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

Valerie
5 years ago
I absolutely agree with the majority of the listings in this article. However, I would also argue that while this may be the essence of an individual, the prevalence of these default traits do indeed vary depending on significantly influential factors, such as culture or upbringing. I was raised in a very religious environment where I was encouraged to muffle my objectivism and highlight social and sympathetic inclinations that are considered more becoming of my gender. Because of this, my objectivism has been channeled in such a way that humor, wit and sarcasm are its primary manifestations. While I resent the gender-biased domestic conditioning, the enhancement of sympathetic tendencies has proved beneficial in almost every aspect of my life. Most people are intelligent enough to be aware of when they are being talked down to and are most definitely unappreciative of it. Sympathy, even if feigned, makes interactions go smoother.
Alexandre
5 years ago
Does somebody have established any relationship between this personality type and IQ ?
Maitri Harys
4 years ago
I've got an IQ of 137, am an INTJ female; I do not know how rare this makes me, but yeah, I have a definite advantage over fellow designers, some of whom do not either know the subject content, or aren't curious about it. I've been called brilliant, but I never scored high in school tests - owing mostly to the fact that everything I was forced to learn was something already proved beyond measure. On the other hand, I topped my batch in under graduation, something no one had ever expected an "average scorer" (yes, stigma attached from high school) to do. If you, too, worry about whether you do not have academic results to match your high IQ, doesn't matter, because you're an INTJ just breaking out of the monotonous box of testing methods used to evaluate people at large... most of us aren't like the majority of people, so getting results dissimilar to others is rather frequent, and admit it: you like that you're different from others.
Jeanne
5 years ago
If only I knew this when I was 5. But oh well life goes on let's just add this for future ref. And that leadership thing.. I only try to take the lead of something if the situation is 'holy cow, this is so going to crash and burn' lol.
Kasey
5 years ago
Wow... this explains a lot about being the only female in engineering. I always thought that was the reason my friends were mostly guys People have always said I was intelligent and calculatingly cold at times but hated taking the lead on something (Especially while working on my doctorate except when proving a point). I even hesitate to finish it because deep down I don't want the responsibility or recognition of having a doctorate, but I love going to school too much and fear this would be the mark of an educational end for me and I wish I could keep going. I never did understand gossiping and can't stand it or its social games, probably why i don't relate well to girls socially. At least I know I'm not alone and there is some comfort in that. well that and I have a somewhat logical label for it now.
Chadia Mathurin
5 years ago
I am a 21 year old university student from the Caribbean, and in all honesty I was beginning to think that I have a serious problem. I’ve been told that I’m extremely brilliant but arrogant. I’ve been told that I’m a know – it – all without any tact and I think it would be safe to say that I am socially inept. I love taking classes, but I am generally disappointed, bored or frustrated because most lecturers are unable to impress me after 5 mins. I have no regard for the title of Dr. or Head of Department. I will literally call out anyone on what I believe to be nonsense. I disregard rules about attendance and tutorials if I deem them to be irrelevant, and I absolutely detest being micromanaged. My grades are far below the expectations of my lecturers and tutors, and it’s simply because I believe that their exams are fruitless. I go into an exam knowing what is expected of me, but will choose to push the borders of creativity anyways. In other words, I will write what I believe to be meritous in an exam as opposed to what a lecturer would believe an A to be worth. Where I go to school, this is absolutely unacceptable. My personality type has definitely made life more difficult for me. It’s difficult for me to view other people’s point of view if it’s not logical, and many times I was unable to see why people thought that my personality was such a repellant. Reading this, has given me many things to think about. I don’t intend to change who I am as it has its advantages, but understanding who I am will definitely give me the tools to navigate the environment of life better.
R.T.
5 years ago
I can totally relate to what you're saying... Luckily for me, I grew up with an INFP/ISFP father, who could recognize my behaviour and intervened immediately (I was about 10 at that time...). What he told me (and worked for me ever since) was to see my OWN actions in the BIG picture of my life: he advised me to yes, care about the knowledge itself more than about the marks, but at the same time, to remember that it is up to ME to REMOVE and not BUILD barriers for myself. What is the purpose of going to primary school? Learning general subjects. For the big picture of my life, does it matter how silly my primary teacher was? No. What is the purpose of getting a degree? To me, it was working in a field I liked. What is the purpose of getting a PhD? To me, working INDEPENDENTLY on a fascinating subject, of my OWN choyce, having access to the best state-of-the art equipment, being surrounded mostly by very smart colleagues (I couldn't care less about the title itself) and so on... Would I have gotten to where I am just by rebellion alone? No. All it took for me was to realise that that was a self-built, self-sabotageing barrier. What do you think, did I keep being "selective" even during my university years with the subjects I was studying? Of course, if I found it borring and irrelevant for the work itself, I couldn't be bothered - when I thought it was the case, I didn't even bother to "judge" the teacher's competencies - I was just there to take my exam, learn as much as possible (often about my own tolerance limits as well) and see to my own life... And yes, I did enjoy having my share of "fun" with certain innuendos that only few could get (only if I couldn't "help" it)... But otherwise, the No. 1 rule I still apply is "what can I do, what is it that's up to ME to change?"... If the answer to myself is "nothing", than I interpret it as either being in the wrong place, or by just not worth getting into it at all... Best of luck, Chadia ;)!
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