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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!


Alger (not verified) says...

I couldn't agree more.

Lim Lynn (not verified) says...

Don't sweat too much on how college or university. The only cure to depression is to find something you love and felt responsible to take care of like take some time out help elderly people in old folks home that will open your eyes how to be thankful for what you have. I have been stuck in house with my grandmother yet it's not that bad some day you will understand how helpful it will be when your parents age. It's great to be a caregiver.

Diana (not verified) says...

I found this website to be very helpful in understanding who I am as a person. I have always known that I was different and to see my personality type laid out in such a way was incredibly insightful. This helped me to understand myself better and to become more self assured.

Anna (not verified) says...

I've taken this quiz three times over the past two years, and each time I've gotten something different. Now, I'm generally skeptical of quizzes that "define" who you are (mostly because it generalizes it's answers to fit almost everyone.) but their descriptions on here are pretty accurate. Although , my other two scores also seem to fit me just as well. INTJ, INTP, INFJ. Which is funny because some INTP'S turn into INFJ's later in life.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while these sort of tests will give you a general, if not more refined, picture of who you are they do not (most likely) define you to a t. You can take bits and pieces of the profiles you've gotten, but in the end we as humans are so complex that labeling us seems pointless. Almost contrary to that though, some people like to be categorized because it gives them a sense of belonging and it makes them feel as though they now know themselves better. Which I'm not disagreeing with.

One of the things that they got spot on about me is that I'm not very good at voicing my thoughts because I think everyone thinks like me. Different from what the INTJ profile states, I will surround myself with people I don't think are "smarter" than me. But, that may be because I have a slight superiority complex.

Wow, reading back on this, my wording is all over the place and it doesn't give the feeling of cohesiveness. I've Gotta work on that.

Guest (not verified) says...

Reading this profile sure brought back memories, sadly I live in a area filled mostly with people that avoid intellectual conversation and without any line of work that fits "the Mastermind". It's a sad existence really, to have to force oneself to move away from one's roots to conform to a smaller society in the name of survival.

I wish that there would be far more INTJ's out there than the mere 2% this site claims it to be. It's quite easy to compare to Mensa in that way, only taking in the people with an IQ of the top 2 percentile.
(On a unrelated note, it would be interesting to get a proper statistic on how these groups are divided among the recipients of Mensa certificates)

Truly, living with and searching for intelligence is a struggle.
In fact, just searching for people with an interest in expanding their minds is a trial of it's own...
But this comment section does bring me joy, the simple interaction of people sharing their woes on living as INTJ without the inclusion of race or gender discrimination, as those values are irrelevant here.

Jasmine (not verified) says...

Never have I felt more like I belonged after reading this, I thought I was just a loner. That I couldn't connect with people because I was being picky or just sallow. After hitting a rough patch for a while, I read this & realize I have all the makings of greatness, as well as al the tools, I just have to put them to use. I can't wait to read these books & become more in touch with myself & the world around me.

Scarlett INTJ (not verified) says...

SAME! I always wondered why I was so different!
I wanted to be like all the other people who were so outgoing and
didn't spew out random tid bits about everything...
not that every INTJ does that, but for some reason, I find joy in knowing

Intj (not verified) says...

To my surprise, my current career is on the list, as are several others I explored earlier. Even though they weren't for me, I guess they weren't completely off the mark - seems there's a lot of room for variation in INTJ even if it is a relatively small category.
Good to see we're at a lower risk of heart problems though! lol

HelenE (not verified) says...

I'm female, completely blunt, almost tactless, some say! I have always been mystified by how I upset people without seemingly trying. Still do! Apparently only 1% of the population are like me so I guess that's why. I'm just not on their wavelength.

I remember asking my parents, at the age of 6, why they chose my religion for me (CofE),I said they should have asked me. I didn't ask to be Christened. They didn't get it and I'm still annoyed at 39. I didn't get my own children Christened. I respect their decision making process in this matter; when they are ready I will explain religion. I prefer a secular world without religion. I hate and don't understand religious wars.

I am always amazed that people don't see the answer right in front of them and yet they don't appreciate it if you point it out to them. Why is that?

I suffer from depression, every few days I consider killing myself, then I think of my husband & kids. I'm very loyal and committed to my family and would never hurt them so I live with my black thoughts.

I know I am highly intelligent but not academic. I am easily frustrated by the world around me. I like order.

Does that sound like an INTJ?

I wish life was like a chess board!

bluedecor (not verified) says...

I am another female INTJ. I feel so fortunate to have caught the eye of an ENTP male engineer. We have been married for 25 years. He is loving and affectionate. He is extremely intelligent. I found my old IQ test from middle school and joined Mensa. Many people there are simpatico. I have struggled socially and felt like an alien at times, as so many others here describe. I have had setbacks, but persevered and found a way to earn a BS by using the Excelsior College credit bank service. Any veterans here who would like advice may email me at My military experience earned me 24 ACE evaluated college credits that I had posted to my BS transcript to enter the government contracting field. My first college class was in the summer of '78 whioe I was still in high school, the last class was in '89. I have a pre-internet era nontraditional BS degree. Later, I earned a master's in 2(!!) years. In all the discussion, I have not seen much mention of love. I know I am blessed by my late mother who never understood me but loved me all the same, who was proud of me and bought me books. Emotional intelligence is not easy for us, but it can be learned. Some of the previous postings speak of wanting to see the next life, and an eagerness to shuffle off this mortal coil and see what lies beyond. My son felt this way if I can believe his suicide note. He committed suicide at age 19. He may have been an INTJ but of course it's too late now to find out. If you are tempted by suicide, please be aware that it is devastating for those left behind. Seeking out companionship and affection can help us not feel so isolated. Nature can also soothe and refresh us. Don't give up, reach out and grab all the sweetness that life can offer.

Guest (not verified) says...

I get too annoyed when people make things so much harder than it really is and don't understand the solution to a problem when I freaking spell it out for I guess that's characteristic, not bad

Scotty (not verified) says...

Well, that was interesting. I've always told myself that if I could get a super power, I would totally end up being a super villain. This personality type totally agrees with it, going with the my way is right because it always actually is philosophy on that...perfect.

Guest (not verified) says...

About the religion thing I found a quote that sums up my opinion perfectly "if gods exist, have they been good custodians of [this world]? Death, sickness, poverty, tyranny, and countless other miseries stalk the land. If this is the handiwork of divine beings, then they are to be rebelled against and overthrown, not given obeisance, obedience, and reverence." If you don't agree that's fine, this is just my opinion

Guest (not verified) says...

Finally...thank you

Nivrag (not verified) says...

Well, I'm not religious. I'm agnostic. For a short summary.

Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question. "Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?" The professor asked.

"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything; then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor's hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"

"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"

The other students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat; and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color.

You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's Inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have taken the Myer-Briggs test assessments multiple times and have consistently gotten the INTJ result. I find everything to be rather spot-on in my personality assessment, yet I still find I carry religious sentiments. I am a 21 year old female, have always excelled in academics, and was not raised in a religious family. Reading these comments I felt the need for the first time on any internet site to share a comment, as it perplexes me how rare my personality type is especially in conjunction with my religious beliefs. I am responding to this comment in particular because in many ways I could see myself posing the very same questions as that student did.

Taking these tests has allowed me to understand my analytical nature and even more so to understand my difficulties in understanding the irrationality of mankind as a species. I think it begs the question, why is it I still carry a belief that carries some irrational, yet to me seemingly logical (if I go quite into historical detail that is) explanations?

Guest (not verified) says...

Without the availability of an absolute answer, we are left to attempt to understand a paradox.... on one hand we challenge how people may believe in a specific idea, and therefore we do our research and come up with more questions than answer, hence the disregard, and basically the statement rendered false. However with religion/ spirituality, personally, i believe theres a higher power, primarily because the human body is a complex machine, from the cellular level to the the inner personality that we may interact with on a day to day basis.
In conclusion, no one will be able to truly answer how we got here, therefore we leave slight room for a possibility. Since its only possible and not concrete conclusion, easier to think in an abstract manner to find logic and reasoning... Not the full answer, but the statements cant really be argued....
In addition to the argument the student made in the story, that was a bit drawn... my response to the teacher wouldve been that people were created with choice, who is really to say what is right or wrong when the true nature of that question is relative to who is being asked?

Guest (not verified) says...

I completely agree with you. I am a christian and yet, the INTJ personality still describes me perfectly. I don't feel that having this type of personality hinders my ability to fully commit to my spiritual beliefs in fact, I believe it's brought me closer to God. It's allowed me to dissect the faith and come to my own understanding and comprehension of it. I can respect anyone's apprehension and disbelief of it but I'v found my truth in it.

Guest (not verified) says...

My results were INTJ and I also carry religious sentiments. But I think it's because my score was so close to INFJ, I think it was 51%/49%. Maybe yours is also borderline INTJ and INFJ?

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you! Arigatou Gozaimasou!

Guest (not verified) says...

Well said.

Guest (not verified) says...

In the same way, you cannot prove God does or doesn't exist. It's literally called faith.

Guest (not verified) says...

The student's argument is flawed though. Dark and cold being the absence of light and heat are concepts proven by physics. The same cannot be said for evil being the absence of God. Also even if the latter were the case, God can't be absent so evil wouldn't exist, but it clearly does. If God created everything and is omni-present, there wouldn't be a place where his touch is absent, so there wouldn't be evil. And if that isn't enough, the student is justifying the possible existence of God by saying that evil is the absence of God, which is like defining a word using itself. It's backwards logic.

agustus (not verified) says...

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but...will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

Truity says...


Alger (not verified) says...

what a remarkable personality, I'm glade to fit in it.

Doubtful Observer (not verified) says...

Glade? I believe you mean "glad".

JeremyE (not verified) says...

This describes me 100% accurately. My wife concurs as well!

Zach K. (not verified) says...

After reading,I concluded that this site actually described me very accuratly.Suprisingly,I can actually refer to the comments of the site.Therefore,there is not much else for me to say.

Guest (not verified) says...

Maybe I did something wrong on this test but I'm not very good at giving others pity. I feel like everyone has a choice and if you make bad decisions like not going to school or not working or whatever it's your own fault. Don't like it? Change it. I've made bad decisions too but I own them and I don't look for others to pay me on the back or give me words of encouragement. I don't need it. Everything seemed to describe me in the description then I read these comments and everyone is so nice and caring and I don't have it in me.

linux535 (not verified) says...

I would say this describes me about 95% correctly, as I am not necessarily a perfectionist at everything and also I am not that harsh on people who are not on the same intellectual level. Though everything else seemed to match like the way I feel about people and how am terrible at comforting people with emotional issues because I am able to suppress my emotions pretty well (I am not perfect at it as I have cried before but I normally resolve the issue by myself 90% of the time)so I do not understand why other people can not do the same. It annoys me to no end when someone seems to be emotionally upset about something every week. Also as it said I like working alone, though I am not sure about the leader part as I do not think I have ever taken a leadership role and personally do not know if I would be capable of such a feat. Also I do have friends but at the same time I would not be unhappy if i did not (I would be upset if I lost my friends though it would not be the end of the world plus the accept me for who I am not who I am not), for the first like 4 years of elementary school I did not have any friends but this did not bother me I actually was quite happy though the teachers kept bugging me because the thought I was depressed. They could not seem to understand the concept that some people do not need social interaction to be happy. So overall I think the INTJ profile fits me pretty well.

Josh JJ (not verified) says...

You can turn your life around at any age. You are still young at 44. I'm in my mid-30s and I also face adversity and week job prospects. Here are several steps you need to take right now. I've taken them very recently

Your nervous system is overcome with anxiety and fear, which is preventing you from thinking clearly and your ability to focus.
You can solve this by watching youtube videos of Energy Field Therapy (EFT) tapping. This technique was discovered in the 1980s by a psychologist that uses tapping on your pressure point to calm your brain and nervous system. It can be used for motivation and other goals or issues. Hypnosis and thought field therapy also work.

Go see a therapist they will help you sort this out.

To lose weight, you should buy the Bowflex Max Trainer. It's low impact and you will lose all your weight. The fat falls off.

You need to finish school (I don't know what your degree is in) or go back to school in a field that needs workers. Nursing for example. This field has worker that start out in their 40s. Nursing will always need workers as the healthcare industry is always needing workers.

Lastly, God loves you and has a plan for you There are several Christian denominations that offer a much more intellectual presentation and implementation of Christianity. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, UMC, Episcopal Church, etc.

They are much more inclusive and thoughful people. This is real Christianity.

It's not too late. Your life will turn around. Keep trying.

Maddie (not verified) says...

Agreed. It's just that I've doubted a higher power before, but if you think about it, it makes just perfect sense. So living bacteria appeared in boiling oceans of liquid, made of all kinds of "stuff". So what if some hydrogen, oxygen, or whatever suddenly gets together in the shape of a cell. But that doesn't make it alive. Someone had to give it some kind of "life force", something that makes it alive. That's not science. That's the power of God.

Bernhard (not verified) says...

I have scientific convictions which lead me to believe in God. I acknowledge that the God of religion is obliviously fictional, but the God of the Bible proves to valid claims of His testimony. Now, can the God of Heaven favor His own viewpoints and perceptions? Of course, we all do, but that does not change the fact that there is a God.

Mathias (not verified) says...

Wow, this is essentially me in a nutshell. I guess that's part of the reasons teachers dislike me and I did not have much friends all the way through middle and high school.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am so much more complex than this..... Lol...

Guest (not verified) says...

100% me

Guest (not verified) says...

This is so true that it is scary! Even the relationship part is true!

hk.mars (not verified) says...

It's me. Thanks so much. I am so strong-willed and INTJ...

channonjw says...

This was very refreshing because as an INTJ I am always feeling like the one who sticks out like a sore thumb. My questions that I always ask what works and presumably Is it working?

Guest (not verified) says...

me 100%

Guest INTJ Female (not verified) says...

What about INTJs and the art field?
I am a talented singer--opera and more mainstream genres.
I also do well in theatre and acting.
I'm not sure I ENJOY it, per se, but I feel it would be a waste of talent.
I am interested in working as an Art Director (Photography and fine art)
but I still have that "what if" with acting and singing.
I don't want to waste an opportunity to make it to the top.
I'm just wondering, from INTJ to other INTJs,
how enjoyable do you think it would be for one?

Bitterblue (not verified) says...

I also work in the arts. I am a theatre technician. I have also acted. While I wouldn't choose acting as my occupation it is still fun sometimes. I'd prefer to stay backstage though. Even if you have a talent for it, if you do not enjoy it to the fullest then why do it. If you like it then continue on.

an INTJ (not verified) says...

i thought that at first i was an istj but after taking some tests im sure that im an intj.

yogesh0506 says...

Is there any other INTJ in India?

Guest (not verified) says...

im an intj and although it says that istj have lots in common with intj, i really dislike being around them

Guest (not verified) says...

as an INTJ woman with an INTJ daughter (who is a business owner, they nailed that.) It surprised me how correct this is about both the parts of my personality I like, and that I don't like and have spent my life trying to 'improve'. There are things named here that maybe I should try and embrace and stop trying to fight against.

Guest (not verified) says...

These statements are, for the most part, undoubtedly true, although the career area can fluctuate from person to person. Some of us prefer legal, scientific, and technological professions, while others (myself included) prefer to use their analytical skills for art and design related areas.
Could there possibly be two breeds of INTJ, the reserved who hardly speaks unless the need arises, and the self-assured who relates their ideas with confidence?

GirlWhoKnits (not verified) says...

I don't think so.

One description I read indicated that INTJ's know what they know, and uniquely know what they don't know. So we have the ability to speak confidently because we know the depth and breadth of a topic, SME basically. I think we tend to be reluctant leaders because we'd rather be thinking and strategizing - which also explains why we hate, hate, hate meetings. We will take up the reins to rescue the effort, or if there is a lack of leadership. Or in my experience, the incompetence is driving me nuts and I can't take it anymore.

Guest (not verified) says...

To be honest, I was really mad that I got ISTJ instead of INTJ for a variety of reasons. First off, I am very much the master mind type! I absolutely detest many of the established social norms in this world and often bear a great disdain for humans/ human nature in general (as opposed to ISTJ which says that they are very traditional and respect established traditions and customs)! One of my primary goals is to be a revolutionary inventor that brings about significant improvement to this world!! For crying out loud, I even study relativity and quantum mechanics in my leisure time for that purpose (and also because it is fun)! I very rarely am ok with someone else taking charge in something that I am involved in, and to be honest I tremendously desire power!!!! For goodness sake, one of the people in fiction that I admire most is Madara Uchiha (for those who know who that is and what series that references)! How the heck can I not be INTJ?!!! Also, ISTJ mentioned valuing authority. Seriously?!!! I hate just about all forms of hierarchy with an intense passion!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the worst of it all:

They said that ISTJ made up most of the population!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just ticks me off! I know for a fact that I am not just "normal"!!! When I was in Kindergarten one teacher even speculated that I was autistic! My mom took me to a doctor and the doctor said that I wasn't, but I kind of want a 2nd opinion! Even in more modern times at my current age, there have been some people who have questioned my mental health state. I know that I am not "normal"! My own mother has noted that I am not normal! (And yes I am proud of not being normal!)

To me who detests human nature and being imperfect, being called "normal" is probably on my top 5 to top 10 list of the most insulting insults!

So what if I'm a pretty systematic guy when it comes to working?! Well excuse me for believing that if something constantly seems to work well then it is a good idea to keep doing it! That doesn't mean that I deserve to be insulted in such a manner!

Sorry for such a long rant. It is just that some of the things in ISTJ just really rub me the wrong way and I say INTJ fits me much better! Some of the things in ISTJ were correct about me, but INTJ would be a better fit!

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