INTJ: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This post is dedicated to my readers that want to understand INTJs, but are less familiar with Jungian cognitive functions. I understand that the functions are difficult for newbies to navigate, so I’m making your life easier.

Fact #1 People empty us.

When I say this, I don’t mean that we don’t value human companionship. In fact, I would argue to the contrary. However, our introversion causes us to drain our energy as we attempt to socialize. Our energy stems from within ourselves rather than from being with other people. We value solitude, silence and thought.

To us, silence truly is golden.

As a result, parties are definitely not our favourite place to be and when forced to be in such an environment, we tend to stick to the sides of the room rather than gravitating toward the centre. We are extremely conscious of our personal space and absolutely hate being touched (in any way, shape or form) without our permission. Likewise, incessant noise drives us mad, prevents us from thinking and makes us want to scream at everybody to “shut up.”

We find it astounding that some people can manage to say the same thing three times in different words or that someone can fill an hour of time with words that mean nothing. We value conciseness when it comes to speaking, such that we say nothing more than what needs to be said (and sometimes we can’t even say that much).

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My Favourite Characters from Each Type

“So, this is a weird question, but do you have favourite characters for each type so far?”

Oooh. Not fair. Absolutely not fair.

I’ll do my best. I’m assuming only fictional characters? And I’ll limit myself to two per type.

INFJ: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Gandalf (Lord of The Rings)

ENFJ: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones)

INFP: Faramir (Lord of the Rings), the 9th Doctor (Doctor Who)

ENFP: Jo March (Little Women), Jonathan Strange (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell)

INTJ: All of them, but if we must narrow it down, Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game), Hamlet (Hamlet)

ENTJ: Loki (Thor), River Song (Doctor Who)

INTP: Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Death (Discworld)

ENTP: The Joker (Batman),

ISTP: Han Solo (Star Wars), Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)

ESTP: Viola (Twelfth Night), Jack Harkness (Doctor Who/Torchwood)

ISTJ: Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)

ESTJ: Princess Leia (Star Wars), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

ISFP: Éowyn (Lord of the Rings), and Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

ESFP: Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Henry V (Shakespeare’s version)

ISFJ: Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings), Arthur Dent (Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy)

ESFJ: Danielle de Barbarac (Ever After), Alfred Pennyworth (Batman)

A Riddle for an INTJ

Once upon a time, I was a seventeen-year-old, bored out of my mind, even in my college-level classes. This boredom morphed into a sort of cosmic angst, anger at the fact that I was sitting in a classroom memorizing facts when I could be problem-solving somewhere else.

My sister tells me I looked like Sherlock pounding around the living room asking for a case.

Boredom is a very dangerous thing in immature INTJs because we’ll do pretty much anything to stop being bored (so long as it doesn’t violate our principles).

In 2014, @Ockham’s Chainsaw linked me to a post they’d written on the topic of intelligence, mentioning that NT types are often reluctant to say, “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know,” when taking a test because they have firm confidence in their ability to figure the problem out, even if they don’t know the answer.

The following piece of writing consists of the notes I recorded while solving the Einstein Riddle to stop being bored when I was in high school, and it’s a perfect example of Ockham’s idea.

Actually, it is easy. You just have to believe it. The problem with the 98% of people who can’t solve this riddle is that they lack the patience and the solid logic necessary to tell themselves that they can do it. As it turns out, I fall into the 2% that can effectively solve this riddle without googling instructions (since that’s no fun for an INTJ).

Come on, people. If you think you can’t do it, you’ve been watching too much telly.

I started with what I knew for sure.

  • House 1 = Norwegian
  • House 2 = blue (because the house next to the Norwegian is blue)
  • house 3 = Brit/red (because the middle house drinks milk –> green and white have to be next to each other and green drinks coffee, so it couldn’t be them)
  • House 4 = green (because green is on the left of white)
  • House 5 = white

Next, using a graph, I decided to slowly decipher various details about each:

  • House 1 = yellow (since I knew all the other colours) –> The yellow house owner smokes Dunhill
  • House 2 owns a horse (because the horse lives next to Dunhill)

Next, I made a graph of what I knew (in order of houses):

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill
Drink Milk Coffee
Nationality Norwegen Brit

I knew then that the water drinker could only belong at the yellow house because:

  1. Yellow doesn’t drink beer (beer is paired with Bluemaster and we know that yellow smokes Dunhill)
  2. He doesn’t drink tea (because the Dane drinks tea, not the Norwegian)
  3. The only option left was water

From this, I determined that the Blue house-owner smokes Blend (because Blend is neighbors with water).

Next, I looked specifically at one clue: the owner who drinks beer smokes Bluemaster

  1. Blue doesn’t drink beer because he smokes Blend
  2. Green drinks coffee and red drinks milk, so neither smoke Bluemaster
  3. Therefore, White drinks beer and smokes blue master
COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill Blend Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit

Well, there was one obvious hole there…looks like blue drinks tea and is a Dane….

I deduce that the German lives in the green house because:

  • he can’t live in the blue house because he smokes Prince, not Blend
  • he doesn’t smoke Bluemaster, so he doesn’t live in the white house

Red must be the bird owner, because the bird owner smokes Paul Mall and all the other cigars are taken

Yellow owns the cat because blend has a neighbor who owns a cat (and we’ve now determined that it’s not red because red owns the bird)

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat horse Bird
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul Mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit German

We can easily see from looking at the graph that the only place left for our tea-drinking Dane is Blue.

That leaves white to be the dog-owning Swede and the green to own the fish.

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat Horse Bird Fish Dog
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegien Dane Brit German Swede

The German owns the fish!

Character Driven vs Plot Driven Stories – My Take

INeverForgetPromises asked: if you were reading a literary work, what would hook you more, a plot-driven story or a character-driven story? Do you prefer complex plots with subplots in them or a simple plot with something deep underneath (take hills like white elephants for example)?

Im sorry if I’m asking too many questions, its just that I want to pick at your brain a little bit. Plus, you kinda remind me of my INTJ best friend :)

 

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The INTJ’s Depression Battle Plan

H Janeway asked: “How does an INTJ know what she needs? I am a bit disconnected from my emotions because of depression, depression medication and being an INTJ. How do I know what I need so that I can make a plan/schedule and hopefully get better?”

I hope the best for you in your journey.

I don’t have depression, but as someone with PTSD, I can speak to your experience of struggling to figure out what you need to do to heal.

Before I was fully aware that I had PTSD, I was very confused, and very, very concerned with how I was supposed to figure out this “trap” that had caught me. At the time, many factors combined to make it so that I was not in a position to seek help. As a result, I had to figure things out on my own.

Here is what I have learned the hard way: Continue reading

Pursuing Goals: Ni vs Ne

Guest post by whatisfreethen, INTP

Ni may be able to follow a single idea to completion, it wouldn’t be fair to say that Ne’s can’t. It’s just that Ne ideas tend to be either more short term or fantastical than Ni. Also if an Ne can’t immediately execute an idea, it tends to get overcrowded by a flood of new ideas and never gets reconsidered. Or it tends to build up and become even more implausible than it was.

INTJ friend: So, what have you thought about writing that book together?

Me: How about one of us leans an animating software, and one learns sound effects, get some voice actors, and instead we make an animated movie?

Him: Maybe I’ll just write it myself. Continue reading

Let’s be Real: One INFJ to the Rest of Mankind

Guest post by Heather, INFJ

I’d like not only to dispel some of the myth and mist surrounding the INFJ legend today, but to cast some light and provide some entertainment as well. There are some frequently repeated assumptions (aka stereotypes) regarding INFJs that have been circulating internet-land for years. These legends affect non-INFJs, it’s true, but they also have a tendency to inform INFJs’ opinions of themselves. It’s the power of suggestion. Particularly when there is a grain of truth to a stereotype, it is both easy and agreeable to say, “oh yes, that’s me,” so long as the stereotype is positive or comical or gives us an excuse for our bad habits.

One of these assumptions that INFJs love to claim for their own is being psychic, otherworldly narwhalicorns. It’s kind of an attractive idea to have about oneself. Particularly when one has felt like something of an alien amongst other humans for most of one’s life, and when one is actually quite clever at reading people. So, let’s be real: INFJs very often know a substantial amount of information about you that they don’t let on to, because first and foremost, they want you to be comfortable with them. No one feels very comfortable if they think you’re aware of their motivations and inner life. So then, where did this mysterious cache of information come from, you may ask. First, INFJs are simply very attuned to people in general. Se is our inferior function, but it is still a function. Because we are sort of ‘set’ to the people wavelength, that is the information we tend to pick up a lot of. This information is fed into our Ni (dominant function), which recognizes patterns and themes and can extrapolate accurate readings based on very little data. Add to this that I at least (sorry guys, I don’t know any INFJs in real life besides myself) amuse myself by studying personality theory, graphology, and Chinese face reading so that I can know even more about every specimen that crosses my path unsuspectingly. Continue reading

Defying INTJ Stereotypes: Anon

Guest post by Anonymous, INTJ

 

I’m artistic.

To a fault, I admit. Ever since I was a child I’d either be playing mind-games or writing, drawing, or outwardly narrating a story. When I was in first to third grade, we had to keep journals. The teacher would put up a prompt (Ex: Do you have any pets?) and we had to write a few sentences about it. I thought this was boring, so I asked the teacher if I could just write, and she allowed me to. So, for the next three years, I would develop new little stories and illustrations to accompany them.

I was obsessed with drawing, back then, too. I’ve always been told I’m creative and a good artist, even though I’d like to think the comments didn’t affect me, I think they’re why I began to do it more often. That, or boredom. I still think it’s more of boredom. So, now I’m, as far as I’ve seen, the most experienced artist I know. I don’t even really like it. It’s passive. It just happens.

I have a large group of friends.

I think this mostly comes from my natural charm, somehow it makes people happy when the quiet, cynical girl decides to talk to them. So, I’m really bouncy in social situations. I’m the girl who’s flitting around talking to the people she likes the most- and adding into conversations to make people more lighthearted if the environment is too tense. I’m the joker. People hear my laugh maybe a little bit too much. So, then they associate me with a happy, lighthearted person. Which is a good thing in most cases.

Regardless, I still fit the stereotype of “small group of friends”, because if they were to ask me if I was their friend, I’d say no (with the exception of three people who are my friends).

I believe in self-sacrifice.

It’s a commonly known stereotype that INTJs are selfish, and while I’m not going to disagree to a point, it’s not completely true, in my case, at least.

I would gladly give up my life for other people. Not for the general populous, but for the people I call friends. And, no, it’s not for some over-arching mastermind plan. I’m not sacrificing myself to be a martyr. I’m just doing it out of habit. In my head, those people are more important to me than I am to myself. So, if I allowed them to die, the things they could’ve done in the world would haunt me. I’d miss them too much. I would first try to find a way out of both of our deaths, of course, but if it comes to it and my patience for seeing the person I love dying runs out, I’d sacrifice myself for them.

I express emotions.

Most importantly- I have emotions. (I hate this stereotype)

After I’ve heavily analyzed my emotions on a person or situation, and I believe it won’t change the situation negatively, I will express my emotions. It may be in a detached manner (because of Te), but it’s still there.

I’ll tell the person that they make me happy. I’ll tell them that I hate them. That I love them. That I’m apathetic towards them. I will say what I’m feeling. Because it’s important for people to know their standing. And, it’s important to me.

I’m impulsive.

My two best friends I hang out with most are an INTJ and an INFJ, so I guess I can’t really call it all that impulsive, because they are little worry-warts. But, if someone mentions something they want to experience that they’ve never done, I’ll find a way to make it happen. It’s four AM and you’ve never jumped off of a bridge? My internal monologue: Are there any bridges around? How much force does it take to cause damage to a person’s body? How tall can a bridge be until it goes over the limit of force? Can they swim? Is there even water underneath the nearby bridge? Is it within reasonable walking distance? What are the dangers of being out at night? Do I have my pepper-spray, do I even know how to defend myself if someone attacks us? Do I have enough medical knowledge to patch someone up if something goes wrong? Do we have bathing suits with us?

If it meets those requirements to my liking, I’ll do it. I’ll make it happen. Let’s go, right now. Because, though I would never outwardly say it, it’s exhilarating to do things like that. It’s distracting. Which means I’m a lot more Se than I admit.

I don’t plan or manipulate people often.

There’re always those posts and things that say “I plan every move in my day. If I say something to you, it’s because I’m manipulating you. ~Mysterious INTJ”

I don’t relate to this at all. It makes it seem like I have every second of every day and every possible outcome accounted for, which is impossible (as far as I know. Maybe up to an extent if you’re a savant?). Sure, I get up and say, “Remember to get your socks, your phone, and your Physics notes, put on deodorant, get dressed, wash your face, ect.” When it’s the morning. But, that’s only because I’m not very awake and my Te takes over.

When it comes to actual situations, though, and I’m not asleep, I don’t do much planning. I take things in stride. I’m not constantly in a hum-drum of “Left foot, right foot, left”. I’m usually imagining inconsequential things. Like, if that tree could breathe, how would that effect the food chain? What would happen to their appearance? So, it’s not very mastermind-y. Just very useless.

I do go around thinking, “If I step here, set this here, he will trip, then he will call out, it will draw their attention, I can sneak away into the background and read.” Though, I barely ever act on those thoughts.

I do have a life-plan, like the stereotypical INTJ. But, unlike what a lot of things might tell you, we question everything (Feel free to take it out if my assumptions here are wrong, they sometimes are.), including the things we like to do. Is it superficial? Do I actually like to do this, or am I telling myself this? So we tend to plan and re-plan. And go into crises. And to overanalyze. And that makes us uncertain about a lot of things, including the plan we set up for ourselves.

I’ve dated people without thinking about marrying them.

Again, with the stereotype that INTJ females don’t exist or are too outwardly rude to get a date (which, again, goes into the “women are only useful if they are pretty and can produce offspring” kind of early evolutionary-day thinking). Also comes with the things I’ve seen where INTJs don’t want to date because they don’t see themselves marrying the person.

I’ve made many friends of both genders, and my male friends have asked me out before. Whenever I’m answering, I usually say yes. My reasoning for it is because I’m young. I should gather some data on this before it actually effects my future (like, before I’m at the age the significant other actually considers marriage).

I also think dating people helps you develop your understanding of the human psyche, and I always seem to convince myself it will help me develop my Fi (which is a bitch to develop, by the way). So, I’ve had romantic relationships with many people.

Can INFJs use Ti more than Fe?

Kerissa asked: Is this situation possible, or am I misreading myself? I think that I’m an INFJ, but that I rely on my Ti more than my Fe. I’m still fairly young and I read somewhere that Fe develops later than some other functions. All the tests type me as an INTJ, but I’m almost positive I use Ti and Fe. According to function stacks, I can’t use Ni as my dominant function and Ti as my second one, but that’s how I would think I think.

Always trust your self knowledge before you trust the test.

What you’re describing is a function loop, where you get stuck using either your two introverted functions or your two extraverted functions and neglect the other two. Stop doing that. It’s not good for you.

The best way to get out of it is to focus on using the two functions that you’re not using as much more often. This will help bring you into a more balanced state.

INFJ: How I Write

Guest post by annesophie, INFJ

writer-waiting-for-ideas-inspiration-writing-animated-gif

As a budding novelist, I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters’ minds and how they work. It seems fitting that I also take the time to look at my own mind and ask myself, with regard to the cognitive functions, how it goes about creating stories. This is my take on how being an INFJ influences my writing.

Being an INFJ, I find that my preferred method of communication (for my sake and for everyone else’s) is of the written sort. Give me a pencil, paper, and some time and I can organize my thoughts in an eloquent fashion, and even perhaps at a rapid pace. Ask me to speak in front of more than two people and…well, results may vary.

Mix this with a preference for fictional friends Continue reading

Se-users: Do you talk with your Hands?

ComradeJocasta asked: Is it possible that upper-Se users might be more likely to gesture a lot when they speak?

I haven’t actually found much research on this topic. However, I’ve given it a bit of thought, and I’d like to hear everyone else’s thoughts as well.

My ESFP brother definitely is NOT a hand talker. However, he does have a strong need for touch and physical contact with people he’s comfortable around. Same goes for my ISFP room-mate.

Out of anyone in my family or friend group, I’m actually the one who talks most via my hands. However, I don’t necessarily attribute this to my Se function so much as to the fact that I’m relatively fluent in Sign Language. Before I learned Sign Language, I didn’t gesture at all when I spoke, but now talking and gesturing practically go hand in hand for me (wow, that was a terrible pun).

It’s the same with any language. As soon as you’re fluent in more than one language, and especially if you know more than two, it’s hard to force yourself not to blend the elements of each. At the same time, you also keep many elements very separate as well (for instance, I swear a lot more in German than I do in English).

Upper Se-users. Now is your time to talk! I’m interested to hear whether you talk with your hands.

INTJs: Uncomfortable with your Inferior Function?

Pasa Fino asked: I have a question which regards Se in a social setting. (I am an INTJ btw). This and the other Se post were helpful in a general sense, but here is a problem I personally encounter.

Whenever I am around people I don’t know well or consider as a friend, I behave in the way I am most comfortable with: distant, observant, serious, quiet, etc.. but when I am with the few people I consider my friends my Se seems to take over my brain in a most distressing manner. I begin to goof off, talk loudly, I become quirky and playful, and overall, much unlike myself. I go home feeling like a total fool. The worst thing about it is that I have little to no control over this while it is happening.

Otherwise, I integrate my Se via art, music, karate, and watching comedies on YouTube, and can control it decently well when I am in my normal environment or interacting with friends over the internet.

I am in my late teens, so I am hoping that in my twenties my Se will be somewhat tamer. Has anyone else encountered this problem? If so, is there a solution for an immediate solution for it?

#1 Yes, many INTJs experiences this:

In order to illustrate to you and others, that discomfort with the Se function is not something that any of us are alone on, I’m going to share an experience that is deeply personal to me. This is not just for you, Pasa Fino (though it is for you), but for all the people out there who may be struggling to connect with the more frightening, more human parts of themselves. Continue reading

Why You should Stop Saying you were “Traumatized” by a TV Show

Why you should Stop Saying you were Traumatised by a TV show...

Anon asked: “You’re the first MBTI expert I’ve come across who’s typed the characters from Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter, and since you’re an INTJ, I must know. Were you emotionally traumatized the first time you watched it?”

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The Rules of Character Death

Fair warning: Harry Potter fans may be offended.

The Rules of Character Death: Killing Characters Like You Mean It

I’ve read a lot of books, seen a lot of movies and listened to a lot of plays, and one thing that often determines how much I enjoy those stories is how the writers choose to handle character deaths.

Shakespeare follows a very specific rule set with regards to killing off characters. In simple terms, any character who kills, threatens to kill, or plots to kill another character has guaranteed his own death by the finale of the play. Thus, Hamlet (who plots to kill his uncle) must die, and Claudius (who has killed) must also die. Part of this is Shakespeare stating his own opinions on the immorality of killing, but it also dictates that Shakespeare will never kill a character for no reason. Continue reading