An INTJ is a logical deep thinker with a talent for solving problems and a focus on accomplishing goals. At the same time, the INTJ personality is full of contradictions — sometimes goofy, often very guarded, and prone to deep emotions about very specific things. These traits mean that no two INTJs are quite the same.
How do you know if you’re truly an INTJ, one of the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types? Below are 24 signs that, taken as a whole, will help you get the answer.
(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality test.)
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.
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?
If you want to learn more about yourself as an INTJ personality type, there are a few resources that can help. Check out these great guides from our partner site.
Want to embrace your INTJ strengths, and start achieving more in the process? We recommend this course: “Best Practices for Leveraging INTJ Strengths (and How to Be a Likable INTJ).” Includes access to a private Facebook group with nearly 200 success-oriented INTJs. Learn more about the INTJ course here.
You might like:
- 5 Things the INTJs in Your Life Wish You Knew About Them
- Learning About My INTJ Personality Type Made Me Feel Less Alone
- If We’re Being Honest, INTJs Are Actually Kind of Messy
- We Really Need to Stop Depicting INTJs as Villains
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