Are INTJs Narcissists?

Sue asked: “I have seen INTJ Associated with Narcissistic behaviour. Why is this? It makes no sense when INTJ’s are disinterested in controlling or exploiting other people.”

Simply put: the media is to blame.

I’ve said many times that because people are fascinated by INTJs, they try to write INTJ characters into books/film, but due to a lack of exposure to real-life INTJs, they end up writing them as stereotypes rather than realistic people. Two prime examples of this would be Dr. Gregory House and BBC’s Sherlock.

These are the only INTJs that a large number of people are familiar with, and as a result, they assume that all INTJs must be like that.  Not to mention the fact that Tumblr has kindly infused most MBTI fans with the idea that all lower Fi users are self absorbed.

I agree with you that most real-life INTJs aren’t interested in controlling or manipulating other people and this is because most real-life INTJs are more mature than the ones portrayed in the media. More Immature INTJs do tend to be a bit controlling.

10 thoughts on “Are INTJs Narcissists?

  1. I have to agree with your reply! Although, I have wondered do other INTJs do this. I’m nice to people as a means to be efficient. People are much more obliged to respond and help you when you are nicer than most, rather than just being neutral. And this applies to family, friends, coworkers, customer service, etc. Would you consider that a form of manipulation or just seeking the most efficient way to conduct business? Don’t get wrong there are times when I do feel genuinely nice but for most it’s just a facade.

    Plus, if you a consistently nice to employees at places you frequent (say, Starbucks) they start giving you freebies and what not. It’s even as simple to just remember their name and various details of their life.


    • I’m often nice to people just to be efficient too –however, only when absolutely necessary (such as for a job, or school), which suggests that my subconscious views it as a form of manipulation. I tend to hate acting this way because I have an arcane moral aversion to behaving divergently from my true nature.

      I’ve also had a natural hatred for manipulation from before the time I was potty trained, so I only use this facade (as you call it) when I deem it absolutely necessary.

      My normal behaviour isn’t really “mean” per se, but it’s just objectively honest. Unfortunately, because most people live under a large stack of illusions, I frequently offend people by stating truths that they were trying subconsciously to deny.

      And when I say “truths,” I’m not talking about the kind of jerk-truths that Dr. House spits out at everyone, because sometimes you can use the truth to manipulate people too. As an INTJ, it’s easy to know things about people without them telling you, and it would be only too simple to use that knowledge to manipulate them and belittle them, but because I’m against that kind of behaviour, I keep quiet about people’s secrets. I suppose I assumed that was the type of INTJ manipulation that was being asked about in the question, so that’s what I addressed.

      The truths I spill are more along the lines of what Ender Wiggin does as Speaker for the Dead. I spill people’s secrets only when it helps someone else understand and love them more. But then, you could argue that’s a form of manipulation as well. However, because I view this type of manipulation as helpful and positive (and not a facade), I have nothing against it.

      I guess you could say I agree with you more or less.


    • I have been reading this blog and comments for over an hour now and finally feel “safe” enough to come out of my introversion to add my thoughts. I also am nice to people when I don’t feel like it. Partly it is because it is more efficient. But part of it is because I think of myself as an amateur anthropologist. Like many of the commenters I have been reading here, I didn’t really fit in anywhere growing up. When I got to college and took classes in psychology, sociology, and anthropology, I realized that I already knew a lot of the stuff, only now I had names for what I was observing in people around me. So, if I have to be around people I don’t connect with but have to work with, I perform experiments on them, without their knowledge. A couple years ago, I worked with a grouchy old lady who hated almost everyone at work, especially the other “new girl” and me who where perceived threats to her job. So I set out to win her over. Whenever she criticized my work, I very sincerely thanked her for her input and later would mention to someone else in front of her how kind she was to help me learn my job better. When she mentioned a hobby I was familiar with, I asked questions and followed up later with more questions about her progress. I make sure none of the other employees heard me talking bad about her, going out of my way to find nice things to say about her. And it worked, eventually. I still don’t like her any better, but when she sees me now, she speaks first and treats me in a friendly way. Maybe I was being dishonest, but it made the world a little better, right? And it kept me from being so bored at work, plotting kindness.



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