A Guide to Understanding INTJs

Imagine you meet someone for the first time. What is the first thing you notice? We all notice different things. For an INTJ, they will immediately know if this person is worth talking to or not. This is a knowing they are not fully conscious of- it just happens! They just know things. Thankfully, there is a reason to why they know what they know. And it has to do with patterns. INTJ’s have the unconscious ability to memorize patterns in their environment. So if the new person they are talking to exhibits the same patterns of the type of person they know they don’t get along with- they will turn the other way!

Their ability to unconsciously pick up patterns gives them amazing foresight. If you feel like an INTJ can read your mind, they actually can’t (Well…let’s hope not!). It’s more likely due to their mind that operates in these beautiful patterns. Every single person they meet, they unconsciously compare their actions to the actions they’ve observed in people before. It’s like they see the world as a series of actions and events, and they choose to memorize the events that are directly linked to other events. This is how they can predict your next move with perfect accuracy!

This means they can struggle to stay in the moment. Imagine seeing life as a series of patterns and consequences. For an INTJ, this is their reality. An INTJ may decline a night of drinking- because they see the hangover that comes afterwards. If you manage to convince them to drink with you, that hangover is so real in their mind, they are thinking about it as they take their first drink. Instead of tasting the drink, they are tasting the hangover! So normally they will just go home after one drink.

For INTJs, the consequences of an action is often more important than the action itself. But it is not merely a matter of an importance- it is literally how they see the world. They naturally live in the future, not the moment. What is important however, is that you respect this as much as you can. Not only that, trust their foresight. So you’re about to do something stupid- consult your INTJ friends first. They will gladly help you in determining the right course of action.

INTJs are loyal. Once you befriend an INTJ, they will most likely be your friend forever. This is because making friends is not easy for them. Often people may find them too aloof, or too direct.  Some people may find them not exciting enough (Minus us ENFPs of course, we find them the most exciting people alive), because they like to stay at home instead of going out. But you would stay at home too, if you had the ability to see consequences like they can! But…the most likely reason is the INTJ finds you boring. Since they can predict the actions of humans, most people bore them to death! Whatever the reason, just don’t screw up the friendship once you find an INTJ. If you screw it up, they will have no trouble deleting you from their life. Their time is precious, and they don’t have time to waste it on meaningless people.

Meaning is important to an INTJ. This is directly correlated to their ability to see consequences.  If you could see the consequences of all your actions in life, wouldn’t you want to pick the most meaningful action- or the ones with the most positive outcomes? Because of this, INTJs will often contemplate about what is the right path to take in life. Once they decide, they will stay loyal to it. They will contemplate the people in their life, deciding who is and who isn’t worth their time. They want to make sure that whatever they do, it is not for a superficial reason. This need for meaning even manifests in what they choose to buy. Money is important, and they will only spend it on what has a deep personal meaning to them. Or, they will spend it on things with great practicality.

INTJs are concerned with what is objective. What actually makes sense based on evidence. The more evidence, the more an INTJ will agree with it. Surprisingly, INTJs are quite open-minded, because if you have more evidence to back up your belief system than they have, they will consider adopting that belief system for themselves.

But they won’t mock your belief systems even if they believe its completely illogical. Sure, they might tell you they don’t agree, but that’s it. They will respect your beliefs as part of their moral code. INTJs want to do what is morally right. Their morals are important to them, and they stand by it righteously. For some INTJs, it’s so important, they may get themselves involved in the justice system. The best thing you can do for the INTJs that are close to you is to let them know if they do something that upsets you. They really do want to do the right thing, and if they care about you, they will do whatever they can to do things in a way you prefer.

INTJs are direct and communicating effectively is important. INTJs dislike it when people misread what they say. They truly do mean what they say, so make sure you listen! They may correct your grammar, or tell you a better way to word your sentences. They are heaven for ENFPs like me, who do not have a rich vocabulary. Since INTJ’s are direct people, it’s important to be direct with them in return and they will appreciate it.

INTJs have trouble with understanding and expressing emotion. It’s not that INTJs don’t have emotion. They have a lot. It can just be hard to express them. Imagine you are an INTJ and you are looking at emotions through two windows: the first one, a window that sees patterns. The second one, a window that sees objective logic. What would emotions look like then? To put it bluntly, they wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Emotions don’t always follow patterns, nor are they always objective and logical. So you can’t blame INTJs for not understanding and expressing emotions.

The good news is that INTJs do feel emotions- in fact, they do very deeply. They just often come out in different ways. If you can’t tell if an INTJ likes you or not, that means they like you, because you would know for sure if they didn’t. Just by agreeing to talk to you means they care. The next level of emotional expression for an INTJ is their love language of acts of service. If they help you out with a task, this shows they care for you quite a bit. To tell if an INTJ really cares about you, ask them to spend time with you. To give you an idea of how deep an INTJ cares for people they spend time with, put yourself in their patterned mind again. They see the future better than they can the moment. So if they take time out of their busy schedule to spend time with you- this is equivalent to them saying that they see you as a friend for life. These are deep feelings indeed. So if you have just met an INTJ and you are struggling to get them to spend any time with you, give them time. You’ve got to prove your loyalty first. And once you have, they will make time for you. If they still don’t after a long time, then they may not care for you as much as you care about them. In terms of knowing if an INTJ feels anything romantically for you- all I can say is good luck with that one. All you can do is ask them, and if they say no, move on and don’t sweat it. Normally they are fine with staying friends.

INTJs do not like it when people place expectations on them. In fact, they absolutely hate it, so its best to just enter a friendship with an INTJ with no expectations. Don’t expect them to act in a way you expect, don’t expect them to be like your other friends. Just let them be themselves. Trust me, they will appreciate it a lot.

INTJs may disappear for awhile.  INTJs need a lot of alone time. They get drained from social interactions, especially meaningless ones. Don’t be alarmed if they drop off the planet for awhile- they will return. One of the lovely parts about INTJs is that once you’re their friend, they don’t forget about you- no matter how much time has passed. It’s easy for INTJs to get stuck in their own head, or distracted by their hobbies or to-do list. Because of this, they may forget to keep in touch with you. Even if you haven’t talked to your INTJ friend for a year- just shoot them a message. It will be like no time has passed at all.

They are always waiting for the right time. In an INTJ’s mind, there is a right time and place for everything. This means they may wait for a long time for the perfect time to do something. The downside of this is that they may end up doing nothing at all! So if you are able to get them out of their head, even briefly, they do end up appreciating it. Just don’t overdo it, or try to force them into doing anything they are uncomfortable with. Trying to force an INTJ to do anything is the quickest way to make them dislike you.

They notice everything, but might not say it. This is because some of things they notice are unconscious (Remember they pick up patterns unconsciously), or because saying it is too much effort, or because it isn’t the right time to say it, or because they see that saying it could result in bad consequences so they don’t bother. So you may not even notice this is happening- until they mention something about you in conversation, and you find yourself shocked they picked up on that detail. It’s quite charming, really.

Really, INTJs are the most beautiful people I know. I’ve been blessed with many of them in my life. If you’ve got one in your life, consider yourself lucky!

Thank you so much for reading,

-Shunya Rose (ENFP).

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