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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.

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.

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How rare 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 Quotes

"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

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

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.

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Comments

Lisa W. (not verified) says...

Many of you make very valid points. When working with others the chemistry and group dynamics matter. I dislike most people because of how shallow they are and the bothersome repetition of coming across people/minds incapable of deeper levels of researching for themselves; lazy minds want spoon fed what I invested myself in and it annoys me to the point of choosing a blunt rudeness over the "kind" repeating things over and over that I diligently worked on, because it slows me down and drains my energy when they want to argue over petty things that exist simply because they have not done the work or studied and researched - so I come off as cold and uncaring and will opt for solo projects over groupwork if presented with a choice. I love to gather info and share it, but I am not going to waste my time or energy (my biggest pet peeve) and argue over their uneducated/ignorant interpretation of the data or facts. I'll walk away and leave them with the info to chew over, and not care what the hell they do with it.

However, while in college for my current career choice in a program that took well over a year with the same group of people continuing on together, I slowly gathered and built up a mixed group of ages & personalities that just clicked, and the personalities created an energy and sense of mutual respect and consideration for ideas and creativity that I'd never experienced in my life and we all thrived - our GPAs showed it. We also springboarded from each other in directions of personal growth and development as People, and that was amazing. I will also point out that what people call "flexibility" and "switching" from personality type to type is merely reflecting your current mood and where you are at in your life at the moment, but if you dig into your core, the INTJ is always there.

In an aside, I have discovered that many intelligent people who (as young children) experienced abuse, especially sexual or mental, the ones who managed to avoid the victim-role as adults and avoided becoming needy and clingy, will often wind up with an unshakble INTJ personality because they only had themselves to rely on for encouragement and support. INTJ motivation comes from within. There are also different types of INTJs, and those who can be polished at the role of seeming outgoing and social may be assumed to be extroverted, but need to recharge and be alone after such events, and to me, alone time is more precious than sex, cuddles, hanging out with friends, shopping, etc. Thus, other women seem to have little in common with me, in my personal view. I have to force myself to make an effort to be "emotionally connected" and sociable, because other people require it, not because I do. As a woman it also annoys me to be complimented on my looks, I am not that shallow. Like me for my mind and appreciate my intelligence..then we can talk. I cannot begin to enumerate the number of 'Hot" guys that I blow off because they have nothing attractive in the "head" that matters. 

See? They call it arrogance. I call it knowing myself and I am not willing to waste my precious time on dead ends. I'd choose the ugliest but attractively vibrant-minded man over the hottest hunk of stupidity. Gladly. Every time.

Annatar (not verified) says...

INTJ and a woman? You are a rare breed.

- a fellow INTJ.

Guest (not verified) says...

Reading your posts has been eye opening, comrades.  I'm an INTJ.  I, too, have a no-nonsense approach and value logical processes above relationships - so much so that as a 7-year old child, I was unphased by another student calling me stupid because I kept flunking my simple word spelling tests.  I replied matter-of-factly, "I'm different from you, but I'm not stupid."  I was later diagnosed with a hearing disability which surgery corrected.  My difficulties in school in those early years helped me become more empathetic and accepting of others, recognizing that they may also struggle from unseen difficulties.  Everyone has something to contribute somewhere. 

There are topics about which I know very little, and I will readily admit it.  But if I have a firm idea of how something should work, it's nearly impossible to dissuade me.  Some call this stubborn.  I disagree.  It's just that I can see how things should fit together and many other can't until they see it in the final stages.  

Like many of you, I've been called blunt.  But my longtime friends who have hung in there see me as a rock, capable and driven, not arrogant.  Where other people seem to struggle with confidence, I never do.  That doesn't mean I think I'm good at everything.  Some talents I lack, and when I recognize them in others, I applaud without feeling jealous or inferior.  

I struggle with two things.  First, I'm in the wrong job currently.  Second, all my life the thing I have valued most is to make a substantial difference in the world, without looking for recognition for it.  I'm dismayed that I may grow old and never figure out what that contribution is.  If, on the path of my life, I have also found strong personal relationships, to me that's just gravy.  The important thing is for me to accomplish something worthwhile like invent something.

Marelize (not verified) says...

I am INTJ, female. Studied computer programming, statistics and personnel management, but never spend a day in an office.

 

I am a happy, blessed stay at home wife and mom of four. I give maths extra classes and homeschooled our children.

DanaM (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ - arhitect A. I am a girl. Is this good or bad?

Sneha Patel (not verified) says...

It is not bad. Even I am an INTJ woman, and I'd say be proud to be among those 0.5% population of masterminds in the world.

Ruffrey (not verified) says...

Enfp here, and I probably like you. 

emilllliiii (not verified) says...

let's date then

Loki Infp says...

yeah ok

jelia (not verified) says...

so? this is not a dating site. 

Morgan Bustillos (not verified) says...

Nah, we're awesome. Create some of the best functional relationship dynamics. Lots of potential for everything.

Val~ (not verified) says...

I am a female INTJ too, and, there's nothing bad about that. We are who we are, they often like to portray us a cold hearted, manipulative and emotionless but that's not true. We just tend to use our brain before our heart, but that doesn't make you heartless.
Be proud of yourself, you have nothing to feel bad about.

 

Chris L (not verified) says...

I am INTJ female, also. I've never taken this test before, but it makes sense. My degrees are in math and physics. I own an accounting and finance firm and a commercial plumbing company. My dream in life was to work for NOAA. Life re-routed me. I'm happy where I am. I don't have any close relationships aside my family and partner, and that's okay with me. My alone-time is where I flourish.

Paul O (not verified) says...

Well its not a bad thing lol, as long as you except within yourself that your gonna be quite different from most people in the way you think and this may affect your relationships, I too have an INTJ personality and have trouble making and keeping friends. I only have 2 close friends who have to put up with my freindless behaviour but they accept me for who I am.

Leon W. (not verified) says...

Confusing "facts about INTJ"

"Among types with highest income"

"Of all types, least likely to state that they value ... financial security ..."

These two "facts" seem to contradict each other. However, another "fact" states "personal values include achievement" and in that regard, if finances are considered "achievement" then, yes it's possible that income will be a potential goal.

Jack Colpepper (not verified) says...

The difference is between making good money vs caring about making good money.

Aiden (not verified) says...

Is it not possible to be finacially sucessful while also not caring about financial security? I'm not sure these are mutually exclusive and/or contradictory. 

Nick N. (not verified) says...

As a former Intelligence Analyst in the Army, I went from aprox $65k a year in the military to around $400k as a civilian at a branch of MIT. The money was viewed as respect, not security.  I left that $400+k a year job after 5 years to open my own busineness where I make around $40k annually. I'm much happier & comfortable in my current job as a business owner/entreneur. All I want to be is comfortable,  not financially secure, although that's important because I have three kids. I want to make them financially secure, not myself.

Kim Falana (not verified) says...

This comment is a good explanation of the difference 

Goognar Thugget (not verified) says...

Why do you care about this so much.

RealINTJ (not verified) says...

Because he is an INTJ with an analytical and logical mind

Wendy purple (not verified) says...

Leon... yes... financial security is important, however comes easily.   I do not worry how much to have but what investments are best to ensure future security.  We are a bit weird ... yes but it works.

zebrastripes (not verified) says...

You can have a high income, without chasing after it, simply by being very competent at what you do

Kay (not verified) says...

They don't. INTJs typically earn higher incomes because our interests align with well-paying jobs - not because we seek money. Anecdotedly, I went to law school because I like law; many people go because they want to earn a high salary. I don't care about how much money I make so long as it's enough to pay my bills and fund my hobbies (which include running marathons). INTJs typically enjoy careers that allow us to be analytical, which leads us to STEM, law, etc. As a result we make higher salaries, but we don't do it for the money, per se. We're just the nerds who actually liked school.

Sandra FitzGerald (not verified) says...

I completely agree with you Kay. I am obsessed with world history and the sciences. I love learning but could care less about making a huge salary. I also enjoy learning on my own. The last place in the world I want to be is in a school filled with people.

Michael Gibbons (not verified) says...

I'm apparently this personality type & I can firmly say I don't see financial security as a value at all. It's just a necessity while you work up to the true financial value of financial independence & freedom to do what you want. 

NK (not verified) says...

Not at all contradictory, often those who are less worried about financial security are also those who are able to take the risks required to earn a higher income. INTJ's aren't (typically) satisfied with just being in a "secure job" and as such will probably not mention financial security as a value. They will likely value far more the achievement of rising through their chosen career ladder.

If finances are indeed their achievement or goal, I'd imagine they'd be far more ambitious than just financial security.

Kkkkk (not verified) says...

I'm ENFJ before I entered college but I'm INTJ now. Many people think I'm still extroverted but people really drains the shit out of me. I know how to handle crowd well because of experience but I really prefer being alone. I can also empathize with other people but just a short period of time because I always realize that thinking about others is such a drag. though I often can't understand body language and social cues, I need it to be said directly at me cause I always fail to notice those things and often branded as insensitive. I'm very skeptic, critical and blind following annoys me so much. I can work well with groups but I prefer working alone. I'm also a Psychology major which said to be a career that doesnt fit an INTJ. I often think that maybe I am not an INTJ or Myers-Briggs isn't reliable so, I tried testing it realibity by taking this test every semester and yeah, I'm INTJ for like three semesters already but I'm still doubting if I'm actually INTJ. LOLOLOLOLOLOL 

ENFPBUTTERFLY (not verified) says...

Do INTJs say lololololol? hmm That doesn't sound accurate. haha

Holley Deana says...

Actually you sound a lot like me and I'm still getting ENFJ results. One time I got ESFP but afterwards I had to be truly honest and say I didnt answer honestly on all the questions. I was overthinking the questions.. and trying to see if I can change overtime.. Anyway, took another one and just answered very honestly.... they way I know I am  in my deepest and private thoughts, even if I dont like it or just putting up with something. BOOM!! ENFJ results were back. 

mzia (not verified) says...

Type doesn't change over time

Leon W. (not verified) says...

This is true, BUT, people grow and change in the way they perceive and act.

A person who is introverted cannot suddenly change to become extroverted. That doesn't mean an introvert can't learn to get up in front of a crowd to conduct a speech. It just means they will feel wiped out at the end of the speech instead of feeling empowered by the attention of the crowd.

Goats in Space (not verified) says...

seeing as how there is no scientific evidence for the MBT it's pretty silly to make a blanket statement like "type doesn't change over time". Especially when we know that actually empirically verified personality tests do show changes over time 

Mikeryan kelly (not verified) says...

I have found the same problem everybody else has. My harsh no nonsense approach to problem-solving.My demoralizing attitude when people don't show common sense. There's a difference between A healthy INTJ and a unhealthy INTJ. It's obvious,  getting annoyed by everybody is unhealthy for everyone. Especially if I'm mad and I'm putting someone in there place, my intellect will put them into a corner where there is nowhere to run because there is no way to contradict what I'm saying. Cool good for me.But I've been in charge of a lot of people and I've learned some things. It's all about using your INTJ abilities to get the outcome that you're looking for. Know your audience. Manipulate them in a way that matches your end result. Which is a not nice. So in return you teach them valuable information that they can use for the rest of their lives. If you do that enough times. You don't come off as a manipulator. Only as a helper. And their respect for you will allow you to speak however you want whenever you want. And then you justify it in your head that you really just want the best for them and from them. Bam win win. As for myself this was identified when I was working as a YMCA director. And perfected when I started supervising restaurants. This way you don't have to hold back. Will you catch grief. Of course you will. And in those situations crush those peoples with your intellect and rebuild their souls with your love. They will respect you. Isn't that what you want. To not be questioned. It's too damn time consuming to explain your thought process to people that aren't gonna get it anyways. Just do as I say and I'll throw you a cookie. Do it enough times and they'll be looking for the cookie

Jet (not verified) says...

The biggest problems with intj is a factor from their strengths. Strengths such as analytical fire-power, creativity,  ambition, high achievement and so forth breeds:

1. High expectations of others..people can't easily live upto these standards.

2 . Ego, pride,  arrogance which breeds being disdainful of others, systems and their work.

My advice: remember that everyone has their own unique skills. Embrace those and see the good in people. 

If all else fails,  try and not have high expectations of others..of yourself yes, but not of others. 

Bob S (not verified) says...

It's said " the greatest disappointments in life are based on the value of our own expectations ". I believe this to be very true. Does it mean to lower your expectations? No. It just helps you understand why you're so disappointed and to help you understand why.

Cipheos (not verified) says...

I'm sorry people here have had bad breakups with INTJs, but I don't think it's inherently an INTJ thing to be unempathic. Then again maybe I'm not an INTJ after all, I really don't identify with the whole pretentious act most INTJs seem to put up online. Weird for a type that's supposed to focus on self improvement to miss such an obvious character flaw.

Israela (not verified) says...

This is exactly why I don't hop on r/INTJ because of those people acting higher than thou compared to the other types. I'm assuming that the loud (mistyped/unhealthy) minority are probably getting a major ego boost from being seen as the most "intellectually superior" and having the "highest IQ" or some bullshit like that. But like you said, it wouldn't seem like actual INTJs' would act so brash and pretentious in reality.

In conclusion, it's easy to get caught up in idealizing MBTI types and being too prideful, rather than using your results as a tool in order to become a better human being.

 

Anaharo03 (not verified) says...

I completely agree with you, I see a lot of INTJs with a holier than thou attitude but I feel like most INTJs would keep those feelings hidden unless they came out in an arguement or their pride was hurt. 

Bech (not verified) says...

Well..... Who are you to judge them? People expect INTJs to be little more open and when they do open....people are not so ready and start pouring out judgements. Sorry.

Jennifer (not verified) says...

This is so on the point. It's amazing how I have come across throughout the years unintentionally to my coworkers. I have made many changes to letting people know beforehand that I am not trying to be rude, it is just my speaking style. Managers have even told me that I act like I know everything or do not care what they think about me. I really am a thankful person but feel that I am taken the wrong way all the time because of my personality type or until people get to know me. This is hard when I could care less to hang out with people from work. I am grateful that these profiles are available for people to learn about others. Hopefully, more will be taught about the communication sending and receiving styles of each personality style. Thank you! To everyone who put time and money into creating this website! God Bless!

Nick N. (not verified) says...

This comment reminds me of when I was in the Army almost 30 years ago. I was a Private, at school learning my job as an intelligence analyst & a Sergeant called me over & said. "I don't like you." I said "oh yeah, why is that Sarge?" He said, "because you're too cocky & arrogant & I don't like that shit." I said, "Hmm, that sounds like a personal problem to me sarge. You shouldve kept that to yourself.", & I just walked away. We were at that school for another 8 weeks & he never said another word to me after that, regardless of my so-called cockiness & arrogance. I think it was more over a girl he liked, but she liked me & he tried to pull rank on me in front of her, but it failed miserbly. 

Annatar (not verified) says...

Nice. I would have responded "You're a grunt. What concern of mine is it what you like." which would have got me kicked out, I presume.

But that's why I'm not in the Army. I do not accept any authority above me, especially not from ESTJ bullies. 

Cipheos (not verified) says...

There is absolutely nothing you can do. I've taken to saying: "I wouldn't presume to know, and excuse me if I am wrong, but to me it would seem like..." Before any remotely presumptuous statement. But my partners and friends still call me out for being presumptuous.

Some people will just appreciate your input, no matter how you word it. I've had great conversations with ENTPs. Right now I feel like I couldn't date any other types, because only ever an ENTP has appreciated me. Maybe an INTJ? Worth a shot but probably a recipe for disaster.

Ian B (not verified) says...

2 and 3 clash with each other.

Diet Valz Santana (not verified) says...

True INTJ despise work team-bonding exercises. We should work hard in our line of work, rise to leadership positions and abolish this unnecessary social construct.

Nick N. (not verified) says...

That's exactly what I did. 

GraceUsa (not verified) says...

working in groups give me anxiety because in my mind I have concocted the perfect idea, and I am not open to others changing it. I am worried my plans will be negatively changed. 

SisterSailor (not verified) says...

Grace,

You are so honest!  You seem to know yourself quite well which is so critical to succeeding.  I am impressed and humbled!  I'm in my late 40s now, and it took me a long time to figure out what I had to adjust (about me!) in my approach to life, work, people, etc in order to be successful and contribute in a meaningful way.  It was really hard!  Figuring out as an introvert how to use your intellect and innate leadership abilities in a way that doesn't make you mentally exhausted is so difficult!  Of course your idea is perfect - to you!  You'll figure out when to open your mind to others' opinions because at our core INTJs rely on logic, and logic tells us that there is more way to skin a cat (if you aren't from the U.S. I hope you get my meaning).  Your post made me smile because I understand so deeply what you are describing.  Most people would push your honesty aside and label it as arrogant, but if I understand you correctly, your being very sincere.  I suspect you will do great things!  Best of luck.

MCkan (not verified) says...

From an ENFP point of view: Well a plan or an idea being perfect is a inproductive way of working. Imagine Steve Jobs and his strive after HIS perfect product... Led to finacial failures such as LISA and later the first ever Macintosh.

An idea needs to go through the grinder a couple of times but you should still make sure the core value of the idea stays the same. 

I hope you get what I'm trying to convey about working in a team. Different perspectives towards the same goal/destination is a good recipie for success. 

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