I find personality testing, astrology, and anything that helps explain who we are and what we do absolutely fascinating. I know it’s not exact, that there are exceptions to every rule, and that it’s not fool-proof, but it’s meaningful to me and helps me explain myself in relation to other people.
As an INTJ, I often feel downright odd. You ever just know you’re not like the people around you? Sometimes you ignore it. Sometimes you embrace it. Sometimes, when you’re an INTJ, you stare down the barrel of your apparent “oddity” and think, “I’m good with this.”
INTJs are fairly rare in the population, and when people who know more about personality studies than I do start characterizing the different personalities, INTJs are often known as the Mastermind. We’re either Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Sherlock Holmes” or we’re Voldemort. But really, we’re a mix of that and every other personality out there.
As an INTJ, there are a few things, I think you should know about us:
We have emotions – we just don’t like showing them.
I’m actually a very emotional person, as long as I’m completely and totally comfortable with the person I’m with. Not comfortable with you? You might see me annoyed or even angry, but tears are going to be rare. Even my laugh changes. When I’m with people I don’t fully trust, it’s a biting laughter – harsh, cynical, sarcastic. But with the people I trust, I giggle, y’all. Just ask John, he’ll tell you.
Our processes and analysis make us feel more secure.
Part of the reason I love working for myself (and it’s really only a small part) is that I no longer have to justify my process and system for why I do the things I do. In my last job (shout out to my Realtor peeps), I, at one point, juggled four separate positions while we were short-staffed. People said I did the impossible. Nope, I created a system for everything I did, and the system was sacrosanct. No, that’s not always a good way to operate, but in a high-stress situation my processes with data at my fingertips will keep me sane.
We have a sense of humor.
It’s often a biting, sarcastic humor. I frequently laugh at things no one else thinks is funny – not because I have a crazy sense of humor. I probably noticed a detail no one else did. The other reason you don’t think we laugh or get silly? Our resting bitch face is on a whole different level. I’ve spent most of my life being called “intimidating” by people who don’t really know me. My friends think that’s crazy, but I just point to my resting bitch face.
We can come across as arrogant but most of the time we mean well.
I’m pretty sure of myself most of the time. I don’t speak up unless I am. If I’m hanging back and not saying much, it’s because I don’t feel informed enough to do so. But woe unto you once I decide I know what I’m talking about. It can come across as arrogant, but it’s just a sureness in ourselves. (I actually work really hard to make sure I don’t sound like a know-it-all because I know it’s a pain in the ass for everyone else.) When an INTJ steps up to speak, we’ve got data and analysis (and probably several procedures and to-do lists) to back us up. We’re not always right (no one is) but we think we are – or we wouldn’t be telling you what we think.
Doing something over and over again will make us crazy.
I loathe (yes, loathe) busy work. I detest doing something wrong and then having to re-do it. Taking the time to figure out a process prevents unnecessary work later and keeps us from wasting time. Make me repeat myself because you didn’t give me the time to figure out at least a good way to do something, or give me busy work to justify my own need to be there, and I may go stark raving mad. I once spent 20 minutes debating my boss on why I wanted one more day before I began a project. She was a freaking saint, y’all, for even listening to me that long. But I knew if I could figure out the best method (based on the information I had at the time) we’d only have to do the thing (whatever the hell it was) one time – the right way.
We’re a bit intense. We aren’t always understood, especially by our extravert brethren, but if you get to know us, we’re not as intimidating or mean or harsh as we may seem. However, we’re probably more intense than you’ll ever realize. And we’re good with that.