INTJ personality

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. INTJs are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but only if their interest is piqued.

Smart and unconventional

INTJ_1With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. INTJs enjoy sharing what they know as well, confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive (N) and Judging (J) traits, they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip.

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

Harlan Ellison

A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – from a rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.

Independence personified

INTJs radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with INTJs’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect.

Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas.

This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – INTJs will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where INTJ personality types run into trouble.

...yet not everything can be analyzed

INTJs are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs will go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.

INTJs are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. This isn’t meant to suggest that INTJs act without conscience, but to many Feeling (F) types, INTJs’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type.

Famous INTJs:

Vladimir Putin
Paul Krugman
Rudy Giuliani
Donald Rumsfeld
Colin Powell
Samantha Power
Lance Armstrong
Richard Gere
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Thomas Jefferson
John F. Kennedy
Woodrow Wilson
Augustus Caesar

Fictional INTJs:

“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.


Your name:
Marko Polomčić
Jul 24, 2014 08:06:37
Anyone read Angels and Demons? (Dan Brown):-)
Jul 23, 2014 18:43:29
I'm with House?
No wonder why I'd relate with him so much.
Jul 23, 2014 09:40:45
I am just curious about the statement "women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population ". I have sent the link to 5 ladies (including myself) and 4 out of the 5 are INTJ’s.
Micho Detronik
Jul 21, 2014 12:35:46
I was not familiar with personality types until recently when my beloved, which is an INFP Personality, explained this to me. She was curious how I would be categorized since her very close friends tend to be consistent with INTJ personality types. I am diagnosed as being Aspergers and after some time decided to investigate personality types to see how I would align with her tendency to be closer to INTJ types. Ironically, I was well within the INTJ classification. I would be curious to find out statistically how other Aspergers or Mild Autism Spectrum types fall within this chart. I was rather skeptical that a chart could categorize human traits so consistently. However, being a solo father I found the area on family relations was so on point. I am almost completely matching the description of this category in full. I do have a portion of me that will visualize and create art, however everything must adhere to criteria that expresses my core interest in how media affects human character and interaction. Odd thing, I barely understand how people communicate myself. Unfortunately more often than not, people observe my use of visual "What If's" as mimicking or creating an absurd social commentary on human weakness...
Jul 17, 2014 16:02:22
Hello everyone,
I am a fellow INTJ with a prominent I followed by J. Always wondered why i was so different and was frustrated sometimes as a teenager why i wouldn't fit. But simply refused to believe that i was anyway less. Guess i am a truly an INTJ.
Also i noticed how this column has maximum responses, even if INTJs are not considered big on sharing. Guess its not everyday that we land in a place where we expect to be understood, it's a classic example of how INTJs show keep interest in conversations that fulfill both their interest criteria and meet their intellectual standards.