a lot of pressure for INTJs (women especially) to put on a feeling, extroverted facade that society seems to love, but from my own experience INTJs aren’t really a type that cares about peer pressure. INTJs may realise that what they are doing isn’t exactly the norm, but unless they gain something from conforming, they’ll probably just continue on with their lives as if nothing ever happened.

    Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I actually enjoy not being the caring, maternal type that most people seem to want women to be. It’s not that I’ll go out of my way to be rude, but staying silent while somebody spreads misinformation helps nobody, even if you’re doing it to prevent their feelings from getting hurt.

    • garbage says:

      As a 36 year old fellow female INTJ, I’d congratulate you for your recognition of the fact that INTJs aren’t really a type that cares about peer pressure but then again, it does come to us somewhat naturally, (we can be kind of “bright” like that without also being anything close to resembling sociopathic), and also the whole, “unless they gain something from conforming, they’ll probably just continue on with their lives as if nothing ever happened” thing. You may find that these traits will come in very, very handy to you in the future.
      Consider this a mild warning from a woman INTJ 21 years your senior: there’s a very good chance that, (especially if you’re considered to be physically attractive by others), should you continue on for many years not wanting to be the maternal type or to eventually acquire any children to raise, you may eventually get essentially harassed by well meaning but possibly not-the-wisest people on the planet to bear your own biological children. Some, (and this includes members of each of the two most common genders), may even become fixated on it to the point of harassment where it truly begins to make you uncomfortable. They will think that there is something wrong with you, even though you will know full well that there isn’t & that you have other priorities. Just try not to let it get to you… but then again, based on what you’ve written here, I suspect that you’re confident enough never to. And if it helps at all if you ever find yourself about to snap at them but want to stop yourself before you actually do, just remember, (if you’re a “science buff,” anyway), that’s it’s quite possibly just a matter of evolutionary pressure acting through the herd. The highs they were on from endogenously produced breeding hormones during their own pregnancies and much of the subsequent bonding they experienced with their own personal offspring later on makes it very, very easy for some of them to promote these experiences in others because they won’t quite be intellectually able to understand why a particular individual woman may not want to experience that in her own personal lifetime. Also, it appears that some literally experience confusion and even emotional pain at the thought of you not taking their advice to heart. In my opinion, this is simply all a part of that evolutionary pressure basically acting through them. Harmless overall and (usually) easy enough to ignore, so also out of compassion for them, my advice is to not take it personally especially because they mean so well, (but then again, we tend not to, unless, like you already mentioned, we can clearly see that we’ll gain from the experience, lqtm). (And don’t listen to the buffoons when they tell you that you just don’t know that you want children yet; many weaker people have fallen into that trap and have genuinely ended up regretting it – which is something truly tragic & to be pitied.) I’d say best of luck to you in the future whether or not you ever have children, (biological or adopted), but again, I suspect that you won’t need any in confidently navigating the course of your own life. 🙂

      • Athena says:

        That savours strongly of bitterness.

        This 35 year old INTJ with six (yes, six!) kids will caution you to simply reflect on your own heart. Don’t discount the what the realm of motherhood can bring you. I found after my first was born that I had a deep “momma bear” instinct, and I fiercely love and protect my babies! Yeah, I can only stand other’s children for so long lol, but having my own has not only been the greatest challenge I’ve faced (I had twins with special needs) but even more so it has been a journey immensely fulfilling and validating for me. They are my joy.

        I’m certainly not your “typical” maternal mother… I get all manner of odd looks, unsolicited comments, the list is long! With maturity you come to realize that most people are well-meaning, even if they are exasperating at times. Beware of those who belittle others, it’s usually the means they use to feel better about their own selves.

  • […] Read this: 10 Type Secrets of the INTJ […]

  • INTJ LADY says:

    Extroverts are awesome human beings. We should not stereotype or generalize just because they’re ‘Extroverts”. There are a lot of factors that should be taken in consideration, not just personality type. It just takes some understanding on how they (Extroverts) see the world, communicate and express their emotions. I’m an introvert and I enjoy the company of Extroverts. I love to interact with people with different values and personality types. Knowing your personality type should not create a barrier between other types. For me, it should promote awareness and more deeper understanding. 🙂

    • Akiko Nakamura says:

      Totally agree. There are a bunch of extroverts I’ve known over the years who I’ve been quite fond of. Some are downright lovable. I know exactly what some of the INTJ ladies are talking about “farther up” the thread in terms of shallow-seeming behavior, but I’ve got to say that I’ve seen at least a couple of introverts engage in that as well – but I remember to do my best to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope that it’s really not so shallow & self-serving. On the flip side, I’ve seen extroverts who are genuinely warm and friendly and who would never even think to use their kids as props so callously, which is comforting. 🙂

  • INTJ Guy says:

    I’ve read and written about INTJ’s for many years. But I’d never heard this quote:

    “Creating sustainable models are the crack cocaine of INTJs.”

    It really grabbed me as “creating sustainable models” is very much what I try to do on a day to day basis. Nice to hear it spelled out.

  • Doug Jenkinson says:

    A lot of this is really true. I call the exoskeleton my ‘invisible armor,’ – being an INTJ and seeing things in their perspective it shocks us when people say or do things that have no basis in knowledge or truth, often deeply affecting us – we can see things the way they are, why can’t others? Often, at a younger age, I found myself pelting people with the truth until they saw the light, something I’m still compelled to do by nature but don’t, it just isn’t worth it, especially the sleepless nights worrying a bone that few gave a hang about. It gets better the older you get. My IQ scores are usually around 160 and there is no reason for it other than I’ve read and absorbed information all my life, and stored it away, and have a good recall
    mechanism in my head. Also, I’m a perfectionist.

  • Donna says:

    I am INTJ and I am comfortable — for the most part — in who I am. I’m 40 something… I am not into fashion but I dress nice (rather non descript). I went to an Engineering college. I used to program. I do not have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. because I am Not into posting my life or my child’s life on these forums … I “might” get on these when my son gets of age only so that I can keep up with what he’s doing.

    Either you love me or you don’t. In general I won’t conform to something just because everyone else is doing it. It has to make sense or have a valid reason behind it. I like to think for myself. This can make some people uncomfortable. Why? I don’t know…

    But embrace your strengths and improve any weaknesses you may have… This is your “new” project. Enjoy

  • Kat says:

    I’m a 16 year old, female INTJ. I’m often told either behind my back or to my face that I am a “cold bitch” that cares for no one. I make very rational decisions and care for only a select few in my life. I try to “change my stripes” to appear nicer and friendlier to my peers, but it just makes me have more stress over every social act I do. I am trying to balance how much I talk in class because I am a “know it all”. I don’t try to come off as a bitch. I’m just like a robot and if anyone in my class actually got to know me other than my few friends, they’d realize I was funny and did a lot more than just know everything. A friend of mine jokes that the tone of voice I’d use to kill someone is the same as me explaining the weather.

    • Athena says:

      Just hang in there until college. I loved the freedom and acceptance I found on campus! It’s a different world out there. 🙂

  • Alexandria says:

    I have to say I am a true blue INTJ. I just found out yesterday and finally have an explanation to why I am so “different”. I asked over a million questions as a kid (I’m 44 now), was a quiet observer and always wondered why everyone of my peers were just plain stupid. I never told them, but when I attempted to explain given views or situations it was always as if I was speaking another language.

    You teens out there, don’t fret. Things won’t get better but you will be out of high school soon and won’t have to be subjected to the nonsense much longer. Don’t worry too much about what they say about you cause they’d have to know you to understand and they don’t on both accounts. As to the reference on voice tone, I’ve heard that one a lot. We are just not excitable people, even when we are truly excited. I don’t believe I’ve ever jumped for joy.

    The rule I’ve followed since I was a teen is: I will follow the rules of society as long as they are reasonable; otherwise I’ll follow my own rules. We all have one life to live and we can each live it any way we see fit. This is why I can care less about people who want to romantically be with people of the same sex. Or religious fanatics as long as they don’t try to convert me, then its another story.

    As far as how females should act, I get it. My mom tried that on me. Didn’t happen.

    To the reference about extroverted types, who cares. One life, Glass Houses and all that good stuff.

    KIDS

    Teens, DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE! Being a parent is exceptionally hard.You will have to be the nurturing caregiver to a selfish, demanding, illogical, unreasonable cry-baby that you love beyond life itself. And they’re not baby turtles either. You have to do everything for them until they learn. I have a 17 year old and a 5 year old and I freaking know what I’m talking about.

    If you are wondering why I have a second child its simply because my 10 year old at the time, who has an ENTP personality type presented a sound and logical argument with a touch of guilt on why he should get a baby brother or sister and I gave in. This kid has incredible critical thinking skills so the conversation in and of itself wasn’t unusual. What a fool I was.It didn’t occur to me then but there is a reason why you shouldn’t give your kids everything they want.

    Please don’t judge me, I’m not interested in what the world thinks about that decision. I’m feeling the consequences of that choice every time I have to put out a fire out with my emotionally high strung, strong willed, bossy little five year old. Did I add F for feelings?

  • INTJ female here and learning about my personality has changed my life. I no longer try to fit in or get along. I love my ability to see the larger picture and I used to get infernally frustrated when others could not understand as easily as me. After many years of strategically developing my INTJ giftings I find that it is not really worth the time or effort to try to explain to others what I intuitively understand. It is better just to go about my business of being awesome…document my findings for those who will appreciate it 100 or 1000 years from now and dismiss those that are not able to comprehend. No need to expect everyone to be able to keep up and that is very freeing. I am now able to live the life I want and pursue the things that are important to me and no longer care if anyone else understands or not.

    • “I no longer try to fit in or get along.”
      Gretchen, I KNOW, right! And isn’t it so freeing!

      The only downside is that I find it extremely hard to stay in jobs for long. As soon as things begin to go downhill… a bad manager, downsizing, micromanaging, etc., I tend to bounce because I simply cannot take it and I can’t pretend and become an asskisser. I feel life it too short to stick it out, but unfortunately this labels me as a job hopper.

  • wahyu says:

    Hi, my name is Wahyu from Indonesia. I’m an INTJ person and I very happy to red it. LIke I found myself. Please write more about INTJ 🙂

    THanks a lot!

  • INTJ Female #5 says:

    “You may find them reading non-fiction books, watching documentaries or conversing with those who they see as their intellectual equals.”
    I just wanted to comment on that last part. I am an INTJ female (14 years old), and I’ve found that the only people I can/could speak with about a topic that I think actually matters and is interesting to talk about (not the last episode of [Insert current popular TV show here] or meaningless small talk about the weather/plans for the weekends) are my two older sisters (both INFJs), my grandfather (retired college biochemist professor), and my substitute math teacher from last school year. On rare occasions, I can have meaningful conversations with other people such as a few of my friends, my mom, or the ceiling of my bedroom. It doesn’t help that I am labeled as “shy”, even though I don’t consider myself so. I simply enjoy sitting back and listening, observing, and thinking. I’m not a loud person, so that may affect how people approach me or what they are comfortable talking about because it doesn’t fit the stereotype. It also doesn’t help that everyone around me act like a bunch of dogs chasing each other’s tails in a giant circle until they pass out from exhaustion.
    Anyhow, I enjoyed the list. Thanks!

  • Vasili says:

    Hey there. I run a YouTube channel where I talk about INTJ stereotypes and behaviors… and I would say that all of this is very accurate.

  • Gosia says:

    Hi girls 🙂 non-native english speaker INTJ here. I just want to say I needed dictionary to understand most of your comments (although I used to think I know at least tacit eng quite well – so I dont mind if you correct my mistakes;)) and damn, I felt goofy ;> but at the same time I realize I do the same thing while speaking with other people in my mother language – use “hard” vocabulary and speech style. Now i dont consider it’s wierd only some ppl actually likes me, even if i’m so cool, pretty, smart and funny 😛 Part of them must wondering “What the hell is her problem?”, lol 😀

  • Maria says:

    As a female INTJ in my early 20s, I have noticed some similarities to what some of the others are saying about maternal feelings/instincts. I have always helped out in my church nursery, and even teach a 3y/o Sunday school, without particularly enjoying it. Having said that, when my sister started having children something about being related made a huge difference. I love being around my niece and nephews and I’m sure when I have kids that will only be magnified.

    As far as being called/feeling “cold” or “unkind”, I can only partially relate. I used to think something was wrong with me when I wouldn’t have as obvious of an emotional response to certain events as the people around me. Sometimes I still feel as though I’m being cold. Thankfully, I’m rarely unkind. This is largely because my parents are some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet.

    When I first took the M-B test a few months ago, I was so relieved. I finally knew there were others out there with the same struggles/strengths, no matter how small the percentage.

  • Kate says:

    Oh my dear teens, you’re way ahead of the game. I’m 35, I moved from a very small town to a very crowded suburb in Florida when I was about 14. I was in gifted from first grade on. I took all AP classes, graduated with over a 5.0. I had one real friend (I was with the same 20 people all day for four years). I knew in 6th grade that school was just one of those social conventions I had to attend to. I hated school from the time I moved here and I never once took it seriously. High school is not serious. Believe me when I say you will never see those people again. I graduated early (INTJ trick if you take AP English you get your English credits and can leave in December. No one tells you that the last half of your senior year doesn’t count for anything. Your GPA is calculated in December, nothing you do after that time will count. So take a look at your scholarships, don’t discount any and run for it. I immediately got a full time job and went to school full time, only went back to graduation because my parents made me. I had already forgotten everyone’s names. I hated it but it made my parents happy and sometimes you have to pick your battles. Use this time to try new things. Take different classes. I took ceramics, creative writing, philosophy, and even home ec. The same person who took AP Calculus as an elective took home ec. Everyone needs a break, I can make pretzels for 30 minutes. Just don’t take it seriously, take nothing personally. Everyone is trying to find out who they are or trying to compete with someone. None of it matters. What you see in high school you will see in various work environments later. So observe people. Watch your teachers. Be yourself. A lot of us will try to “be like everyone else” sometimes, try to care about prom, clubs, etc. Just be you. Talk to your guidance counselor at least once, they’re the ones that will get you scholarships you didn’t even know existed without you having to do anything. Have fun with your senior quote. I quoted my cousin while everyone else quoted Shakespeare (sheep). When you see a kid sitting by themselves or someone who doesn’t have a partner, talk to them. I know, its not our jam but you could make a huge difference in that person’s life just by choosing to sit by them. They’re quiet too. Now you have your own non-clique clique as I like to say. Silent solidarity. We INTJs are not cold and unfeeling, we just don’t know what to do with the feelings or maybe even know what exactly we’re feeling but we usually know exactly what someone else is. I never know how I come across: indifferent, bored, uncaring, a snob, a bitch, a know-it-all. Not really my problem. I’m only physically here anyway. I have no sense of time, I buy Christmas presents that get sent 6 or 7 months later. It’s just who I am. I love the way things look when they’re color coded or arranged by height, topic, etc but I can’t maintain the system to save my life. Its just not that important. I like the process more. There’s always a better or more interesting way. Sorry so long, just a few words of advice came pouring out to my fellow INTJ teens. I get it. It feels real and it sucks while you’re there but its only for a little while. You’re already ahead of the game, so just use your time to learn about other people. It’ll help you out later. You’re going to meet the same people over and over and you’ll know who you can deal with, tolerate, help, or just walk away from. Intuition is key, don’t ignore it. It’s never wrong. Also I got the same crap from other people about having kids. “It’s different when they’re yours” “who’s going to take care of you when you’re old” “I never knew what love was until I held my first child” Good for you breeders. I love my freedom. I felt the urge for about two months but I recognized it for what it was, plain old biology. Ignore them or just smile and nod. If I really wanted a kid, there are plenty out there for adoption. I don’t need a piece of my DNA following me around driving me crazy. And I’m not going to be a “soccer mom” and sure as shit not going to all those ridiculously overblown birthday parties. Don’t be pressured, they won’t be taking care of this baby, you will. That means no more privacy. No quiet. No PBS documentaries just some stupid Barbie BS or the newest form of Ninja Turtles. No thanks. If you just want to love something and carry it around, get a chihuahua. It’s like a quiet, adorable toddler that you can dress up and always loves you. Freedom is everything and there isn’t much I’d give up for it. I need it to live. Be strong.

  • Kate says:

    INTJ frustration! Just wrote a really long post only to have the server quit and not post my data. Anyway, I will paraphrase. Teens: high school is just a social convention we all have to attend. It’s not important. You won’t see any of those people ever again. Don’t take it seriously. Don’t take anyone personally, who knows what they have going on. I’m 35 now, being out wasn’t a thing AT ALL even in the late 90s. My ex-husband was on his own from 16 on. Just be yourself. Find your one friend and just enjoy watching the show. Tip: you can graduate early. Yeah, that’s right. Christmas break could be it for you. I took honors and AP everything, they tried everything to convince me to stay. Secret: nothing you do after the first half of your senior year counts towards your GPA. So if you want to leave, take AP English and you’ll have your English credits early. That’s usually the only thing preventing you. They try to put it in the last half of your senior year. Take your scholarships and run. Use your time to watch people. There are only a handful of truly different people in the world and you will meet them over and over again. Learn early what you can and can’t put up with. Some people just aren’t going to like you and vice versa. That’s ok. More time for me. Always talk to that one person in class who’s alone or never has a partner. Just because we don’t show our emotions doesn’t mean we don’t see loneliness when it’s right in our face. Send yourself one of those stupid hearts or candy canes they sell. It’s fun, or send one to your nemesis, even more fun. Pay no attention to all those people trying to pressure you into going to college or having kids or even getting married. Those things are not for everyone. I graduated with a 5.0, full ride scholarships, still haven’t finished my degree. Guess what, I just like everything. You love your freedom? Like silent book filled evenings? Children are not for you. I want to be able to do what I want when I want. I don’t need a piece of my DNA following me around to validate me. I know what love is. I don’t have to have myself reflected back to me to know it. (That’s what it is you know and its also what makes them not get along) Sometimes I’m very social, its hard work and draining but I do it every once in a while. Makes people feel a little more at ease, makes it look like I care, and its fun for me to see how people react to it. I know, I should use my intuition and intellect for good but sometimes you just need to experiment. For example, I refuse to say good morning and I will not say bless you. One, I’m at work so it’s not a good morning I just say hello, that is what they really mean. I don’t say bless you because this isn’t the middle ages and I don’t believe the devil came out of you and I have to quickly bless you so he can’t get back in. Why is this a thing? Why don’t we do it for other bodily functions? It’s ridiculous and I refuse to participate in something when I know where it came from. Just like Christmas. Stop mixing your religions. When you are honest about why you do what you do, I’ll join you. Santa, reindeer, trees, horrible music, nothing to do with Christmas (unless you are not a Christian then go for it). I’m way too principled and rigid on these things but they are important to me. Be honest with yourself and what you’re doing. I have no patience for sheep. If you don’t know why you’re doing something then don’t do it. If you don’t know and don’t want to find out or aren’t even curious, I have no time for you. I looked these things up in third grade. I can’t do something or follow a rule if I don’t know where it came from and why we’re doing it. You tell me why, then we’ll see. I don’t blindly follow. If that makes me “a grinch” or rigid, so be it I will be more so if it bothers you that much. You stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine. We’ll both be happier that way.

  • I’m a 40-something INTJ female. I’m also a Pisces.
    You might think the two wouldn’t go together but they do.
    I have all the above traits. Introverted, bookworm, academics came easily for me. I detest authority for authority’s sake: respect must be earned, and I have little patience for bullshit and office politics. I can spy disingenuousness
    and hypocrisy a mile away, and I’m often perplexed why others cannot.
    Once trust is earned, I am your most loyal advocate. Yet I am also a creative dreamer who can easily be cut to the bone by others. And I never forget and seldom forgive.

  • kaycae says:

    Luckily, my mother was an ISFJ. I have had a very good relationship with her ever since I was a child. Her and I “get” each other, and I swear it’s almost as if we read each other’s minds. It’s so weird sometimes xD
    – Female INTJ

  • INTJ girl says:

    I had seen something about Hillary Clinton being an extrovert.
    Anyways… I am a female INTJ. Thank you for your posts. I can finally understand myself. I’m also a teen, so being an INTJ is especially difficult. I recently started going to a new church, and I haven’t really talked to anyone. Do you have any tips for an INTJ to introduce themselves and feel comfortable around people they don’t know?

    • Tabitha says:

      INTJ Girl, I can’t tell you how to feel comfortable around people you don’t know if you just don’t feel it. Instead of focusing on trying to feel comfortable with strangers, focus on what you want. If you would eventually feel comfortable once you’ve made some meaningful connections, then force yourself to endure the discomfort of the initial connections as you reach out to get to know others. If you don’t act first, the relationships may never start as there are a number of reasons why other people don’t reach out to newcomers (and it’s not all because they’re introverted as well; many are just selfish). It’s helpful to remember in life that you will probably never reach a point where you don’t have to do something uncomfortable. What’s important is being able to distinguish between uncomfortable things that should be eliminated from your life because they’re more trouble than they’re worth, and uncomfortable things that are a means to a logical, desirable end. 🙂 A couple tips from my own experiences getting involved in churches: don’t latch on to the first person you hit it off with, and be wary of anyone who latches onto you and doesn’t seem to have any other friends in the church. Churches can be pretty tough places to crack because not only do you have the possibility of years and years worth of existing friendships and family ties, you have the added burden of the strata of religious achievements and spiritual standing, as it were, that further divides and complicates the fellowship process. Whew!

  • Tabitha says:

    30 yr old INTJ female, type discovered this year after testing twice and exhaustively studying the subject for several months. Such a peaceful moment of everything falling into place. Was so impressed by the characteristics of an INTJ that I didn’t feel worthy of the title the first time I tested and spent 2 weeks in denial, thinking such a personality type too wonderful for me. Retested purposely trying to be honest to a fault and avoid possibly getting INTJ just because I wanted it. Scored more strongly than ever as an INTJ. I also mimic the characteristics of a HSP. Scored a 7 on Raskin narcissist test. Homeschool mother of 4 children 8 and under. (The littlest isn’t in school yet). I birthed all my children w/o any meds. I sometimes feel like I love them conscientiously (I meticulously weigh every decision to be in their best interest, which is preparing them for adulthood; I put myself last as a reaction to having been raised by a narcissist mother and not wanting to copy her; I am fairly physically affectionate because I see their need for it but it grates on “my don’t be touched and always be clean and dry” preference). I pretty much don’t know what to do with other people’s kids (that’s being nice). I extend courtesy to the existences of my niece and nephews. Currently have no best friends. I was the one to break off every friendship I ever had that ended (which hasn’t been all of them, mostly the “best” ones), and there were several. Hmm. Back to the kids, I feel guilty that I sometimes feel they’re too much trouble, even though I know the philosophical value of concepts like sanctity of life, perpetuate human race, experience miracle of loving small people, etc. Ever the hopeful cynic, statistics assure me their upbringing is no guarantee of their eventual turn-out in adulthood.

    I know what it is like to constantly swim upstream, health-wise, educationally, religiously. Imagine being a Christian and never once in your life having found a good church fit. Unfortunately for the bad example it sets my kids, I’d rather not go to church than go and feel wrong. (We do currently attend for the children’s sake.)

    So much more….

    To anyone reading, if you’re not married or have had kids with someone yet, plz familiarize yourself with yourself first before adding other people to it, especially when those people become legal obligations.

    I think I’ve hit the highlights of my personality clichés here…overanalyzing, second-guessing oneself and doublemindedness, anti-what everyone else is doing, not caring about some things, caring too much about others, having conflicting opinions about everything, anti-social by choice, and sounding calloused in my last sentence above. And using too many parenthetical clauses. Also something I’ve always been able to do is stand outside of myself and my situation mentally and evaluate them. The first time I discovered myself doing that in teenagedom it was wonderful, the only kind of out of body experience I’m interested in. No side effects either.

    Also, when I was 13 a bunch of people at school (one of 2 years I wasn’t homeschooled) decided that I needed to “loosen up and smile more.” Exact. Words. The villain side of me wants to fly on my broomstick back in time to them, laugh in their faces, and say, who’s loosening up now? So I guess I am evil, or crazy, or something. The HSP part of me cares about the previous sentence.

    P.S. I think I’m terribly funny but the only humorous things people hear me say are the stuff I’m dead serious about. Also, I feel pretty narcissistic talking so much about myself on this page….but after years of being a misunderstood INTJ (mostly involved with people with narcissistic personality disorder) you just long for a connection…hopefully someone can read this and appreciate it, just as I have appreciated all the comments I’ve read here.

  • Hi INTJ girl, from a 40-something INTJ girl! How INTJ is this…in Jr. High I decided to study the popular kids the way Jane Goodall studied Chimps. For real. I observed their behaviors and how they interacted with various people (higher status vs. lower status) and once I had figured it out, I started copying it. Soon I was percieved as being “too cool” and had lots of people wanting to talk to me. I was still myself, I just carried myself with more (percieved) confidence, and didn’t care if people liked me or not. It’s the herd mentality – act like you know where you’re going, and the followers will follow!
    OK, but that wasn’t really answering your question…when meeting a new person, use friendly body language, like smiling. Find something about them – a piece of jewelry, book, shoes, whatever – and comment on them. Be genuine. Like, “Oh, I see that’s a biology book. Do you have Smith? I had him last year.” Those little connections can start conversations, real conversations. Which is what we want, not idle chit chat. Good luck!

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