Most people think of INTJs in connection to academics and there’s a reason for this. This personality type loves to learn and push themselves to understand new ideas, and academic environments give them the permission and the resources they need to do this. Which is why INTJs are often found in places of higher learning in a variety of roles.
The INTJs Learning Style
INTJs are solitary people, perhaps one of the most solitary of the personality types, and this applies to their learning as well. When they encounter a new idea, they like to be left alone with it. This allows them to use their introverted intuition dominant function, a function that slowly mulls things over and makes connections between old ideas and new ones. And once new ideas are integrated into this system, it allows INTJs to speculate into the future, to see how the idea can be used and applied to various parts of life. This process can seem almost magical to other types, but it also takes time and quiet to work properly.
The INTJs naturally quiet nature is often very much appreciated by their teachers. This type needs little assistance to understand things, and often prefers that their teachers refrain from helping them too much. They have a natural independence when it comes to learning that means they like to work things out for themselves. This means that their teachers will usually have to do very little to assist the INTJ or to push them to succeed. INTJs are motivated by the chance to learn and don’t require outside motivation, they want to learn for its own sake.
Learning Challenges for the INTJ
In chaotic, noisy environments, INTJs often have trouble thinking. In fact, even a relatively quiet but crowded classroom can contain movement and noise that distracts them. INTJs take in all of this information subconsciously, but it still interrupts their thought processes and can create problems for their learning. If they’re not given a lot of time in a quiet, still environment to think over the new material they’ve received, they can struggle to understand it on the deep, abstract level they prefer. And when this happens, they’ll usually quickly forget the new material.
INTJs don’t usually have very good memories. Their brains are chaotic, full of swirling ideas and half formed theories, and it can be difficult for them to remember or find specific pieces of information. INTJs are judging types, which means that they prefer to organize their external environment and allow their brains to remain chaotic, and this can create a problem for them in academic environments. If asked to memorize a long line of numbers or dates, or to recall specific pieces of information for an exam, this type will often struggle. They prefer to understand the overall ideas and implications of new information and to connect it to other pieces of information. But being able to recall specific pieces of information requires a very different skillset, one that INTJs don’t usually use or like, and this means that their test results don’t always reflect their true understanding of the material.
INTJs in High School
INTJs often find high school very difficult because they struggle in environments that are emotionally charged. Socially, high school is a time of drama, flair ups, and tempestuous relationships, and INTJs often find this baffling or even alarming. This type are fairly aware of their own emotions, but usually struggle to understand the emotions of others. As a result, high school can be overwhelming for them. INTJs are extremely private about their emotions, and prefer that only their closest friends and family see them. This conflicts badly with high school, where wild displays of emotion are extremely common. Confronted with this, INTJs will often completely withdraw from their classmates in their struggle to understand and process all of this emotional content. And this often results in the INTJ suffering through very surface relationships at this stage.
Despite their social struggles, INTJs usually don’t have any problems with the academic demands of high school. This type loves to learn about anything, and the varied subjects taught in high school offers INTJs the chance to learn about everything that really appeals to them. This type aren’t known for their amazing memories, though of course they can have a good memory, but they tend instead to focus on understanding the material on its own and in connection to everything else they know. And when they discover that a new piece of information connects to other ideas, it’s one of the most satisfying experiences in their academic life.
Higher Education and the INTJ
INTJs often find that they feel completely at home in higher education. Given the freedom to choose what they learn about, and the opportunity to learn about anything that interests them, is pretty much the ideal situation for most INTJs. In this environment, they finally find an appreciative audience for their intuitive brains, which are always making connections between ideas in a way that often annoyed their high school teacher, or caused their peers to make fun of them. But in higher education, this kind of understanding is appreciated and encouraged, and INTJs often find themselves growing and learning at an incredible rate once they enter into this environment.
And once the INTJ has a more rewarding academic life, their social life usually improves as well. The social connections are often quite different in higher education, based more on shared learning and ambition. There are, of course, people who still have a very tumultuous social life in college, but most INTJs avoid these people. Instead, they’re drawn to people who share their drive to learn and experience, and often find some of the most rewarding and stimulating relationships of their life in this setting.
INTJs really enjoy academics. They love to learn, to experience and understand new ideas, and this personality type can often be found in academic settings as students or even as teachers. This is where INTJs thrive and feel at home, and their analytical and ideas obsessed brains usually drive them to do well in their chosen academic field.
- 1. Granneman Jenn. “How Introverted Intuition Works For INFJs and INTJs“. Oct 6, 2016. (Retrieved Mar 2018).
- “Judging or Perceiving“. (Retrieved Mar 2018).
- “INTJ – The Mastermind“.