Weird: “Of Strange or extraordinary character: Odd, Fantastic”
– Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Weirdness is a trait that is simultaneously repressed and admired by people all over the world. What was once considered “weird” is now considered trendy in many cases. What was once considered “cool” is now considered old-fashioned or boring. When it comes to personality type, there have been certain types that have been revered or “weird” depending on the culture and era.
But what makes INTJs extraordinary, strange, odd, or fantastic? What unique, yet possibly “weird” traits make them stand out? Let’s take a look!
INTJs Are Strongly Rational Yet Completely Mysterious
INTJs strongly value objective logic. When it comes to decisions, they trust facts, data, and truth. That said, their dominant function isn’t about facts and concrete data. Introverted Intuition is extremely mysterious in its workings and often lies outside of concrete, tangible reality – at least to most observers. INTJs get epiphanies or “hunches” that seem to appear out of the blue, and initially, even they can’t pin down why they believe in them with such certainty.
Building Blocks of Personality Type says of Introverted Intuition, that it “May experience insights that are not connected to the tangible world in any way that makes sense to anyone else.” It is only with time and reflection that the “dots are connected” and INTJs realize how they got their startling visions and insights. The premonitions and impressions they receive can appear magical or confusing to onlookers. The accuracy of their insight is uncanny and even scary to some people.
For the INTJ who values empirical data and proof to such a strong degree, moving forward on an epiphany or insight seems counter to their pragmatic outward persona. It’s a paradox that makes them all the more mysterious and intriguing!
INTJs May Seem Cold on the Outside, But They Develop Astounding Empathy
There are a lot of “cold, robotic” stereotypes about INTJs in the type community, especially online. But what most people ignore is that INTJs actually have tertiary Introverted Feeling (Fi). While as children this function may not develop or show itself very often, as INTJs reach their 20’s and beyond they start to develop a stronger sense of individuality, a personal moral code, and empathy for others.
As introverted intuitives, INTJs are also skilled at seeing things from multiple perspectives and vantage points. According to Jungian analysts Gary and Margaret Hartzler, “The Seer (INJ) often sees ideas simultaneously from several perspectives. For example, if several people are involved in a discussion, the Seer in us is able to see the various points of view, virtually simultaneously.”
INTJs are actually quite adept at seeing things from the perspectives of individuals far different from themselves and, as a result, are much more empathetic than stereotypes would imply. INTJs may keep a lot of their feelings inside (after all, they value introverted feeling) but this doesn’t mean they don’t care. As INTJs get older and more mature you will see a strong sense of moral direction or individualistic values that influence their decisions. You may find them strongly empathetic and concerned with protecting underdogs or persecuted people or animals. Cold robots? Not if you read up on your cognitive functions!
INTJs Think in Symbols and Images
One of the defining traits of Introverted Intuition is a tendency to think in terms of symbolic imagery. According to typologist AJ Drenth, “They (INJs) think by way of images rather than words. Their intuitions often manifest in the form of symbols, images, dreams, or patterns. This is consistent with Jung’s characterization of the Ni type as a dreamer, artist, or seer.” This is often why INTJs will express themselves using a lot of metaphor and simile rather than concrete language. They blend rational, fact-based thinking with vivid imagery to make a powerful impression in their speech and writing.
“Anything described that is devoid of associated images or symbolism seems barren and without life. By recognizing the power of symbolism, the Seer is able to significantly restructure reality simply by choosing another perspective on the data.”
– Margaret and Gary Hartzler, Functions of Type: Activities for Developing the Eight Jungian Functions
“Why Don’t I Relate To This?”
The majority of people who get an INTJ result in an online test are actually ISTJs, ESTJs, or ISTPs. For this reason, when we really get into the deep theory of type and introverted intuition, a lot of people are scratching their heads and thinking “either this information is wrong or I’m not typed correctly.” So you have to ask yourself:
“When I take in information am I looking more at what’s tangible, concrete, verifiable and tried-and-true?”
“When I look at the world around me do I get strong impressions that relate to my past experience, memories, and facts I’ve accumulated in my life?”
This would mean you probably identify more with Si than Ni, and would, therefore, be an STJ.
OR, when you look at the world around you do you think of everything’s symbolic significance, deeper meaning, and relationship to the rest of the universe? Do you find yourself considering abstract ideas and possibilities that are unrelated to the object you’ve seen, yet may have been triggered in some way by that object? If so, then you have more of a leaning towards intuition and INTJ is more likely your accurate result.
All About INTJs
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