8 Ways to Increase your Odds of Friendship with an INTJ

How to Increase your odds of Friendship with an INTJ

Before you continue, keep in mind that the tips below don’t actually guarantee anything. They just raise your chances exponentially.

Also, if you are an INTJ yourself, I would strongly advise reading this post before proceeding. We don’t need your egos getting too inflated.

#1 If we don’t always want to hang out, don’t assume that we dislike you

This one is fairly obvious, so I’ll be brief.

If you give us our alone-time, we will be much more agreeable and energized next time we talk to you. If you constantly want to talk to us and don’t give us our alone time, we will actually start to avoid you altogether.

This is just common decency.

#2 Don’t sugarcoat anything

For years, I have played what I call “the truth game.”

It involves direct, sincere communication in all things, total honesty and a refusal to skip over painful truths just because they’re painful. I like other people to play this game with me, but social convention tells them not to.

If a situation is going downhill, don’t pretend it isn’t just so I won’t get scared. I want to know what’s coming so that my NiTe can prep for it.

Don’t try to tiptoe around the blatant, honest truth. I’m a realist. I don’t believe in pretending the world is lolly pops and rainbows when it’s actually filled with both joy and misery. Don’t come to my party if you don’t actually like me. Don’t bring me cookies to smooth something over if you don’t intend to actually upkeep a long-term relationship with me.

I take that as a form of insincerity which I translate to a social lie. And guess what? Lie to me once and I will forgive you instantly but never trust you again.

If an INTJ sees you as an insincere, sycophantic or fake person, you can guarantee they will avoid you or rudely convince you to leave them alone.


#3 Understand that we know both our flaws and weaknesses.

Most INTJs recognize both what they know and what they don’t know. If they’re a mature INTJ, they’re not likely to step up and assert expertise if they don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

Don’t assume that just because we’re INTJs, we should be able to rattle off any fact you ask us. If I don’t know the answer to someone’s question, I say so upfront and then get back to them as soon as my NiTe has figured it out.

Yet, people are still surprised when I don’t know the answer to something. Please don’t act all happy and surprised when we don’t know something.

If I do state something as fact, it means that I am absolutely certain about it and have thought it through extensively (probably for months on end) before reaching that conclusion. That said, don’t assume that we just assert random opinions and call them fact.

Don’t be this ENFP:

ME: It’s impossible to travel backward in time.

ENFP: But then Doctor Who isn’t possible! Prove it. Prove it.

ME: *proceeds to explain the theory of relativity*

ENFP: I still think you can travel back in time

#I don’t understand, therefore it’s not true

Furthermore, try not to assume that my moral decisions are amoral simply because they are based upon different principles than yours. If you think something I’m doing is morally wrong, please feel free to explain your moral beliefs to me, but do so without trying to push them on me. My decisions are always very principled, and I think them through very carefully.

To the untrained eye, this can sometimes make me seem heartless.

Understand that we probably have a scornful self-criticizing interior-monologue similar to this one at least once a day:

What’s wrong with you? Somebody just died and you don’t feel anything.

Cut it out! Why are you being so sardonic? It’s obvious you’re hurting that person’s feelings.

#4 Talk about genuine things.

I rarely ask people about their lives because my NiTe just figures out all their secrets without my having to ask. If we ask you how you are doing, DO NOT START SMALL TALKING US. (I almost put that in boldface).

INTJs are not interested in meaningless gibberish, and if we asked you how you’re doing, it’s because we genuinely want to hear you say the things we already know about you.

Also, don’t ask us to start small talking either. I absolutely hate coming home from school in the summer and having everyone assume that I want to have this conversation:

THEM: How’s school?

ME: Good.

THEM: Cool. What are you doing for the summer?

ME: Working.

THEM: Where do you work?

ME: Can we talk about the ethics of pointless conversation and small talk?

THEM: …What do you mean?

A good rule of thumb is that INTJs hate small talk.

Our Ni desperately wants to talk about deep, meaningful topics –not just shallow words that mean nothing. Be real with us.

#5 Don’t be a wannabe intellectual

Don’t pretend that you know more than you do. This is a form of arrogance, and yes, anyone, no matter their intelligence, is capable of being arrogant.

INTJs (at least myself) can pretty much always tell when someone is pretending to know more than they do. In fact, if you are pretending, we will actually start to rattle off fake information just to see how long it takes for you to figure out we’re messing with you.

I know an xNTJ surgeon who has patients that come to him pretending to know a lot more about medicine than they actually do, and guess how he reacts to that? He asks them this: “Do you have pain behind your eyes when you pee?”

If they answer yes, he rats them out for lying.

I frankly, do not support this type of behaviour. I think it’s immature and yes, arrogant, but there are many INTJs who engage in it on a daily basis. I’m typically the type who will use the Socratic method to get you to think about what you’re saying in a more polite way, rather than by trying to make you feel invalidated and foolish.

If you don’t understand something we’re saying, ASK US! INTJs are not necessarily smarter or better than everyone else. If you don’t understand something we’re saying, it might not it might simply be a communication error that we would have preferred to avoid in the first place had we noticed it.



#6 Don’t expect us to react the way you do

When I got accepted to my choice university, I had no emotional reaction whatsoever. I have been called a sociopath for not feeling anything when it’s socially expected.

We prefer to reserve the majority of our energy for problem solving, and as a result, that energy isn’t channelled into producing emotional responses Other times, we will have an emotional reaction that is huge inside but invisible on the surface.

Don’t ever assume you know what’s going on in our heads. And don’t criticize us for expressing our emotions (or the lack thereof) genuinely.

INTJs do have things that they care about and things that they will cry for. I will cry when something life-shattering happens in my life, but to be honest, I don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if my favorite gadget breaks or I didn’t have a good day.

Also –I would advise you not to take our reactions personally. If we don’t react the way you want to something you did for us, don’t take it as evidence that we don’t care about you. That’s absolutely not true.

#7 Understand that there is a difference between realism and pessimism

INTJs are problem solving. We are wired to root out problems and eliminate them. If we start sounding like defeatists in our speech patterns –this isn’t negativity. It’s us problem solving (partially out loud).

Don’t accuse me of being a pessimist because I’m not.

ESTJ: Stop being so negative.

INFP: *holds up a glass* Look at this glass as half full!

ME: *Takes the glass. Drinks it*

ME: I’m a problem solver.

INTJs may simultaneously be the most starry-eyed of idealists and the bitterest of cynics. That does not make us pessimists.

However, if you do feel that my commentary is dragging you down and adding pessimism to your life (regardless of whether I intended it to be pessimistic) please point this out to me. Out of respect for you as a fellow human being, I will try to change up my phrasing and alter the way that I say things around you.

#8 Develop your own opinions

If you are a conforming thinker or someone who falls for propaganda, strategic rhetoric and or simply believes what they’re told (and this is not most people), chances are INTJs will consider you an immoral person.

And we will probably criticize you for it if you try to assert those opinions as facts.

As I said earlier, INTJs fully flesh out their opinions before expressing them, so we have a hard time putting up with people who simply believe whatever they read or learned in school.

We’re the type of people who read a textbook, look at the overall structure of it and determine whether the authors deliberately tried to convey a certain ideological message before choosing to believe it. We like other people who can tell us why they believe what they do, rather than simply believing blindly.

Naturally, if this doesn’t apply to you, don’t be offended by it.


37 thoughts on “8 Ways to Increase your Odds of Friendship with an INTJ

  1. This is entirely unrelated but could you escape your opinion on the theory of relativity and how you think that led to you concluding that time travel to the past is impossible? On the other hand do you think time travel to the future is possible? Do you have any problems with the actual theory? Do you believe in it fully, why? How would you explain it? Are there any other theories you would use to convince a person time travel is impossible?


  2. I hate small talk myself, but I tend to slip into it when I’m nervous and/or meeting someone new.
    Would INTJs be okay with someone like me starting out with a small talk question and then use that as a starting point to discuss something interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes (the mature ones at least). It can be hard to simply broach a deep subject upon a first meeting, and we understand that, or ought to anyway. Speaking of which, I was also a much different, and less patient person when I wrote this post several years ago.

      What we can’t stand is when that’s all anyone wants to talk about. For instance, I can’t stand going to family reunions on my mom’s side because the only thing anyone wants to ask me about is “how’s school?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is very ironic to me that I can easily jump into a deep subject immediately when writing about it for the first time, but have difficulty talking about deep subjects at a first conversation. I prefer writing to speaking as a result.
        Thank you very much for the response! I feel more confident now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Part of the reason why that is the case is because my mind has difficulty gathering the words in limited time. It’s frustrating to know the information yet feel I can’t outwardly express it the way I want to. At least with writing I can take time to think.

          Liked by 1 person

      • For instance, I can’t stand going to family reunions on my mom’s side because the only thing anyone wants to ask me about is “how’s school?”

        “How’s school” is still relatively okay than “How old are you? Which school do you attend? How many A’s you got for your (insert last public exam you sat for here)? Oh, you know, when I last visited, you were this tall!”
        Y’know, I used to loathe family gatherings and would rather stay alone at home since I was little because I think I could do things that were twice productive and hundredfold more interesting (yep,exaggration. I admit fault) being alone, not mention that I tend to say straightforward,unpleasant things to people present in said gathering.
        Not to mention that people in said gathering tend to get overexcited when you(coyly) admit you attended a well known university/school, or can do something no one in the family has ever tried.

        However,as I grew up, I realise that I could use family gatherings as an oppurtunity to understand people better.To understand people,you’ve to observe them,compare the insonsistencies between speech and deed,then only you can reach an accurate conclusion of who they really are. Therefore,by being more frequently present in these gatherings, I could observe the family members more frequently and understand them more accurately.

        @Arvid Does your maternal family consist mostly of SJ types? Just curious.

        @Eryn If you don’t mind, may I know what’s your MBTI?(ISFJ,methinks?) You’ve said it somewhere,but then I think I’ve lost it….


        • Yes, my maternal family is mostly SJs…

          As for “How old are you?” I do get that one a lot, mainly because I look younger than I talk.

          And yes, I’ve gradually changed the way I approach family gatherings in more recent years. Since my health went downhill I’ve ended up talking more often to my terminally ill cousin, and the older people in the family with RA and other health issues. I take it as an opportunity to bond with the people who are more isolated rather than seeing it as a situation where I need to avoid small talk and drama.

          Liked by 1 person

    • @Eryn As INTJ, I learned to be OK with small talk (probably when my Fi developed?). I don’t mind it and even start it with friendly strangers on the street nowadays.

      In fact, the one instance it could still annoy me a bit is when I know ahead of time 50 people will ask me the exact same thing, e.g. coming back from vacation at the workplace, I have to mentally prepare answering the same thing 50 times, depending on my mood. I sort of dislike the repetition and the attention more than the small talk itself, but I guess that feeling will come to anyone, unless they are attention seekers.

      But, mature INTJ won’t show they are annoyed, and they don’t bite, so I would not worry too much about that. I understand small talk is about bridging gaps and connecting with people, and serves to take away awkwardness or shyness as well. I will simply be pleasantly surprised if the small talk shifts to an unexpected subject.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As INTJ, I learned to be OK with small talk (probably when my Fi developed?).

        For me it was when I’m developing my FiSe functions. My Fi first told me that to understand people,I have to first relate to them,and to do that,I have to do bit of small talk along with a couple of niceties. My Se complements this by telling me to enjoy the moment as it is(it’s real awkward when you try it for the first few times,but then things progressed for the better)…and at the same time,observe said person and try to understand xe better.

        I will simply be pleasantly surprised if the small talk shifts to an unexpected subject.

        Haha, I often take that as a sign that I’ve killed two birds with a stone. On one hand, I’ve made connection with a fellow human, and on the other, I can be comfortable in my own skin and strike up a deep conversation with someone. Not that I hate conversing with myself(my EXTJ mum thinks I’m nuts talking to myself,but it’s merely my way of understanding myself),but it’s still a great thing to bounce a couple of ideas with someone else.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Wait a minute… isn’t this is just a list of being a decent person? Do people really need to be reminded of all these? (paused a moment to take a look around and I saw my family)

    (sigh) No wonder everything is unbelievably exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m INTJ and this post rings true. My husband thinks you nailed it. He would know, I think, because he is able to observe the little edges where my patience wears, even though I’m careful to hide it. The accuracy of this post helps me understand why not too many people want to bother being my friend, even those very few I want to be friends with. Too difficult. I feel ambivalent about that, since I experience many, if not most, friendships as taxingly high-maintenance. My experience with friendships is that I’m not sure what I’m being asked to provide, but I feel certain that if I did know, I couldn’t provide it. I may feel completely, intensely devoted to someone internally, yet they are looking for an outward sign. What is the outward sign that is wanted? I don’t know. If it’s a phone call to chat, I simply can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As an INTJ I can totally agree with people texting and bothering me too much. Just leave me alone. Sometimes I just wanna read a good book. It doesn’t mean I hate you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. About #3: My problem comes when I have spent days (or months) figuring out what appears to be fact and some INTJ tells me I’m wrong just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion. Different sources for research may yield different results. But, if someone argues with me and instead of thinking that they CANNOT know everything, I will not seek that person out to talk to them. It seems that it’s hard for an INTJ to make friends and especially to make friends with other INTJ’s.


  7. Yes! As an INTJ it is also very true for me that boredom almost instantly translates to anger. It usually happens when I’m around people… not surprising – I’m rarely bored when I’m by myself.

    Liked by 2 people

      • And the person writing this sounds like an arrogant a**. His being an ENTP doesn’t change the underlying tone of arrogance in much of this comment.


        • Well, each type has their big red buttons and unquenched rage to unleash in the world :)

          I believe this might be part of an ISTP red button list:
          – any generic question or statement that means nothing if you really thing about it
          – ask them to talk about their own feelings, or ask them “how would you feel if…”
          – repeatedly bring a a topic back to “the big picture” or “the long term view” when they are working on details
          – interrupt their alone time with any of the above for more effect

          Liked by 1 person

        • i think we’re rushing a bit to type him as an ISTP.
          (i am not saying he is ENTP but i am not saying he isnt).


        • there is something wonderfully informal about the internet you no, how we choose to ignore all the meaningless nonsense and focus on the meaningful nonsense instead.
          its just one of the reasons i love it soo much


        • That was me. I’m a multi-test confirmed ISTP.
          Arrogant ass… read up on ISTPs.
          Solo, tools, acidic. No holds barred.
          But I don’t want to fight.
          I like explosions. And fire. 3:)
          Also, see the note on weapons.


  8. This is lovely! I’ve been struggling to explain to an imbicile that it isn’t personal; she’s simply an affront to everything I hold dear. I don’t hate her; it’s just that her existence saddens me, and the fact that the sycofant has bred leaves me w/o hope for the future of humankind. She thinks I glare at her, and I’m simply trying to choke back the vomit rising in my throat.

    Liked by 1 person

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