“I’m an INTJ, and I get the idea that a lot of people fetishize us for reasons incomprehensible to me. I can relate quite a bit to the INTJs presented (in fetishized form) on telly, but sometimes, there are things about the way they’re presented that drives me absolutely insane. Do you get the same feeling? Or is it just me?”
It’s not just you. All INTJs secretly hate and admire their fetishization.
In canon media, INTJ’s bad qualities tend to be featured rather than their good ones — particularly bluntness and seemingly invisible feelings. The reason for this is likely that most of the people writing INTJs are not INTJs themselves, and thus, don’t know how to portray anything but the stereotype. You will notice that INTJs written by INTJs tend to be portrayed far more accurately (for instance, Christopher Nolan’s INTJs).
Fictional INTJs on telly tend to be quite condescending and in many cases, arrogant in their intellect, and audiences love that for the same reason they love a Byronic hero. But INTJ negative stereotypes are featured so heavily in the media that most people wouldn’t recognize a real INTJ if they saw one (because we’re usually hiding in a corner rather than being featured by a camera crew for the entire world to observe).
When a real INTJ behaves the way the ones in the movies do, the same people who love that a character on telly people would hate the real INTJ for being rude, or condescending or whatever. Yet, INTJs who embody the stereotypes more closely tend to have a group of non-internet fetishizers who will obsess over them to an annoying degree.
Part of it is that these INTJs carry around a persona that embodies mystery (ever notice how once the mystery falls away, people cease to be interested?). They will encounter us once in real life and having gained only a few intriguing bits of information, they will then try to stalk us on the internet (but fail because our internet trails, though extensive, are invisible to everyone who didn’t meet us on the internet).
There are people that will exchange a few sentences with me once, and after that, want to figure out everything about me. Frankly, I find that violating.
If you’re an INTJ reading this, you’ll surely have also noticed that some of the most fetishized fictional characters are INTJs.
I don’t know for certain whether there’s a correlation here (not enough data), but the types that I see fetishizing real-life INTJs most often are ESFPs and xNFPs.
Depending on how a person goes about fetishizing an INTJ, we may not respond to them with kindness. If they do it through imitation and annoying attempts to stalk us, then we tend to retreat further into the INTJ stereotypes that protect us from these invasions on our personal lives. AKA, we become the stereotype that they’re fetishizing in order to get them to realise how aweful the thing they think they’re fetishizing is. Ironic, I know, but unfortunately, they don’t usually get the joke.
I was in a class with a fetishizing ESFP once who tried to act like me in order to impress me, and oh, did he get the brunt of my sardonic side. I think I was ruder to him than I’ve been to anyone for a long time, and part of me hates myself for reacting that way.
If –on the other hand– a person simply wants to be a genuine friend to me, then I will return the friendship gladly.
It’s basically the difference between how Sherlock responds to John Watson, versus how he responds to Kitty Riley. And if you look at it that way, it sounds a lot more justifiable doesn’t it. I mean really, do you want some stranger to confront you in the bathroom dressed up in mockery of you while trying to weedle personal information out of you?
Much of INTJ fetishization is a result of the fact that we withold personal information while rattling off information that spells out a perception of intelligence. Naturally, when a person meets someone who is impressively intelligent, they want to get to know that person in order to either glean some of that knowledge or discover what the secret to that knowledge is. As a result, the fact that we withhold information makes us alluring.
I can’t tell you how many times random co-workers and classmates have introduced themselves to me by telling me out of the blue that my ‘mysterious’ nature makes them want to get to know me. The same people have also at other times called me an “alien,” a “sociopath,” or used the “god trying to be a human” phrase to describe me. And yes, as I fellow INTJ, I can sympathize with you for simultaneously hating and relating to the fictional INTJ persona.
People are both intrigued and afraid of what they don’t understand. And because the INTJ is a puzzle to most people, we gain an instant appeal in the media. Television, books and movies –stories, thrive off of suspense, which just so happens to be heightened by withholding information…thus the mystery of the INTJ becomes the subject of abuse in popular media.