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Portrait of an INTJ

Hi everyone.  I am adding the Portrait of an INTJ because INTJs can also be Highly Sensitive People (HSPs).  INTJ stands for Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judicial.  This Portrait of an INTJ is taken directly from the book Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates.  Please consider buying the book as a handbook for understanding other people as well as your self.  Here is the Portrait as quoted directly from the book found at the following link:  http://faculty.ccbcmd.edu/~hzlotow1/MBTI/intj.pdf

The book Please Understand Me can be purchased through amazon.com through my page Recommended Books and My Bookstore

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25 responses

  1. As an INTJ, I’d like to add that Narcissism is the very anti-thesis of our type. Having had a ‘dysfunctional childhood’ is an understatement for any INTJ who has been brought up by Narcissistic parents. My mentor (expert in Myers-Briggs) says that emotional connection is THE soft underbelly of INTJs. Narcissistic individuals hone in on this with ‘guns ablazin’. From experience, it’s educational in a way. Instead of: ‘Why do humans act like this?’; we grow and come to the realization that somethings cannot be changed. A singularly difficult concept to digest for an INTJ.

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    1. I am the INTJ daughter of an extraverted, narcissistic mother and know exactly what you’re talking about!

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      1. Robin, Thank you for your comment! Welcome to our community!

        Warmest wishes to you,

        Roxanne

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    2. I’m very interested in speaking to you about INTJ’s raised by narcissists … I love an INTJ whose mom & dad were N’s. 😦 I’m afraid he seems broken beyond repair; he also demonstrates some traits that seem to be related to an affect disorder (perhaps bipolar), and he has a lot of Personality Disorder (NOS) traits as well. My heart is broken … there is such immense potential for this brilliant and funny human ~ seemingly lost in his own personal hell … his mind. :,( I love him so much … and then he just disappears into this angry paranoid. I want my friend back …
      ~ A Longing INFJ

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      1. Hi Longing INFJ,
        I’m an INTJ and can definitely relate to what you had to say about your friend. I’m in my early 30’s and am only now figuring out who I am and what it means to be an INTJ. It has been a battle. I think a lot of the psych problems are actually just an INTJ trying to understand themself. I always knew I was looking for something, and my intuition took me from one thing to another, but only recently did I realize I was trying to understand myself. Unfortunately we INTJ’s turn our analysis on everything outside of ourselves, but often it doesn’t get us anywhere as we logically whittle away at everyone around us. As far as helping your friend, you will definitely have to seek him out(I’m assuming it’s a him); he won’t seek help on his own. The best thing you can do is go and just say that you care and you are there for him. Do listen or ask questions if he volunteers to talk, but don’t try to solve his problems. If you try to offer answers to his problems, it will engage his strong analytical side and he will break down your idea and possibly hurt your feelings in the process(which will only make him feel worse because his intention was not to hurt you, only to mentally flip a nameless, faceless idea). We do appreciate those who we know care though, even if we don’t say it at the time. In a major way it disarms us when someone is caring with no discernible strings attached. Hope this was helpful and that your friend is making progress.

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        1. thank you …

          I do agree that it is not my place to try and fix another’s problems. Very true. Its something that person has to do on their own.

          Do you think INTJs tend to feel bad for hurting another’s feelings ~ more than they let on?

          I will say that at this point in life my skin is quite thick; I seem to give it as good as I get with my beloved INTJs 😉 It seems at times he is more sensitive than I am; I think he expects rejection and has a pretty shaky sense of self… He has let on just how deep his emotions run for him. seems intense.

          I found this interesting – would you elaborate? “In a major way it disarms us when someone is caring with no discernible strings attached.”

          thanks again

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          1. I do think INTJs feel bad for hurting the feelings of those we care about. Maybe in the moment we get carried away and say hurtful things(probably a defensive thing more than anything), but once we have time to step back and analyze what happened, we do know when we we have messed up. Plus we’re left with the result of being alone as proof that the way we handled a situation wasn’t appropriate. I still think much of this comes from not understanding ourselves. Lenore Thomson’s book with descriptions of NTs generally and INTJs specifically really helped me. It took me reading through it a few times to really get what she was saying, and I’ve seen where some people have said that her description is negative, but I found it to be honest and informative. I think INTJs have really deep emotions, we’re just really bad at dealing with them or talking about them. What has helped me the most has been to free-flow write(without concerning myself with grammar or punctuation) and talking to a counselor that simply listens. It forces an INTJ to give some form to their jumbled thoughts and feelings.

            As far as being disarmed by caring people with no strings attached, I’ll give you an example:
            I started going to an extremely liberal church, one where all views and interpretations are welcome, and questioning is much encouraged. When I first started attending, many people who didn’t know me talked to me and were very kind to me, and my first reaction was why are they being so nice – what do they want? Being an INTJ I was looking for their motives. It took me a while, but I eventually realized they were just genuinely nice, caring people. It’s taken me even more time, but slowly I’ve been able to let my guard down some when I’m there.

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      2. anonymous, Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately healing takes a long time… and the person must WANT to heal. With warm wishes, Roxanne

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    3. Elisa, Thank you for your comment. Yes, The INTJs I know are all highly compassionate souls deep down. 😀

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  2. FireUnderWater | Reply

    I am a female INTJ and I believe that everything can be changed…we just don’t know how …yet. 😉

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    1. FireUnderWater,

      Thank you for your comment. And as highly intuitive people we are discovering how magical the Universe is and the power of our thoughts and feelings to create our experiences. You are on your way to figuring it out! 🙂

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  3. […] Portrait of an INTJ from Hope and Healing Haven Blog […] (Blog Author Roxanne E. Smith–formerly pen name Elaine Sanders)

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    1. Thank you for linking to my post! Please note the name changes. With warm regards, Roxanne

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  4. Do Intj’s take a long time to integrate their inner world with the real world?

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    1. Hi ushoba, Thank you for your comment. This is a very good question. My opinion is that it depends on the loving, nurturing parenting environment in infancy and childhood whether or not an INTJ feels safe to be curious and voice his fascination with the outside world. If the outside world does not feel safe then it is a survival reaction for the INTJ to create an inner world that is safe. Then later, in adulthood, it is wise if the INTJ would find a safe witness to talk to about the truth of their childhood so that they can feel whole and benefit the “real” world with their brilliant ideas! Any other INTJs out there that would like to answer ushoba’s question? Warmest wishes to you, Roxanne

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  5. Robin Toulouse | Reply

    I definitely feel safer in my inner world than in the “real” world. My parents went through a very unpleasant divorce when I was 9 years old and both remarried. My father married a hoarder and my mother married a hypochondriac narcissist. I had a wonderful psychiatrist who helped me heal from lot of the emotional trauma of my childhood. Unfortunately she died of bile duct cancer about 8 years ago and I haven’t really found anyone to replace her.

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    1. Robin, Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story! 😀 Sending warmest wishes to you, Roxanne

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  6. Is it possible to identify a child as an intj to possibly provide the best possible loving and nurturing environment. I seem to have missed this when I brought up my son. people at home were quite confusing in their behavior and communication. (I live in a joint family, which I thought could be very nurturing but turned out otherwise). I found my son to be very composed and pretty much conforming to normal children standards, but now claims that he was in his inner world all the time.

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    1. Yes, it is possible. But don’t feel too bad because it is not always just parenting that causes INTJ kids to create an inner world–society and school environment also inhibits their being their true selves. The great thing about kids who are intuitive(N) is that a genuine apology and heart to heart talk from a parent will make all the difference in their lives. Intuitive types can heal completely and become their true selves with this kind of continuous support and being “seen”.

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  7. I’m an HSP INTJ and frequently have to explain to people that yes, this is possible, and no, the S in HSP doesn’t mean what most people think “sensitive” means. In particular, for the INTJ, it doesn’t mean empathic and taking the other person’s feelings into account first. That’s the INFJ HSP 😉

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    1. Yes vlbrown, The S could be called Sensory-sensitivity which has more to do with intuition than emotionality. Highly sensitive Ts take in more thinking stimuli and HS F’s more feeling–you got it!! You might like the following blog: http://www.highergroundhaven.wordpress.com. Check it out! 😀 Thank you for your comment and welcome to our community! 😀

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  8. I realize this is an old blog, but I’m a female INTJ empath, raised my a narcissistic mother. So, I’m working through a few things.

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    1. Hi Melissa, Thank you for your comment! This blog still averages 50 views a day! Welcome to our community! Sending you caring, comforting wishes as you heal, Roxanne

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  9. Wonderful article…i am a Female empath HSP INFJ (Whew, it is exhausting!) and recently met an amazing, intellectual INTJ late 40’s male online. It was the greatest mental connection of all time for both of us, but unfortunately i got a little “needy” (in a very polite way!) and was hoping to hear from him more often than every few days (we live in different countries) and it got too much for him as he needs his “cave time” a lot ( i get it i too am an introvert who needs a lot of alone time.)
    Anyway things ended very abruptly the other night over text as he was saying it seems he cannot give me the daily attention i need etc, i was getting a little emotional and saying i haventmet a guy i am really interested in for years, this isnt a joke for me, and i dont want something “just for fun” or casual and he replied “well apparently we arent compatible. I dont like how i am feeling right now. This is way too much way too fast. Lets just cease. I hope you find what you are looking for. Goodbye” and that was it. I was in tears and have been for days. I deleted my dating profile ( we had been texting and swapped email adresses anyway) and had since sent a couple of emails to him apologising and hoping to work it out. Yesterday i reactivated my profile only to discover he had blocked me. Clearly he was freaking out big time to the point of blocking me, so i am guessing he blocked my emails as well so never got them. He is 48! I feel that is so extreme and immature to block me.
    I am so devastated, he ran without any further considerations or discussions to work it out. Have any of you got some advice, i hear INTJs can take a lot longer to think about things and can do the “intj door slam” if things get even a little difficult.
    This is NOT a mature, compassionate way to handle things, especially when i have been so caring and we had such a wonderful connection and he too was full on his interest level, asking so many deep personal questions to get to know me…..any advice woudl be so greatly appreciated, i am heartbroken. I waited 45 years to find a connection like this now he has thrown it away…:(

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    1. Hello Sam, Thank you for sharing your story. I understand it must be hard for things with this man to not work out how you wanted them to. Try to remember that people are very complex (especially INTJs) and maybe he had some deep wounds and trauma that keep him protecting himself from emotional intimacy. He sounds as if he is “emotionally unavailable” except sometimes (and those times gave you great hope because you saw a glimpse of his true self). He may have done you a great favor in ending it near the beginning rather than later when you are more emotionally invested, if he is not ready to look at his emotional wounds and heal from them. Only he can take down a wall he has put up. Sounds like he is no where near ready to look at his own stuff.

      INTJs have the ability to disconnect (even disassociate) from the emotional right brain and stay in the left brain thinking side to avoid emotional growth. They can function very well this way often until someone complains that they are emotionally unavailable. Often times the reason they are emotionally unavailable is because they are actually very emotionally sensitive and at some point in their lives, often in childhood or adolescence, they turn off their emotions to protect themselves from feeling further emotional pain. They often see nothing wrong with this way of living. They sometimes can have great defensiveness and even aggression if you try to challenge their rational existence. They may accuse you of being too needy, too emotional, too sensitive just when you are wanting to be validated for being the sensitive soul you are meant to be. I believe this rejection is nothing personal about you, Sam, so please keep on believing in yourself and your wonderful sensitive “gifts”!!

      Emotionally unavailable men are a red flag we women should avoid unless we find INTJs who are doing the inner work to become their authentic selves with access to and compassion for their emotions. Take heart, Sam, in that you may have done him a great service by getting close to him a little so that he might have to start looking at his emotions and thinking about how nice it would be to let someone else in (someone nice like you 🙂 ) –he might even seek out some support from a trusted counselor to figure out why he has to shut things down when a nice, caring woman gets too close. Maybe thinking of this as a soul to soul interaction that didn’t ultimately work out but was meant to help you both get to a new level of personal growth would be helpful–he gave you hope that deep, thoughtful, caring men exist and truly LIKE you. And you possibly gave him hope to reexamine his life without emotional intimacy with a loving, available female.

      I feel sure he didn’t want to hurt your feelings and so ending it early was his way of being kind to you and this made perfect sense to him in a left brain perspective. Perhaps enjoying the memories this man shared with you as real, sending him loving thoughts and prayers, and moving on knowing you did effect him by giving him hope as well. There is no way to know for sure, but my guess is you were instrumental in getting him to “feel” some things and that is a wonderful beginning for him to look at changing his life which could take a very long time if he has waited this long (48 years) to get started. Remember too, he’s in another country and Sam you deserve an emotionally available man who you can hug and kiss on a daily basis :D! Hopefully that is in your future if you believe you deserve it! Believe and you will attract it–there are wonderful men out there–if you love yourself first and know you don’t “need” anyone to be happy then you will attract a man who also loves himself and will have his whole heart to “give” you! Please let me know your thoughts and if this was helpful and how you are doing, Sam. Sending comfort and caring wishes to you, Roxanne ✨

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