10 Things That Terrify INTJs – According to 300 INTJs

Over a year ago I started doing a series about the fears of each personality type. My goal was to survey thousands of individuals and find out if there were any particular fears that some personality types had that others didn’t.  My findings were pretty interesting, at least to me, but I never finished writing the series because I had a baby and it got time-consuming trying to survey hundreds of people.

Over the last few months, I’ve had several requests for a post about INTJ fears. I went back to my excel sheet and found that I was really close to 300 responses, so I worked on finishing that up this week.

Find out the real #INTJ fears #MBTI

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Here’s what I found out:

There were definitely variations in the major fears of each personality type. I made it my goal to get responses from at least 300 people of each personality type before writing a blog post about their fears, that way I wasn’t working with such a small group that the answers wouldn’t mean much of anything. What I discovered is that there were some universal irrational fears (spiders, heights, snakes) but that aside from those, the fears varied drastically according to type. NT types, for example, greatly feared mediocrity. SJ types mentioned insecurity and financial ruin. NF types tended to have more existential worries about meaninglessness and the afterlife.

There Are Always Variations

I definitely saw differences in the majority of fears that each personality type chose, yet there are exceptions to each of these fears. For example, a huge number of INTJs mentioned old age as a major fear, but there were several who said this fear didn’t really bother them at all. There are always going to be variations within a type, so all this post is going to show us is what the majority mentioned. The top 10 fears in this post are based on the number of votes that I got from INTJs I spoke with in forums, Facebook groups, and one-on-one in real life.

The Top 10 Things That Terrify INTJs:

  1. Lack of Control / Being Controlled

As one of the most independent personality types in the Myers-Briggs® system, INTJs especially hate the idea of being controlled by anyone else.

  1. Insanity

INTJs are always considering the future, trying to see things from many perspectives and uncover knowledge. Dealing with mental struggles and being unable to have control of one’s own mind was a major source of fear for most of them.

  1. Not Meeting Potential

INTJs are major perfectionists and they tend to have big goals and visions for their lives. Getting to the end and realizing they failed to meet their ambitions was a major worry for many of them.

  1. Alzheimers

Many people fear Alzheimers, but I noticed that for NTs this was mentioned a lot more than it was for other types and temperaments. For the NT types, Alzheimers was always in the top 10. They hate the idea of losing their ability to function independently, to recall the possibilities they had once dreamed of. If it’s any help to any readers here, you can always check out this article I found, How I Overcame My Fear of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  1. Old Age

INTJs are one of the most future-oriented Myers-Briggs® personality types. As a result, old age holds more fear for them possibly than many other types. When there’s not much time left to anticipate and predict for the future, does life hold less happiness? That’s what many of them wondered.

  1. Stupidity

I almost didn’t include this because it felt more like an annoyance than fear, but after speaking with more INTJs I realized it should hold its position. The idea of being surrounded by stupidity or being stupid was a major fear for INTJs. One INTJ said, “I hate the idea of thinking I’m smart only to find out I’ve spent my whole life making horrible decisions. I hate being around people who are making stupid decisions that will affect my life or their own, because I love them even if they’re idiots. This is a fear I face on a weekly basis.”

  1. Death

I know what you’re thinking…isn’t everyone afraid of death? Well, surprisingly death was NOT the #1 fear for many of the types I’ve surveyed! In fact, it didn’t even show up on the top 10 for certain types. For INTJs what was interesting wasn’t so much that they feared death (I really do think nearly everyone fears this), but the reason they feared it. They weren’t so scared about pain as much as they were the end of knowledge, the end of learning, the end of curiosity. Some were afraid of the endlessness of death, or the unknown that lies after death.

  1. Public Speaking

Not every INTJ fears public speaking, but enough did that it made the top 10. INTJs generally prefer one-on-one conversation rather than dealing with large groups. One INTJ recommended the Toastmasters training to overcome a fear of public speaking, while others said that initially, they were afraid until they just pushed through their fear and did it enough times that they became used to it. One INTJ said, “Just remember that everyone watching you would probably be terrified to be you. Turn that nervous energy into excitement and own it.”

  1. Betrayal

INTJs are generally slow to trust others and let them into their lives, so the idea of betrayal by someone close to them hit especially hard. Once INTJs let people into their inner circle they are usually extremely loyal, so it’s very important to respect that loyalty and never give them a reason to regret it!

  1. Mediocrity

This one wasn’t a surprise to me, as literally every NT group I’ve surveyed has listed this as a major fear. For the NT, competence, pushing the boundaries, innovating, and making a difference are all important. The idea of just “blending in” and getting through life without making a real improvement or impact was depressing.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you agree or disagree with these fears? Share your opinions with other readers in the comments!

Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

10 Things You’ll Relate to If You’re an INTJ

10 Things You Should Never Say to an INTJ

When INTJs Loop – Understanding the Ni/Fi Loop

Understanding INTJ Intuition

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10 of the biggest #INTJ fears! #Personality #MBTI #Myersbriggs #personalitytype

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  1. I’m still pretty young (16) so my type isn’t set in stone, however I relate to most of these. I always am thinking and worrying and figuring things out about the future, afraid I might choose the wrong path, afraid of being normal and “blending in” as you said. Old age has scared me to think about as I hate being cared for by others in too much of a sappy way. I just think it would be so condescending to be perceived as ignorant. As for being controlled, going to elementary school when I was young was terrifying especially since I didn’t fully understand what was so important about it, why I had to go. My mom had to start homeschooling me because of it.

  2. Well, I am an INTJ. I am not afraid of Death or Alzheimer’s. In fact, I know that getting such a disease is rather difficult.

    As for death, I believe death is not the end of everything, as soul is energy and it doesn’t die. There is so much beyond, a greater world than the one of the living bodies. Greater knowledge and self independence as well, an emancipation from this body. Freedom.

    My only fear is to go through a breakup with a person I love a lot or see them in a scary condition (as in under drugs, something broken or even dead). I might use logic very often, but in fact I care a lot about the people around me. Probably more than all the Fe types. I just don’t show it openly.

    1. Are you really sure you are an INTJ ? I don’t want to offend you, but your thinking about death and your biggest fear seems far different from the classic INTJ opinions…

    2. Okay, so you believe that death is not the end of everything? I suppose you are some ‘kind’ of a believer of after life, whether there would be immortality there after or not? That’s alright with me, but what about the ‘greater beyond’? Have got any logic to support that argument? No, I don’t want to offend you. As far as I have analyzed, it is only a probability that could be said, for it to be great or worse. Either ones having fifty percent of possibility to happen. Or maybe the ‘worse’ or the ‘great’ may have lesser or more than fifty percent; depending on the parameters that would judge them. So I, as an INTJ, is terrified of that ‘worse’ one. And I do agree, that i am afraid of death. Never wanted to be controlled nor to be helpless. So yes I am afraid of alzheimer’s. Betrayal, public speaking, stupidity and the rest of the list as well are too relatable for me to be neglected.

  3. i am an intj myself, but seeing important people in my life suffering/dying/losing is one of my greatest fear. But i dont fear death (myself) tbh, maybe reason on how i will die is something im really scared. I dont find alzheimers to be terrifying too as of now. The rest of the list really speaks for me.

  4. I’m an INTJ and this is really relatable because I’m absolutely terrified of public speaking and I’m a bit socially awkward. Also I really related to the entry about betrayal because I don’t have very many friends and when I do have a friend they eventually leave me for new friends because I’m so different to those around me.

  5. Also INTJ and also not afraid of death. I treat death as a journey to something new and exciting, beyond what is known to me now. I also afraid less than other of old age. I am 45 now and can sense what’s coming. Everything seems to be slower. I might like it. It is giving me more perspective and I am now not in such a hurry to find something new to know. I can get deeper, see what I haven’t seen before especially in other people. When I was younger I considered 99% of people to have nothing to offer to me, only time wasting. Now I can see that a lot of them have something to share and it is worth to listen to them for like 20 minutes, after which I might find this one new thing. It helped me much to be patient with other people and to my relationships. This way I also find out more about others. Now I can be of more help to others, doing stuff that are really useful to my family and friends. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and more closeness to my family or…I just get older 

  6. Shutting down and not being in control, or having a loss or lack of control. I have had shutdowns throughout my life, what I would call minor shutdowns where I would be overwhelmed and just need to go off, withdraw and reflect alone in silence until I’d worked out what the cause was. Then I’d know how to deal with again if I have that feeling or come across whatever it was that caused it again in the future, mainly emotions and overthinking! Throughout my life I’ve build up mental strategies to help me deal with the world, but that has come at a cost! I’ve only had the one total shutdown in my life where I was shutdown and shut-in for months, on a sofa, with no contact with the outside world whatsoever. That was 26 years ago. I’m 48 now and have never typed myself until last year, never really had the need to and I just got on with life, in my own way! 2020 for me was what you would call a perfect storm, which led to almost 9 months of the worst anxiety, stress, overthinking and looping I have ever experienced in my life! I was teetering on a total shutdown. I’d been there before, I knew the feeling but just didn’t know how to deal with it or get out of it. This led me to Type myself as I really needed to fully understand myself and help get myself out of where I was, and fast! I still needed additional professional help in the end, first time I’ve ever sought help from anyone in my life! It also brought down a lot of the mental barriers I had put up throughout my life. Very few people have heard from me or even seen me in the last 25-30 years! Knowing my type has made me fully understand all the nuances of my introversion and for the first time in my life I feel like I really truly know myself.

    I’m INTJ. I type INTJ-T, 5w6 (5-8-3) sx/sp, C-D, O90-C83-E20-A50-N41

    You know you’re INTJ when your wife (an extrovert) says that you’re socially inept and calls you an emotional retard! 😉

    Social Awkwardness: definitely! Phones: Yep, very rarely call people. Conversing in large groups: doesn’t really happen. I typically converse with only 1-2 people. initiating, and keeping conversations going, especially if it’s not of interest. I hate small talk and would rather be elsewhere! Social Media: Difficult! I only started using social media last year when I had a real need to do so. Too many people, it’s also a Trust thing. I also over analyse and read too much into what’s being said or what’s been posted pictorially, especially where there is no explanation! I am always questioning, always analysing and asking the whys? the whats? and what’s behind it/what’s the deeper meaning, with almost everything! I can easily misunderstand or misinterpret things (don’t know if anyone else experiences this with social media?). Efficiency and competency: Inefficiency and incompetence I abhor. People who don’t meet up to my standards: I have extremely high standards, perfectionist, which many people feel to meet. I’d rather do it myself than it not meet my standards! I could go on, but I think you get the gist!

  7. Waww that’s just me there is only one tiny different I believe so that means that I’m not scared for alzheimer or death cus i know everything has a purpose.

  8. Hello, 65 yo INTJ lady. It’s hard to condense a whole life of learning into one paragraph. What I want to say that I found out first hand how emotionally devastating it is to lose control of my autonomy and independence and to become dependent. When I was 60 the family curse of osteoarthritis hit me – hard! I went from being physically active and pain free to being unable to walk, bend over, stand and in constant pain that kept spreading to the rest of my body. It was absolutely horrible for me to realize it would never go away. My husband (an ESTJ) became furious with me because I could no longer do the things I used to do. He was very angry and resentful towards me. It wasn’t until I attempted suicide that he realized I wasn’t faking it to get out of doing housework. He is slowly growing some compassion (not a strong suit for ESTJs). Things are getting better but Lord was it tough to swallow down my dependence on him or others. I have become more resigned to my condition and found a small amount of peace about it.

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