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

5 years ago
I wonder if I am the only one who feels uncomfortable being pigeon-holed? I am taking these tests because logic says I would be best in a career in which my best attributes flourish and this seems to be one of the best ways to find it. I am uncomfortable with labels in any area as I feel people tend to try to label themselves to death, but I have to say that the above description is very correct for me personally. I don't play games, don't particularly want to be in charge but will if necessary. In fact, it is easier to 'lead' people when you aren't in charge in my opinion. People really don't understand my quest for logic and why I need to have a reason to do something. I have implicit confidence in my ability to deal with things that come at me, but I really don't feel like I am 'better' than other people - in fact I rarely think about others at all. I am too honest for most people. Seriously, it's gotten me in trouble quite a few times. My biggest issue is that I really don't feel I need other people...I feel complete unto myself. Nor do I want other people, except for my husband I don't feel a desire for friends at all. As far as IQ, I am 135, but IQs aren't everything. My social IQ is quite a bit lower, although my husband would swear I am great with people - I think it is because I have learned how to 'act' with people...if that makes any sense to you other INTJ's. It is a strategy that seems to work to get through the situation. I am not religious at all, but I am spiritual: spirituality being to me a search for unseen truths. I also believe that health is not only physical, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually and that to experience a truly fulfilling life we need to strive for health in all areas. I mean, if you are physically healthy but an emotional wreck or a mental midget would it mean anything? Career wise I have ended up in 3 jobs dominated by men: military, computer programming and a/v tech. I'm not sure why I gravitate towards these fields, but I do seem to get along best with men as I understand their logic and their motivations. With women, I am never sure about what they want. They seem untrustworthy and illogical most of the time. Again, that is just MY personal concern, not a judgment or even a truth. I would prefer a job where I am left alone to do what I do - preferably in nature - but so far, no luck. I am unrelentingly fair - even if it goes against myself. I don't know if this is a personal quirk or not, but I am very minimalist. I only have things in my life that are useful or directly bring me joy. I have NOTHING without a reason and everything needs to be efficient, even clothing. In relationships I am the same way. If you don't have a reason or bring me joy, I don't waste my own or your time pretending. That sounds bad I guess, but it is the way I am. It seems rude to me to continue with something that isn't useful to both sides. Anyway, this is fun, but it isn't all of who I am. We all are such complex individuals that although this helps me to understand myself, I know there is much more to me and everyone else...
5 years ago
I wouldn't worry too much about being "pigeon-holed". I can certainly understand that you're uncomfortable with an unchangeable label. As the article states, "everything should be questionable and open to re-evaluation." I always thought I was a prospecting type for that reason. I'm satisfied for now thinking that I'm an INTJ, although most assessments (including this one) say I'm an ENTP or ENFP. That's not going to stop me from constantly analyzing and reassessing my personality. And you're correct in saying that we are complex individuals - these tests and labels do nothing to account for the diversity within each of the sixteen groups. I agree with you about the illogical behaviour of women. I am one of two sisters in a family of ten and that doesn't bother me at all. They tend to be overly influenced by unpredictable emotions. I don't exactly dislike them, but I have trouble working with them.
5 years ago
I heard someone mention that the intj types tend to hang out with those most like them, like males with males and vice-versa. However, don't find this true as I hate most males. At least thosemy age because of their less than appealing tendencies and requirements that I fit into there pre-set notions of what a man is. That and most males my age are blathering idiots.
5 years ago
I hail from a tiny island in Asia, near Malaysia. I'm an INTJ Head Teacher and a national award winner (also a Choleric Sanguine with a consultative leadership style) and dating an INTJ male. This is wonderful and fascinating. It truly has helped me understand myself better and how my personality affects the human dynamics at work. As I am working in an early childhood service industry that deals with several government agencies, children and parents, I can't help but keep up the appearance of being approachable when all I want to do (sometimes) is stay in my area of the classroom. I hate the idea of being pushed to take up principalship and rather be influential with the team of teachers that I lead. I will share this with my superior so that he can understand the rationale behind what drives INTJs. LOL.
5 years ago
There were several accurate descriptions of me, but a lot that didn't fit me at all, such as: being decisive, self-confident, having willpower, and being a natural leader. There were also a lot of questions I didn't know how to answer, either because I didn't understand them or just didn't know. Also, when I got the results, it said some questions were left unanswered even though I double checked them to make sure every one was answered.
5 years ago
I had similar thoughts but then I tried to evaluate them. I don't consider myself a confident person but I think that's because I am not confident around other people in social situations. When I thought more, I am confident in myself and trust myself to make the right decisions regardless of many possible situations. I am indecisive when it comes to trivial things like where to go eat etc. (I think because they don't matter to me) but am decisive in most important choices. I also do not consider myself a natural leader because I don't like leading and because more extroverted people don't tend to listen to the meek and humble. I have noticed that when I am forced to lead, it usually ends well but I think it's because my plan is solid and I know how I want it to be executed, not because I am good at leading.
Steve Miller
5 years ago
The part of the INTJ description that hit me the hardest was the ability to conceive of a brilliant plan- and also to execute it! Probably because my plans are not brilliant enough that I anticipate anyone else doing the execution. But I do make long term, unusual plans, and am capable of working tirelessly for years on repetitive tasks without getting bored.
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