A Bundle of Contradictions: The Mind of an INTJ

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.”

~ Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis

All human beings are full of contradictions: capable of both reason and utter idiocy, made in the image of God but with a sinful nature, and so on. INTJs, with our logical brains and human foibles, are not exempt from a struggle with contradictions within our own brains.

INTJs are highly motivated go-getters–and the laziest slobs on the planet.

Worth and value are important to INTJs. We are also highly driven, when we understand something is important or necessary. This applies to meeting our goals, fulfilling a need, pursuing knowledge, putting work into a relationship, and so on.

But if we don’t see the point? Well, then, good luck in getting us off our butts.

I do what I want black cat

Courtesy: Snorgtees

INTJS are independent but fiercely loyal.

As Rationals, INTJs favor logic over emotion, and information over relationships. We like to do things our way, in our time, by our standards. As Introverts, we need (and often prefer) our alone time.

And yet, we take our relationships and commitments seriously. We assign value to just about everything that enters our minds. When something is of high value, like a close friend, then we protect it with everything we’ve got. A general “all or nothing” approach to life and a “quality over quantity” approach to relationships makes us fiercely loyal to those closest to us.

INTJs are somehow both committed and fickle.

As I already said, INTJs are deeply loyal and committed to our loved ones and partners (both romantic and business). We don’t like most people, so we stick close to those who have passed our inner “tests.” We are passionate about our interests, which includes the meaningful relationships in our lives.

But INTJs get bored easily, and want to keep learning and growing and improving. Despite being stereotyped as stubborn and rigid, we can change our minds readily if we hear a sufficiently logical argument against our current beliefs. Unfortunately, that can include relationships. As Introverts, we only have so much social energy to spare, and want to use it on people and activities we deem “worthy.” Our logical brains make it easy for us to break ties with beliefs and even people when we no longer see their purpose in our lives. Our independent natures also allow us to move on pretty quickly.

To quote the famous literary INTJ Mr. Darcy…

My good opinion once lost is lost forever Mr. Darcy INTJ

Photo: Etsy

The same INTJ is a brilliant visionary and a bumbling idiot.

Thanks to our dominant function of Introverted intuition (Ni), INTJs are especially skilled at abstract thinking and long-term planning. We love to analyze complex ideas, develop new solutions to complicated problems, and imagine whole new worlds. Our intuitive minds, armed with the Introverted feeling (Fi) function, can draw conclusions that even we might not fully understand–but we know are correct. We’re pretty awesome that way.

Despite our intellect, however, as Introverts, INTJs are not always quick-thinking.  Being analytical types, we prefer to digest information and reach conclusions at our own speed.Our abstract, big-picture minds easily forget minute details, and we may not provide concrete, real-world applications for our ideas. Fast-paced or crowded environments with constant stimulation and data can overwhelm an INTJ and turn him/her into a speechless moron.

INTJs are stubborn and pigheaded … but flexible.

Logic is important to an INTJ’s worldview, which means we depend less on social pressures and emotions to form our opinions and ideas. We are not easily swayed, and our intuitive brains hold fast to ideas. We value efficiency and need things to work and make sense to gain our approval. We do not bend our beliefs to suit others. We prefer structure and closure, which makes us seem rigid and unyielding.

But what happens if and when we encounter new data that challenges our thinking? What happens when our opinion or belief comes up against conflicting–but irrefutable–fact? Then it’s off with the old and on with the new. INTJs do not value emotions, tradition, or rules for their own sakes. We are fairly quick to adopt new ideas, provided they are logical and withstand our brain’s internal review processes.

Director Fury Avengers stupid-ass decision


INTJs are coldly logical, unrealistic idealists.

If you are not an INTJ yourself, but you have one in your life, you’ve probably been amazed (and even offended) by their almost Spock-like adherence to logic and distaste for sentiment.

But within that rational mindset lies an unrealistic idealist. We value logic and order in a world full of emotion and chaos–and the people who cause it. We often make decisions with the assumption that other people will behave as logically as we think they should, much to our disappointment. Older and more cynical INTJs may have had this part of their personality worn away by time and experience, but the desire for reason, and frustration that people too often don’t act the way we think they should, remains.

There’s my list of INTJ contradictions. What did I miss?