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.

4 years ago
When I was young I felt very little emotion even when my sister died. I found myself not shedding a single tear. As I've gotten older I specifically trained(at least attempted to train myself) myself to feel more emotion and to be more attuned to how people feel because I see the benefit in it. BUT I feel a whole lot better knowing I'm not the only one sometimes it can seem that way. This description while when I read it and examine myself rings so true I have never thought about it in the way this describes.
4 years ago
I have just recently learned my "type" and started to look into it. I feel vindicated knowing that I'm not just strange in my part of the world. It all happens in my head and everyone around me thinks I'm unfeeling and cold. Thanks for posting this, I appreciate it.
4 years ago
I think that a lot of the misconceptions that we INTJs tend to have about ourselves and our emotions is due to the simplistic way that the Thinking vs. Feeling dichotomy is phrased in most descriptions. Having a Thinking preference doesn't have to mean we don't feel emotions (and yes, in certain cases it can mean that, but there aren't many Thinkers who actually feel no emotions inside); it just means that our way of handling emotions is more analytical, rather than sentimental in nature. Conversely, being a Feeler doesn't mean that a person can't handle their emotions logically (though, again, in a number of cases in can mean that, but they are rare in reality); it just means that they use their sentiments as the basis for their reasoning, rather than the other way around. Discussions and debates between NTs (Rationals) & NFs (Idealist) can be just intellectually stimulating and emotionally restained as those between NTs, if both participants have mastered the use of their emotions. Exactly as the article above says, our emotions can be very powerful indeed but we have a different way of processing them. Particularly when it comes to the discussion of ideologies (political, economic, social, religious, etc.), we can have very strong emotional attachments to our ideas and belief systems. But we tend not to display it in our body language and tone to the extent that Feeling types do, and we tend to focus on how we can fix our problems more so than how we feel about them, even if those feelings are quite strong.
4 years ago
(I am a female INTJ teen btw) I don't seem to fit in with the way that most other INTJs are viewed by other people, even my closest friends don't know what I'm actually thinking or feeling most of the time. I have a bad habit of playing the "dumb-blonde" to comfort those around me so that they don't realize my true nature. I find it easier to come up with a faked emotional response so that people won't question me, and to give myself more time to rationally go over a situation in my own mind. People usually "leave me alone" after this, but are left with the impression that they know me way better than they actually do, often viewing me as "scatter-brained" ar "spazzy". Do other INTJs do this, or is it just me?
4 years ago
Dear N, I think that as you grow older you'll become more confident in your INTJ personality. Many people often think they know me well also, when I feel that my inner-self is still very hidden. In the future you won't feel the need to pretend to be someone you are not or act in a certain way to conform to society's expectations. I do beleive this is normal in your teenage years when you (as I did) feel that you don't fit in quite as well with other students. Perhaps you don't feel you are as outgoing or 'fun' because you are rationalizing and thinking so much? Sometimes you may think of so many things it can be perceived by others as 'scatter-brained'. As you mature I think you will internalize more of this and become more confident in your own personality. Because of your ability to rationalize, you are probably very good at giving advice :)
4 years ago
(female teen) No I do it as well. When I'm around other people--especially in crowds--I fake the emotions to keep people happy. It's irritating, but it's better than the strange looks you get when you say what you really think. The looks are kind of funny actually... but it alienates people fast, so I keep it in. Most people are probably under the impression I'm a ditz, nobody knows what I'm really thinking most of the time.
3 years ago
Hi N! Like Rose and L noted, all of us want to fit in. I used to hide my emotions even more and close myself up - not show people my "true brilliance" of who I was. I hid who I was and it was killing me slowly. I read that our personality has the highest amount of people who suffer depression and it's the highest suicide rate as well. It's hard being who we are. So I choose to break away and be who I was meant to be. So now I'm very much a INTJ and I'm proud of it. I'm proud of any INTJ who has been able to fight against this urge to give up. Be Yourself...that's the biggest thing that you have to do. So if someone doesn't except you, who cares! That's what I taught myself to believe and now I believe it 100%. Every INTJ is special and there's no enough of us out there! We can't afford to lose anymore of us!
Feelings, from an Intj?
4 years ago
I usually dont write on forums, however due to a very recent experience I will. I have always been an INTJ, I never show emotion. For quite some time I wasn't sure I had any emotion other than getting angry at the slow old guy in front of me on the road. I believe all emotion clouds rational thought, and inhibits any focus to the facts. I recently had a friend contact me. Over the past 15+ years we have been great friends, dated at one point and remained friends afterward. She married about a year or so after we went our separate ways, and I decided not to contact her for respect of her new union. Not sounding cliche, I was happy she was happy. At that point I "put the past in a jar on the back shelf" in hopes still talk from time to time. At that time I never really thought the whole situation through, and the implications it may have. I would like to add at the age of 35 now, I have only ever told one Person in my life "I love you" and she was that one person. In all my past relation ships, they have asked "Do you love me?" and to their dismay I have always told them "I see no point in lying, so at this time No." you can only imagine how long emotional people will stay around with that. Oh and being told "I can never get any type of emotion from you" has become old and tiresome... After the recent contact I found out that she had moved away, And ironically enough, that triggered and emotional land slide within me, one I long since thought was gone. At that point I realized That this being one of seven people in my life that I would call a friend, and the oldest friend too, that this might all be over. Thinking the issue through and breaking it down, She is now married, our society does not allow people to communicate with past relationships, I cant call her due to my own restraints, and respect to her husband. She lives more than a thousand miles away, so Visits for me is out of the question (thats my standard, to hell with the world point of view) that would be super weird. Oh and she just so happens to be very intelligent, sharp as hell, funny, and beautiful. I have always been honest with her, She is the only person I have ever truly felt free enough to share and say anything with. knowing I may have lost that and a friend of that magnitude was devastating. Faced with that I was hit with an emotional land slide, I was not ready for. I have not felt anything even one tenth of that in more than 20 years. It may sound like I never moved on, and that is just not the case, she is one of the most influential people in my life to date. (sorry Tesla, Einstein, Feynman, and Darwin) If you ask why we went our separate ways I would say at the time, we lived too far away and the distance was too much of a burden. ant Our time together was too short. I accept they way things turned out, I do believe everything in our universe has its course and this is just another path that will lead to the next chain of events. I have had some time to think this out and grab those feelings that somehow spilled out. They are put back on the shelf and when I get some time I will carefully go back and examine the jar with those feelings for further clarification and to better understand them. I will add I am glad I am not the only INTJ "robot" that this has happened to.. I live in my head and this time the voices could not help me, I need to figure this on out on my own.
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