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In this episode, Joel and Antonia dive deep into the unique challenges, needs, and desires of the INTJ personality type.

In this podcast on the INTJ personality type you’ll find:


INTJ Survey

Cassandra – Greek Mythology – Gift of Prophecy without believers.

Ability to see what’s coming down the line, but nobody cares.

Foresight is different from prophecy.

Prophecy knows what’s coming up. Foresight can predict based on observation.

Strategy: Where’s the puck going?

Cynicism comes along with an INTJ recognizing that the world doesn’t value their gifts.

Isolation, loneliness, misunderstood, separation.

Mastermind Article“Smartest people in the room based upon analytical and linguistic intelligence.”

We as a society have decided different criteria for intelligence. Not necessarily right. There are multiple styles of intelligence. Other types outclass INTJs regarding different kinds of intelligence (i.e. kinesthetic, emotional, etc.)

INTJs are very careful thinkers. They spend a lot of time thinking about whatever has captured their interest. Because they’re careful about how they think, they are also very careful about how they articulate their thoughts. They will show up as smarter because they express their words more precisely. They encourage everyone else to be more careful with how we think.

They expend Energetic credits in thinking through things, which is why INTJs have such an Economy of motion.

Many INTJs think the vast majority of people are careless thinkers.

Cognitive Functions

Car Model

The driver process for INTJs is Introverted Intuition that we nicknamed “Perspectives.”

Driver – Ni

Perspectives is the ability to watch your mind form patterns over a long time.

Podcast Introverted Intuition vs Extraverted Intuition

INTJs are inside their mind all the time.

They have a sixth sense of what is coming down the pike.

Perspectives is not right 100% of the time. It is a skill that must be developed. Predictions become more accurate the more you develop the skill.

INTJs love conceptualizing what is happening next.

People who use Perspectives think about the box. It’s about meaning and meta perspectiving.

Perspective users start to realize the subjective nature of how people see the world.

The copilot process for INTJs is Extraverted Thinking that we nicknamed “Effectiveness.”

Effectiveness asks “what works?” What is the bottom line? What will accomplish the objective?

Effectiveness is linear. A step by step approach to how to get things done.

Metrics. How do we measure whether something is pass-fail?

Effectiveness Can appear cold hearted because of its way of navigating around feelings to get a project accomplished.

Break things down to component levels. Uses Humans as resources. Effectiveness is Best when emotions aren’t clouding it.

Ni + Te = Perspectives loves to predict. Effectiveness is about metrics and implementing strategies. Coupled together, these create sustainable systems.

INTJs systems are context dependent. They want to make sure no one comes along and breaks their systems.

The 10-year-old process is Introverted Feeling that we have nicknamed Authenticity.

Tertiary – Fi

Authenticity is a decision-making process that checks in with inner alignment.

How are things impacting you emotionally?

Done well it can replicate someone else’s emotions and mirror those feelings back

As a 10-year-old it isn’t a strength. It becomes solely about how things are impacting the INTJ.

It makes the average INTJ feel like a sitting duck; A childlike part of them that can be hurt.

It’s not just a recognition about how things impact you, but it’s an internalization which becomes more crippling.

INTJs struggle because they have a tendency to over rely on this process.

Driver process is Introverted – Copilot is extraverted: we need to have access to both worlds. Introverts need real world feedback to stay balanced.

Ten year old is introverted. Introverts can find themselves avoiding the outer world and staying within. So they rest on that Ni – Fi loop.

If you get inside somebody else’s perspective, then mirror their emotions it becomes overwhelming to a Thinker. So they shut themselves off and create massive distance from the world.

Why INTJs feel so lonely. Human relationships require a measure of vulnerability.

The solution is that INTJs need to become vulnerable. They will survive. They are resilient.

Pain may seem neverending, but it does fade. People can massively add to the quality of your life.

To get to vulnerability, INTJs need to use their Copilot first. Create systems and frameworks of connecting with others.

Create a social event you can feel some control over. As the host, you are the highest status person in the room, and you know everyone.

When INTJs feel out of control, they clamp down.

When Effectiveness feels good in general, it is more open to experiencing closer relationships.

If INTJs aren’t implementing enough effectiveness strategies, they’re going to feel vulnerable and out of control.

Get out of comfort zone and get into action.

Swap the feeling of vulnerability with empowerment. Empowerment comes from building things in outside world and knowing you got the world handled. Then the vulnerability fades.

Even when Authenticity is used well, and it is healthy it is very idealistic. It’s not so much about reality but conviction. This is how things should be making me feel.

Perfectionism is a running theme for INTJs because it is an idealism of the way things should be.

Idealism gets turned in on INTJ themselves, which is crippling.

The opposite is Effectiveness which is pass/fail criteria. Good is better than perfect.

Authenticity is about “does it feel good to me?” So to INTJs nothing is ever good enough. They are waiting for just the right time. Just that perfect moment to implement the ideal strategy.

INTJs should never wait for that perfect moment to act. Start acting first.

Let Authenticity serve Effectiveness.

Effectiveness forces you out of your shell. But there are so many problems when INTJs use Fi as their navigator.

The 3-year-old process is Extraverted Sensing we have nicknamed “Sensation.”

Inferior – Se

Real-time kinetic connection with the environment. Blind spot to INTJs. Sensation Usually shows up when they are Overly stressed. Causes them to Overindulge in sensory behavior.

Both back seat passengers are incredibly indulgent for INTJs: Fi is emotional indulgence, and Se is sensory indulgence.

The thing that they have to monitor themselves for is whether or not they are going to an indulgent space. INTJs need to be physically aware of their body’s needs. The body is not just a vehicle for the brain.

There are Neurons in the stomach and heart which means that the brain cells extend into our body.

A good relationship with three-year-old means you’re nourishing your body and not feeding it junk food.

INTJ women feel disconnected from other women and intimidating to men.

Thinker Women and Feeler Men podcast

25% of women are Thinkers.

When you don’t fit the ideal imprint of the average female you are not going to attract the highest percentage of people, but there are people out there that are looking for a bird of paradise just like you.

If you haven’t run into these people yet, it is because you’re not in the right place. Go beyond your comfort zone.

INTJs don’t have a lot of patience for themselves. One of the best ways to make space for others and be more patient with others is by being more patient with yourself.

Stop worrying about how you should be and be willing to fail and learn. Be the person who gets things done as opposed to conceptualizing things.

Push through the challenges. There will be waste, but action is better than non-action.

Feedback from the outside world will make you feel stronger and more empowered.

In this episode, Joel and Antonia dive deep into the unique challenges, needs, and desires of the INTJ personality type. #MBTI #INTJ

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  • mark mulligan
    • mark mulligan
    • April 7, 2021 at 6:04 pm


    Bravo. Your INTJ analysis cuts to my quick painlessly like a good vaccine.

    One very vehement objection however.

    The term human resources is obscene. Concentration camp cost/benefit analysis. “Go to my right if I find some use for you; to my left if not.” Heaven and Hell Gotterdammerung BS. So much guano to be harvested and used. Not Darwinianly perfected, bright jewel human beings, each perfect for its environment. Jesus loves and accepts all, even you and me, even if I cannot.

    Did you get that? Otherwise, fine and dandy. Your work is sterling.

    You and yours be well.

  • Maja
    • Maja
    • June 19, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Crystal, this is so true. We INTJs can learn and develop these"muscles" just as you describe. We have the determination and will power to make it so. What is important to factor in is that these are learned skills, not innate natural skills that come so easily to other types. Yes, I can become a charming event hostess and make sure everyone else has a great time, but after I am done with the event, I make sure that I have “me” time to recharge my batteries since extroverted activities drain me, rather than recharge me. When I do these kinds of activities, I make sure to recruit trusted allies who are extroverted feeling/sensing members of my tribe to support me. Then I can relax and actually enjoy and have fun. :)

  • Michele
    • Michele
    • January 17, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I am 56 years old. At the age of 24, when I was in graduate school, the school had all of us take the Myers-Briggs. It was such a relief for me to learn that I was an INTJ, and what it meant. I had heard, “I just want you to be happy!”, “Why can’t you be more like your brother and make more friends?”, “Why are you so unhappy?”, “You’re stuck up!”, “Stop daydreaming and come down to earth!” all of my at that point short life. With the INTJ results, I learned that I was not unhappy (I already knew this, but couldn’t get others to understand), that I lived in my head, and that THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!!!
    In the years since then, I’ve read “Gifts Differing” and many other sources to understand more. I’ve done a lot of suffering because of my type, especially in the workplace. I’ve discovered that when I keep the INTJ type descriptions hovering around in my head, how I respond to other people and their comments or actions is healthier, better at getting across who I am, and better at expressing what I am thinking.
    This podcast was wonderful. The car helped me understand the functions much better than trying to understand, as a non-psychologist, the descriptions in “Gifts Differing”. Thank you!

  • Doug
    • Doug
    • December 31, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    The most relevant example right now of my Ni at work is this – and it’s not future oriented, but present and past.
    There’s some functional tension between different “teams” of the organization I work for. We want to work together and MUST work together, but we struggle to do so. One team steps on the other team’s toes in X way. The other team steps on the one team’s toes in another way. We’re making some progress, but it’s a band-aid. It’s basically making some new ground rule for our working relationship: “We will include you in these decisions.” “We will consult you before making this type of announcement.” Etc.
    But no one is asking, “WHY does this disconnect exist to begin with?”
    There’s a fundamental difference of understanding between the teams regarding WHAT THE GOAL IS. It’s subtle. But I see it. And THAT’S the broken piece from which all the other dysfunction flows. As long as that piece remains broken, these pledges we make about our working relationship will not last. We don’t understand each other’s way of seeing the work. We don’t understand WHY the other does what they do. And we don’t understand WHY this rift exists. So the solution doesn’t address the problem.
    I see it, but no one else does.
    When I explain to others what I see, I get responses like, “… Hm. Dang. You might be right about that.” Or occasionally more dramatic, like, stares across the room eyes getting bigger “… Whoa. … You may be onto something.”
    Yeah. I am. I know what the problem is. Many are willing to say, “Hm, that’s some good thinking!” But no one is willing to say that it’s TRUE. Perhaps because no one else sees with the perspectives function. Also, it would mean we need to have some organization-wide conversations about fundamental assumptions of the work, and that would be a headache and could hurt some feelings.
    Well guess what. It’s the only solution that will actually address the problem. (There’s my Effectiveness function.) Everything else is just a band aid.
    I have this HUGE thing to contribute to the organization, but no one is able or willing to receive it as good.
    Here, my Perspectives function is not future-oriented at all. I’m looking at the present situation and tracing the problem backward to its abstract source. I didn’t think about it all that much. The structure of the conflict gradually built itself in my mind one observation after another, until I could see it clearly. It was 75% passive. It just happened in my mind. It’s how I see the world. To me, that’s breathing. To others, it’s calculus.
    Let me help! Let me serve the organization with this ability! We can do better!
    To be quite honest, though, I haven’t voiced this observation to many people – especially the ones that have power to act on it. I report directly to the head, the top of the organization. And I haven’t told him. I’ve voiced similar Perspectives-sourced observations in our one-on-one meeting, and I’ve have gathered that he’s not receptive to thinking that way, to reading the group that way, to looking abstractly. Everything is measurable, to him. That sort of observation is “neat”, but it’s not concrete. And it’s not provable. So it passes over him like a story about an imaginary friend. “That’s nice, son.” He’s a fantastic supervisor and truly means well and wants good for the organization. He just can’t see how I see. So I’m scared of sharing this brilliant insight where I’m almost certain it won’t be appreciated. There’s my 10-year-old authenticity.
    Also… he and I stand on opposite sides of the fundamental philosophy divide that I see in the organization. So if the big organization-wide conversations did happen, chances are the hurt feelings would be mine. And I don’t want that, either. Because I’m right. :)

  • Cynthia
    • Cynthia
    • November 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    As an INTJ woman, I think it is hard to find an appropriate romantic partner. I need to be in charge to feel safe, so I tend to drive away competent take charge men in early dating because I won’t let them have the control they like. However, once I have gotten to know someone and trust their judgment, etc, I want a competent take charge man. The kicker is, he has to be quite competent or I will take charge because I can’t stand to see things done badly by someone else when I know they can be done well by me. Shockingly, men find this unattractive.

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