My son says he is INTJ and after reading several articles I think he is right. My problem is dealing with him. He is now 20 and has always been a lonely child. Recently he was in the hospital because he had threatened to kill himself. He is back home on medication. We try talking to him but he always has this attitude of 'mind your own business', says we don't know him and never have. A couple of days ago when he said this I answered, 'well we know the person you pretend to be, what do you expect!'
Can someone help me to understand him?


Guest (not verified) says...

Your site is interesting & I hope it will help me.

Febena (not verified) says...

First of all: I'm truly sorry to hear that.
I hope things get better soon!

As a young INTJ myself, I also have this problem with my parents (I am also a lonely child), but I never have threatened to kill myself.
While I was having a hard time I watched YouTube and played games and doing that shaped me, maked me the way I am now.
Because of that I learned English (I live in Belgium and we only speak Dutch) and I found things that interest me. Now I just turned 14 and I'm doing fine because of my interests. They keep me wanting to live.

My personnal advise is to say he's right. That you don't understand how he feels, but that you are really trying to. Find out the stuff he likes and give him a present by Christmas you know he will love. Try to be as often as you can with him but respect his privacy and don't make the expression that you are checking on him. Of course: this is my personnal advise and I really hope that this helped.

-Your friend: Febena

Guest (not verified) says...

Hello Febena,

I appreciate your answer. I desperatly need help to understand him and he's not helping me with this. Maybe it's because he hasn't found himself like you have.

I do try to be with him more often but at the same time I'm checking on him, and he knows. I'll just pop downstairs and say, hi, how are you. He looks at me with evil eyes and says 'the same'. So following your advice I will try to be more discreet.
Things he likes, I don't really know any more. Thought he loved video games (Playstation), but he says no. Although when he plays we can hear him laughing & talking to the other players. Do you think he's saying he doesn't like it just not to admit it to me?
If you have any more advice, please, let me know, I just want him to be happy.
Thanks again.

Febena (not verified) says...

As a gift I would recommend the Playstation VR headset. It is pretty expensive though (like 400 euros in my country), but if he likes Playstation, this would be a dream. Of course, it is also possible he already has this. If you are considering to buy this: make sure he has a Playstation and doesn't have an Xbox, because it doesn't work on Xbox and I'm sure he will feel terrible if you give him a present he can't use. Just google 'Playstation VR headset' for more info. If he already has this present or it is simply impossible to buy this you can search for some games for Playstation. During the period of Christmas there are a ton of new releases. Or go to the nearest gamestop and ask for help to an employee. Just make sure he does not have the game already, because it will break his heart and make him just pretty mad.

If this info was helpful in any way, please let me know. I will search for some popular games that will release soon.
If you are considering to buy the VR headset (or if he has it already), please let me know. So I can search for some games that are playable on the headset.


Guest (not verified) says...

I checked out the VR Headset, had no idea what it was, but seeing it on the Web I remember seeing advertising about it. Oh but yes, it is very expensive, we live in Canada and it's $700 CAD, a little (a lot) too expensive for now. We usually do get him video games (Call of Duty, etc.), I would have liked getting him something different. I guess clothes he would not consider a gift, more of a necessity. If I think of something I will ask your opinion if you don't mind.
On a personnal note I must again thank you. I feel much better now that I can talk to someone who doesn't seem to judge me. I guess since you are not the subject of my problems it doesn't bother you to answer my questions, while my son it seems to irritate him (always telling me I should know the answer).

febena (not verified) says...

If you have any questions. Feel free to ask!
And of course I do not judge you. I'm actually glad that you don't judge me for bad grammar. If I were in your situation, I would feel terrible and desperate. My mother teached me to be sensitive, but sometimes it's hard, because I'm still an INTJ. Most of the time I just don't understand how people feel and because of that I sometimes just really hurt the people I love. Then they say that I'm insensitive and I didn't care what they said. I had my games and I had YouTube. I didn't need anything else. Until my mother and I had a conversation about she being unhappy and having the need to interact with me, but I didn't like anything except games. My family thinks a game is unworthy to give as a present and always give/gave me stuff I do not like. "Do you like it?" "Of course!..." But my mother is willing to give games as presents as long if I work hard at school (I would even work hard and have good grades without reward (good grades is already a great reward) so that's not a problem) I am greatful to have such a nice mother. I know you already tried to talk with him and it didn't turn out like it did for me. And that really is unfortunate. I stopped shutting her down after the encounter with her. Maybe you can ask a friend of him to help you figuring out what he likes. Remember if you have any ideas or questions, you can always ask me.

K Discern (not verified) says...

Hi INTJ here. I'm going to be a bit blunt. Please understand I care; I'm just not good at wording things sometimes.

First, have you sought professional help for you... You need support and guidance when you have someone in your home who is suicidal. A member in my family committed suicide after several attempts. I didn't know him but I've seen the effect it had on my family. As my mom has told me, you always think of the "what if I did x" and "why didn't I know x". You need to seek out a professional; that personal can better help you in this situation and group support to help you through this. The level of agony that weighs on parents heart when they have a suicidal kid is tremendous. Don't solve this alone. Find others who have succeeded and failed in helping loved ones. Learn and get support. Go online, look for a group support and a professional.

Second, how much have you read up on INTJ and how much do you know about your own personality type? This is important. Knowing your personality type and those closest to him in the family can may give you some insight in how things fell apart. If they are not interested in taking a test to find out their type, read Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen. I am reading that book, good book, and it helps to see what type people are.

Here is some info to check out for INTJ. They have a premium profile for $33.00 that has about 140 pages of info on INTJs. I have not personally bought this, but I have read up on the info that is free and I like it. this one is free if you type 0 in the suggested amount. The author gives you the freedom to pay whatever you want for the book. Again I have not read this one yet but it has some good reviews from fellow INTJs.

Also have you read the The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. Here is a link for that . I think they have one for adult children but starting at the teen level may help you to identify some things that he struggled in and give a little more clarity to his situation. Personally I found this helpful because, as the book explains, every person has one or two primary ways of feeling loved. If a parent does not express love in those ways some kids grown up feeling unloved, even when parents are at there best. My parents were missing some of my secondary love language and speaking a love language that didn't mean as much to me. When I had the knowledge, I could express this to them. So read up on love languages to make sure you are expressing love in a way that clicks with your sons heart. You, like many other parents, can be doing your best and still a kid... I know he is twenty, still a kid in some ways... may not feel loved.

I kinda gave you a lot. If I come up with any additional info, I'll be back here to post it.
Final note: Can you get your son reading up on INTJ personality. ...
New Thought: on Youtube there is a guy,
He is an INTJ and he does videos. Watch them. Especially the "20 Signs You Are an INTJ". Talk to that guy... Ben is his name he may be able to help you. After you watch the video see if you can get your son to watch it. Personally, I do the death stare, and my mom used to think I was upset. She would get upset that I wouldn't just tell her what was wrong. Now she knows that I'm normal for my type, and that has resolved some of our conflict.

Again if I think of anything else... I'll be back. I got to go to sleep it is almost 12:00am.

... Okay one more thing since we are on Youtube check out other INTJs and ask for advise maybe one of them likes to play video games and could meet your son in a game and chat with him. Sometimes knowing you are not alone and that others have made it out of a pit of darkness can give hope and a reason to press on.

So the gist get a support group and professional to help you through this. Read up on INTJs and your own personality type. Read the Five Love Languages. Watch the channel INTJ from Ben, and see if you can talk to him. Find other YouTube INTJs and ask if they have any other advise. If possible find an INTJ gamer who could meet with your son online to play and just chat with him.

I'll be praying for you and your son.

K Discern

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, now that was a lot!!
My son came to me with the INTJ diagnostic, so he's read up on it. Yes, he has help. He sees a psychologiste once a week and a psychiatrist once a month to follow his medication. He doesn't give us much info on his sessions (we pay for them) and I just ask simple questions (like did it go well) because I believe that at his age we (parents) should respect his privacy. On this point my husband doesn't agree. He thinks we should know what's going on during those sessions...what do you think?
My personnality type, no I don't know. I didn't think to check...I will go though. And I will look into the different books you suggested.
Ben on YouTube: I saw this and if I remember correctly my son had sent me a link to his posts. It's after watching one of them that I started looking on the Internet about INTJ. So no, I haven't learned much up to know.
Death Stare...yes I get that a lot. Sometimes I will tell him I don't like it when he looks at me like that, makes me feel like he hates me, but now I tolerate them.
I have to go back to work (on my lunch hour) but I will be back to reread & take notes (if I can I will just print your post).
Thank you.
Ever since I've been on this forum I must say that I feel a little better, less frustrated at the situation.

K Discern (not verified) says...

Hi again,

I asked a lot of questions, and you answered some of them. Glad to hear he is getting help. Do you and your husband have a suicidal support group for families you can talk to? They may be able to help and encourage you and your husband as to try to do what is best.

As for space: two phrase that seem to be most commonly associated with INTJS are, "Always room for improvement," and "The most independent." From what you have told me, (I'm no expert) I would say you are fine in giving him space.

Based on what you said: Your husband wants to help and fix things. He is frustrated at the lack of communication.
What neither of you seem to realize is that your son IS communicating: He just did it in an INTJ way.
One way INTJs feel loved is by feeling understood. By telling you he is an INTJ he was reaching out to you. This is a good sign. A good and hopeful sign. Your husband and you need to type yourselves and do more research. Your son is talking just not in your style of talking.

I know I've given you a lot of info but I found another bit that might help. The book is called MotherStyles: . I have not read this book but it talks about the pros and cons of each mother style based on the 16 personalities and how to best connect with your kids of different personalities. I know this is for dealing with kids. I have read online post about INTJ kids and other typed parents and some of that info still applies even as adults. So I thought this may be helpful because in one of your earlier post you mentioned never really knowing your son. Knowing where things went astray is one way to working on repairing your relationships.

Also I want to echo what Febena said about giving a gift that means something to your son. If he is into gaming something along those lines may be encouraging to him. Also a gift card to be able to buy games might also spark his interest. The N part of INTJ sometimes gets more excitement and/or pleasure out of what potentially can be used than something already decided on. If you feel it is to impersonal attach a note and write something from your heart about the beauty of who he is. Please read up on INTJ before doing this.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, just continue to post on this forum. I really commend you for what you have done so far. You have shown a real heart for your son. Again the fact your son told you he is an INTJ is a positive sign and he is reaching out to be understood. Keep up the research. You are doing good.

Keeping your family in my prayers,
K Discern

INFJ1961 says...

I hope you're continuing to see improvement in your relationship with your son. K Discern has provided incredible feedback. "Type Talk" is a very good book. I'm in the process of re-reading it now, because although I've been using MBTI since around '01, in recent years and even months it's become even more useful as I continue to grow in its understanding. Knowing that your son is an INTJ is useful, but not nearly as useful as it can be to know your type as well, and your husband's.

I hope once you've take one of the tests, you'll share your type here. I have a couple of guesses, based on what you've written here, but I'd like to see how close I am.

Best to you and your family.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have just completed a personality test on this website:, this is where my son did his test. So I'm an INFJ-T. Just read the profile and yes, I could say that most of it is true.

Should I tell my son that I've joined this forum, or will he be mad that I'm talking about him? He doesn't like it when we talk about personal things in public, so maybe it's best not to. But I would like to to show him that I'm trying...Just thinking out loud here....

aresonsomat says...

I would really love to have a conversation with him. Have you tried to look for videogames, other meta-games or searched for activities that test his skills time and again? Perhaps he does not know what to do with his own mind. Oh, I see. Well, madam, he may not like certain types of videogames, but he certainly needs some company. As long as he can solve personal puzzles (situations) within the games and have conversations with other people, he will be fine. He may not admit it to you because he might feel overseen, but he sure can spend hours upon hours on these special tasks.

It really depends on the way you are processing things in front of him. Perhaps he thinks you may be too emotional for his taste. I am an INTP bordering on the INFP and INTJ personalities (like, those percentages are really close between these three personalities). A disorganized person, I am. However, I can build up stuff with enough time, patience, and a lot of ambition. Is he ambitious and what kind of jobs or chores does he like to undertake?

You may want to buy him an XBOX ONE Scorpio because a lot of people will migrate to it and he may not want to be stuck with a console he cannot use to play the same games other people related to him will play. VR may not be what he is looking for. Those kinds of games and that technology will not go further than a fad, a sad fad that will implode on itself because of a lack of support for that platform.

Check out his videogame library [the videogames he likes, buys them if he respects the creators of those games (they must be challenging), and keeps them stacked virtually or physically]. I can help you look out for great games for him if we first identify his tastes within different genres (there are many genres within the videogame industry that mirror those ones found on literature).

There may also be a lack of interest in doing mundane stuff that does not seemingly account for anything useful in his lifetime (he thinks in long, long terms, not just the right here and now). Hence why giving you my suggestion for listing the kinds of videogames he likes. There is a strong correlation between videogame activities and personal choices in life. What can be seen as a non-useful pastime for others can be a treasure for people like us.

K Discern (not verified) says...

I think you should wait on telling him that you are on this forum.

However, I think you should tell him that you took a test on and that it says you are an INFJ-T. Ask him if he thinks that is accurate. This might open up a discussion about what you have in common, INxJ, and where you two differ, F vs T. NOTE: even though both of you are Js that can actually lead to more conflict, so touch on that subject about how Js can work together and how they may collide. Also ask him what parts of the INTJ profile fit him. I say this because some INTJ profiles do not portray INTJs as creative in arts and I am one that doesn't fit that norm. So there may be a few things that don't fit your son and this will give him a chance, if he wants to, to show more of who he is. If his answers are short and not in depth, respect what he gives you and go back to researching. Thank him for tell you that he is an INTJ and that you are doing more research on your and his personality. Ask him if he knows of any other good resources to learn from.

I know I have given you a lot of tips but... see if you can find any parents of INTJs. You could try starting a new post under INTJ for any parents or grandparents of INTJs. They may be able to give additional advise and support. Another group to try to connect with is NF parents of NT kids. They also could provide encouragement and ideas.

Aresonsomat has some good advise. I don't know a lot about gaming but Aresonsomat is right that we INTJ do love challenges. I have heard from an INTP YouTuber that INTPs and INTJs usually make pretty good friends.

To Aresonsomat: Thanks for joining the conversation and offering to help.

To Nicole: Keep researching. Keep asking. Sometimes things can feel overwhelming, but if you keep taking a step at a time, situations can turn around for the better and relationship can heal and grow stronger.

Keeping your family in prayer.
K Discern

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you everyone.
I've started reading 'The secret lives of INTJ's'. I find it rather confusing for now.
I've discovered that my husband has been doing some research of his own. I suspect him of being an INTJ also, but he hasn't passed the test and I'm pretty sure he'll just look at me weird like if I ask him to. He thinks that my son may have Asperger's syndrome. The description does fit him....Does anyone have any ideas on that?

K Discern (not verified) says...

I'm not familiar with Asperger's syndrome but I've been doing some research. Perhaps this will help, Continue to do more research, because INTx sometimes gets told they have Asperger's and really it is just their personality is different from the norm of society. Keep posting if you have any more questions. Glad to see your husband is doing research.

Hope this helps,
K Discern

Guest (not verified) says...

The INTJ is actually commonly misdiagnosed with Aspergers. There are distinct differences that go to show that we do not have it. I recommend that you watch this video in order to find out more: . I hope that this helps clear some confusion between the two.

INTJ Guest (not verified) says...

Hey, just a thought. But I think your son might actually be INTP instead. The two types are similar, but the difference is notable. Good luck out there

Mathew.Tyrrell says...

Honestly, as an INTJ my self, and only being 27, it took my a while to come out of my shell. I had to do it on my own and didn't learn to ask for help for years. But for me it was like the saying, (you won't miss the water until the well is dry.) Not saying kick him out or anything but I couldn't spoil him either. INTJs think very complex and logically. Have him get a job and just nudge him in the right direction. I also had to deal with a little depression. Not so much actually try n kill my self bUT thought about it and my mom was was clinically depressed. So his outbursts are mst likely in pulses not what he really means. Or maybe it is. But u wI'll never find out until u have a sit down with him and get him to trust you enough to let it out what he's down about. He needs to talk to someone. Meds work but also could make him feel ashamed that he has to depend on pills. Lol just sow him u love him n will be there from him for anythng. Once that door is open than its his choice. The snappy comebacks to hI'm may make him resent u more. 

On another note, INTJs like problem solving and scientific stuff.  Take him to a convention with new tech. That would take my mind off of everything. At least for that mention u will get to see ur kids true colors. Also helps to talk to someone who Can relate to him. So if he can talk to u, have him email me at

I can talk some wisdom into him n tell him how hard it was for me growing up. N just let him life goes on. He just has to get out there N do it. Happiness is like a needle in a hay stack.  Hell never fund it sitting around. U has to get up and try and keep trying until he finds it without giving up. That's were u  give that nudge to just go a little further.

Afrizal (not verified) says...

Try to give him a cat and let him  take care of it and you can talk with him while he taking care the cat .giving a tech stuff doesnt make him developing his(feeling).intj already intelligent people. It works for me as an intj. Dont give him a passive gift that you can't interract with him.

Jetta (not verified) says...

The INTJ is among the types considered most prone to depression. This may be due in part to their statistically low satisfaction in relationships and excessive isolation. An INTJ may often feel at odds with a world filled with superficiality and banality. They don’t easily identify with others and this will often lead to misunderstandings on both sides of the divide.

The causes of depression are complex and varied but genetics may play a role (an even bigger role in bipolar disorder). Research suggests that a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors are at work. Some people may have a genetic vulnerability to depression which may run in the family but external familial relationships may also contribute to this.

The onset of INTJ depression can be very gradual and thus may be mistaken for normal sadness. The effects are cumulative and may develop over the course of years until it becomes obvious that it has been hindering quality of life. It can lead to nihilism, suicidal thoughts, depersonalization and anxiety. Causes of depression in the INTJ personality type may include:

  • Being unable to look after themselves and feeling dependent on others.
  • Severed relationships
  • Repeated failures related to their goals and plans
  • A radical change or major life-shift
  • Feeling powerless and not in control over their lives
  • Being persecuted or having their work rejected

If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your health provider or check out the NIMH Help for Mental Illnesses webpage at Another Federal health agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), maintains an online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator at . You can also check online for mental health professionals; contact your community health center, local mental health association, or insurance plan to find a mental health professional. Hospital doctors can help in an emergency.


Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TYY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

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