Being an INTJ


So, this post started months ago and has been sitting in my drafts ever since. I don't often have posts sitting in my drafts, but when I do, they tend to sit there for a few months haha

Why do I want to talk about this? Well, being an introvert (opposite of extrovert, explanation found here) is a part of who I am, and I think it's often misunderstood. All that being an introvert really means is that being around people constantly drains you, and to recharge you need some alone time. It doesn't mean that you and shy or quiet, although introverts often are. Introverts enjoy being by themselves and work quite well on their own.

I think a big part of why introversion is misunderstood is because it makes up a smaller portion of the world's population. My personality type, INTJ, only makes up about 2% of the population, and female INTJ's only make up .8%. (source) So if you're an INTJ (hey!!) or know an INTJ, maybe this will help?

I should probably back up a little, for those who are reading INTJ and have no idea what I'm talking about. INTJ is one of the 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The first letters are 'I' for introvert and 'E' for extrovert. The second letters are 'N' is for intuition and 'S' for sensing. The third letters are 'T' is for thinking and 'F' for feeling. And the fourth letters are 'J' is for judgement and 'P' for perception. You are one of the two option for each of the four letter spots. So, the complete opposite of me would be ESFP. I find it really fascinating, and if you haven't ever heard of these and are interested, a quick Google search will provide some great reading :) You can take the test online here or you can just read the personality profiles until you find the one that seems like someone read your brain.

For every letter that you are, there's a scale. So you can be 'slightly introverted' or 'moderately feeling', if that makes sense.

I've put the rest after the jump because, um, this kind of turned into a huge post haha

I am the classic introvert. And a pretty classic INTJ. Although sometimes the descriptions for INFJ's and ISTJ's fit a little too, probably means that my N/S & T/F scores are fairly close.

"It is not easy for the INTJ to express their internal images, insights, and abstractions. The internal form of the INTJ's thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, the INTJ is driven to translate their ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of their thoughts. They usually don't see the value of a direct transaction, and will also have difficulty expressing their ideas, which are non-linear. However, their extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence will motivate them to explain themselves to another person who they feel is deserving of the effort." (source)

I love reading through explanations of INTJ types, because even though they are 'general', it feels like someone got into my brain and knows how it works. The quote above is a perfect example. I often have a hard time explaining my thoughts or thought process. My brain has 'systems' (maybe not the best word, but I can't think of another) that don't make any sense when I try to explain them haha

One thing that is true is that I know what I know, but I especially know what I don't know. I love to know how things work. I don't often care about the 'why' behind things (theory is not, and never will be my strong suit). You will never catch me thinking, "Why did someone paint a blue line down that canvas?" More typically, my thoughts would be similar to: "How did they get the line so straight on such a big canvas? What tools did they use? How did they get the canvas in this room?" I had several whole classes in university about theories and couldn't tell you much from any of them.

This rings so true with me: "Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this." (source) I have little patience for inefficiency and incompetence and (while I'm not proud of this) don't tend to be quiet about it - I can be very quick to judge. And if you are discussing something I am not knowledgeable about or have no interest in, I will not take part. I truly detest arguments over the silly details of any topic - it makes my brain hurt.

I don't consider myself to be an 'idea' person, not to say I don't have them, but I prefer to be given an idea with a problem and fix it. Problem solving is fun for me. In first year of university, we had to build a 4 foot globe for a project and no one in the group could figure out how to build the inner structure of it. I had the solution in my brain pretty quickly, but it took a few minutes to convince the group.


"To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how." (source)


I have been told on several occasion in my life that I appear very confident, even though it might not be one of the first words I would use to describe myself. Reading the above makes so much sense to me and the way I work. See? The things you learn about yourself :)

Other bits that spoke to me (mainly from here):

- They may be idealists (impossible is nothing) and cynics (everybody lies) at the same time. (Gosh, yes.)

- They enjoy improving ideas and systems they come in contact with. (Yep, I do this quite often)

- Have an unusual combination of both decisiveness and vivid imagination. What this means in practice is that they can both design a brilliant plan and execute it. (Never thought of it that way, but very accurate)

If you've never taken this personality test, I highly recommend it. It is so fascinating to read the results, and often so helpful to read about friends or family member's results. We are all different and understanding how other people think and process things can be incredibly eye opening. Sometimes I think we're so used to the way we do things, we forget that others may not do things the way we do.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is not the be-all-and-end-all of personality definitions. People are more complicated than the 16 types presented, often having qualities from a mix of the types. 

I could talk about personality types and introverts for a while, but I want to hear from you!

Have you taken the personality test before? What were your results?

You can take the test here, and read about the different types here, here, here and here.