INTJ personality

The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types. Comprising only about 2 percent of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare—just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious. INTJ personalities radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas. INTJs usually begin to develop that knowledge in early childhood (the “bookworm” nickname is quite common among INTJs) and keep on doing that later on in life.

INTJ_1When someone with the INTJ personality has mastered their chosen area of knowledge (INTJs can find their strengths in several fields), they can quickly and honestly say whether they know the answer to a specific question. INTJs know what they know, and more importantly, they are confident in that knowledge. Unsurprisingly, this personality type can be labeled as the most independent of all types.

INTJs are very decisive, original, and insightful; these traits push other people to accept the INTJ’s ideas simply because of that sheer willpower and self-confidence. However, INTJ personalities do not seek nor enjoy the spotlight and may often decide to keep their opinions to themselves if the topic of discussion does not interest them that much.

INTJ personalities are perfectionists, and they enjoy improving ideas and systems they come in contact with. As INTJs are naturally curious, this tends to happen quite frequently. However, they always try to remain in the rational territory no matter how attractive the end goal is. Every idea that is generated by the INTJ’s mind or reaches it from the outside needs to pass the cold-blooded filter called “Is this going to work?” This is the INTJ’s coping mechanism, and they are notorious for applying it all the time, questioning everything and everyone.

INTJ personalities also have an unusual combination of both decisiveness and vivid imagination. What this means in practice is that they can both design a brilliant plan and execute it. Imagine a giant chess board where the pieces are constantly moving, trying out new tactics, always directed by an unseen hand. This is what the INTJ’s imagination is like. An INTJ would assess all possible situations, calculate strategic and tactical moves, and more often than not develop a contingency plan or two as well. If someone with the INTJ personality type starts working with a new system, they will regard the task as a moral obligation, merging their perfectionism and drive into one formidable force. An INTJ will likely immediately and permanently lose respect for anyone who does not have enough talent or simply does not see the point, including the higher ranks of management.

INTJ personalities also often shoulder the burden of making important decisions without consulting their peers. They are natural leaders and excellent strategists, but they willingly give way to others vying for a leadership position, usually people with Extraverted (E) personality types. However, such action can be deceptive and maybe even calculated. An INTJ will retreat into the shadows, maintaining their grip on the most important decisions, and as soon as the leader fails and there is a need to take the steering wheel, the INTJ will not hesitate to act, maybe even while staying in the background. The INTJ personality is the ultimate “man behind the curtain.”

INTJ_2INTJs dislike rules and artificial limitations; everything should be questionable and open to reevaluation. They may be idealists (impossible is nothing) and cynics (everybody lies) at the same time. Whatever the circumstances, you can always rely on the INTJ to “fill in” the gaps in the idea. They are most likely to come up with an unorthodox solution.

Generally speaking, INTJs usually prefer to work in the area they know very well. Their typical career is related to science or engineering, but they can be found anywhere there is a need for intelligence, a restless mind, and insight (e.g. law, data analysis or some academic fields). INTJ personalities rarely seek managerial positions; if they do, this is probably because they need more power and freedom of action, not because they enjoy managing people.

Every personality type has many weak spots and INTJs are not an exception. There is one area where their brilliant mind often becomes completely useless and may even hinder their efforts: INTJs find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their earliest stages. People with this personality type are more than capable of loving and taking care of the people close to them, but they are likely to be completely clueless when it comes to attracting a partner.

You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison

The main reason behind this is that INTJ personalities are both private and incredibly rational. They find it very difficult to understand the complex social rituals that are considered part of the dating game, especially in Western societies. Things like flirting or small talk are unnatural to them; furthermore, INTJs (especially females) tend to see typical attraction tactics (such as feigning disinterest) as incredibly stupid and irrational.

Ironically, INTJs are most likely to attract a partner when they stop looking for them; this is when their self-confidence starts shining again. There are few things that are more attractive than the unrelenting self-confidence that INTJs are known for.

If you would like to learn more about the INTJ personality type and its traits, download the INTJ In-Depth Profile – a 70+ page guide covering a number of diverse topics. Otherwise, please keep reading:

Some famous INTJs:
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Augustus Caesar, Roman emperor
Paul Krugman, famous American economist
Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor
Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State
Samantha Power, diplomat
Lance Armstrong, bicyclist
Richard Gere, actor
Hannibal, military leader of Carthage
Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former California governor
Thomas Jefferson, former U.S. president
John F. Kennedy, former U.S. president
Woodrow Wilson, former U.S. president
“Walter White” (“Heisenberg”) from Breaking Bad
“Gandalf the Grey” from The Lord of the Rings
“Katniss Everdeen” from The Hunger Games
“Hannibal” and “Clarice Starling” from Silence of the Lambs
“Professor Moriarty,” Sherlock Holmes’ enemy
“Gregory House” from House M.D.

261 Responses to “INTJ personality”

  1. Sk Reply

    OMG this is so me! I tend to lose sleep over thing Im curious about I’m glad that Im not crazy! I get super uncomfortable when a guy is approaching me :S

  2. INTJ Male Reply

    Everybody seems to be an INTJ. Could it be that internet users who took this test are INTJ’s and are that self curious?

      • Constantino Cerrano Reply

        Actually it’s mainly because INTJ’s know how to use the internet better than just going on Facebook. You know how we’re not social? Well that could be one of the reasons. I tend to be curious sometimes and out of the blue, i find myself studying quantum mechanics. Then i realize what am i doing and tell myself “wow, how did i get here”.

        • komodoman Reply

          wow,i did the same thing too,i find myself reading about nuclear theory and just realize what im doing i tought im weird

  3. Luke Reply

    Took several MBTI tests over a period of seven years. I’d always score “clear to very clear” INTJ. The kicker… I’m not academically inclined. Hated school from the get go. I mentally zoned out of school by the age of 9. At 13, I missed more school days then I attended. At 14, I dropped out. To this day “back to school” advertisements leave me depressed and stressed out. Summer is still far to short.

    I’m always astonished to read how INTJs thrive in the academic world, usually winding up with professional careers. I’ve worked most of my life running jackhammers, digging ditches and doing repetitive production work. I thrived in construction sites and factory floors in ways I’ve never thrived in school. I’d still be doing labor but my 53 year old body simply gave out.

    So I wonder why I’m so different. Could I be an extremely rare dumb INTJ?

    • Constantino Cerrano Reply

      No, don’t sweat it, you’re just a free thinker. Its natural for us being rebellious but hey, you have better grammar then others! Thats a sign of great english skills. I am thriving because I stopped being lazy and did something for myself, it really doesn’t relate you but its more like my story. I think it was a teenager thing. You’re actually just like my dad, he would do granite countertops and kitchens. He’s in his late 40′s im guessing hes going to give out anytime soon.

    • cd Reply

      I dated one who hated school and didn’t complete college b/c he couldn’t fit in with the system. but he fits the description like a tee (good and bad). I know 3 others INTJs who are highly successful in academic arena (1 is surgeon, the other 2 are UC professor). It all depends. The 3 academic INTJs happen to grow up and go to school in the US, which I think tolerate difference (they even like rebels) and advanced education tends to be highly abstract and intuitive => good for INTJ. My ex grew up and went to school in Eastern Europe, a post-former communist country. Their society and educational system can be very rigid, structured and doesn’t allow space for freedom and independent thoughts.

  4. Trinity Reply

    I came on the net tonight to find the reason why people don’t understand me, and vice versa. The term, Ignorance is Bliss always comes to my mind when I get caught up in the never ending question of why. Why this? Why that? For some strange reason I need to feel accepted by my peers yet ironically inside I feel like a complete outsider. I cannot understand everything in life yet my brain wants to. It goes 100 mph always trying to figure out things. I just want to be like everyone else. I want to feel normal. At night I want to lay my head down and turn off my brain. I don’t know if I’m INTJ. I only know I feel like an outsider. I often see things from a completely different aspect. I have been told over and over how smart I am. I don’t understand how others don’t see things how I see them. I’m not stuck up or snobby yet I’ve had that label thrown at me many times. If anything I’m the most understanding and accepting person you’d come by. So why is it I feel so different from others? Maybe I have a Borderline Personality Disorder? I’m very sensitive and my emotions are just as high as my intelligence. I want the intelligence but not the emotions. I truly envy people who live happily in their bubble of life. I try to feel positive yet when I see what human beings are capable of I feel disgusted that I am one. Somebody tell me I’m not crazy please. I wish sometimes people would just say what they mean. I don’t understand why I have to question everything. Am I crazy?

    • Constantino Cerrano Reply

      Ahh.. its funny and its overwhelming because you’re just like me. That’s how we are i guess… I guess our term would be a Psychopath? I am an INTJ myself but if i become attached my emotions become so great that it messes with my life and work. Im still in school and what i can differ from my emotions is that having a girl friend can be dangerous. My circle is small and im loyal to the end, but never betray me. Thats sums it up, i suppose.

    • Traci Reply

      Ah yes.. I too feel like I see things that no one else understands. Is their ignorance really bliss? If I could go back, would I want to be ignorant? Life did seem more simple when I was not questioning anything and everything. But I love the knowledge. I love learning about what’s really going on in the world and in our country. This knowledge does make me feel isolated though. I am glad that there are others who think the say way as I do.

  5. Courtney Reply

    Yeah, lots of us INTJs are the bad guys in stories. We’re the ones who knock. We’re the danger.

    I love being an INTJ, even if I share personality traits with a famous meth dealer and Sherlock’s greatest adversary. It’s fun having super powers of focus and planning several different outcomes to any given situation. Sometimes I feel like I have super powers, and I wouldn’t trade my imagination (as twisted as it is) for anything.

  6. Fay Reply

    There are no famous FEMALE INTJs? Just a lot of boring male military leaders? LAME!

    • Administrator Reply

      A valid point – I have just added a couple. That obviously is not enough to even out the scales, but INTJ women are really, really rare!

      • Malachy Reply

        These military leaders slaughtered to gain, and fought to succeed. Boring at it may seem, these men are the ones who altered how we live today.

        Especially Putin, especially Kennedy.

  7. Vicki Reply

    Is anyone else two personality types? I am INTJ AND ISTJ combined. For example I have a huge respect for rules and prefer to follow them but only logical ones and I easily break stupid rules. Reading these profiles makes it easier to understand this as these personality types are ‘next door’ to each other on the grid. Does anyone else have this borderline personality (disorder??:-) )

  8. Malachy Reply

    It’s obviously obscure that I seem to fit into this category; however I find it amusing.
    From a young child, into well, an adolescent teen I have grown fond over my love for Science, and Law, to be presumed as like those scholars whom are listed, such as:


    These people, who I have looked up to for years… Many, many long years. Especially Caesar, I have grown quite well with him, and to understand his tactics and development methods with his legions, and predecessors.
    I might only be 14, a scrupulous one at that, yet I find that the justice of what is to be bestowed over the mercy of the proponents necessary at the given hand of the hour.

    General Jobs for ‘Us”:


    We, ladies and gentlemen make up this world, we rule this world, and by no means, none at all should we find it necessary that those below us would find it in their courage to lead.
    We are the leaders, we will all grow in our own ways, yet we will all live to serve. Generally as public servants to this time, and that of the future times.

    We are naturally bred by our parents to lead, not them, not those who find it fun to shoot another being, and not those who find it funny to gossip of others misfortunes. Those people do not lead, no, they are lead by us.

    - I am 14, yet a defiant 14 year old, let no one stand in your way, you are who you are, and there is no going back. Live what you were born to accomplish.