While sitting here pounding my Saturday morning espresso bomb, I spent a few minutes taking a personality test on Facebook called MyType. The series of True/False questions, based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), determines which of the sixteen personality types you fall under.
Turns out I’m the INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging) type, or what the system labels as “The Free-Thinker”.
According to Wikipedia, notable INTJs (both fictional and real) include Aristotle, Ayn Rand, Isaac Newton, Sherlock Holmes, and — how cool is this? — J.R.R. Tolkien and his alter-ego, Gandalf.
INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They are insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.
The independent and individualistic INTJ manner appears early in life. As children, INTJs are often inwardly focused on their thoughts of the way the world is or ought to be; they enjoy day dreaming. They can be quite stubborn when information relayed to them by authorities, such as parents and teachers, contradicts what they believe. They are sure of their own belief system. INTJs are compelled to establish their own rules, boundaries, standards, and style.
Often at an early age, INTJs make a commitment to furthering their education. The life of the mind is very important to them. Examples abound of INTJs from economically or intellectually impoverished circumstances setting goals for themselves to continue in education, often earning the highest degree possible.
INTJ teenagers may be seen as serious and reserved young people who are labeled as bookworms by others. They set internal standards of achievement for themselves and often do well academically. Being sociable is a standard that they rarely think is worth their time and energy.
As adults, INTJs are focused on attaining their inner goals and standards. They set a particular course based on their theory of what ought to be. They work extremely diligently to accomplish what they feel is important. They enjoy what they do and see it as a challenge. They are not easily dissuaded and may regard others’ needs and wants as an impediment to attaining their objectives.
Learning and Working
INTJs learn best when they can design their own approach and when they are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them. They tend to focus on systems, theories, and constructs relating to universal truths and principles. They prefer challenging teachers, ones who meet their standards. High grade-point averages and test scores tend to characterize INTJs, who like rigorous academic work. Learning needs to be a creative process. Rote memory can be dull and boring for the INTJ.
INTJs are diligent in pursuing new ideas and thoughts, and they exert effort to master a given subject. This makes INTJs particularly adept in most school situations. Because of their resourcefulness, thirst for knowledge, and inner needs, INTJs tend to find ways of acquiring knowledge. They gravitate toward libraries, public lectures, courses, and other learners and teachers – sources that offer them information and direction.
At work, INTJs use their conceptual strengths to analyze situations and then develop models to understand and anticipate through relentlessly to reach their goals. They will continue on with their plans, even in the face of adversity and data that might suggest to other more practical types that their goals are no longer feasible. By nature, INTJs are independent individualists. They see their visions so clearly that they are often surprised when others do not see things the same way. INTJs are strong at critiquing and as a result tend to notice the negatives. To them, a job well done should be reward enough in itself. They may neglect to comment favorably on others’ contributions.
INTJs tend to seek occupations that allow them to change the status quo and to design models to express their vision creatively. They desire autonomy and room for growth. They prefer to work in a place in which the future can be planned and where they can work for change in an organized manner.
Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to INTJs: computer systems analyst, electrical engineer, judge, lawyer, photographer, psychologist, research department manager, researcher, scientist, university instructor, and other occupations in which long-range vision is essential.
For INTJs, love means including someone in their vision of the world. INTJ men tend to be attracted to partners who enjoy living their lives with and outward vitality and zest. Perhaps it is to compensate for their internal, visionary focus that they often find partners who are more outgoing and may even run interference to help the INTJ deal with the day-to-day world. INTJ women, however, may seek someone more like themselves.
INTJs tend to have a model in mind of how their relationship ought to be. This is less a romantic vision than it is an idea that relates to how the relationship functions in a unique or special way. They tend to withhold their deep feelings and affections from the public and sometimes even from the object of their affections. They can be intensely loyal and caring, even though this is not always expressed in words. INTJs can be generous with their gifts if the gift fits their vision of what ought to be appreciated by their partner.
When scorned, INTJs retreat to their own world and may share none of their feelings with others. They may assume that there is a right way for a relationship to end and look for that. They act on the outside as if nothing has happened to them when indeed much has. They may lash out with criticisms of their former loved ones. It may take them a while to recover.