INTJ Personality (“The Architect”)

It’s lonely at the top, and being one of the rarest and most strategically capable personality types, INTJs know this all too well. INTJs form just two percent of the population, and women of this personality type are especially rare, forming just 0.8% of the population – it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

Nothing Can Stop the Right Attitude From Achieving Its Goal

With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, INTJs are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. INTJs enjoy sharing what they know as well, confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but owing to their Intuitive (N) and Judging (J) traits, they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip.

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

Harlan Ellison

A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested INTJ from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.

INTJ personality

In Matters Of Principle, Stand Like a Rock

INTJs radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery, and their insightful observations, original ideas and formidable logic enable them to push change through with sheer willpower and force of personality. At times it will seem that INTJs are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with INTJs’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect.

Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas.

This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – INTJs will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where INTJ personality types run into trouble.

One Reflects More When Traveling Alone

INTJs are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but INTJs may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in INTJs as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.

INTJs are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. This isn’t meant to suggest that INTJs act without conscience, but to many Feeling (F) types, INTJs’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type.

Architects You May Know

4 years ago
This is so strangely accurate. I described myself as the girl behind the curtain many times before I knew about personality typing. My best friend is outwardly the leader between us but she never makes a decision without my input, and I usually end up with the bigger say anyways.The part about not understanding complex social rituals is true too. I just don't understand the point of playing the high school gossip game (I'm 16). It makes zero sense. I am confident in my knowledge but I know when I don't know. I don't enjoy the spotlight and if I don't care about the topic of conversation, I won't bother. I am such a perfectionist, too. I particularly enjoyed the metaphor about my imagination being like a constantly moving chessboard because when I think about things and make decisions, it really is like that. Tasks are a moral obligation and I must follow through. I am an idealist and a cynic at the same time. All in all, this is spot-on, very accurate.
Thiago Luz
4 years ago
I believe Stanley Kubrick, the filmmaker, fits perfectly as a INTJ person.
Maia Rali
4 years ago
Hello. My daughter did a personality test and she tested as an INTJ. I do see many similarities between her and this description, but the jobs listed as a good fit for her are things that she has absolutely no interest in. In fact, she dislikes computers. Oh, she'll use them (you can't get by in this society without one), and she can normally work out how to do what she wants to do on them, but she is very vocal about her belief that social media is ruining the world. She is much more interested in writing, psychology, and even drawing. Should I try to push her to look at these other jobs? Do you think that she would do better in one of these professions? (I apologize for asking for any sort insight into this matter with the limited information I've given about her, but I still want some input. Thank you for your time.)
4 years ago
Please keep in mind these are just my opinions. I don't think it's ever appropriate to "push" a child to go into a specific job type/future. It's something the child should choose and discover for themselves, since I imagine your goal as a parent is to ensure she finds fulfillment in life. That said, it's important to expose them to new ideas they may not have considered before. Make sure she is aware of and has the opportunity to explore those additional options, but in the end it will be the child's decision. If not now, it might be twenty years from now; better for it to be now.
4 years ago
I would not be a good writer because it takes too long to put thoughts into words though I do like to write technical documents. I think I would be a good psychologist but would have a hard time being empathetic. As an INTJ, I use creativity in finding solutions and this creativity may come out in drawing (not sure.) My advice would be to let her be herself and don't push her. Instead, challenge her and give her all the information she can take in and then give her time to analyze it. INTJs are very introspective and continually analyze not just the rest of the world, but also themselves. If you feel you must give advise, please do so by suggestion and give a well founded reason for your suggestion. But I warn you that if the reason is weak, she will lose respect for the suggestion, and possibly for you. Perhaps one of the civil engineering professions would allow her to express herself in design (drawing) and in writing.
4 years ago
Don't try to direct her path. Only push her to go further down it. An INTJ doesn't have to have a "technical" job. They will just need to approach the job that they do have in a rational manner.
4 years ago
I agree with Edvard--you don't really want to push her in any direction. Nudging, however, can be much more effective. I think INTJ's have a hard time accepting a new idea until it can be presented in a manner that we agree with (a logical or objective standpoint) or until we come to a new conclusion on our own. (One example would be my distaste for skinny jeans because I'd reasoned they looked ridiculous. I could argue fashion has changed so there's more you can do with them, but the fact of the matter is a friend insisted I try a pair on and then I found out I look good in them. Voila, I now own several pairs LOL). Personally, I don't think her personality sets her career choice in stone--it just gives you an idea of where her personality will do best given her outlook and work ethic. Another example, I'm an art student (a subject not listed for the INTJ career path) but I'm specializing in graphic design, which requires me to tackle a creative problem and then solve it through visual representation. I love it since it allows me to exercise my mental muscles while still having the freedom to illustrate. So, if your daughter is truly interested in writing, psychology, or art, I'd encourage exploring what's available in these fields with her. Alternatively, seeing if any of these three coincide with law, science, or engineering in a way that would be interesting to her. If she's really an INTJ, anything focused around problem solving will probably suit her best. Hope this helps. :)
Maia Rial
4 years ago
Thank you, everyone. I applied your input to our next serious conversation and she completely opened up. She thinks she may study to become and editor in a publishing company, whilst writing on the side. It appears that she has been thinking and planning her career path for quite some time, but hadn't felt comfortable telling me because she assumed I wouldn't listen properly because I was always pushing her towards other, more scientific, jobs. This just goes to show that listening is always better than assuming. Thanks again for all of your help.
4 years ago
I was skeptical about this test, but when a friend insisted I do it, I went ahead and there's no regret. It almost perfectly describes me. As an introvert, I don't necessarily despise company, but I'd rather be selective about it. I am not shy, but I do not open my mouth unless I have something productive to say. I dislike small talk, and refuse to participate in it. In a world where extroverts flourish, we often shun the potential of introverts. I am intelligent (as a physician) and I am indeed "mysterious". I find relationships difficult because most of my life goes on in my head, and often it never plays out like that in real life and I get disappointed. I do, shamefully, blame that on the fact that others are shallow and clearly just not as deep as me. That could just be my inherent ego speaking.
4 years ago
hi! i am an introvert too and i just have to agree with you about "I find relationships difficult because most of my life goes on in my head, and often it never plays out like that in real life and I get disappointed." it is kinda depressing when things dont go accordingly. and yes, relationship is scary. i'm also kinda afraid of having one, i'm not sure whether i should get married or not. i feel like i dont belong & couldnt stand to be married.
4 years ago
Being an INTJ for two years, one notable ability I have is being able to analyze a social environment and adapt to it... sometimes. I love using my mental ability to come up with solutions and have no problem working overtime if needed. I enjoy planning my week out and organizing my room and work area. A statement I read about INTJ's is that they have a hard time respecting supervisors or higher authorities if they appear to not have the talent or presentable attitude. Oh, how this is so true. But of course being me, I won't say anything. Depending upon the situation, I find myself taking long periods of time in making a decision, such as making a PowerPoint, comparing product prices, and finding the right words to write (such as this one.) I would say that a few positive traits of an INTJ are: analytical, contemplative, and ambitious. However, as a counterargument, I also find myself to be selfish and difficulties in humbleness. I try my best in not showing that dark side, yet, the thoughts linger in my mind. Please, feel free to express what you think about this!
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