3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About the INTJ

Weird: “Of Strange or extraordinary character: Odd, Fantastic”
– Merriam-Webster Dictionary

#INTJ secrets #INTJ struggles #MBTI

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!

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

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

Have any thoughts to share?

Let us know 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 That Terrify INTJs

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

10 Things You Should Never Say to an INTJ

10 Intuition Hacks for INTJs and INFJs

3 paradoxes of the #INTJ personality type! #MBTI

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  1. I was searching the web thinking I might want to study semiotics. Thought I should check my email and ended up here. Yes, I would affirm that as an INTJ I have a great interest in symbols. Spent 11 years studying my dreams in Jungian analysis. It was amazing. Like to paint, study math, mind, psychology, religion, science, medicine, etc. Now 64 yo, just finished a masters from a seminary in leadership. Still feels like there is something I am supposed to do, but it is going to be really different and on the edge.
    Curtis Climer, MD, MS, MA

    1. ESTJ: Willing to socialize with people whose values differ from theirs as long as they, typically loud and outgoing ESTJs, can boss the latter around.
      ISTJ: Likely to interact with people who are too different them if they believe that doing so is a family tradition they can’t let go of, yet keeping their grudges or resentment to themselves.
      INTJ: Will gladly do whatever they can to avoid socializing unnecessarily with anybody whose vibes are awful for them and won’t bother stalking the pages or YouTube channels of any user whose content conflict with their own values, and they have no regret in avoiding what they believe is insignificant and irrelevant to their life goals.

  2. At last!!! I don’t believe I have ever met another INTJ and out of curiosity have often tried to understand how other people’s minds work because there has always seemed to be some kind of disconnect stemming from how we, as individuals, were processing our thoughts, arriving at conclusions, etc.. This describes what goes on inside my head perfectly and even confirms a few of the speculations about the differences I’ve observed. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for this. As I’ve gotten older (I’m 42) I didn’t realize I could be an empath (which multiple people have told me I am) as well as an INTJ. Now I see that it does, in fact, fit. I can be strictly all-business, low-emotion in a crisis situation, for example, but I can’t watch a YouTube video of an animal that shows even a hint of abuse, no matter how wonderful its life is now. I am completely overtaken. Same with social justice issues.

    1. I relate to you, Angie, whole-heartedly with all that you said. I tell my husband often, whenever I see a commercial [albeit exploiting viewers’ sympathy] that I am more stricken with sadness over an abused, helpless animal than I am over a [poor, hungry] child with its mother. The explanation I give is that the animal seems, in some ways, so much more alone and helpless. Like you, I basically cannot watch those commercials at all. I, too, as an INTJ, wondered how this could be synonymous with my nature. This article touched on all the bases, inside of me, as I’m pretty sure you can agree for yourself. Nice to know of you, fellow INTJ! PS: Just my username is Linna.

  4. Thanks, Susan, for this article! As an INTJ, I whole-heartedly agree with what you said. My husband and I were discussing recently, and he happened to mention that I had weird ways, or something to that effect. Naturally, now having just come across your article, I had to let him read it, too. Interesting, and anytime I can help him get a little glimpse more into who I am (even after 45 years of marriage!!), I take advantage (!).

    1. Yeah, that’s obviously right. I am still wondering about how I get my hunches out of nowhere, and they are freakingly accurate. But I respect your understanding. Thanks for your article and your support.

  5. Oui, je suis d’accord. La majorité des gens se pensant INTJ sont en vérité SJ… Mais c’est pareil pour les INFJ aussi !

  6. I am an older INTJ who is sometimes mistaken for an INFJ, and I definitely think in terms of analogies, metaphors, and similes. Connections from widely divergent sources? Yes. Empathetic? Yes. Mysterious? Yes.

    A friend is ENFP. Whenever the two of us reach the same conclusion about someone or something, you can count on it being correct. Case in point: Several years ago, a member of a club we both belonged to made both of us recoil. Other than being a bit smug and arrogant, he presented himself well and was respected in the club. We couldn’t put our finger on what made us uneasy, but it was there, and we had as little to do with him as possible. Later, it emerged that he was a child molester.

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