After taking several personality tests, I am certain that I’m an INTJ. After looking around in books and on-line, unable to find a single description that would accurately describe me, this is an attempt to accomplish just that.

In compiling what’s below, I have blatantly plagiarized, adopted, copied and edited parts of other descriptions, but as particular sources aren’t important in this context no citations are provided. If you’re taken aback by previous sentence, please continue reading and it will all make sense. Really…

It is also important to note that not all INTJs are identical. As much as personality traits affect us, character which is mostly developed due to individual’s life circumstances is just as paramount. With that, following are just a couple points to help you understand an INTJ in your life.

We are information hounds. We simply must know. Everything. About everything. Especially if it is something of interest – like just about anything applicable in real life. We can grasp complex theories and ideas, organize and interrelate vast amounts of information – more than that, we are surprisingly good at tying it all in to a usable system. For an INTJ there’s no such thing as an “accidental” occurrence. Everything is connected to at least one something else. There’s also no such thing as too much information. We live, in a way, to consume information in any form – news media, books, cinema, music, political commentaries, blogs, articles, stock quotes, etc.

We are self confident. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that we start building at an early age. When it comes to my own areas of expertise — and many INTJs can have several – I’ll be able to tell you immediately whether or not I can help you, and if so, how. We know what we know, and perhaps still more importantly, we know what we don’t know.

We are intuitive. We can easily think “outside the box”. While most people need to go from A to B to C and so forth, INTJs can instantly go from A to F without any trouble. This is not a problem, per se, unless you’re in a corporate meeting where you’ve already came up with a solution, and a practical realization plan by the time everyone else is just getting ready to discuss the proposition. INTJs quickly learn to keep quiet and let the discussion go on for a few minutes before uttering a single sentence which ends the debate.

Expect debate. We like to tear ideas apart and to prove their worthiness. I will, on many occasions, argue a point I don’t actually support for the sake of argument. INTJs do not need to believe in a position to argue it or argue it well. Therefore, it will take more than fervor to sway me. (Ex.: God is the Ultimate INTJ. If you have any doubts, ask an INTJ.)

Workable solutions. I am extremely open-minded to possibilities, but I will quickly discard any idea that is unfeasible. INTJ open-mindedness means that we are willing to have a go at an idea by trying to pull it apart. This horrifies people who expect oohs and ahhs and reverence. The ultimate INTJ insult to an idea is to ignore it, because that means it’s not even interesting enough to deconstruct. This also means that we will not just accept any viewpoint that is presented to us. The bottom line is “Does it work?” – end discussion. We do expect statements to be backed up with facts – or at least some sound reasoning. Viewpoints or people aren’t granted respect just because of title, position or status. INTJ respect must be earned. Stick to erroneous comments and I will think you are an irrational idiot and treat everything you say as being questionable.

We Are Not Cold and Distant. We do not see ourselves as being cruel, cold, distant, unbending, unforgiving, mean, icy or impossible but sometimes people use those words to describe us. We are factual… some might say “lawyerly.” When you accuse us of inappropriate past behavior and we ask when it happened, and where we were and what the weather was like and who was with us, please don’t take those questions as being argumentative or difficult. We are just trying to place ourselves back into that space and time to re-examine what you did not appreciate so we can fix it later.
We are not trying to catch you in a lie, or in a disremembered moment, in order to win the argument. We don’t live in the past or really even ruminate much on past events — unless we are actively correcting something for future use — so any clues and hints you can provide to help place us back in time and space helps us a great deal and we are probably not trying to give you a hard time.

We Are Viciously Loyal. We do not betray and we do not tolerate betrayal in others. Our word means everything to us because promises influence our acts. We do not collect friends or affection. We pick a couple of people and stick with them forever. We are not picky or choosy. We just know what we want and we don’t want to waste an instant deceiving someone else’s good intentions if we are not interested. You always know where you stand with us. If we like you, we say so. If we don’t, we won’t have to say it out loud for you to know.

Emotional? Heck, yah! Sure we get angry. We are not emotionless. We have passion and magnitude and we express it when our values are violated (see Loyalty above) and that passion often gets misunderstood for anger. Sometimes we are not great about sensing how you and others feel so you need to tell us so there is no doubt and if you are taken aback by what you feel is anger, ask us: Are you angry? We will likely be surprised at the question because we are probably just excited, hurt or trying to passionately explain the position we value.

We Don’t Chat. We are not chatters. We don’t do small talk. We don’t need to drone on about the weather or our families. We are not terribly concerned about being liked or not. We are to-the-point. I tell people I work with that when it comes to criticizing me or my work to “be blunt and cruel, it saves time” and some people get offended by that statement because they think I am asking them to be mean and to insult me. I am not.
I am asking them to get to the point. Don’t poke around the issue. Stab at it! It’s okay to be direct and decisive with us. It’s pretty hard to hurt our feelings when it comes to work. We don’t like busy work. We like to get things done the right way first and move on… so know what you want before you tell us what you need.

Disconnected. We are sometimes accused of being disconnected from the rest of society. We aren’t disconnected to the present. We place the present past behind us because we are already in the future. Funerals, for me anyway, are a waste of time because we are not our bodies. That thinking, I have learned, is offensive to many people on a plethora of levels. I am extremely connected to what is important to me but that interest does not sit looking back. Life stands in front of you and that includes everything that has already come before.
Do not expect us to actually care about how you view us. I already know that I’m an arrogant bastard with a morbid sense of humor. Telling me the obvious accomplishes nothing.

“Moving forward…” As future thinkers, we have, at times, the uncanny ability to know what will happen in the future before most of the people around us. That ability is sometimes interpreted by others as being “arrogant” and we work on trying to keep our mouths from always saying “I told you so” because that doesn’t go over well even though we are right to say it. We have the gift of, not predicting the future, but of knowing what will happen before it happens based on cultivating, chalking out and extending the current situation. Sometimes that can be scary for us because we can see something bad happening before our eyes before it actually happens. We are not, however, mind-readers, so you can never assume we know something about how you feel unless you directly tell us. We don’t like to guess how you’re feeling so instead of playing with us, just lay it all out on the table.

Right and Wrong. We generally have extremely strongly-held values about right and wrong and “right and wrong” for many of us are defined in a social sense and not necessarily a religious one. We know the world is grey but doing the right thing — the promises we make to each other kind of morality — is important to us because it helps shape the world into the worthy and the unworthy of our involvement. Seeing Justice done is a vital element for us because it carves the right stake in society.

We are closet leaders. We are natural leaders, although we usually choose to remain in the background until we see a real need to take over the lead. When we are in leadership roles, we are quite effective, because we can objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren’t working well. We are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against our current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency.

We really like rules. We like them so much we often make our own instead. Whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy, we also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask our inherent unconventionality. We will use rules, concepts and directives that work, and simply ignore those which do not suit us.

We like people. We consider that everyone has got talents and we try at least not to interfere. Most people do not understand us, and that’s just as well. We are cool and formal when interacting with people, if we care to interact with them at all. We are quiet and reserved, but easily become very excited and talkative when discussing important projects, or areas of expertise and interest. We talk and write in long, complex sentences. There’s no fluff – everything is pure content. We are difficult to read, because we don’t use any excess words or gestures. To complicate matters we are often naturally impassive as well, which makes us easy to misread and misunderstand.

We are kind of rare. INTJs make up less than 1% of the population. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that we really want people to make sense.