30 Struggles All INTJs Can Understand

Updated on October 13, 2016
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Andrea loves to write about the zodiac, Myers Briggs, and texting. She is an expert on romance and relationships. She also has two cats.

The INTJ is one of the rarest personalities in all of the personality kingdom. We probably need more of them as they generally are one of the smartest and most intuitive.

They are the face of many villains. You can do a Google search on INTJ villains and a number of them will pop up from Draco Malfoy, Palpatine, Magneto, Mr. Burns, or Jake's Dad... from Adventure Time.

This personality type is a much-needed part of your reality. They can see things that maybe the rest of us don't quite have the jewels to see.

The INTP is free flowing in thought, and somewhat indecisive and might not have all their sheep in order. An INFJ will sacrifice logic for the abstract, is feeling oriented, and is humanity driven to the core. The INTJ is like the INTP, but sharp and focused. The INTJ isn't near as spontaneous as the INTP. The INTJ are like the INFJ, except their ethics can be different. They know when to hit the destruct button rather than make the sacrifices INFJ folk find so appealing (and also get wrecked over.) The INTP and INFJ are probably the most similar to the INTJ because these three are often considered the most intelligent in Myers Briggs.

INTPs top the IQ charts. They're a machine for intellect problem solving, but their emotional intelligence is weaker and often a thorn in the side. The INTJ usually scores right after them. The INTJ is super intelligent, but doesn't like to veer from the path as much as an INTP. In comparison, INTJs are not as spontaneous, they're not as grounded, but they do have a better handle on their emotions... sort of. Whether they wants to admit it or not, Fi isn't exactly their best friend either. They've most likely focused so much on developing Ni and Te that their Fi doesn't seem as practical to use, and is very deep in the back of their mind. INTJs can erupt with emotion that no one else in the room expected, but they felt the entire time. This is why INTJs make for great villains—the emotions are often held back, but when it peaks—if not fostered correctly—it can be very dark, angry, and depressing.

Thinkers / Rationals
Champions / Idealists
Caretakers / Artisans
Guardians / Strategy Masters
Intuitive Planners
Intuitive Daydreamers
Extroverted Strategians
Extroverted Performers

Struggles of the INTJ

  1. INTJs have an overwhelming need to be by themself. They would be happy on an island where they can think all day. And that island would be structured perfectly. Neatly. During all the hours of the day. And everyone goes to bed at a reasonable time.You can study all you want, not be bothered, and can finally focus on your favorite ideas. An INTJ could live on an island with all the other INTJ personalities and never interact with them... and most likely be very content. All problems seem solved, humanity is at status quo... all good, right?
  2. She has confusion as to why people can't see the most logical solution... immediately. Then she will have to communicate the logical prowess from her brain out her mouth. Which works, of course, but can be a bit blunt if not careful. INTJs talk with their logical brain, and complain in their head with their emotions.
  3. They have trouble being able to get into a relationship until they're older. These folk love to date other INTJs. Many may choose a hermit-independent life for years. Or they may get caught up in the dream of a person with more emotional reasoning as their primary or secondary function. You may get lost in the whirlwind of dating an ENFP, but an ENTP might be a better choice, actually I really think an ENTJ makes the most sense. That P quality can really egg an INTJ on.
  4. He will become obsessive about details whether a stream of facts or metaphors: like getting stuck on numbers, buttons, rows and columns, particular sounds, and repeating patterns. To the outside person, an INTJ being stuck on a pattern that he's discussing can sound like a car going out of order or stalling.
  5. They know how to be a protector of people... and also how to bite into a person's deepest fears, ego, and stupidities.
  6. They have a whole series of things that annoy them. They think well through the mind and have made lots of unique systems for themselves linguistically, mathematically, and scientifically. This may cause them to do humanitarian work out of guilt rather than love. Why is this an issue? They'll have a difficult time connecting with people and will be stuck connecting with the idea of people.
  7. Being a bit too systematic to the point where creativity is lost. Then they will force spontaneous creativity which may be hard to follow. Or glitchy.
  8. Sensory difficulties. They might not be in touch with their body, but think they are—and this may cause you pain, sudden falls to the floor, getting sick, or sudden impairment.
  9. Feeling a strong need to only be with the same kinds of people. But also... to live together on an island where no one has to talk to one another.
  10. Feeling left out in group settings, but unable to fully express why... They may want to be left out. They're not sure how to express your feelings because they're abstract and not necessarily understood by others. There's a genuine complex in having logic easily come out, emotions rush out, and getting people who are less equipped for thought on the same page, if there is a same page.
  11. Weird moments of performance ability that no one was expecting. Wait, a minute... you can be an actor? You do poetry? What is this painting? There's sides to you... that we were not expecting. Like when my friend suddenly decided to dress up like a mountain. Why?
  12. So strategy minded at times that others can be hurt. You don't mean to hurt others, just sometimes you gotta be curt.
  13. Feeling as though you could be king of your domain, but are too into solving problems for the greater good that you come off more like a chancellor or wizard-hermit. But you wouldn't mind having a wizard-hermit hat.
  14. You may struggle with crowd dynamics. They may be too busy and too unpredictable and also lead to unfavorable circumstances or conclusions.
  15. A love for ideas that can often be difficult to match. You could sit and think about things for an entire day. You could sit and recite speeches in the bathroom and no one would know it. People often miss out on the full, beautiful picture that you are.
  16. A massive amount of introspection, self-talk, and a dark side fueled by knowing too much evil. There's a reason several of the great blockbuster trilogies have villains of this personality type.
  17. I have never seen someone cook in a more strange way than an INTJ. I'm not sure how your brain is processing how foods come together, but dumping a lot of paprika is usually not the best way to go. This personality has a mad-scientist-like mind, so I assume bad trials are sometimes favorable.
  18. You want people to make their own decisions, but sometimes you don't like their decisions. You'd prefer they listen to you and follow through with it, but you don't want to be an asshole about it. You just think they're going about it the wrong way.
  19. These souls could have many caves that people don't know about from movie theaters, long walks, grocery stores, or closets.
  20. Sudden moments of disengaging from group activities to go on walks of your own... which confuses people more than you'd like.
  21. Constantly being blindsided by the strangest things which can also cause paranoia. How in the world did I not see that flying pig coming?
  22. Having strange interests in things that others don't quite understand. Or connect with. Niche interests. Collecting stamps and learning spells from ancient Norwegian books.
  23. A need to conquer something.... but lord have mercy.... what? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO CONQUER? TO THE CAVE!
  24. Sudden needs for things to be clean that really don't matter whether they are clean or not... like the baseboards or dust behind the TV. Peculiar interests in cleaning, let's put it that way.
  25. They sometimes tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, rather than the desired emotional need.
  26. You don't really care what a lot of people think that much, which can be confusing. You're not for the bandwagon. You are a rebel. You really honestly think you're right. YOU ARE RIGHT. But I hate to tell you this: you are not always right. That's how the INTP beats you every time... and how the INFJ knows how to skirt around you. You need those two to be your friends -- as well as the ENFP, ENTJ, and ENTP. They balance out some of your stubbornness.
  27. Intuition that is lightning speed fast and addictive... but can leave you feeling empty-handed or excessively stubborn.
  28. They are able to leave a relationship which should be ended, although they may dwell on it in their minds for awhile afterwards.
  29. Perfection can be their bane. They're constantly looking for it. Obsessed, I would say. But could sacrifice too much for it—like their time, relationships, and finances.
  30. Have no patience with inefficiency and confusion.

How to Be a Good Friend to an INTJ

  1. Keep things clean. Dirty dishes? Do them.
  2. Be concise. Don't go into the depths of nothing for no reason.
  3. It's normal if they go on long walks and bike rides. Don't harass them about this too much or they'll draw into it more.
  4. Play to their interests and hobbies. They like talking about that. It's a great way to bond with them.
  5. Kill all stupidities you have. Or hide them... but they'll find your stupidities.
  6. Tell them you appreciate them.
  7. Keep things somewhat logical and orderly.
  8. Trust them when you can... don't be afraid to not trust them either.
  9. Be honest. Don't lie. They're a powerhouse of upset when you lie.
  10. Let them solve problems.
  11. Do what you can to help them bring out their emotional reasoning. Because for many, they don't have that down to a fine art just yet.
  12. They are fans of acts of service. Do something good. Help them to believe in humanity again.
  13. Let them be a villain for a little while. It might be more of a fantasy of theirs than you think.
  14. Plan ahead. Going on a date? Make plans. Impress them with how you can make plans.
  15. Let them lead.

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Laurie 4 weeks ago

        Number 8 might just be a coincidence, but I have carpal tunnel syndrome (problem with my nerves). So weird...

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        RenCat 5 weeks ago

        It is super true about the cave (of thoughts). I guess we should feel very proud about it as not many other personalities have it. :)

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        Astrophysics 6 weeks ago

        By God, you just explained my whole life in a post. AND HOW THE HECK DID YOU KNOW I HAD A CAVE!

      • profile image

        Militaryhorsegal 2 months ago


        I'm very similar in that I am INTJ but always end up with only 1 more on the J side than the P side.


      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 3 months ago from Chicago

        This can be a good thing; it might mean you're more balanced. INTP and INTJ are going to separate by their functions. So you may want to see where you score highest.


        dominate: introverted intuition

        secondary: extroverted thinking

        tertiary: introverted feeling

        auxiliary: extroverted sensing


        dominate: introverted thinking

        secondary: extroverted intuition

        tertiary: introverted sensing

        auxiliary: extroverted feeling

      • profile image

        KailynBean 3 months ago

        This article describes me so well it is scary. I do have a question that I need answered though. I tested neutral on the P/J letter on the test. I showed no preference. What does this mean?

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 3 months ago from Chicago

        That is weird. My college roommate who is an INTJ loves Idiocracy.

        You can't make a "P" person a "J" person. You'll have to accept this about your partner. You'll actually hurt them if you get upset with them over how they take their time to handle projects, questions, and so forth. If you can accept that what they're doing has great results, this will help. You may need to be the internal clock and sometimes be the one making the decisions to move things along -- if they ask for more time to ponder, etc., try your best to accept this. Getting upset about it is something you can control. Let them be who they are and try to help them thrive and see where their interests fall. INTJ can't convert an INTP into an INTJ, remember that, cut your loses their, and enjoy your spontaneous and brilliant INTP -- they know some things you do not, as much as that might sting to hear.

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        AMG 4 months ago

        I was laughing out loud and cringing at the same time when I read this.

        Its kind of a relief to know there are others like you, right? ...even if they are villans! Ha.

        So, one of my favorite movies is Idiocracy, I OBSESS over things I care about, my younger bothers and sisters always told me I was mean growing up (I'm nicer now!) and yes, I do care about dust on base boards!

        I am engaged to an INTP, does anyone have any tricks to handle the "P"? We analyze, dream and have wonderful banter. I love him, but I swear, his indecisiveness, and lack of finishing projects is going to be the death of me!

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 4 months ago from Chicago

        I have studied Myers Briggs way too much.

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        Julia 4 months ago

        Struggle #22: How did you know this INTJ woman likes the Old Norse poem Hávamál (which is basically an ancient Norwegian poem about magic)? Way to tie into #21. Thanks for this fun and eerily accurate article.

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 4 months ago from Chicago

        So glad you like my humor! It has taken a number of years to cultivate. I would love to be the clown in the mirror cleaning the back of the TV for you.

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        nenet 4 months ago

        Hello Andrea

        I had so much fun reading this article and just love your style of wrting. The way you inject humor in describing the weird characater of an Intj. It felt like i was looking in the.mirrror and saw a clown a frowning clown cleaning the back of the tv ..such a good laugh so Thank you

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 10 months ago from Chicago

        MBTI is fantastic! It does take some time to really learn it as it can be complicated, but the more you learn about it, the more you'll have clarity. I haven't found a personality mapping that I like more than this. Although, some people don't like hearing about it and won't want to learn it to a high degree. So don't push your luck there. ;)

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        bz92 10 months ago

        It's really funny. A ENFP friend has told me about mbti test and I, as INTJ woman, have decided to take it to learn something new (but without any trust in psycology). Now the more I read the more I must confess that all this things suit perfect to me... Now I want everybody to take the test, so I can analysed their results and better arrange them in my mental schemes!

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 10 months ago from Chicago

        We must get you a supply closet or place of some sort for your projects. It is nice to keep an office just as an office.

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        Andrea Lawrence 10 months ago from Chicago

        I see that fun is a priority. I'm wondering if this is type related or uniquely you. Hmmm.

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        Holly 10 months ago

        As one commenter said below: "cleaning is boring but organizing is fun"! I totally concur. Although, I can sometimes find it relaxing to clean, if I can get lost in my thoughts or listen to a really good podcast while cleaning. That's fun. It's not that I dislike cleaning, it's just that there are several other activities I adore and that seem much more worth my while. If I'm not already engaged in a hobby or researching something, then I do like to clean. It's just that I'm usually engrossed in something I find more fun.

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        Holly 10 months ago

        Yeah, I'm in my head doing important things there WAY too much to worry about doing the dishes every day. I SO WISH I had a spouse who would do them for me though. My kitchen would look and smell so much nicer then. :-)

        Interestingly, though I don't scrub baseboards or even sweep the hardwoods much, I am very good about routinely keeping the fridge cleaned out (wiping it down, throwing out old stuff, etc), keeping up with laundry and keeping the house generally organized and tidy. The only thing I've noticed that is difficult is that I get an idea where I decide to plan ahead for a project and I start saving up materials (like toilet paper rolls or plastic soda bottles, gardening materials, hobbies, etc.) and that overflows my dining room table, looking messy. I need an extra room for my projects. I can't put that stuff in my office. My office is too full of my big desk, computer equipment, book cases, comfy chair and office cabinets (for printers, binders, office supplies, etc.). That is pretty much where I live. I love that room. :-)

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        Andrea Lawrence 11 months ago from Chicago

        Hi, Tracy. I don't know what you are saying, but best of luck to you!

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        Tracy 11 months ago

        I'm now without hope.

        Humans are fixated on this shit---- and not what will save them.

        Humankind has been usurped by stupidity.

        I Cannot insert my link- I'm shut out of this site. Russia, unit


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        Simon Traversy 12 months ago

        I'm actually learning Norwegian and Old Norse so this dude is right on the money... I can also death stare someone to a point of total incapacitating

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        JL 13 months ago

        Just read and enjoyed this list again. It's fascinating. I've realised all my little spaces I retreat to are ... my caves! My wardrobe, my favourite cafes, the shops I browse in which are large enough I get left alone. Even my public transport ride to/from work whilst wearing headphones. And yes, departing from group things to be alone. Tolerated a group trip in Japan for a half day each day but had to break from the group with some weird excuse for the rest of the day, just to be on my own and enjoy navigating alone.

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        Ash 13 months ago

        I found myself to be exactly as described in every detail.

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        Charlie 14 months ago

        I wonder how many INTJs have Attention Deficit. As a female, I can definitely relate to the INTJ ADD and paying attention to the details.

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        Wallace 14 months ago

        The clean thing is me. I may drop something on the floor; or look for I've misplaced, see dust, and then I have a cleaning project!

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        Brynja Knapp 14 months ago

        I live in a home with a husband ENFP and teenager INTP. They are KILLING ME! It is all I can do to not scream CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! Its breaking my will to live....

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        Andy 15 months ago

        Wow, I didn't believe it. No I don't have much of a choice. ..

        It's okay. According to this, they need us. Then again, i've always felt that way : )

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        Andrea Lawrence 15 months ago from Chicago

        We all have to work on strengthening our weaknesses. See it as an opportunity for growth and enlightenment. Not caring about the emotions of others could cause them to distance themselves from you and the you would be remiss their perspectives. Sometimes we have to pick our battles when things are wrong -- consider the consequences, consider what is necessary, consider how to tell people how to correct it in a way that doesn't just peck at it but benefits the big picture. Macro > micro. And you should be easier on yourself. At the end of the day you only have you, and self love and learning more about yourself will cause you to see and understand things far greater than you expected. Love, light, and prosper my friend. You can do amazing things in this world -- especially with an INTJ gifting.

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        BasicR 15 months ago

        I am an INTJ (sometimes a bit P) and work closely with an ESFP. I just had a review at work. A nice review. I was told that I "need to be easier on myself because I don't have to always get it right, and to be easier on others about them not getting it right'.

        I understand what they are trying to tell me. But I simply CAN NOT let things go when they are clearly wrong. It drives me insane.

        Also to be more "emotionally supportive to our service users."

        Sigh. This is not playing to my strengths, but I will certainly try, even if it's just to 'prove them wrong'. :-)

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        Andrea Lawrence 16 months ago from Chicago

        Glad to know this hit a chord. :)

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        JL 16 months ago

        That's very funny about the base boards, although we call them skirting boards in Australia. I actually didn't just clean mine, I had the paint colour computer matched and touched them all up. They look beautiful. No one else here cares though. I'm trying to think less by doing hands on household jobs, such as gardening and cooking, but then things perhaps sometimes become a little extreme...

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        Andrea Lawrence 18 months ago from Chicago

        People have been conflicted with my note of keeping things clean in the INTJ mindset -- I think it depends on how high your J score is, but I have definitely witnessed the INTJ madness for a clean environment.

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        Megan 18 months ago

        An ISTP (I don't really see the traditionalist or ISTJ in that role) has issues with order, but not like an INTJ would be hyper focused on one dirty item. Dishes and baseboards, if noticed, will be stared at continuously by me until something is done. Even if I must suggest impromptu cleaning at a friend's generally immaculate house to "help out." I do hate cleaning unless my mind is busy contemplating something or I have music...organization however, that's beautiful.

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        Duirc 18 months ago

        OK, I'm halfway through the list but I have to comment on what I just read (#17), "dumping a lot of paprika is probably not a good idea".

        I am still tasting the goulash soup I made earlier. To quote my favourite recipe - with which I have absolutely no quarrel - "You can never have too much paprika". Now you may be talking about smoked paprika and I'm talking about sweet paprika - but I'm loving that warm glow.

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        Andrea Lawrence 20 months ago from Chicago

        @Dr CHE Sadaphal

        The stare will come in good time, I'm sure!

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        CH Elijah Sadaphal 20 months ago from New York, NY

        If there is anything an INTJ enjoys doing its accumulating knowledge. This hub has succeeded in fueling the mental machine.

        Although, I haven't mastered the INTJ stare as of yet ...

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        Andrea Lawrence 2 years ago from Chicago

        @mindaugas then I recommend employing two INFJ types as friends... although they may stare deeply at each other and scare you.

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        Mindaugas 2 years ago

        Damn, pretty much spot on!!! But the friend part :D since im already half INTP half INTJ, INTP's dont help

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        xxanerchek 2 years ago

        A frighteningly accurate article. I was 'diagnosed' INTJ a year ago after family members begged me to do the test...

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        Andrea Lawrence 2 years ago from Chicago


        You'll find a way, life finds a way...

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        Dea 2 years ago

        It's really interesting article. Now i know why i am not always in the same page with the crowd.. i will need to learn further effective communication and lower down my standard (i dont know know if i could do that or not)..

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        Nancy 2 years ago

        But it IS important to clean behind the TV! I mean you'll know it's there which creates even more mess in your mind...

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        Greg 2 years ago

        The INTJ is strong with this one...

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        yeti-intj 2 years ago

        Cleaning is to boring, but organizing is cool.

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        Andrea Lawrence 2 years ago from Chicago


        A lot of great writers are INTJ... and are a sarcastic bunch.

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        Ruth 2 years ago

        I always knew I was different (esp for a female) and when I took the test and read the description of an INTJ I was freaked out. So nice to know there are others :) Any other INTJ's love clever (word play etc.) & sarcastic humor?

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        Clicki 2 years ago

        This is a great list. I relate to so many of these. Not all of these will apply to every INTJ, because we all have different backgrounds as far as being raised.

        Especially cleaning, I clean to think, when I clean I am not just cleaning but processing things.

        Its only been really the past couple of years that I really started getting into personality test, and how I think. I always knew I was different from other girls, I never realized just how different I was.

        I enjoy reading about types and characteristic of different types, i do recognize that some of the characteristic I only marginally relate to. Some are a lot stronger there others.

        Great article!

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        Andrea Lawrence 2 years ago from Chicago


        I'm glad the explanations are helpful! I'm betting if you're getting an exact split with your feeling / thinking then those are your middle functions. There's usually more discrepancy with the dominate and inferior functions. This means you're probably an information gatherer as opposed to a judger (this doesn't have to do with J/P, I know confusing). If introversion-sensing dominate a personality, a person seeks information primarily. Thinkers and feelers are more judging. J/P has to do with how people perceive deadlines, cleanliness, time, maintenance, etc.

        It's nice when feeling and thinking are balanced out in the middle. That makes you more adaptable and malleable for a variety of problems and situations. If you know for certain what your E/I and N/S are, that will help you at least narrow it down to two personalities. How? There's 8 functions and 16 personalities, each function only dominates 2 personality types. So if you have introverted intuition you're either INTJ or INFJ.

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        RedElf 2 years ago from Canada

        Most interesting. I've read several in your series on Myers Briggs types. I am a perfect split F/T, (they come out with exactly the same value every time :)), so I really appreciate your explanations. Nice work!

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        Mari Biemond 2 years ago

        Julie-only until you notice how dirty the base boards really are. . . .

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        Julie 2 years ago

        The whole clean freak thing sounds more ISTJ to me. As an INTJ, I'm too busy planning things to worry about the baseboards.

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        Fred Arnold 3 years ago from Clearwater, FL

        Good article. I found it funny that I just started the semester at college and in one of my classes we did the survey to find out where you stand. I got INTJ haha. Coincidence, I think not!

        Keep up the good work!