Pejar asked: “As an INTJ, what is your friend group like? Are there certain types that you gravitate towards or that gravitate towards you? Like, do you have other INTJ friends? And do you make friends differently than other types?”
Which types am I most likely to be friends with?
My current room-mates, an INFJ and ISFP, were handpicked by me –and by handpicked, I mean my Te took over, organised a flat and then told them they were living with me. They were both fine with that. Generally, my friend group has one INTJ (me) and a whole bunch of INFxs and couple of ISFPs, occasionally allowing for a few tagalong xxxxs.
The most likely reasons for this are as follows:
- Humans are naturally attracted to people whose strengths are their weaknesses. Thus, many xxFPs and xxTJs are inclined to either become best friends or mortal enemies, or both.
- I’m an artist. I spend a lot of time in art studios, and there are many more ISFPs and INFPs in art studios than in other places. Sure, the artist/writer stereotype doesn’t apply to all IxFPs, but it does apply to a good plenty.
- I’m an Ni dom, so naturally, INFJs are attracted to the fact that I understand the way they think.
It’s not that I’ve never met another INTJ –I’ve met plenty. It’s just that when I meet one, neither of us feel the need for friendship, whereas IxFPs will cling to my stability and INFJs are magnetised by my objectivity. I often see FP/TJ relationships form because the FP looks at the TJ and simultaneously sees a person who will give them stability, and a person who is in denial of a need for companionship. The IxTJ isn’t usually the one to initiate friendship with an IxFP, but they let it happen because they see a sincerity in the IxFP that they can’t throw away because it’s priceless.
I do have several xNTP friends as well –mostly met them in philosophy and astrophysics classes. You can read more about that here. I also go against many INTJ’s comfort areas and make friends with xSTJs, but then, I suppose I’ve had two of them in my immediate family to get used to them by.
How do I make friends?
When it comes to the initial friend-making, I’m never actually the one to seek anyone out. INFxs and ISFPs have an uncanny ability to find me (I don’t find them). I’ll usually be sitting by myself in a corner somewhere and they will come and sit by me.
Off the bat, I will be a bit annoyed that they’ve interrupted my solitude, but then they’ll start talking and I’ll
talk back without making fun of them and using references they won’t understand warm up to them.
The F-people in my life balance out my apathy, and in return, I make sure other people don’t walk all over them for their kindness.
Now, if somebody comes up to me and starts fetishising my INTJ-ness…that’s when I start being a jerk about it.
23 thoughts on “My Friend Group as an INTJ”
I first saw this blog when I was studying up on MBTI 3-ish years ago, but the explanations of INTJ experiences didn’t click with me, because the only INTJ I knew closely was a very immature younger family member. But over the last couple years I gradually befriended an INTJ who is much older than me and a mature, solid person, and now these posts make sense to me because they sound just like my friend. And not just in content, but in verbiage – I could hear him saying half the things on this blog verbatim. Your description of how INTJs do friendship definitely holds true for my friend as well. And yes, I (1) originally made an effort to befriend him because he was hard to get a conversation with, but clearly had a lot going on, and (2) definitely value our friendship in part because of my friend’s emotional stability, which is more helpful in most situations than the undisciplined, excessive emotions some people allow to carry them away like a tornado and create unnecessary chaos all around them.
I need to stop commenting, get off this blog and go be productive. But I’ll be back in another three years…
My best friend is an ENTP and we only got closer just because a mutual acquaintance had been late in an appointment. Since then, I have been enjoying a number of moments with her particularly when she voices out the commentaries running in my head.
“I’ve learned recently that INTJs and ISFPs, while different, are actually very very similar to each other in terms of their need/dependence on inspiration. I feel like most of time “I” am not really here or engaged, and that what people encounter is some projection (mathematical projection, like an n dimensional object projected into an n-m dimension; you lose a LOT of data) that doesn’t fully capture what “I” am and what “I’m” capable of. However, in those rare moments of true inspiration I become uninhibited, transformed, and impassioned to the point to where most people do not recognize me as the “quiet, unremarkable person in the background.”
That’s me! No one but my family sees me as I am. Also, because of my parent’s schedule, school (although I’m homeschooled), and my extreme awkwardness, it is hard to have a ‘friend group’. It’s depressing sometimes. Anyone ever been in a similar situation?
As an INTJ, your description of how people only see a small piece of you and not the full potential is quite interesting and I can relate (way to much.) Sometimes I am curious how people see me, because I know that how I appear to everyone is quite different from the person I am in my head, not in a fake way, just there is way too much going on for anyone to handle if I would express it all.
I am home schooled as well, and I know the feeling of having a highly limited friend group. There are only two people that I truly consider friends, but both of them live quite far away so I rarely get to see either of them. I do get to see other people, but none of them understand me like they do. I know very well how depressing it can be at times. :P
I most likely fall under the definition of awkward, despite being confident, but it is more of being unable to react in social situations just because I don’t always know how to, if you know what I mean. Honestly though, you probably are not near as awkward as you think you are.
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In my friend group, I have two INFJs, an ISFP, an ENFP, and my ENTP sister. But I suppose that the ultimate friendship criteria is this: I’ll tell a few macabre jokes and gauge the potential friend’s reaction. If they look disturbed, then I don’t really have to do much work. They’ll just run the other way.
I am an INTJ with a very limited number of friends. My closest friend is an ENTJ, we grew up together which may be why we are so much alike. We have always gotten along and been very close, but as we have gotten older our relationship has been more strained and more like a competition. Is it normal for our personalities to have issues between each other?
I don’t know how old you are, but it’s very common for young xNTJs who haven’t yet developed all their functions to feel the need to compete with one another.
Well this explains my choice of friends a bit. I have a few INFP friends, and INTP, and an ENFP. Suprisingly though I have an ISTJ and a ISFJ as friends as well. Granted we argue a lot (I win most of the time and I love the debate).
Why is it an assumed rule of Myers Briggs that XNTJs and XSTJs are mortal enemies and cannot be friends, even though they share half of their functions. It may be because their dominant functions are different, but that goes for plenty of types. Just curious.
You know, I really don’t know. I have two xSTJ family members that I get along just fine with.
I usually get along best with xSTJs and I am often drawn to xNFPs. I sometimes have difficulty understanding other ISFJs.
My two cents they go more about stereotypes then the actual functions. The stereotypes are probably(not sure on this) opposite from each other. Or they just assume that a sensor wouldn’t have anything in common with a Intuitive. I also have two families that are XSTJ and I can get along with both of them. Although, I am the one that adapts to there communication styles, etc.
I can definitely related to your last sentence about being the one to adapt to their communication styles instead of vice versa.
Ironically, until i started learning about the MBTI personalities and the functions behind them, I didn’t realize that I would do that. Since learning about this, I have a better understanding about myself and how I think and of my family. Its pretty awesome, makes them easier to relate to. I know how to consciously adapt to them a bit more. It also explains why some of my families frustrates me to know end, because we think so differently.
Liz, do you have examples of what, or how, you adapted to their communication style? I’m curious.
Fanta: I just noticed your comment to me. I will try and write something up and either post it or send it to the A and see if he will post it for you. I will go into how i have adapted to all of my family members.
It’s interesting reading this. It helps me understand my INTJ husband a bit better. He’s an engineer, I’m an artsy / creative ISTP with an arts-humanities background. We’re very similar in some respects – and insanely different in others. We met when we lived across the hallway from each other at the university student village and I don’t think INTJ would’ve left his room if I hadn’t dragged him out.
It defaults to me being the sociable one in the marriage. My husband’s closest guy friends are all people I introduced to him – at a guess I’d say they’re ENTJ, ISxP, and ESTJ. I don’t think he has ever made the first move, so to speak. Other people find him. He and his friends have a few similar interests, namely technology and fitness, but otherwise they’re pretty different. The guys reckon he’s a good listener, someone with a calm and reasoned response in the face of stressful situations, and a funny guy to be around – after he thaws out.
I know what you mean about INFx types, and without consciously realising it until a year or so ago, it turns out my close friends are all self-identified INFJs. They all befriended me long before I realised a friendship existed.
“Do you enjoy knives?” – got me laughing for a moment there. It’s surprising to me you mention ISFPs. My sister is ISFP yet we are sort of lacking any common ground for (not small talk) discussions and we end up having awkward silences. Can you describe in more details the kind of conversions you have with them? I could be missing something.
Take my ISFP roommate for instance.
Our conversation topics range from human rights, to the lack of funding for the arts department at our university, to logically deconstructing the plot-holes of major film franchises, to screaming at the latest Doctor Who episode, to normative ethics, to the early development of the English language, to … well, I could go on and on.
You probably just don’t have a good relationship with your sibling (although I don’t actually know you, so it would be absurd for my to jump to conclusions about that). It’s also possible that one or both of you hasn’t developed your functions fully. Well matured INTJs and ISFPs tend to make friends more readily than immature ones.
It probably has a lot to do with age to be honest assuming you’re an INTJ. The problem I had when I was younger is that I constantly craved deep, meaningful conversations with people but I didn’t really know what my interests were. No one inspired me enough for that moment of clarity I had in college where an elegant mathematical proof sparked something in my mind and I thought, “This is it!!!! I want to learn about this!!!”
I’ve learned recently that INTJs and ISFPs, while different, are actually very very similar to each other in terms of their need/dependence on inspiration. I feel like most of time “I” am not really here or engaged, and that what people encounter is some projection (mathematical projection, like an n dimensional object projected into an n-m dimension; you lose a LOT of data) that doesn’t fully capture what “I” am and what “I’m” capable of. However, in those rare moments of true inspiration I become uninhibited, transformed, and impassioned to the point to where most people do not recognize me as the “quiet, unremarkable person in the background.”
A good real world example of this is one of my favorite musicians Matthew Bellamy (CelebrityTypes lists him as INFP, but I strongly disagree with this given that his Se in conversation is BEYOND OBVIOUS). No one thought anything of him and just thought he was that quiet kid with nothing to say, but it actually turns out that his environment was uninspiring to him. Now he is known as one of the best live performers of our time and is famous for his interest in conspiracy theories, which no one will ever truly know how much he really knows (he’s even admitted it) because as an ISFP he’s not interested in impressing anyone with his knowledge. I think this a point worth emphasizing; even if we are not lacking in self confidence ISFPs still don’t care to show off their skills, abilities, and knowledge. You have to draw it out somehow.
I am almost certain that what you face with your sister is something similar. ISFPs aren’t going to just immediately reveal their depth, knowledge, and wisdom to you even if you’re family (to most ISFPs I’ve met we don’t really care about family in the sense that we don’t feel obligated to love someone or to open up to someone simply because they’re family). In other words, you have to work to figure out what makes her tick because honestly a lot of time ISFPs don’t know what makes us tick ourselves!
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Thanks to you both fore the replies. Yes, anon, my sister is a very mysterious person to me, and I’m starting to figure out why from various readings. I admit ISFP is one of the types I find difficult to understand in depth because I know only of my sister, so I did not want to draw conclusions based on her alone. We talk about various things, but not for a long time, and we seldom discuss Big, Serious, Complicated topics or personal/emotional struggles – not that I do not wish to, it just seems we can’t find a way to get it into our conversations. I’m glad to hear INTJ/ISFP deep conversations are possible. As you said anon, my sister rarely (if ever) tells anyone about the things that are deep in her mind, and I’ve learned to accept her secretive side. I’ve always thought we were just in two worlds so different that we simply lacked a common ground (she has kids, I do not, I went to uni, she did not, etc.) but then I read A’s post above and it suddenly made me think about her. I know my sister is smart, very creative, and very loyal. I should try again to reach out (I was planning to help her out with gardening on a regular basis to build that bridge, and to work out my Se a little). Looks like I’ve got “work” to do to find what makes her “tick” ;) Thank you for the insight.
This was precious to read.. it really warms my heart to read about someone making an honest effort to connect with a friend or family member. I wish I could see more of this in my daily life instead of all the lies, deceit, and manipulation over the most petty of things. I wish you the best of luck Fanta!
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