INTJs are quiet, thoughtful types who often feel misunderstood by the world and the people around them. Because of this, typing themselves correctly through the MBTI system can reassure them about their place in the world and give them the comfort of knowing that there are other people out there who function in the same ways.
INTJ General Strengths and Weaknesses
INTJs see possibilities that other types often don’t see. This is because of their introverted intuition dominant, which takes in information from the outer world and uses it to understand the patterns that make up everyday life. Using those patterns, INTJs can often predict the future. This is coupled with their extraverted thinking auxiliary to create a system that’s usually very good at understanding metrics, facts and truths about the world. This combination gives many INTJs a lot of insight into the world and often creates a unique vision for their lives and work. They’re also naturally strategic and have no problem setting out and following an intricate, long term plan to achieve that vision.
INTJs can sometimes have a lot of trouble connecting with other people. Their introverted intuition dominant has little interest in concrete ideas, facts or conversations, and as a result they often struggle to engage in small talk. In fact, some INTJs actually hate small talk and consider it a waste of time. This can make it difficult for other people to understand them or get to know them. INTJs also use introverted feeling as their tertiary function. This means that they have an underdeveloped understanding of emotions and often even mistrust them. It also means that they can be easily hurt by the people around them. Because of this vulnerability, they’re usually quite guarded around other people and take a long time to relax and start to trust them. This means that it takes most INTJs a long time to connect emotionally with people, which can result in them becoming quite isolated if they aren’t careful.
Common Type Confusions
The most common mistype that INTJs experience is when they’re mistaken for INFJs. This seems like a fairly strange mistake to make because INTJs are often seen as cold, logical masterminds who sit back and plot the downfall of the planet. In contrast, INFJs are usually seen as gentle, emotionally intelligent people who like to make other people happy. Because of these stereotypes, INTJs who can cope well with their emotions and are sensitive to the emotions of others can sometimes be mistyped in this way. Some INTJs may even mistype themselves as INFJs for the very same reason. This is one of the dangers of typing people based on their behavior and on the expectations created by stereotypes. However, most INTJs are dedicated to their own self-improvement, which means that they often work on developing their introverted feeling tertiary. When INTJs do this, it can give them a good understanding of the emotions of others and make them look like INFJs.
Common Confusions Comparisons
Distinguishing an INTJ from an INFJ is a matter of looking at the cognitive functions. This is the only correct way to type people using the MBTI system and it will also eliminate some of the more common typing mistakes. INTJs use extraverted thinking as their auxiliary. This is a function that works very well in our competitive, achievement obsessed world, so it’s often highly developed in INTJs as a survival mechanism. This function likes logic, rational arguments, facts, and metrics, and it uses these pieces of information to make decisions. In contrast, INFJs use extraverted feeling as their auxiliary which is why they usually make decisions based on emotions and what’s best for the people around them. The many differences between these two decision making functions make the choices and the priorities of these two types very different, and this is hard to miss once you start examining the functions.
Unusual Type Confusions
INTJs can sometimes be mistyped as ENTJs. This is a fairly unusual mistyping as most INTJs are well aware of their introverted nature. In fact, INTJs are usually amongst the most introverted of the introverts. Nonetheless, this mistyping still occurs because of their extraverted thinking auxiliary. This function is highly valued in our society, and people who use it often find that they’re pushed to develop it even if it isn’t their primary strength. This function allows INTJs to work in competitive, achievement focused environments and to enjoy a lot of success. In contrast, introverted intuition isn’t highly valued. After all, when INTJs use this function it looks like they’re just staring off into space to the external world. As a result, some INTJs overuse their extraverted thinking function. This makes them highly organized, prone to controlling and ordering the external world, and focused on achieving things in the external world. When INTJs use this function to this extent, they can be mistaken for the extraverted thinking dominant ENTJ.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
INTJs and ENTJs use the same functions in different orders and this can make it difficult to distinguish between them sometimes. However, the easiest way to do this is by evaluating the tertiary function. INTJs use introverted thinking as their tertiary. This means that they often have a good understanding of their own emotions and enjoy analyzing them. In contrast, ENTJs have introverted feeling as their inferior function, which means their emotions are mostly unconscious. ENTJs are usually very uncomfortable with the idea of analyzing their emotions and would prefer that they stay buried and quiet. Instead, they use extraverted sensing as their tertiary, which can make them fairly athletic in some cases. For INTJs, this is their inferior, and so any input from this function is usually unconscious. As a result, INTJs can be a little clumsy and uninterested in athletic pursuits.
INTJs are a rare type that are dedicated to their own self-improvement. Because of this, they often enjoy learning about the MBTI system because it can teach them strategies for improvement that are based on their own tendencies and preferences. But mistyping can get in the way of these pastimes, so INTJs need to make sure they understand and use the system correctly. That’s the best way to ensure that they don’t end up trying to force themselves into a mold that doesn’t fit them.
- Granneman, Jenn. “How Introverted Intuition Works for INFJs and INTJs“. Oct 6, 2016. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- “INTJ Personality and Emotions“. (Retrieved Jul 2018).
- Dodge, Antonia. ““Authenticity” as a Decision-Maker“. Aug 7, 2013. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- INTJ – The Mastermind.
- INFJ – The Counselor.
- ENTJ – The CEO.