INTJs

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This is an awesome guest post by Dokter Waldijk. You can learn more about him in the author bio below.

With my tongue firmly placed in the corner of my cheek, I’m tempted to claim that INTJs are the hardcore introverts – misunderstood and a bit rebellious if you will. Without ill intent to be rude, it’s just how they are.

Funnily enough, they are also the introverts that might get mostly in trouble, as they are often seen as arrogant. Yet an extrovert that talks your ears off is seen as very talkative and social – in other words, according to society, normal.

I would dare to say that INTJs kind of act as defenders of introverts. Not because they are considered the most introverted of introverts, according to Meyer-Briggs test, but because of their lack of attention to what people think of them – they are therefore more likely to speak up.

To use an example most of us might know, Sheldon Cooper from ‘The Big Bang Theory’; although fictional, he has some typical traits which will fit with the INTJ type. Most importantly, that he is somewhat oblivious to what others think of him. Without the ill intent of being rude – he’s just being honest from his point-of-view, not for the sake of being offensive.

This is something I as an INTJ can relate to; to be so honest it turns people away from me. I don’t mean to offend; I just think being honest is more important than lying to someone for the sake of not hurting their feelings.

Why should we feel bad for being honest – as long it is factual and not meant to be hurtful.

Of course, I sometimes try to be aware of what I say; but end of the day, it’s as impossible to change me, the same way trying to make an extrovert talk less or be less social. It’s not realistic, nor is it something we should aspire to, to mould people in our own desired shape.

Which is why maybe these extremes serves a purpose. Introverts are known to be the silent winners; winners often not taken as serious because of favouring brevity over verbosity. So they need INTJs which dare to speak up bluntly, not really caring that much about if it’s offensive – as long it’s the truth.

With that said, I’m not condoning deliberate rude or offensive behaviour. Don’t tell someone they need to shut-up for the sake of being mean or trying to assert your dominance; but more to speak up if the kind, diplomatic approach has failed you.

Kind of when you have politely told someone to be quiet nine times – so the tenth time you tell them it’s time they shut-up, because you can’t stand their selfish behaviour anymore. Or if they for the nth time claims that introverts are shy and needs help to be “normalised”.

Because it is kind of funny, that when introverts stand up for themselves, they are often criticised for being selfish. But when extroverts bang their chest about how great they are because they can talk till the sun goes down, that is for some reason acceptable.

That is however my point-of-view regarding introversion and INTJs. What is yours? Do you think INTJs “hardcore” introversion serves the purpose I argued?

Dokter Waldijk has always stood up for who he is — an INTJ. The Doc started blogging in 2004, but decided to up the ante by becoming a freelance journalist in 2010. His biggest influence is Hunter S. Thompson, the father of Gonzo journalism. Most of what he writes is based on his own experiences and observations; and he prefers to season his stories with facts, rather than blind assumptions.
Web: dokterw.me
Twitter: @DokterW

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17 Comments

  1. As an introvert (INTJ), I completely relate to this. I’d say almost 100%, in fact. I’ve come to realize that extroverts make up the majority of our society, so there’s no point trying to fight it. I speak up when I can and I really don’t care what extroverts think about me. If I’m seen as arrogant, that’s not my problem because those who matter will take the time to get to know me and learn differently. As for extroverts, I could care less what they think of me as I rarely share much in common with them. I prefer to be around and involved with other introverts.

  2. Pingback: Introverts and human rights | Dokter Waldijk

  3. Well, as an INTJ it’s nice to think I may be hardcore at something; althouhg I think I know what you mean. I am certainly to the point, if that makes me blunt, then good, I like blunt. If other people don’t like it, then whilst it is rarely my intention to upset people, basically so what? I mean, other people do and say things I don’t like, and it doesn’t seem to bother them.

    When pressed I always tell people the answer to the question asked. I dislike lying, not on moral grounds, just because I can’t see the point. If you don’t like my answers, stop asking my opinion, I’m not here to make you feel OK about whatever, and if you insist on crashing in on my pleasant daydreams don’t expect me to thank you for it.

    Oh, and for anyone reading this thinking I must be a horrible person, like the original poster, I’m being tongue in cheek. If you would like to understand more about INTJ’s then a websire I love (to which I am not affiliated) is intjcentral.com their faq always makes me smile, it’s so ‘me’.

    • It’s one of the sixteen personality types as defined by Myers and Briggs based upon Jung’s personality theory. You can find out your “type” by taking the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and/or a number of online personality tests (not honestly recommended) and/or reading each of the sixteen personality type profiles to see which fits you the best.

      Here’s the official site for the MBTI: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

      I also recommend this site for more detailed information about the sixteen types:
      http://www.personalitypage.com

      If you’re interested in exploring further, take a look at cognitive process and how they interact in each of the sixteen types. Personality Page above gives you a hint of how that works, and there are a wealth of books out there on the subject.

      INTJ means “Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging” within that system. They’re systems-level logical thinkers (NT) who rely heavily on their internal intuition for modeling the world.

      Disclaimer: post written by an INTP (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving) so hopefully my brief sum-up wasn’t too erroneous and/or biased when trying to explain INTJs.

  4. I really like that idea in theory, but when you, as a fellow introvert (INTP), are the target for that kind of “stand-up”-ishness, it’s not so much fun. Then again, the INTJ I’m dealing with isn’t exactly a healthy example of the type, and he has a hearty contempt for interaction styles that aren’t his own. I think a well-balanced INTJ would be a lot of fun to interact with in and out of group situations, but you guys are too rare, alas. He’s the only one I’ve met.

  5. I’m an INTJ and I think the reason we are seen as arrogant is because when we actually decide to speak people are listening. The extrovert talks so much and says so much that people learn to not take anything he/she says all that seriously. I also think with introverts, at least myself anyway, because I’m quiet compare to others, people who don’t know me are surprised and taken aback when I stick to my guns about something that matters and won’t be pushed around. The trouble is that most people understand and expect extroverted behaviour and are surprised and unnerved by INTJs….especially a female one!

    • I agree completely with this! And I doubt INTJ-types (like me, I suppose) get more criticism for expressing themselves than outspoken extraverts, they’ll just tend to read more into it. I have some friends who are chatterboxes and have no compunction in plowing straight over somebody else to get their opinion across, and they say they’re often told that they talk too much, don’t listen enough, etc.
      The difference is, while they’ve told me that they do worry about what’s said of them, they’ll pretty quickly brush it off with “Oh well, that’s just me!” Whereas I’ll over-analyse what was said and wonder if it’s indicative of a larger problem, who’s in the right or the wrong, whether I ought to try to conform…

  6. Thanks for this insightful post. You have given me courage and a little pride to be myself! There are extroverts in my life that talk so much it actually feels like my ears start to bleed. My problem is I have to mentally process all the junk that comes out of their mouths, which stresses me out from mental overload. I will start looking for ways to discreetly tune them out for the preservation of my sanity. Thank you!

  7. I’m inclined to agree… “Hardcore introverts,” well, that sounds about right. However, I’m not a very standard example as I tested 80% introverted and am also shy. I think this works in the same way as being outspoken, however, since I don’t care if I am socially-unacceptable in terms of being quiet. Weirdly enough, I am perceived as being arrogant for this because, well, I’m not quite sure why.

    I think that being a female INTJ can work towards making me a little more relaxed and less critical of others, simply because these things are unacceptable in girls (for whatever ridiculous reason). I do display many INTJ traits and am working on acclimating my extrovert friends to my outlandish behaviors. When they talk too much, well…. Introverts/an empty room usually remedy it.

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