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

Adrian Johnson
5 years ago
I am an INTJ, IQ 158 and a retired biologist . I am also a Catholic Intellectual -- I get a real kick out of reading (in translation, as my Latin isn't that good) the "Summa Theologica" of Saint Thomas Aquinas, (AD 1225--1274) who was probably another high-IQ INTJ. His intellectual stance was to take the rich intellectual tradition of the pagan Greeks and show how science didn't interfere with Christian faith, and vice versa. Aquinas by his logic showed centuries beforehand that when the theory of Evolution appeared, it could be accommodated by believers because (as atheists have never bothered to understand) the Catholic religion is not *fundamentalist*, as most Protestant sects that split from it are.
5 years ago
I'm so in love with an INTJ right now. This describes him perfectly. He's so honest and self aware. If I ask him for criticism, he doesn't even hesitate. He's really helpful, amazingly intelligent, and funny. I'm always thinking when I'm with him. I love how challenging he is and how he lights up when he talks about something that interests him. After meeting him, everyone in my life has begun to seem more and more boring compared to him. I've read things that say INFPs and INTJs aren't so good together, but I disagree. Because both types are so growth oriented, I think any INFP that isn't vain or immature would love criticism from an INTJ the way I do. It's totally different from the kind of brutal, unhelpful criticism that often comes from XSTJ types. I also think INFP is a good type to teach INTJ to be more vulnerable and open with their emotions. I know ENFP is supposed to be the ideal type for INTJ but I think they can overwhelm each other and in my experience ENFPs like other XXFP types and usually don't notice INTJs. INTJs are also really good for INFPs because they can teach us how to deal with conflict. My lover jumps on a conflict as soon as he sees it. Unlike other types that are good at solving conflicts because they like to get it over with, INTJs actually enjoy solving conflicts. That creates such a positive environment for someone like me who is so intimidated by it. I'm learning how not to live in fear of conflict from this wonderful man. <3
5 years ago
So...I am definitely an INTJ, according to the definition provided above, but (as I look through the comments) everyone here seems to be a super genius. I feel like I'm in the wrong forum. Are all INTJ's supposed to be super smart, or are there less fortunate strains of our species? Haha.
5 years ago
Haha Barbies, those hilarious things! From the beginning, I took mine apart, to understand the mechanisms in the arms, and their poor range of motion. Putting them back together was, of course, more difficult and largely unsuccessful. My family stopped buying them and started getting me gift cards/money at age 10. They've told me I had no soul since then! It is so nice to read all these comments—I feel a lot more normal. Question: I have had difficulty finding definite articles or information on this, but does anyone know if FBI Profiling is a good pursuit? I should think so, and I know that I automatically create mental note cards about everyone I know. This may be naive, but I was just curious.
4 years ago
I usually just chewed on the hands and feet of my Barbies. I liked chewing a lot. Also I liked to create disturbing and detailed narratives with my dolls.
5 years ago
Took a test this year and found out that I am an INTJ. I have always been wildly interested in science, psychology, and desired to learn politics and philosophy when I was a kid. I remember thinking all my classmates are idiots and I was the only intelligent one in the class. But I treasured the few people I considered to be my close friends. So when "best friend" after best friend got bored/irritated with my penchant for discussing serious things (however serious a kid can get) my self-esteem plummeted and I decided that I just wanted to be "normal" even if it meant being superficial or whatever. Was I just unlucky for not being able to find friends who could accept me?? How on earth did other INTJs survived puberty? I can't even remember how it felt like to wholeheartedly, unabashedly immerse myself in books and material, just for the thrill of learning and knowing more. Also, I realised that many INTJs on forums and such talk, almost haughtily, about how effortless it was for them to score well in school without studying. That was never the case for me, and I especially did not like/do well in Math. The only subject I consistently did well in was English, and I attribute that to my innate love for the language.
5 years ago
One thing that really hit me was what you said about close friends and how they all got bored of you because you preferred talking about serious or deeper issues. I didn't know anybody else felt that way and seriously, for a long time, I thought I was just crazy and some sort of emotionally unstable person who constantly needed to talk about deep things. Thanks for saying what you did. It's nice to have a bit of mutuality for once.
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