INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake … INTJs are known as the “Systems Builders” of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait of combining imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause; both perfectionism and disregard for authority come into play. Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ’s Achilles heel … This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals … Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.
This is probably a good summary of my thinking, and I could not agree more. Most of you people make zero sense. You walk around riding highs and lows of your emotions, and discard logic or rationality out the window. While I cannot really comprehend where you are coming from, at least I am logical enough to understand that is what happening. Perhaps you can provide me with a guide on how to deal with you.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you have contact with me, in no particular order.
I will debate you on everything.
This is the most important point of this entire post. There is no subject that is sacred and free from the constant debate. In my mind, all ideas (mine and yours) are supposed to (hell, we have an obligation to) constantly test them and discard, modify, or keep them based on their merits. This makes me seem argumentative, and many times if engaging a debate with someone who has no interest in debating, makes me seem like I believe I am always right.
This is actually not completely true. I believe I am right until evidence is provided otherwise, of which I am perfectly willing to absorb and integrate into my own ideas.
This extends to the very metaphysical world, and a comprehensive philosophy that drives all life. If I find new information or a new idea that is better than an existing one, or makes more sense, I will gladly discard entire portions of my “life system” in favor of the new one.
This also makes me seem like I might have constantly shifting opinions. This is false. Rigidify to new ideas is the worst thing imaginable to an INTJ because new information and ideas are paramount to all other things, so my shifting opinions are just flexibility in an obviously changing world. This is a completely rational view of things.
I don’t necessarily believe what I am debating you on.
This is also an important one, and an extension of the previous one. I will engage in hours of debate with someone on a subject on which I believe the exact same position as them. Why would someone waste time like that you ask? Well, I am not exactly sure, but I find that this kind of debate usually leads to a more concise viewpoint and may even lead to more ideas down the same path.
This can also be incredibly infuriating when this tactic is revealed. I don’t know how many times the debate has reached it’s natural conclusion and I tell the other person that I really believed what they thought the entire time, and was just taking the opposing view to have a debate. Do not take offense or believe that I was deliberately wasting your time (what, you don’t like to debate?!?), I was merely making sure that the idea was tested appropriately.
Excuse my warped, blunt and sarcastic humor
This one is easy. I don’t understand your “human” emotions or your emotional needs. So let me apologize in advance for offending you with my humor. You can rest assured that I understand the significance, historical reference and all cultural ambiance related to the sarcastic warped comment I just made, so there is no reason to take offense.
I Don’t Understand your Emotions (or my own)
Do not get angry when I do not pick up on, understand, or provide any kind of emotional support. It is not that I do not care, the unfortunate truth is that I don’t even understand (or even want to understand) my own emotions, so how could I understand yours?
Do Your Research
The quickest way to create a situation where your feelings get hurt and the conversation (debate) gets quickly out of hand is to come to the table with an ill-thought out idea. If what you are saying does not make sense and you cannot back it up reasonably well, then I will have to mercilessly destroy your idea until there is nothing left.
I mean no offense during this process, as I am sure your idea sounded great to you, however it is necessary to keep the universe in order. Sorry.
I Expect You to be Like Me
This one probably confuses people the most. It usually plays out like this.
- We have a rational debate.
- You present your arguments.
- I present my arguments.
- Your arguments are weak.
- My arguments are strong.
- You should be convinced.
- The universe is now in order.
Unfortunately, many people seem not comprehend step 6. If your arguments are not rational or do not make any sense and mine are rational, then you must yield. If you do not, then the world is not in order.
Don’t you people want the world to be in order?!?
It is very likely that you and I will not know each other very long if we cannot get past #6. This is not hubris, as if you were to give me an argument that made sense and I was convinced I was wrong, I would gladly yield and acknowledge that you were right.
The bottom line is that I expect people to act in sane, logical and rational ways. When they don’t, it makes the entire system of human interaction break down.
Irrationality Gets the Boot
As an extension to the above, if you behave in an irrational manner or present continual arguments that make no sense, be prepared to at best become a running joke and at worst get the boot from our lives completely.
Irrationality cannot be tolerated and must be aggressively destroyed at all times.
Being Critical is a Compliment
If I am being very critical of one of your ideas or thoughts, then you should feel encouraged. You see, your idea is getting the same treatment as every thought that passes through my head. It is evaluated, picked apart, weighed, disassembled, assembled, and either used or discarded. In the process you may find that your idea is completely changed, but it was changed into something better!
Do not be offended when your idea becomes barely recognizable in a flurry of my own. As I said, internally I am always destroying my own ideas, so why should yours be any different.
You should take offense (or probably more accurately see the point doing your research above) if I do not give your idea this treatment. It means that it is not even worth the time to deconstruct because it can be dismissed offhand.
I Don’t Care What You Think About Me
A life of debate has basically trained me to not care if you think I am an arrogant asshole. The fact of the matter is I brought forth my vision and exposed it for you to disassemble and refine and you failed (if you didn’t then we wouldn’t be examining why you think I am an arrogant asshole). You need to see the above points because you took offense when you shouldn’t have.
I Like Being Alone Sometimes
No offense, but being around people is exhausting. After a long day dealing with all you people, my life is drained out of me. I need to be alone with my thoughts, or looking up precious information, or working on some sort of quantitative analysis, or reading some deep philosophy, or some other internal pursuit.
It is nothing personal, and it doesn’t really mean anything about any personal relationships with the people that I ignore when alone. It just means that, generally, I find other people exhausting. It probably has to do with constantly having to shoot all of your ideas down.
Do Not Tell me What to Do
Oh wow. This is probably the worst. You see, each idea, order, or other thought must go through “the filter” and be judged as any other. You must understand that anything that tries to bypass this filter is immediately suspect, and pushing that fact will get you on my bad side very quickly.
The bottom line is that the process an INTJ takes to evaluate an idea is the only acceptable process. Telling an INTJ what to do essentially tells him or her that their process is invalid, and then telling someone to do is also not debatable.
It is very likely that I will simply ignore your order, or even better do the exact opposite, especially if your order doesn’t make sense anyway.
Enjoy this F.A.Q. that I got from INTJ Central, as it more humorously teaches you about INTJs. All of these apply to me.
Q: Where can I find an INTJ?
A: We INTJs are über-introverts, so we prefer asynchronous and semi-anonymous forms of communication. We get most of our socialization through internet forums and Usenet newsgroups. Look for us there.
Q: Can I become an INTJ?
A: Unless you are born an INTJ, your only hope is to find a genie lamp while strolling on the beach, rub it, and make a wish. You can fake being one of us by burying yourself in a mound of books, nerding out on a favorite subject (like quantum mechanics, not needlepoint), wandering around by yourself, not giving a damn what others think of you, etc. If this sounds like too much work, just try doing a good robot impersonation.
Q: How can I break up with my INTJ?
A: Tell us the truth. We’ll reply, “Sure, why not?”, and go on with our lives.
Q: My INTJ is trying to take over the world. Should I be concerned?
A: Remember, he’s trying to take over the world for the betterment of everyone and everything. Just go ahead and let him. He’ll be happy and the world will be a more organized and efficient place.
Q: My INTJ just told me I’m retarded. Should I take offense?
A: You probably are retarded, by our standards. But don’t take offense. Our standards are so high that even we don’t meet them. We judge ourselves more harshly than we judge others.
Q: My INTJ isn’t sensitive to my feelings. Should I take offense?
A: We aren’t even sensitive to our own feelings. Why should we be expected to be sensitive to yours? We won’t even try to fake it. Insincerity is a pet peeve of ours, and anyway, it would ruin our reputation if we ever showed emotion.
Q: Why doesn’t my INTJ ever show emotions or feelings?
A: Because he doesn’t have any. Actually, that’s not strictly true; it’s just that we tend to get emotional about things you might not appreciate. INTJs have been known to cry during the liftoff scene in “Apollo 13″, for example, and there are also many touching moments in some of the Star Trek movies. An INTJ may also smile or laugh at random for no apparent reason; probably one of the voices in his head just made a good joke.
Q: My INTJ doesn’t care about me any more after he tried to explain his idea and I didn’t listen. What should I do?
A: Ideas are of prime importance to INTJs, and disregarding or not listening to our ideas is the highest form of insult. Although INTJs do not hold grudges, neither do we go out of our way to associate with people who don’t give serious consideration to our ideas. You’ll be in damage control mode for quite some time, fighting an uphill battle to get back into our good graces.
Q: My INTJ won’t talk to me. What should I do?
A: What subjects are you trying to talk about? Most INTJs hate gossip, and all of us hate talk of relationships. We also don’t do small talk. Try quantum physics, psychology, or some other deep (but non-touchy/feely) topic. If all else fails, try email instead.
Q: Why does my INTJ keep correcting my grammar?
A: Probably because you are being grammatically incorrect. The next time you tell your INTJ that you’re going to “try and [do something]”, prepare to get bitch-slapped. It’s “try to”, not “try and”. And there’s no such word as “irregardless”. Words have specific meanings, and language has specific rules; please abide by them. And don’t even get us started on your contextually ambiguous use of pronouns.
Q: I have this REALLY good idea… should I tell an INTJ?
A: Sleep on it… for a week or so. If it’s still so appealing, sleep on it for another week. Then maybe run it by one of us and we’ll pick it apart for you. Your idea is more likely to survive our scrutiny relatively unscathed if you have actual logical arguments and sound evidence with which to back it up.
Q: Is it dangerous to annoy an INTJ?
A: First we will ignore you, then we will launch a volley of extremely witty but esoteric insults that will probably go right over your head, and finally we will just engage the “nod-and-smile” autopilot and go back to ignoring you. Best to leave us alone at this point. If you push us too far we may blow up your head with our telekinetic abilities. So, yes, it can be dangerous to annoy an INTJ.
Q: What are the pet peeves of INTJs?
A: Thanks for asking. Our pet peeves are:
- We dislike surprises.
- We hate having decisions made for us. We’re INTJs; nobody is more qualified to make decisions than us.
- We dislike getting gifts, as it burdens us with the need to reciprocate.
- We hate small talk, gossip, and relationship/people talk. Really anything mundane is beneath us.
- We get particularly annoyed by attacks on our intelligence, competence, and integrity.
- We hate it when people try to manipulate us.
- Insincerity and lying.
- People interfering with our alone time.
- People who are chronically late.
- People who talk incessantly. We will just engage our “nod and smile” autopilot and mentally go somewhere else.
- People who are stupid, arrogant, opinionated, and/or closed minded.
- Crooked/badly placed pictures.
- Superficiality (body piercings, pimped out cars, brightly colored anything).
- Salespeople. INTJs are immune to emotional manipulation and have zero tolerance for lines of bullshit.
- Incorrect grammar and word usage.
- People who waste our time (see Salespeople, people interfering with our alone time, etc.).
Q: My INTJ keeps disappearing. Is this normal?
A: Yes. We need our “alone time” to recharge, more so than any of the other introverted MBTI types. Being around people for very long sucks the life force out of us, and we sneak off to be by ourselves whenever our “low battery” warning light starts to flash. (And in those cases where we can’t disappear physically, we will retreat into our minds.) Consequently we have great stealth capability; we can sit in a corner, observing while being unobserved, and we can escape, unnoticed, when we’re ready to move on.
Q: Why can’t my INTJ remember anything?
A: This is normal. Most of us INTJs are very forgetful. We have too much going on in our heads at any time to remember a lot of new stuff. Also, we zone out and go into autopilot mode quite frequently. We often won’t remember where we put our car keys because we weren’t “there” when we did it.
Q: My INTJ employee consistently strolls into work an hour late and leaves an hour late, every day. He/she seems to make their own hours, however the job gets done rather well. Should I feel disrespected?
A: Time is relative to the INTJ, and getting the job done right is paramount. We do not like wasting our time, so we will often adjust our schedules accordingly to miss AM and PM rush-hour traffic. The more traffic we miss, the more time we have for books, movies, video games, books, message boards, books, etc. You should feel disrespected, although it has nothing to do with them not honoring your work rules; it has to do with them not thinking you are particularly smart or competent. If you were smart/competent, you wouldn’t be going on about getting your wittle bitty feewings hurt by your disrespectful but high-performing INTJ employee.
Q: My INTJ is very pedantic.
A: Strictly speaking, that’s not a question.
Q: Dammit, see what I mean?
A: Yes, the irony was not lost on me as I typed the previous answer.
Q: And sarcastic as hell, too.
A: Sarcasm is a free public service we provide to those within earshot. No need to thank us. We also do irony, hyperbole, word-play and puns, one-liners, quick-witted observations and flippant remarks, and abstract and deep philosophical insights on nonsensical themes. Our sense of humor tends to be dry, warped, and morbid, and not everybody “gets” us.
Q: Why does my INTJ just “shut down” at the end of the day?
A: Our minds are always buzzing with plans and theories, and we cannot voluntarily get it to stop. But even an Indy 500 car will coast to a halt after it runs out of gas. When we are very tired our brains slow down, and we become normal or even a bit retarded. If we start asking you to repeat what you just told us but more slowly this time, and/or if we can no longer perform simple routine tasks like computing an orbital transfer burn or finding a memory leak in 10,000 lines of C++ code, you know it’s time for us to call it a day.
Q: Why is my INTJ so… well, so freakin’ WEIRD??!?
A: It’s probably just a side effect of the way our brains work. Many of us tend to be rather obsessive-compulsive, for instance ordering our cd’s, dvd’s, and books by genre then alphabetically (by title for dvd’s, by group then title for cd’s, and by author then title for books, except for series which must be kept in appropriate serial order). Most of us have other quirks as well, e.g., always eating M&M’s in a specific color order, naming our children in alphabetical order, etc. It’s a small price to pay for genius, really.
Q: Why does my INTJ just start nodding and smiling after we’ve been talking for a couple of minutes?
Q: I said, WHY DOES MY INTJ START NODDING AND… Oh I get it, you’re being sarcastic again. Does it ever get old?
A: [ hey, more Wayne Newton anagrams… We Want On Yen, Ant On New Yew, Way None Went… ]
Q: Hello? Are you going to answer any more questions?
A: [ … “Hair Salon For Stray Nerd Nuns”, “Larry Moe and Curly’s On”, “Karaoke’s Not That Fun”, “Harry Potter’s Gay Stepson”, … ]
Q: Asshole. I’m outta here.
A: [ works every time 😉 ]