5 Ways to Annoy an INTJ

5 Ways To Annoy An INTJ

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Today I want to talk about INTJs. These independent thinkers are often intriguing and challenging with their original ideas, insights, and strategic ways of making decisions. I have an INTJ sister-in-law who I LOVE talking to on the phone. I can always count on her to be straightforward, honest, but also open-minded and full of ideas.

For this post, I researched INTJ pet peeves in forums, talked to some helpful INTJs, and scanned through some of my favorite personality books to come up with this list of what to avoid doing if you don’t want to get on an INTJ’s nerves.

Not sure what your personality type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here. Or you can take the official MBTI® here.

1 – Interrupt Them

INTJs rely on their dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni) to connect the dots of life and form insights into their goals, dreams, or theories. Ni requires a great deal of personal space and energy to harness effectively, and when INTJs are thinking or needing time alone to use Ni, an interruption is incredibly frustrating. Make sure they have plenty of space and time alone to use their dominant function and form thoughts and ideas.

2 – Surprise Them


INTJs like to have a plan. They use Extraverted Thinking (Te) to form efficient, strategic plans that ensure their goals are accomplished. Having a plan and following a certain order helps the INTJ to be comfortable and relaxed. Surprises and spontaneity are NOT comfortable for INTJs. A surprise party can be a nightmare for an INTJ, who may have already had a plan for the night involved. This doesn’t mean that an INTJ will never enjoy a surprise gift or friendly phone call – but if you can plan it ahead, it’s almost always better.

3 – Engage in Small Talk

INTJs like to get to the point. They don’t enjoy beating around the bush, and they could care less about the weather (unless they have an interest in meteorology or the weather on a personal level). Idle chit chat, gossip, or mundane details are like torture for an INTJ who wants to talk about something life-changing, extraordinary, original, or relevant to their lives.

4 – Emotionally Manipulate Them

INTJs have a strong distaste for anything that’s not authentic. INTJs rely on tertiary Fi (Introverted Feeling) to determine whether something is authentic or aligns with their values. They have no patience for cloying, manipulative remarks or emotional strategies meant to evoke a reaction. Telemarketers, salespeople, or day-to-day manipulations that can occur in relationships are not only irritating but can cause the INTJ to lose complete respect for the person engaging in the manipulative behavior.

5 – Interfere with Their Alone Time

This point goes hand-in-hand with the first point about interruptions, but sometimes it’s not just about interrupting – sometimes taking a step back from your INTJ friend can be a good thing. Don’t over plan their time or demand responsiveness on a constant basis by over-texting or overstimulating them so they can’t retreat into their own mind. INTJs need alone time every day, sometimes for great lengths of time. While all people (especially introverts) need alone time, INTJs and INFJs who rely on Ni (Introverted Intuition) tend to be especially needful of that time alone because Ni is really only able to be fully utilized in a place that is free of distractions and interruptions.

What do you think?

Let me know your thoughts or experiences in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

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5 Ways to Annoy an INTJ

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  1. When I took the MB test the first time about 10 years ago without knowing anything about it, my results came up as an INTJ. I read over the description and said, “That’s not me; that’s my husband.” I made him take the test, and I was right. I’ve taken different versions of the test and keep turning up with the INTJ even though I am, in comparison to my husband at least, a much more spontaneous person who values harmony. Your site has been a fun place to sort this through.

    1. Thank you so much! Have you had any luck narrowing down your type yet? I find the tests to be a very difficult indicator of type, and found doing my own research on the cognitive functions and type interactions to be the best way to determine type. My ISTP husband always gets an ISTJ result, and I get either INFJ or INFP, even though those two types are considerably different. If you’d like any help determining your type I’d be happy to help!

  2. I believe that INTJ is my correct type, because when I look at the commentary about this type, it strikes me as right. However, I do have a great deal of compassion and love- especially for the poor and afflicted. However, the analytical and logical part of me are so strong, I come across as unkind sometimes. I just don’t like stupidity, emotional manipulation, or rudeness. I am careful to be polite, and I would love to have a good argument with someone who was intellectually similar to me, who was also able to back themselves up with facts and not stoop to emotional stupidity. I feel like a border collie sitting in a kennel- I don’t have the mental stimulation that I love, and it’s really hurting me. I NEED to argue and come across ideas that are different, and hash them out with someone. It feeds my soul.

  3. I am a female who has always tested as an INTJ. I have a clarification to item two based on my own personal experiences. I would say surprises that change the INTJ’s preconceived plans are the true irritant. I have no problem with a surprise that fits in with my schedule. If I am going to dinner with my family and my mother hands me a present during dinner then things are fine. If my family randomly appears at my home to surprise me with dinner then I would have an issue. My time is always planned out even if the plan is sitting around the house reading all day. I would consider any change to be an unwanted interruption to my desires. My item number six on your list would be: people who ask me to use my expertise to aid them in making a decision without any intention of follow through. They completely disregard my counsel when making that decision. It becomes even more frustrating when their decision is completely arbitrary and irrational after I have spent time and energy making well thought out recommendations.

    1. Thank you Dawn! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and taking the time to read the post. I completely agree with you about surprises, and I tried to write that in that certain types of surprises are fine (like a gift or something that coincides with your plans) it’s more of the unexpected, plan-breaking surprises that stress INTJs (and INFJs like me) out 🙂 I also think that item #6 you mentioned is very true. I may have to make a second blog post with five more things that annoy INTJS 😉

  4. In my experience, INTJs become better at camouflaging as we mature. For instance, I am very much an Introvert, but I can fake Extroverted behavior (public speaking, running meetings, leading teams, etc.) as necessary.

    As to the dislike of being surprised: When someone (especially one of the few people I consider friends) suggest a ‘spontaneous’ activity, I often reply “Yes, we *could* do that.” To the best of my knowledge, not one non-INTJ has picked up on the intended sarcasm. Pro Tip: Try asking an INTJ first what his/her plans are. This goes a long way to reducing our unhappiness.

    Sometimes social conventions (for others) require small talk. Most of the INTJs I know have become very adept at spotting the other’s hobby horse and focusing them on it (You ride a motorcycle? Cool. So what’s the part you like best?) We don’t really care, but with just a minimal nudge, most people will drone on and on. Meanwhile, we can turn almost all of our attention on far more important mind-things. (As a writer, I’m always cast-calling interesting appearances and behaviors for future scenes.)

    The INTJ Strategy: Be polite, be courteous, show professionalism, and have a plan to kill everyone in the room. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I love your last sentence especially 😉 I will have to keep that in mind! I have seen that many of the INTJs I know are very good at showing extroverted behavior if the occasion calls for it. As an INFJ I can relate as I can fake being more extroverted at times to put people at ease – even if I’d rather be in my room dwelling on something I’m currently obsessing over.

      I also agree with the part about asking an INTJ first what his/her plans are. All your thoughts are very much appreciated and very helpful! Thank you!

  5. Great article! My biggest, and I mean biggest, pet peeve is the interruption of my personal time. I love, love reading books and listening to smooth jazz and just thinking on life. I totally live inside my head and interruptions to engage in mindless chatter and he say/ she say makes me see red. Manipulative people hate me because I ignore their efforts and existence. INTJ are nice people, really but others must understand that our “running speed” is governed. There is NO speeding us up or slowing us down. Match our speed and people will discover how great the breeze is!!

    1. As an INFJ I can very much relate to you. I also very much need that time to be inside my head and listen to music and just reflect, think, and be creative. I have a harder time ignoring manipulative people, though, even though I can tell they’re being manipulative! I’ve enjoyed all the INTJs I know in my life, and I have some of my most interesting conversations with them 🙂 It must be that Ni-dominance thing 😉 Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me!

  6. I very much agree with these. I would say that #6 is when people don’t trust what I’ve said or think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I feel so insulted, get defensive, and try to hurl every fact I can remember on the subject at them. Most people who know me well know to trust what I tell them or to come to me when they need fact because my honesty means I either completely know what I’m talking about or will tell you straight out if I don’t know.

    1. Thank you for reading! What you’re saying makes complete sense to me! I can see this in the INTJs I know, especially my INTJ daughter. I love that I can always get a straight answer from an INTJ and I know that I can trust what they say. I think belittling and INTJ is a bad mistake considering how much logical thought they put into explaining something.

    2. I could not agree more.

      Bought a t-shirt recently that says, “I’m not arguing, I’m explaining why I’m right.” It really sums up how I feel in that situation. I feel like the lone defender of truth at times. Perhaps I should be buying a cape next.

  7. To those posters who indicate they ‘test out’ one thing or another, a word of caution. I’m certified in MBTI and our code of ethics advises us to NEVER just give the instrument without counseling an individual for this (and other reasons!). You should review all the descriptions once you’ve taken the indicator to make your best assessment of which type most closely fits you. Some people come out “X” because they are close on one of the indicators: XNTJ would mean a person sometimes functions as an E and sometimes as an introvert. Hope this helps!

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