Have you ever had a family member who is extremely intelligent but struggles to connect emotionally with you?
Or do you have a friend who questions everything you do and is always asking, “Why?”
Or perhaps you have an extremely intelligent boss who is capable of solving complex problems, but he never listens to any of your good ideas?
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You are probably in a relationship with someone who has the Meyers-Briggs personality type INTJ.
Being in an INTJ relationship can be difficult, so here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about them and how to connect with them.
For the purposes of this article, I will personify and refer to the INTJ personality as a noun.
What exactly is an INTJ
INTJs are one of the most uncommon personality types, accounting for only 2% of the population. Here's a quick rundown of the characteristics:
(I)ntroversion – They direct their attention inward and derive their energy from alone time.
i(N)tuition– They rely on information from within themselves. As a result, they tend to prioritize ideas and concepts over facts and details.
(T)hinking – They prefer to base their decisions on logical reasoning and analysis rather than their emotions.
(J)udgement – They orient themselves to the external world through planning and organization rather than allowing spontaneity and going with the flow.
What are the characteristics of INTJs?
INTJs are natural born leaders, but they don't rush to take charge unless it's absolutely necessary. When things aren't going well, they can think quickly on their feet and come up with effective solutions.
They are intensely curious and have an engineering mind, so they are always trying to figure out how things work.
More importantly, the goal of their desire to understand things is not to satisfy their curiosity, but rather to figure out how to apply that knowledge in an innovative way to effectively create improvement.
Their high level of competency allows them to do this very effectively, and they quickly grasp new concepts.
Their brains function as if they are constantly playing chess, constantly analyzing situations and planning strategies and tactics to place themselves in the best possible situations. This is why, when compared to other personality types, they have the innate ability to outsmart others the most.
The advantages of having a relationship with an INTJ
As you might expect, being in an INTJ relationship has a lot of advantages:
They are exceptional problem solvers
INTJs place a high value on rational thought, logic, and the analysis of cause and effect. As a result, they are able to objectively assess challenges in order to determine the root cause of a problem and devise the best solutions.
You've probably noticed that when you've been trying to figure out a complex problem for a while, an INTJ can sometimes solve it in a matter of minutes.
They come up with the best-case scenarios
INTJs have an amazing ability to improve existing systems and processes due to their excellent critical thinking skills and love of innovation.
This is why they despise following traditions and procedures without understanding their meaning and value.
They want to know why things are done the way they are so they can decide if that is the best way to do things.
This trait can be extremely useful when attempting to figure out how to find good deals, plan trips, or choose the best product to buy.
They are incredibly dependable
They are extremely dependable due to their exceptional problem-solving abilities, which are supplemented by implementation.
Their determination to always get to the bottom of things ensures that the best solutions are implemented.
When you ask an INTJ for assistance, you can be confident that they will do everything in their power to provide you with the best results possible.
They are constantly taking the initiative to grow
Because they are self-sufficient and proactive, INTJs make excellent employees in autonomous roles.
When INTJs have a clear understanding of a problem that needs to be solved, they excel at analyzing the best options and taking the initiative to complete the task.
They are also excellent learning resources because they are constantly looking for ways to improve.
They are a master of all trades
INTJs have a high level of intelligence, competence, and knowledge, which, when combined with their natural desire to grow personally, makes them extremely multi-talented.
You may discover that they have solutions to almost all of your problems, surprising you with how much they are capable of.
The challenges of being in a relationship with an INTJ
Like all good things, there are some drawbacks to being an INTJ that can be difficult to overcome:
- They are prone to arrogance.
- There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance, and INTJs are prone to the latter.
- Their high level of confidence and capabilities may sometimes lead to an arrogant attitude.
- They have a tendency to pass judgment.
- INTJs are prone to dismissing others, especially when they perceive a gap in competency.
- They may have a tendency to look down on people who are less competent and treat them condescendingly.
- When under duress, they engage in destructive behavior.
- When INTJs are under extreme stress, one of their strongest traits becomes a crippling weakness.
- They develop an overly analytical personality and may engage in excessive behaviors such as drinking or eating.
- They start acting rashly and taking on more projects than they can handle.
While their analytical skills are essential when solving complex problems, they can overanalyze and make things more complicated than they need to be.
They don't like being told what to do
Because their deepest core value is finding the most rational answers, INTJs despise phrases like “Because I told you so.”
They tend to irritate authorities because INTJs frequently question all of their motives, which can come across as offensive even when the intention is to figure out the best way to do things.
When you deny a request with answers like “Because that's just how it's always been done,” INTJs get irritated.
They are emotionally unavailable
INTJs struggle to use their emotional right brain because they rely so heavily on their logical left hemisphere.
This, in turn, can make it difficult to form intimate and emotional connections with others.
How to Get the Most Out of INTJ Relationships
Working with INTJs can be both productive and challenging. Here are some tips to help you improve your
relationships with INTJs, especially during times of conflict:
1. Allow them time alone to think and recharge before brainstorming solutions
While group feedback is important, INTJs perform best when they have a separate time to think things through uninterrupted.
Don't take it personally if they reject your ideas. They are not being obstinate. They are sincerely attempting to find the best solution in an objective manner.
In fact, they are very open to ideas as long as they help lead to a solution, so don't give up on the first try if they reject one.
What should I do?
Make sure you have a good sense of the background information before making suggestions or coming up with ideas to solve a problem. If you ask questions that you could have easily googled first, they will quickly dismiss you, so make sure to ask questions that demonstrate you have at least a basic understanding of the situation.
Micromanage is not a good thing. They will become very resistant to you and disengaged as a result. Instead, communicate your needs, and once you've confirmed that they understand the situation clearly, provide whatever tools are required to complete the job, and then leave them to it.
2. Make a connection by demonstrating a desire to learn
INTJs despise small talk but thrive on deep intellectual discussions. The goal of all of their intellect isn't to be smarter than other people; rather, it stems from a genuine desire for growth and improvement.
Although their level of knowledge and competence may be intimidating to some, they will gladly share their knowledge if they sense your desire to learn and apply it.
INTJs are frequently misunderstood because they frequently think 10 steps ahead, making it difficult for others to keep up. This is why they are usually very lonely, but they have a strong desire to be understood.
What should I do?
Don't be a wuss about it. Unproductive superficial conversations irritate INTJs.
Don't be afraid to ask probing questions to help you get to the point where you're in sync and on the same page. They appreciate it when others go out of their way to meet them at their level of competence.
3. Do not take it personally when they question you
When dealing with an INTJ, they frequently try to ask a lot of questions that begin with the word “why.”
This will naturally cause you to become defensive, so it is critical to remind yourself that the intention is not to attack you, but rather to determine the best approach and solutions.
This is why it is critical to always communicate the reason for your request of INTJs.
What should I do?
When assigning a task or requesting a favor, always explain why you are doing so.
They will frequently be disengaged if they do not understand why the particular task is important.
INTJs almost always produce results that exceed expectations when you clearly communicate the purpose behind what you are asking for and agree on why it is important.
4. Call them out on their nonsense
INTJs have a tendency to put themselves in a position where they think highly of themselves.
Sometimes all it takes is an honest reminder to them that the way they say things to you can be quite condescending.
What should I do?
When INTJs become arrogant and judgmental, don't be afraid to call them out on it. They value open and honest dialogue.
You can bet they'll spend a lot of time trying to figure out what's wrong and coming up with a solution for improvement.
5. Make use of the emotional half of their brain
While INTJs are highly logical, they also have feelings. When they do, they feel them intensely.
They may appear emotionless at times, but this does not imply that they are. This is because they are too preoccupied with rationalizing things and are so engrossed in their thoughts that they do not feel the need to constantly express their emotions.
What should I do?
If you frame the lack of intimacy as a problem for the INTJ, you can expect him or her to work hard to find a mutually beneficial solution.
Because INTJs are left-brain dominant and constantly engaged in logical activities, do things that will help activate the emotional right brain in order to improve your connection with each other.
Implement ways to touch, such as a handshake, hug, or intimate physical behavior with a partner.
Check in with them on a regular basis to see how they are doing.
Making up your own worst-case scenarios
Being in a relationship with an INTJ can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be emotionally draining.
Once you understand how INTJs are wired, you can learn how to best communicate with them and build a relationship with them.
Whether it's a family member, friend, or partner, figuring out how to work more productively with each other will empower both people in the relationship.
When you use the tips provided here, you will accomplish far more as a group than if you each approached things in your own unique way.
And, in the end, you'll be creating your own best-case scenarios together.
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