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INTJ | MBTI | Myers Briggs

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.

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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

Getting to Know the 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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Susan Storm is a certified MBTI® practitioner and lover of all things psychology-related. She is the mom of five beautiful children and loves using her knowledge of personality type to understand them and others better! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to learn more about type!

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33 Comments

  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…

  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 

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