Have you ever wondered what your INTJ personality type can tell you about your relationships?
I usually advise people not to rely on Myers-Briggs® types as a guide for relationships, whether they’re romantic or friendly. The simple truth is that two people of any personality type can make a relationship work if they’re willing to put in the effort. A mutual willingness to understand each other and work on becoming a healthy version of your own type is a much better predictor of a good relationship than what your personality types are.
One thing that Myers-Briggs® theory is good for in relationships is to help you better understand yourself and the person you’re with (and for them to understand you). In that sense, it’s similar to another tool called The Five Love Languages. The theory of love languages was first published by Gary Chapman, a relationship counselor and pastor. He says every person has one or more favorite “languages” that they use to communicate and receive love.
Much like learning about personality types can help you understand yourself and others better, learning about yours and other’s love languages helps you understand each other and improve communication. Love language preferences are often talked about in romantic relationships, but they also affect other relationships like friendships and parent-child relationships. Speaking the love languages of people you care about in ways appropriate to your type of relationship is a key strategy for strengthening your connection and building trust.
Connecting Type and Love Language
It’s not all that surprising that your Myers-Briggs® type would influence which love language you prefer. Your INTJ personality type describes how your mind works, and your love language is partly a result of that. That doesn’t mean every INTJ likes to give and receive love in the exact same ways, however.
Even people who share a personality have different backgrounds and preferences that make them unique individuals. Two INTJs can have completely different love language preferences. That being said, there are some trends we can talk about. We can also look at how being an INTJ influences the ways you use each of the five different love languages.
Our personality type’s preferred function for interacting with the outer world also influences how we love. That’s something Personality Hacker points out in their article “How Does Each Personality Type Ask, ‘Do You Love Me?’” I highly recommend reading it if this topic interests you.
INTJs use Extroverted Thinking to interact with the outer world. They naturally say “I love you” by giving their loved one unwavering loyalty, learning about them, taking pride in their accomplishments, protecting them, and deliberately choosing them. INTJs tend to want others to show them love by providing them with loyalty, supporting their goals, being able to reliably handle things, and making the INTJ’s life easier.
INTJs’ Two Favorite Love Languages
There are five different love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch. From what I’ve seen online and the INTJs I’ve talked with, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch are the languages most often talked about as being their favorites. My INTJ sister, for example, places an enormously high value on Quality Time.
These assumptions are also supported by a survey conducted by Heidi Priebe. According to Priebe’s survey, 38.39% of INTJs list “Quality Time” as their preferred love language. This is followed by Acts of Service (23.22%), Physical Touch (17.65%), Words of Affirmation (14.86%), and Gifts (5.88%).
Quality Time is enormously important to many INTJs. They tend to be people who are deeply loyal and who place a high value on deep, meaningful conversations. As introverts, INTJs also have a limited amount of social energy. If they choose to spend time with someone, you can bet that means they care deeply about them. Reciprocating that love language by spending quality time with an INTJ and taking the time to really listen to, understand, and be there for them is incredibly meaningful.
INTJs are often more focused on actions than on words. Most are not naturally the sort of people to provide constant verbal reassurance of their love and affection. They chose you, and that’s all there is to it. For many INTJs, Acts of Service is a comfortable way for them to prove that they’re attentive to your needs and capable of supporting you. And for INTJs with Acts of Service as their favorite love language, they’ll also place a high value on receiving that sort of attentive support from their loved ones.
INTJs and The Other Love Languages
Seeing Physical Touch ranked highly by this personality type might come as a surprise to those who think INTJs aren’t a “touchy-feely” type. However, much like Acts of Service, Physical Touch is a way for INTJs to show and receive love without needing to use words. Many INTJs are wary of touch, particularly from people they don’t know well, and you probably won’t find them casually reaching out to people. However, with those they care about, many INTJs find that touch is a particularly meaningful way to express love.
For some INTJs, Words of Affirmation are the most meaningful way to show and receive love. They just can’t be empty words (INTJs are quick to detect lies, manipulation, and bullshit). Specific, meaningful words that show you took the time to understand the INTJ, recognize who they are, and value what they’ve accomplished are the sort of things that really matter.
I wasn’t surprised to see Gifts ranked last for INTJs. For many INTJs, gifts are viewed as an obligation to give something in return, or as a suspicious attempt to manipulate the INTJ. However, when we’re talking about Gifts as a love language it’s not referring to random Gifts from strangers and acquaintances or empty gifts that show up on specific times of the year. It’s about meaningful tokens of affection from someone you love that show they were thinking about you. For INTJs with Gifts as their favorite love language, giving and receiving meaningful gifts (especially on days when you’re not socially obligated to give a gift) can be a wonderful way of expressing affection.
If you’re an INTJ, I’d love to hear which of the love languages you identify with most. If you’ve never taken a love languages test, you can click here for the official quiz. It’s free on Gary Chapman’s website. You can also get Susan Storm’s eBook about the INTJ personality type: The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist
About the Author:
Marissa Baker is the author of The INFJ Handbook (available in the Amazon Kindle Store). You can find her online at LikeAnAnchor.com where she blogs about personal growth and development from a Christian perspective.