The Analytical INTj
By Peter Bartl [ENTj]
INTjs are intuitive free-thinkers who focus their minds on trends, connections, and explanations; on the why and how things are the way they are, and how and why people behave the way they do. They use such analyses not only for the sake of theorizing as such – although they do enjoy theorizing for its own sake – but mainly with the aim of deciding what to do next; in other words, to establish their strategy. So INTjs are, essentially, analysts and strategists. This means that they look for, and usually find, connections and trends where most other people see none. Therefore they are often seen as visionary, bright, insightful – or, negatively, as paranoid and more concerned with their theories than with facts. The accusation of paranoia stems from their constant “contingency planning” – but it is only that they try to prepare themselves for what may go wrong, not that they necessarily believe that it will go wrong. As for facts vs theory, INTjs do tend to base their analyses and plan their strategies with insufficient facts sometimes – but they also constantly update them with new facts, although they may be extremely reluctant to abandon an already-established theory or strategy and may do so only after the case for that becomes too strong to be ignored.
That applies only to fields and situations where INTjs are confident of their own competence, and they usually are very aware of which areas they are competent in, and which they aren’t. It is extremely distressing for INTjs to have their competence doubted in a field where they know themselves to be competent – and even more distressing to have their competence proven lacking: few experiences are more humiliating for INTjs. They greatly value the same self-awareness in others; for them, the sin is not ignorance or incompetence as such – nobody can be knowledgeable and competent in everything – but the failure to acknowledge one’s own ignorance and incompetence. In INTjs’ eyes, people who pretend to know what they are talking about, when they clearly do not, lose all credibility, often forever.
As a consequence, INTjs are not impressed by position or authority as such – only by knowing what you are talking about. This may cause problems in work or family environments since they will not naturally defer to bosses or senior family members; INTjs will not go out of their way to antagonize them, but neither will they be good at disguising their true opinions. The same goes for rules, traditions and conventions that make no sense to the INTj. This means that INTjs are very often described as arrogant and opinionated. As such, that does not greatly disturb the INTjs since they do not really care about what others people think of them emotionally; in this respect INTjs are truly very self-confident. However, as part of their strategy to achieve their goals, they will recognize the need to conform to conventions and authority.
For instance, INTjs do not naturally care, nor even particularly notice, how other people dress, and their inclination is to dress to please themselves, not others. However, INTjs will also recognize that – however regrettably – to dress for others may be necessary in work environments and social occasions, if they are to reach their professional and social goals. In that case, INTjs will be happy to follow the advice of people more attuned to such things – because they do not usually regard such skills as important, and secretly have little respect, even contempt, for those who really worry about fitting in conventions of dress and behavior.
Since they are mainly concerned with analyses, ideas, and strategy, INTjs find it extremely difficult to interact in the kind of superficial, easy-flowing casual conversations that most other people find enjoyable. In fact, small talk tends to baffle INTjs more than anything else and they have no interest in them, in fact, they find small talk stressful. Added to the fact that INTjs do not need to constantly interact with people to feel good, that means that they tend to have small circles of friends, with whom they can carry deeper and more substantial conversations, than wide circles of casual acquaintances.
So INTjs tend to have small social networks, but these are usually very deep, and they keep their friendhips over a long period of time and across great distances. INTjs are often perceived as not enjoying other people’s company, but that is not accurate; rather, they only need the company of those they really care about. The idea of “hanging out” with someone, especially in a romantic relationship, just so as to avoid being alone is unthinkable to an INTj. If an INTj chooses to spend much of his/her time with someone, they may be sure that they mean very much to the INTj. One of the difficulties that INTjs often face is that other types may not recognize or appreciate that. INTjs are not usually in touch with their own feelings, but they do develop deep feelings for those selected few whose company they really enjoy. Since they also are sensitive to being hurt by those same people, they may be reluctant to express such feelings openly – they tend to think that they are obvious. Sadly, other types, who more easily and openly express feelings, even of a less deep nature, and expect them to be so expressed, may conclude that the INTj’s reticence reflects lack of feeling. If that results in the failure of a relationship, the result is devastating for the INTj, who’s left totally bewildered.
INTjs’s preference for deeper conversations and dislike for small talk also means that they prefer being direct, even blunt and tactless, to careful, beating-around-the-bush conversation. Many emotionally sensitive types then regard them as cold, unfeeling, insensitive or even rude, which the INTj would regard as totally unfair. INTjs also unconsciously expect directness from others. Since they also have a deep need to understand what happens, few experiences are more devastating for INTjs than the break-up of a relationship – whether of a romantic, friendly or even professional nature – without receiving a direct and clear explanation of exactly why the break-up happened. On such occasions, the INTj may fall into depression, since the loss of the relationship itself is added to the feeling of failure to understand what happened – of the foremost importance to INTjs.
INTjs are usually good in professions that require analytical thinking, the solving of problems, and creativity, as long as they are more concerned with the big picture than with details. Therefore they make good strategy planners, research scientists, analysts in all fields, engineers. But to be a motivational coach or a salesman would not come naturally to them. They prefer jobs that require little direct supervision since they value their independence, but they have no drive to lead others. As long as things are moving according to what the INTj perceives to be the correct strategy, s/he is happy to let others lead, but will move into leadership if necessary. They are often perceived as having an uncanny ability to see where events are leading and the proper strategy to adopt; when that happens their leadership will be accepted. On the other hand, more sensing types will tend to see the INTj as jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts, or as paranoid, if the INTj perceives danger coming from the trends s/he notices. In such cases the INTj is usually correct more often than not, but this is not always appreciated. The INTj is not an immediately popular figure.
INTj by Function
Ti: The first function of the INTj is Ti, by which objective logic substantiates itself through various thought processes. With this function, it is possible to deconstruct and disassemble various levels of thought, concepts, and ideas in order to gauge a sense of their inner workings or how they habitually function. Probably the most powerful aspect of Ti is an active ability to remain focused on tenacious analytical or logical task of a specific theme and the ability to break down, refine, and index it into sub classified fields for ready access, assessment, consideration with direction back to the main point or original theme if needed; other important features of this function include the ability to express ideas in the most concise and logical manner that could be implemented to appeal to the logical processes of others. Being an introverted function, Ti has an active ability to self-sustain itself and moves actively between an objective mental world located in the future and past in order to sustain itself as an active function.
Te: The seventh function of the this type is Te. Strong and lacking, it remains to the INTj something to be loathed. Though some use may come from this function in the tracking of events, patterns, and simple gauging of current thought, this function remains the vehicle by which tradition establishes itself and the foreign get thrown out. For the INTj, Te truly represents all that inferiority is and the uselessness of false potential, and so long as old thought is and there remains something to be cherished, traditional systematic logic stands before the new! Disloyalty to a cherished, strong, and qualified system of personal logic will never interest an INTj!
Ne: The second function of the INTj is Ne, by which the essence of ideas arrive and insights into their development arise. With this function, it is possible to collect multiple perspectives, concepts, ideas, and beliefs in order to register into a readily available databank their entirety and the various conscious considerations concerning them as they stand in the abstract theoretical world and in order to derive a global picture of them. However, Ne also maintains an active neutral stance on all of the whole of its inputs, even if the whole of the input of one core belief, concept, or idea, conflicts with any of the other core beliefs, concepts, or ideas it remains non-biased and registers them all as equals. Probably the most powerful aspect of Ne is an ability to see potential in the most obscure forms and to believe in them. Being an extroverted function, Ne cannot derive data from within and must amass information from outside of itself and in the here and now to survive as a function or at all.
Ni: The eigth function of the this type is Ni. Strong and lacking, it remains to the INTj something to be loathed. Though some use may come from this function in the tracking of time, patterns, and simple predictions, this function remains the vehicle by which the old becomes abandoned and the new comes about. For the INTj, Ni truly represents all that inferiority is and the uselessness of false potential, and so long as new beliefs emerge and there remains something to be considered, out with the old and in with the new! Loyalty to a strong qualified belief system will never interest an INTj!
Fi: The third function of the INTj is Fi, by which subjective feeling substantiates itself through various ethical processes. Since the INTj type thrives in a world of logical and non-ethical and objective principles, it may be rendered difficult for this type to deconstruct and disassemble various levels of emotions, feelings, and moods in order to gauge a sense of their inner workings or how they habitually function. In result of this inability, expected behaviors should include a disability to understand ones own emotional state as it applies to self and others, difficulty understanding the emotional intentions of other, an inability to comprehend the amount of emotion needed to establish long lasting relationships, loosing interest in associating with people who are either too attentive or non-attentive, not knowing the right thing to say to people to avoid hurting them, accidentally insulting or offending people and not understanding why, and general lack of values or ethics.
Fe: The fifth function of the INTj is Fe, by which subjective feeling substantiates itself through various ethical processes. Though be this a weak, unconscious, and influential function, it should find itself most active within the presence of one whose dominant function coincides, for it it seeks to be strong and may pretend to be such. At other times, an expression of this function may find itself in place of the weak and conscious Fi function. Manifested bahaviours expected of this function should include a tendency towards sudden outburst that seem negitive and depreciatory to others, prone to thinking negitivly about the way others feel about him or her, concluding that others do not favor him or her without any reason to do so, tendency towards 'poor me' attitudes that just come out of the blue, disliking people without objectivity to do so or atleast giving that impression to others, friendly and tactful one day only to be tactless and unfriendly the next.
Se: The fourth function of the INTj is Se, by which the essence of experiences arrive and insights into their development arise. Since the INTj type thrives in a world of abstract and non-concrete theoretical principles, it may be rendered difficult for this type to collect multiple physical sensations from the eyes, ears, nose, taste and touch in order to register into a readily available databank their entirety and the various conscious considerations concerning them. In result of this inability, expected behaviors should include a lack of motive concerning physical activities, lack of discipline, inability to control aggressive tendencies with unexpected outburst or extreme passivity and non-aggressive, pushing others without good reason or not pushing hard enough when needed, sluggishness and irresponsibility, lack of willpower and initiative, breaking down when put under pressure, shutting down during stressful situations, or inability to push talents and abilities.
Si: The sixth function of the INTj is Si, by which the essence of experiences arrive and insights into their development arise. Though be this a weak, unconscious, and influential function, it should find itself most active within the presence of one whose dominant function coincides, for it it seeks to be strong and may pretend to be such. At other times, an expression of this function may find itself in place of the weak and conscious Se function. Manifested bahaviours expected of this function should include experiencing uncontrollable flashbacks of negitive or distorted experiences, obsession with past experiences that seem to have a grip on current reality, having a compulsion to keeping things a certain way because they have a certain familiarity to them, not wanting to change the past, prone to inactivity and unwilling to change since that would mean wrecking or damaging the current and future experience,looking past people or things and walking around with distant and vague look in eye as though unaware of surroundings.
Because of the structureof various function, it is not uncommon for a person to be confused or undecided between various types and even between the usage of various functions. The following is a functional description of various types that an actual INTj may become confused or undecided between.
ESTj - An INTj may find him or her self activelly undecided between the ESTj type and his or her native INTj type. Because the sixth function of the INTj is Si, it is not uncommon for one to confuse the second creative function (Ne) for that function. When this occurs, an INTj may have problems deciding between those sensory and intuitive functions. In even more complex situations, an INTj may demonstrate what appears to be a false lack of Ni, which corresponds to the fourth weakest function of the ESTj. In this instances, the way to discern between these two types and to choose the correct one is to determine whether you activelly use Ti or Te. If you use Ti more than you use Te, you are an INTj. If you use Te more than you use Ti, you could really be an ESTj.
ISTp - An INTj may confuse him or her self for a ISTp for the same reason that one would confuse his or her self for an ESTj. If you use Ti more than you use Te, you are probably an INTj. If you use Te more than you use Ti, you could really be an ISTp.
ISTJ - An INTj usually becomes confused between this type and his or her native INTj when he or she has decided upon being an introvert, determined self as a judging type, and has been having some influence from the sixth function, while not really being sure if that function is introverted or extroverted. In this senerio, instead of a INTj confusing his or her self for an ESTj the extroverted or introverted type has been substituted. In this instance, the way to discern between these two types and to choose the correct one is to determine whether you activelly use more Si or Se. If you use Si more than you use Se, you are probably an INTj. If you use Se more than you use Si, you could really be an ISTJ.
ENTj - Because of the influence of MBTI, some new to socionic's theory may ignorantly think that the correct way to switch between introverted and extroverted types is to simply switch an E to an I or an I to an E. This is not the correct way to switch back and forth between the two in socionics. If you are an ENTj in MBTI with an emphasis on expressing Ti and Ne, your actual socionics type is either an INTj if you choose to stay a judging type or ENTp if you find that you might want to consider being a socionic's perceiving type. On the otherhand, if the above INTj description does not relate to you and you functionally express Te and Ni, ENTj is still an option, though be warned that socionics does not totally follow the same logic as MBTI does when determining J and P nor do the same stereotypical rules apply when attempting to determine introversion and extroversion. If you are familiar with MBTI, the possibility of having to type yourself totally diffrent than MBTI should be a definite expectation.