The INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% 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.
When 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 labelled 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. Anyone who does not have enough talent or simply does not see the point, including the higher ranks of management, will immediately and likely permanently lose their respect.
INTJ personalities also often shoulder the burden of making important decisions without consulting their peers. They are natural leaders and excellent strategists, but willingly give way to others vying for a leadership position, usually people with Expressive personalities. 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 – but 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”.
INTJs dislike rules and artificial limitations – everything should be questionable and open to re-evaluation. 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 where there is a need of intelligence, restless mind and insight (law, investigations, 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.
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, a famous American economist
Rudy Giuliani, former New York mayor
Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
Richard Gere, actor
Hannibal, military leader of Carthage
Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and California governor
Thomas Jefferson, a former U.S. president
John F. Kennedy, a former U.S. president
Woodrow Wilson, the former U.S. president
Walter White (“Heisenberg”) from “Breaking Bad”
Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings
Hannibal and Clarice Starling from “Silence of the Lambs”
Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ enemy
Gregory House from “House, M.D.”