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