What Introverted ‘Rational’ Women Are Really Like

an introverted rational woman sips coffee

Earning labels from “ice queen” to “stuck-up,” introverted rational women — those with the Thinking preference in the Myers-Briggs system, specifically the INTJ, INTP, ISTJ, and ISTP — have a bad rep for seeming cold and unapproachable. They may relate to men more closely (having more guy buddies) and take an interest in activities that are not traditionally feminine (e.g. kickboxing over shopping).

This can lead to several identity — and existential — crises and anxiety from the fear of not fitting in (which is why some choose to wear a mask — fake it ‘till you make it). Doing so may ultimately backfire, leading rational women to go through periods of self-doubt and confusion.

This can be an additional stressor on top of the instability during adolescence. Luckily, life gets much easier for rational women as they mature and acknowledge and appreciate their Thinking preference.

Before jumping into details, it’s important to understand the one common personality characteristic of all rational women: the Thinking trait. Then, we’ll take a look at what the rational woman is really like.

(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)

What Is Thinking?

The Thinking preference is the executive decision-making function that all rational women share. It can be directed inward (called Introverted Thinking or Ti for short), focusing on the “why.” Or it can be directed outward (Extraverted Thinking or Te), focusing on the “how.”

Introverted Thinking (Ti) is a massive internal framework that analyzes data as it arrives. It seeks to build interconnections of ideas and formulate a holistic approach toward life. This translates to acquiring knowledge for its own sake. Thinking types that use Ti include the ESTP, ENTP, ISTP, and INTP.

Extraverted Thinking (Te) is a go-getter and goal-oriented. It’s based on logical reasoning and action, taking a pragmatic and incremental approach to problem-solving. Skills are learned according to its potential usefulness and implementation in the real world. Thinking types that use Te include the ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, and INTJ.

In general, rational women place a greater emphasis on logic and impartiality as opposed to harmony and relationships. (Note: they can understand the value of others’ emotions and their own emotions, but often don’t ground their decisions upon such factors.)

Rational Women in the Workplace

For many introverted women with the “Thinking” trait, personal gossip and complicated workplace grapevines are viewed as blockades to progress — something to be avoided at all costs. They prefer to get down to business and work instead of reluctantly participating in office politics — no room for brown-nosing here. Happy hours and large lunchtime outings are habitually waived, to some colleagues’ dismay. (After a while, they get the hint.)

A no-nonsense, straightforward attitude is often coupled with a serious case of the RBF. This means taking criticism in stride and moving forward, after the case has been closed with regard to emotions. Sugarcoating the truth or playing mind games will not register well with them, as they don’t possess the energy to go down that road.

With mental closure, rational women can systematically proceed onto the logical next steps and further action — whether it’s considering a career switch or opening a new financial account. The opinion of their second aunt or best friend will have next to no influence over what they consider to be the most logical decision.

In terms of McClelland’s Human Motivation theory, they are most likely to possess the need for achievement or power, compared with affiliation. This means they value goal-setting or influence over being liked by the group.

Independence is strongly correlated with both motivators, especially achievement. Meeting (and exceeding) their high standards and goals propels them to continue down their journey of self-development and seek greater challenges as they arise.

In Relationships

For “Thinking” women, the process of dating is a whole other animal altogether. It may seem to be lopsided or drizzle out past the sparks and adrenaline rush of the initial honeymoon stage.

Rational women are likely to place their work and self-development in the driver’s position, which naturally pushes romance to the back seat — and sometimes right in the trunk. They’re not going to buy into the idyllic notion of “the one,” and will actively work on a relationship if they’re set on it.

In relationships, they’re independent and self-reliant — often needing less emotional support and words of affirmation than some other women. In terms of the five love languages, this could translate to higher preferences for quality time and acts of service as opposed to words of affirmation or gifts (but of course, there are always exceptions).

The Struggles of the Rational Woman

As a rational woman myself, I’ve hit a lot of walls all the way through childhood and into adulthood. In hindsight, these walls resulted from:

  • Unintentionally burning bridges and hurting feelings due to my unfiltered directness of speech
  • Quickly pointing out the flaws in a situation instead of giving timely, constructive criticism
  • Viewing relationships in terms of a balanced points system instead of as gradual growth, for example, needing to “get even” instead of forgiving and understanding
  • Not knowing how to console those who are emotionally agitated, and hence becoming frozen in a state of perplex
  • Distancing myself from family and friends under stress instead of reaching out and sharing my struggles

One of the greatest uniquely human traits is empathy. It’s the one thing that pets and chatbots can’t emulate (though they do get pretty close nowadays): the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes.

When I was younger, it was far from second nature to imagine how someone else could possibly be feeling in a situation. Luckily, empathy can be learned and practiced like a flexible muscle, and over time, it became a habit that positively impacted my world.

The Strengths of the Rational Woman

According to Truity, only 25 percent of women are Thinkers, which puts them at an overwhelming minority compared to “Feeling” women. With gender stereotypes on top of all that, it can be a real challenge for them to relate to others. Again, empathy is the greatest trait that can be learned to develop meaningful relationships.


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Making an effort to learn emotional intelligence is one vital step in understanding the world of Feelers. Yes, the two can get along swimmingly with enough compromise and appreciation for each other. Even though it may be much easier to befriend fellow Thinkers, Feelers can provide an alternative point of view that can help you better approach emotions.

Rational women, you’ve got many strengths to offer the world: your natural leadership, attention to detail, ability to work well with your hands, analytical skills, and so much more. Embrace those characteristics and use them to your advantage — go get ‘em!

What are your experiences as an introverted rational women? How have you changed throughout the years? Let me know in the comments below.

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Lily Yuan is a minimalist with a knack for just missing the bus. As an INTP, you can bet her type has been (and still is) questioned profusely. You can visit her website or connect on LinkedIn.