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Understanding your personality type can be a powerful way to know yourself better and make decisions that optimize your potential. For example, knowing your personality type may help guide your career decisions toward situations that work best for you.
On the other hand, understanding your weaknesses can help you improve your relationships and communication style. Here is an overview of INTJ strengths and weaknesses.
What is the INTJ Personality Type?
INTJ is one of the 16 personality types in the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) system. Based on Carl Jung’s theories of and incorporating the study of psychometrics, the MBTI was formalized in 1956 and began to gain popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.
Because the MBTI has so many practical applications in education and the workplace, it remains a popular and widely used system, even as contemporary psychological theories of personality have changed over time.
The INTJ personality type has these core characteristics:
The I in INTJ stands for introversion, which indicates where you prefer to place your energy and attention. Introverts gain energy from dealing with ideas, memories, and reflections inside their minds, which are extremely real and impactful.
In fact, sometimes they like the idea of something better than the thing itself. They take time to reflect and plan before they speak and act. They prefer to do things alone or with a few people they know and feel comfortable with.
The N in INTJ stands for iNtuition, which indicates where you prefer to gain information. An intuitive personality type pays attention to impressions, patterns, and implications.
They think with symbols, theories, and abstractions and may forget actual facts and details. Instead, they derive meaning by thinking problems through, considering the possibilities, and focusing on the future.
The T in INTJ stands for thinking, which indicates a preference for how decisions are made. The thinking personality prefers to make decisions based on universal principles and impersonal facts, so their decisions are consistent, despite different specific situations.
Furthermore, they try to analyze pros and cons logically and objectively, without letting emotions (their own or other people’s) have too much influence.
The J in INTJ stands for judging, which indicates the behaviors you tend to express outwardly. A judging personality type seems to have a planned and orderly life. They seem to express clear and consistent decisions, keep themselves organized, and have a life that is under control.
Cumulatively, the INTJ personality type is known as “The Architect.” INTJs tend to be highly independent, confident, analytical, and self-sufficient. They emphasize facts and logic rather than emotion and have high expectations for themselves and others.
Despite this emphasis on logic and analysis, INTJs are also very creative and unconventional because their independence facilitates new solutions and approaches.
The INTJ personality type is the third rarest type overall and the rarest personality type among women. Only 2.1% of people, and 0.9% of women, are INTJs.
5 Strengths of the INTJ Personality
INTJs are famous for being able to define and work toward big, long-term dreams and visions and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. The key strengths of the INTJ are:
1. Rational and Informed
INTJs are incredibly analytical and pride themselves on making logical decisions based on objective facts and universal principles. They are well-informed, doing extensive research and understanding all the relevant facts.
Then, they make conclusions based on in-depth analysis and apply those truths and principles to all their decisions.
INTJs trust their own analysis and don’t follow arbitrary rules or conventional authority figures. If they feel that tradition, conformity, or mediocrity are incorrect, they are disinclined to simply go along with others.
Although not usually a confrontational personality type, an INTJ will tend to challenge the status quo and isn’t afraid to go their own way.
The independence and introversion of an INTJ give them a high degree of determination because they do not require a lot of support or approval from others.
It is more important to them that they achieve their own goals, abide by their own principles, and work to their own standards, so they can be highly determined in their pursuits.
The logic and analysis of an INTJ also make them curious. They want to know the research, science, and principles that underlie theories. Their skepticism prompts them to look for new information and ideas, and they are happy to change their minds when proven wrong.
This combination of attributes often makes an INTJ propose new or unusual solutions to problems, find innovative ways of doing things, or invent entirely new theories. They are deeply creative thinkers but also have the reasoning and analysis that helps other people understand their ideas.
5 Weaknesses of the INTJ Personality
As you can probably already tell, the INTJ has a number of weaknesses, especially in their relationships with other people. In addition, their introversion and self-reliance can cause a number of challenges for INTJs, including:
INTJs can be arrogant, believing in the superiority of their thoughts and opinions over others. They can be dismissive of people they think are intellectually inferior and ignore the input or opinions of other people.
Some INTJs may not actually be arrogant (although many are), but their communication style makes them seem that way to others.
The INTJ emphasis on logic and reason can literally make them insensitive. They can be dismissive of emotions, both their own and other people’s.
They may stick with their rules and principles even when the situation requires tact and flexibility or seem unnecessarily harsh with other people when disagreeing with them.
The famous INTJ independence quickly transforms into stubbornness and sometimes argumentativeness. Their desire to understand the why of everything and ensure that all actions are consistent and rational can make them reluctant or resistant to instruction.
In addition, they may get caught up in debating rules and regulations, even over inconsequential matters.
INTJs have incredibly high expectations for themselves and others. They base their expectations on high goals and principles rather than the sometimes messy reality of daily life.
These expectations may be unreasonable and inflexible and cause harsh criticism. INTJs criticize themselves as harshly as others, and their perfectionism can sabotage their happiness.
Due to all these factors, the independence of an INTJ can easily become isolated, as they overlook and dismiss the emotional needs of themselves and those around them, communicating in ways that can be harsh, critical, and judgmental.
Final Thoughts on the INTJ Personality
If you are new to learning about the Myers-Briggs personality types, taking a test and understanding your own type can be helpful. In addition, you can learn how personality influences behavior and communication between different types.
One of the critical characteristics of the INTJ is that they are introverted in a world and culture that highly values extroversion. Workplace success, to say nothing of interpersonal relationships, is heavily influenced by how we interact with others, and introverts have a disadvantage when it comes to fitting in.
Introverted personality types have special needs when it comes to their schedule, their living environment, and their workplace dynamics.
These INTJ strengths and weaknesses make them a great fit for certain career paths like attorneys, analysts, surgeons, and architects. The MBTI measures a person’s preferences and disposition, and finding a profession that meshes with your personality type is a great way to leverage your natural behaviors for greater success in the workplace.
Despite the statistical rarity of this personality type, some of history’s most innovative thinkers and influential problem-solvers have been INTJs. If you are an “Architect,” remember that life can get messy and that people, including yourself, need some flexibility and forgiveness to be happy. Use your powers for good, and show kindness to all.
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.