7 Strengths and Weaknesses of Architect (INTJ) Personality Types

Some Architects (INTJs) like me think that it’s simplistic to say our personality type has distinct weaknesses and strengths. To me, most personality trait–related tendencies can be either a strength or a weakness, depending on the situation and how they’re expressed. Who better than an Architect to put our behaviors under a metaphorical microscope?

I challenge my fellow Architects to reflect on the following list – which of these is a strength or a weakness for you, and how does it affect your life? Let us know in the comments below. (And if you know an Architect, feel free to dish about them.) Let’s get started.

1. They Are Good at Extrapolating

Architects’ combination of imagination and logical rationality can help them fill in the missing pieces and see what’s not visible. Considering permutations of possibility is not only fun for them but can also help them make some clever guesses and act effectively, even in the absence of verified facts.

An Architect (INTJ) personality type holding a chessboard.

While these personalities love knowledge, they can wing it when they must.

They can also get overconfident and misinterpret their own perceptions as truths or, at least, lend them too much weight. Cognitive biases are common for all people, and Architects are far from immune. In fact, the cleverer any Architect is, the harder it may be for them to stay objective, especially when they’re discussing things with others.

2. They Get Deep into Details

Trying to uncover and understand all the minute facets of something can be quite thrilling for Architects. They love to build complex models of reality in their minds, sometimes just for fun and sometimes to help them accomplish something. Visualizing things in detail helps them feel more comfortable when making choices – and it can boost their success.

However, some Architects may take this too far to be useful, on occasion. Detail can be a nearly infinite thing, and trying to wrangle all the angles can mean that they never get around to forming a conclusion and acting on it. That’s fine for intellectual exercise but can slow their progress toward goals in everyday life. Sometimes a wider view can help make the way clearer.

3. They Disregard Feelings

It can be freeing to pursue ideas along a logical path completely unfettered by any consideration of emotional consequences. Assembling facts into an unflinching, precise perspective can certainly give insight into many matters and, as such, can be a great potential source of knowledge. Many Architects follow that path, albeit often just in their own minds.

Of course, people are emotional creatures, so feelings are an essential part of life – even for the most rational Architects. But these personalities occasionally apply dispassionate rationality at times and in places where a more considerate approach might serve them better. Though it’s usually accidental, Architects can run the risk of offending people or seeming emotionally obtuse.

4. They Chase Perfection

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword, and Architects may wield it in various ways – some better than others. There’s no doubt that a strong drive for excellence can lead to great accomplishments or that being discerning can help protect what’s important. Anyone close to an Architect has probably felt the benefits of their idealistic focus, when it’s turned toward altruistic ends.

Where Architect personalities can run into trouble is when they set their sights on an impossible ideal – which is much more common than they may realize, given their robust imagination. At best, trying to achieve the impossible can waste vast amounts of time and energy. At worst, it can lead Architects to falsely conclude that they themselves are at fault, which can make them feel terrible.

5. They Can Be Very Stoic

When Architects have a deep motivation, it can give them a surprisingly stable, durable attitude. They can be patient yet determined and confident that they are on the right path, however challenging it may be. This mindset can help them with long-term commitments like education or parenting – and during crises. They can endure much when something important is at stake.

Unfortunately, one way that Architects may think that they can achieve the strength to be stoic is by suppressing their feelings. They may see facing and processing stress and emotion as self-indulgent or as an unnecessary distraction from their greater goal. But emotional suppression can make them miserable or result in an eventual loss of emotional control – which they really dislike.

6. They Value Self-Reliance

Architects love to share inspired ideas with others, and they value deep, trusting relationships more than some personality types do. Yet they very much prefer to be in control of their own lives, and most of them ultimately look to themselves in life. They often feel that they’re in the best position to get things done in the way they think is best and that depending on others is too risky or bothersome.

There’s nothing wrong with being self-reliant, but Architects’ sense of individualism can get in the way of their cooperation with others. They may have good reason to be cautious about relying on other people or their abilities, but that caution can easily be perceived as disapproval. That may be off-putting or even hurtful to those who are close enough to Architects to want to be part of their support system.

7. They Can Be Very Artistic

Architects often get stereotyped as being robotic, but Introversion and the Intuitive personality trait can make for an artistic mind. Many Architects have an aptitude for things like creative writing, painting, crafts, acting, or pretty much any form of art. It may take a nudge for these personalities to notice such activities as worthy pursuits – but they can lead to unexpected joy.

Often, Architects need to detach from their love of logic to fully explore their artistic side and accept that their minds can produce some mysterious, arbitrary loveliness. Yet some forms of art can appeal to their intellectual leanings – for example, the math behind music or the geometry of certain styles of sculpture.

Final Thoughts

Strengths and weaknesses may be partly in the eye of the beholder, and Architects may have their own opinions on what counts as appropriate and advantageous behavior in any given circumstance. But everyone else has a say, too, which Architects tend to learn as they navigate the social and power structures of the world around them. The best theories can change, once applied.

But a wonderful, inspiring part of understanding one’s own personality is seeing how your essential qualities can be lived to your advantage. There’s a way to be yourself and be happy, and it looks different for each of us, even if we share some personality similarities. Architects are distinctly Architects, but you can fill a room with us and we’ll never agree completely on anything (which tends to make our big annual meeting interesting).

Further Reading