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
This is fascinating. I have always felt "off" in a world of extroverts. It's so nice to know that there are others out there like me (albeit rare, as we women in this category are). I just don't understand why everyone doesn't think like I do, it's so logical! LOL
5 years ago
I am an INTJ. My whole life I thought there was something wrong with me. I would sit in school and want to go up to the board and teach the class, I was so bored. I spent most of my day sleeping and still get A's on exams but failed to do homework, so I received lower grades. Teachers, parents, and children thought I was weird and could not understand me. I spent most of my childhood reading nonfiction books and memorizing history and geography. Thoughts constantly stream through my head and I analyze everything I see throughout my day. This can become annoying and I just want it to stop but I can not turn my brain off even at night when I sleep. I sit in meetings most of my day at work and mostly zone out after I figure out a solution to the problem in the first five minutes. I keep my solution to myself until at least 30 minutes pass and everyone has had a chance to discuss the problem. This drives me crazy because it wastes time that I could use to solve another problem. By the way has anyone found a way to control the nonstop thoughts in your head? It would be great to use an "OFF" switch so I can relax.
5 years ago
Hi, Hal! I completely understand the constant analyzing. It is very annoying. I used to think there was something wrong with me. I just try to tell myself that it isn't me. I feel very alone at times because nobody seems to see or absorb the types of things I do and they certainly don't break down everything the way that I do. To answer your question---I journal and take pictures of things. It helps me break down the work and then I don't get annoyed when I bombard people with questions and they look at me like I am crazy. The world is very rich and vibrant to me. EVERYTHING has meaning to me and find substance in all parts of life.
5 years ago
That is hilarious! The fact you let other people have a chance to discuss various possibilities while you already knew the solution right off the bat...that is exactly how I deal with B.S meetings at work. I learned to not offer solutions and logic immediately anymore . Rather I put on a pretense of feigned sensitivity and provide faux compliments to certain incompetent managers (to my personal disdain) in order to get things done. I analyze systems and work flow processes to pin point issues in order to increase efficiency and minimize wasted "productivity". However it seems in my case, no one really wants to deal with it since they either can't wrap their mind around the notion of the "bigger picture" or get pass their inflated egos of understanding logic and TRUTH. The "off" switch is never really off. I can systematically break down anything in my mind and when I reach a point not knowing, I make it a point to find out. From a thought/statement to its origin in the psychological/biological realms, to analyzing and understanding the features of certain geographical landscapes and the science of earth formations behind never ends. Is it a bad thing? Sometimes... but I learned to apply this unique thinking to world problems and what hypothetical solutions (if I had the resources) to alleviate or potentially solve them. It's a fun activity, maybe INTJS can get together and apply our combined skills to good use!
5 years ago
As an introvert, I was called shy, stuckup, sneaky and antisocial. I don't do well in a structured learning environment because I usually end up challenging the teacher (which most do not like at all). I find that most men are put off with my in-your-face Thinking trait. I consider showing my "softer side" as a sign of weakness and to be avoided at all costs, which, as a woman, does not usually serve me very well. I am also an excellent driver but I find it exhausting. I love love love maps and don't usually use GPS navigators because I like to understand where I am going - get the big picture of it - instead of just turning right or left with no frame of reference. I am definitely not "romantic" in the sense of anniversaries or renewal of vows or stuff like that. I absolutely hate drama! You know, those emotional roller coasters that some people just love and (as far as I can tell) create because they can't live without it. Ugh! I don't care for a lot of men because they tend to be too shallow (but I do love a man who can make me laugh!). I don't care for a lot of women because....well, see above. My daughter is an ISFJ and a triple Cancer and I struggle to understand her. I have always read tons and will read pretty much anything. When I get on a roll about a subject then I am insatiable. I am a binger if something gets under my skin. I have very little respect for authority per se. I don't care for organized religion and would NEVER be involved with a religion that holds women in lower esteem. I do believe that there is some sort of higher reality, but I don't know what it is. I've never labeled myself as an athesist because it seems obvious that you can't know there is no god anymore than you can know there is one. As an INTJ woman, I think my life has been extremely difficult. But understanding my personality and, maybe more importantly, understanding others' has helped me a great deal. I just wish I had found all this out earlier. Lastly, being the J that I am, I apologize for any typos!
The Anonymous INTJ
4 years ago
I agree completely. I am currently in high school, at 16 years old. There are some people who call me stuck up just because I don't talk to them. I think it's really annoying. What they don't understand is that it is hard for me to relate to them and find a topic to discuss that we would both enjoy. These people are usually extroverts interested in small talk or gossip, which I don't really understand or enjoy. As a female I think people almost expect me to gossip or talk more than I am inclined to, and when they see the way I behave they try to "correct" me. I avoid talking to the people that want to talk to me because they get into all sorts of conflicts, which I've always done my best to avoid. I'ts not that I'm stuck up or shy -I can communicate quite well if I need to- I just try to avoid the loud people who like instigating fights.
Carlos Roehrich
5 years ago
Thanks for the article. I spend hours and hours trying to understand, who I am. This is so true...
5 years ago
I too love to drive, especially curves. Does anyone else like maps like I do? Oh why couldn't I have known about this, say, when I was 12? Would have explained the painful high school and lost college years. Still drifting from one job to another. Learning, conquering, getting restless, getting bored out of my mind, hating mind-numbing rules, stupidly clocking in, propping others up. All the while coming up with many suggestions, plans, elaborate schemes, most of the time in mere minutes when no one else had anything. I've saved corporations lots of money, increased output, made money for them. Not even a pat on the back. Or others took the credit. My mind works fast. It's always moving. Moving things around. I crave stimulation. Anyone else? I don't like being around other people who can't keep up. It's an absolute delight when I meet someone who "gets" me. Relationships truly are my downfall. The profile was spot on. In high school I just couldn't get the hang of the high pitched squeal the other girls seemed to master that said, "I'm so helpless and vulnerable. Please deliver sex now." I was working on developing yet another skill that was making me independent and interesting. I couldn't figure out why that didn't trump squeals and batting eyelids. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. Fast-forward 30 years: guys on CraigsList are running ads begging for a woman "who doesn't play games, who will listen to them, who is interesting, who wants sex." Wow! My time has come. I just had to wait most of my life for it. Hahaha! So, are other INTJ women just interested in great sex and getting up and saying, "Adios!"??? I don't want a relationship. I want what society says is taboo: great sex with lots of different men with no strings attached. I'm going to crawl back into my world of guy friends, finishing yet another job and start the task of searching for another, continue my uneasy relationship with my daughters, and always dream, create and read, read, read.
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