132 thoughts on “How Not To Be Hated By An INTJ

  1. As a female INTJ, I have noticed that once I put someone on the list of “phony people”, I would just somehow lose the genuine respect I had for that person.

      • I found this a few days ago, which I felt accurately portrayed an INTJ (like myself)’s response to someone asking for forgiveness after they have lost your respect:

        Apology accepted.
        Trust denied.

  2. Great article, Em (and, as a fellow INTJ, you know that I am not just “saying” that)! ;) Seriously, you made some great points here, and you very successfully, yet succinctly, summed up things I have learned over the years, but have not been able to express in words to others. I may send this to some family members and friends… LOL! :)

  3. Reblogged this on Anne Squared and commented:
    For the INTJ curious, here is an excellent post and writer on the subject. I especially like points 2-7! (With the folks mentioned in point #1, I get a glazed look in my eyes and nod occasionally, my mind working on other issues – might as well be productive since the person speaking is not.)

    Kudos to Em for an excellent article on INTJ’s.

      • :) I had a boss once that had the support staff section read “Who moved my cheese?” and I couldn’t understand why everyone was identifying with just one mouse, because I felt like I had been each of them, at one point or another – – ENFPs – the consummate actors on the stage of life – – – LOL

  4. Also, just out of curiousity (not because he is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time or anything, and it is kind of a problem… Nope, not at all…) how would you type Loki? I have often seen people type him as an INTJ or an INFJ, but everyone seems to type him a bit differently.

    • Well, since Loki is also definitely not one of my favorite fictional characters ever either, and I definitely do not have a problem bordering on obsession, that means I have not given much thought to him and his Myers-Briggs type at all. Buuuuuut if I were the kind of crazy fangirl who *did* give such thought to things like that, I might type him as an INFP. And since this is Loki, that means a very damaged, twisted, and selfish INFP.

      He tends to make decisions based on emotions, and remembers things through that lens Example: when he and Thor are arguing in their first scene together in “Avengers,” Loki claims to remember always living in Thor’s shadow (probably true) and that Thor tossed him into the abyss (definitely NOT true). His plot-making indicates more N than S, and his causing chaos and mischief is more P than J.

      One site says of INFPs that “Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life…How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves.” I think it makes sense that Loki would be an INFP whose idealism got twisted and turned inward, so that he is still driven and searching for meaning, but in a completely self-serving way. The same site says that INFPs may have “control” problems.

      Hilariously, I was Googling for more info on INFPs, and I found a site that actually says that physically they tend to be “more linear and lanky.” I REST MY CASE.

      But, like I said, I haven’t given this much thought at all. ;-)

      • Wandered over here by way of Rob’s Surf Report and annesquared.

        One site says of INFPs that “Their primary goal is to find out their meaning in life…How can they best serve humanity in their lives? They are idealists and perfectionists, who drive themselves hard in their quest for achieving the goals they have identified for themselves.”

        I am an INFP. I would say this statement is true of me.

      • Interesting. That definitely sounds like Loki.

        But right… I totally don’t have a borderline obsession with him, either. Psh. Why would I? Of course I don’t…

  5. As an INFP, I sometimes describe my interactions with INTJs as a more empathetic Dr. McCoy trying to reach an emotionally distant Spock. On good days, I feel a strong affinity– it’s fun to be able to talk shop. On bad days (especially when chronic pain is bad), I get frustrated and think of bad engineer stereotypes.

  6. I am an INTJ and I love your post! :) It may even help me in a certain interpersonal conflict I’m having online (where I might link to it). Thanks!

  7. Fellow INTJ in a agreement here. These exact guidelines are what Ive been telling my 2 closest friends for years, and because they’ve usually followed them they’re the closest Ive ever had.

  8. This has to be the most accurate and satisfying description of me I have read so far (and as an INTJ I have of course spent hours on this subject). A big thank you for making my Friday night even better!

  9. Such a fun article.. And yet so true..:) I am an ENFP and I have a lot of INTJs in my life.. And I laughed at every point since I could relate to people in my life.. The don’t bore an INTJ is truly the best. I had my best friend -an INTJ,tell me that the reason he was still friends with me was because I had never been boring yet.. Hahaha.. I thought he was joking then..:)

  10. Nicely written. As I am aging I found something annoying that happens as an INTJ. You know how we like to store information about things in a meaningful hierarchy? IE if you think on a topic then your brain can dredge up an amazing depth of related information. Well I found the other day someone challenged my opinion and was NOT able to pull up all the salient facts straight away! I did have the intuitive connections and the memory of the ‘rightness’ of my opinion but could not remember the facts from which I had synthesized the opinion. How awful! It was so bad I had to go and research the topic again just to recreate the idea from scratch to make sure I was right in ‘feeling’ right!.

    Another thing I noticed, as I am doing a Masters degree, is that if I disagree with a lecturer or an article or theory, I do not store it well to memory. This means at exam time I will not get questions right that are in fields I disagree with. For instance there was a theory about who should have what roles in a Business Intelligence solution. I thought the writer was completely wrong and that their ideas would never work in the real world. There were several questions on it in the exam and I could not for the life of me remember the theory I had rejected! This means I will probably get a Distinction instead of a high distinction for that class.

    Is this the same for other INTJ’s I wonder?

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I can’t immediately recall if I’ve experienced the first thing, but I definitely have done the second: I tend to dismiss information I consider useless, wrong, etc., only to find myself at a disadvantage later when I can’t bring it back to mind.

    • I can confirm the first issue. Most often it’s with word definitions, where I check to make sure I’m getting the connotations correct.

  11. Hello, my name is Jen and I’m an ESFP….I got here by way of my husband who is an INTJ. I loved the article as it gave me some great insights into his brain. Imagine, if you can, our evening conversations. Him: so, anything interesting happen in your day? Me: well…I saw Jill and her hair is red now. Greg stopped by my office and we talked about… Him: eyes glazed over, he’s gone interior!

    This article made us both laugh at how HUGELY different we are in so many ways. Glad the glue that minister used at our wedding was so strong!

  12. Hi Em,

    I’m also an INTJ, and I’m always looking for this sort of information just to arm myself with the right words to help others understand me. I like the way I am, so I’m not up for changing, but I’m aware that others find it kind of difficult to deal with my personality (my love life is proof of that statement). I think this post is quite beautiful. I stumbled upon it on Pinterest, and I’m repinning it!

  13. Thank you for a brilliant post, Em!

    I wonder if you could do a similar list of other Myers-Briggs types? And if not that large.scale, then it could be like a survival kit for INTJ`s, how to deal with other types.

    The reason why I´m suggesting this is, beacause my huspand tends to leave open these INTJ-posts for me to read – so that I can treat him right. But he lacks the enthusiasm learning how to treat me right. And I guess as a F type I can´t explain it to him rationally enough.

    Perhaps as an INTJ, you´d do a better job with it .. Many times it seems to me you INTJ´s know us, the other types, better than we ourselves do;)

    Thanks anyways, even if you lack the enthusiasm as well:)

    • I can understand why that would be useful, but I don’t have the knowledge or experience to write much about other types. Maybe in the future, when I’ve learned more, but many of them (especially S-types) absolutely baffle me. I think my trying to speak for them would only make things worse!

  14. It was probably spread from whichever facebook group to the subreddit reddit.com/r/INTJ, because that’s where I found it.

    • Yeah, I figured that much because the guy who posted it on Reddit said that he found it on a FB group. I was just wondering which group.

  15. I love your writing. There are so many quotable passages in this post. I want to share it with friends and family but all the random pictures make it look so juvenile that I know they wouldn’t give it serious consideration.

    At first glance it looks exactly like all those Buzzfeed-esque “how to take care of your weirdo introvert” lists: aloof cats, cartoons and movie villains (don’t we get enough of that “evil mastermind” stereotype?).

    Ditch the pics. You don’t need that nonsense.

    Let your writing stand as the brilliant, thoughtful essay that it is.

    • I appreciate the compliments, and I do see your point (I’m not a fan of Buzzfeed myself), but I have fun with the pictures. I’m not writing a PhD thesis here–I’m looking to entertain as much as enlighten.

      If the writing is as brilliant and thoughtful as you say, that will shine through the “juvenile” pictures–it obviously did for you.

      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I love movie villains, so I have chosen to embrace and have fun with the “evil mastermind” stereotype (and some other INTJ/introvert stereotypes). Sorry to disappoint you, but the pictures are staying.

      • Very well. I can respect that. I’ll just have to settle for dropping your quotables into my Facebook newsfeed, minus the link.

        “Saying ‘You can do it! I believe in you!’ to an INTJ who already knows they can’t is basically like telling them you have faith that they can make an omelet without any eggs.” — Emily Jacobs

        Love it!

  16. Thank you for this. I am ENFP trying to raise my INTJ daughter. Things have happened through my divorce and my daughter really doesn’t like me. I had to make some hard decisions and she blames me, which is okay my love does not waver of course. What truly scares me is that she has written me off completely and with her personality the way it is, I’m not sure if I can ever get her to turn that corner. All I will always continue to do is love her with all my heart and try these suggestions. Please please keep sharing your insights. From what I understand both my personality and hers are in the 1-3% of all people. I need a lot of help. I want to do my best and raise her well. Since we clash so much it is so difficult but I love her so much I will always try to understand And relate the best I can. What is hard is remembering the ways I try to connect just don’t connect with her at all. Tying to cater to that has been a real challenge. Please keep writing these articles for extreme extroverts like myself!

    • Thank you, Jennifer, this comment means a lot. I hope things between you and your daughter get better, and I’m glad to write something that may be some kind of help.

    • Hello again. I have to ask you for an intj how much “alone time” does One with this personality need? What is considered normal and what is considered abnormal? Or is any of it considered abnormal. Thanks!!!

      • Hi Jennifer, I look forward to reading EM’s answer to your question. I’d like to throw my own two cents in as another full-fledged ITNJ. I think some activities are more draining than others depending on how much processing power is being used, just like how some apps drain our phones faster than others. Mingling with a large group of strangers will drain me completely within the hour, but time spent on calm quiet activities with one or two close friends or family feels neutral to me not draining.
        To generalize; I have read, and tend to agree, that for every hour spent in an active social environment the introvert may want 2 hours to recharge. It also helps a lot to have advance notice of social expectations and time to rest prior. It also nice to have an escape plan in case of overload!
        Personally I like to keep my social battery fully charged just in case, so that I can be ready to join spur of the moment social activities on the fly. I can almost never have too much alone time.
        Two of my children are 100% extroverted, I’m sure they feel that I’m as abnormal as I feel they are! It helps a lot to understand part of what makes them tick!

        • That’s much more thoughtful and detailed than what I was going to say. I’ve never tried to quantify my need for alone time, partly because “alone” is my default setting anyway. I was just going to say that every person who identifies as an INTJ is a unique individual with different needs, and there’s no hard-and-fast rule.

  17. Honestly, I only recently found out I was an INTJ and I’m just glad that there are other people as odd as me. My brother actually showed this to me in the hopes of getting to know me better, so thanks muchly.

  18. Valuing myself and others as multi-faceted individuals enhances my experiences of life. To stereotype and categorize people into only 16 types devalues and ultimately shrinks their possibilities. These tests are meant to be predictors for future behaviour. As a means of divination, they are poor, which renders what you have written meaningless. To wit: It ain’t necessarily so.

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  20. Aia… though I lean a bit more towards INFJ, I am near the F/T border. Sometimes it almost seems like a no-man’s-land. As a result, I guess, much of what you say is very familiar. You express it well, too.
    #1 and its flip-side of “why don’t you ever tell me about your day?” is a constant problem for me. “It’s not important/I don’t care” doesn’t get a good response. Small-talk makes me wish I could duct-tape people’s mouths without consequences.

    #6 also hits hard, though the difference between “understanding” and “sharing” was what really struck me.

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  23. As a Christian, female INTJ, I am thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog. We are in quite the minority.

  24. why do people always tell you something they have told you before, or want to talk about how they made their own lunch today. or try to tell you how social convention is a good thing…

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  26. I have an INTJ friend and she just tears my beliefs and views to pieces, berates me, and makes me feel really stupid. I’m an extroverted sensitive person and I can’t deal with being treated like this. Since you are an INTJ yourself, is there any advice you could give me to deal with this? Thanks :)

    • I’m pretty sure your friend is just trying to give you the other side of the argument/playing devil’s advocate. Doing so, she probably hopes to get you to develop stronger logic to your ideas. I’m an INTJ, and though all my arguments are pretty solid, there was a time they weren’t and a friend did the same to me. She’s just trying to stimulate your brain.

    • Give your friend honest, straightforward feedback. It’s extremely helpful for everyone, but especially an INTJ to establish clear conversational guidelines. She probably doesn’t understand the effect her hole-poking has on you, but will appreciate being told, especially if you give it to her straight.

      Also, if your INTJ is actually debating you, that means she finds you to be very intelligent. It seems counter-intuitive, but an INTJ wouldn’t bother debating with you if she thought you were stupid. Possible alone time is far too satisfying to waste on dum-dums. Harsh but true (from an INTJ perspective)!

  27. All of these. Every, single, last one is spot on. I know someone who does all of these to me, and I strive not to be mad at him ALL the time. Even if someone transgresses a single one of these items, I find myself supremely annoyed…especially the sugarcoating. “Do you think I’m stupid? No amount of pretty words or beating around the bush will keep me from figuring out what your trying to say well before you get to it. Geez. If you’re trying to spare my feelings, you fail. Just don’t.” These are the words I want to say, but I don’t because it’s socially unacceptable to be so honest.

  28. My boyfriend is an INTJ and I’m an INFP. Weirdly enough…I only seem to get along with INTJ’s because…well I’m not sure why. But I like reading up on this and getting insight from other INTJ’s. Thanks.

    • I have to wonder if the IN parts just work well together, but I know that the sincerity, honesty, and directness of INTJ’s is very appealing. (I’m an INFP, too.) The weird/dark/sarcastic sense of humor, their introspective intelligence, and their true understanding of the introverted need for “alone time” is also a major plus. ;)

    • As an INTJ, I find that INFPs inspire very protective feelings in me. I see this with the other INTJs in my life too.

      We appreciate your special feeling talents because while you are sensitive, you don’t spray them all over the place. And then we want to protect you from the cold logical world so that you can do your feelings thing and explain it to us.

      The irony is that INFPs are extremely capable, and able to be extremely stubborn, so they are more than able to take care of themselves!

      • I am just basing this off fiction. Intj is entei and infp is molly from pokemon spell of the unknown?
        This description you gave reminded me of that movie and those two characters relationship were exactly like that. Molly being the sweet imaginative introverted girl and entei being the cold to others but protective of her father figure.

  29. Wonderful article! You definitely hit the nail on the head. I wish I could explain these things to my family:)

  30. Just saw this! I’m just on the border INFJ/INTJ but I prefer to date INTJ’s. Of course finding one is almost impossible, since we’re both miniscule in numbers and basically hermits. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written. Only I’m totally kicking myself for not realizing Thornton was an INTJ, duh he’s basically the poster child, (well next to uber-INTJ House).

  31. At my first job, my 3rd manager was a bit of an idiot and a jerk. I could deal with that. But then came the day when he insisted that I should stop being a Unix shellscripter programmer and become a database administrator because _he_ needed a DBA. (No).

    I was sitting in his office, explaining that I would be a very poor DBA. He said, quote, “But Vicki, you’re so good at what you do, why can’t you be good at this?”. I replied “I can Guarantee you that I would be a poor DBA because I don;t Want to be a DBA.”

    Things went downhill from there.

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  33. This article is spot on, Everyone should learn how to deal with INTJ’s.
    The world would be a better place if there were more of us rare Gems
    And #8 should be
    8. Don’t be a Moron. :)

  34. I’m an INFP, married to an INTJ (I know, right? It works, though… most of the time ♡), whom I’ve been with for over a decade. If I’d known about MBTI types at the beginning of our relationship, it would have spared me a ton of guesswork and frustration, trying to figure him out. I loved this post- I seriously giggled throughout this entire thing because of how resonatingly accurate it is. The only thing I could think to add (that could make an INTJ hate you) is punctuality- it may not be a huge thing for all INTJs but it seems to hold true for most I’ve read about as a major pet peeve (DEFINITELY for my husband), for reasons of inefficiency, wasting others’ time, and lack of consideration for the inconvenience and annoyance caused to others, as if their time is somehow worth less than yours, etc. I’m chronically late for everything (despite my best efforts not to be), so you can correctly assume I’ve heard that beyond-frustrated lecture before… a few times… a month… our entire relationship.

    • Yes! I didn’t list it because I wasn’t sure if it was an INTJ thing or a “just me” thing (or a more general “J” thing). But I hate both being late and when other people are late, and for all the reasons you mentioned!

    • I’m an INTJ and punctuality is not a huge issue for me. I think a lot of it depends on the cultural context. Showing up on time to a party is just rude ;)

  35. This made me laugh for about 2.84 minutes, after which it was promptly shared with more than a few people… and posted at my desk. Thank you, fellow INTJ, for making my world a better (and safer) place. Also, AMEN to that punctuality comment. Because in that two minutes alone waiting for you, the INTJ has probably solved thirty-seven problems, thought of twenty-six more, and all-together moved on with their life. Time is of the essence. Can I get a witness?

  36. So, I am an ENFP. I find INTJ’s bottomless, inspirational, intriguing, and an adventure waiting for me to embark on. Like a puzzle but with even more pieces and a different picture then what was on the box when you bought it. –Can anyone describe to me why I find someone almost completely opposite of me so, appealing?

    • As an ENFP, I don’t see INTJs as opposites — but as our complements. INTJs are intuitive, which is essential for any highly intuitive person. They extravert thinking, just as an ENFP, and they introvert feeling, also just like us (but to differing degrees). Perhaps it takes more mature types who have developed their 3rd functions (extraverted thinking for ENFPs and introverted feeling for INTJs) so it’s easier to communicate, but ENFP/INTJ is an ideal pairing. For more info on why ENFPs and INTJs are so compatible, go to the ENFP/INTJ facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/enfpandintj/

  37. hah! Awesome! My husband is an INTJ and I’m an INTP. So much cross-over from the outside, but waaaaaay different once you dive in! I loved this. It gave me some great insight. The “don’t be boring” point is gold.

  38. ” but you yourself are swimming in emotions because of your proximity to that problem, then your best bet is to ask an INTJ.” If I am swimming in emotions I wouldn’t want to be around an INTJ or any T person for that matter. I would need to calm myself down first and get my emotions in order and then I would go consult a T person. I don’t think you understand the F people very well, but that’s okay.
    However, I did find the article helpful because INTJs are very different people from myself. I do want to understand them. I hope INTJs also understand the importance of understanding others as well because it is a two way street here.

  39. This is just unbelievably accurate. As a fellow INTJ – and a woman to boot – I was laughing and crying in relief. And your writing style is just totally fabulously accurate.

  40. This INTJ female had a lot of laughs with early morning coffee while reading your site. Great site, and insights…thanks.

  41. Thanks for your insights. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s hypocritical, I think it’s caring and considerate (and thanks for giving me the right words). Still trying to wrap my mind around being an INTJ and finding all of this stuff right on the internet. Apparently I’m not from outer space after all.

  42. My sister is an INTJ, so I’ve learned much of this through trial and error over the years. Thank you for an accurate and amusing article :)

  43. Thank you! This sounds so much like me, and I believe INTJ’s are often misunderstood and can be mistreated because of it

  44. I love this, particularly the point about INTJs and other introverts not needing special care / treatment like some sort of pet. I too find this language to be pretty condescending, as well as a setup for perpetuating MBTI-based stereotypes, which we definitely don’t need any more of.

    I really appreciate how your post focused on what TO do (and why) rather than what not to do. As an INTJ I often feel that people are almost scared or wary of us, like we are going to light them up if they make one wrong step. In reality quite a lot of us are very mild mannered and simply haven’t found many people who we’re excited to interact with. The conversation / getting to know you tips you’ve provided here should really help those who aren’t really sure how to connect with us.

    Thanks for this!
    Charlene @ Selectively Social Sweetheart

  45. What the absolute hell…Can someone explain to me how “Never question us” and “We’re always right” and “Leave us alone” and “Recognize us” and “We’re derisive but hey! it’s just how we are” isn’t a dictator and/or narcissist god complex?????

  46. Intj always make me giggle. Or come across as cute to me from reading little comments they make. (Sadly have not met any in real :/)
    That picture of the alarm clock. I would personally be like “wth?” Cuz i would not remember saying i want 5 more minutes of my life back but in the end i would be like, “well hey it is 5 minutes of my life i get back. Yay me”.

  47. Enjoyed your article. Don’t know why I can’t resist reading comments because typically I get annoyed by a couple without fail. People trying to come off as overly intelligent or give advise on how you should create YOUR blog really should have their own. I will now have to go back and browse around. ;)

  48. Thank you so much for this article. I am forwarding this and your six more reasons to everyone I care about who just can’t understand me! It made me laugh out loud several times btw.

  49. Excellent article, thank you for emphasising we’re not some strange alien creature/plant…if I was then as a triffid we would have taken over :). Perhaps I should hand this out as a small card, it might stop one of two comments I have received throughout my life – ‘You must be really scary when you’re angry’. I haven’t lost my temper for sixteen years and you have just seen me mildly irked at your incompetence, lateness and/or shallow over exuberance. Handing them this would mean I would get an hour’s peace while they tried to digest the contents – thanks :)

  50. Hi Em! I love your article, as a fellow female INTJ, I think that it is spot on! There are so many pointless and false accusations and jokes against INTJ’s online (e.g. pinterest, google images) that don’t recognize who we really are. It is so nice to have at least one reference/site that verifies that we are not crazy or insane but intellectually savvy and valuable humans, and that we are not soulless, emotionless, and cold drones. Plus your pictures were hilarious!😃😊

  51. That thing about pretend interest just happened to me yesterday… I felt like I was being interrogated and the info wasn’t even important to the silly silly woman. I really need to work on my facial expressions in those situations.

  52. I’ve got to tell you how much I enjoyed your article. I’m a INFJ married to an INTJ for 35 years. He is one of the most hard working, creative, problem solving, frustrating, honest, sarcastic, and thoughtful people I know. Life with him has certainly been an adventure, I agree 99.89% with your article…. Im leaving the final % just to drive you crazy… For the fun of it
    😂

  53. I am an INTJ and found your list to be quite accurate for myself. I would also add that if you ask an INTJ for advice on a topic then do not be surprised and certainly not critical if she responds in several well thought out segments which may happen at any time in the next month. You might get your answer half an hour later or as one paragraph a day for a month depending on how interested the INTJ is in getting you a complete response. I was once asked to comment on the best meal to make someone for Valentine’s Day. I listed three or four specific recipes. My family was rather frustrated when an hour later I just referred back to that conversation and said after thinking about it I would make the love ones’ favorite meal.

  54. I recognise myself so much in this piece. For me it’s actually a control issue to know what I’m talking about. It’s incredibly frustrating not to know something I should be knowing.

    Having said that, I don’t ‘hate people’. Hate is an incredible energy hog and most people are not worthy of my expending that much energy on them. I’m busy with all sorts of stuff, hating people is overhead I have no time/energy for.

  55. With regards to point 6 about sincerity, I sometimes really do wish that some INTJs can appreciate other’s sincere and good intentions more despite the way other’s carry out their intentions which may seem like an act (being extra friendly, taking special care in asking and paying attention to the INTJ’s interest etc). Futhermore, yes we all strive for sincerity but note that sometimes our manners and the way we present ourselves matters a lot too because it is a mirror of our character and morals. So just because a person acts on social niceties despite feeling internally frustrated, upset etc with others arguably and paradoxically doesn’t make that particular person less sincere especially when then person strives to be genuinely and consistently concern about others. But interesting post overall!

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