A few years ago when it was cool for burgeoning 20-somethings, in college and discovering the world and themselves, to take online personality tests, I fell on one test that revealed the non-obvious and which gained my respect ever after.

The test was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment. It not only revealed the non-obvious of my personality but it also explained why others react in the ways they do to my personality type.

When I took this online test (and I wish I had the URL but I don’t) I did it pretty quickly and without much critical thought. This was because it was yet another test my friends were passing around online. Much later, however, someone told me that was probably the best and only objective way to take the test. Our true selves are often revealed when we shoot from the hip. So, having not put much thought into each answer, to have it come back with such an eye-opening result impressed me to no end.

In my own words, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a system for applying categorical tags to a subject. Things like Introverted/Extroverted, Feeling, Judging, etc. The interpretation of the result, and deeper explanation, is up to others qualified in related fields. The write-up I fell onto was one by Fannie R. Linder, Psy.D. It was her writing that explained and described so aptly the personality, traits, behaviours and reasoning behind INTJs.

Now, I’m aware, that being an INTJ, I’m probably the only type that would find this personality test beneficial for any use. I even wish others would take it and read the results of their type and other types because I think it would help everyone function better together. But I know that’s probably just my type speaking. So, regardless, I still find it intriguing because it reveals aspects of personality and behaviours which I hadn’t yet considered and it showed why other personalities react in ways that I have seen first-hand.

In the past, I’ve googled on “intj” and come across others who hold it up as some kind of excuse for who they are and that others should give them some allowance because they are who they are. Having read Linder’s, however,  I see, now that I understand the interplay of personalities, each type has the power to break the personality mold when the need arises to deal with everyday inter-personal scenarios. By doing so, one becomes a more dynamic individual, able to deal with a greater variety of people, personalities and situations.

Google around for an online test and let me know what you think.

Following is Fannie R. Linder’s analysis of the INTJ Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.


Has personal mission
Highly independent
Critically analyzes
Concerned with organization
Driven by inner ideas and possibilities

INTJs are people who look at the system, critically analyze it in logical, impersonal fashion, and then become truly driven by inner ideas and possibilities to bring order to the organization, whatever its form.  Not easily discouraged, all things become possible, including what other types would consider to be impossibilities.

The complex is an intriguing challenge to INTJs and their unique systemswide insight permits them to solve puzzles and to develop unique and creative solutions to problems that perplex lesser souls.

INTJs are deeply reflective and meditative personalities, seeing “the patterns” within disarray and setting things “aright”.

INTJs are perhaps the most misunderstood of all the types.  It is widely assumed that they are “self-confident” – or arrogant – when, in fact, they are “systems-thinkers” which demands that one think impersonally.   They are, therefore,  concerned with “the whole” and not just one facet – which, unfortunately, sometimes is the boss’s or someone else’s feelings – the personal.  They are shocked, and rightfully so, when they discover that they are assumed to be arrogant for being impersonal.  Although they are independent thinkers, they are not intentionally uncaring, nor are they uncaring in reality.

It is best to say that they appear to be “self-confident” for they are “crushed” – sometimes beyond measure – when they have analyzed incorrectly and made a mistake.  They suffer greatly on this account because – unknown to those who do not know them well – they hold themselves to an even higher standard than they do others – which is nothing less than the standard of perfection and internalize failure in a deep and hidden way.  In fact, they are eternally vigilant, scanning their “inner horizon” for any portentous flaw in thinking which could lead them into error which, for them, is absolute disaster.

It is assumed that INTJs have no regard for authority when, in fact, what INTJs have is a lack of respect for authority that is not “learned” in ways that will benefit the system – a lack of respect for authority that is not “in the know”, for INTJs respect knowledge above all and want only to deal with those who “know”.  Then, they are very capable students, co-operative co-workers and faithful disciples.  They know, almost as no other type knows, that a “weak” head means a weak system and work will be in vain.  Wasted time, effort and energy are terms for failure to INTJs and INTJs do not like to fail.

Being impersonal in orientation, INTJs are not naturally aware of the socially acceptable aspects of cultures but are extraordinarily capable of learning if it is not simply a veneer or “faux” way of living.  They are anything but “surface” people.  They commit many charitable acts of kindness in very quiet and unassuming ways.

Although much like INFJs in many ways – only more so, INTJs are “cut no slack” due to their impersonal approach to life while INFJs appear to be more loving and caring due to their refined personal skills par excellent.  INTJs are generally extremely private – many do not even care to be touched – and so do not naturally gravitate to the social mores which require small talk and meaningless witticisms.  Their bemused and quiet demeanor can be taken for arrogance and, indeed, INTJs are capable of brutal insights into others which can be unnerving to those who feel INTJs can “see through” them.  Superficiality is not tolerated by INTJs – unless there is no other way to “advance” themselves or their ideas – but, for the INTJ, this is not admirable.

This can make personal relationships difficult, particularly romantic ones that require flirtation.  Coyness and indirectness are not strong points for INTJs, innocuous play is not at all meaningful and comes across as being stilted.

INTJs can be extravagantly romantic for they are creative planners and can design tastefully grandiose “getaways”,  unique gifts and thoughtful surprises as they are particularly insightful as to the makeup of the few they care deeply about.

They may be unnatural social participants but are capable of learning to be great lovers and intensely personal when they become aware that it is required by those they love.

INTJs do not need to be the centre of attention and, though they may be extremely critical of others’ ideas, they, nonetheless, will work to bring about the dreams and schemes of those they care about once their (the INTJs) views have been made known.  Often the point is missed that INTJs often employ debate but are quick to recognize a higher truth, though they will debate until truth arises or someone “quits”.   Still, those who know them also know that they are capable of exquisite wittiness, are insightful and possess a quirky, personal sense of humor.

INTJs are born executives and are totally dependable and dedicated to any project to which they commit themselves.  They are unstinting in perseverance, intolerant of weakness and demanding of any under their authority.  While being great taskmasters, they are nonetheless unstinting in seeing that due credit is given to those who deserve it and are not grasping for honours for themselves.  They only truly appreciate praise when it is really deserved or comes from those whom they admire and are in a position to truly know that the praise is really deserved for perfection is their standard.

Because of their intellects and impersonal approach to most things,  INTJs may be feared by those who are not in close relationships with them but are greatly respected and admired even if they are not liked.  They are due more regard for their impersonal approach than they receive from their personal-oriented counterparts,  for their approach is just that – impersonal – but it is not disinterest nor is it disregard for others.

Fannie R. Linder, Psy.D.

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