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The concept of staring has different meanings based on where you are. While it's considered rude to stare in the United States, it's perfectly acceptable in many other cultures.
There are many reasons why someone may stare in the U.S, without being rude. Maybe you're at a party and someone is enamored with you. Of course, if you're a celebrity, staring comes with the territory.
An often misunderstood or unfamiliar situation where you may encounter staring can occur when you encounter an INTJ—a personality type from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The stare you may encounter with an INTJ can be unsettling, but it doesn't have to be.
In fact, understanding why and how it happens can help put your mind at ease.
What is the INTJ Stare?
The INTJ stare is the intense gaze of someone who has the personality type INTJ. They may be so focused on their own thoughts that they don't realize that they're looking at you—which can be disconcerting.
This type of person loves to think, analyze, and observe their environment. They tend to focus on whatever catches their eye or interest—which could be you!
INTJ stands for Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging, and this personality type is often associated with being analytical, independent, and logical. INTJs are goal-oriented people who strive to do their best in all that they do.
Their stare may be a side effect of this determination, as they zone in on what they need to do and how to do it.
Why Does the INTJ Stare Happen?
Though the INTJ stare can be intimidating, it's important to remember that this person isn't doing it out of malice or aggression. Here are seven reasons why it may be happening:
Reason 1. They May Be Deep in Thought
Have you ever been so deep in thought that you didn't realize how long you've been staring off into space? This could be the case with an INTJ, who loves to analyze and think through problems.
They may be so preoccupied with their inner world that they don't realize how long they've been staring at you.
INTJs often think deeply and intensely about the people and situations around them. They can go on a mental journey while they're observing something, and this often causes them to stare without realizing it.
Reason 2. They May Be Processors
INTJs are natural processors, which means they take time to think through their thoughts before communicating them. As they do this, they may be looking at you as they process their own thoughts.
For example, if an INTJ is talking to you, they may look off into the distance as they think about what to say next. This thought may take a few seconds, or even minutes—and during that time, they may be staring off into the distance.
Reason 3. They May Be Analyzing You
Because INTJs love to analyze and observe, they may be looking at you while they take in your features and behavior. They pick up on social cues that others might miss, such as body language and facial expressions.
They often need time to think before they can express themselves, so they may be looking at you as they process what's going on in their head. After analyzing something they observed in you, they may be finding an appropriate way to respond.
For example, maybe they noticed that you're uncomfortable and want to make sure they don't come off as too aggressive.
Reason 4. They May Be Trying to Connect
INTJs can be great at making meaningful connections with those around them. They may be looking into your eyes while they think of the best way to phrase their thoughts.
They often strive for meaningful conversations, so they may be analyzing you while they look for a connection point.
During this time, they may be staring at you as they try to figure out the best way to start a conversation or ask a question. Once they speak, their stare will usually go away.
Reason 5. They May Be Trying to Concentrate
Remember, the typical INTJ is a deep thinker. They may be staring off into the distance while they concentrate.
Have you ever had a problem that you needed to work through, and found yourself staring off into the distance while you thought about it? This is likely what an INTJ is doing, but they may do so with a far more intense look!
This often happens when they're trying to figure out a difficult problem or come up with an innovative solution.
They may be so concentrated on their thoughts that they don't even realize they're staring at you.
Reason 6. They May Be Feeling Uncomfortable
INTJs often feel uncomfortable in social situations, even if they don't show it. They may be looking at you while they try to figure out the best way to respond or fit into the conversation.
They sometimes feel the need to be in control of everything they say, so they may try to anticipate what you're going to say next. They may also be looking for cues to keep the conversation going or figure out a way to take it in another direction.
Reason 7. They May Be Trying to Challenge Themselves
These personalities enjoy a good challenge, and this could be why they're staring off into the distance while they think. They may be trying to come up with a creative solution or figure out the best way to communicate something they want to say.
They may also be challenging themselves to come up with an interesting or thought-provoking answer. They enjoy going deep and thinking outside the box, and their stare may be a sign that they're trying to do this.
When INTJs are amid an intense stare, it's important to remember that there could be a variety of reasons why they're doing it. Knowing what may be going on in their head will help you have a better understanding of their behavior.
How to Prevent the INTJ Stare
Even if you know someone such as an INFJ doesn't mean harm, you still may feel weirded out when they stare off into the distance or seemingly at you. There are some ways to prevent this from happening, though.
Step 1. Ask the Right Questions
When an INTJ stares off into the distance, they may be trying to come up with an answer to your question. If you don't give them time to process, they might feel like they don't have the appropriate response.
Try to ask questions in a conversation that give them time to think and contemplate their answers. For example, instead of saying “What do you think about that?” ask something like “How would you approach this situation?” This will also help build a solid connection with them as you'll be giving them the chance to express themselves more deeply.
Step 2. Give Them Space
INTJs typically need a bit of space to think and process their thoughts. If you're in a conversation with them, try to give them some room to come up with meaningful responses.
If you feel like they're running out of things to say, don't hesitate to change the topic or move on from the discussion. This can help prevent an uncomfortable moment due to them staring off into the distance.
Step 3. Offer Suggestions
Sometimes INTJs need a little help to get out of their thoughts and back into the conversation. If you sense that they seem like they're stuck in one place, try offering suggestions or topics that can jumpstart their thinking process again.
Such suggestions might be relevant to the conversation or could even be a break from the previous topic. Having something different to focus on can help them re-engage and move the conversation forward.
How to Respond When It Happens
It's not always easy to know how to respond when an INTJ stares off into the distance while they're thinking. Here are some tips to help you out.
Tip 1. Let Them Think
When an INTJ is deep in thought, it's best to give them some space and let them finish their thought process. As mentioned, you can ask certain questions, but don't overdo it. It's important to be supportive and understanding of them while they take their time to think.
Tip 2. Show Interest
Even if you don't understand what they're thinking, show interest in the conversation by asking follow-up questions or offering feedback.
You'll help them feel like they're being heard, which can be quite comforting. Plus, it also helps develop a better connection between both of you.
Tip 3. Ask for Clarification
If you don't understand exactly why they're staring off, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
This will allow you both to have the same understanding of the conversation and can help foster a better relationship with one another.
Tip 4. Stare Back
Sometimes, the best way to respond to an INTJ's intense gaze is simply by staring back. Not only does this show that you're listening to what they're saying, but it also helps them feel acknowledged and respected.
Tip 5. Silently Encourage
If you feel like the INTJ might be stuck in their thought process, try silently encouraging them to continue. This could be anything from a gentle head nod or a warm smile.
These small gestures will help them feel more comfortable in speaking to you and can also allow for a better conversation.
Final Thoughts on INTJ Stare
The INTJ personality type can be quite intense, and it's not uncommon to experience an INTJ stare from time to time. Understanding why this happens can help you better relate to them and can also give you the insight necessary to respond in a way that is supportive and helpful for both of you.
When an INTJ stares off into the distance, it's important to give them space to think and process their thoughts. At the same time, don't hesitate to be supportive by asking follow-up questions or providing feedback. Showing an interest in the conversation can help foster a better connection and understanding between both of you.
As mentioned, people may intentionally and unintentionally stare for various reasons. It's important to be mindful of your body language and nonverbal response when an INTJ stares off into the distance, as this could make them feel uncomfortable or even invalidated.
All in all, it's essential to remember that everyone approaches conversations differently, so being respectful and understanding can go a long way in making sure both parties are comfortable during the conversation. Learn more about people with this personality type with the article 49 Famous People & Celebrities with INTJ Personality Type.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.