A Brief History of the 16 MBTI Personalities
In 1921, Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, who studied under Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud, categorized the four psychological types of personality preferences (I/E, N/S, T/F, J/P) in his book Psychological Types. In 1962, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers categorized the 16 combinations of Jung’s four personality preferences and published the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a psychometric questionnaire for matching people with one of the 16 personality types.
In each of the subsequent posts, one of the 16 personalities will be described. For this post, it will be the INTJ personality type.
Worldwide, INTJs are about 1-3% of the population. Male INTJs (3%) are more common than female INTJS (1%). The INTJ is often considered the Scientist, Mastermind, or Strategist. The functions include introversion (I), intuition (N), thinking (T), and judgment (J). According to expert David Keirsey, the dominant mode of the INTJ is introverted intuition, which internally categorizes incoming information through universal principles. Their auxiliary mode is extraverted thinking, which creates decisions from external information based on logic.
INTJs are analytical, independent, and strategic master planners, who work toward their visions of the future. They enjoy learning and building large conceptual networks from incoming information to be accessed for future projects. INTJs strive to attain knowledge and mastery in whatever field interests them and work diligently to excel in their fields by executing their projects with high quality completion.
The INTJs enjoy deciphering incoming information from the external world and synthesizing knowledge into maps that resemble neural networks. Using their auxiliary mode for extraverted thinking, INTJs spend much of their time applying logic and rational testing of new information before including the new information in their conceptual maps. Like a scientist, the INTJ applies analytical comparisons with existing knowledge to validate or improve their theories of the world. Then, in converting the lab work to the real world, the INTJ derives much satisfaction in applying the newly acquired information.
Introverts like INTJs prefer spending periods of solitude to create detailed plans for their tasks. As adults, INTJs embrace the solitary time for reflecting upon their life’s events and looking for ways to improve them. Their independence shines as self-confidence, and they derive much of their self-esteem from validating their existing accomplishments and improving their competency in areas needing improvement. The INTJ independence in thought reflects their relative inability to be swayed by popular opinions as they rigorously apply rationality in order to conclusively accept new information.
The INTJs enjoy working toward their visions of the future, whether it may be careers in expertise or global entrepreneurship. Their visions drive them to create plans that aid them in their paths. Many INTJs create multiple back-up plans that result from evaluating the contingencies of their master plans. They strive for mastery and excellence in executing their strategies in completing their tasks toward their goals.
While the INTJ can be any on of the nine enneagram types, INTJs typically are enneagram types 1, 5, or 8. INTJs with enneagram type 1 personalities have a strong moral sense and develop internal systems to match that morality with the external world. INTJs with enneagram type 5 personalities observe the world and strive to become experts in an area that helps them contribute to their visions. INTJ’s with enneagram type 8 personalities aim to lead aspects of their lives with a strong conviction of completing meaningful projects to help the world.
INTJ Love & Relationships
Overview of INTJ Relationships
Many INTJs enjoy acquiring knowledge and expertise in their desired fields, such as academia, sciences, and management. However, many INTJs are not as talented in the field of relationships. For INTJs, relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and supervisors often puzzle them, especially when the INTJs are younger. For example, many INTJs favor discussions about politics and news rather than small talk about the weather and daily habits.
Nevertheless, INTJs cherish close relationships with their chosen few and often devote 100% energy to maintaining these relationships for as long as a lifetime. Once INTJs decide to commit to a relationship, they research and study their cared ones with intense focus, much like the focus they devote to their chosen fields of expertise so that they may better serve the needs of their cared ones.
INTJs in Love
When INTJs first fall in love, they are consciously unaware of their feelings. Not naturally in tune with how they feel, INTJs have trouble with understanding the symptoms of love. They may work intensely to distract themselves or not fully admit to the feelings.
When they do fall in love, INTJs attempt to use logic to understand their falling-in-love process. Often, they admire intelligence and curiosity in their significant others as well as the persistence and patience to pursue the INTJs to the point that they are finally emotionally aware of their lovers.
While the best matches for the INTJs are the ENFPs and ENTPs because they share the intuition (N) view of the world, INTJs can also enjoy successful relationships with all of the 16 personality types as long as both parties are healthy individuals.
Once in love and they decide to commit to the relationships after an initial rocky beginning, INTJs devote endless energy to their commitments with their loved ones. They seek constant growth in both themselves and in their loved ones, so they may show affection through advice and practical gifts that serve their significant others’ needs.
Q: How to spot an INTJ?
A: INTJs radiate self-confidence and are stereotypically known as the “lone wolf” INTJ male or “ice queen” INTJ female. The INTJ does not necessarily intend to project the solitary air of an aloof individual as many healthy INTJs do enjoy the company of others. They do like to spend some time alone for reflecting. INTJs also enjoy enriching environments, such as universities, bookstores, libraries, and museums, where they can explore and learn new things about themselves, others, and the world around them.
Q: How do I befriend and/or attract the INTJ?
A: INTJs like curious, thoughtful, optimistic, and clever people. Most importantly, they like people to be themselves. INTJs can smell facades, so they enjoy the company of genuine people who can help the INTJ grow and learn. INTJs enjoy learning new things and prefer to debate with those who challenge them for fun. Sincere compliments about the INTJ’s intelligence will earn extra points with them! In terms of attraction, INTJs are drawn to those who have a passion for life and to those who are driven by an inner light of purpose.
Q: What are INTJ signs of attraction?
A: INTJs are mysterious and elusive creatures. To capture one is a challenge, but once captured, the INTJ becomes very loyal. The signs that an INTJ likes a person vary depending on the INTJ and his or her maturity levels. INTJs typically send mixed signals when in love that range from completely ignoring the person of affection to outright bursts of intellectual boasting and being incredibly romantic by doing thoughtful things for their significant other. INTJs often carefully consider their potential partners by observing them, especially when they think the potential person is not aware. When an INTJ likes someone, they also typically enjoy the intellectual stimulation that the other person brings and will attempt to converse more about these hard topics by initiating conversations. Since they value their time, choosing to spend more time around the person they are attracted to is an INTJ’s way of saying that they value the other person.
INTJ Signs of Attraction & INTJ Signs of Interest: Signs an INTJ Likes You and How to Attract INTJs
INTJs, friends of INTJs, and lovers of INTJs share stories about their real-life experiences and advice about how to attract those mysteriously cute INTJs:
”He pays attention to me and the things I like, and initiates conversation with me often (although it took a while for this to start happening). Emails me articles he thinks I might find interested, or things he finds interesting. He tells me things about himself like what he enjoys and a few things about his childhood. He also helps me improve things about myself. We talk for hours and I’m sure he really enjoys my company, although he picks on me a lot…and for a long time I really thought we was very annoyed with me.”
“Sometimes he picks on you in a critical way (i.e. are his intentions to show where you can improve) I can’t speak for other INTJs here, but what might seem like criticism to others would actually be implied as advice by myself.”
“He picks on me playfully and if he’s giving me advice usually I can tell (even if you guys do it so weirdly :P). I don’t mind his picking on me and pretending I’m annoying.”
“We INTJs are a lot more sensitive to rejection than we’d care to admit or show. He would probably have shut down that area of possibility in his head after that, if you would like to reopen it, you should decide what you want and then make it obvious to him. If you are unsure, or not obvious enough, the chance of him putting himself out there enough to face rejection again is very slim. People are uncertain equations to us. We like certainty to make our decisions. Good luck!”
“That’s a good sign. If he is anything like myself, I usually don’t pick on people playfully unless I really know them well, otherwise it is difficult to know in advance what sort of response to expect; this typically causes me not to react at all until I know that the response to the playful joking will be positive.”
“Depending on the person, just saying it may not be enough (he could either be not noticing it by unconsciously tuning your signals out) or he genuinely needs more time to process his own emotions. If I were in his position, the best way I would respond is if you were to do something that he considers highly meaningful. This is usually highly variable since we are all different in that sense. For instance, if he his highly stressed out at work/school/etc and has a big project to accomplish, you could assist him by proofreading/editing/sending more references with more data, etc. There is a higher chance he may respond to this if he knows that you are consciously trying to show the depth of your friendship.”
“If he compliments you it is usually a big deal. His compliments may not be immediately obvious either. Don’t expect a flowery, “If I shall pick out a few stars I will do so and name them for you because you are the most beautiful and most awesomeness and most pretty girl in the world!” (unless he is in super-duper love and has completely dropped all walls or is drunk). Instead the signs tend to be more subtle, “I appreciate your honesty”, “Thanks for your feedback”, “I think you’re a good friend to me.”
“Also, if he starts engaging in highly philosophical conversations that is usually a sign he likes you. I have a tendency to do this and link large chains of thought together and often wonder what a possible significant other will respond to it. This is where your N in your NF comes in handy since it is easier for you to reciprocate with your own unique F viewpoint. To some guys (myself included), a girl who can keep up with my conversation is an instant winner and highly desirable.”
“Keep yourself emotionally open to him until he explicitly expresses a desire not to be with you. By doing so you are showing that you are a friend that he can trust with his emotions. To an INTJ this is usually a rare honor.”
“In general INTJs rarely initiate physical contact, so if you notice he touches you this could be a sign. If he touches you gently, you can feel it is soft and you feel the tension it is rather obvious 😉
Eye contact not so much, as some of us are really self-confident, so we typically are good at this. However, if he doesn’t have problem with maintaining eye contact with other people (especially watch what happens with him talking to other girls), and suddenly he has problems with looking into your eyes, that’s a dead giveaway. If the eye contact is strong, same applies, look if he makes this same kind of eye contact with others, if not you know the answer. Also, look if he raises his eyebrows (just for a short second) the moment he sees you or your eyes meet, if there is a spark in his eyes like he wasn’t prepared to see you (but this requires you haven’t see each other for some time, maybe even a week). If this happens it means he is excited to see you and attracted to you.”
INTJ Signs of Attraction:
- Playful Teasing
- Goofing Around/ Joking
- Doing Little Favors
- Inviting To Places/ Activities
- Admitting To Finding You Attractive – Much more likely to tell a friend this.
- “You & Me” Mentality (e.g. “Smart like you and me”, “we’re close friends”, “we don’t talk about superficial things” )
- Talks About Feelings
- Wants You To Get Deep
- Looking Over At What You’re Doing
- Wants You To Speak More
- Touches Your Stuff
- Complimenting Personality
- Strong Intense Eye Contact
- In Group Conversations, Directs Eye Contact Towards Person Of Interest
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