INTJ manual

A simple but very important user's guide to dealing with people like me, and my dad, and probably quite a few of the readers of this blog:
  1. Expect debate. INTJs enjoy tearing things apart to understand them and to prove (or disprove) their worthiness.
  2. They will gladly argue a point they don't actually support, just for the sake of argument or to probe things. This bears repeating: an INTJ can easily and persuasively assume a point of view which is wholly contrary to his actual conviction. If in doubt, ask.
  3. INTJs do have a strong sense of humour, often dry and quick, but also a bit warped. It can easily take a morbid streak.
  4. Expect blunt, honest, sometimes even hurtful answers; if you don't want to hear the truth, you wouldn't ask, would you?
  5. INTJs like to do lists, enumerations, pattern sorting and putting things into an ordered state (ordered for them, not necessarily for the rest of the world).
  6. Statements you can't back up with either solid facts or solid reasoning will at best be ignored and at worst poked fun at in ways not many people would describe as nice.
  7. Try to be both concise and precise. Using 81 woolly words where 18 sharp ones would suffice will not endear you to them.
  8. They do love wordplay though: if you can re-package your 81 woolly words in a witty, unexpected, esoteric fashion, they'll appreciate that.
  9. Don't expect an INTJ to respect anything you (or some other authorities) say just because you (or some other authorities) say it. INTJs bow to one authority only: rationality.
  10. For an INTJ truth is more important than simply being right, so they will readily admit errors or mistakes (once they have been convinced something they said or did was indeed wrong — to convince them may not be easy though). INTJs unfortunately expect others to work likewise (and react [with bewilderment] if they don't).
  11. Stick to a statement after being proven wrong by facts or reasoning and an INTJ will treat you as an irrational idiot and everything you say as probable nonsense.
  12. Try not to be repetitive. It bores them to death and they'll make damned sure you realise they're bored to death.
  13. Clumsy attempts at political correctness and similar aberrations will greatly amuse them (sometimes to such an extent that — just for the sheer fun of it — they play along and agree wholeheartedly).
  14. Don't be surprised at sarcasm, hyperbole and flippancy. In fact, a non-sarcastic INTJ must be severely ill. I know INTJs who can't stop being sarcastic even (or perhaps especially) when severely ill.
  15. Expect punctuality and exactness. They try hard to be on time and they hate unpunctual-ness, particularly of the casual sort: the words obsessive-compulsive come to mind.
  16. They tend to be quite forgetful in everyday life, especially for trivial things like car keys, dropped tools or anniversaries.
  17. You can't trust that an INTJ takes something, anything for granted. They do take some things for granted, but you'll never know what and what not. The more extreme ones are actually willing to put everything to the test (and I mean everything).
  18. Remember that INTJs believe in workable solutions. They are open-minded to all and every possibility, but they will quickly discard any concept they deem unfeasible (including their own).
  19. Their way of showing that something you say (an idea, a suggestion) has potential or merit is by trying to pull it apart (which shocks those poor souls who instead expected awe or admiration). The ultimate INTJ insult to an idea or suggestion is to ignore it altogether, because that means it's not even interesting enough to deconstruct.
  20. INTJs can and will make themselves and everything else (and again, I mean everything) the butt of their jokes, witticisms and deeply nonsensical remarks.
  21. Do not expect INTJs to care very much about how you view them. They already know that many people see them as arrogant bastards with a weird sense of humour and they long since got used to it.
  22. INTJs, in the privacy of their minds, frequently think the unthinkable and expect the unexpected. So don't be taken aback if they express little or no surprise if something “impossible” happens.


  1. Dude you just described my life. These posts are gold and you should post these more often. One point that I would add to the list is this: Introverts are aware of their own nature while extroverts are completely oblivious to their nature but for some strange twisted reason a lot of deep friendships and crazy relationships are formed between the two.

    1. Fellow INTJ and curmudgeon Uncle Bob once put it thusly:

      "Introverts understand extroverts a lot better than extroverts understand introverts, just the way the smart understand the stupid a lot better than the stupid understand the smart."

  2. He left out 'often feels lonely but won't seek company from mostly irritating non intjs', for obvious reasons. Inane chatter is torture, mpai and all that.

  3. I used to score something like 90% on the introversion scale - haven't tested in a while. I think most people are alright, but that's just from my personal experience.

    1. My attitude toward most people that I meet can be reasonably described as follows:

      "Most people are only tolerable well-boiled and with lots of salt".
      - From Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

  4. Hey I haven't taken the Myers-Briggs test in a good while I know definitely I used to be really introverted from perhaps anxiety but now I am because I want to be I guess, This really is stricking a cords I think I am most likely one of these and also just figured out I am almost assuredly a sigma male

    1. Boy, the troll accounts sure are getting sophisticated.

      Look, Sparky, I'll let you in on a little secret here: Sigma males do not see the need to advertise themselves. They are both sexually and socially successful. And they actually have some clue as to how to use correct spelling and punctuation.

      You might want to look into how NOT to come across like a complete tool when in the position of being a guest in someone else's house.

  5. I can't seem to distinguish J or P by the quiz. Either seems to fit, too many 'no best answers'

  6. Interesting read. I never took the Myers-Briggs test. I don't like concerts due to the crowds/noise and am not fond of group gatherings--even when I know most everyone there. 5 - 6 is about my limit on any given occasion. Groups are draining me. I recharge by being alone and doing something that interests me. I'm not sure if I'd qualify as an introvert "per se", but I can certainly relate.

    At one point you stated:
    "...what you think is a conversation and what we think is an acid-bath..."
    That has got to be one of the most truthful and funniest descriptions I have read in a while. Well put. I think Kipling (or maybe more William F. Buckley, Jr.) would have liked that phraseology. I know I did.

    1. Well... that specific quote comes from a different article, but thanks, I appreciate the props - especially the comparison to Kipling. I am truly not worthy )))

    2. Yes, I actually noticed that after I posted it.
      I read most of your articles by email subscription, so some of the posts are together in a single email update (if you post several articles close together), or the emailed articles are side-by-side when I sort them to read (like they were this time). Which means, of course, I ended up posting to the wrong article.
      Still that was a nice turn of phrase.


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