INTJ relationships can sometimes get difficult to navigate. It’s because INTJs are curious beings who love to question everything and view conflict as an opportunity to learn. But this can make them seem like the devil to people who love them.
Have you ever had a family member who is extremely smart, but not the greatest at emotionally connecting with you?
Or do you have a friend that questions everything you do and loves to ask the question “why?”
Or maybe you have a very intelligent boss who is capable of solving complicated problems, but he never listens to any of your good ideas?
Chances are that you are in a relationship with someone in the INTJ Meyers-Brigg personality.
Being in an INTJ relationship can be quite challenging so here’s the breakdown on everything you need to know about them and how to best connect with them.
For the purposes of this article, I will be personifying the INTJ personality and using it as a noun.
What is an INTJ?
INTJs are one of the rarest personality types and form only 2% of the population. Here is a brief overview of the characteristics:
(I)ntroversion – They focus their attention inward and get their energy from having time alone.
i(N)tuition– They rely on the information they get from within themselves. As a result, they tend to focus more on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details.
(T)hinking – They prefer to make their decisions based on their own logical reasoning and analysis rather than their own emotions.
(J)udgement – They orient themselves to the external world through planning and organization rather than going with the flow and having spontaneity.
What are INTJs like?
INTJs are natural-born leaders, but they don’t rush to take charge of situations unless they feel it’s absolutely necessary. They are able to think quickly on their feet and come up with effective solutions when things are not going well.
They are intensely curious and have an engineering type mind where they always have a need to comprehend how things work.
More importantly, the purpose of their need to understand things actually isn’t to satisfy their curiosity, but it’s more to figure out how to apply that knowledge in an innovative manner to effectively create improvement.
Their high level of competency enables them to do this very effective and it doesn’t take them long to understand new ideas.
Their brains operate like they are constantly playing chess where they are always analyzing situations and planning strategies and tactics to place themselves in the best situations. This is why they have the innate capability to outsmart others the most compared to any other personality type.
The benefits of being in a relationship with an INTJ
As you can imagine, being in an INTJ relationship can have quite a few amazing perks:
1. They are amazing problem solvers.
INTJs invest themselves heavily in their rational thought, logic, and analysis of cause and effect. This, in turn, enables them to objectively assess challenges to find the root cause of an issue and come up with the best solutions.
You’ve probably noticed that when you have a complex problem, you’ve been trying to figure out for a while, an INTJ sometimes can solve that problem in a matter of minutes.
2. They create the best-case scenarios.
INTJs excellent critical thinking skills combined with their love for innovation give them the amazing ability to improve existing systems and processes. This is why they hate following traditions and procedures without understanding the purpose and value of them.
They have a need to understand why things are done the way they are so they can evaluate if that’s the best way to do it.
This trait can prove to be extremely helpful when you are trying to figure out things like how to find good deals, plan trips or choose the best product to buy.
3. They are extremely reliable.
Because of their amazing problem-solving skills that are supplemented with implementation, they prove to be extremely reliable. Their determination to always get to the bottom of things ensures that they implement the best solutions possible.
When you ask INTJs for help, you can depend on them knowing they will do everything they can to bring you the best results possible.
4. They are always taking the initiative to grow.
INTJs make great employees if you place them in autonomous roles because they are very independent and proactive.
Once INTJs have a clear understanding of a situation that needs to be addressed, they are great at analyzing the best options and taking the initiative to get the work done. They are also great resources to learn from because they are always actively seeking ways to improve.
5. They are the jack of all trades.
INTJs have a very high level of intelligence, competence, and knowledge, and combined with their natural desire to keep developing personally, it’s not surprising that they are extremely multi-talented.
You may find they have answers to almost all the challenges you run into to the point it surprises you at how much they are capable of.
The difficulties of being in a relationship with an INTJ
Like all good things, there are some bad things about INTJ’s that may prove to be quite the challenge:
1. They can fall into arrogance.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and INTJs are guilty of falling into the latter.
Their high level of confidence and capabilities might at times become more of an arrogant mindset instead.
2. They tend to be judgemental.
INTJs usually are quick to dismiss others especially when they feel like they sense gap incompetency.
They may tend to look down on people who are less competent and treat them in a condescending manner.
3. They engage in destructive behavior when under high stress.
When INTJs are under extreme stress, their greatest strengths become a debilitating weakness.
They become overly analytical and may engage in excessive behaviors like drinking or eating. They begin to act much more impulsively and create more projects than they can handle.
While their analytical skills prove to be imperative when solving complex problems, there are times when they overanalyze and make things more complicated then it should be.
4. They don’t respond well to authority.
INTJs hate hearing phrases like “Because I told you so” because their deepest core value lies in finding the most rational answers.
They tend to rub authorities the wrong way because INTJs often question all their motives and it can come off as offensive even though the intention is to figure out the best way to do things.
A big pet peeve for INTJs is whenever you deny a request with answers like “Because that’s just how it’s always been done.”
5. They lack emotional availability.
Because they operate so heavily with the logical left hemisphere of their brains, INTJ’s have trouble utilizing the emotional right brain.
This, in turn, can lead to difficulty in creating intimacy and emotional connection with others.
How to work best with INTJ relationships
Working with INTJ’s can prove to be both productive and difficult. Here are some ways to help enhance your INTJ relationships especially during times of conflict:
1. Give them their alone time to think and recharge when brainstorming solutions.
While group feedback is important, INTJs work best when they at least have a separate time to also be able to think things through uninterrupted.
If they don’t accept your ideas, don’t take it personally. They are not being rigid. They are genuinely trying to figure out the best solution in an objective manner. In fact, they are actually very open to ideas as long as it helps lead to the solution so don’t give up on the first try if they reject an idea you have.
What to do?
- When making suggestions or coming up with ideas to solve a problem, be sure you first have a good sense of the background information first. If you ask questions that you could’ve just googled first, they will quickly dismiss you so be sure to ask questions that show you at least have a good foundational knowledge of the situation.
- Don’t micromanage. Doing so will make them very resistant to you and disengaged. Instead, communicate your needs and once you confirm they understand the situation clearly, provide whatever necessary tools needed to get the job done and leave them to get the work done.
2. Connect by showing a desire to learn.
INTJs hate small talk but are highly stimulated by deep intellectual conversations. The purpose of all the intellect they build-up isn’t to be better than people, but it comes from a genuine love for growth and improvement.
Although the amount of knowledge and competence they have may be intimidating to some, they gladly share their knowledge if they sense from you the desire to learn and apply it.
INTJs often are misunderstood because they are often thinking 10 steps ahead so it’s hard for others to keep up. This is the reason why they are usually very lonely, but they do have a deep desire to feel understood.
What to do?
- Don’t beat around the bush. INTJ’s often get annoyed by unproductive superficial conversations.
- Don’t be afraid to ask deep questions to help get you to the point where you are synced up and on the same page. They appreciate when others make the effort to meet them at their level of competency.
3. Don’t be offended when they question you.
When dealing with an INTJ, they often try to ask a lot of questions that start with “why.”
This naturally will trigger you to become defensive so it’s important to remind yourself that the intention isn’t to attack you, but more to figure out what the best approach and solutions are.
This is why it’s important to always communicate the purpose behind what you request of INTJs.
What to do?
- When giving a task or asking for a favor, always provide the reasons why you are doing so.
- If they don’t have a clear understanding of why the particular task is important, they will often be very disengaged.
- When you clearly communicate the purpose behind what you are asking for and agree on why it important, INTJs will almost always produce results that exceed expectations.
4. Call them out on their bullsh*t.
INTJs can tend to place themselves in a mindset where they think highly of themselves.
Sometimes, it just takes giving an honest reminder to them that the way they say things to you is sometimes very condescending.
What to do?
- When INTJs fall over into becoming arrogant and judgmental, don’t be afraid to point it out to them. They value open and honest conversation.
- You can count on it that they will be spending a ton of time trying to understand what is going wrong and come up with a solution for improvement.
5. Activate the emotional half of their brain.
While INTJs are highly logical, they do feel emotions. And when they do, they feel them very deeply.
They often times may seem emotionless, but this doesn’t mean they are. This is because they are too busy spending time rationalizing things and are too caught up in their minds that they don’t feel the need to always be expressing their emotions.
What to do?
- Frame the lack of intimacy as a problem to the INTJ and you can rely on the fact that he or she will work hard to try and come up with a mutually beneficial solution.
- Do things that will help activate the emotional right brain in order to improve your connection with each other because INTJs are left-brain dominant and engaged in logical activities all the time.
- Implement ways to touch whether it’s a handshake, hug, or intimate physical behavior if it’s a partner.
- Try to check in occasionally about how they feel.
Related: 7 Struggles Every INTJ Kid Has Had
Creating your own best-case scenarios
Being in a relationship with an INTJ can be very rewarding, but can also prove to be emotionally taxing.
Once you come to the understanding of how INTJ’s are wired, you can learn how to best communicate and build the relationship together.
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or partner, figuring out how to work with each other in a way that’s more productive will empower both people in the relationship.
When you use the tips provided here, you will achieve so much more together than if you each approached things your own way.
And together, you’ll ultimately be creating your own best-case scenarios.
Eugene works with professionals who are frustrated because they’ve made it as far as they can go and start to feel stuck. His unique neuroscience-based method of coaching helps them figure out what their next steps can be whether it’s a way to grow within their company or even switch careers. Download his free guide to help find your unique calling here.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions at all.
Written by Eugene K. Choi Originally appeared on Life Hack