INTJ Personality Type Secret

JOEL MARK WITT: Hey, welcome to Personality Hacker. My name is Joel Mark Witt.

ANTONIA DODGE: And I’m Antonia Dodge.

JOEL MARK WITT: Today we’re talking about the personality type in the Myers-Briggs system, INTJ.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, we’re going to do a bit of a riff. We’re just going to talk about this type a little bit. Now we’ve created other content that goes really deep down into the INTJ personality type. But we wanted to do just kind of an overview of this personality type. Which is also the Perspectives/Effectiveness type, in the Genius System.

Now Perspectives/Effectiveness people, or INTJs in the Myers-Briggs system, can be a bit inscrutable. They are a little bit of a mystery to a lot of different people. There are a couple of components that if you understand this about the INTJ personality type?

You’ll be able to access other components to their type, and get to know them a little bit more. And if you are an INTJ personality, then this should ring true for you.

JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah, and some people have nicknamed this the Mastermind person. You know, this person that can really think deeply about things, and really mastermind. Think tank is another word, or words that come up for the INTJ. Someone that can really let things percolate and come up with brilliant ideas. You know, over time, they can really think through things.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, and one of the reasons why they’re called things like the Mastermind and people reference them as being sort of a walking think tank, is because they really do have exceptional abilities to learn information and truly think in long-range terms.

We call them Perspectives/Effectiveness in the Genius System, because of their ability to perspective shift. And to be able to watch their own mind form patterns, and then be able to watch other peoples’ minds form patterns, is incredible. They’re really able to get inside other peoples’ minds and how they think. They’re able to see long-range into the future and really understand long-range implications for actions.

JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah, I have a friend who is an INTJ, and his ability to see the motivation and the perspective of people. Even people who may not have good intention. Or at least how we would define good intention.


JOEL MARK WITT: His ability to say, “This is probably what’s going on for them. This is what they’re probably thinking when they’re doing this behavior. Or acting in this way, or making this choice, or saying this thing.” I’m always blown away with the insight he brings into peoples’ perspective. He’s able to shift perspective into their own mind, basically. And give insight that I’m just wowed by when he talks.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, I would say that this type has a lot of intellectual integrity, for the most part. Not obviously every INTJ is going to be at the same level of health or development. But for the most part, I would say that this type feels that intellectual honesty is very important to them.

They have a high level of integrity and honesty with themselves and with other people. I think they try to be, at least when they’re trying to understand other peoples’ motivations, very egalitarian. Right?

JOEL MARK WITT: Fair-minded.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, very fair-minded. Like everything makes sense to everybody that’s doing it. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out how it makes sense to that person. Now on the flip side, they can also be incredibly judgmental. If somebody is behavior in a stupid way over and over and over again? It’s like the INTJ just gets so frustrated with their ineffectual behavior, that they can be pretty cold and distant.

That’s because the other process that they use the most is a process called Effectiveness. Now effectiveness is really important to this type, because they want to see long-range sustainable implementation of action.

If people are behaving in a very short-sighted way. When they don’t think about things, and think long into the distance about all the implications of their actions? That can be incredibly frustrating to this type.

JOEL MARK WITT: I think explaining things to people is sometimes an energy drain for the INTJ?


JOEL MARK WITT: They understand things on a fundamental level, that’s pretty sophisticated. If an INTJ is talking to a person that is kind of keeping things on a surface level of understanding, or they’re not wanting to try to really understand what the person is saying. I believe it feels like an energy drain for the INTJ person.


JOEL MARK WITT: They feel like it might not be worth my time to try to explain this. It’s just going to be an energy drain, they’re not going to understand anyway. They probably have a tendency to cut off explanations, or really helping people understand things sometimes, because it’s just such a drain on them. To try to communicate when people aren’t making the effort, in their minds, to meet them halfway.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, and so there can be a tendency to withhold information, if they think that their audience isn’t going to be able to understand it? But I think the number one thing that can screw an INTJ up, is inactivity, or inaction.   Because they think so powerfully, and they have such strong concepts and ideas. To stay in the realm of conceptualizing is really pretty attractive for an INTJ.

JOEL MARK WITT: It’s comfortable.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, it’s really comfortable, because that’s their sandbox. What the world really needs, as far as I’m concerned, if you are an INTJ, is the ability to bring these ideas to the rest of everybody else. To be able to bring them out into the world.

We highly recommend that if you want tips and tricks on how to do that, and how to become the best version of yourself? There is a premium version of the Genius Style Assessment. If you need to go figure out if you’re an INTJ. If you’ve already taken the Genius Style Assessment, then strongly consider getting the premium content that comes along with it. It really gives you this sort of zoomed in and zoomed out. This granular perspective on exactly what’s going on with your type. And more of a zoomed out holistic perspective on how all of these parts of who you are kind of interplay with each other?

We recommend it for any INTJ who is really looking for some motivation, to bring their best self forward. We want that to be the case, because there are so many incredible ideas inside an INTJ’s mind? That we would love to be able to see them out in the world, where everybody can benefit from them.

Or at least have them vetted, right? At least have them play out so we can take those concepts, and all create an infrastructure that is long-range and sustainable.

JOEL MARK WITT: I love talking to INTJs, because they always help me refine my ideas.

ANTONIA DODGE: Oh, totally.

JOEL MARK WITT: I love talking to an INTJ, giving them an idea. Saying, “What do you think about this?”  And usually I’ll get the feedback, “Well let me think about that.” About three to five days later, they’ll come back and say, “Now I was thinking about what you were saying, and here’s an idea I have for you.” It’s typically brilliant. I’m always like, “How? That’s amazing! How does your brain work like that? That’s incredible.”

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, absolutely.

JOEL MARK WITT: What do you think a secret is that people don’t know about INTJs? What do you think it is that, something about the INTJ personality that most people wouldn’t realize? Or maybe even INTJs themselves wouldn’t realize?

ANTONIA DODGE: Oh, I think INTJs realize this about themselves.

JOEL MARK WITT: OK, what is it?

ANTONIA DODGE: I would say the number one “secret,” is just how sensitive INTJs can be. I mean sensitive in the sense that they have very sensitive instruments. Sort of like an antenna. That I’ve had to explain like a raw nerve, like a raw tooth nerve maybe?

Where they pick up really subtle things, that other people don’t realize they pick up. Because they have the ability to distance themselves from it emotionally? But sometimes they can’t. Sometimes it hits right into the center of who they are. And they are surprisingly sensitive themselves, and then when they’re interacting with another person.

In fact, if they have allowed you in, to the inner sanctum of who they are. If they’ve invited you into their hearts?


ANTONIA DODGE: You can do massive damage while you’re there. Because the INTJ is very, very sensitive to the people that they love. And I don’t think they let on about that.


ANTONIA DODGE: I don’t think they want people to know that.  Joel Mark Witt:    It’s dangerous, right? Antonia Dodge:    Yeah, exactly.

JOEL MARK WITT: Let down that hard shell, let somebody in. That could be a lot of damage someone could do.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, absolutely. I think that the number one secret, for those of you who are INTJs, you know this about yourself. For those of you who are not INTJs, it’s really important to never exploit this component of who they are. To never be willing to be deliberately hurtful.

Because to an INTJ, you can do some serious damage, and I think they know that. That’s one of the reasons why they naturally have to keep a little bit of distance from people, until they’ve invited them into their inner sanctum. I’d say that’s probably the number one secret.

JOEL MARK WITT: Cool. Well, if you’re an INTJ, let us know what you think. And also, like Antonia said, take the Genius Assessment, either the free or the premium version. And find out a little bit more about your personality.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, and thanks for joining us on this riff on the INTJ personality type.

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Showing 11 comments
  • Randy Caba

    As a lifelong INTJ subscriber, I can say that this definitely strikes my secret resonant frequency in a most significant way. Thanks for a most accurate and beneficial riff!

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment Randy! I’m glad it resonated with you so strongly. 🙂

  • Chase

    I’ve tested out as INTJ, but through your podcasts I am probably in between INTJ/INTP somehow. Certain things I relate to INTP. I look at the categorizations pretty loosely. I remember you discussing the ambivert being a person who is kind of just well rounded in a sense. So I chalk up any discrepancies to a type similar to me as that. Also, behaviors can overlap which you guys have both discussed. I listen and categorize mainly to just understand people further. I’ve never had a problem understanding people and their emotions, though I don’t really feel the emotions. Its just patterns I am recognizing. One thing that was not necessarily discussed, or at least not one I felt represented me, was family. It is a really weird thing for me. I honestly don’t understand it in a sense. They are there and that’s kind of it. They have never created problems for me, but I just don’t understand why I have to talk to them. I am 25 and have moved away from them. I am constantly getting texts saying “Hey, how are you?”. I understand why they are asking it, but I just feel no need or want to respond. Nothing in my life has changed. All I do is work and school and what not. I’m sort of working on being more social. Even if I do become social, I don’t want to share it with my family. It could be related to me being a perfectionist. My past, as with everyone, isn’t perfect. My family is proof of that. So I try to distance it. I’ve noticed family is a structure that creates stability and reinforcement for people. I’ve never understood the need for that. So it sort of feels like I’m being stretched from two separate ends. Also, there are relationships. I am a great at relationships…for the first three months or so. After that, I just get bored for the most part. Its like the only thing I like about dating is the “honeymoon” phase. After that, its just bleh. Anyway, those are what I didn’t necessarily get out of your talk. It could be because they are a tad specific. You did hit on key points. The analogy with the Greek god is good. I don’t necessarily have problems talking to people with ideas that look into the future. My problem is Ill ask a questions that may address a future problem, but people think I am an idiot for asking such a random thing. Later down the road they realize what I was talking about most times and realize it was a good question to ask. It will also cause problems with essay questions with tests. Unless the test creator understands my reason of logic, they will see the answer as somewhat incorrect. When I answer questions, its typically a round about answer. Technicalities destroy me. I’ve argued professors before. A small caveat for me, I don’t understand the whole intuitive movement. It could be because I am an ass and say what’s on my mind regardless of what the other would think. People say I am weird, but they say I am smart more if not equal to the weirdness. This ended up being a lot longer than expected. Hope it was interesting. I’ve enjoyed your podcast. I don’t know if what I’ve said is relatable to other INTJ/INTP but I thought Id give my opinion. Cheers,

  • Brenna

    As an INTJ I found this video was extremely accurate. I would say that being cold and distant to remain emotionally safe is not only kept “secret” by us, but is also one of the hardest things that I’ve had to deal with. True friends are few in numbers and when they do inflict emotional damage the first thing you do is distance yourself which in turn offends them. This for me makes it much harder to let the next friend in. I would also like the subject of family addressed. I think that most if not all of my family does not understand me, but that we have all just accepted this. Staying in touch with family is extremely difficult. I understand where they are coming from when they ask ‘How are you doing’ but to me if often comes off as insincere and meaningless. This is very draining. I don’t understand why they want to keep in touch. Unless someone is dying or having a baby I don’t really see the need either. Anyway I enjoyed your video and look forward to watching more thanks!

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment Brenna! As an INFJ (married to an INTJ) I really resonate with what you say. True friends are few and far between and family issues just don’t interest us. I actually take it a step further than you, however. I don’t really care if anyone has a baby. Just let me know when someone is dying. :/

      Something I have found interesting is the fact that my husbands large extended family (mostly Si dominant) are very family oriented and have a huge family reunion every year. There’s always drama and the older generation freaks out if you give any indication you don’t care.

      My family (Ni dominant) can go months without speaking and be perfectly okay with that.

      My hubby and I moved 3000 miles away from both of our families.

      • sunny

        Lol. I am an intj and I do understand what you mean. Horace Walpole once said “the world is a comic to those who think and a tragic to those who feel”. I got my feelings hurt many times. But you can’t stop interacting with people especially family. Intjs are a mastermind/Jack of all trades…learn to adapt. You have a huge think tank. Study the 16 personality profile and understand how their personality works including yours Eventually, I believe you can become a well rounded indivdual and live a fruitful life. 🙂 I am not quite there yet but I am trying very hard. I tell all my wife friends, I just have1 rule : don’t be stupid.

  • Kat

    Spot on. I’ve consistently tested INTJ for over 10 years, and it does describe me, but I’ve had some question if I’m not just a poorly developed INFJ because I’m sensitive. This hits the nail on the head. This is me: Not a weak or poorly developed INFJ just because I’m sensitive to people that I trust!

  • Adam lay

    One of the biggest issues for me as an INTJ is definitely letting anyone in whether it be friends, family, or romantically. For example my husky I have spent all 18 years of my life with died the day after Christmas and I shut down, retreating into my exoskeleton till I was alone, I then proceeded to cry for 4 hrs straight by my self. I don’t know what trigred it if any thing did at all but I have developed a crippling fear of rejection and failure. Another problem is that its not easy always being the smartest person in the room, people often try to exploit my knowledge, I get tired of people acting friendly then diapering when the job is done. I do however live for the moment I get to spout of a random fact that know one else knows. I often get remarks like ( how do you know all this ) after talking about things such as the wormhole theroy, which gives me great personal satisfaction. Thought there are some serious down sides I would not trade the brilliant intellectual abilities I poses for anything in the world. I just hope I can grow and improve my weekneses to become the best I can be.

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Adam. I’m sorry for your recent loss.

  • Kila

    This is so interesting to me. I first learned my personality type about six years ago (my mid 30’s) , and this information would of been so helpful in my understanding and accepting myself at a younger age, also in my marriage and other relationships. I always felt something was wrong with me because I couldn’t cry or make a scene in public when I was upset or hurt like many, I felt like everyone expected it of me in certain circumstances, but it didn’t happen and so I was perceived as cold or unfeeling. I’d usually just walk away, often permanently, usually due to frustrations mentioned in your video above. However, I did my processing (and crying) in private. I’m not big on excuses, due to personality type or other reasons, for negative or hurtful behavior, but the information is so useful as a tool in nurturing strengths and cultivating traits that may be weaknesses.

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