25 Struggles Only INTJs Will Understand

INTJs are the rational, intellectual masterminds of the MBTI. Representing only 2% of the population, this type is wildly underrepresented and largely misunderstood. Here are a few of the everyday struggles of this infinitely complex type.


1. When you want to explain something concisely but instead end up giving a three-hour speech on the origins of this particular school of thought and the various opinions that surround it because you can’t bear to explain only part of the bigger picture.

2. When someone tries to change the plan at the last minute, not understanding that you now have to re-construct the entire day (and all the corresponding scenarios you might encounter throughout it) mentally – which takes much more time than you’re being given.

3. Everyone assuming that you’re glaring at them when you’re really just concentrating intensely.

4. Having the intelligence and decisiveness to be a revolutionary leader but completely lacking the patience to deal with the people you’d have to lead.

5. When friends or coworkers encourage you to ‘lighten up!’ or ‘smile!’ as though that is going to solve the problem that you’re working on.

6. When you have no choice but to follow an inefficient rule and it makes you die a little inside every time.

7. People constantly assuming you’re shy when really you just aren’t interested in wasting mental energy conversing about 90% of the topics that are brought up over the course of a day.

8. Your brain’s tendency to mull over each social interaction for weeks after the fact, analyzing what you could have done or said differently.

9. When your argument is valid, well researched and factual and yet the person you’re presenting it to still won’t accept it because it doesn’t correspond to their precise worldview.

10. Always coming up with the perfect comeback three hours after you need it.

11. When you can recognize the value of making decisions quickly and yet your brain refuses to do so until you’ve mentally cycled through absolutely EVERY possible outcome first.

12. When a conversation with someone doesn’t unfold the way you meticulously planned for it to in your mind.

13. People assuming you’re being antisocial when you’re really just surveying your environment, trying to understand how to best interact with it.

14. Being deliberate and thoughtful in your approach to building relationships, in a world full of people who are careless and flakey in their approach to doing the same.

15. Having a vague, nagging feeling and requiring hours – if not days – to pinpoint what it is and where it’s coming from.

16. Being forced to exist in a world where communication is largely subtle and implicit (and therefore wildly ineffective).

17. On the flip side, having your particular form of subtlety go completely unnoticed by others when you do decide to implement it.

18. Constantly developing strange, niche interests that even you don’t completely understand.

19. Constantly being called heartless by others, when in reality you experience deep, complex emotions just like anyone else. You just prefer to wear your logic on your sleeve rather than your heart.

20. Holding yourself to ridiculously high expectations at all times and therefore feeling the impact of failure much more intensely than others seem to – because you know without a doubt what you’re capable of.

21. Holding the people you care about to similarly high expectations, despite knowing that you can’t control their actions.

22. Being perfectly capable of ‘Relaxing and enjoying life’ – but only after all the items on your to-do list are checked off.

23. Being idealistic in your ability to perceive optimal outcomes to problems – but realistic in your understanding that nobody’s going to be willing to put in the necessary work to achieve that outcome.

24. Becoming inexplicably stuck on small details or seemingly insignificant pieces of information if they do not fit into the system of logic you’ve constructed internally. To others, it looks like fixation. To you, it’s just the unyielding need for everything to remain logically consistent.

25. The constant desire to give up on the external world altogether and become a hermit – but the corresponding understanding that as a hermit, you would be unlikely to get anything meaningful done. And so, life as you know it goes on. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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