INTJ in a Nutshell
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 Makes the INTJ Tick
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.
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Recognizing 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 in the Population
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
Popular Hobbies for the INTJ
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 INTJ
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
NTJ STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
- Quick, Imaginative and Strategic Mind – INTJs pride themselves on their minds, taking every opportunity to improve their knowledge, and this shows in the strength and flexibility of their strategic thinking. Insatiably curious and always up for an intellectual challenge, INTJs can see things from many perspectives. INTJs use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios.
- High Self-Confidence – INTJs trust their rationalism above all else, so when they come to a conclusion, they have no reason to doubt their findings. This creates an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations. When INTJs are right, they’re right, and no amount of politicking or hand-holding is going to change that fact – whether it’s correcting a person, a process, or themselves, they’d have it no other way.
- Independent and Decisive – This creativity, logic and confidence come together to form individuals who stand on their own and take responsibility for their own actions. Authority figures do not impress INTJs, nor do social conventions or tradition, and no matter how popular something is, if they have a better idea, INTJs will stand against anyone they have to in a bid to have it changed. Either an idea is the most rational or it’s wrong, and INTJs will apply this to their arguments as well as their own behavior, staying calm and detached from these sometimes emotionally charged conflicts. INTJs will only be swayed by those who follow suit.
- Hard-working and determined – If something piques their interest, INTJs can be astonishingly dedicated to their work, putting in long hours and intense effort to see an idea through. INTJs are incredibly efficient, and if tasks meet the criteria of furthering a goal, they will find a way to consolidate and accomplish those tasks. However, this drive for efficiency can also lead to a sort of elaborate laziness, wherein INTJs find ways to bypass seeming redundancies which don’t seem to require a great deal of thought – this can be risky, as sometimes double-checking one’s work is the standard for a reason.
- Open-minded – All this rationalism leads to a very intellectually receptive personality type, as INTJs stay open to new ideas, supported by logic, even if (and sometimes especially if) they prove INTJs’ previous conceptions wrong. When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, INTJs tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses.
- Jacks-of-all-Trades – INTJs’ open-mindedness, determination, independence, confidence and strategic abilities create individuals who are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. Excelling at analyzing anything life throws their way, INTJs are able to reverse-engineer the underlying methodology of most any system and apply the concepts that are exposed wherever needed. INTJs tend to have their pick of professions, from IT architects to political masterminds.
- Arrogant – INTJs are perfectly capable of carrying their confidence too far, falsely believing that they’ve resolved all the pertinent issues of a matter and closing themselves off to the opinions of those they believe to be intellectually inferior. Combined with their irreverence for social conventions, INTJs can be brutally insensitive in making their opinions of others all too clear.
- Judgmental – INTJs tend to have complete confidence in their thought process, because rational arguments are almost by definition correct – at least in theory. In practice, emotional considerations and history are hugely influential, and a weak point for INTJs is that they brand these factors and those who embrace them as illogical, dismissing them and considering their proponents to be stuck in some baser mode of thought, making it all but impossible to be heard.
- Overly analytical – A recurring theme with INTJs is their analytical prowess, but this strength can fall painfully short where logic doesn’t rule – such as with human relationships. When their critical minds and sometimes neurotic level of perfectionism (often the case with Turbulent INTJs) are applied to other people, all but the steadiest of friends will likely need to make some distance, too often permanently.
- Loathe highly structured environments – Blindly following precedents and rules without understanding them is distasteful to INTJs, and they disdain even more authority figures who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their intent. Anyone who prefers the status quo for its own sake, or who values stability and safety over self-determination, is likely to clash with INTJ personality types. Whether it’s the law of the land or simple social convention, this aversion applies equally, often making life more difficult than it needs to be.
- Clueless in romance – This antipathy to rules and tendency to over-analyze and be judgmental, even arrogant, all adds up to a personality type that is often clueless in dating. Having a new relationship last long enough for INTJs to apply the full force of their analysis on their potential partner’s thought processes and behaviors can be challenging. Trying harder in the ways that INTJs know best can only make things worse, and it’s unfortunately common for them to simply give up the search.
- Ironically, this is when they’re at their best, and most likely to attract a partner.
INTJ at Work
At work, the INTJ excels at creating and implementing innovative solutions to analytical problems. They naturally see possibilities for improvement within complex systems and are organized and determined in implementing their ideas for change.
INTJs are comfortable with abstraction and theory but gain the most satisfaction from turning their ideas into reality. They often enjoy working independently or with a small team, taking measured, strategic steps to implement change.
INTJs enjoy working with logical systems that they can understand in depth. They enjoy the challenge of comprehending complex ideas, and want to understand how they can improve the way things work.
The ideal work environment for an INTJ is logical, efficient, structured, and analytical, with colleagues that are competent, intelligent, and productive. The ideal job for a Mastermind allows them to use their analytical skills to problem-solve in a challenging environment, and to take responsibility for implementing their ideas to create efficient, innovative systems.
Top Careers for the INTJ
Top careers for the INTJ include:
Least Popular Careers for INTJ
It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INTJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the Mastermind to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to INTJs who are choosing a career.
The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INTJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.