“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”
– Nikola Tesla, an INTJ
The mind of an INTJ is a fascinating place. These intense, visionary personalities can make lightning-quick connections between what is happening now and how it will unfold in the future. They have an eye for hidden patterns, meanings, and trends and their forward-thinking mind makes them excellent strategists. INTJs are one of the most independent personality types; they take pride in not relying on anyone else’s point of view or the tried-and-true technique. They love innovation and combine creativity with a swift decisiveness and intense confidence to achieve their goals.
If you know an INTJ most likely what you’ll see is their auxiliary Extraverted Thinking (Te) function. Their dominant intuition is internalized, and rarely shown to the outside world, although it influences every decision they make. To others, the INTJ will seem decisive, quick-thinking, confident, competent, and intellectual. To the INTJ the world is like a gigantic chessboard; each move is purposeful and aligns with a future goal, every piece, every tactic is in service of the complete mission.
Understanding Introverted Intuition:
Introverted Intuition (Ni) is the dominant function of the INTJ and the INFJ. Where INFJs use their intuition to strategize and understand future implications for people, INTJs are masters of strategizing and understanding future implications for systems and organizations. Introverted Intuition finds meaning and connections behind things. It asks “Why is this here? What is this hiding? What does this tell me about the future? How will this play out?”.
One of the best ways to understand Introverted Intuition is to compare it to its opposite; Introverted Sensing. While Introverted Sensing is focused primarily on maintaining factual details from the past and learning from them, Introverted Intuition is focused on connecting impressions or patterns from the present that compose a picture or forecast of what is yet to come. This is why INFJs, INTJs, ENFJs, and ENTJs will focus a lot on future ideas and outcomes and ISTJs, ISFJs, ESFJs, and ESTJs will hold on more to the past and teachers from the past. Ni users will focus more on theories and impressions and Si users will focus more on literal details and facts.
If you want more clarity on whether you’re an INTJ or an ISTJ, you can check out this post here.
Characteristics of INTJs:
– They are driven by a vision of the future
– They are determined and sometimes stubborn
– They desire to find a new road rather than rely on the tried-and-true technique
– They are intensely individualistic and independent
– They are stimulated by challenges
– They are motivated by inspiration and discontented with routine
– They look for the underlying meaning behind everything
The Neuroscience of Introverted Intuition:
According to Dario Nardi, a UCLA professor and expert in the field of neuroscience, Ni-dominant types show a whole-brain pattern when they think. He says that when Ni-types are presented with a problem, they “seek to harness all neocortex regions in order to “realize” an answer. Imagine a troop of blind men trying to identify a secret object by touch. One man feels a trunk and says “Tree”; another detects four legs and says “table”; a third feels tusks and says “boar”. Like the blind men, each region offers a different perspective, and a zen-like synchronous state allows the person to reconcile various perspectives to arrive at a best-fit answer (an elephant).”
INTJs like to focus on one question or problem at a time. Unlike Ne-users, Ni-users have a singular focus. They dislike distractions and multi-tasking (although they can multi-task if they have to). They prefer to work one problem through to completion at a time, without interruptions, and with time away from external stimulation. They are most stimulated by envisioning the future and trying to determine how to get to a future outcome. This is why they are such skilled planners and organizers, they combine their Ni with Extraverted Thinking (Te) to find logical, efficient routes to the outcome they want.
Is Introverted Intuition Magical or “Psychic”?
Ni-dominant types are known to have a “mystical” quality about them because of the insights they pick up on that most others miss. It may seem like they can see the future, but really there’s a very logical process going on to explain it. INJs have especially sensitive inferior Extraverted Sensing (Se). Se gathers a plethora of information from the outside world in the present moment. Ni subconsciously processes this data, putting it together as one would a 1000-piece puzzle. Ni-users just “put together” this internal puzzle much faster than other types do. Once this process is finished, the INJ will be able to understand or reveal their insight or their “completed puzzle”. It’s especially important for Ni-dominant types to have a distraction-free environment for this process to work to its full extent. Loud noises, bright lights, lots of commotion can all cloud this natural state for them and cause them stress. The MBTI® Manual says that INTJs “especially abhor confusion, mess, and inefficiency.” These external distractions make it increasingly difficult for the INTJ to focus on their vision and form a strategy.
INTJs and Symbols:
INTJs have a very visual imagination, and are greatly influenced by symbols. They have “flashes” of inspiration that direct them in some of their greatest endeavors. These sudden insights may appear out of the blue. Their intuitions and insights often come to them in symbolic images, visions, or stories. Because Introverted Intuition often works subconsciously, many Ni-users have very symbolic dreams or thoughts that seem to permeate their day-to-day life. When they try to explain their intuitive hunches, INTJs will often rely on these symbols or metaphors to explain things. You can easily see the difference between an ISTJ and an INTJ because the ISTJ will speak very literally, whereas the INTJ will prefer to speak through metaphor and comparisons. The ISTJ will draw lessons from the past and rely on personal experience, and the INTJ will focus on the future and seek new methods to achieve things.
Some Fun Facts About INTJs:
– INTJs are one of the two types with the highest undergraduate GPA.
– They have the highest GPA among persisters in college.
– Their most important job features involve creativity and originality.
– INTJs are the fourth-highest earners in the US, making an average household income of $71K annually.
All About INTJs
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type or The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Want to know more about INTJs? Check out these amazing books!
Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 3rd Edition
Neuroscience of Personality: Brain Savvy Insights for All Types of People
Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive