How to Have a Relationship With an INTJ

So the INTJ in your life doesn’t hate you after all. In fact, the two of you have moved up in your relationship. How do you proceed with the INTJ at this point?

1. Exercise your ABS (Always Be Straightforward).

Whether you’re meeting at an ice-cream social for the first time, offering constructive criticism, giving a compliment, or delivering bad news, one of the most important things you can do for any INTJ is to be straightforward. Don’t sugarcoat and don’t downplay. Put it in the most logical terms you can. Don’t flirt—they will just miss it.

Also, don’t be freaked out if the INTJ has a strong response—it means they’re human and that what you said has value. Do not put off any necessary communication, even if you are afraid of how they will respond. Get it over with. This is especially important when delivering criticism or bad news. However crappy it may make them feel, the INTJ would still prefer to be told rather than kept in the dark.

frosted-cookies

Bad for your teeth, bad for conversation

2. Know thyself.

Self-awareness is good for any relationship, but it can be especially helpful when communicating with “your” INTJ.

Let’s say that the INTJ did not do something you wanted them to. While this may seem callous on their part, it may be that the INTJ simply did not know it was important to you. Perhaps you yourself did not know how important it was until it didn’t happen. The better you know yourself, the better you can explain to the INTJ why something is important to you. INTJs are notoriously inept at meeting their partner’s emotional needs, but if you can explain and help it make sense to the INTJ (here’s where being straightforward is key), then they will go to great lengths to meet those needs.

3. Give them space.

This applies both to physical space, and to time. Don’t get overly friendly with an INTJ too quickly, or get into their face, or get too touchy, even if you mean no harm by it. Just like with anyone, don’t pressure them to get physical too soon in the relationship.

Give INTJs a lot of time, as well. As Introverts, they not only need solitude to recharge their batteries and empty their “people meters,” but also may need time to process their thoughts about the relationship and the interactions you have had. If you go on a date with an INTJ and don’t hear from them for a while, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are uninterested. They may be trying to figure out what they think and how they feel about you. It’s okay to reach out to them during this “processing” time and show your own interest, just keep things open-ended and light. If they respond positively, it’s safe to say they’re at least a little bit interested. No reply at all, and they are probably uninterested—if they haven’t already told you this directly.

4. No means no.

I’m not just talking about sex. I mean that INTJs don’t play hard-to-get. If they say no to a second date, it doesn’t mean “Try harder and maybe I’ll change my mind.” It doesn’t mean “Use a different approach.” It doesn’t mean “Maybe later.” It means “No—I don’t want to.” If the INTJ says “no” to an activity—be it sex, or skydiving, or a pool party, or going to see a certain movie—they mean it. Pressuring them to do something or go somewhere they’ve already refused will not get you your way—they will just dig in their heels.

Be aware, this is a little different from warming up to a person. An INTJ may become good friends/lovers with a person they initially disliked. But this happens when an INTJ gets used to a person and comes to understand their ways—not because that person targeted the INTJ and wore them down. Refer to #3 and you will have more success than if you just kept insisting.

5. Thicken your skin.

Yes, INTJs (especially younger INTJs or those with less relationship experience) must learn to be softer, gentler, and more diplomatic. An INTJ who is aware of this, who is committed to a relationship, and who is not a complete jerk will work on it. In the meantime, the INTJ’s partner should also learn to not take things too personally, to choose their battles, to let things roll off their backs. INTJs value truth above feelings, so toes will be stepped on occasionally. This is another area where straightforwardness is essential. If the INTJ insulted you, tell them. Explain the problem. But don’t assume that it was intentional, or intended with malice. An INTJ who must constantly explain themselves to an offended partner, and who feels like they must be on guard 24/7, could quickly tire of the relationship. If you know that the INTJ usually, genuinely tries their best in the relationship, cut them some slack on occasion.

6. Show appreciation

A committed INTJ will do what they know will work for the relationship, especially if it makes sense to them. And they need to know when they’re doing something right. Like everyone else, INTJs need encouragement and affirmation, so be sure to let the INTJ know that you appreciate something they’ve done. You can even show affection! Even if they don’t react as deeply as you’d expect—or even if they seem to brush it off—it may mean much more to them than they show.

7. Encourage, but don’t “fix.”

No one is perfect. Everyone has something they need to work on. But because they are a relatively rare type, and tend to lack “people skills,” people often see INTJs in particular as “fixer uppers.” Do not take this attitude. Encourage them to grow, to try new things, to work on their flaws, of course, but don’t treat the INTJ like a house in need of renovation, or a puppy who needs to be trained.

old_house_of_steve_kapcsos

We are not your personal project.

Now, these tips are generally meant to apply to dating/romantic situations, but with proper tailoring, they can also apply to families, friendships, and even business associates. Also, I am aware that not all of these apply to all INTJs. I am writing this from my personal perspective as one female INTJ. Your mileage may vary. These may also apply to non-INTJs. Again, YMMV. Just so you know, I did not write any of these as a response to recent events or interactions. If you are offended because you took it personally, that was never my intention.

4 thoughts on “How to Have a Relationship With an INTJ

  1. As a fellow INTJ, I totally relate to this. I’m constantly telling girls, “Be yourself.” I would say that “Encourage, but don’t “fix.” is the biggest one for me. I honestly hate it that people tell me that I need to fix myself. I am constantly fixing myself while others don’t. My parents are constantly saying to me that you need change, which has made me incredibly mad and hurt by them.

    You got another follower! Love your posts as a fellow INTJ and follower of Christ!

    If you want, I would love for you to follow along my blog. I discuss many things. whatiliketodobysteve.wordpress.com

    Steve

  2. I can relate most with 3 and 4. I’ve taken a short internet test twice and was INTJ the first time and INFJ the second time when I changed one answer I had been undecided about. As for the other things, I don’t need someone to be blunt, and I’m not blunt. I express things in a gentle manner if it might hurt someone’s feelings or upset them, or in response to them hurting my feelings or upsetting me. I will actually write it up in advance making sure it’s as kind and gentle as possible so as not to cause a stir. Sometimes I don’t bother, depending on what it is. I pick my battles,

  3. I just recently discovered your blog, and as a Christian INTJ female, I can really relate to your writing!

    In this article, #3 totally hits home with me. When my husband of almost 42 years proposed to me, my reaction was, “ARE YOU KIDDING?? You expect me to give you an answer to a life-altering question like that without careful consideration? I need to study this, and pray, and consider every angle before I answer you.”

    I kept the poor man waiting for TWO WEEKS while I prayed, and made lists of pros and cons and carefully considered various contingencies, before I finally answered yes…..

    He has said in the intervening years that he had gotten to know me well enough by then that he pretty much expected that kind of response (although he was sweating bullets for those two weeks!). And by the way, I was 17 and he was 23. No one could have possibly accused me of being a starry-eyed teenager swept off my feet by emotions. As an INTJ, I just don’t work that way! ;-)

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