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The INTJ Personality: Careers, Relationships, and Life

Updated on October 31, 2012

INTJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, thinking, and judging. Of the 16 personality types, the INTF is the rarest with only 2% of the US population. Of this 2% only 0.8% are female. Highly intelligent and remarkably mysterious, the INTJ personality exudes self confidence to such a degree that it is sometimes mistaken for arrogance. INTJs are quite insightful and maintain a wealth of knowledge on many different topics. They are confident in their knowledge beginning in early childhood and continuing throughout life.

Not surprisingly, the INTJ personality is often described as the most independent of the personality types. They are original and decisive. They do not seek or enjoy the spotlight and will often keep their opinions to themselves if it is a topic they are not interested in. INTJs are perfectionists and naturally curiosity. They question everything and form their own conclusions.

In addition to their decisiveness, the INTJ personality has a very vivid imagination. This means they are exceptional at creating a plan and then executing it. They have an uncanny ability to assess all the possibilities of a situation, devise a strategy complete with precise, tactical moves and develop a contingency plan as needed. They are prone to shouldering the burden of making the important decisions without consulting other parties involved.

INTJ Strengths
INTJ Weaknesses
Immune to conflict and criticism
Poor understanding of emotions
Confident in their abilities and knowledge
Sometimes insensitive
Cold logic and rationality during conflict
Excellent listening skills
Believe they are always right
Talented and insightful
Unwilling to accept blame
Ability to swiftly terminate relationships when necessary
Complicates relations with constant desire to improve everything
Desire to improve relationships constantly
Fixated about privacy and personal space

INTJ Careers

INTJs are excellent strategist and natural leaders. They are introverts, however, and are quite willing to give way to others who may compete for the leadership role (usually extroverts). Don’t let this move fool you though. Many INTJ will strategically forgo leadership while still maintaining a tight grip on the real important decisions. They will often quickly take the reins if a leader proves to be ineffective.

With a strict belief that everything should be questionable, the INTJ dislikes rules and limitations. They are sometimes described as idealist and cynical at the same time. They are adept at thinking outside the box and take pleasure in finding unorthodox solutions to difficult problems. They place a lot of importance on independent thinking, love difficult challenges and despise routine. INTJs work best independently and often do not enjoy teamwork or administrative tasks.

The typical INTJ careers include areas related to science and engineering, but this personality type can be found wherever there is a need for insight and intelligence. These include law, academia, and investigative careers. The INTJ rarely seeks managerial positions as they are not prone to enjoy the management of people. Other careers that may interest an INTJ personlity includes military strategists, programmer, systems analysts, and freelance consultant.

INTJ Relationships

A brilliant mind isn’t always so handy when it comes to romantic relationships. This is one area where INTJs find difficulty, particularly during the early stages. This does not mean the INTJ personalities are not capable of loving and caring for others. Instead, it boils down to a simple cluelessness when it comes to attracting a partner.

The INTJ personality is private and rational. They sometimes have difficulty understanding the complex social rituals that accompany the dating game. Many of these rituals (such as flirting, small talk, and feigning disinterest) seem unnatural, stupid, or irrational to INTJs.

The best time for an INTJ personality to attract a romantic partner is when they are not actually looking for one. This is because INTJs typically have problems with dating and relationships which can be a real blow to their self confidence. Most INTJ personalities overcompensate by showing off their intelligence in these situations which, unfortunately, is often seen as unattractive. When the INTJ returns to their normal self with the glowing self confidence they are known for, it is far more likely that they will attract a partner.

Typically, INTJs are uncomfortable expressing feelings and have a difficult time understanding the emotions of others. They trust their own knowledge and instincts which can lead to insensitivity and unintentional hurt for other people. Understanding the emotional impact of their words is not an easy task for the INTJ personality.

INTJs enjoy thinking about intimacy and will try various methods to improve their experience. They can be very creative and intense, however, the more complex the relationship them more likely the INTJ personality will retreat into their own heads, theorizing about intimacy instead of simply enjoying it. Just like anything else, the INTJ personality tends to approach emotions and intimacy from a theoretical and practical perspective. They may not view intimacy as an expression of love and affection and this is sometimes difficult for other personality types to understand.

If an INTJ feels that a relationship is at risk of breaking down, they will not hesitate to end it. This does not mean they will not feel hurt by the end of the relationship. In fact, most INTJs spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out exactly what went wrong that cause the relationship to break down. The preferred partners for this personality are ENFP (extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceptive) and ENTP (extroverted, intuitive, thinking perceptive). These two can do a very good job of outweighing the introvert and judgmental tendencies of the INTJ while the shared intuitive connection creates a strong instantaneous bond.

Famous INTJ Personalities

Based on analysis of their work and lives, the following famous persons have been identified as INTJ personalities:

Angela Lansbury – actress (Murder, She Wrote)
Arnold Schwarzenegger – actor, Governor of California
Chevy Chase – actor, comedian
Dan Akroyd – actor, comedian, musician
Pernell Roberts – actor, activist
Raymond Burr – actor (Perry Mason)
Veronica Hamel – actress

Some fictional INTJ famous people include:

Cassius – The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Clarice Starling – Silence of the Lambs
Batman – Batman Begins
Dexter – Dexter’s Laboratory
Dr. Jonathan Crane – Batman Begins
Dr. Otto Octavius (Doc Ock) – Spiderman 2
Ellen Ripley – Alien
Ensign Ro Laren – Star Trek: The Next Generation
Ernst Stavro Blofeld – James Bond
Gandalf – Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit
George Smiley – John Le Carr character
Hannibal Lecter – Silence of the Lambs
Jigsaw – Saw films
Marsellus Wallace – Pulp Fiction
Michael Corleone – Godfather
Mr. Burns – The Simpsons
Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice
O-Ren Ishii – Kill Bill Vol. 1
Professor Moriarty – Sherlock Holmes antagonist
Sherlock Holmes
Reed Richards – the Fantastic Four
Stewie Griffin – Family Guy
Tom Hagen – Godfather
V – V for Vendetta
Vito Corleone – Godfather
Willy Wonka – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


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      Susan 2 years ago

      No, it won't fade as you get older. I'm 50 and still believe that the majority of the populace was put on this planet for my edification, and if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem -- make yourself useful or go away!

      "People around are food." I don't know if that was a typo or if you're just brilliant with words but I am SO using that.

      I, too, spend most of my time in my own head; I share what's important, let people know what they need to be doing, and then walk off if they don't. Their ignorance is not my problem as long as it doesn't affect me. I find new ways to do things and when I run into "but we've always done it this way!" then I calmly explain that their ignorance of improved procedures needs to be eliminated -- time for a paradigm shift, folks. Just do it my way; I've already thought this through and it will work, better than it was. And if not, I'll rethink it and I don't need their input - if they couldn't help me the first time, they sure ain't gonna be of any use now!

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      Mrinal Saha 3 years ago from Jaipur,India

      It good to be an INTJ. But I find myself talking inside my head to much which makes me thinks I am thinker and not doer, and most of the time I feel people around are food.

      I know this is wrong. Do you think with time these thoughts will fade away like when I 30-34 or something ?