This is my collection of articles, anecdotes, and snippets about the Jung Archetypes/Myers-Briggs/Keirsey INTJ personality type from around the web. It is a general collection, without much of my own thoughts on the subject.
Where possible, attributions have been given. For example, one favored site for discussion of the type is The INTJ Explained, written by a female INTJ in the arts field. Unfortunately, it’s a Tumblr page, so I have a horrific time pointing to any specific link. While a single WordPress “page” isn’t much better, I’ve started collating the information on this page, and will gradually spread it to other Pages for reference.
My personal (current) favorite no-nonsense descriptor page for INTJs: 16 Personalities INTJ
- The INTJ personality type is the second or third most rare type (depending on whom you determine is the most authoritative source)
- Approximately 2% of the population (meaning from the population of North America (528.7 Million according to the 2008 Census), there are 10.5 Million of them, with 3% of them male and 0.8 to 1% female
- Break it down further: in a group of 200 people, statistically there will be 4 INTJs. One source claims the average North American knows 600 people in their lifetime, meaning they may interact with between 12 and 18 INTJs in their entire lifetime
- The Type breaks down as follows:
- Introvert: Social gatherings “drain” their emotional batteries, do not do well with constant social demands
- Intuitive: INTJs concentrate more on impressions or meaning and patterns of information than senses
- Thinking: INTJs concentrate more on finding the basic truth or principle, rather than what people care about and points of view
- Judging: INTJs concentrate more on decision making preferences, organization, planning, alternatives as opposed to flexibility and spontaneous
- The most strategically capable personality type
- Relentless intellectualism, imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious
- Often given the title of “bookworm” as children; INTJs usually take this as a compliment, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge
- INTJs enjoy sharing what they know, confident in the mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive and Judging traits, prefer to design and execute a plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip
- They are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. Simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, because INTJs believe with effort, intelligence and consideration nothing is impossible, while at the same time believing people are too lazy, short sighted or self serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. The cynical view is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant
- INTJs are the most independent of all the sixteen types and take more or less conscious pride in that independence – Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing
- Difficulties are highly stimulating to INTJs, who love responding to a problem that requires a creative solution – David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II
- Due to the combination of low numbers and personality traits inherent that are in almost direct contrast to the other types, INTJs are almost universally bad at interpersonal relations. Because of this, they are often classed or described as arrogant jerks and similar epitaphs without being given a chance
- They don’t like or understand small talk, don’t understand dating “games,” and often have a hard time understanding motives and emotions- even their own. Often, emotions take a back seat to INTJ logic, and go ignored. INTJs much prefer staying in to going out partying, and when they do go out, they don’t tend to talk to people they aren’t very familiar with. All these things add up to an utter lack of social skills.
- Discriminated in popular fiction as “masterminds” (due to the unfortunate naming of the type in MBTI):
- Hannibal Lecter from “Silence of the Lambs”
- Jigsaw from the “Saw” series
- Moriarty from the “Sherlock Holmes” books
- No, they cannot change. Personality is fairly immutable past early 20’s, and only finessing and compensation can be done
- There have been no studies linking personality type to mental illness. As such, they are not Sociopaths or Psychopaths (any more than any other type)
Random INTJ Quotes and Traits:
- Individual sports are partaken in: swimming, backpacking, running marathons, biking, tests of skill against themselves
- Popular hobbies are intellectually stimulating: reading, cultural events, taking classes, appreciating art, computers, video games
- Team sports usually are disappointing
- Perfectionism is not a disease, it is a drug
- Finding out I was wrong about something is a signal to research the area of concern until I know enough to give a lecture on the topic
- I always try to think before I speak. And while I speak. And after I speak
- The more knowledgeable you are, the more interested I am
- A day to socialize, a week to recharge
- I admire complexity and appreciate simplicity
- it’s past 3AM, and I’m just thinking about things. Sometimes thinking how stupid people are. I stay up late thinking too much. But at least I’m INTJ so I solve most of my problems
- Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
- I am not mean. I’m a very honest. Learn the difference.
- I hate people, but I hate stupid people even more
- INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems
- We treat those who are fools or willfully ignorant with cruelty. Anything less is too kind
- Sometimes I look inside, and feel nothing. Other times, I’m abundant with passion for music and math.
- Getting close to the INTJ will take some time, and they may not always involve others in the decision-making
- The INTJ is the radical innovator, coming up with interesting theoretical ideas
- An INTJ will choose to speak (if they choose to speak at all) only on issues close to their heads
- An angry #INTJ is basically a combo of the emotional level of a toddler with the precision of a serial killer. Not pretty
- Having hundreds of practical, problem solving, mind bending ideas and none of them remotely related to my career field
- INTJs prefer environments where they can immerse themselves in something complex, different and important
- Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
- From an INTJ’s perspective, there is no such thing as ‘good enough.’ There is always room for improvement in any activity
- INTJs don’t make many friends. Not only because they choose not to, but because any relationship can prove quite taxing, even the enjoyable
- INTJ in a service industry job or high school: Hell
- Fun introvert fact: We are often the first to recognize awkward social situations and tension in a room
- I enjoy information, especially the kind that changes the way I live
- The more you learn, the more you can improve
- I will go above and beyond to protect what is important to me
- A healthy mind admires intelligence and intellect; an afflicted mind is afraid of inadequacy
- I’m always in competition with myself
- Don’t expect me to ask the questions you are dying to answer. I catch the cues, but I don’t care
- I use the same facial expression for all emotions
- I’ll figure out my life, you figure out your life. Unless I get some free time, then I might figure out your life too
- Knowledge is admirable; intellect, seductive
- I do like meeting new people, but it’s only rewarding if the person is interesting. It’s rarely rewarding
- Physical beauty without intellectual capacity is like an empty vase
- I am my worst enemy, and my best friend
- I don’t like to be misunderstood. I’m always willing to explain myself if you’re competent enough to understand
- My brain is always running. If you want my attention, give it something to run to
- I don’t find comfort in others, I find it in trust of myself
- Give me responsibility and I will give you results
- I’m still closed off to people I’ve known for years
- In many ways, I am my my own mentor
- I often catch myself judging too quickly, or realize I never gave someone the chance to impress me
- I’m attracted to calm, quiet people. Their peaceful aura is soothing
- I will respect leadership until it becomes inefficient
- It’s not procrastinating if I know how long it will take me to do something, then wait until that’s how much time I have left. Right?
- I don’t have the social energy to entertain people that require constant attention
- Don’t state the obvious. It’s obvious
- I will destroy myself over small mistakes
- If I don’t talk to you, it’s likely I don’t want you to talk to me. I’m not necessarily angry, I’m fully consumed by my thoughts
- “Common sense is not so common.” My exact perception of society
- I’m not emotionless, I’m emotional less
- Selfishness, both in yourself and in others, can be channeled into productivity
- I don’t care what people think about me, unless I appreciate them and want their respect
- Even though it’s difficult to let someone disagree with me when I know I’m right, some people are just not worth arguing with
- Being alone is not the same as being lonely
- I love learning, but not when it’s forced
- I don’t like mediating social conflicts. My typical suggestion for each person involved is to stop being stupid
- Smart sarcasm is sexy
[Humorous takes on the INTJ, but mostly true]
– The Complicated Nature of INTJs Explained to Normal People – [All Said and Done]
– The Compleat Idiots Guide to the INTJ – [INTJ Central]
How not to be hated by an INTJ – Emspeaks.wordpress.com
6 more ways How not to be hated by an INTJ – Emspeaks.wordpress.com
INTJ Death Glare Explained – [The INTJ Explained]
INTJ and Communication
- You root for the smart villain rather than the dumb hero. (Sometimes. Depends on the stupidity of the hero)
- You have more books that you call friends than actual people. (8 really close friends, 500+ books)
- Before every situation you think out every possible outcome and work your way towards the ideal one.
- People think you’re angry or upset when really you are just thinking. Always. Usually followed by, “Is everything okay?” Everything is fine, I just don’t smile like a moron when I’m thinking.
- You can do the INTJ stare, that look of pure analyzing coupled with a slightly sardonic smile that makes people feel uneasy. (I think N types have mastered the art of the intense, uncomfortable stare and it’s entirely unintentional–in most cases)
- Nothing is ever done efficiently enough. Other peoples’ incompetence slows you down through your day and it happens far too often. I frequently clean up other peoples’ messes but I don’t tell anyone. I mostly do it to make things more efficient for me.
- What do you mean you don’t have a plan? Fail to plan, plan to fail. I always have a plan.
- You always forget if you locked your car because you always space out when you do it.
- You also forget where you parked your car for the same reason. You were too focused on what you were going to do next.
- You have a fairly organized room but you have little piles of crap in various corners and shelves. These are your ideas that you are still waiting to get around to. Some are in pieces, some are half made. You should really get around to giving your android army their appendages otherwise your plan to take over Washington D.C., London, Beijing, Moscow, and Tokyo will never work. They are getting impatient. I have no idea what the latter half applies to, but this is definitely me.
- You walk out of romance movies in disgust and laugh through horror flicks. I hate horror flicks because I find most of them ridiculous and needlessly bloody. Romance movies are too generic and mushy.)
- You go onto a discussion board of like-minded people and don’t agree with any of them.
- You silently listen to people trying to figure out how to do something, then chime in with the correct way while they stare at you stunned because they didn’t think you where paying attention. Absolutely. This never fails to catch people off-guard.
- You look at every conflict situation as an interesting idea, and it pisses off the person you’re in a conflict with. (This is a new development because I don’t like conflict and would automatically seek to resolve it regardless of the cost. Now I battle but I choose them wisely.)
- Someone tries to hurt you with words and you don’t feel a thing, in fact, you kind of find it funny (I developed a thick skin in Jr High and High School, but It’s even more difficult to rattle me now. I always look at those people and think “That’s the best you can do? Aw, muffin.”).
- You have 3-10 different conversations in your head with the person you’re actually talking to. What I’m thinking is decidedly more harsh than what I say.
- You have your favorite type of agenda book.
- You never leave your house without some kind of list. (I’ll do you one better–I have an entire book of lists!)
- You constantly get asked WHY and HOW do you think your life plan will work out, and have trouble explaining the amount of contingency plans you have built in.
- A “life plan” is irrelevant because you know anything could happen that is out of your control and you have to stay flexible and work out various scenarios. There is no one answer.
- You have actually thought out ways in which you could escape a prison if you were ever locked up.
- You have serious plans for events such as tidal waves, zombie uprisings, nuclear war, etc…
- You can better explain and understand things like time travel, alternate realities and fringe sciences that you can members of popular bands, reality tv shows or flirting.
- You greet a person with, “I’ve been thinking about…”
- You constantly watch the way people do things and create more efficient ways of doing them. (only if I have experience with what they’re doing. If I have no idea back off)
- You upset people by telling them, “The way you’re doing [thus and thus] is interesting, but you should do it [in this more efficient manner].” (Sometimes. It only pisses off my supervisor)
- Assessing flaws in a security system is second nature to you.
- Someone starts a sentence with “Why don’t you…” and you turn and give them a very mean look. (Happened a few weeks ago. Not only did I give a mean look, but there were some choice words as well.)
- When you just finished explaining something profound and interesting and the person who are talking to goes “HUH?” I know I’ve hit an nerve when the overall response is dead silence.
- When people say you always look like you are planning/plotting something; the association then often makes them conclude that you look evil. A former coworker used to joke that I worked for CSIS (Canada’s answer to the CIA) because I’m quiet and very hard to read.
- You’re listening to someone you quickly jump ahead to their point while multi-processing their motive for telling you, how they jumped to that topic, what level of response will be adequate (verbal, head nod, etc.), and planning whatever it is you rather be doing…all before they even finish their sentence. (Because I’m a dominant ‘NF’ type I also can decipher the feelings behind what they’re saying, what they expect to gain from it, and respond accordingly–in other words, I totally freak them out)
- When everyone expects you to give a lengthy speech on a subject in class debate you are indifferent to and give said speech in five or six sentences and still trump the opposition.
- When people tell you “You know, your music is really really odd.” Whereupon you turn to them and say “Huh, interesting drum pattern here on track 10.” (Unsolicited opinions irritate me more than usual these days and I usually ignore them)
- You get called out in class for excessive daydreaming but still get top marks somehow to the annoyance of most present.
- When you really, honestly don’t care what most other people think about you, and are perfectly fine doing things your own way. (Arguably the best part about a highly developed introverted thinking–other people’s opinions of you don’t matter one bit)
- When you have a large mess but know exactly where everything is and people are amazed that you can find anything. You also go through cycles of neat-messy-neat-messy-neat.You are never rigidly neat, you are never overwhelmingly messy. (GPOY)
- You are fine without shopping for new clothes for a year or two.
- When in a debate, your most commonly used phrase is “Could I get some proof for that?”I’m a faith person, so the prospect of needing tangible ‘proof’ is a fuzzy one. Rather than needing proof that something exists, I need proof that it doesn’t.
- When you can effectively argue both sides of a debate, you just pick one for fun.
- You refuse to read your annual performance review because a) you really don’t care what other people said about you, b) anything you did wrong last year…YOU ALREADY KNOW it…and have probably played it out in your mind a 100+ times figuring out how to avoid that mistake again and trust your own solution over someone else’s, c) you hate people wasting your time on stupid stuff from the past, d) you hate people wasting your time right now, and e) you don’t need to be reminded of all the things you did right last year because you already know it.
- When you are having a conversation with someone and you use more adverbs such as “however, yet, on the other hand” more often than you should because that is the “break” between different view points about the subject being conversed. Then the recipient stares at you blankly. I don’t know how I’d communicate without adverbs.
Se: Sensing, Extroverted (most definitely underdeveloped). Se enables multitasking. Makes the INTJ a “doer”. Known to make people good at information gathering.
- Tend to have issues doing low-level jobs
- Forgetful of random things; keys, glasses, you name it.
Some of the drastic downsides of INTJism:
The inferior functions in the template (those not dominant) are pretty nasty.
- an overwhelming, irrational, obnoxious itch that demands immediate gratification.
- Feels compulsory, because at the most unhealthy or stressed state, Se can dominate by offering resolution or closure.
- Under extreme stress, get into a mindframe where consequences stop mattering and control gives way to recklessness.
- Lose their characteristic wide-ranging, global perspective. Field of operation narrows considerably, and their range of acknowledged possibilities becomes limited and idosyncratic. Make more factual mistakes, and become careless with spelling and grammar.
- Unable to cope with simple problems. Impatient with people. Looks for the right factual information.
- Adversarial attitude towards the outer world
- Look down on “mindless” relaxing activities as meaningless
- Have guilty pleasures look down on but do anyway
- Have guilty pleasures to excess and not feel any better for it
- Obsessive focus on external data
- May abet the process in that the “facts” (real or invented) on which the INTJ obsesses are often used as “proof” that others discount, devalue or dislike the INTJ.