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30 Struggles All INTJs Can Understand

Updated on October 13, 2016
SerenityHalo profile image

Andrea loves to write on 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.


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    • Fred Arnold profile image

      Fred Arnold 2 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!


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      Julie 22 months 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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      Mari Biemond 19 months ago

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

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 19 months 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!

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 19 months 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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      Clicki 19 months 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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      Ruth 19 months 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?

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 19 months ago from Chicago


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

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      yeti-intj 19 months ago

      Cleaning is to boring, but organizing is cool.

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      Greg 17 months ago

      The INTJ is strong with this one...

    • profile image

      Nancy 17 months 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...

    • profile image

      Dea 17 months 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)..

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 17 months ago from Chicago


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

    • xxanerchek profile image

      xxanerchek 16 months 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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      Mindaugas 14 months ago

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

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 14 months ago from Chicago

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

    • Dr CHE Sadaphal profile image

      CH Elijah Sadaphal 7 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 ...

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 7 months ago from Chicago

      @Dr CHE Sadaphal

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

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      Duirc 6 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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      Megan 5 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.

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 5 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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      JL 3 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...

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 3 months ago from Chicago

      Glad to know this hit a chord. :)

    • profile image

      BasicR 2 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'. :-)

    • SerenityHalo profile image

      Andrea Lawrence 2 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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      Andy 2 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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      Brynja Knapp 6 weeks 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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      Wallace 5 weeks 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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      Charlie 4 weeks 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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      Ash 3 weeks ago

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

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      JL 2 weeks 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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