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The INTJ Personality Type

INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. They have a talent for seeing possibilities for improvement, whether at work, at home, or in themselves.

Often intellectual, INTJs enjoy logical reasoning and complex problem-solving. They approach life by analyzing the theory behind what they see, and are typically focused inward, on their own thoughtful study of the world around them. INTJs are drawn to logical systems and are much less comfortable with the unpredictable nature of other people and their emotions. They are typically independent and selective about their relationships, preferring to associate with people who they find intellectually stimulating.

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What does INTJ stand for?

INTJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging. INTJ indicates a person who is energized by time alone (Introverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). INTJs are sometimes referred to as Mastermind personalities because of their strategic, logical way of thinking.

How common is the INTJ personality type?

INTJ is the third rarest type in the population, and the rarest type among women (with ENTJ). INTJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 3% of men
  • 1% of women

Famous INTJs

Famous INTJs include Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Greenspan, Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll, Cormac McCarthy, and Sir Isaac Newton.

INTJ Values and Motivations

INTJs are perceptive about systems and strategy, and often understand the world as a chess board to be navigated. They want to understand how systems work, and how events proceed: the INTJ often has a unique ability to foresee logical outcomes. They enjoy applying themselves to a project or idea in depth, and putting in concentrated effort to achieve their goals.

INTJs have a hunger for knowledge and strive to constantly increase their competence; they are often perfectionists with extremely high standards of performance for themselves and others. They tend to have a keen interest in self-improvement and are lifelong learners, always looking to add to their base of information and awareness.

How Others See the INTJ

INTJs are typically reserved and serious, and seem to spend a lot of time thinking. They are curious about the world around them and often want to know the principle behind what they see. They thoroughly examine the information they receive, and if asked a question, will typically consider it at length before presenting a careful, complex answer. INTJs think critically and clearly, and often have an idea about how to do something more efficiently. They can be blunt in their presentation, and often communicate in terms of the larger strategy, leaving out the details.

Although INTJs aren’t usually warm or particularly gregarious, they tend to have a self-assured manner with people based on their own security in their intelligence. They relate their ideas with confidence, and once they have arrived at a conclusion they fully expect others to see the wisdom in their perceptions. They are typically perfectionists and appreciate an environment of intellectual challenge. They enjoy discussing interesting ideas, and may get themselves into trouble because of their take-no-prisoners attitude: if someone’s beliefs don’t make logical sense, the Mastermind typically has no qualms about pointing that out.

INTJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the INTJ include reading, cultural events, taking classes, appreciating art, computers and video games, and independent sports such as swimming, backpacking, or running marathons.

Facts about INTJs

Interesting facts about the INTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Discreet, Industrious, Logical, Deliberate, Self-Confident, and Methodical
  • Among types least likely to suffer heart disease and cardiac problems
  • Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • One of two types with highest college GPA
  • Among types with highest income
  • Personal values include Achievement
  • Of all types, least likely to state that they value Home/family, Financial security, Relationships & friendships, and Community service
  • Overrepresented among MBA students and female small business owners
  • Commonly found in scientific or technical fields, computer occupations, and legal professions

Source: MBTI Manual

Quotes About INTJs

"INTJs are the most independent of all the sixteen types and take more or less conscious pride in that independence."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Difficulties are highly stimulating to INTJs, who love responding to a problem that requires a creative solution."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"Their capacity for intellectual and conceptual clarity gives INTJs both vision and the will to see it through to completion—leadership qualities that are prized in our society."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

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Comments

Gilxx (not verified) says...

Believing in love or god is casting doubts on you being an INTJ (or INTP) haha

JasmineLives (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ and also know there is a God. I believe any INTJ would have had their doubts at some point. Who are we not to question it? The connection came when I had several spiritual experiences. The became stronger as I got older and sought Him more. Once you assess that you are not crazy, and you did have a real experience, you will come into acceptance. At that point, I had to realize that there is a God and there are things in this world we will likely never understand. I also know now that God is faithful and reveals Himself and His ways to us if seek Him.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Jeremiah 29:13

Delilah (not verified) says...

Intp here

I also know and believe there's God. Doesn't mean you're not a personality type just because something is "less likely". 

steven a weber (not verified) says...

Since INTJ's are often known to view love differently than most, I thought I'd give my take on it as an INTJ: The ones that I've observed that are really big on stressing love, usually, largely neglect respect, ironically. To me, respect must be the foundation in a relationship, and any "icing" put on top of that is secondary at best -- this I'd refer to as love -- i.e. If a relationship has respect, can it be said to be deficient?

Anonymous intj (not verified) says...

On the subject of "god" and how truth and love supposebly cannot be together--this is wrong, or sort of. In the bible it says that god so loved the (key word) "world" which means he loved all of us equally. Now, the reason truth and love cannot be together for us is that it's biased--if we love one person more than another, then thats not supporting the truth. It essentially means that we "prefer" one person to another becuase of no good reasoning. That's not what it says in the bible. So, if what we think of love is not the truth, then what kind of love is it talking about in christianity? It's talking about moral love. Love that doesn't neccasarily have to be based off of feelings, but can be based of a scense of truth and decensy.

tatjur says...

I am a Christian, and also believe in plural love. However, although I agree that love and respect are not the same thing, really I believe that both are interdependent, there is no other. And tell the truth is not tied to a lack of respect, truth is gone, and we have to pay attention is with a way to pass this truth, I know it's hard to try to understand how some things can be used either by someone, but what it means to love, to observe the other and CHOOSE to take into account their needs, even when you have no sense (you know it's difficult).

joxterrdevil says...

bro shut up about god, he aint real.

 

INTJyeahikr544476 (not verified) says...

👏 yesssssssss  me every time I'm asked to go to church.

Nicholas carriere (not verified) says...

God loved us all that is the difference you have and the truth is love and JC gave himself because of it but not all will go with him only those who repent and only then can salvation be yours  but it's more than that you must know the word and the word must become flesh and love should be at the center of a Christian heat those JC must be in your heart it will be the best thing you can ever know  

rriikkyy says...

a few years ago I tested as INTP, but now apparently I'm INTJ. Well, both then and now my Judging and Perceiving were about 50 50, so I guess they're just in balance? Anyway, I majored in Architecture and it seems like it's a good career path for both INTPs and INTJs. :) 

Oof (not verified) says...

Yeah me too. I was a INTP like, 2 years ago and now I am an INTJ. My perception and judging were almost the same too soo guess we are the same.  

Byron (not verified) says...

Same here, trusted career advisor calls me INTX because of it. :)

Tibi (not verified) says...

The exact same thing happened to me.

grace livings (not verified) says...

wow 

fastguitars (not verified) says...

Just don't marry one.

INTJ's dont love.

They do not love.  They don't even understand why you should.

INTJyeahikr544476 (not verified) says...

We have the ability to love, but we believe if the marriage fails oh well. It's not like we would want to say the vowes of, death till us part, it sounds needy and desperate. You particularly sound like a person who married our type and can't move on like yeah we love and we also fall out of love.

Jedrick (not verified) says...

Well, kind of, very logical and highly rational, akin to a robot which is devoid of human emotion.

steven a weber (not verified) says...

they can feel and be kind and considerate and empathetic, but being thoroughly analytical, they can't rationalize the concept of love -- it ends up no more than a glorified word for need, albeit likely extreme need

Heather H. (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ and I feel love very deeply.

Myra (not verified) says...

Heather,

Thank you, same here. But I think that I may not express love in a very typical Hollywood dramatic, emotional, romantic kind of way so always somehow get misunderstood that I'm unloving. cold and detached, but I think that I am inclined to express love in a reasonable and rational way mostly through loving acts and services-for the well-being and good of those I love so much. 
 

INTJ

Infinite eternal (not verified) says...

Well I'm thankful me and you are in the same page. Besides if anyone really wants to know who they truely are they'd have to spend years observi themselves...they'd find more about themselves through self observation than they ever would through a Myers Briggs test. You're unique, and the only person who's gonna know you better than anyone else is you and god...

bluenilufer (not verified) says...

INTJs love so deeply that it hurts when betrayed. That is why INTJs protect from sick egos, psychos and narcissistic by slamming the door at them all. Better alone than in a lousy company...

Myra (not verified) says...

Hello Friend,

Thank you, so true!

INTJ

Stark (not verified) says...

Love is shown by not destroying others when we could.

INTJ Mel (not verified) says...

Verdade 

Xena (not verified) says...

This is a fact. 

slowrifts (not verified) says...

We do love.

Love isn't an understanding; it's a feeling.

Do they feel loved?

Do you?

William Jefferson (not verified) says...

Just because you had a terrible experience with one of them, doesn't mean all of us are like that. And the stereotype that describes us on this site isn't always spot on. 

I feel lots. There's no other way to describe it. I have family and a few friends that I am very open with, and they see a side of me that many do not. Most of the time I am relatively stoic. I say relatively as there are times where the masks breaks, due to an incredible joke or a tearjerking movie (was balling at 1917, but my friends don't know that). Sometimes I get angry, but generally regret it afterwords. I will say that some do get caught up in what I call "INTJ-ness," wherein they forget that they don't have to act exactly like an INTJ. They forget to be themselves, based on their own internal excuses. I used to be like that too, and it still happens from time to time, so I understand it.

There are qualities I'm drawn to. Most of which, is Endurance. Some people, especially some of the other INTJ folk think that intelligence makes one a king, but I argue that in order to become a king one has to go through a lot. If I see that quality in someone, this fierce determination, that's what makes me feel attracted to them. The other is Loyalty. I'm deathly loyal, if my sibling were in danger I would jump in front of a bullet to save them. I love them so damn much. Probably more than they know. One of my friends is in China right now, as his family is over there. I'm very worried about him, have been feeding him advice here and there about what to do, even if he only gets on VPN here or there. Another is trying to change his life for the better, and I'm gonna be the one that supports him, and if he falls, try to help him find another route. So yes, we understand love. We understand this need to protect. We understand Endurance and Loyalty.

Despite this, I have been betrayed many times, and so I hurt a little on the inside whenever I remember people I thought I was close too, or were my friends... but, I have to keep going. Life won't wait for sorrow. 

If you want to see an emotional INTJ, watch him listen to his favorite song or do his favorite thing. The mask will break quite often.

saji (not verified) says...

a female intj:

best comment ever,to be honest.

we are humans that's a fact we cannot avoid,no matter what type of personality you are!

this articles are supposed to help intjs to find their way or understand something,not to make a misunderstanding for others.

zckERRIE (not verified) says...

Yes, this is very much true, we do were masks. The reason i wear one is due to the fact that most people will berade a person if the person show's that it has power of them - and that can go with any aspect, even love. Throughout my life, i've been a very, very, open person, and in return people have used that honesty against me. That rational thing to do is to test whether a person will use that against someone, or not - the rational thing to do is to put out there an alternate opinion or reaction that would help determine how a person would be, or better yet, as the person said above become "stoic." Where intj's recognoze emotion as somthing that is maufactured by the human brain, we tend to not jump to the conclusion that we should act on that emotion at a drop of a dime. We all dont realize that, we tend to avoid the emotion all together, but not all. Any intj that is true to the intj trademark understands that emotions cant be escaped - per most personalities dwell with them and in return project them - thusly, we must learn to deal with them. Most intj's will be cold and distant, others will be reclused, but some, and i mean some, have, indeed focued on their weaknesses meantioned above and are opperating at a higher level. Me myself, i have a list of responses i must remember to keep a convo going when someone is in an emotional state. The idea of empathy isnt totally foreigh, although, i dont really "feel" what the other person is "feeling" but i can recognize the sorrow in it and in return i have to put on a mask and that recipreocates.

Brian (not verified) says...

Thanks for sharing William.  My son did the MBPT recently and told me is an INTJ so I read the personality overview and your comment and it really helped give me some insight into who he is. My son is 16, we have a good relationship but I'm constantly trying to crack the wall he has up.  At the end of the day, I just want him to be happy and I do on occasion get to see through the cracks when he bursts out-loud laughing when watching Game Theorist on Youtube... So thank you for sharing.    

Mike995 (not verified) says...

Hey Brian,
Just wanted to reply as I saw myself in your son. I am an INTJ and when I was in my teenage years, I put on a lot of walls & wear a lot of masks due to things that happened to me in my childhood. My mum tried to break through those walls the best that she could, but honestly she couldn't do much. I had a couple of friends, the rest of the world pretty much made no sense to me. I was way to grown up for my age, so all of the peers appeared childish. I felt weird, like there was something wrong with me. I was generally unhappy, depressed at times.
Anyway, I slowly realized this isn't going to work. In order to live 80 or so years on this earth, I would have to change something. So I started thinking about my emotions. Often, alcohol & music was involved as it helped me think & feel at the same time. So just grabbing a beer, listening to some music, laying in bed, thinking. (Mum was panicking because of alcohol at this point as this isn't how you should solve your problems:) Slowly I started realizing that I am who I am & there is nothing wrong with that. I had to work through some issues, but doing so helped me feel better about myself. The real breahthrough happened when I was about 25 and started a business career and had to constantly go out of my comfort zone. It was nerve wrecking as F, but I felt better with every obstacle I passed. I am now a very very happy 30-year old man. In a loving relationship, a job that challenges my intellect and I just love life. Yes, I am still weird at parties and fairly indifferent about 90% of things people normally care about, but I wouldn't change who I am.
I do not know you or your son, but what helped me the most was seeing my mother care & the fact that she showed me that no matter what happens, she will always be there for me. So I guess that's my advice. Show him that you will be there for him, but let him do his thing at his own pace:)

Cheers

Aide Rose (not verified) says...

Very well said. I couldn't agree with you more. 

Grace livings (not verified) says...

grace😐😎🥺😘🙁🧜🤣🙃🤩🤗🧐🤬🧙🤪

 

John Taylor (not verified) says...

We love certain types of people, you're likely not one of those types.

INTJJJJJJ (not verified) says...

This is the most INTJ response in this board. 

Golden (not verified) says...

That's not fair to generalize about all female INTJ's.  We may desire to love and be loved as much as everyone else but may be more guarded. Being an intovert may cause us to have lower self-esteem and the feeling that we don't deserve to be loved. We also may pride ourselves on our independence.

Ballads (not verified) says...

Not true, they are actually super sensitive to emotions and don't always understand them. They can be the most loyal loves of ones life.

INTJposterchild (not verified) says...

Read wider... please... read beyond your own emotions... open your mind to other WAYS love can be expressed... beyond gushing confessions of undying love and clingy obssession.

INTJs love.

IntjMasterRace (not verified) says...

That's not true, we do love. We do feel emotions. We have the ability to look at them objectivly but we are still humans. We have a hard time expressing our emotions but we do care.

grace livings (not verified) says...

omg wow I can be a surgeon

EventHorizon (not verified) says...

Yeah so Hillary Clinton?  Anything but an intj.

INTJEnthusiast (not verified) says...

Aaaagreed 👍🏽

Twenty-something INTJ Female (not verified) says...

This description is completely me to a tee, but hilariously, most people never see this side of me because of years of navigating social expectations and figuring out social "rules" and deciding which ones it would be more beneficial to abide by, and which ones aren't. I've always been a bit of the "out there" artist type who loves to figure out how things work, but for years I told myself I wasn't good at math and science (which, turned out to be untrue). I always had a hard time coming off as adequately "warm" enough and socializing growing up because of the seemingly endless patience and compassion women are often expected to convey as a societal norm. I've always been intensely introverted, but driven enough to know that if I wanted my ideas to get anywhere, especially as a woman, I would need to work on social intelligence enought to be liked an listened to. I eventually taught myself to present in public as more outgoing and talkative, even if it was draining and I worked hard at it. I got really into communication theory in college because I loved figuring out why some behaviors and patterns of communication were more successful than others. Communicating with others started to make so much more sense when I broke down the reasons why some strategies work better than others in communicating ideas, networking, and general interaction. Now I can strike up a conversation with a brick wall and make someone laugh within a minute of introducing myself. It's happened enough by now that I've had friends and classmates comment about wishing they could be more outspoken and a better public speaker like me, which always took me off guard. The truth is, it is and always has been incredibly difficult, but being an INTJ and using the same strategies other INTJ's do to become experts in whatever they're personally drawn to, I've been able to present a very different image of myself to the world than what's actually going on in my head. In my own case, in public I come off as more maybe an ENFJ, which can be equal parts helpful and annoying, since people assume I care a lot more about feelings and chatting about people's lives than I do. However, the plus side is that I whenever I pick up on another INTJ or similar personality every once in a while, we really click, and I can help them with the communication side when it comes to explaining complex ideas to the right people, in the right way.

Long story short, I love being a nerd translator and I'm the biggest closet nerd you'll meet.

another intj female (not verified) says...

Yes! I'm doing something similar right now, as I figured out (same as you) that most people work differently. They want emotional support and not solutions (what?! why?! isn't Sheldon's "there there" enough :D), they want chitchat (heavy, massive, gigantic, gargantuan eye roll), and most often than not they are a P; even if they are a J it's a weak one :D. But if I want to get something done I need to work with those people. Ever since I learned about MBPT I'm playing this game in my head where I'm like you are an ESFJ, you are an ISTP, etc so that I know how they work, what they want and if/how we can be mutually beneficial

Arne (not verified) says...

Amazing comment, I really relate to your story. Thank you for writing this. 

EventHorizon (not verified) says...

I like your description.  I failed algebra in High School and always figured out how to do just enough to pass other classes.  I thought I was stupid because my mind was always on other things..   Then when I got out and went to college a few years later by my own choice, I got all As and a few B+'s including advanced Algebra.

I really like my mind because I understand it better than I think most people understand themselves in general.  But the curse of it is, personal relationships.  Ill die alone I think.  Maybe another life will produce something more.

Somebody (not verified) says...

You have a high standard. You told your self that you are not good at math but actually you are better than most of people right? I know that you do care about people's life just not the way they are expected especialy... you are not a good listenner. 

Julian Ponce (not verified) says...

For real INTJ people felt this in there heart knew this wasnt made up, if this artical dosent discribe you to a T, YOU ARE NOT A TRUE INTJ.

Troy W (not verified) says...

I didn't feel it in my heart. I thought it to be logical. 

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