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.

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.
5 years ago
You will all be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
Natasha Estelle
5 years ago
Well, okay, yeah. I actually have a big sense of empathy, most of the time I just refuse to acknowledge it, especially when I think a person is being imbecilic about something. Like, boo hoo, my life is sad type of thing. I mean, come on, get over it.
5 years ago
Hmmmm...... I don't really get it.... I'm an INTJ through and through (I took the ACT for the first time in December and got a composite score of 29 without studying whatsoever), and up to March 21 of last year, I never really dealt with emotions, instead tucking them away. These days, however, I make an effort to express myself to at least my best friend, a female ENTP. See, I have severe depession, so sometimes all of those INTJ qualities really feed into it. While i'm now at least in touch with my emotional side, I'm rather confused. I despise rules that dont make sense, made by people that have shown me no reason whatsoever as to why they are in charge, yet I tend to be either PAINFULLY FORMAL or I completely disregard rules (a legitamate ADHD INTJ, thats got to be rare ). So sometimes I'm very confident, and others I despise myself. One of my biggest problems, however, is that one emotion thats a perfect poison: Love. Due to the fact that I've shut down my emotions for years, im not very good at controling them. I think I have feelings for my best friend, the ENTP girl. however, as stated in this article, Romance and reading people arent an INTJ's strong point. Suggestions? Oh, for the record im 16. -Pax
5 years ago
To Jake. You mentioned that you are 16. I'm 61 & an intj, so I can pass on some experience. Try volunteering at the local soup kitchen, animal shelter, etc. You will gain valuable insight into people.
5 years ago
I am an INTJ, but I also consider myself a very empathetic person; the empathy just dies quickly. For example, when I hear about something upsetting, my empathy kicks in and tells me "hey, this is bad/sad." And that's it. Immediately the emotions die and I begin thinking of solutions to the problem. My emotions stick around just long enough to supplement my logical analyses; they're gone as soon as I reach a balanced decision. I never understood how people could dwell on something emotionally disturbing, instead of shutting off their emotions and getting to work solving the issue at hand. Most of the time, before I can even understand how I feel about an issue (I usually figure this out when I'm alone and my mind can analyse and re-analyse all the details involved), I'm already posing solutions that I stock up in my mind and sift through. It isn't that I lack empathy or other emotions, I just don't let my emotions get in the way of rational decisions.
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