Personality Types Theory and Research Articles

Assertive Architect (INTJ-A) vs. Turbulent Architect (INTJ-T)

Assertive (INTJ-A) and Turbulent (INTJ-T) Architects are likely to be more alike than different. But their Identity personality trait impacts the way they think and act, and the differences add nuance to how the traits all Architects share are expressed.

One of the best ways to think about any differences between Assertive and Turbulent Architects might be to picture two sliding scales. The first scale slides between “proactive” and “reactive.” The second scale slides between “optimistic” and “pessimistic.” The sliding nature of these scales is most important because it prevents us from making the mistake of thinking in absolutes. All differences are only tendencies and a matter of degrees.

When thinking of the differences between Assertive and Turbulent Architects, it’s important to remember there are no bad personality traits. Some cultures have a bias toward optimism (or pessimism), and that may lead some to think one Identity is better than the other. But this is a subjective – and often exaggerated – view of the trait. There are valuable qualities in all personality styles and characteristics, and it takes many kinds of contributions from many types of people to make the world work.

Both Assertive and Turbulent Architects can be ambitious, but each in their own way. Assertive Architects lean toward the proactive and optimistic side of the scale and are likely to approach the things they do with more self-assurance. These personalities are usually less stressed and are less likely to experience regret.

However, confidence isn’t everything. For Turbulent Architects, many of their best efforts come from their concern about their shortcomings, either as individuals or with the projects and activities in their lives. This may push them to work harder and be more meticulous. They’re more thorough – not despite the fact that they worry, but because they do worry. Turbulent Architects are likely to carry their diligent desire for improvement and a more rational solution into any of their personal or professional endeavors.

93% of Assertive Architects trust themselves to overcome any challenges life can throw their way, compared to 71% of Turbulent Architects.

All Architect personalities are problem-solvers, but Turbulent Architects more typically find any imperfections in a system very early in the process. This is due to their more worrisome nature, which creates a kind of hyper-vigilance. Their analytical nature then helps them find a useful solution, sometimes even before others realize such a solution is needed. This foresight and diligence can create a solid reputation that elevates them at work and at home. Their zeal to improve often makes them almost glow with ambition. They yearn for things to be better.

There’s a potential trap in thinking the Assertive Architects are the opposite of this because they come across as less intense. Their confidence may make them look like they are effortlessly and casually cruising along without a care in the world.

But they may care as much as Turbulent Architects – it’s just that their motivation is from somewhere different. It comes more from within rather than from without and from a place of certainty rather than uncertainty. Their confidence places a lot of faith in their own logic and understanding, and that conviction glides Assertive Architects toward accomplishments.

Both Assertive and Turbulent Architects value rationality when deciding and acting on significant matters. But while both are sometimes uncomfortable expressing feelings, Turbulent Architects are relatively more likely to let their emotions play a role. These personalities report being more easily provoked, and they are also more likely to feel fear – especially fear of uncertainty.

49% of Turbulent Architects are often afraid of making decisions, compared to 18% of Assertive Architects.

More Turbulent Architects say they are emotionally expressive when compared to the self-reporting of their Assertive counterparts. The former are also more likely to feel the need to ask for advice but find it more difficult than their counterparts to actually make the request.

Humans are emotional creatures. Therefore, Turbulent Architects’ different levels of expressiveness and relative need for others may give them an advantage over Assertive Architects for connecting with others. The Turbulent Architects may get more buy-in for their ideas from others because of their more accessible, relatively less aloof attitude.

Assertive Architects are likely to take a somewhat more independent approach. A larger percentage of Assertive Architects report they’re comfortable around authority figures than their Turbulent counterparts. These personalities may not be as held back by concern over how others might look at them – potentially creating a more independent attitude.

72% of Turbulent Architects feel pressured to live up to a certain standard (e.g., home, car, salary), compared to 45% of Assertive Architects.

There are certain advantages to this difference. Independent actors have greater autonomy and enjoy a more streamlined decision-making process. Depending on the task, a single person can often be agile in a way that a group cannot.

The slightly more adventurous Assertive Architects are likely to feel more equipped to handle whatever life throws at them – especially with strategies and decision-making. For example, they are significantly more likely than Turbulent Architects to report they believe bad luck has a positive side. To them, things are rarely so dire that they can’t handle it. While they prefer stability, they’re not likely to fear instability.

However, Assertive Architects can be a little more rigid than their Turbulent counterparts when it comes to change. They may see things as being fine just as they are with no need to alter anything. But this is not so for the Turbulent Architects. They’re more likely than Assertive Architects to say they often change their goals.

32% of Turbulent Architects say they often change their long-term goals, compared to 17% of Assertive Architects.

Frequent shifting of goals might seem to go against the Turbulent Architects’ need for order and stability. But people with this personality type commonly deal with moving targets and shifting methods with an eye always aimed at improvement. As much as they value stability and consistency, they will shake things up – but only if doing so clearly paves the way to a better result.

So, in summary:

  • Assertive Architects lean toward being proactive and more optimistic, while Turbulent Architects lean toward being reactive and more pessimistic. But these are always tendencies and never absolutes.
  • Turbulent Architects are often fueled by their worries and concerns, and these can be used to make significant progress. They can often see problems (and find solutions) before others.
  • Stress affects Assertive Architects less, but this should not be confused with them not caring.
  • Both types are typically ambitious – but their motivations are different. Assertive Architects are motivated more from within and based on confidence in their rationality. Turbulent Architects are more motivated by concerns, worries, and how others might see them.
  • While neither type is likely to be very comfortable with their emotions, Turbulent Architects are more likely to express theirs and use them to connect with others. On the flip side, Assertive Architects are less likely to be as concerned about the opinions of others. They relish their independence and make decisions on their own.
  • Both types need order and predictability, but Assertive Architects are slightly more adventurous than Turbulent Architects. However, Turbulent Architects are likely more comfortable with change than their Assertive cousins.

The same but different: that’s what we discover when we explore Assertive and Turbulent Identities in a single personality type. For Architects, this means the same ambition, the same regard for rationality, and the same need for order. However, they are likely to approach the world with a different level of positivity, confidence, and reactivity. While they share four out of five personality traits, their differences allow them to fill niches in unique and specialized ways – each offering nuanced, valuable versions of what it means to be an Architect personality type.

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