Of the 16 personalities on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, INTJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging) is one of the rarest. With 1 to 2 percent of the population falling into this pathology, it’s no surprise that INTJs may sometimes feel like an alien on Earth. With a reserved demeanor that favors pragmatism over emotion, the type is often used as the framework for villains in stories.
From the outside, INTJs can seem cold and distant. Internally, they can often find themselves struggling with their identity more than other types. In case you are in that situation, or just need a reminder, here’s some of the best parts about being a rarity on this planet.
1. Always Looking to Improve
Sure ‘The Mastermind’ may be the given title to INTJs, but ‘Tinkerer’ could work just as well—if ‘tinker’ didn’t have such a wonky sound to it. INTJs are constantly on the look out for ways to improve the world around them. This may annoy those that don’t understand the inner workings of an INTJ. Often they are almost always going to be their own worst critic. They often look for fix-up projects for themselves, or the people in their lives. It sometimes may seem meddling, but most are reserved enough to only help when asked. Once they do commit to a project, they are in it until the end. Anyone with an annoying but lovable parent might be able to understand.
2. Comfortable With a Quiet Night
Like other introverts, INTJs are perfectly content with a night on the couch. By themselves or with their comfortable circle, INTJs love a low-key night. It’s not saying that they don’t like to go out at all (some don’t). It’s that they spend energy when they’re out in highly stimulating situations, where most of the world (extroverts) feed off that stimulating energy.
For many INTJs it runs a bit deeper. Their sanity can sometimes be linked to their need for privacy and quiet. Many pursue solitary activities like reading and writing to regain their energy. This can explain why many of them appear extremely irked when someone disrupts their private time. If they fail to communicate this to the people around them, the INTJ can come off exceptionally cold and distant. It’s something they should look out for at times.
3. Mental Quickness
The whole ‘Mastermind’ stuff might have tipped you off to this, but mental quickness goes deeper than that. INTJs are a witty, innovative bunch that has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Consider them pack rats of wisdom, if you will. Once they have the knowledge, they use it to analyze and reach new insights of their own. Sometimes, they use it to better understand themselves, which falls back onto their desire for self-improvement.
In professional settings, they are often in math, science and computer fields that require an extensive amount of knowledge. One thing any INTJ must be aware of is that this high level of knowledge can be a dangerous combination when mixed with their unusually high levels of self-confidence. Too much of that can turn most people off, which may be why they are often reserved and to themselves. Notable INTJs include Karl Marx, Ayn Rand and Stephen Hawking.
4. Rebellious Free Thinkers
Did you ever have that silent, brooding kid in your high school? A loner, a rebel, but not the Pee Wee’s Big Adventure kind? If so, that misunderstood rebel very well could have been an INTJ. You see, it’s not that they want to rebel. Instead, they just don’t conform to many social norms the rest of the world accepts. The younger generations are shifting this way now, but INTJs have questioned authority as long as their nature has dictated. Just because someone holds a title of authority or seniority does not mean a thing to an INTJ. Respect is earned by everyone.
Their propensity for big picture thinking can further isolate them, as they tend to think less about the world around them. Mixed with their high levels of research, it’s no surprise that many INTJs believe that they can make positive changes in the world. See, they’re not evil masterminds like the movies make them out to be!
5. Extremely Loyal
One of the more frustrating aspects of an INTJ can be their extreme loyalty mixed with their high standards for honesty and morality. Loyalty and steadiness are highly desirable to them, but it can take some time to develop. Their reserved nature isn’t just some form of social aversion. Instead, they are gauging what could come of their potential relationships. To some, this approach can be maddening. For INTJs, it’s a highly effective way of going about life.
Once you have earned the loyalty of an INTJ, you have made a lifelong friend that often doesn’t let new people in. But, if you breach that trust it can be near impossible to gain back. Their trust can be lost by the slightest social norm that is otherwise accepted in society. For INTJs, the acceptance of white lies and other commonly accepted actions is not so easy for them—if at all. That can make their hardline loyalty the kind of bond you’ll never have to worry about losing. If you think you can sneak something past an INTJ, you may want to reconsider before losing a potential friend over something small. Then again, try to ease up every once in a while, INTJs. The world doesn’t see it your way all the time, or ever.
Most INTJs are hard to sway once they have made up their minds, but that isn’t the case when they are forming their opinions. INTJsare actually one of the more open minded kinds of people. While there are certain ones that may not embody that mentality (Looking at you, Putin…) INTJs are often part of the most progressive group in the conversation.
This can be puzzling when factoring in their judgement (J) tendency. How does the tolerance work with all that judgement? One key point to remember is that like all the pathologies, each person is on a scale. Each person will be different. Or, if you asked anINTJ they’ll probably have an elaborate way to describe how it works for them.
7. The Rational Approach
What may drive others crazy is one of an INTJs strongest characteristics. They take pride in possessing a strong, pragmatic approach to life, but it comes with a down side. While most of the world jumps for what they want, an INTJ takes their time—deciding if it fits their fickle standards. This can make relationships a massive issue for them. Then again, that rationale allows for them to also separate emotion from situations. It can rub people the wrong way because an INTJ may not be matching the emotion of those around them, but that’s just how they are.
A rational approach can be a problem for the INTJ as well because they seek precise answers, which is not the way a large amount of people operate. However, once they get those precise answers it allows them to go into their heads and optimize the heck out of the situation.
8. Keen Observers
As previously stated, trying to get something past an INTJ is a dangerous game, my friend. Whether it’s big or small, an INTJ could react rather harshly if you get caught. The reason for that is their observation that rivals an owl. The ability comes from their introverted intuition being a dominant factor in their personalities. This fosters their mental quickness because of the constant flow of knowledge they take in.
When not using this to be amateur sleuths, an INTJ can use their observations to optimize a situation. They can remove themselves from the action to see what is going on, or hone in on a person during a conversation—especially if the INTJ is lacking anything to say on their end. Just be sure to break your gaze every once in a while, INTJs. You don’t want to have anyone think you’re a creep or anything.
9. Hardworking, Determined to Achieve Their Goals
A lazy INTJ is something you will rarely come across. They are workhorses, but only when they want to. Good luck getting them to quit once they have found a subject they are in to. They will stick at it until they know it inside and out. Long hours of practice and studying excite an INTJ because they know they are that much closer to perfecting their task. Between their work ethic and mental prowess, it is no surprise that they often excel in tasking situations. Where others often become exhausted, INTJs remain charged behind their new found knowledge. If you can’t find your INTJ loved ones, check where the books and computers are first.
10. Natural Leadership Abilities
When so much of their personality steers towards wise, fair leadership their reluctance to be the focal point puts their true ability to change the world into doubt. Their pragmatism and foresight allows them to make rational strategies that often come to fruition. Yet, frequently they will remain quiet unless they deem no one else fit for the leadership role.
Once in the role of leaders they can be highly effective. However, their nature to disregard emotions over the greater good of the cause can rub people the wrong way. A great INTJ leader should consider branching out of their comfort zone to factor emotions in while remaining their typical pragmatic self.