The INTJ is logic-driven personality type with a talent for solving problems and a focus on accomplishing goals. INTJs are capable of forecasting far out into the future with an astonishing level of accuracy. Out of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, it’s possible that no other type is more focused on strategic planning than the INTJ personality. They are sometimes nicknamed the “Mastermind” personality. Perhaps the only area where an INTJ doesn’t seem to be able to predict the future is in their own personal lives; INTJs rarely factor their emotions or happiness into a plan, and can find themselves locked into careers, relationships, or patterns that they no longer enjoy.
If you’re an INTJ, you’ve most likely felt misunderstood or “different” for a good part of your life. You’re not wrong: INTJs in general make up just over 2 percent of the population, and female INTJs are even rarer (less than 1 percent of women are INTJ). And an INTJ’s particular set of strengths and weaknesses compounds the problem. INTJs tend to be critical-minded, blunt, and focused on getting results — not a recipe for casual chitchat. As a result, many INTJs avoid social settings and focus on ideas, projects, or work. They tend to form deep, close relationships with a small number of trusted individuals, and those friends mean the world to them.
Those same traits, however, can make the INTJ a force to be reckoned with. INTJs tend to stand out in just about every field, especially business, science, philosophy, and literature. Famous INTJs are believed to include Susan B. Anthony, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, C.S. Lewis, Richard Gere, Isaac Asimov, John Maynard Keynes, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Elon Musk. (To learn more about the INTJ, you may want to read the entire INTJ description.)
Do you possess the mastermind personality type? No two INTJs are exactly the same, but if you relate to most of the 24 signs below, you just might be an INTJ.
Signs That You’re an INTJ
1. You have a sixth sense for inefficiency…
You often sense the problems in a system as soon as you look at it—whether it’s how a restaurant is set up, a client’s Internet marketing plan, or the features and settings on an app. You can do this even if you’re not an expert on the field or subject.
2. …And competence makes you giddy
Conversely, you get an almost spiritual sense of satisfaction when you witness displays of extreme competence, from a major leadership decision to the actions of a single store clerk.
3. You have a plan
You’ve always known you’re meant for something bigger than punching in at a 9-to-5 job to pay the bills. You want to use your capabilities to do something that matters—and to have real accomplishments. The problem? You have no idea how to get buy-in for your Big Idea, or you stress about having the resources to achieve it.
4. You bond over ideas, not chitchat
You have absolutely no desire to meet your friend’s friend, until they say something about a topic that gets your brain going. Then you want to talk with them for hours.
5. A solution is better than a hug
Your innate response to any personal problem is to look for answers and solutions, not to simply sympathize with the person. You cannot understand why this isn’t helpful, and you may get frustrated when people don’t want the help. Male and female INTJs share this preference, and INTJs of all genders are notoriously unhuggable — even when they could really use cheering up.
6. The universe fascinates you
One of your earliest memories as a child is realizing that other people have a whole inner consciousness just like you do, which leaves you lying awake at night in awe.
7. Can we speed this up?
You have considered whether “optimizing” your dating life by holding formal interviews might be a really good move.
8. No, this way
There’s always a “right way” to do things in your head, whether it’s how to dress a sandwich or how you load items in your grocery cart. Following the system might help make small tasks more efficient, or it might simply make sure you get the specific result you want. The only problem is you’re often bad at mentioning this, or explaining why you prefer it. As a result, you get super annoyed when someone doesn’t follow the “plan.”
When someone can’t find something on Google, you take great pleasure in immediately finding it on Google. (And yeah, we know quote marks are way more useful and aren’t technically booleans. Because INTJ.)
10. Only if I know you
You’re a completely different person when you’re with close friends than you are with everyone else. You can be goofy, charismatic and outrageously funny, but remain very reserved with people who aren’t in your “inner circle.”
11. Not right now
When you’re feeling down, and a loved one tries to soothe you with comforting words, you pull away like they’re offering you a poisonous snake.
12. You give great advice, which people never take
If you had to list your biggest pain points in life, heartbreak might make the list, but #1 would be People Don’t Listen to My Advice.
13. You’re your own project manager
Your inner monologue is actually an inner dialogue, where one voice acts as a taskmaster and advises the other voice on what to do. In many cases, the taskmaster voice simply gives orders.
14. You speak Spreadsheet
You’ll never understand why people find Excel intimidating.
15. You can’t stand boring work
When someone asks which is more important to you, having an interesting job or having a meaningful job, you’re like, wait, I thought those were the same thing.
16. Your secret blind spot
You’re great at making life plans, but somehow you always manage to overlook how your emotional state will affect those life plans—or why that’s even important. Getting even a kindergarten-level education in your own emotions feels like you discovered profound truths about the world.
17. You sponge up knowledge
You casually but thoroughly devour information on a given topic until you are a near-expert, then get bored and move to a new topic.
18. You’re always striving
No matter what you do, you never feel like you’ve accomplished enough. This is what propels you toward great things, but it also leaves you feeling perpetually critical of yourself and your achievements. There’s always something bigger you feel like you should be on top of.
19. You work on your weak spots
You can clearly remember when you crossed the line from seeing social skills as something you “just don’t have” to something you can study, practice, and improve.
20. It’s complicated
You have complex, nuanced views about the universe that don’t fit in the usual “religious” or “atheist” boxes.
21. You do use social media…
…but you only started when you had a utilitarian reason to do so.
22. Envy is your worst trait
You don’t get caught up in a lot of petty emotions, but it’s hard to control the envy you feel when you see other people achieving more than you. (And you hate this feeling, but achieving more never seems to assuage it.)
23. You class it up
It’s hard to say why, but your tastes have always run toward classical and elegant things. You can find pleasure in a grungy dive bar or greasy spoon diner, but there is something about timeless beauty and dignity that meets a need in your soul—and you can see the failings in anything that falls short. The result is a desire for high quality things in your life.
24. You zoom out
Talking about small details is physically draining, and you have a hard time not daydreaming during casual chitchat. You’re more likely to be thinking about new technologies, space travel, medical advances, the evolution of humankind, the age of the universe, or competing understandings of the cosmos. When you meet people who can discuss these same topics, you hold them close like precious treasure.
Are You an INTJ?
Some of these signs are things a lot of people do, and every INTJ is going to be a little different. If you can relate to most of them, however, chances are good that you’re an INTJ. Want to be one hundred percent sure? There’s an easy way to find out: Take this free personality assessment from Personality Hacker and see your personality type in minutes.
More INTJ Resources
- 7 Secrets About Dating an INTJ
- 5 Things the INTJs in Your Life Wish You Knew About Them
- 6 Reasons Why INTJs and INFJs Make Great Friends
- 4 Ways INFJs and INTJs Can Develop Their Introverted Intuition
- No, I’m Not Cold and Emotionless. I Have a ‘Thinking’ Personality
- What It’s Like Being an INTJ Woman
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