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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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Guest (not verified) says...

I’d like to connect with you due to your background. 

Daniel O. (not verified) says...

I am also INTJ and a molecular biologist! 

a 1% INTJ (not verified) says...

I am a writer and musician and even though I'm really successful in those fields, I am most definitely an INTJ, even though it doesn't entirely match up with my personality. I think sometimes it's just up to talent. If you're talented at something, you'll try your best to excel at it. Perhaps it feeds on the determination part of the personality.

ChillMusicianDad (not verified) says...

I do not speak unless spoken to or when I feel its necessary or appropriate. I am very reserved and do not like meeting people necessarily or social outings but I play guitar and sing/write music and It is something so powerful to me that I have friends that think I have a split personality because When I play a show I become the person that hides behind insecurity 99% of the time. I am an extroverted showman on stage and it is at the same time a selfish experience for me. I wish it paid the bills but i suppose we need nukes more than subsidies for artists.

also 1% INTJ (not verified) says...

I belive you are right, I am also an artist and teach all the fine arts (art, music theatre) and the INTJ fits me to a T.  I think the achievement and perfection aspect is the key to us artists.

tommy rottler (not verified) says...

i agree , writer and musician as well ...intj helps qith the writing and internally convinced myself self taught music.... dont like to dwell in others input much which kinda hurts that 

Adam Voltaire (not verified) says...

Hi, I've been looking for a successful INTJ in music to guide me coz I've been stuck for some time now not knowing where to direct my life. I started writing music in high school about 7 yrs ago while at the same time being a student leader for 3 yrs until I finished. I had a great balance to my life back then. Things went sideways after high school, my family broke apart, I dropped out of campus, now i'm stuck bcoz do I choose my talent (music just completes me I'm happy whenever I compose something) and pursue it fully or do I choose a white collar profession (I love business as a discipline and if I use my strategic mind I can probably make a career out of it).. being an INTJ you know the small matter of perfectionism. I don't want to make the wrong choice and waste all my potential for a great life of achievement. Please advise. Thanks.

Heloenergy (not verified) says...

You answered your own question, become a music producer, combine business and music. By the way, on behalf of all INTJs, the use of "bcoz" in your question was like nails on a chalkboard inside my head. Cheers

Guest (not verified) says...

do both

Matt Cormier 88 (not verified) says...

Hi I'm an intj musician/producer, I've been playing/producing music since I was 12 (currently 31) I'd be happy to see if my music works with what you're hoping to achieve with your singing, email me or something

Devin Lopez (not verified) says...

Be a musicians. Other wise you will constantly feel the what if. If your afraid of failing, be afraid and then do it anyways. Collar jobs will be there, but talent fades. Ride the sun into tomorrow. (not verified) says...

I’m 39.   I chased music a really long time and I will say this..... In this day and age you have to really love playing live and really love a van and sweating and giving your music away for free online and just plain misery sort of make it all while still having a gig between the tours.  


So... if you just like composing and can become a self contained producer of musical pieces then I would approach it like this...


find something else to do as a job, something that gives you money for musical toys and recording equipment and free time to create and make the music you want to make and live happily ever after.  

Ms.Gilbert (not verified) says...

Now this was the most logical answer to a lot of the questions in this thread.

. (not verified) says...

I don't believe this needs to be an either/or issue, though I understand why this may often feel like it is the case. As an INTJ I choose to see my varied and wide interests as something that enables me to think differently to many people in my white collar profession. It is possible to embrace both your love of music and a future in a white collar profession, maybe in parallel, maybe in series, maybe in an integrated way, or maybe in a flexible way that may see you do all three at various times and to varying degrees. My advice is to combat perfectionism by setting clear goals in both music and business that can be broken down into discrete actions. The key is to make progress, and to expect that you will reassess and revise your goals as you go. 

Heather McCarroll (not verified) says...

GO for what makes you happy.. I would go for the music. I am a women INTJ and have a music degree. I dont go a day without my music. If you dont use your creativity you will be unhappy. There is not alot of information out there but a little of the creative side of the INTJ. Most articles think we should be scientist or in the legal field.

Maybe you could conbine the both music and business if that is your calling.

Your INTJ Mama (not verified) says...

When I read your post, I cried inside. Don't sacrifice your first love for a money making career like I did. As I near 50, I have a distinguished high tech career on my resume and really had a blast, but it wasn't until I retired early and picked my camera back up that I felt my soul sing again. Money is nice, but it isn't the be all end all. What this article is missing is the connection of the INTJ to music and writing. It's there - just look at the comments :)

Lalah (not verified) says...

You're so right. I love music and stage plays (in an actress, singer and a poet at heart). I went 100% into motherhood though.....

INTJ Reader (not verified) says...

I understand here that many INTJs have an affinity for music (to the point of having in a career in it), which kind of makes me feel left out! Not sure if my brain is wired differently, but I have always been an auditory learner and have mastered subjects like English and Foreign Language. Now I am pursuing a linguist career. I just wanted to speak up since my case involves an INTJ connection to writing. (I would love to pick up music as a career; it's basically my second love)


Other INTJ reader (not verified) says...


I'm also a (written) language-oriented INTJ - with a high appreciation for music and other arts. It was interesting to read your comment since I've also been thinking about a linguistics career, although I haven't quite ruled out performing arts, journalism/writing or mathematics out either. I love learning and I'm very curious, and that makes it difficult to choose where to direct my energy. 

I think it's all connected. I think INTJ's have the ability to break down what others see as incomprehensible chaos to clear patterns, understand them and repeat/express them. I see patterns in music, in dancing (choreographies), in languages, even in writing a text and of course in mathematics and other sciences. On the other hand, I know that I'll always need a balance between organizing these patterns and creative self-expression. Based on these characteristics, writing is an excellent choice for an INTJ type. 


Lalah (not verified) says...

I think those are all part of the same portion of the brain. 

MGW (not verified) says...

..................................thats very easy to say from a postion of nice money. 


Thats coming from a 52 year old, with nice money. 

Alpha Prime (not verified) says...

It is just logical to use your natural talents in the most efficient way! Cheers for the INTJ community!

Guest (not verified) says...

so true

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