The Mastermind


intj-A / intj-T

The Mastermind

INTJ Introduction

Individuals of the INTJ personality type are confident, analytical, and ambitious in their behaviors. They are very logical and have a great desire to learn. MBTI types are typically autonomous and selective in their relationships, preferring to connect with intellectually fascinating people.

What Does INTJ Stand For?

I. What Does INTJ Stand For?

INTJ stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, and Judgement and is one of 16 personality types studied from the MBTI test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). The MBTI personality assessment developed by Isabel Briggs Myers, Katharine Cook Briggs, and David Keirsey from the work of psychiatrist Carl G. Jung, the types of psychology based on theories of cognitive functions. Keirsey named INTJ The Mastermind/ The Architect because they have logical thoughts and masterful strategies. INTJ is one of the four personality types of The Rational group.

II. Personality Traits of The INTJ Group

INTJs have a strong passion for analyzing, solving problems, improving systems, and processing their innovative ideas. They are always eager to improve their knowledge and strive restlessly, are perfectionists with high-performance standards for themselves and their colleagues. 

INTJs are very assertive, unique, and profound – these traits make others accept the idea of INTJs simply because of their sheer willpower and confidence. However, INTJs do not seek nor like attention and they often keep their opinions in mind if the topic of the discussion does not interest them much.

The independence and ideology of INTJs sometimes make them aloof from people but they are surely loyal partners. They are aware of the system and strategize it, and usually, everything will be clearly oriented. 

INTJs will retreat into darkness and maintain their grip on the most important decisions – but as soon as the leaders are unsuccessful and in need of the director, INTJs will not hesitate to take action, even while standing behind. INTJs are the last one behind the curtain.

INTJs are often considered to be very clever and mysteriously difficult to understand. People of INTJ personality often exude confidence, based on their vast understanding of various fields and areas.

III. The Cognitive Functions of The INTJ Group

Dominant: Introverted Intuition

INTJs use introverted intuition to examine patterns, meanings, and possibilities of particular events rather than simply observing them. They are also future-oriented and remember more of the event's impressions than the details of what happened.

Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking

Extroverted thinking causes INTJs to seek order, control, and structure in the world around them, making them very considerate and methodical when approaching problems. They make decisions in a very logical and organized way and often organize a chain of causes and consequences of events.

Tertiary: Introverted Feeling

Introverted values and emotions also influence INTJs' decision-making, but to a moderate extent compared to the two dominant functions above. INFJs who fully develop this aspect of their personality will show more.

Inferior: Extraverted Sensing

This function allows INTJs to experience the information process through their senses, albeit to a lesser extent as this is the personality's least developed function. When this function works, INTJs can feel that they are living in the present and energized by the world around them.

IV. INTJ Values and Motivations

INTJ Values and Motivations

1. INTJ values

INTJs value questions for potential problems and a reassessment for everything. They can be idealizing (nothing is impossible) and being skeptical (everyone is lying) at the same time. In any case, others can always rely on INTJs to fill the idea's gaps – they are more likely to come up with unexpected solutions.

INTJs are very perfectionist and they prefer to improve the ideas and systems they connect with. The nature of INTJs is curious, which tends to occur quite often. However, they always try to keep things under control, the ultimate goal is that every idea created by INTJs' mind or from outside needs to overcome the "cold-blood filter" called "Is this the right thing to do?" This is INTJs' reaction mechanism and they are well-known for applying it all the time, examining everything and everyone.

If INTJs begin to work with a new system, they will view the work as a moral obligation, merging their perfectionism and turning it into a great power. Anyone who does not have enough talent or simply does not see the outstandings, including the higher ranks of management, is immediately and may permanently lose their respect.

2. INTJ Motivations

INTJs tend to pursue every goal they set. The ability to create a plan and persevere in it often helps them succeed and fulfill both personal and professional ambitions. They thrive when there is something important to think about and work towards.

INTJs are willing to try new things as they will make an important positive impact. New solutions will solve problems more efficiently, stimulating, and energizing them. They see great value in continually finding better solutions, rather than just sticking to what's already there.

Time alone for self-review and introspective reflection recharges INTJs' battery. Although they still enjoy their time with friends and family, they prefer small and intimate circles rather than a large group.

V. Strengths and Weaknesses of INTJs

1. INTJ Strengths

With the ability of logical thinking, determination, and expertise, INTJs can fully take on the role of a talented leader and consultant.

INTJs have an excellent ability to evaluate all possible situations, calculate strategic and tactical moves, and often they will develop a backup plan as well.

INTJs' personality also has an unusual combination of assertiveness and vivid imagination. This means that, in reality, they can design a great plan and implement it. Imagine a giant chess board where chess pieces are constantly moving, trying to come up with new tactics, always guided by an invisible hand – the imagination of INTJ is like that. 

INTJs also often take the responsibility of making important decisions without consulting their peers. They are natural leaders and excellent strategists but are willing to give way to others who are competing for a leadership position, usually those with extrovert personalities (E). 

People of this personality type love and are great at taking care of people who are close to them.

When INTJs master the knowledge in their chosen field, they can speak frankly and honestly about whether they know the answer to a specific question or not. INTJs comprehend what they know and more importantly, they are very sure about that. Not surprisingly, this type of personality can be labeled as the most independent of all personality types.

2. INTJ Weaknesses

All personality groups have many weaknesses and INTJ is not an exception. There is an area where their divine thinking often becomes completely useless and can even hinder their efforts – INTJs find it very difficult to handle romantic relationships, especially in their early stages, but they are quite good at attracting their partner.

Not only are INTJs tranquil and impenetrable, but they also have the ability to suppress their emotions – emotions are their weakness, therefore, they do their best to keep their emotions out of the picture because they are afraid that this will violate the norms of reason and logical thinking they have set.

When being under pressure, INTJs can become obsessed with unconscious and emotional activities, such as excessive drinking or high-risk behaviors.

INTJs need to express themselves enough to avoid misunderstanding by others. Without properly developing their ability to communicate, their expressions can become short-sighted and rude, making them isolated.

VI. Personal Relationships of INTJs

 Personal Relationships of INTJs

1. Romantic relationship

INTJs believe in the sustainable development of the romantic relationship, so they strive for the freedom of themselves and their partner. INTJs continually embark on improvement projects that enhance the overall quality of their lives and relationships. They also are very serious about their commitments but gladly accept to redefine that commitment if they feel that something can be more advanced than their current understanding. 

INTJ is not always harmonizing with their emotions or with anyone else. They also tend to believe they are right. While their confidence and self-esteem are attractive, their lack of sympathy is a problem that causes them to unintentionally hurt their partner. They should allow their partner to express his/her point of view, the chance to be the right one, pay more attention to their words to minimize their vulnerability.

In stressful situations, INTJs should also show sympathy to respond to their partners' emotional needs, instead of taking advantage of the quarrel to experiment. When it comes to their sex life, INTJs like to find a way to perfect their ideas. They tend to approach sex theoretically and creatively on many levels rather than looking for opportunities to express themselves or personal feelings. However, many INTJs, when understanding the core of a relationship or the basic steps of it, can still express their feelings with intimate gestures.

INTJs are intelligent people who understand the core and meaning of many areas of life. In a relationship, their biggest stumbling block is their tendency to think but not to perform, and their difficulty in reconciling reality and personal thoughts. They are more likely to forge positive relationships because that is their primary concern.

2. Friendship

It's not easy being INTJs' friends. They value reason and intelligence more than anything else and tend to assume that most people they come in contact with may be less intelligent than they are. Most would probably call it arrogant – INTJs will rationalize this as a law of elimination and make it very easy for people to be discouraged. As a result, INTJs often have very few good friends but they don't need to have a long list of friends.

The INTJ personality type is very self-sufficient and independent. They see their friends as an exchange of intelligence and knowledge rather than a bridge to connect with outside society. INTJs are happy to come up with new ways to improve and deepen relationships, but they will not depend on their friendship. Moreover, they are not keen on the physical expression of emotions (cuddling, hugging, etc), even with close friends.

INTJs' friends also find that people with this type of personality are hard to read due to their lack of emotion and coldness. And conversely, INTJs are insensitive when it comes to the feelings of others – and one thing is for sure, INTJs have trouble expressing something with emotion.

However, INTJs know how to relax and they enjoy being among close friends. Being famous for sarcasm and hidden sense humor makes INTJs great storytellers, as long as the listener can understand (and endure) their jokes. This is one of the reasons why INTJs really like NT or NF groups – these two groups can get them and follow their thoughts. In contrast, people with (S) traits are likely to feel quite frustrated with INTJs.

They are not easily "open" or become too intimate with new friends or children, and sometimes seem distant to their emotional needs. However, INTJs are very talented and knowledgeable people, they always attempt to do the best and always develop in a positive way. If they apply these basic goals to personal relationships, INTJs will likely enjoy stable and pleasant relationships with family and friends.

People of the INTJ personality are often gifted and bright individuals, they are always looking for personal growth and development and also encourage their friends to follow the same path. If INTJs can connect with others at this level, their friendship will likely be strong and lasting. In general, INTJs are indifferent friends who don't require much attention or regular contact – they understand the value of privacy and independence and will help their friends to become more independent.

3. Parenthood

Parenting can be a challenge for INTJs because they have to hone their new skills and increase flexibility in perception. However, they always yearn for challenges, especially special ones such as raising children. INTJ parents want their children to grow up to be capable and self-controlled, with clear preferences and strong critical thinking skills. They are always looking for age-appropriate ways to promote their child's independence and accountability.

Knowledge and intelligence are what INTJ parents pursue, so they also desire these things from their children. Compared to other personality types, INTJs are not particularly comfortable showing affection and praise to others, but they need to understand that kids need love, understanding, and encouragement to be able to fully develop in the early stages of life. Therefore, INTJ parents may need to expand their comfort zone to show their children how much they are loved.

INTJ parents' ability to control their emotions may not be their children's strong point. Emotions can be confusing and at times chaotic, but this is completely normal and children need the authentication and support to direct them. What INTJ parents can do is to provide as much emotional and emotional support to their children as possible.

Parents with this personality type can see a problem as an opportunity for personal growth, inspiring their children to develop their own logical thinking and problem-solving. Over time, INTJs' children can apply these skills to increasingly complex situations, building their confidence as they get older.

4. Relationship with other personality groups

INTJs are often direct and impartial in their interactions, they naturally convey something they think is good and needs to be done or criticized straightforwardly and logically. They are always independent, calm, and confident in their abilities, so they do not care about the judgment of others.

For INTP, ENTJ, ISTJ groups: they have similar characteristics and many things in common so it is easy for INTJs to share values, interests, and approaches with these groups

For ENFJ, ENTP, INFJ, INFP groups: they have some differences but these differences are attractive to INTJs. They still have something in common to create a balance in their relationship with each other

For ENFP, ESTP, ISTP, ESTJ groups: at first, INTJs may have some difficulty accessing and connecting with these personality groups. However, after interacting for a while, they will discover commonalities as well as other points of view that can complement each other

For ESFJ, ISFJ, ESFP, ISFP groups: these personality groups are opposite and conflicting with INTJs, but if it is possible to develop a relationship, this is an opportunity for INTJs to learn and grow themselves, the challenges always come along with a great opportunity

VII. INTJ Career Paths and Development Areas

In general, INTJs like to work in fields they know very well. Their typical careers are related to science or technology, but they can be found anywhere, where there is a need for intelligence, a restless mind, and insight (law, investigation, some specialized fields). INTJs rarely look for managerial positions – they are just managers because they need more strength and freedom of action, not because they like managing people.

INTJs are known for their ability to absorb the difficult and complex theories that are relevant to their profession, and then transform them into clear ideas and action. INTJs are excellent strategists, they possess intuition and confidence that allows them to build and plan long-term challenge execution without much difficulty. These skills can be very valuable in the right career path – people with this type of personality are great at doing jobs that involve planning, strategy, and applying theoretical principles. 

INTJs also strongly focus on independent thinking. They like tough challenges and hate the routine, so they do everything to avoid it or find ways to automate it. They stand out as the lone wolf and their career path better revolves around this trait, giving them enough space to be flexible so that their creativity and dedication will not be interrupted by other team members.

People with this type of personality put efficiency and energy above everything else. Therefore, INTJs are best suited to careers that require creativity and assertiveness. They believe that everyone should do their best to complete tasks to the highest possible standard and they dislike people who take advantage of relationships to advance in their careers. The best way to lose INTJs' respect is to assume that social skills and relationships are more important than professional qualifications. 

INTJs have very high standards, especially when it comes to their tasks, and they will do their best to fulfill it. Therefore, the typical careers of INTJs are related to creativity, dedication, and awareness (having complete insight into something). Being introverts with great creative and analytical skills, they dislike doing client-facing work or team-oriented work. They are only willing to serve others if they see that person is more capable than them. 

They excel in creating and implementing innovative solutions to problems that need to be analyzed. They often prefer to work independently or in a small group, taking strategies and measurements to make a difference. INTJs' ideal working environment needs to be logical, efficient, structured, and analytical with capable and intelligent colleagues. They are suitable for the following career fields:

  • Business and Finances (Accountant, Financial Analyst, Executive);
  • Mathematicians (Mathematician, Statistician, Active Research Analyst);
  • Architecture and Engineering (Engineer, Architect, Controller, Building Contractor);
  • Science and Life (Economist, Psychologist, Scientist);
  • Art and Media (Public Relation, Art Production Director);
  • Health care (Doctor, Health Service Manager);
  • Education and Training (Lecturer, Professor);
  • Entertainment and Sports (Coach, Producer);
  • IT and Computer field;
  • Laws (Judge, Lawyer, Investigator).

VIII. How INTJs perform in the work and learning environment

How INTJs perform in the work and learning environment

INTJ likes to work and study independently or in a small team that can help them express their creativity and focus. When INTJs are bothered by overwhelming questions of their co-workers or teammates, it's not a good idea. Therefore, they are not suitable for the leadership position when suffering a lot from collaborators, and creating an atmosphere of hard work and autocracy is something they want least. 

As subordinates, INTJs are known for their independent way of work. Therefore, the micro and structural management style will be a challenge for them. They will fight to the very end for what limits their freedom of development and the criticism of their superiors is also hard for them to take. INTJ subordinates may need to use all of their creativity and ingenuity to expand their responsibilities and develop their expertise – even if they don't have the independence they desire. To do this, they may need to prioritize building an effective and respectful relationship with their manager, no matter how perfect that person is.

As colleagues, INTJs tend to shy away from jobs that require teamwork or constant social interaction. They hate being slowed down and bothered by their colleagues for things that are not worth the attention in the workplace. Fortunately, their perfectionism and determination often help them produce fruitful results even without the help of others. Their competence and reliability can make them excellent contributors. They will maximize their productivity and become active in a small group of highly reliable and capable colleagues.

As managers, INTJs focus on innovation and efficiency, even if they have to disrupt the established hierarchy, which makes them desirable managers. They prioritize equality and impartiality in their work environments, focus on the common goals, and respect employees with strong critical thinking skills. Employees who are not growth-minded and passive in their goals may have difficulty meeting INTJ managers' standards.

IX. 10 Things you might not know about INTJs

1. This is the third rarest personality group in the world and accounts for about 2-4% of the world's population. 

2. By gender, only 1% of INFJs are women and 3% are men.

3. INTJs often begin to develop their knowledge in childhood (“Nerd” is INTJs' popular nickname) and continue to do so later in life.

4. Things like flirting or small talks are unnatural to them, furthermore, INTJs, especially women, tend to see typical attraction tactics (eg acting aloof) being extremely stupid and not reasonable.

5. Ironically, INTJs are more likely to attract a partner when they stop looking for him/her – this is when their confidence begins to shine again.

6. INTJs are attracted to the paranormal. They can stay up all night watching a video with supernatural phenomena or magic tricks. They cannot stop thinking of ways and principles to create those things.

7. INTJs tend to exacerbate things.

8. INTJs will be completely different when they are with their best friends, they can talk about their ideas for hours, from silly to engaging and extremely hilarious stories.

9. INTJs are interested in optimizing their relationships.

10. INTJs have the qualities of a leader but will follow people they can fully support.

X. INTJ Famous people

  • Vladimir Putin, a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB;
  • Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until he died in AD 14;
  • Bill Gates, an American business magnate, software developer, philanthropist, and the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation;
  • Paul Krugman, an American economist and a columnist for The New York Times;
  • Rudy Giuliani, an American attorney, politician, and the Former Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001;
  • Donald Rumsfeld, a retired American politician and the Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977;
  • Colin Powell, an American politician, diplomat, and retired four-star general who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005;
  • Richard Gere, an American actor and producer;
  • Mark Zuckerberg, an American media magnate, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist;
  • Hannibal Barca, a Carthaginian general and Military leader of Carthage during the Second Punic War;
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian-American actor, businessman, retired professional bodybuilder, and the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011;
  • John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States;
  • Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States;
  • Gandalf the Gray, a protagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.