For those of you into MBTI, my personality type is INTJ. For those of you not into personality types, this basically means I’m sarcastic, I don’t show emotion, and I plan. Everything.
I love personality type humor and pins, but so many stereotypes only show part of a picture or are just plain off. So I decided to write about eight of the paradoxes in my own life. These aren’t necessarily true for every INTJ but they will give you a picture of how my (and, possibly, other INTJs) think.
Mastermind yet scatterbrained
Take an example from the last few months. I will sit down and plan a top-secret surprise retreat for a friend. I’ll organize lodging, dates, meet-ups, and food. I’ll figure out the cost-per-person. And then lose that paper with what each person owes me and have to rewrite/refigure it out. Twice.
I’ll also put a book down multiple times a day and forget where it is. Or drive down the road and wonder if I remembered to pick up my car keys before realizing I actually need those keys before I can drive in the first place.
Caring yet distancing
I care about my people more than anyone knows. I’ll die for them or give time and money to help them. I’ll hold a door open for a stranger or pick something up for a lady who dropped it.
But humanity in general? I mean, yeah. They’re people and I guess I acknowledge them in an abstract way? But I can’t take care of all of them and I don’t try. So why even worry too much about it unless they are part of a situation right in front of me?
Is right yet can be wrong
I don’t argue about things unless I ‘know’ I’m right. This is why I tend to not argue politics because there’s so much one simply doesn’t know and so many people saying so many things. If I wasn’t a writer, maybe I’d study politics.
But I am a writer.
If I argue something with you, it’s because I know I’m right. I’ve thought it through completely. However, if you can logically prove your case and I’m convinced of it, then I will shift.
Most times what happens is that I’m able to broaden what I know and include bits of what the other person is debating into what I already know to be true.
Longsighted yet shortsighted
I think big picture and long term. I’ll move through a situation, automatically playing out all the ways it could go right and wrong, and what I would do and how it would work if any of those scenarios happened. This picture shifts by the minute as things actually do happen. Or, when someone asks a question, I tend to merge both ‘given’ answers together into a third and better solution.
I can also be completely oblivious to solutions right in front of my face. Like my nunchucks. I’d hung them behind my desk and every time one of my brothers walked into the room he’d grab them and I’d have to wrestle them away. It was quite aggravating. It took me a whole week and a half to realize I could just move them so he couldn’t find them when he walked in.
I moved them.
Self-confident vs overthinking
So there’s this thing called being perfect. INTJs attain to that. People make mistakes, yes. But we’re much more forgiving of those mistakes in others than in ourselves.
We are quite confident we can do what needs to be done. Whatever you propose, we’re probably going to do it, because of course we can and if we can’t then we’d better learn. However, once we’ve done it, we go over it play by play and wonder what could have been done better. What got messed up? Where did we make mistakes and how can it be avoided next time?
As a side note, success in the INTJ life is pretty much how things ought to go while mistakes are counted as failures. And our minds are a constant mix of ‘I can do anything’ and ‘I actually can’t get the simplest things right.’
We have problems. But we’re still right.
Doesn’t care what others think vs avoiding confrontation
People can think what they want and be wrong. It honestly doesn’t matter. Unless it’s a very select few people, what someone thinks is immaterial to what I’m actually going to do.
But there’s no point in creating confrontation unless it’s an important topic and something I feel very strongly about. I’m already right. It’s going to take way too much effort to convince the other side that I’m right, and they don’t care anyway. So they can be wrong in their wrongness and I might restrain myself (in their sight) to keep them contented, then do what I please once I’m on my own.
In other news, INTJs are the humblest creatures on this green earth.
Feeling emotions vs showing them
We. Feel. Things.
All the time.
Yes, INTJs feel emotions. They might suppress them because they aren’t logical or because we don’t understand them. I have a theory we might actually feel some things deeper than other people because we overthink the emotion and delve to the bottom of it—and end up throwing up our hands in despair anyway because there isn’t any logic we can ground ourselves in about said emotion.
We feel emotions, but any emotion you see on our faces will be very underplayed. Emotions are precious, private things only for those who understand us. No one else needs to know what we are actually thinking or feeling. Besides, how many people actually care?
If an INTJ opens up and shows you something about themselves, pay attention. They aren’t going to demand your attention. But if you don’t even notice, they are much less likely to ever do it again, because their assumption that it honestly doesn’t matter has been proved right.
And if it doesn’t matter, they aren’t going to break themselves further and show that side of themselves again.
Childishness vs internal dignity
We kinda do what we want and it is very subjective in our own minds.
I will walk a hotel barefoot at night and laugh at myself while doing it, but I will not engage in a burping contest with you. If I view something as beneath my dignity, I’m not going partake in it.
It doesn’t matter if you think my mismatched socks or weird outfit are beneath my dignity. If I don’t think it matters, then it doesn’t matter. If I do think it is childish, then I’ll not do it even if everyone else is.
Our internal sense of dignity is a very real thing and must be satisfied above the options of those outside of us.
Again. We are very humble creatures. As you can see from all of the above.
And there you have it. A very incomplete, partial list of eight facts about INTJs (or this one, at least). What are some stereotypes about your type that aren’t true and what is the actual truth behind them?
Cedra will fight anyone who threatens her sister. Even Death. Click here for your free novelette.