30 INTJs Explain What They Do To Heal After A Heartbreak

Each type handles heartbreak a little differently. As rationals, INTJs often find themselves wanting to make logical sense of their heartbreak – but that isn’t always the fastest road to healing. Below, 30 INTJs share what they do to heal their hearts when they’ve been broken.
 Natalie Allen
Natalie Allen


“When I’ve been heart broken I’ve always had a process. Initially I seek solitude, break contact with friends and family for a few days, read, listen to music, and think. Then, I surround myself with people, as a distraction when I start to feel lonely. Now, in order to actually move on and feel better, I’ll analyze the relationship, and the process helps with this. I initially analyze it myself, then I’ll bring in other opinions to validate or invalidate my findings. After coming to a conclusion as to why it didn’t work, and why I’m better off, I’ll remember the experience to dissuade myself from romantic entanglements with other people who will hurt me in a similar fashion.”


“I think first and foremost, it’s important to physically take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Feed your body nutritious food. Shower. That, alone, will help you manage your moods better. Remember that while it’s ok (and necessary) to spend some time alone to allow yourself to process the hurt, you also need outside interaction. Seek out a good friend or two to spend a little time with. They can help get you out of your head when your thoughts are overwhelming you. Finally, find a new goal to pursue, or a creative outlet. Sometimes being able to immerse yourself in something new or different can bring healing self-awareness and insight.”


“I tell myself all the reasons why the relationship was not sustainable and how unhappy my future would be. I go out and do the things I love, but sacrificed to keep my partner happy.”


“Remember that the most strategic thing is to move on, keep emphasizing to self the logic of this decision and futility of dwelling on the past, try to shut down emotion altogether for a while until things pass to gradually move on and slowly allow self to feel again.”


“I have always loved this passage from The Once and Future King by E. B. White:

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”


“I tend to indulge in sensory experiences: shopping, partying, eating and drinking heavily. I’d advise people of my type not to behave like me, I mean, not to let inferior Se take the lead of their actions.”


“Emotionally I will feel brittle. But I won’t binge or overdose on anything. I will take a slow walk, meet up with close friends or (this sounds bizarre even to me but I have done it before) attend a social event of my personal interests, where I’m in an environment conducive enough to distract myself and interact with a couple of people, and at some touchpoints of the conversations I would hopefully rationalize what transpired to the outcome. And as I reached several episodes of ‘epiphanies’ as to why things didn’t work out, I would have already felt better and be more accepting of the reality. My advice to the other members of my type; especially when we are so prone to analyze just about everything, would be: Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that not everything has an answer, and as long as we are accepting and mindful of that fact, with respect to the various idiosyncrasies and characteristics we may encompass, even if it meant having made a mistake, or being dealt unfairly to. Things will look brighter and promising from then on.”


“I talk through it with someone I trust. And I mean REALLY trust. It’s not a one time conversation thing. It happens in moments of everyday movement. Something will come up and I’ll need to talk about it again. I over talk it. Talk it to death. I talk through the logical things, and I write through the emotional ones. I’ve never been great at voicing what I’m feeling, but if I write it down it takes shape. It becomes less crazy and more orderly. And I don’t give myself a time limit. I talk, I write. Until I become annoyed with my own obtuseness. That’s when I know the healing is taking over the hurting.”


“I don’t do much out of the ordinary. It’s business as usual. The one difference is that I will ask hundreds of questions about the situation. The asking of questions serves a purpose though, I need closure. If I am left in a cliffhanger type of situation I don’t get the closure I require. This can lead to a lot of negativity, which frankly in that situation I don’t need. Regardless of whether I get closure or not, I never completely move on as I’ve got the memory of an elephant – when it comes to important moments in my life. Thus there might be things people say or do, or sensory (see, smell, hear, etc) things that I experience that remind me of the person or situation that caused the heartbreak. Thus the memories of the event always linger, but thankfully the emotions that I experienced going through it do not resurface. My advice to fellow INTJs is this: Ask your questions, lean on friends, rant on an anonymous forum and get the negativity out. Heartbreak sucks, but you need a clear head to deal with it. I typically use a technique of speaking out aloud to a mirror, or laying my thoughts on a close friend. This allows me to hear my own thoughts, enabling me to get a different perspective on it. This is a neat technique I actually learned from work, when I am given a difficult task I often bounce my ideas off a colleague that usually solves my problem.”


“I got heartbroken when I first experimented with love. I pushed my partner too far and one day she didn’t come back. I had to remind myself daily that the pain I was feeling wasn’t real because I was merely trying to get used to not having this arbitrary individual in my life. In retrospect, I was probably suffering from the Zeigarnik effect. I never felt heartbroken in my subsequent relationships because I was prepared and I understood the mechanics of a relationship. My advise for heartbroken INTJs is to remind yourself that whatever pain you’re feeling is merely your brain going into withdrawal from familiarity, and that this is probably the last time you’ll feel like this.”


“As an INTJ I’m all or nothing. If someone has passed through all the logical checks and I have let them into my heart they are special forever. I have temporarily felt better post-breakup when distracted by work or dating another person, but it hurts to know that exact feeling with that exact person will never be recaptured. Most of us INTJs don’t let that many people in, so it’s not easy to move on from the few we do. My recommendation is have an outlet for your emotions – whether that’s writing, or art, or something. If you have nothing you could become depressed. And don’t forget about your family. INTJs may be fiercely independent but they have to lean on their loved ones when needed just like any other type.”


“I completely shut down. I fold in on myself to protect myself and get myself together. Then reboot.”


“I give myself a day to indulge in the feelings of sadness and regret so that it won’t bother me that much in the future. During those moments when the memories come back, I accepted it and reminded myself that there’s nothing that I can do about it. Also, I focused my energies on something more relevant, like learning a new skill or reading new books. For my fellow INTJs, you know the drill. Give yourself some time to overthink, accept the fact that it’s already finished, then move on and achieve greatness.”


“I rationalize the breakup, convincing myself that not only was it inevitable, but necessary, as I am better off without them. Though I may cry myself to sleep, most of the time I will choose to build a wall between myself and the pain that this person caused. They do not deserve the passion of my heart.”


“When I’m heartbroken I need to be alone. I deal with heartbreak in either two ways.

(A) I escape from the world and immerse myself in what I’m feeling. After significant alone time I’ll go visit areas or initiate in activities that remind me of my previous partner while participating in new opportunities for self growth. I.e. read, take up new hobbies, study psychology articles, spend time cultivating the meaningful relationships that I might have neglected when I was in a relationship and seek new people or experiences. I rationalize the breakup is for the better until I accept things and move on. This is contingent on if the closure presented during the break was amicable.

(B) Now if there was no closure or if the breakup was volatile then I seek answers and try to draw conclusions to help me close that door behind me. I’ll ruminate about the situation while throwing myself into distractions. Aka anything with immediate gratification and pleasure such as going out or drinking, this stems from the resentment that’s built up from not receiving full closure. I stay stuck in that cyclical routine until I eventually snap out of it realizing my actions aren’t conducive to moving on and now resort to all the actions mentioned within option A.

The biggest piece of advice I’d give to others of my same personality type is that it’s okay to let yourself feel every emotion that comes with a breakup even down the the depth of pain. Dealing with emotions is never comfortable for us because we’re constantly fighting this battling of being understood and trying to seek the same level of logic that we try to follow. We see emotional outbursts as a lack of control and a weakness. Instead of bottling up our emotions it’s best to unload your feelings and confide in someone close. Be confident in allowing yourself the time to heal, that needing that time isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being human. Also, to accept that sometimes we won’t have closure or answers as to why the breakup ended and to just let things unfold naturally no matter how much we hurt.”


“I hide. I find myself in a corner, back to the wall, literally. In the corner of my house, in my bedroom.I put something against my back. And I research the shit out of everything. I question and question and question… what did I miss, why did I think that way. And I blame myself for getting me into this particular place. I should have known better. This then leads into… I will never let this happen to me again. And now, I’m safe and exceptionally lonely.”


“I require time alone. I try to be my own best friend. Since I naturally tend to think my way through life, I need to remind myself to take time to identify and feel my feelings and honor them. Journaling helps me to process my thoughts and my feelings and accept them. I am now able to reach out to friends for support, but that wasn’t always the case. Show yourself the love and empathy you would show to others and find the things that give you comfort, peace and joy.”


“I’ve learned that I don’t really feel sadness like most people feel it. I tend to brush it off (or so I think) and choose to be happy. The problem is that sadness doesn’t go away through denial. It’s still there until you process it. It’s the only way to move on. So, now I will tell myself to ‘feel what I’m feeling’ and intentionally process it. I don’t fight it anymore. I know my process. I have to think about it, analyze it. Allow myself to feel it and cry. I will also talk to God about the whole thing and sometimes a really close friend. Making my internal thoughts external is a huge help for me in the process to ‘figure out’ what I’m feeling and how to move on from it. This ‘unsticks’ me from the infinite loop of the same thought playing on repeat. My advice to other INTJs: Be as intentional with your heart as you are with your brain. I feel like the heart is the silent partner for the brain of INTJs. When our hearts are healthy, our brains will work even better.”


“First, I give myself permission to grieve and cry. I’m generally not the crying type. However, when something hits me to the core, after being emotionally vulnerable to someone, I need to physically let the pain out.

Second, I tend to analyze everything that went wrong and why, and what I would have done differently, but that tends to prolong the pain if I get too obsessive and in my head about it.

Third, the person who hurt me absolutely has to be cut out of my life, strict no contact.

Fourth, DISTRACTIONS. I’ll carry over my overanalyzing with close friends, but I’ll feel guilty after a while for obsessing. But by being with them, I can listen to what they’re going through and come up with ways to help them–it gives me something else to work on and solve. Also, diving into hobbies and taking classes fills my new found free time. I find that after a while, a whole new phase of growth occurs and I like myself again and who I’m becoming.

To other INTJs, I say don’t suppress what Fi wants to process and what Se wants to express. You don’t need to be stoic in private. Cry, read books and articles on heartbreak, write angry diatribes that you’ll never send (or maybe you will, oops), hug one of those rare people you don’t mind in your personal space… We may be perfectionists and hard on ourselves when we feel we’ve failed, but don’t fall into the trap of self-loathing and hating the world. That only shuts down new opportunities to learn and develop ourselves–the same things that will get us through this heartbreak in the first place!”


“When I feel vulnerable or heartbroken I think it is normal for me to retreat. Not want to interact with people or outside experiences. But how I cope and move on is by doing just that. When I am being effective in the outside world, staying busy, exercising and working hard at school or work… I don’t have time to think about the pettiness of relationships. I am also able to be logical again and realize sooner the reasons why it didn’t work out and why the relationship would not last long term.”


“I focus on my plans and dreams. Keeping my mind busy and off of my crush is critical. INTJs are independent, so no need to find someone else right away. Just plan a trip, throw yourself into work, or focus on hobbies. Just make a huge effort to do the things which make you happy. Closure helps too, because it allows me to logically work through the heart break.”


“To get past it and move on I found that finding a new goal to strive towards was effective – whether that’s improving an aspect about yourself, learning something new, mastering a skill, starting a new project, or even just focusing time on a friendship you may have neglected. By focusing on something that betters yourself in some way you boost your self-esteem, accomplish something, and find a way to use your extra time in a productive way. Also, every time you have to confront that object of heartbreak you look and feel awesome as result of completing your new objective.”


“1. Accept that it will take time. A LOT of time. A year or more. For anything really serious, a few years.

2. I deal with a lot on a subconscious level, so external self-care is often more important than talking things through–I allow for a month or so of self-indulgence (ice cream & Neftlix!), then work toward consistent healthy eating, exercise and sleep, and take a lot of very long walks and let my mind wander. Letting the mind wander is really important for an introverted feeler.

3. Knowing when I need to talk about it and when I really need space can be tricky–both are equally important, so when I think I need to talk, I open up slowly and sort of test the waters to make sure the listener is the right person.

4. Be very careful about well-meaning people who give advice that contradicts my own intuition. They are usually wrong.

5. If intuition shuts down for a while, be patient until it comes back online. It hasn’t abandoned me; it’s busy processing. Just follow a normal healthy routine and you will be okay.

6. Personally, recovery takes so very long that restarting normal brain chemistry at the end takes a conscious effort. I don’t go from depressed to happy; I go from depressed to empty. This means even more exercise, getting out and seeing friends more often, and consciously pursuing optimism (tricky for an INTJ, since it means adopting a bias on purpose, instead of relentlessly facing the hard, objective truth with cold, clear eyes!)”


“I internalize, then share with maybe two or three people. I cry and or get angry only after drinking. I want support, but am too afraid to ask in fear it shows weakness.”


“When I’m in an unhealthy place, I tend to do things that are opposite of those that I would normally do; go to a loud bar, be around people, etc. However of course this is so that I don’t have to pay attention to my heartbreak and feed it energy. I’ve found the best things I’ve done however in dealing with heartbreak have been to focus on exercising. If I’m going to be stuck in my head anyway, I mine as well be productive about it! Because of course, anything worth doing…”


“Cut off ties with that person until I reach closure by myself. I spent more time alone doing things that made me happy: reading, writing, cooking, watch British television. Also, when I feel like “everything” is going wrong, I like to think about how expansive the universe is. I think about parallel universes where these things wouldn’t happen. Basically anything that allows me to compare my pain with a speck of dust. That may seem nihilistic and unproductive, but it has saved me from many panic attacks.”


“When you’re an INTJ there are different types of heartbreaks. The simpler one to deal with is heartbreak because of a relationship ending. When that happens, it’s best to let the logic kick in and replace emotions. There are millions of reasons why something either does or does not work out, and understanding that every relationship has a 50/50 chance even when there are plenty of good factors helps. So does taking some time to yourself and not jumping into something else too soon – you can’t use an old pros and cons list on a new person.

The second kind of heartbreak – the one that’s brutal – is when you break your own heart. It can be do with relationships, careers, family, friends, personal achievements. Often it’s because logic says you should have behaved a certain way or achieved something and you come up short or screw something up because of feelings or an emotional response that you can’t understand. It’s essentially the result of self-sabotage that makes no logical sense. And thus you’re in a situation where your own brain cent understand itself – which leads to even more incomprehensible emotions. I’m currently learning how to bounce back from this type. Poor performance in multiple segments of life has led to disappointing people I care about deeply – but not nearly as much as I’ve disappointed myself. The best remedy right now is to study how someone “normal” (essentially in one of the higher percentage groups) handles adversity and try to apply some of those principles to my own life. It works in small doses with a lot of relapse. Hopefully another responder to the survey has a great answer!”


“Whenever I’ve dealt with heartbreak, I know I tend to ruminate on what could have gone better/worse, and over all the things that were said or left unsaid. I also tend to be very hard on myself as well. So what I try to do is fill my time with things that take my mind off of the pain I’m going through and help me refocus on loving myself and reminding myself that I am worthy of having everything I need. I take walks and go to the movies with friends, and generally take the time to treat myself better and practice self care. The healing process for me is slow but this is the best way yet that I’ve found gets me through it.”


“I once left a twenty year relationship. It’s been 6 years now and I’ve spent the time reading self-help articles on the web, learning how to take care of myself all over again, pampering myself with spa appointments. Basically I’ve been putting me first in everything. I’ve also written some journals then shredded them, in order to deal with some deep issues that needed to be freed. I’ve also been going out with friends and partying… not to find someone, but to just me myself and find out what that is now. In the beginning, I spent all my time to myself… for at least the first 2 years. I worked and slept… that’s all. It’s what I needed at the time. Now I have a healthy balance of partying and working and me-time. All is well now! :)”


“Keep telling myself she’s not the one fated to be together and it’s a step closer to be with my true love. Don’t worry for not finding love, someone will come to love that brain of ours. Use the time to achieve something else in the mean time.”Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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