INTJ Personality and Emotions

INTJs are defined by their confidence, logic, and exceptional decision-making, but all of this hides a turbulent underbelly – their emotions. The very notion of emotional expression is synonymous with irrationality and weakness to many INTJs, a display of poor self-governance and fleeting opinion that can hardly stand up to the enduring light of factual truth.

This mistrust of emotions is understandable, as Feeling (F) is the most weakly developed trait for INTJs – like any complex tool, skilled hands can use it to remarkable effect, while untrained hands make clumsy and dangerous work.

People with the INTJ personality type take pride in remaining rational and logical at all times, considering honesty and straightforward information to be paramount to euphemisms and platitudes in almost all circumstances. In many ways though, these qualities of coolness and detachment aren’t the weapons of truth that they appear to be, but are instead shields designed to protect the inner emotions that INTJs feel. In fact, because their emotions are such an underdeveloped tool, INTJs often feel them more strongly than many overtly emotional types because they simply haven’t learned how to control them effectively.

INTJ personality and emotions

There Is Not a Truth Existing Which I Fear

This is a challenging paradigm for INTJs to manage, especially younger and more Turbulent types who are already less confident than they would like to appear. These feelings are contrary to INTJs’ idea of themselves as paragons of logic and knowledge, and they may go so far as to claim they have no emotions at all. This does not mean that people with the INTJ personality type should be seen as, nor should they aspire to be, cold-blooded and insensitive geniuses living by the mantra that emotions are for the weak. INTJs must understand that this isn’t the case, and isn’t ever going to be.

More mature and Assertive INTJs find more useful ways to manage their feelings. While they will never be comfortable with a truly public display of emotions, INTJs can learn to use them, to channel them alongside their logic to help them achieve their goals. While seemingly contradictory, this can be done in several ways.

Firstly, INTJs are goal-oriented, with long-term ideas founded on sound logic. When something does cause an emotional reaction, good or bad, that energy can be used to further those goals, aiding rational and pre-determined plans. Secondly, emotions are figurative canaries in the coal mine, indicating that something is off even though logic can’t see it yet. These feelings can help INTJs to use their logic to ask questions they may not have thought to ask. "This is upsetting. Why? What can be done to resolve it?"

Question With Boldness

In this way, emotions are not INTJs’ way of addressing a decision, but rather an indication that a decision needs to be addressed. INTJ personalities’ Thinking (T) trait acts as a protective big brother to their Feeling (F) trait – seeing that something has upset the less able sibling, it steps in to take action, letting logic do the talking and resolving the condition rather than complaining about its consequences.

There comes a time though, when logic is simply the wrong tool for the job, when there just isn’t a rational solution to a problem, and it is in these situations that INTJs must use their Feeling (F) trait most clearly. INTJs would do well to practice this from time to time, or at least be aware of it, because however they may try, it is impossible to truly separate emotion from the decision-making process. The fact is that INTJs do feel, and deeply, and this makes them better, not worse.

Sydha
5 years ago
I'm an INTJ teen, but I've been told that my face is like an open book to other people. However the things that upset me usually matter little to other people; for example, once I was upset because someone I highly respect behaved unprofessionally, and I couldn't help but rant and cry at the same time. I also really took caution when dealing with other people's feelings; oftentimes I would keep my mouth shut rather than voice my opinion and hurt other's feelings. And I also care about other people, regardless of whether they're close to me or not; I care about them a lot and do my best to make other people happy. I also can't stand conflict. This confuses me, since no matter where I test, I'm always a T, through and through. Does anyone else have the same problem? Do you think I'm just a misidentified F?
Ami
4 years ago
Just because us INTJs are very badly versed in emotions doesn't mean we don't feel them. The process of relating to them is difficult however. I am very impulsive, so sometimes I do act out. I care deeply about my friends, but can't understand their cloud of emotions. I tend not to think about the emotion, but prefer to analyze it. You might just be a pacifist is why you don't like conflict. If you have troubles with emotion you are probably a T. You feel very deep emotions and wish to help others, but have a problem expressing this.
Arabella
5 years ago
I feel like INTJ's are one of the most misunderstood personality types - not least because we don't even understand ourselves =) I wish that others could just magically understand the multileveled way we think, and know what I need and give me that! I pride myself on being an INTJ - all the qualities described are the things I value most, and hope to someday live up to as I get older! It is interesting how hard it is for us to deal with emotions. I have an ISFJ friend who asked me the other day if it would help me to talk out my feelings or journal them. Why is it so hard to explain that the need is simply to catergorize them, and let them fall into place in my head!? =) =) She is also always getting on me for appearing cold and aloof, especially when I'm in my most introverted state of mind. I really don't know how to battle this. Does anyone have ideas or suggestions on how to be kind to others when all I want to do is be alone so I can think things through? Reading all of these comments has helped me so much, and I love hearing descriptions of this personality from people who understand it :)
Emily
4 years ago
I often feel that way too. I have been told many times that I appear "cold" or "angry" and have slowly begun to realize the way most people perceive me is very different from how I thought. Many people assume that I do not like them, when in fact, I am not thinking such a thing and I dislike few people. That being said, I do not "like" most people as much as what is considered normal. I see them for what they are, and usually it is not like me. Therefore, they usually do not understand me well, and I do not feel the inclination to go out of my way to express emotion towards them (something that is very taxing on me to do). As a result, I have trouble forming and maintaining emotional connections with people.
Silver_Hecate00
4 years ago
when people finally see that they've gotten what they want, they'll move one and you can dedicate that time to whatever you want...My point is that some battle are meant to be lost to win the war...
Natalie
5 years ago
Reading that I was INTJ, didn't surprise me that much. I've always known and acknowledged my lacking in my emotional aspect. My problem is that I cannot alter this overly critical attitude of mine thus making it challenging for me to date anyone. Another thing is that, I feel rather guilty that with my inability to sympathize. Instead of having this sense of desire to comfort or appease someone's burdened hearts, my mind immediately wanders off, thinking of a solution or why they felt this way, how that feeling of remorse could be avoided, hence I put up a farce of empathy in order to hide this shortcoming of mine. It's not that I am not proud of being an INTJ, I regard myself for being who I am. My ways have helped me avoid unneeded pain but at the same time, I avoid grasping happiness in the process. Ergo, I feel the need to question something: Should I continue to act like I can commiserate? Or should I just completely recognize that this what I am. Should I bother whether others would think ill of me or not? I'm young and I come from nation who look down upon people who are emotionally inadequate. I am an INTJ through and through and it is comforting to find this article, most especially regarding the romance part -- it seemed to hit a nerve as it was an accurate assessment of myself. I hope I may be able to put this into good use.
Melissa
5 years ago
I am 30's INTJ female... are we really that rare? I have been accused on being cold or short before but for me I just try to focus on behaviour and what I can do in an emotional time, rather than feeling the emotion. I find emotions distracting and know that if I attend to them for too long, then I will not be able to do what needs to be done. It's not that they consume me, I just don't see the point. I do have little patience for the overly-emotional as I don't seem to get the same pay off they do when they express their emotions. I tend to have more empathy for animals that can't help themselves, over people, who I know have the ability to rationalize. There are also some positives to my emotional profile though! Because I am aware of how I project emotionally, I don't take things personally when I get feedback from others. This logical thinking helps with the over-sensitive tendency. I think this also has made me successful at work beyond my reputation as a strategic thinker who gets the job done. I've also learned to 'fake' (or 'mimic' as the article says) creating attachments/acquaintances. I focus on asking questions about the other person (and respond only if they reflect the question). I leverage my 'curious' nature to ask questions to find out or understand how this person 'works'. The bonds I do create seem very deep, my friends know that I am someone that would do anything for them, and that I don't relate to acquaintances who don't hold their friendships in the same regard. So I think I feed into the INTJ profile a lot. But for me, even though I know it doesn't define me 100%, it's been key to finding ways of being happy with who and how I am :)
Don
5 years ago
I'm a 50's INTJ male. I would say that I have always been very emotional, but that is not something anyone else would say, but would rather suggest I am pretty quiet. I find I rely on my emotional side, but it is very private and is just for me and the few people in life that I will ever truly trust. Emotions are not something that I repress or ignore. On the contrary I feel everything very profoundly, more so than most people I think. It would be better to say that I have learned not to trust my emotional response, but I value the perspective it provides. I am probably one of the first to cry at a movie scene, as long as no-one can see me so I dont need to explain that I am simply in the moment enjoying the emotional outlet and I don't need to be comforted. On the opposite scale is getting cut off in traffic. Others express anger (hitting the steering wheel), and may seek retribution (ahh the finger), or become competitive (speeding up an following them), but to me the feeling is pure rage (how dare they break the rules, endanger others and myself, the thoughless brutes should not even be driving, why I would like to - well as they say, its best to never ask an INTJ what they are thinking). So why am I not a road-rage fiend, well my rational side notes that if I am upset, so is everyone around me upset (although likely to a lesser degree), and my best response (there is that "does it work" kicking in again) is to be a good driver keeping myself, my passengers and the other innocent drivers around me safe and slow down and put as much distance between myself and the unsafe driver as possible. Boring but wise (boy, that I could probably put that on my licence plate). So how could this hypersensitive emotional state be useful? I have found that it is pretty well impossible for anyone to lie to me, for my emotions will warn me (Ok, Ok, it will scream at me) that something is not right, and my rational side is in the habit of listening. Where it fails is when an emotional response is needed with one of those few people I should trust with one. Because I am inexperience with expressing emotion to others, will I be hurtful, will I not be understood, will I be judged more on how I feel than what I am. Overcoming this paralyzing fear is probably the greatest challenge I continue to face to maintain close relationships.
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