Advice for Idiots trying to become INTJs

Friendly Advice for idiots trying to become INTJs

MBTIfanatic asked: Hey, as an xNTP, I am dying to develop xNTJ traits , for example, Te and Ni, in order to advance in my career. Any advice?

Hmm…Maybe try reading my posts about this topic.

Message to everyone else: This question is a perfect real life example of INTJ fetishization.

DO NOT TRY TO BECOME AN INTJ. It will take you nowhere, and your life will not actually be any better (it will probably be worse). Having INTJ traits does not inherently make you any more powerful or successful than anyone else and it will not improve your life/career.

Take it from my ENFP sister, who once said to me that sometimes she wishes she was me because of the xNTJ qualities that I possess, but then immediately changes her mind upon considering what my life has been like.

Trying to develop traits that you do not have is like trying to scramble an egg using a turnip rather than an egg.

For years, my Te dom mother has tried to teach my INTP Dad how to organise, but because he does not possess a Te function, he cannot learn how to use a Te function. Also – dominant Ni is something that no Ne user can develop (unless they have a serious dissociative disorder resulting from traumatising experiences).

In case anyone is wondering, asking an INTJ how to become an INTJ when you are not one pisses us off immensely. Do not do it.

33 thoughts on “Advice for Idiots trying to become INTJs

  1. Hmm Someone attempting to change who they are is rather foolish as it is unnatural and just weird? I mean, trying to change your personality is quite shallow … I believe one can change types slightly ( not radically) as they grow older or depending on situations/ mood . I was assessed as borderline INTJ/P, I strongly relate to some things in both, and it ultimately depends on the situation and how I feel… I’m still a teenager so let’s see if I stick more to one of the two types as I grow older.. However I honestly don’t think changing your natural personality is either smart or useful, it’s more likely to mess you up I suppose. Nonetheless that person can always try observing how intjs work if that’s beneficial for their job , such as trying to get more organized and plan things ahead of time or whatnot..


  2. I think the INTJ idea that INTJs are “totally awesome” comes from INTJs who think INTPs are INTJs.

    I can’t imagine a P wanting to be a J but there seem to be a lot of Js who want to “learn” what Ps do so they can do it – so they can do what Ps do AND still be a J.

    Js think Ps are “lucky”, but Js don’t really believe in luck so they assume it’s something else and they want to know what that something else is. They want to come out the other side of their endeavors “smelling like a rose”, like a P, but it’s just not in their nature. Js want to be right and that…well…that smells like something OTHER than a rose.

    Js want the end of the ride and Ps live for the ride, itself.


  3. Well… technically… according to some studies, we all have and use all 8 functions, but how we use them are different based on what we prefer consciously.

    As INTP, I can definitely organize my outside world if needed (Te). I can also zoom in to the most likely scenario or answer in a given situation (Ni). However, I consciously choose NOT to, because I get no pleasure or feelings of fulfillment from using Te or Ni. Sure, the most likely answer is probably A; but what about B to Z? Why NOT give them equal weight and see if there is a better, more optimal answer than A? Sure, everything is organized and clean on the outside, but I could have spent that time doing organizing inside, where it matters! Or so my thoughts tell me.

    My INTJ friend can also create a logical framework inside her mind on a given topic (Ti), and consider multitudes of possibilities (Ne). But she CHOOSES not to, because it gets her nowhere, and it is not pleasurable for her. She can think of all of the possibilities, and she can think of the most accurate way to describe a concept. But she doesn’t care to. That’s not her focus or desire. She chooses one possibility, and implements it in real life to know she’s on the right track.

    I don’t think either of us are wrong in our approach to life. This DOES NOT mean as a perceiver, I don’t get things done, and as a judger, she can never come up with new ideas. But I do generally work better under deadline pressure looming over me (because up until then, I didn’t do it), and she’s definitely better at getting things done without such deadlines. We both produce good work, so that’s not an excuse for not doing your work.

    So yes. Anyone could waste all their time trying to be someone they’re not. But it would be a waste; everyone has an optimal way of living, and everyone can complete what they need to complete using their own tools. This is probably the biggest misconception of MBTI; type does not define you, it is merely a cognitive skeleton which helps you understand your own basic code layout. What you do with that set of code (fiction/nonfiction, math, science, athlete, clown college, whatever) is your CHOICE.

    If you can’t operate optimally with your default code (which is the easiest and the most pleasant code you’ve been given in life), what use is a more difficult and awkward code that you barely understand and gives you no pleasure in using it at all? It’s not like learning how to do C+ from Python or something like that; it’s like going from your first language to an Extraterrestrial language without a rosetta stone.

    Or I could be wrong. This is just coming from experience though.


  4. OK. This whole Myers-Biggs-thing is really getting out of hand here. Sure, I’m also an INTJ.

    But isn’t this whole “personality thing” just plain and simple “OUTLOOK ON LIFE”? Is it personality that influences your outlook on life, or vica versa?

    Just test the following:

    1. “INTJ people” are just people that like logical answers, without fallacies or stereotypes. Google ‘Fallacies’ and remember everyone of them.

    2. “INTJ people” just want to teach others that there are thousands of outcomes and decisions – but only one of them can be taken. Which sucks. And whatever the outcome is that the ‘populistic others’ have decided upon… it is out of your control.

    3. “INTJ people” don’t like authority driven down their throat. If the rules are sound and logical, we will obey.

    Just for the fun of it: “Zootopia” / “Zoomania” / “Zootropolis”: Starry-eyed, idealistic bunny wants to work for the corrupt and rigid government and environment, making the world a better place. Without Judy Hopps, the antagonist would not have been caught, the problem of savaged animals would still persist, the polarization in the city continued, yes, but still: working for the government? Seriously?! Red tape? The top down approach (remember Chief Bogo’s mumbling), the honor of being shot down by criminals… Being told by structures and columns what to do or not? ‘That poor little bunny’s gonna get eaten alive!’ (Thankfully Clawhauser is there for moral support…). Do you really want to end up as cynical as Chief Bogo?

    Meanwhile, I’ll rather write a bilingual dictionary of some foreign ‘Hic svnt dracones’ tongue… Someone might just need it some day.

    4. “INTJ people” understand that their innovation is a platform for others to build on. If you don’t do it, nobody will.

    5. “INTJ people” just separate the sense from the nonsense, to focus on what really matters. The hell with the muschy postmodernism: keep it plain and simple and forward. And stop wasting.

    6. “INTJ people” are able to enjoy fantasies: What is wrong with dipping into a river of honey, being passionately licked by a black leopard under a waterfall of bubbles and pink balloons, sliding down and howling with a pack of wolves on a rainbow other mountains and valleys and speaking Loxian to the unicorn and smiling sunflowers? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! That’s what it is: fantastic. If it makes you happier in a depressing world, fantasy has, like music by Enya, its value: use it. (Oh, how I adore INFPs!). Now to take off my T-shirt…

    7. “INTJ people” hates sisyphus’ labour and redoing a task over and over again. You are wasting time! It is not efficient! It has everything to do with common sense. If you know with all certainty that your tattoo will droop by the age of 60, why are you getting one now? With price inflation, it will cost you more removing it later.

    8. “INTJ people” already know that after 3 generations they will be forgotten; after they have died. To supplement for this is writing, compiling and making useful things for others to enjoy and improve. If you won’t do it, nobody else will.

    9. “INTJ people” are not inhuman or villians:

    Worst Case Scenario: As a bachelor, you are working for three months now on the fifth floor of a company. Your job is to do something as ‘price matching’. That is stipulated in your contract. You are surrounded by 25 cubicles. You are a master programmer that can easily finish your job in two minutes thanks to simplifying techniques; in fact, you are so smart with technology, that you can replace at least 20 other employees. The CEO will most certainly welcome the idea, saving the company millions of money.

    But these employees, your colleagues, have families. If these colleagues are retrenched, you know it will affect their children’s promising future (which will affect your future when you are retired and wondering why there is no skycar in your garage). Life has potential. It will also affect the town/city you live in. All of this for more money, honor and promotion (which isn’t necessarily a given)? So, what should you do? Start another project, maybe? Start your own business? Or just keep quiet and search for another job? Rather die an Icarus elsewhere than being an underperformer.

    Remember, helping employees also has its downside: if you show how smart you are with a photocopier, that photocopier could most likely become your new boss (not stipulated in your contract!). Additional to your own work. For many colleagues, it is quite convenient not to learn how to use a photocopier.

    10. “INTJ people” just like to plan ahead for any problem that might surface. You don’t want to be caught off guard. You make computer backups, do some mild ‘doom day prep’. And none of this might even happen. Yet, you are not a worry wart… more like … say, Prof. Otto Lindenbrock?

    11. “INTJ people” value people for their ideas and what they are. They have a keen eye for other’s potential. More people = more ideas (in a theoretic sense), but then again: most people throw their talents to the dogs. Which is a pity.

    12. I personally lose all my respect and interest in what I am doing if I see no point in it anymore (facts only later come to the fore). And I do procrastinate a lot. Too much. This causes a lot of self-resentment.

    Dear wannabe-INTJ-people. Rather take the blue pill. You will live a much happier (but uninformed) life.


    • As a painfully stereotypical Canadian, it’s tormenting me to try to find a nice way to say, “That last bit about the blue pill looks really Holier-Than-Thou.”

      Common sense is a valuable attribute, but common sense is also sometimes extremely subjective. I’d agree that getting plastered and later paying to have a stupid tattoo removed from your sagging 60-year-old love handle doesn’t really show common sense. But what if someone has this really meaningful, personal tattoo they want to have done, they have the money for it, and they don’t mind paying more down the road to have it fixed or removed? I’m thinking here of those tattoos you see, where cancer survivers have opted for elaborate and often quite beautiful tattoos to cover mastectomy scars.

      Maybe you see a twentysomething woman with your standard dolphin ankle tattoo or something. It could just be something she got to fit in, look cool, what have you. It could also be that her recently-deceased mother adored dolphins, and said tattoo brings up good memories? I don’t know why she got that tattoo, so it seems kind of superficial to assume it shows a lack of common sense.

      The blue pill, the part about the happier-but-uninformed life. Is taking the blue pill inherently uninformed? I live for knowledge, and I’d take the blue pill, no contest.

      Suppose I take the red pill. I wake up to realize that everyone I knew is actually some anonymous, hairless organic battery somewhere, if they even existed at all. Not only is everyone I love gone, but I now get to live out my life underground, hiding from deadly robots and breathing in the aroma of what’s left of humanity after every toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and mouthwash factory is long gone. Also condoms are probably gone.

      And then the kicker is that I still have no guarantee that I know the Truth, because how do I know that this aromatic underground existence isn’t just another level of fake reality? Many would argue (including lots of INTJs, I’d venture) that trading in everything you’ve ever known and loved to live in a dystopic nightmare which might not even be any more ‘real’ than the current world, that would show reckless lack of common sense.

      Based on what you’d know before picking a pill, I’m not seeing how putting yourself through certain and horrible pain and loss for some intangible concept with zero bearing on your actual quality of life is really all that different from getting plastered and getting a meaningless Thundercats genital tattoo.


  5. As a female INTJ I often wonder why pop culture keep up this notion that INTJs are “totally awesome”. Why is a personality seen as something to envy? All personalities have pro and con sides, and in the end human beings can work with what they are given or live a lie trying to mold themselves into someone else’s ideal type. Even among INTJs there is such a varying degree of functionality. Sigh. This idea that INTJs are somehow better functioning than other types, something to be romanticized, really does confuse me. It goes beyond the pale of logic and reason.


  6. Seriously? People want to be INTJ? I can’t imagine anything I’d like to be not. I may be the stereotypical INTJ and do fairly decently professionally, but I can safely say it sucks in many, many ways. If you want a social life, forget it because that will be the one thing in life you will totally suck at.

    People need to find better things in life to want to emulate, than a MBTI trait group that inherently has many bad traits. Seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Just to clarify, the OP asked to be an xNTJ which includes ENTJ. I can relate to the OP. I am an INTP and would much rather be an ENTJ due to a myriad of reasons like less bullying, higher salary, more power, etc. No one has ever looked at an ENTJ and say he is a weirdo and loser. Even my INTJ friends never get such treatment. Not to mention ENTJs don’t procrastinate and dont have ADD. Be yourself? I rather not.


    • Hang on a sec. There is no fair way to say that no xNTJ gets bullied, or that all xNTPs have ADD without relying in sweeping generalisations.

      Have you read Ender’s Game? Ender definitely got bullied, and I can think of a lot of INTJs that can relate to his experience.

      I’ve been bullied (more for non-binary gender expression than for being an xNTJ, but still). People have definitely looked at my ENTJ grandpa and said he’s a weirdo and a loser, and furthermore, I had an ENTJ professor last semester who had ADD. It was a most amusing experience to be in her class.


  8. I think different MBTI types can easily behave similarly in terms of organization, social skills, etc. It’s all a matter of practice. However, then the underlying reasons and cognitive processes involved in that behavior would be different. For an INTP, Ti-Si would perfectly be capable of making them organized with sufficient practice (dominant Judging + detail oriented Si); and an INTJ without well developed Te can be messy and detached from reality (dominant Perceiving).
    Socionics actually classifies the types according to their first function and not their first extraverted function; MBTI INTPs are INTj in socionics (dominant judging Ti) and MBTI INTJ is socionics INTp (dom perceiving Ni).
    (Yeah, Arvin, what do you think of socionics and other theories based on Jung’s work?)


  9. My ESTJ mom says that my lack of social skills is a problem of attitude instead of my natural personality. She seems to think I do it as a way of rebelling against everything she has taught me. When I commented I felt uncomfortable and drained while interecting with other people, she took it as me being offensive and lacking any kind of sensibility.
    So, no rays of sunshine in the life an INTJ.
    And if you happen to be a girl (as I am) getting a boyfrien with who you really get to enjoy yourself is as close as finding the whole sequence to the number of Pi.


  10. I would like to ask for advice on how to plan better. Ni doms have an amazing ability (that I, an Ni tertiary, don’t have) to plan concretely and long-term. Can you give some tips on figuring out what you truly want, planning to get it, and how to keep on that path once you create it? My Se tends to mess with me and I have no Fi to help me figure out how I feel about, for example, what job to get.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    • I don’t know your specific type, or if I did, I have forgotten it (lots of readers…), however I can give some general advice, and since this question is a good one, I will do it in an upcoming post. Yeah?


      • That’s okay. I don’t know my type either yet. But I know I have Ti somewhere in the stack, or at least inferior Te. In any case, I’m not good at organizing and planing. So I appreciate your willingness to give advice.


  11. On a more encouraging note, what advice do you have for ausilary Ni or Te users on how to develop these functions, since you are skilled in them yourself?


  12. Well, I’m not pissed off if someone asks how to be more INTJ-like. It’s just that, why bother? For myself, I have been bedeviled for a lifetime by Se at the bottom of my functional stack that makes me a total basket case when there is excessive stimulus in my environment. Not to mention how hard I have had to work against a Te/Fi that makes me seem cold and uncaring when I’m anything but, in addition to reclusive tendencies that are taken by many I love as a sign of indifference or narcissism. I mean, if I wanted to move my career ahead, I’d opt for ESTJ. Or ENTJ, although sometimes their lack of emotional intelligence can really hold them back. But really, isn’t the point to find a path in life where you can be most effective being yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree that I shouldn’t try to become an INTJ (I’m an INTP), but we live in a word that values “getting things done” and that requires a lot of INTJ skills such as being goal-orientated, motivated and organised, which are all things I am struggling to do (I once started my final essay 6 hours before it was due). Do you have any tips on being motivated and organised as an INTP without trying to develop shadow functions?


    • We also live in a world that values white, straight men.

      I’m white. Check.
      Biologically male. Check.

      Oh darn. I’m not straight. How do I make myself straight?

      But yes, as has been requested by several people already, I will write a post on how to be more planning-oriented and organised (but I will write it without referencing ANY functions or MBTI types). Woo-hoo -deviation from the norm of the blog schedule!

      I am really sardonic today. I should stop responding to people’s comments before I break something.

      P.S. I apologise for any tears shed as a result of my unadulterated sass.


    • Really I don’t get why anyone like you would want it any other way. I mean you wrote an entire essay 6 hours before it was due. You can’t expect an INTJ to pull that off. It’s a skill, it’s an ability all personality type aren’t lucky enough to have. As an INTP myself, I have never been organised. I have never had to. My Ne takes care of it for me.
      Did you know Mozart wrote the overture of ‘Don Giovanni” on the morning of the day it was premiered. My point is it takes a special kind of genius I wouldn’t want to trade for anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t get me wrong I do value my skills, I just think they can be better utilised if I was more organised. If I had started my essay earlier I would have had time to polish and improve it instead of having to hand in a draft.


      • As an INTJ, I personally disliked your comment, “You can’t expect an INTJ to pull that off”. Even though I am an excellent planner and I have the ability to be extremely organized, this does not mean I am not prone to procrastination. On the contrary, I am a huge procrastinator. I can’t even count how many times I’ve written essays an hour before they were due. I wrote my 8-page English final (freshman year of college) in two hours, right before it was due. Just because planning is a strength for us INTJs, doesn’t mean we can’t function otherwise. Not only that, but writing essays is a specialty, because it requires organization and consistency–INTJ strengths.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m afraid I’d have to agree with you. I’m studying English and Philosophy at the University level and although I’d love to complete all my essays weeks in advance, I simply have SO MANY of them that I often only have a day to complete one research paper before moving on to the next one in order to complete them all on time.


        • I did like your comment, and personally I agree with you (but we should have a dislike button here, don’t you agree?). I do have an INTJ friend who, despite his upper Ni very frequently comes up with new ideas, and despite being INTP myself, I have several times successfully completed projects I had planned for myself. This does bring a point to light, what if we are more flexible than our cognitive functions dictate? Most places I have read about MBTI functions they are treated more as preferences than abilities. Just like being left handed does not imply not having a right hand, having certain set of functions probably doesn’t make it impossible for us to function in a way characteristic of other personality types. The moderator does not seem to believe this, but hey, it’s just a theory.



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