Overview

INTJ in a Nutshell

INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. They have a talent for seeing possibilities for improvement, whether at work, at home, or in themselves.

Often intellectual, INTJs enjoy logical reasoning and complex problem-solving. They approach life by analyzing the theory behind what they see, and are typically focused inward, on their own thoughtful study of the world around them. INTJs are drawn to logical systems and are much less comfortable with the unpredictable nature of other people and their emotions. They are typically independent and selective about their relationships, preferring to associate with people who they find intellectually stimulating.

What Makes the INTJ Tick

INTJs are perceptive about systems and strategy, and often understand the world as a chess board to be navigated. They want to understand how systems work, and how events proceed: the INTJ often has a unique ability to foresee logical outcomes. They enjoy applying themselves to a project or idea in depth, and putting in concentrated effort to achieve their goals.

INTJs have a hunger for knowledge and strive to constantly increase their competence; they are often perfectionists with extremely high standards of performance for themselves and others. They tend to have a keen interest in self-improvement and are lifelong learners, always looking to add to their base of information and awareness.

Recognizing an INTJ

INTJs are typically reserved and serious, and seem to spend a lot of time thinking. They are curious about the world around them and often want to know the principle behind what they see. They thoroughly examine the information they receive, and if asked a question, will typically consider it at length before presenting a careful, complex answer. INTJs think critically and clearly, and often have an idea about how to do something more efficiently. They can be blunt in their presentation, and often communicate in terms of the larger strategy, leaving out the details.

Although INTJs aren’t usually warm or particularly gregarious, they tend to have a self-assured manner with people based on their own security in their intelligence. They relate their ideas with confidence, and once they have arrived at a conclusion they fully expect others to see the wisdom in their perceptions. They are typically perfectionists and appreciate an environment of intellectual challenge. They enjoy discussing interesting ideas, and may get themselves into trouble because of their take-no-prisoners attitude: if someone’s beliefs don’t make logical sense, the Mastermind typically has no qualms about pointing that out.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

INTJ in the Population

INTJ is the third rarest type in the population, and the rarest type among women (with ENTJ). INTJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 3% of men
  • 1% of women

Popular Hobbies

Popular hobbies for the INTJ include reading, cultural events, taking classes, appreciating art, computers and video games, and independent sports such as swimming, backpacking, or running marathons.

Famous INTJs

Famous INTJs include Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Greenspan, Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll, Cormac McCarthy, and Sir Isaac Newton.

For more information: Famous INTJs

Research on INTJ

Interesting facts about the INTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Discreet, Industrious, Logical, Deliberate, Self-Confident, and Methodical
  • Among types least likely to suffer heart disease and cardiac problems
  • Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • One of two types with highest college GPA
  • Among types with highest income
  • Personal values include Achievement
  • Of all types, least likely to state that they value Home/family, Financial security, Relationships & friendships, and Community service
  • Overrepresented among MBA students and female small business owners
  • Commonly found in scientific or technical fields, computer occupations, and legal professions

What the Experts Say

"INTJs are the most independent of all the sixteen types and take more or less conscious pride in that independence."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Difficulties are highly stimulating to INTJs, who love responding to a problem that requires a creative solution."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"Their capacity for intellectual and conceptual clarity gives INTJs both vision and the will to see it through to completion—leadership qualities that are prized in our society."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

At Work

INTJ at Work

At work, the INTJ excels at creating and implementing innovative solutions to analytical problems. They naturally see possibilities for improvement within complex systems and are organized and determined in implementing their ideas for change.

INTJs are comfortable with abstraction and theory but gain the most satisfaction from turning their ideas into reality. They often enjoy working independently or with a small team, taking measured, strategic steps to implement change.

INTJs enjoy working with logical systems that they can understand in depth. They enjoy the challenge of comprehending complex ideas, and want to understand how they can improve the way things work.

The ideal work environment for an INTJ is logical, efficient, structured, and analytical, with colleagues that are competent, intelligent, and productive. The ideal job for a Mastermind allows them to use their analytical skills to problem-solve in a challenging environment, and to take responsibility for implementing their ideas to create efficient, innovative systems.

Least Popular Careers for INTJs

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INTJ, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the Mastermind to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to INTJs who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INTJs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

INTJs as Leaders

In leadership positions, INTJs are strategic, analytical planners and problem solvers. They are good at making tough decisions and sorting out complex issues. Masterminds excel at managing projects that implement a vision of improved efficiency or innovation, and although they usually prefer not to have to manage other people, they will take over if no other leader steps up. As leaders, they are democratic and hands-off: they generally prefer to share the overall goal and let their reports determine exactly how to complete their work.

INTJs value competence and decisiveness, and may sometimes neglect to listen to differing opinions once their mind is made up. While they focus on creating logical and innovative solutions, they may sometimes leave out the details of their plans, leaving their teams to wonder exactly how things will be accomplished.

INTJs on a Team

INTJs are analytical team members who focus on strategy. They are often perceptive about systems and how to improve them. They are thoughtful and clear in their analysis, and good at defining team goals. They are capable of synthesizing ideas of some complexity, and often see clearly to a unifying plan of action. INTJs take a characteristically critical approach, and analyze ideas and proposals with a detached, objective logic. They want to be free to make improvements to existing systems, and do best on a team where change is favored.

INTJs are open to ideas, and will consider the perspectives of the team members with an even-handed approach. However, they are firm and clear in their logical analysis, and have little patience for nonsense. They are unlikely to offer support or assurance to teammates who they don’t perceive as useful contributors. They are persuasive in their reasoning and often get teammates on board based on the clarity of their ideas. However, they may have friction with team members who have a focus on relationships; the Mastermind seeks a free exchange of ideas, not a personal connection.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

Relationships

INTJ Communication Style

INTJs are direct and detached in their communication. They often naturally see how something could be done better and usually communicate their criticism in a straightforward, logical manner. They are typically independent and calm; they are not so much concerned about being liked or appreciated as they are with being competent and thoughtful. Their communications are typically well thought-out, insightful, and strategic. They often plan well into the future and offer big-picture analysis for improving systems.

INTJs as Partners

In relationships, the INTJ is loyal but independent. INTJs can be almost scientific in choosing a mate and make devoted partners once they have found a match that fits their rigorous list of requirements. They often have clear ideas about what makes for a solid relationship and are unwavering in their pursuit of this ideal.

INTJs often have a passion for self-improvement and are encouraging of their partners' goals and intellectual pursuits. However, they do not usually see the need for frivolous affection or romance, feeling that their devotion should be evident. They are more focused on serving their partners with hard work and resourceful problem-solving than they are on showering them with attention.

INTJs' partners often find them difficult to read, and indeed they do not show emotion easily; they find the process of discussing emotions much too messy and disorganized. They enjoy solving difficult problems, but are often out of their depth when it comes to illogical, unpredictable personal issues.

INTJs value a partner that allows them the independence to achieve their goals, and one who appreciates their efficacy, insight, and ability to offer creative solutions to problems.

INTJs as Parents

As parents, INTJs are devoted and supportive. They set firm limits and provide consistent reinforcement, but within that structure allow a lot of latitude for their children to explore their own interests and potential. They are encouraging of their childrens' intellectual pursuits and enthusiastic about sharing knowledge.

INTJs enjoy the process of developing a young mind, and get a lot of satisfaction from parenting. They want to develop productive, competent, and self-sufficient children who think for themselves.

For more information: Please Understand Me II

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Comments

So, these tests say I'm an INTJ. I majored in mechanical engineering in school, but I didn't finish. I've worked in many of the fields that the polls show that I would hate. I really don't care how anything looks, as long as it's perfect! Lol. The INTJ profile does fit me, everyone around me in my tax bracket says that I'm related to Mr. Spock from Star Trek somehow. I've never really fit in anywhere. I hate my life. I've tried and tried to find the equations to why people are so, for lack of a better word, "illogical". Even those that I dearly love have grown to dislike me because I try to decipher their actions into something that I can understand. I'm at a point where I can't function anymore because I do have feelings. Being this INTJ personality may be great for planning a 10 mile tunnel or city wide geodesic system but how do you deal with kids doing drugs that destroy their minds, a spouse that would demolish years of planning and love for a fling? It gets worse for an INTJ. I wish I'd found an accelerator tunnel to hide away in when I was young.

wow, that describes me perfectly. HELL YEAH INTJSSSSSS

So many interesting stories. (Tim, my heart goes out to you brother.) I have no words for you other than, there is always hope. And, HOPE IS A DECISION. ALL OF THE CONSTITUENTS OF YOUR LIFE COME FROM DECISIONS. You can do whatever you decide to do. If you decide to fail and remain trapped that is partly because you have decided to accept that reality. If you spend the rest of your life in regret and without faith, that is also a decision. Tim, In this world people have accomplished far greater things than what you wish to accomplish with your life at your age. Realistically speaking, you will have difficulties and challenges on your journey. However, it is also true is that WE ALL HAVE CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES THAT SUCK.... We have all made costly mistakes. Many of us have personal goals that seem impossible to accomplish. The bright-side is that nothing is impossible. I am INTJ(supposedly)and the research says, I am least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power. Yet, personally I believe in Yahweh G-d, Yeshua(Jesus)The Messiah, and The Holy Spirit. My personalized advice for you is to put your faith in Jesus Christ. Experientially speaking, he specialized in accomplishing those things that seem impossible. (Let the critiques commence) That is the truth absolutely experienced in my life. (Comming from a person you can only guess what horrors they have survived and by grace have been given utter victory over.) Yarden Gavrel (future MD)

its is very true for me. but i'm not theoretical.

The results exactly matches me but i'm not theoretical.

Like most INTJs, I was shocked to learn that we’re thought to be Athiests. We’re not atheist because the unspoken truth about an atheist is that it’s one who claims to know everything, and INTJs are anything but THAT!

But I also admit that though many INTJs here and abroad are not Atheists as the description suggest I certainly understand why it would say such a thin about us. There is a quiet calm within us about the existence of a Master Mind that essentially doesn’t care one way or the other. We’ve thought about virtually all possibilities and just look forward to dying to find out what’s next.

Being a master mind ourselves, we find it extremely hard to deny the existence of a supreme mastermind. It's like we recognize the work of a master mind when we see it....and as one poster commented, some of us choose to use our ultra-advanced reasoning skills to help justify that there is a Great Master Mind.

I also agree with the poster who said “It's one of the great mysteries of life, which unfortunately for us folks (INTJs) who want logical answers, is not possible to be solved until death.” That would explain why for all intents and purposes I’ve practically spent every waking moment of my life looking forward to death. However, I also admit that a part of me thinks that the peace (logical answers) I seek may not be as forthcoming in death as I hope; but I hope for it nonetheless.

I believe in something greater, more or less; but I’ve spent most of my days not really liking it, and or wanting to have never existed/been born/been a part of the experiment….pick one. I often feel and even sometimes say “I just want to do my time [as peaceably as possible] and get out of here”. No children, or none of that (no use in trying to set up shop here if it’s ending…and if all I want is out.) I’ve always had a disdain for life in this world. It’s as if I came out the womb wanting to return/die. I’m not suicidal, but I’m glad I’m going to die at some point…..and essentially nothing else is more appealing/interesting to me.

I am an 18-year-old female INTJ and this page pretty much describes the way I am. People often tell me I’m too reserved, cold/frigid, that I can be too objective and brutally honest in my remarks towards people closest to me, and that I over-think everything.
However, I don’t agree with the part on INTJs not being likely to follow a faith. I actually can’t understand how anyone would argue that there isn’t something other than what we experience as our reality (as in argue that there isn’t some form of external force). I don’t think there’s a God who controls everything but I do believe that supernatural phenomenon occur sometimes and that we all have something similar to a soul. This doesn’t take away from the fact that I am extremely logical and analytical.
I’m wondering if other people, especially other INTJs, experience frustration at our lack of knowledge as human beings. Don’t you feel an unquenchable thirst to know and understand things that our minds are incapable of conceiving?
Also, why aren’t other personality types obsessed with getting to know themselves and others deeply the way we, INTJs, are?
And finally, do you also a feel a huge social responsibility? Or guilt? For not appreciating what we have, especially given the unfairness of the world? For some reason it horrifies me how careless we are about what we’re in the world for. I mean, how can anyone be so selfish to think that our sole purpose in life is to reach our own goals and self-fulfillment, following everyone else like sheep? Like we’re all in Plato’s cave and no one even cares. Maybe I’m just a bit crazy, or because of my age I haven’t yet realized how much ignorance is bliss…Let me know what you think.

Spot on with 99% of the features (insanely odd). I do believe in God after denying for so long. As a scientist I believe one has to fully immerse themselves to find truth. How could everything exist by chance (stars suns planet space trees etc). Nothing on earth exists by chance (a car was designed) so why is chance even considered when discussing the far more complex universe. Beautiful shapes and sizes as if someone thought about it prior as one would in designing and building a car. God is not of this world so I can see how science cannot prove God.

So the universe began as an empty space or nothingness then all of a sudden boom. I don't know. Perhaps the truth of God is too obvious. Science has yet to disprove God's existence tbh hence atheism is an oxymoron. God I believe has proved himself by His works & creations.

I am a INTJ female my self. Which makes me feel even more weird. Before knows that I am this kind of personality type, I often thinked something happened to me, ´cause everyone get this opinion about me, often get judment about my way to think or act. But, at same time, even with all criticals comments, I dont have any bad reaction to those, just because I considerate my self more cleaver than them, and that happens more often I like to admit. But, this description as INTJ is just the 95% in my case. I have a stronger believe in God and His plans for my life. And He makes me (if I can says so) as INTJ with some reason. Thats is why this type is so unique and uncommon. I always questionated WHY we believe in Superior Forces, and at my 5 y.o. I just looked up the night landscape of the starty sky over me,and my thought was: Amazing Universe over me...Must to be God!
And I cant fond my great passion as INTJ description´s career: WRITERs! I just fund as Caroll Lewis as an INTJ him self. In my case, there no something more important than words. And almost all careers listed here wasnt attractive to me: Except Arquitecture (I wanted be one at my 9.y.o)and Computers Engeniers (I am right now one)So, maybe I am an more uncommon and weird INTJ. My mind is very complex, and as some says said here, I have a really bad sleep habit; just can sleep no more than 3-4 hrs per night, usually is just 2 hrs. Because my ideas and resolutions come often. But, I never being a depressive type, I considerate my self as the most happy person in the world, even all the madness around me. As I always says: I saw the rainbow and not the grays clouds... So, I think being an INTJ is a bless for me. I love be me.

I am an INTJ. The only thing what i can't relate to in this description is the type of work. I like to work With my hands, and has been both a carpenter and a mechanic. But i'm from a country where the salerys are good in that kind og jobs too.

I can vouch for wanting complex and challenging ideas. In high school I actually got bad grades because I refused to do homework which wasn't challenging enough. I could ace every test so teachers often thought I was cheating (which I wasn't). needless to say I got average grades because of my refusal to do homework, now however I take all honors level courses in college so the challenge is there and I now thrive.

I have taken to answering the statement "So, tell me about yourself." with a simple "Google INTJ. You will find a scary accurate description of me."

Watch out guys: INTJs have the potential to be extremely non-empathetic. We make great supervillans. Be careful not to be arrogant, or to look down upon people with "inferior" intelligence.

it was very entertaining and it caressed my ego a little. and i would like to learn more. but there are various things that i dont think suit me. so i dont think im this personality type. i guess it was just a coincidence. my bf filled it out for me. '^^ we have been dating 10 months but i dont think he know me that well yet. but now i dont think i can fill out the test again. to check what i am. cause how he answered it. i cant refute him. i have those ugly flaws. but im working on them. caus ei dont wanna be like that. but idk. its nice to have something flatter you for a bit. i guess.

This is extremely accurate.

@Tim
Don't sweat too much on how college or university. The only cure to depression is to find something you love and felt responsible to take care of like take some time out help elderly people in old folks home that will open your eyes how to be thankful for what you have. I have been stuck in house with my grandmother yet it's not that bad some day you will understand how helpful it will be when your parents age. It's great to be a caregiver.

I found this website to be very helpful in understanding who I am as a person. I have always known that I was different and to see my personality type laid out in such a way was incredibly insightful. This helped me to understand myself better and to become more self assured.

I've taken this quiz three times over the past two years, and each time I've gotten something different. Now, I'm generally skeptical of quizzes that "define" who you are (mostly because it generalizes it's answers to fit almost everyone.) but their descriptions on here are pretty accurate. Although , my other two scores also seem to fit me just as well. INTJ, INTP, INFJ. Which is funny because some INTP'S turn into INFJ's later in life.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while these sort of tests will give you a general, if not more refined, picture of who you are they do not (most likely) define you to a t. You can take bits and pieces of the profiles you've gotten, but in the end we as humans are so complex that labeling us seems pointless. Almost contrary to that though, some people like to be categorized because it gives them a sense of belonging and it makes them feel as though they now know themselves better. Which I'm not disagreeing with.

One of the things that they got spot on about me is that I'm not very good at voicing my thoughts because I think everyone thinks like me. Different from what the INTJ profile states, I will surround myself with people I don't think are "smarter" than me. But, that may be because I have a slight superiority complex.

Wow, reading back on this, my wording is all over the place and it doesn't give the feeling of cohesiveness. I've Gotta work on that.

Reading this profile sure brought back memories, sadly I live in a area filled mostly with people that avoid intellectual conversation and without any line of work that fits "the Mastermind". It's a sad existence really, to have to force oneself to move away from one's roots to conform to a smaller society in the name of survival.

I wish that there would be far more INTJ's out there than the mere 2% this site claims it to be. It's quite easy to compare to Mensa in that way, only taking in the people with an IQ of the top 2 percentile.
(On a unrelated note, it would be interesting to get a proper statistic on how these groups are divided among the recipients of Mensa certificates)

Truly, living with and searching for intelligence is a struggle.
In fact, just searching for people with an interest in expanding their minds is a trial of it's own...
But this comment section does bring me joy, the simple interaction of people sharing their woes on living as INTJ without the inclusion of race or gender discrimination, as those values are irrelevant here.

Never have I felt more like I belonged after reading this, I thought I was just a loner. That I couldn't connect with people because I was being picky or just sallow. After hitting a rough patch for a while, I read this & realize I have all the makings of greatness, as well as al the tools, I just have to put them to use. I can't wait to read these books & become more in touch with myself & the world around me.

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