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What is an INTJ?

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.

What are INTJs like?

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.

What are the core values of the INTJ?

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 can I recognize an 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.

Who are some 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.

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

What do INTJs like to do?

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.

What the experts say

"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

Are you an INTJ?

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Check out the INTJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INTJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ female and I would consider myself spiritual. Like many INTJ's who went to church growing up, I started questioning it at a young age and picking apart all the aspects that didn't make sense to me (I remember doing this when I was 10 or so). However I never stopped going as a teenager as some probably did, mainly because I had a strong group of friends there and in a way it was my 'escape' from the more drama-ridden "friendships" I experienced at school or in other extra-curricular settings. Everyone needs a place to wind down right? Anyway, as an adult I am not a regular church-goer, but I justify my continuing spirituality on the basis that the atheist system of thought has never wholly made logical sense to me either. I feel more intuitively attached to spirituality, and I don't find it "less" logical than atheism from what I've seen. I never went in the direction of formally studying sciences, but science has always fascinated me and really, the more I learn about science the more it seems to "prove" the truth in religion to me rather than disprove it. However I also believe it's not something that can be entirely proven either way.

One argument I have heard from atheists is that if religion were "real", every society would have come up with the same one. My answer to this is that the divine exists beyond human understanding--we feel something intuitively that we can't really understand. The existence of many different religions isn't proof that they're all nonsense; rather it is proof that every society is trying, in its own way, to understand the same basic underlying truths that in fact can't be fully understood. Perhaps if these truth were simple and easily understood, all religions in all cultures would be the same. However because these truths are complex, each religion is able to capture only a small part of them, and of course each religion ends up corrupting and perverting them in its own way due to human folly.

Reply (not verified) says...

I found an interesting youtube video in which the presenter stated that the INTJ sets such a high ideal in their concept of relationship that they are likely to seek a connection with a mystical force or cosmic power, to paraphrase a little. I believe that to be true, and I believe that it is likely also to be true of the EN as well, from what I have read of them. The video was on the subject of INTJ functions which are hidden from the INTJ, not the primary or secondary functions..

Guest (not verified) says...

I've been looking for some credible statistics to back up your statement, "the estimated time it would take to randomly code the human genome to produce a functioning human is longer than the known existence of the universe. So a process other than random chance took place. " I know I have read or heard a similar statemtn somewhere, but hesitate to repeat such a bold statement without an article or two to site as reference. Any chance you could spot me one?!

Emerald INTJ (not verified) says...

Whoa! The bible is logical & factual?? Seriously? Start with the 2 different creation stories in the first book where god makes the earth, complete with grass and living creatures, before he makes the sun, and zoom on through to the Noah's ark story in which god commits the largest act of genocide ever then repopulates the earth via incest. Are you satisfied yet? My father was a minister so I grew up believing this crap - reasoned my way out of that then went through a new age Chopra phase still in search of something hopeful and credible. But if you do what we're really good at it, which is THINKING in a ruthlessly logical way, you cannot reconcile the concept of a soul or an afterlife with known science.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree, INTJs can definitely be very spiritual. I am very strong in my own religious beliefs. I think what turns a lot of INTJs off is hypocrisy among religious people, but I remind myself that imperfect people are not representations of any particular religion's ideals, and there are hypocrites among all kinds of people (religious, atheist, agnostic, what-have-you). I think INTJs can actually be very strongly religious once we have made up our minds about it. Speaking for myself, I test each and every religious tenet of my church before I choose to accept it, and that actually ends up strengthening my faith (a sort of trial by fire) much more than blind belief would. So just because INTJs don't accept anything at face value, it should not be assumed that we are never religious or spiritual.

Guest (not verified) says...

That is so true. Now I understand why I've always had trouble in churches, because I can't stand hypocrisy, and I usually speak up when I see it. That is probably the reason why I am not going to any at the moment. My religious beliefs have never been stronger, though.

Sunrise (not verified) says...

I have an extremely hard time to understand how any real INTJ person could have any religious belief. The following are some possible causes that I can think of:

- You might have been influenced or even brain-washed by your parents/guardians since early childhood
- You are a borderline INTJ instead of a real INTJ
- You cheated on your personality tests

Guest_AJ (not verified) says...

I'm surprised that no one has pointed this out, so far that I've read at least, but they stated "least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power"...key words being: least likely of all the (16) types. They never said that INTJ's will question or not believe in the existence of a higher power.

So if I have a young puppy and a couple of adult dogs, my dogs of all three pets are least likely to pee/poop on the floor...doesn't mean they won't. Say you have a 90% likelihood of winning a game...doesn't mean you will. People who don't study aren't likely to pass the exam with an A...but they could. Regardless of the ridiculous examples I just used, the point is that probabilities aren't absolute...just like correlation isn't causation. Don't mind me, just a personal pet peeve.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you, finally someone else realized this! I think actual INTJ's would have been able to spot this, instead of misinterpreting it and getting into a tizzy about what they feel it says.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree, the excerpt says INTJ's are least likely to adhere to a religion. This is because our extreme sense of individuality does not allow acceptance of a belief without first tearing it apart and discovering the logic behind it. For me it was quite the opposite of many of the commenters. I grew up very religious and slowly and painfully picked apart that belief and all of its inconsistencies. I came to the conclusion that there is no evidence for a God, and much more evidence that humans created this belief as a necessity. I'm much more interested in physics now. It was an excruciating process to objectively dissect a belief that is so engained and provides so much comfort. When I set out to explore this belief I went about it with extreme confirmation bias. This is to say that, instead of objectively analyzing, I would set out to unify conflicting beliefs in my head. Primarily, science and religion. This is an illusion. Religion is based on faith and has no foundation in logic. In other words, a leap must be made to get to the underlying premise and then people use logic to try to reconcile the premise with reality. Science is purely logical and has no association with faith of any kind. A premise cannot be reached without a logical path to it. No leaping allowed.

Uslu Muad'Dib (not verified) says...

I went through a similar process, but I came to conclude that the existence of a God is more likely than the absence of one. This is not rooted in a need for comfort if anything I find the idea of a God discomforting but I still. What is definite however is the reality that science and religion have no association they are based in completely different principles, but divinity and the finite order of things in the universe are very much in relation with one another. If God is real he also thinks like a physicist; Isaac Newton thought so too.

INTJ Male (not verified) says...

I personally questioned whether there's a higher power when I was at the age of 8. My mother was highly christian and took us to church on Sundays. I stopped going after that as I realized either god didn't exist, or it's rather sociopathic.

There may be complexities to religion, but there's also equally as many paradoxes. And a system with so many holes in it, I couldn't help but scrap and make my own. I chose not to adopt someone else's system, which is interesting because said system had thousands of years to perfect itself.

So that being said, I suppose I very much so apply to that statement. The article was entirely accurate for me.

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

What's sociopathic? Can you explain? I hope it's not an excuse to be an elitist jerk to those that do believe, not to mention not caring about your feelings or opinions isn't sociopathic.

Guest (not verified) says...

I also had a problem with the assertion that INTJ's are atheists or apathetic to religious systems.

The reality is that INTJ also has a component which indicates a value system, morality, fairness in their actions. Some of it is shown in objectivity with a humanistic bent in solutions. Perhaps those INTJ's with a religious value system or faith/spiritual base will come up a little lower on the "T" aspect. I am extremely high on the IN and J. Whereas the "T" aspect I am only 50% more T than F. Generally I find that on MBTI evaluations the questions regarding "feel" tendencies, I tend to fall back on how does it affect overall human landscape, is it right or wrong - and which is the best solutions for humans, not which is the best solution period. In cases of work, as I am in IT project management, I perform purely on what is the right solution, excluding all human factors - with exception to does it work and will people adopt it without swearing at me afterwards. :)

I also strongly suspect those who are INJ and are strongly humanistic perhaps extremely spiritual, with a "ruthless logic be damned" attitude will end up in INFJ. They want to fix peoples souls/hearts, INTJ's want to fix the underlying problem that makes people sad. INFJ's are a little too much to endure. I just cant take the tendency to overshare on the emoting. (I tend to feel like Cher's character in Moonstruck and want to yell "Snap out of it!" when this occurs) I'm not opposed to being emotionally vibrant, but we need not have an emotion pride parade 24/7.

Darah (not verified) says...

They're going off of the scientific method which does NOT include only your personal experience. It involves actual testing to come to the conclusion of "least likely." That said, the description also doesn't say "ALL INTJs are non-religious."

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

Personal experience is the 1 thing that equals (if not trumps) the scientific method.

Mercury (not verified) says...

You realize that their assertion that INTJ's are the least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power is based on some sort of actual research, not just stuff they made up, regardless of whether you find it accurate or not. Also, it states "least likely of all the types", meaning it is comparing this value against the other 15 types. Since we have no actual data to go along with it, this could mean that 70% of INTJ's believe in a "higher spiritual power", it just happens that all the other types are higher than 70%. This is still quite a high number. (I made these numbers up as an example, because we don't know the actual numbers.) So of course there are going to be INTJ types that question and/or do believe in a higher spiritual power, they are merely stating that INTJ's are the least likely of all the types to believe, and I don't find that unusual at all.

Guest (not verified) says...

"Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power"

True, this isn't a definitive statement about what an INTJ does believe, but it might be more accurate to say that an INTJ tends to be open to possibilities in the absence of proof.

This is a philosophical rabbit hole for the debate of all "definitive truths". At some point it's not efficient to question certain assumptions, while staying open to new information that may change a conclusions.

ezekial (not verified) says...

It correct 100% for me and I am type A personality all so. Replay me

H. Lector (not verified) says...

INTJ is the personality trait of most serial killers.

Guest (not verified) says...

Very funny Hannibal Lector but totally false.

RIMA (not verified) says...

"I AM WILLING TO LEARN SOMETHING EVERY MOMENT"
-----------PERFECT MATCH FOR OUR PERSONALITY TYPES & GLAD TO BE ABLE TO LEARN THE TRUTH OF OURSELVES WITH ANALYTICAL LOGICAL MENTIONS AND NOTIONS.....

Arizona (not verified) says...

Judging by my own life.........which I wont go into.............right on many many points.
Mastermind...been called that
Intuitive been past life regression on people for years into ancient ways always learning
Thinker I have a great quest for all knowledge

guest (not verified) says...

wow... i took the test on 16personalities a little while ago and i showed positive to INTJ, its kind of scary how well it reflects me...

skeptical (not verified) says...

I don't think an INTJ would make such a sweep statement about themselves. Given, two particulars are hardly ever fully alike, it is unlikely that the careful INTJ would suggest that he/ she is 100% like the description since their approach to themselves, like their approach to problem-solving, will be more nuanced and careful. So, if this description matches you 100%, then that might be the best sign that you are not an INTJ :) However, it could be the case that this description is more general than particular in its description of a personality type; in which case, it is not a surprise that you see yourself in it since it is likely that you would see yourself in many general but different descriptions. 

Guest (not verified) says...

Funny - your description of an INTJ is pretty spot on. Until I discovered Myers Briggs a few years ago, I really thought that there was something wrong with me - in that I can't communicate properly or clearly enough to keep people's attention or to properly illustrate the answer.... Then, I discovered that it has more to do with how my brain works then how I present or articulate the answer... And how others receive it of course... Turns out, I'm not insane, just was having a hard time understanding how others receive and process information and therefore, was having a hard time communicating clearly with them. I still have challenges but more so in "how" I want to go about helping folks to understand so my frustrations seem more grounded and able to be influenced by experience and thought compared to thinking that I'm insane or everyone else is insane since really, there is no cure for that (by in large)... Again, still infuriating but more constructive infuriation, I suppose....

~Sage
aka Ninja

Angelica (not verified) says...

You and I had the same problem.

Guest (not verified) says...

Me too! This test really amazed me and brought so much insight into my life!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

Me too... I have a hard time explaining stuff to people, because I assume they think the same way as I do. Turns out, they usually can't follow my line of thought. I don't believe in God either, and have high expectations of other people. But I'm not that independent. I can grow very emotionally attached to some people I like, and it's very easy to hurt me, too...
Spot-on. I didn't think INTJ was such a rare personality though... Makes sense, in a way.

guest (not verified) says...

I thought I was kinda of werido until I read this and realize I just have a rare personality type.

maddie (not verified) says...

Yeah!
I feel like whenever I work with other people, they're like "let's do this!" and it's so stupid and inefficient and I'm like no we should do this, it's a much better solution, and they just stare at me like, what the hell.

Guest (not verified) says...

I usually just go ahead and demonstrate the better solution anyway.

Guest (not verified) says...

Me too! It all makes sense now!

Tim (not verified) says...

I've had a similar experience. I hate admitting this, but it is the truth. I was a horrible student in school, and never finished college. I hated my instructors because once somebody attempted to talk down to me I would shut them out completely.... I viewed them as being low IQ idiots, and who is going to pay attention to somebody like that? What that has meant for me is that I've lived an unfulfilled life, working unrewarding jobs, and I admit I have contemplated suicide on more than on occasion. Who wants to live in a world where they don't fit in, can't find seem to get established in a career, and their entire existence is devoid of any enjoyment or pleasure? As it is, I am literally a step above homeless. I'm living back with my parents - at 44 years of age - and I can't seem to find the resources to enable me to finish college.(My students loans fell into default, even though they are slowly being paid off) I've been unemployed for the last year and it has been devastating to me on a personal and emotional level. I just can't seem to make it in this world, and I can't see a way out of this situation.
I've taken the MB tests in various forms over 100 times, and I am most definitely a strong INTJ.
Sometimes I can't even sleep at night, I will lay down and my mind races and sleep never comes, so I wind up getting up until I almost pass out... I am guessing this is part of the depression I am facing. There was a time in my life when I had a purpose in my life and I felt like my life mattered, and I was of some service, but these days that is all gone. Here is the funny part: INTJ's are typically not strong believers in "God", but I spent almost 18 years in a religious cult. I bought it hook line and sinker, and in the end, I was deceived by somebody who is, in their own mind, deceived. It was definitely a case of the blind leading the blind, and in the end, after the death of one of my closest friends, I had a nervous breakdown of sorts, and because I did not understand how to deal with the emotional distress I was facing, I began eating to make myself feel better. In the end, I wound up weighing 420lbs by 2006. I finally went to the doctor and was told,"Lose it or die." I lost 121lbs and have fluctuated between 300lbs and 330lbs since 2006. I have not been able to lose any more weight. It is as if somebody else is in control of my mind when it comes to eating, and that just drives me deeper into depression. Some days i am fine, some days I am saddened by the fact that I woke up.

Guest (not verified) says...

I sugest you create a posative visualization board. Get images that motivate & inspire you, & paste them onto the board; like a collage. Hang or mount that board upon the wall. Choose a spot that you have the highest tendancy to glance/gaze/star at in your home, when your feeling self-defeating. Scan an image-copy into your cell phone. That way, you can look at it anytime & everywhere you go. Seek a free gym & if one can't be found: "closed mouthes don't get fed", so go into a local gym & talk to a person in charge (like the director) & tell your life story [the lack of hope, low self-esteem, thoughts of suacide, depression, the reason for your over-eating, etc.]... also try a yoga or thi-chi intrructor/instructed facility. Even hiking! You need to get exercise. Go to the gvt. office for free resources list & ask about free counseling. Taking charge of your health is great!! Try raw or vegan foods & juicing. Look up other peoples progress in their weightloss journys utalizing the raw foods or vegan or juicing in YouTube :). Take up hobbies (card games, modle car building, dancing, reading uplifting or non negative books, art, music, needle-point, berry picking, bird watching, etc.! :) This will help keep your mental focus off of negativity's. Start a journal! Speak posative affirmations. Mimmic power posses. Force your self to smile for 1-2 minutes straight, before you roll out of bed. Take free online classes! Watch the TED channel. Take gratitude in the fact that your having this allotted time to renew your spirit & replenish your life! This is a season in your life to take action to heal. Because things will start to look up & change for the better, & your life will end up being better than you can currently imagine.

binchlifllyihoydd says...

Thanks for that Good advice. What I know is that there are no permanent problems in this world, We make them worse or overcome them depending on how approach it, & also I realized that he/she has invested much time and energy on the negative things happening in his/her life, instead of accepting challenges as part of life and trying to find a way out of it instead of being suicidal.
With your power of mind, complex challenges should be like the first few hours you spend to familiarize yourself with an 'alien' systems.

Guest (not verified) says...

Tim, I don't know if this will make anything better, but here goes. Although my case may sound exactly the opposite (I did study - got a PhD), that part was mainly because I had a father who taught me to see conventional learning not as "narrow-minded individuals" teaching me, but as (a) stage in my own development, which it was within MY decision to place within my OWN bigger-picture of life (he taught me to take decisions very early in life - my first important one was at age 10, not that it wasn't a guided decision of course). An ISFP himself, he did a fantastic job at teaching me how to see the big picture and find my own way. However, that did not satisfy my "TJ", to put it simplistically. With an ESFJ mother, I did get some structure in my life, though in most cases with eyes rolling from me... The thing is, it was only in my mid-20s that I actually came into contact with a great mentor for me (he was a coach) who could really see not only the potential, but especially important, the WAYS for ME to work on what I was missing (ways he helped ME find). All this did NOT spare me from depression and overeating (realising the difference between what "could be" and what is can be tough - I'm sure I don't need to get into details)... However, the MAIN lesson I learned from my coach was self-responsibility. This is where I see empowerment for each and every INTJ (and surely, not only): "what can I do to change what I don't like in my life?" is the constant question I ask myself...
As for the weight, what really helped me with food addiction were books by Jason Vale and among others, a film by Joe Cross. What helped me move were Tracy Anderson's DVDs. Until I was 25, I had numerous religious searches (luckily, I only spent 1 year in what was called a "cult" in my country). All those searches led me to the same conclusion, which may of course be different for each individual... The point is, we have one life and it is NEVER too late to start acting towards our own right way...
The only thing I would suggest giving it a go is to find a coach you feel in sync with as much as possible.
Best of luck!

Guest (not verified) says...

Tim, it's all in your head I smoked for over 20 years. And, one day I told myself I didn't smoke, and if I do smoke I would be that 50 year old man working around with the oxygen tank. The one tool you have, the thing that will empower you is your imagination. You have the will to stop if you use the right tools. Ask yourself when do you eat? why do you eat? where do you eat? And, remove those things from your life. If you continue to eat what will you look like to the outside world! Do not become convinced that by losing this weight it's going to solve all your problems, because it's not going too. Yet, it's one problem at a time, one day at a time. Stay focused,set reasonable goals, and whatever you do don't give up. Since, I quit smoking I gained 50 lbs, and like you I need to lose 50 lbs. So, I have a plan, (My Plan My Way)and I'll lose all of it by Christmas. What ya say 50 lbs by Christmas?

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes. I know this story. Here are a few of the directions I tried that correlate with the other wit driven replies. Find counsel, talk private live public. Avoid bigPharma meds, but consider recent research on refined nicotine [NA+] such as found in smoking cessation gums, lozenges and huffers. There is a lot of control over appetite (self-medication drives) and mental processing that can be had quite cheaply, and relatively safely here. Accept fluctuations and confide in professionals and skilled inspirational, while at the same time avoiding the industrial pep-talk circuit. Test your talents and aim at them. Relent to and unload activities unrelated to your personal aptitudes. If you are given to tipples, downgrade your choices to non-carbohydrate traditional forms like wine and non-sugar liquor in modest pleasure reward cycles. Consider a fat based diet, such as in LCHF and the recent research there (see Gary Taubes). Don't sweat the living with parents social stigma by reading up on Generation Theory by Strauss & Howe. Social and Cultural conditions really are awful, and your personal role in the effects of these phenomena is very small relative to the violent polity that drives them. Consider your political tendencies by taking a few of the political tendencies tests floating around on-line. Advocate on your own terms in opposition to the shittiness of the world. Develop a privacy centred imaginary for your emotional Fi life, for instance; an environmentally protected lake, an RSO 3 class 1 cleanroom, or a pristine natural park with limited licensed visitors. Avoid giving away emotional leverage to meddlers, nuisance people and the cruel. Discern the associations between your Intuition and your Feelings. Consider Bergsonian (Henri Bergson) intuition as a philosophical ground for activating and mobilizing your reception. House plants and low emotion pets, such as in terrariums and aquariums can be subtly reassuring. Use your screen saver to set unconscious conceptual and self-goal type reminders. Have a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Go to a few art galleries and museums as needed. Bother people who seem intelligent with your own thoughts until they either run from or reply to your interests. Get your genome tested, learn more about your traits, so as to understand yourself as a biological identity with bio-power. Throw up a private blog and invite people you admire. Expect less from people than yourself, but be prepared to blow off either in tight corners where things don't work out with exact precision. Review your old toys, games and objects you used to like, and keep them around for reflection. Be patient, be dangerous, and try to solve one or more of the problems that you judge are making the world harmful and its citizens wrong-headed.

Bon Chance!

Guest (not verified) says...

Tim,

I am the same. A little younger, but cult, education, depression are all the same.

I disagree with some of the replies given to you. In my experience many of them are just busy-work that gives you comfort that you are doing something. Here is the truth: eat less, move more, be happy, move on. Eat one bite less. Move for 5 minutes. Have a goal to make yourself happy once per day. Taking the smallest steps possible will get more results than reading gurus and having a more enlightened view of your problems. ITNJ's try and think ourselves out of the problem. Now though, you have to *do* something. Which is not the area we are most comfortable in.

When I left the JW cult, I had to leave my family, community, and every single friend I had. But, I can have a life now, the people still in the religion are in stasis. They will die never growing beyond their world. You are able to start over, have a career, kids, anything you want. You just have to take it. Shake it off and live beyond what they could ever imagine.

Guest (not verified) says...

Baloney. Just because someone chooses to have faith in a Higher Being does not necessarily mean that he or she is "in stasis" and "will never [grow] beyond their world." I know plenty of religious people (myself included) who are intellectually curious. We just choose also to believe in a God.

I'll admit some worship a version of God which permits no thought, no questions, no vision beyond a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, which thinking religious folk are able to recognize as being full of myths from a dingle culture. However, if someone can get past that, they certainly are not in stasis, even though some people in branches which accept such truths still choose to think the who world was populated 6000 years ago by a single man and a single woman. That speaks more for them than about their religion.

Your rude attack on this which you yourself choose not to believe in may be one big reason you lost all your friends, even those who do have intellectual curiosity.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thanks for sharing this about yourself, Tim. I think summaries of INTJs tend to gloss over just how difficult it is to not instinctively understand your own emotions. We might be intensely pragmatic, but we are still human. Not being able to identify your own feelings and needs is a HUGE hardship, especially if you're predisposed to brain chemistry issues or experience PTSD/trauma. I often feel like I can understand everything but myself. If I'm unsatisfied, unhappy, or frustrated with something in my life, it can take years for me to realize where that negativity is coming from. To make matters worse, I feel ashamed of myself if I can't logically justify my feelings. Consequently, if I experience an irrational emotion like jealousy, I keep it locked away inside and berate myself for ever having felt it -- which obviously just makes matters worse. It's also really hard for me to extricate myself from toxic and manipulative people, if they're savvy enough to appeal to my sense of logic. No matter how badly I feel, I will stay and suffer if it objectively looks like a "fair" situation.

The only advice I can offer is to try familiarizing yourself with your own feelings. It can be hard, but you're capable of using your rational deduction skills to figure out what's missing from your life and how to go about attaining it. I find that keeping a journal helps with this, since it's a way to express what's on my mind without the additional stress of making sure it's understandable to someone else. It's also helpful to look back over a week or month or year of your own mental/emotional ups and downs and analyze it like any other data -- finding what activities and people made you happy, which ones triggered depressive cycles, and what mistakes get repeated. You'd probably also benefit from exploring different forms of spirituality and seeing if you can find one that makes sense to you. Losing your religion as well as a close friend is an enormous trauma, and it sounds like it's robbed you of your hope. It could make a world of difference for you to find something bigger than yourself to believe in, on your own terms and in your own way. I wish you the best of luck!

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you, whoever made that comment! Really rings true - I hadn't appreciated how difficult it is, as an INTJ, to admit to, feel OK with, let alone understand ones own emotions, particularly the really negative and painful ones. Good tips offered. I think these will help me, and hope they might help Tim too.... All the best to you, Guest and Tim, whoever you are!!

jimthearchitect says...

Tim, I am with you!

I am older than you, and living back at home. I went 3 years to college and quit, went through the meaningless job thing and now can't get a job. So I am looking at going back to school - and here is something practical for you. They have this 'loan rehabilitation' program. I did it and it works. They ask you to make really small payments for 6 months. Mine were $12 a month. After that you are put on the track to going back to school - meaning that if you apply for a loan for school, they will take care of it and approve it. After another 6 months you are officially rehabilitated, your penalties and fees are waived, and re-set back to the principle.

Here is another good part: If you cannot afford the payments, you can get a 6 month deferral. In that time, if you get a job you can start paying back the loan, or if you are enrolled full-time in school you can get another deferral.

Start there and let me hear back from you. We're all in this together.

Peace,
Jim

Deep Thinker (not verified) says...

Tim, I have no idea how long ago your comment was XD, but I strongly challenge you to look up the Paleo or Primal Lifestyle. It's so much more than diet, and it helped me when I was in depression a few years ago.

Ally9889 (not verified) says...

Eating a healthier paleo foods aslo helped my mom with depression. It also healed me of a very severe case of Crohn's Disease :), if all people ate like this, which obviously wouldn't happen,..but if they did.. most diseases wouldn't be as common, and people would rarely get sick.

Guest (not verified) says...

I know INTJ's don't typically believe in God, but I do. I am a strong Christian (Baptist, to be specific). I went through something similar, not quite the same, but I want you to know that you are not alone. I know you might not appreciate me telling you this, but I think you should turn back to him. Seek a counselor (they can actually help, sometimes) or someone you feel understands you. Please don't hate me if I am totally wrong.

Guest (not verified) says...

Don't worry, I've had the same problems. By times I've given up of explaining this sort of things to others. People judged by stereotypes clarifying us in their own way when we go far beyond that and too unwilling to explain to them. We reached to have a full life and rejected doing the same thing and living the same life in the same place everyday. I personally hate being told to change and sometimes there's so much thing going on inside my head I thought it might explode. I suppose in a way you need someone to let it all out, being a psychologist or a good friend. Getting advices suck and I'm not trying to advice you but just stretching out the possibilities. It helps. Sometimes you just want to be listened as who you are

INTJ Guest (not verified) says...

I am much younger than you. I also went through some trouble, I did get some weight, told myself it was the exams.. Eventually I decided that that was it, I changed my diet to mostly vegetables and a few carbs, stopped all sweets started using the small plates in the kitchen, refused more then 3 meals a day and started daily running. I was loosing half a kilo a day, my parents were concerned. I kept it up for a little more than two weeks. After I stabilised I ate some ice cream and since then I have never gone above my limit (by still using small plates, 3 meals and gym). Besides some weight, I also had to deal with some emotional issues. The last two yers of school were almost a disaster, my friends had al left to different schooling systems, my grades were not good enough to do what I wanted and my father (ESFP) pretty much caused me depression by constantly telling me that it will all be ok and then screaming every night to my mother that I am useless and have no future. I did think of suicide for a little time but then thought that it would not change anything. I then realised that the only thing that could save me was my logic. I dismissed everyone as idiots and assumed that only what I said mattered. I put down my target and found the solution. I still could not get what I wanted with my grades but I bended the rules, added a year in my studies and entered anyway. Once I left the country to study and live on my own everything changed, a couple of new friends, freedom and a lot of potential. I now have finished my barchelors, currently working on my Masters and preparing my applications for my PHD.

BTW, money isn't flowing here either. My Student loan still keeps everything floating but it is tied with an EU grant which states I will only pay back if I find a job with a minimum pay.

Also check for "Open University". It is a UK online university that operates globally, it is quite good (not top of the top but still good) and will only cost around £3000 (give or take). You will have to buy your own books and study in your own time but you can do it and you can work too (and study part time).

You have lost a lot of time but there is more time waiting for you. Just loose weight and start a course to get your self confidence back, try and find a job and use the money to find a place of your own and start a hobby that inspires you, and who knows, maybe you will meet someone along the way as well.

Time is the most important thing of all (that and your health). I am young, I stumbled a little but I am now glad I know that in my really early 20s. Never give up, it is just not logical, just do it.

Also my grandfather (INTJ as well) was a rich engineer. He used his entire fortune to build his own ceramic factory but later lost it to a "friend"/partner in a legal dispute. He had nothing, he was alone and not the youngest either but he rebuilt his fortune (some at least), got married and lived long enough to se his grandchildren. If that doesn't prove anything can change both ways, I don't know what does.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ and have a PhD (in cognitive science) and an axiety/depressive disorder. First regarding suicide and depression the research is clear: you need to take both anti-depressents and regularly see a counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist. The overeating is a symptom of your depression and wont be under any longterm control until your depression is. Also note that exercise can also help with depression (and weight). I know, I've been there myself.

As for education, it is important to realise that you have faults and that your way of thinking is not the only valid approach. As an academic I can assure you that the college students who are most unteachable are (probably) INTJs who think that they know everything and that they do not have to listen to anyone else. I know this because I can have the same tendency. The fact that other people think differently does not mean that their ideas are false. Don't confuse the process (thinking style) with the content (being true or false).

As for emotions, I was lucky enough to grow up with an emotionally brilliant sister who demanded that I understand feelings (to the extent that I can). I have found a lot of the advice on http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ.html to be particularly useful. We have emotions, trying to ignore them only makes them stronger and more uncontrolable, and our emotions or gut hunches can in fact be a good guide to ideas that in general are true.

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