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In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the unique challenges, needs and desires of the INTJ personality type.

In this podcast on the INTJ personality type you’ll find:

Perspectives/Effectiveness

INTJ Survey

Cassandra – Greek Mythology – Gift of Prophecy without believers.

Ability to see what’s coming down the line, but nobody cares.

Foresight is different from prophecy.

Prophecy knows what’s coming up. Foresight can predict based on observation.

Strategy: Where’s the puck going?

Cynicism comes along with an INTJ recognizing that the world doesn’t value their gifts.

Isolation, loneliness, misunderstood, separation.

Mastermind Article – “Smartest people in the room based upon analytical and linguistic intelligence.”

We as a society have decided different criteria for intelligence. Not necessarily right. There are multiple styles of intelligence. Other types outclass INTJs regarding different kinds of intelligence (i.e. kinesthetic, emotional, etc.)

INTJs are very careful thinkers. They spend a lot of time thinking about whatever has captured their interest. Because they’re careful about how they think, they are also very careful about how they articulate their thoughts. They will show up as smarter because they express their words more precisely. They encourage everyone else to be more careful with how we think.

They expend Energetic credits in thinking through things, which is why INTJs have such an Economy of motion.

Many INTJs think the vast majority of people are careless thinkers.

Cognitive Functions

Car Model

The driver process for INTJs is Introverted Intuition that we nicknamed “Perspectives.”

Driver – Ni

Perspectives is the ability to watch your mind form patterns over a long time.  

Podcast Introverted Intuition vs Extraverted Intuition

INTJs are inside their mind all the time.

They have a sixth sense of what is coming down the pike.

Perspectives is not right 100% of the time. It is a skill that must be developed. Predictions become more accurate the more you develop the skill.

INTJs love conceptualizing what is happening next.

People who use Perspectives think about the box. It’s about meaning and meta perspectiving.

Perspective users start to realize the subjective nature of how people see the world.

The copilot process for INTJs is Extraverted Thinking that we nicknamed “Effectiveness.”

Effectiveness asks “what works?” What is the bottom line? What will accomplish the objective?

Effectiveness is linear. A step by step approach to how to get things done.

Metrics. How do we measure whether something is pass-fail?

Effectiveness Can appear cold hearted because of its way of navigating around feelings to get a project accomplished.

Break things down to component levels. Uses Humans as resources. Effectiveness is Best when emotions aren’t clouding it.

Ni + Te = Perspectives loves to predict. Effectiveness is about metrics and implementing strategies. Coupled together, these create sustainable systems.

INTJs systems are context dependent. They want to make sure no one comes along and breaks their systems.

The 10-year-old process is Introverted Feeling that we have nicknamed Authenticity.

Tertiary – Fi

Authenticity is a decision-making process that checks in with inner alignment.

How are things impacting you emotionally?

Done well it can replicate someone else’s emotions and mirror those feelings back

As a 10-year-old it isn’t a strength. It becomes solely about how things are impacting the INTJ.

It makes the average INTJ feel like a sitting duck; A childlike part of them that can be hurt.

It’s not just a recognition about how things impact you, but it’s an internalization which becomes more crippling.

INTJs struggle because they have a tendency to over rely on this process.

Driver process is Introverted  – Copilot is extraverted: we need to have access to both worlds. Introverts need real world feedback to stay balanced.

Ten year old is introverted. Introverts can find themselves avoiding the outer world and staying within. So they rest on that Ni – Fi loop.

If you get inside somebody else’s perspective, then mirror their emotions it becomes overwhelming to a Thinker. So they shut themselves off and create massive distance from the world.

Why INTJs feel so lonely. Human relationships require a measure of vulnerability.

The solution is that INTJs need to become vulnerable. They will survive. They are resilient.

Pain may seem neverending, but it does fade. People can massively add to the quality of your life.

To get to vulnerability, INTJs need to use their Copilot first. Create systems and frameworks of connecting with others.

Create a social event you can feel some control over. As the host, you are the highest status person in the room, and you know everyone.

When INTJs feel out of control, they clamp down.

When Effectiveness feels good in general, it is more open to experiencing closer relationships.

If INTJs aren’t implementing enough effectiveness strategies, they’re going to feel vulnerable and out of control.

Get out of comfort zone and get into action.

Swap the feeling of vulnerability with empowerment. Empowerment comes from building things in outside world and knowing you got the world handled. Then the vulnerability fades.

Even when Authenticity is used well, and it is healthy it is very idealistic. It’s not so much about reality but conviction. This is how things should be making me feel.

Perfectionism is a running theme for INTJs because it is an idealism of the way things should be.

Idealism gets turned in on INTJ themselves, which is crippling.

The opposite is Effectiveness which is pass/fail criteria. Good is better than perfect.

Authenticity is about “does it feel good to me?” So to INTJs nothing is ever good enough. They are waiting for just the right time. Just that perfect moment to implement the ideal strategy.

INTJs should never wait for that perfect moment to act. Start acting first.

Let Authenticity serve Effectiveness.

Effectiveness forces you out of your shell. But there are so many problems when INTJs use Fi as their navigator.

The 3-year-old process is Extraverted Sensing we have nicknamed “Sensation.”

Inferior – Se

Real-time kinetic connection with the environment. Blind spot to INTJs. Sensation Usually shows up when they are Overly stressed. Causes them to Overindulge in sensory behavior.

Both back seat passengers are incredibly indulgent for INTJs: Fi is emotional indulgence, and Se is sensory indulgence.

The thing that they have to monitor themselves for is whether or not they are going to an indulgent space. INTJs need to be physically aware of their body’s needs. The body is not just a vehicle for the brain.

There are Neurons in the stomach and heart which means that the brain cells extend into our body.

A good relationship with three-year-old means you’re nourishing your body and not feeding it junk food.

INTJ women feel disconnected from other women and intimidating to men.

Thinker Women and Feeler Men podcast

25% of women are Thinkers.

When you don’t fit the ideal imprint of the average female you are not going to attract the highest percentage of people, but there are people out there that are looking for a bird of paradise just like you.

If you haven’t run into these people yet, it is because you’re not in the right place. Go beyond your comfort zone.

INTJs don’t have a lot of patience for themselves. One of the best ways to make space for others and be more patient with others is by being more patient with yourself.

Stop worrying about how you should be and be willing to fail and learn. Be the person who gets things done as opposed to conceptualizing things.

Push through the challenges. There will be waste, but action is better than non-action.

Feedback from outside world will make you feel stronger and more empowered.

 

 

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Showing 43 comments
  • Randy Caba
    Reply

    First I want to say that I did not receive an email when this anticipated podcast was posted so, I’m a bit late to the table and more than a bit surprised to see that no one else has yet posted. Having said that, it’s now time for my long-winded riff:

    As a somewhat experienced INTJ, having traveled about the sun more than 58 times, the following is my perspective on interactions with the ‘outside world.’ Frankly, I see my own head as part of that world. And putting my hard-worked ideas into the outside world is what I so desire but too often those ideas and solutions are subjugated by petty favoritism or other office politics, unfounded fear of change, ego-maniacal idea-stealing types, etc. So rather than drop out of the outside world, my solution has been to start my own small businesses often while holding down a full-time job. Admittedly, none have lead to major financial success but to date, I’ve had no failures either and essentially, I’ve bought over twenty years of freedom from the typical work-a-day grind. To many stubbornly independent INTJs, that IS success!

    Study-Study-Study then Test-Test-Test. Any interesting new subject is verrry seductive. INTJs are known as a Jack of all Trades because we study and test relentlessly. I’ve been a certified auto mechanic for 11 years, a certified vocational instructor in neon glass blowing for eight years, a self taught publisher that lead to a multi-year gig as a magazine columnist, a self taught and certified computer repairman, a self taught screenwriter that garnered some Hollywood attention, a self taught network manager, a self taught… well, you get the idea. Unfortunately for those that don’t study and test harder than INTJs yes, we can become rudely impatient and that’s not fair. But it’s not because we think you are stupid or dumb (though we may call you that), it’s because we want you to know what we know in all its beauty but too often only what is wanted is the ultimate short answer even further abridged. And that is what is frustrating to us… completely dismissing and dissing the beauty.

    However, please also know that we are seldom impatient with someone genuinely interested in a subject that we have invested so much ourselves in. Indeed, we can light up and become an animated, extroverted educator in those rare but exciting occasions. And upon the occasion that someone studied upon a topic even more than we, get ready to run because we can quickly become your most enthusiastic pupil. And so, if you know we are definitely wrong about someone or some topic, just say so then back it up. Back it up with sound reason or knowledge and you will find us to be a strong and eager ally.

    In any relationship, personal or business, we often instantly recognize when someone is trying to emotionally manipulate us even in the slightest (not that we can’t be fooled). But when we call out the manipulation, or the attempt immediately and obviously fails, we feel the push-back, the rejection no matter how slight. In those times, I’m certain we sometimes too quickly and too negatively judge a potential relationship based upon these little rejections because they don’t feel little to our underdeveloped Fi. They feel huge! Then we typically withdraw to lick our wounds, sometimes for days, before venturing out only to find our timing for redemption has expired. And this is where our blunt responses come back to bite. If we learn this when we are young, we can learn to curb our curt judgments for our benefit and the benefit of all.

    As for the anti-social aspect of our personality, and I have heard that aimed right at me, my broader experience has been that people often approach me with their issues, even strangers in malls. It’s like I have ‘Counselor in Training for Free!’ tattooed on my forehead or maybe it’s just have that calm INTJ face. And while I don’t mind comforting someone in need, I don’t like being someone’s perpetual go-to guy just because they aren’t better managing their own relationships or emotional situations. Too often and for too long, what some consider socializing appears to us as relentless emotional venting about each other and situations when we’d rather be intellectualizing over some recent find in science or some new topic we just studied or, yeah, I know… some other thing that seems utterly unexciting to most other types. And for many of us, that’s where our loneliness lies. Now I don’t know how emotion-venting socializing feels to other personality types but for most INTJs, I think it feels outright taxing… right Dr. Sheldon Cooper? And yes, we are aware that we sometimes emotionally vent too. But there’s a kind of bonding that doesn’t seem to happen for us like it seems to for others.

    I remember reading that not only are INTJ types most likely to bang their head, because they aren’t living outside of their head, but also that they are most likely to lose their keys because they weren’t there when they put them down – they were inside their head flipping new data with old to see if there’s a new way of looking at things. Nonetheless, funny factoid that for me is oh so true.

    Internalization of Emotion – Yes sir! Before learning of MBTI, I was in a meeting with a crisis counselor and an ISFJ friend (she was the patient) and the counselor had me explain to her that it sometimes takes me a few days to ‘know’ how I’m feeling. Absolutely true. I sometimes know I’m feeling something but it’s nebulous and until it rises from the depths, I’m often baffled about what to do, if anything, about how I think I might be feeling. But listening to music, doing a little aerobics or taking nature walks help me to faster vent those shadowed feelings and get on with things in a more balanced manner.

    And also yes! Healthy versus unhealthy Se. My beloved pooch could pull me out of my head or out of sadness and into the moment with a long wanting stare or a just a well-placed whine. The next thing I knew, she had me walking on the beach or playing hide-n-seek games in the dunes, even meeting strangers so they could pet her. And boy, did she teach me patience. I recommend a dog for most INTJs at some point in their life. Dogs can ‘get’ us in ways others don’t seem to and put us in healthier situations we would never ever even think to put ourselves in. Hence the feeling, I suppose, that they get us.

    There’s a lot of recent neuroscience/neurobiology enforcing MBTI and blending it with other models too. Definitely a potential go-to place for younger INTJs hoping to find a rewarding and expanding field then possibly even encountering an empathizing mate. It’s how we INTJs roll in the shire 🙂

    • George Donnelly
      Reply

      Fascinating and inspiring comment. Thanks, from one INTJ to another.

      • Randy Caba
        Reply

        And thanks for the thanks, George. We INTJs are few and far between so, a high-five now and then has real meaning.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Randy! My husband is an INTJ and I have always loved how animals are drawn to his subterranean compassionate nature. When we were dating, it was how I knew I could trust him. As an INFJ, trust and safety is very important to me. Whenever we have to put suffering animal down, I’m the one who holds the animal until it takes its last breath, while my husband has to leave the room because he can’t handle the emotions coming up. He has way more patience and compassion for animals than people. 😉

      • Randy Caba
        Reply

        You are a great companion for your INTJ husband, Charis. And ‘subterranean compassionate nature’ is a terrific description. My INFJ buddy finds trust very important too and it seems difficult for him to find. I was overwhelmed but stared into my dog’s eyes when she was put down a few years ago. I made a promise to care for her to the end and hard as it was, I was there for her. Ugh, still hard. Darn tertiary Fi! Me, two female assistants and my then girlfriend all shared tears. Only the caring but analytical male doc was dry-eyed. Anyway, thanks so much for the insightful podcast and the comments too.

        • Charis Branson
          Reply

          Thanks Randy! I think INTJs and INFJs are pretty good teams overall. INTJs are incredibly loyal once you capture their hearts. And that is a nice place for an INFJ to rest into. The INFJ will need some patience as they strip away the INTJs armor, but the effort is well worth it. The problem with your INFJ buddy is that finding INTJ females is much harder – but they are out there and the ones I’ve met have been pretty awesome.

      • LEIGHAH BEADLE-DARCY
        Reply

        This is a moving comment, Charis, and one that touches me in particular, given my resonance with animals and their love for them. I find it really painful to be with dying animals but as I have become more adept with this, one of the most precious things with me is to have the honour of holding them through their final breaths..I find this easier with natural death than being put to sleep at the vets for some reason. I remember someone bringing me her animals every time they were sick or dying and one day I asked her what that was about and she said ‘you somehow just know how to sit with’

        • Charis Branson
          Reply

          Thanks Leighah! Randy made an interesting comment that I am going to practice from here on out. He spoke of looking into the eyes of his pets as they took their last breath. I can see the value of that for their sake. It seems like it may be more painful for those of us saying goodbye, but our pets last look of the world should be of love.

          • Melissa

            As an INTJ, I just had to chime in and say that I do not relate to the animal-love very much. I am definitely far more compassionate about humans–although it is humanity in the abstract, rather than as individuals!–than I am with, well, dogs.

            In fact, I tend to be suspicious of most dog-lovers, who are not Cesar Milan, especially when they start rhapsodizing about the special bond that they have with their pets. It just seems like projecting thoughts, feelings, and rationale on a creature that can’t talk back and refute your conclusions.

    • Leo
      Reply

      Thanks for writing that Randy. As another INTJ I found it very validating.

      The comment on dealing with animals was interesting. I find I can often approach animals that other people are scared of, or would not otherwise be approachable.

      • Randy Caba
        Reply

        It’s an incredible planet we get to share with all these amazing critters, Leo. I’ll never understand animal abusers. Keep on INTJing!

    • Nicole
      Reply

      You are spot on! Thanks for sharing your insight. I am INTP but completely relate to and reosnate with everything you’ve mentioned. Thanks again!

      • Randy Caba
        Reply

        I sometimes test INTP but it seems we’re all a parcel of rainbow even within our own type. I also like to think that with experience, maybe, just maybe I learned to round off some of my sharper corners. Glad you could relate, Nicole 😉

    • Malik
      Reply

      I am really interested in the part of your post mentioning that young intjs hoping to find a rewarding career can try blending mbti with other models(such as MI Theory or enneagram). Mainly because I was just thinking of doing just that! And am an intj too.

      However lately I’ve been stuck in a rut. Although I recently graduated with a bachelor’s in cognitive psychology and two language minors, I’ve been feeling somewhat unmotivated. Mainly because I know mbti, and those other models mentioned don’t have much respect in the psychological community. I’m having trouble finding grad programs that would support this type of research. Do you have any advice on what first steps I could take in finding a program supporting this line of work?

  • Catlyn
    Reply

    Fantastically done! I found myself nodding in agreement with nearly every discussion point the two of you brought up and your concurrent observations and suppositions.

    Loved the Cassandra reference!

    Your discussion around the seductiveness of our Authenticity process was especially poignant. I know I fall into that trap A LOT (as I’m sure we all do). I’ve been trying out various strategies for greater mindfullnes – journaling, etc. – but it’s been a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of process where your advice for Patience, especially with myself, really becomes compelling.

    Thank you!!

    • Joel Mark Witt
      Reply

      Thanks Catlyn for the feedback and kind words. Hope we see you around the Personality Hacker community.

    • Poppy
      Reply

      One thing that I think gets overlooked is the attractiveness of our Authenticity process in particular for INTJ women.

      Because “Thinking” in general is not a well-socialized trait for women, I find that in order to have friends for most of my life, I’ve developed my Authenticity much more than my Effectiveness. What do you think?

      No-one put me in charge of projects until the last few years; I’ve been trying to socialize with other people for many more than that. To the point that I didn’t realize I was INTJ until recently; I’ve always scored as an INFP or INFJ, and it took someone listening to me and telling me I am *not* a Feeler to make me re-evaluate.

      • Charis Branson
        Reply

        Wow Poppy! Congratulations on finally finding out your type. Now you can really start exercising that copilot. I think you will find your quality of life vastly improved now that you can rest into your gifts.

        I’m sure you did develop your Fi. Similarly, I thought I was an INTP for years and just found out I am an INFJ. My Ti is way more developed than your average INFJ. I don’t think that is a bad thing either. It keeps me pragmatic. 😉

      • Catlyn
        Reply

        I’d agree with that. Socially, we’re more often rewarded for using our Authenticity rather than our Effectiveness.

        I grew up with an INFP father. We remain very close to this day and his feeler influence has definitely left its mark for the better! So I’d like to believe that my Authenticity is more developed than the average INTJ but who knows? … maybe that’s just my Authenticity confirming what I want to believe about myself 😉

  • ryan
    Reply

    I’m so pleased that you mentioned Gardner.

  • Julie
    Reply

    Thanks for the great advice on especially Fi! Focusing on the Te when feeling like a sitting duck and being stuck sounds like a very good idea. I can see that I am in a place right now where that advice should be implemented much more than I already do and in all aspects of my life in order to move on and develop into a better version of myself. In general as an INTJ female I find your INTJ descriptions the most accurate I have come across. So thank you for that, too.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Julie! I’m glad you find the information helpful! 🙂

  • Shawn
    Reply

    Relationships are not very predictable (driver seat) and horribly inefficient (passenger seat), at least from an INTJ’s point of view. It should be no wonder we INTJs may run into trouble in this area. When we throw caution to the wind, strap on idealism and then let the 10-year old have some say in the direction the vehicle is going with regard to relationships, it can feel a little too paint-by-numbers – and the last thing an INTJ “Houlden Caulfield” type of personality wants to do is be “phony.”

    After a few fender-benders, the INTJ may give up entirely until the next overwhelmingly seductive Authenticity challenge comes along. And there he goes again, throwing himself into passions he’s ill equipped to sustain.

    Undoubtedly this is a problem I have struggled with.

    When an INTJ can’t predict or guarantee the results of an endeavor, he may not find it worth pursuing after the first couple of tries. This isn’t just a “vulnerability avoidance” issue, though that certainly factors in. I can’t speak for others, but I’m more afraid of the potential to have spent entirely too much personal capital (time, energy) on something unpredictable and inefficient only to have it die on me because I failed to find the pattern in time. An INTJ finds it hard to admit and face up to failure in anything.

    I think Randy is right – dogs seem the perfect companions for INTJs because they are attentive, efficient, and operate holistically on patterns we easily identify with. Cats are unpredictable; dogs are reliable and have lighter expectations.

    People just don’t seem as reliable overall, so we may have a harder time bonding with them.

    -S

    • Kylie
      Reply

      Shawn,

      I found your response to hit the nail on the head with interpersonal relationships, especially relating to romantic relationships.

      They are incredibly frustrating in the sense that I can never predict if they’re going to work out. So far none of them have! But the kicker is that when I’m in them I always see potential for them to work out and live as though they are going to (which leads to devastation when it doesn’t, and consequently shoring up stores for the next strain of attacks). My mind has entertained the idea of never engaging in those types of endeavors again, but I know that I want to keep myself open to the possibility should one arise again.

      So it’s the conundrum of how much time and energy to invest in a scenario that is by nature wildly unpredictable. The only solution I have come up with so far, is to try and pay attention to my intuition through the entire process. If something keeps showing up on the Dopplar, then I should pay attention to it. Second, throughout the process, with experiences that are uncomfortable or entirely unpredictable by default, I have to ask myself if this is something worth sacrificing my comfort over. Even if it blows up in my face, will I be okay with the fact that I invested XYZ? I think that helps alleviate residual stress if/when something blows up in my face because the decision to be at peace with the result has already been made. The only thing now is to implement being at peace….Eventually. 😉

      Anyway, this is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and I’m glad you brought it up because I think it’s a sticky situation for many, if not all of us.

      • Randy Caba
        Reply

        You both nailed it Shawn and Kylie. We value our time and energy because we’re so powerfully driven toward other pursuits. And though our biology also drives us toward coupling-up, in the back of our mind, we’re keenly aware of other personal, seductive, meaningful pursuits usually intellectual, scientific, artistic or…

        But as an older INTJ, I don’t regret any former relationships even though they all were, by some definition, train wrecks. I had so many extraordinary experiences outside my normal realm that I would never trade those period.

        I learned just this past Monday that a former partner of 17 years passed away at the age of 52. We were a highly productive couple building new homes, advancing businesses and even starting a few of our own. We traveled a lot, by most standards, and we loved and we fought.

        She first came down with cancer at age 39. We were breaking up then but we didn’t know she was riddled with illness. The fact is that we can never know where our energy is best spent – we only think we know. And by relaxing that intuitive muscle even by just a bit, we possibly open the door to a more fulfilling life despite if or how a relationship MIGHT end.

        I was highly invested in my next two mates too but both ended spending time in psychiatric hospitals. And while everyone else typically abandoned them, I did not. I adored those ladies and we had great fun together. I don’t regret those investments either. They opened up my heart first and then my mind. Seriously, in hindsight (intuition in the mirror) not a bad place to have been.

        • Charis Branson
          Reply

          I really enjoyed this comment, Randy! We learn something of value from everyone who enters our lives – good or bad.

          I recently had someone remind me of this when she pointed out that I have the quickest vetting process of anyone she knows. I quickly determine if someone is, or is not, worth my time. The problem with this is that I decide most people aren’t worth my time, so few people are allowed in.

          We can’t learn if we aren’t being tested, and other people force us to grow, change, adapt, compromise, or implode. One way or another, we are changing. 😉

    • Leo
      Reply

      That is a great observation Shawn. I guess I was always partially aware that I would evaluate how much time and energy a relationship is taking compared to the projected return over time. That must seem awfully calculated to others.

      I remember vividly observing when my mother died quite young, that she had put up with an enormous amount of crap over her life for a relatively poor return especially given how short it was. Since then I will sometimes quite quickly end relationships if I observe that someone is wasting my time. Integrity rates very highly.

      Which just reminded me of an observation of a passage I found from Shakespeare many years ago.
      The world is full of self important people trying to take something from you; power, time, money.
      When they tell you their stories remember these words used by Macbeth;
      ‘Spoken by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’

      The other part of it is also what you observed, the fender benders can take a bit of straightening out. :o)

  • Nino
    Reply

    Hi Joel and Antonia,

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for awhile now and I love it! Your description of it being my intuitive fix during my morning commute is a very accurate description of what I feel when I listen to them. I listened to this podcast especially today and I was surprised when I could relate to it quite precisely. Especially about the being in Think Thank type careers.

    Now, my confusion begins when I start to wonder why it relates to me. I have known that I have been a male INFJ for some time who’s in the scientific field, although I’m beginning to pursue more of my artistic side by switching careers and going to an art school. But I was wondering if its because I’ve surrounded myself with people who’s job is to think in the same manner that is similar to an INTJ.

    I am pretty confident that I am not mis-typed since I feel so deeply and have done an extensive research on INFJ personality(ranging from forums to your podcast/website) I empathize with people a lot. I love coming up with solutions and listening to people’s problem and counseling them.

    I was just wondering, could it be a combination of me being male(what the world expects me to act), being in the sciences where analytical thinking is required and an INFJ’s chameleon like quality can make me or other INFJ’s come off in the world as being more of a thinker? I have noticed that I would end up taking on people’s thought process and using them as my own. For example my friend is an INTJ and I would talk to her for a long time about my concerns and what I was feeling at the moment and she would give me a systematic feedback. Eventually when we are away I would end up talking to her in my head as a way of reasoning out with myself certain scenarios that I would otherwise feel too emotionally charged to handle. I felt as though I was absorbing her thought process. But this is just one example as I am also surrounded by professors who have been my mentor and I wanted to know if you two also think that this is plausible or could be what is happening.

    I just wanted to say, thank you so much for the podcasts. I can take a lot of the concepts and relate them so much to different topics and that’s something I get excited about.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment Nino! It is very common for men to identify with the Thinking process, especially in a world that seems to overvalue male thinkers and female feelers. Environment can also be a strong influencer. If you are surrounded by Thinkers, you will spend more time using and practicing that analytical ability. I’m an INFJ too, but my Thinking process is stronger than my feeling process because my dad was a strong thinker. (I keep thinking he might have been an INTJ, but I’m not sure.)

      I hope that answers your question. 🙂

  • Gav
    Reply

    This comment is in regards to my ability, as an INTJ, to let other people in. As a child, approximately 5 years of age, I told my mother (single mother) that I could not love her because I knew that some day she would pass on, and how could I allow myself to love someone who I knew was going to die and leave me. She responded by saying that we should love someone all the more, as time is precious. I have always struggled with allowing others in but have always been drawn to those who I perceived as needing my help, i.e., those I deemed as the innocents such as mentally incapacitated children and adults, young children prior to the development of conscious cognition, single mothers, and the minority groups or those deemed to be different (especially the LGBT community). That being said, as a child and young man, I struggled with severe anger issues, and this anger was translated into extreme protectiveness over those that I did allow in. I am thus more or less, an INTJ alpha male, without the machoism and high fives in the locker room. This however, is an immense struggle for me, as others upon first blush perceive me to be one of those who “fit in” when in truth I have never fit in anywhere.

    • Shawn
      Reply

      Gav,

      I rather think an INTJ male has no choice but to be alpha, based on our naturally cynical view toward arbitrary authority. Of course, for us that sometimes means we’re the alpha in a wolf-pack of very few…or 1. 🙂

      -S

      • Leo
        Reply

        Shawn, to me the other choice is the outlier. No need to be either alpha or beta.

  • Jeff
    Reply

    I’ve been on the fence regarding my type. This podcast reeled it in for me. Thanks!…Well I am off to have some “INTJ time”… in a corner away from distractions to reconcile all this 🙂

  • Jared smith
    Reply

    I really appreciated this. It was very telling on the interactions of the functions, and some I have been implementin for sometime, others I’ll have to try. The part about patience and being willing to make fail is completely true. It’s something I’ve began pushing myself towards a couple years ago and I’ve grown by leaps and bounds since. The part about the tertiary causing an idealized sense of self explains alot as well. The emotional self indulgences does seem to gender a strong sense of unhealthy, unproductive perfectionism. I stalled out on my art for years because of this, but as soon as I reached for external sources and accepted failure I’ve very quickly reached the level I’ve always strove for and am now working into the professional realm of art with it. I also like you pointing out that neglecting the lesser functions entirely isn’t healthy either, I just went through a phase were I had spent so much time working on contracts and illustrations and taking no time to relax I burned myself out, I hadn’t stopped to play a video game in months, and staying up for 30+ hours at a time working on a picture wasn’t unheard of, so where as you shouldn’t indulge them you can not ignore them either. So I really enjoy your work keep it up.

  • Kendra
    Reply

    I find that I have patterns of using my perspectives and effectiveness to tackle a huge project followed by years of hiding out and conserving my energy. I have the freedom to do this as my husband is the primary breadwinner of our home. But, this podcast helped me to realize how unhealthy it is for me to hide out for so long. I truly am energized and made to feel more confident when I am working passionately toward building something. I guess it’s time to get back out there…

  • becky
    Reply

    As a female INTJ in crisis I found parts of this podcast very painful but oh so true. After over 50 years I have only just discovered MBTI and the INTJ type and it is an epiphany more me having blamed myself for all these social shortfalls.

    Such a comfort to read other INTJ’s comments on their battles and to know that we have so much in common. I am dumbfounded about finally after all these years finding there are people who see the world the way I do. I can’t say how that touches me having felt so alone for so long.

    Knowing that the poorly developed authenticity is why I feel so deeply but have cannot manage my feelings so they overwhelm me, has given me a whole new perspective on that problem aspect and some new ideas on how to find a better way. I always thought I was just too empathic but I see now that that is the ‘internalising’ of others feelings and not having coping mechanisms for that.

    I shall watch this podcast again and read the comments and it is a great help in a terrible time.

  • Carmen
    Reply

    The best pointer I got from the podcast was to structure and host your own social events where you have some control. I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing…I was organizing events for another group and I was being asked to do things that didn’t feel natural to me. I felt like I had to walk on eggshells. I didn’t feel like I could express any irreverent thoughts for example! 🙂 I appreciate harmony, but sometimes this
    function can go overboard in groups forcing everyone to be the same.

    On INTJ women finding relationships – I’ve learned to embrace my nerdiness. In a professional environment, I milk the image for all its worth! I’d use the horn – rimmed glasses and the pinstriped suit to my advantage when I had to “go out and get the business” as a business owner. If nothing else, I looked like I knew what I was talking about. I think we INTJ women can effectively exploit that
    “brainy image” without appearing dowdy or unfeminine and that can be attractive to certain men.

  • Valerie
    Reply

    Great podcast! I enjoyed it immensely and plan on listening to it again. I have to say that this is one of the first INTJ things that hit the nail on the head for me. I related to so much of what you said– it described much of what I’ve felt inside but have had difficulty expressing. I too just found MBTI recently and it has been such a help for me. All of these years I’ve thought there was something wrong with me socially. I couldn’t figure out why I was making connections between things and thinking in a way that was so different from other people– why couldn’t people ever see what I saw, whether it’s an ideal or an outcome? This has been such a big help to me to be more accepting of who I am and more accepting of other people. The points on Fi really resonated with me too. I agree with what another poster said, that as an INTJ woman you can be forced to use Fi a lot, especially if you have women friends who are feelers. I think this does happen to the point where Te can be smothered or used less because it isn’t always welcomed in particular kinds of social circles.

  • Christine
    Reply

    I enjoyed the podcast. I can see that when I was younger (late teens) and my plans didn’t work out my 3 year old would take control. After a period of time the driver would regain control, but unfortunately, sometimes the 3 year old creates a deep and wide mess that is not very cleanable and you end up living the results the rest of your life.

  • Andrea
    Reply

    I really appreciate and admire this entire website and what you have going on here. It has been immensely helpful for my personal growth!
    This podcast in particular has helped me figure out that I’m an INTJ. I previously thought I was an INTP until I read your article on the differences between the two types. One aspect you covered that resonated with me especially is the 3-year-old Se in this type. I played soccer my entire life until I quit my Junior year of college. I loved soccer as part of my own identity and developed somewhat of a reliance on it to feel valued and accomplished. Growing up in a big Catholic family, I felt misunderstood and neglected unless I was playing soccer. In college, I had a traumatic experience with the team and coaching staff (mainly with/because of the head coach) and quit after years of struggling with the decision to stay or leave. My family, the people I was told to love and trust, exuded a message to me of pushing through the pain and playing soccer even though it was so traumatic. There advice was based on the fact that I was already there and had only one more year until I was done with college (the athletic scholarship I had was helping me pay for college). I took that advice until I could bare it no longer and quit. This traumatic experience surrounded by the emotional abandonment I felt from my family has strongly influenced me. As an INTJ, I not only see how it affected me in college, but the implications it has had on my entire life. Now I am going through EMDR treatment, a form of therapy for those with PTSD, to contain that pain in the timeframe that it happened rather than how it’s affected my life in its entirety as well as on a daily basis. Now, I basically refuse to take care of my body. However, this podcast, and the connection that you’ve shown me between my physical self and my emotional and mental self is, without a doubt, a good seed that I’m sewing into my perspective of myself. I know that there are more connections to be made between the deconstructed representation of this type and my current battle with PTSD, and I plan on continuing to work through them.
    Thank you for everything you do here!
    If anyone has any input or relation to my experience, your feedback is so welcome.

  • Sam
    Reply

    Two things stood out as sounding INFJ rather than INTJ.

    Hosting a party? More suitable to an INFJ, especially for the reasons it was recommended (control who they interact with/is invited, etc.).

    An INFJ is the one far more likely to put up a barrier to prevent taking on the emotions of others. The INTJ is building a wall to prevent accidental exports/immigrants. Vulnerability avoidance, as you’ve mentioned elsewhere on the website.

    The advice to engage more in the extroverted functions is great, of course, but the how/why could’ve been tailored better. There is a certain need to actually engage the real world at some point, as well as iteration, but the presentation leaned a little heavy on the extrovert button. Also, sometimes pondering the same information over and over will do you little good and intaking a wider range will be of use.

    Using the favored car model – make sure the three year old is fed, entertained/distracted, and has had pee breaks or you’ll be in for an annoying ride.

  • INTJ
    Reply

    Seems to me some people are under the impression they are INTJ’s when they are not. Quite innocently so. But some are playing the part of an INTJ, and are not aware that a real INTJ sees right through their lie.

    • Chelsea Irish
      Reply

      This can happen with any type, honestly. I think people just see certain characteristic within themselves that happen to mirror the experience of another type. With guidance and training, we all can find our accurate type eventually. =)

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