Podcast – Episode 0353 – Social Challenges NT Women Face – Part 1 (INTJ – INTP – ENTP – ENTJ)

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the unique social challenges facing NT women personality types (INTJ – INTP – ENTP – ENTJ).


In this podcast you’ll find:

  • The common thread between the INTJ, INTP, ENTP and ENTJ female types.
  • Your double hit of being Intuitive and a Thinker as a woman.
  • What are common challenges NT women deal with? 
  • Why are their challenges not talked about much?
  • Why you are under-represented as an NT woman.
  • What do you do when you don’t show up according to societal expectations?
  • The overtime NT women put in trying to meet others where they are at.
  • Why do NT women keep facing exhaustion and social failure?
  • How much energy do you use trying to be more feminine?
  • How being told “you’re the problem” affects NT women.
  • Why is sisterhood so valued by you, yet often elusive?
  • The blending mask that NT women wear.
  • What happens when that mask comes off?
  • The damaging strategy cycles NT women go through.
    • The ENTP woman’s strategies to alleviate offense.
    • Why an ENTJ woman diminishes her strong energy.
    • The ego hits INTJ and INTP women take from fitting in. 
  • Why you feel so alone in your female NT challenges.
  • How you feel unstoppable inside yet self-diminish socially.
  • Why the NT woman’s cure is worse than the disease. 
  • Overidentifying with your wiring and the drama triangle.
  • How do you navigate through your wounds?
  • Becoming a bridge through your masculine and feminine energy.
  • How you come off in your emotional and thought labor.
  • How can camaraderie help you?
  • Ways you can grow as an NT woman.


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Showing 36 comments
  • Amy

    OMFG, thank you SO MUCH for this podcast (and the following one)! You totally nailed me. For years I have tested as an INFJ. Parts of that type description fit, but much didn’t. I just assumed I was a mediocre specimen who needed lots of work developing her auxiliary Fe. In a recent typing session with Klaus, I learned I’m actually an ENTJ. And after listening to this podcast, I have much more insight into why I mistyped for so long (I’m 52).

    I grew up with a co-dependent ESFJ mother with vast emotional needs that were not being met by my alcoholic INTP father. So she turned to me for support, and I dredged up whatever slivers of Fe I could find in my efforts to bandage her wounds. (I think Te and Ni, working together, can actually create a reasonable facsimile of Fe if the situation demands it.) Plus, I grew up in the deep South, where girls were expected to be sweet, kind feelers—a world I could never conquer. Doing feeling work is so draining that I assumed I was an introvert. If the choice is being alone or taking care of other people’s emotional needs, I’d often rather be alone. Anyway, the recent revelation that I’m an ENTJ is SO EXCITING! I don’t have to handle everyone’s feelings, or care about scrapbooking, or pretend to love toddlers. I definitely have a lot of personal growth work to do, but now it feels energizing rather than enervating.

    Thank you a thousand times for this fantastic podcast. Listening to it felt like healing.

  • Lina

    Hi! ENTP woman here.. I listened to this podcast and my mind had a little mental cry, because I have never felt SO understood by another woman. It reminded me of problems I have/had with my sorority sisters. When I went to college, I wasn’t yet into the personality typing stuff, so I didn’t know what it was. But I started studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and was one of the few women there, and had a GREAT connection with all the men (later we did some personality typing together and actually most of them turned out to be INTP/ENTP, so we really found each other, lol!). However, I am quite a girly girl with my hobbies, I love makeup, clothes, dresses, jewelry and stuff like that, so I was missing some female connection and people that I could talk with about these girly things. I decided to go join a sorority, so in the pledging period, there were a lot of girly things with a girly dresscode, like cocktail nights, karaoke competitions, wine tastings.. But also some fun stuff like lasergaming and bar games like pool and darts. So I thought, this will be perfect! I will have a quite girly sorority, but also I still have my male friends from my study. However, after a short while, I already felt disconnected sometimes to my sorority sisters. I didn’t feel understood, it felt like there were some social rules that no one told me about. And I was surprised, I didn’t know why it didn’t work, because I am always social and likeable, and I work had for friendships and other things (like organizing a party, or the pledging period for the whole sorority), but it felt like on one side they took me for granted, and on the other side like everything was my ‘fault’. I couldn’t do anything ‘right’ because if I did, it was like “yeah but she always fixes these things, no biggie”, and if I didn’t, then I had the feeling I had to apologize for something I didn’t do wrong… Especially the Fi type people I really did not get along with, the Fe types were mostly fine, because they are also naturally trying to meet you in the middle, or on your side, and there was some kind of understanding between us… Anyway, it has been 10 years since my pledging period and I still occasionally talk with my sorority sisters, but I have almost made my peace with the fact that I will NEVER be best friends with any of them, while some of them still hang out every week. I just don’t have the energy to hold myself back every time I see them, because they are not willing to meet me in the middle. Especially since I feel like I have to hold my extravertedness back as well, because introverts seem to think that it’s easier for us to act introverted, then it is for them to act extraverted. I am done putting all that energy into people that I don’t get the same investment back from. However, I am still sad that this personality type thing is not common knowledge… I did give them a small workshop on a career day about the MeyerBriggs/CarlJung types, and I felt that they understood it a lot better that day. But the wounds that they created, both unconsciously and consciously over the years, I really can’t overcome. I wanted to thank you for this podcast, because I think I finally have the confirmation that I am NOT a ‘broken’ woman because of my NT. I did not fail in being a woman, I am not secretly a man, I’m just myself.

  • barb

    INTP here (maybe INTJ, I don’t know) – I’ve listened to this podcast twice now and both times I have been so overwhelmed by how well you’ve described me that I’ve been in tears. From feeling totally out of place at women’s circles to having to completely restrain what I say because I know I’d be crucified if I tried to have a conversation about the things I deeply long to discuss. It is exhausting and frustrating and I have no idea how to go about making connections with the people who would accept me. I have always struggled with making friends, I never get that deep “soul sister” connection I keep getting told I have to have as a woman. The friends I do have, the conversations are not particularly deep and I have never had a BFF. (At school, the teachers were always saying I needed to make friends and “develop more self-confidence” to the point where I think I started to believe I had no confidence because they kept telling me I needed more of it. When, in fact, I probably had tonnnes of confidence to start with, I was just introverted . . . but that’s a whole other story, isn’t it?)

    I am at the point now where most of the time I am clueless about whether something I want to say is okay to bring up in conversation or completely inappropriate. For me, I don’t see a problem, but I have none of those social niceties (emotional intelligence?) that stops me from saying completely inappropriate things, so because I honestly don’t know, I don’t say anything. I know there is a line but I have no clue where it is and I feel like there is something wrong with me. I remember once scoring so low on the EQ test that the facilitator had to take me aside and tell me I’d been a bit harsh on myself and not to be shocked when I saw the results. I wasn’t shocked, I know I don’t know this stuff. As a highly introverted person too, I try to avoid social situations, so perhaps reducing my opportunities to learn???

    Sometimes, I hate it. I just wish I could find my “tribe”. But other times I am perfectly happy in my world of my own, my thoughts and ideas because quite truthfully I don’t want to waste my ideas on people who don’t get me, so if I can’t find those people, then the ideas will stay right where they are. (I think that kind of relates to what Antonia said about giving off the impression that we are “better” than other people – and yes, I am so good at putting myself down, just like you said, to make a connection with someone. )

    Thank you so much for this podcast. To finally know that there are other people like me is a relief, even if it doesn’t change anything in my world, just knowing is a start.

  • Elyse

    Hello, I am an ENTJ women and have struggled with the problems you discussed in both this podcast and the second part. I have never really had friends who were girls. I mostly become friends with guys or I spend time with my younger sisters friends who are girls. My sister is an ENTP and while she is an XNTX women she has learned to make friends and I find it a little fasinating. She does also struggle with saying things too bluntly, and her sense of humor is very dark which she also gets into trouble with. lol But I love having her as a sister she is my best friend.
    My mother is an ENFJ and leads with harmony or Fe. That has been very hard for me since I am not the best at seeing the most harmonious option. Then she sometimes gets agitated with me. And I am also really good at ignoring my emotions. When I just want to stay active and avoid my emotions she notices and makes me think about how I am feeling. So there are definitely some good and bad things about that.

  • Elle Mognet

    I’m INFP, and I related so much with this. When I was little I had girl friends, and we had an amazing relationship. But as I became an adult, it seems like I can’t anymore. I don’t have extroverted feeling, sometimes it’s like I just don’t understand why what I said or did was wrong, but they are always telling me how different and weird I am. Once a psychologist even told it was because I thought like a men, and it was so weird. I do feel feminine, though, but not in the way they want for my age and time. It’s so tiring trying to fit with them. I like thinking and sharing my thoughts and ideas, but I hate when it’s answered with an uncomfortable silence. I don’t know what they are thinking then. I don’t realize what’s that they’re feeling until they start attacking me. For example, once out of the blue started saying things like who needs learning another language it’s useless, and so they said how when they traveled abroad they didn’t needed it, at first it was like a sudden change of topic, but then, they started directly pointing out how I had never traveled abroad so how I would never know, and I felt a bit disoriented for a while until I realize that I previously commented about a history book I read in another language, and how I enjoyed learning about a very different perspective that the one we have here about that particularly part of time. They felt I was trying to look down at them because they didn’t know other languages. But that never occurred to me. I personally think we don’t need to know about everything, just the things we want to know about. What’s the point about learning about something we don’t like or feels useless? I haven’t traveled abroad because I don’t have the money for it, but I don’t feel bad about it. It’s just what it is, and some other things are more important right now. But telling them what I think and feel, well, I know it’s not the right thing at least I want them to hate me. So I know I need to say how lucky they are to visit such places, and talk more about it. I do care about their experiences in there, so I don’t feel bad about not telling what I think. But at the same time I can’t enjoy it the same, because I know I need to watch what I say from now on with them. You know, they can forgive me if I stop doing it. So usually it’s all about me making them feel good with themselves, because they’re similar and I am not. As an INFP, I look shy, at first glance, I also have a soft voice, and I like fairy kind of colors, like light pinks, purples, blue, greens and yellows. The way I look gives a very girly aura. Almost too girly. I prefer dresses to jeans, but the majority here now wears jeans or shorts, and heavier makeup. I look kind of fragile and innocent, always in my own fantasy world. I feel so anxious, when some of the boys tell them that they like this or that about me, once they turn to me and smile with that freezed expression I know they hating me again. Sometimes they feel better if they say I’m a dizzy person. So they assume I should never give my opinion or share my thoughts or ideas in a serious way, because it doesn’t go with my personality. Sometimes I think I could just choose one part of my personality so it would be easier but I can’t. That feels like betraying myself.

  • Tine Putzeys

    Wow, I feel like hiroshima right now, cause you were dropping some atomic size truth bombs 😉

    INTJ female here and I got every single thing in this podcast. It wasn’t too abstract at all. Then again, I’m an NT, so abstract is my thing.

    I do think the episode could have benefitted from a more concrete example for those that are not as abstract in their reasoning or that don’t identify with these experiences at all. One that comes to mind is a conversation I once had with my INTJ brother about whether or not it would be a good idea to rid the world of dumb people (over time through genetic modification and selection, or some more radical way). I’m fully aware that simply making such a statement in “normal” groups of people, would be social suicide. However, with my brother, we could put aside the ethics and focus on fleshing out the consequences and practicalities of such an endeavor. It was so intellectually satisfying and very politically incorrect.

    Sometimes I think feeler types automatically assume that just because I make such a statement and want to think about it, it means I actually want to do that. Spoiler alert: I DON’T. I just like the intellectual exercise. That’s the fulfilling part for me.

    And I guess that’s also why we usually don’t get energized from socializing. It’s just not satisfying. Doesn’t charge our batteries in any way, so it exhausts us.

    • Barb

      Oh my goodness @Tine – this is EXACTLY how I feel (INTP woman here). I crave conversations like this but I don’t dare even bring any such subjects up because I would get completely crucified for exactly that reason – people would assume that by wanting to have the discussion, I actually want to do the thing, which, like you, I don’t. I was in tears during this part of the podcast because Antonia was describing me 100% and it makes me feel so alone that I have this deep need to engage in conversations that I can never have.

  • Bridget

    This was quite interesting. I am an INFJ and my mother is an ENTP (I guess from the describtion given in this podcast). The energy comes before her when she enters a room, she is more concerned by things being right than feeling right. The complication you describe in social connections are also relatable. I also feel like I have been carrying her problems along with my own. And that leads to me relating to many of the problems you describe IN ADDITION to my own, INFJ stuff.. You gave me a lot to think about and sorting out. Thank you!!

  • Irmina

    I just wanted to share my appreciation with you all, since I have been a long time listener to the podcast and have enjoyed your book as well.

    This (and part 2, about being an NT mom) has so accurately described my experience in my professional life as well (I work in health care…surrounded by feeler women). I have a psych degree so I have been familiar with and aware of my type (INTP) for many years but it was only a couple of years ago after discovering the podcast when I really started digging deep into my type. I have slowly pivoted from my job in health care into where I feel I truly belong – academia. So far so good….and my PhD supervisor is an INTJ so I am literally in heaven.

    It feels so nice to be understood… I nearly cried. Does this mean my NT card is revoked lol.

  • Jen

    Hi, 39yr old INTJ woman here – passionate about wellness (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual) so this translates into strategic life design for me. I believe that my empathy and kinesthetics are highly developed for an INTJ so I don’t feel very “out of touch”. I’m also at the EXTREME end of maestro so most of the time I don’t care that I’m on “the outside”. According to my analyst, about .25% of people have my wiring + combination of aptitude’s. SO, Antonia, I had an ah-hah moment when you described the way there isn’t a lot of modeling in the world for our type – that the world is mostly set up for the masses. That hit home for me as it explains a lot and makes sense. The perspective brought profound relief to me, thank you. Also, I relate to how exhausting it is trying to “do me” and get the results I’m after. I can’t tell you how many times I felt a heavy heart and got emotional because this podcast is so spot on. I feel seen and understood and since that’s incredibly rare for me, being moved to tears was the only natural response (after my occasional eff-bomb expressions because your explanations nailed “it”). This episode articulates, so well, the weight – the struggle. The resulting delegation. In some ways, my adapting has become so second nature that, in part, I think I deceived myself and accepted the “expensive” effort as normal! …I suppose it is for an NT. I too don’t expect anyone to join me in my sandbox.

    I’ve spent the last 2.5yrs dedicated to FEELING because I realized how underdeveloped it was for me and how critical it is to my goal of wellness. I use a therapy called “Reset” and it’s working! My mantra is “Go through it. Not around it”. My lack of emotional intelligence rarely comes from a place of avoidance. Rather, irrelevant to the goal at hand so I compartmentalize. However, I have learned that sometimes – more often that not – if we develop and integrate our emotions better, one’s blind spot begins to shrink and therefore become more effective and accurate. When I am triggered or struggling with emotions I have learned to move towards it with the intention of feeling it MORE, sitting in it – almost wallowing in it. I’ve learned to let it do it’s work and then I ask myself all the “why’s?” (Why do I feel afraid? Why do I feel helpless? Etc.) Then, I commit to carefully upholding my self care and what do yah know – I feel mended and able to get back on track quicker and more effectively. I have found this technique incredibly useful and I’m mentioning it because it has served as medicine for this struggle.

    I’m am also a mother of two boys, 7 and 8yrs. I feel satisfied by my unconventional parenting methods in general. Yet often feel like I wasn’t built for motherhood and find it exceptionally draining. I too recognize that I’m not like other moms. Though I am protective, I don’t helicopter and I’ve often let them learn the hard way after giving a thorough explanation of the consequences of their options. I have learned to press into validating their feelings and guiding them to recognize what their feelings are (“do you feel mad? Do you feel sad? Do you feel frustrated? Etc.) Funny how I’m an adult yet need to call on the same method to sort out myself. I’m not going to lie – sometimes I’m trying to be supportive and present for them and feel almost completely numb, especially if I’m drained energetically which is more often than not.

    I too have always found it easier to relate to men which I’ve had to be careful about if there’s a partner or if I didn’t want them to become attracted to me. I appear VERY feminine (with little effort) because in my early 20’s I noticed my deficit and became an esthetician as a means to work through college – killed two birds with one stone. This was a good call because I have the outward appearance down. But let me tell you, there are times when I’m in a dress and heels and I absolutely feel like I’m in drag in LA!!! Lol

    I would agree that all of this does not feel like I’m wearing a mask or being inauthentic. Rather, like throttling back and being strategic about what I “put out there”. I’m aware of many of my limits so I’m very clear about boundaries and expectations. I have learned how to interact with people (especially women) because I worked in a spa setting for nearly 20yrs. I feel almost cunning and manipulative of my ability to ask just the right questions to find the sweet spot of where we can relate which puts them at ease. When you described the self-hurting technique in which an NT might put herself down to avoid intimidating others. I can relate in a slightly different way: I look for our common struggles and find that it humanizes me so I’m more palatable for others.

    The first time I was told that I was intimidating was in my mid-20’s and the other woman was in her early 40’s. I didn’t understand what I did “wrong” to make someone perceive me so inaccurately – I desired to be approachable and make connections with others. By now, it doesn’t phase me. I am still often misunderstood and I do think I threaten many women and some men with low self esteem in the areas I prevail. I truly am soft and cuddly on the inside and have a tender heart. I’m very generous in my thoughts to others so there are times when it hurts deeply when people assume the worst of me. When this happens, I analyze…find understand….and don’t even bother voicing my experience. We are speaking a different language, after all.

    In closing, I’m happy to be an INTJ. I do feel like it’s a super power. However, with a heavy burden. I would very much like to participate in the NT women’s workshop and dive deeper into these things.

  • Carol

    Thanks a lot for this podcast. I identify as an NT and just yesterday had the “pleasure” to crash a feeler’s party on a workshop by sharing authentically my feelings (took me some effort) and thought process (easy). Several others felt triggered and responded not to my conclusions but to some minor element of my analysis (obviously carelessly expressed by me).
    It took me a moment to realize that the discussion went out of control (and therefore leaving the imho really important points) because of me inadvertently triggering the others. When I later tried to explain my analysis of the situation and group dynamics I was not able to make myself clear since — I believe — the others still listened on their “relationship ears”.

    Another topic came up when the group’s teacher told me he had the feeling that I was competing for leadership with him. This is something I heard several times in my life already and am very careful about it. Obviously I come across as domineering and leadership-seeking at times and I am always puzzled about it since I know how “un-domineering” I am (feeling pretty soft on the inside).
    I only jump into leadership roles when I feel a leadership vacuum and want to get stuff done and don’t waste time and resources. And there was a moment yesterday where I definitely perceived such a vacuum…

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the podcast, I felt understood.

  • Meredith

    Why do NT women make terrible victims?

    • Little Poots

      That is a good question and something I ponder alot. I can only answer for me, and that is, that I have NO issue with boundaries because I can say NO. i’m guessing Feelers have a harder time saying no because they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.

    • James

      Hey Mere. I think this depends on whether a NT is healthy or not too. I’ve read a study years ago that returning soldiers from the war front that were TJ’s especially had a harder time with PTSD then their feeler counter parts. One idea I had was that feelers since they tend to process think their emotions are able to process their emotions better than a thinker. So I would conclude that perhaps subconsciously feelers are less likely to remain victims over the long haul where as thinkers may have as evidenced by some of the comments here, a harder time processing their emotions and inadvertently remain victims.

      One of the things I know from being a Judger is that we tend to need closure for things where as a perceiver may leave things to chance or not really care if things are complete or not, especially thoughts, feelings, events, life, etc.

      My question(s) are… Has anyone here experienced or been guilty of toxic femininity? Had people try to manipulate your emotions, or have you tried to manipulate others as an NT to get what you want or try to collect information about another person feels especially another NT?

      • James

        To reference what I’m talking about and none of you are alone in this, as NT men experienced this too with women.




        I realize that maybe being an INTJ that, my more secure attachment type may attract more anxious types or people to me that want what I have in terms of personality traits and or want to possess me or control me.

        I do tend to enjoy my independence and like my alone time, however I still desire companionship, but what seems to be out there leaves me wanting more in terms of more compatible people in my life. What interests me is NTs mostly but I experienced an INTP that was trying to manipulate me and maybe I missed the emotional cues as Meredith pointed out that I don’t have an advantage being male and likely came off as neglectful or too aloof. So I’m just curious as I’m not an NT woman if there still exists a possibility that they may take the manipulative route to get what they want from someone or get their needs met, when for me it would be better if it was asked for in a more direct way or even alluded to subtly without all the manipulation or game playing type of behavior.

        I apologize for the typos, my laptop deletes words for some reason.

    • Amanda | ENTP

      “Terrible victims” means we refuse to fulfill the role of victim in someone else’s dramatic triangle – an NT woman will not play the damsel in distress so that someone else can feel like a hero.

      • Amanda | ENTP

        I think that’s what Antonia meant! And of course we pay a price for refusing to softly slide into the victim role, whether we are conscious of doing it or not. Meanwhile we are harder on ourselves than anyone else (as I have been told many times). We may not “play” the victim well, but we victimize ourselves through the self-deprecating and self-censoring behaviors – I won’t say “strategies” – that Antonia mentioned.

  • Little Poots

    This podcast is going to be life-changing for me, and I am 55. (ENTJ). I am still gathering my thoughts in an attempt to respond in such an eloquent way as you have described my life. . .

    But the most important thought I have – surprise surprise – is one that might be controversial 🙂

    and that is, that as I have tried to navigate the lonely waters of having no female friends, I have never once seen them as “the insiders” and me as “the outsider”. The way I have always seen it is that is is a sad way to live, not wanting to discuss and debate controversial topics. So I always saw them as the “Losers” (I don’t mean that personally). Yes, I know that’s what you mean by us not wanting to sound snobby, but I have never ever once, wanted to be like them. So if that makes me a snob, then I am one. – – – Of course, a lonely one. . . . yes.

  • Leila

    I really enjoyed the podcast and identified with a lot/most of what you were saying. I’ve been a teacher for a lot of my life and struggled intensely with the emotional side of teaching (individual lessons). I felt affinity with the subject I taught and had a lot of ideas but forming bonds with a majority of students who had entirely different needs from myself was literally a nightmare. Yes, overtime I guess I learned to some extent how to do it, but it’s such a massive task I just don’t believe anyone should have to go through that without specific tuition themselves in this issue. Thanks for the experience of sharing what it’s like to live without a framework for all of this.

  • Jimmie

    Thank you, Antonia, for this wonderful podcast! I related to much of what you said. When you find a friend circle with other NT women, it’s a gift. I have two local college sorority sisters who are fellow NTs (one an INTJ like me and the other a loud and fun ENTP). We tend to get together every couple of weeks ago and let down our defenses. We are 50. Maturity helps a lot with accepting yourself fully, too.

    As an INTJ, I think very early in life (preteen probably) I decided there were some arenas I’d never be able to engage fully with feelers/women. Instead of being sad, I have always accepted it. As you said, I NEVER expected them to come to my side or bend to my preferences. I knew it was impossible for them. And I had a real sense of being in the minority and feeling it unfair to expect the majority to flex for my weirdness.

    In fact, I tend to swing the other way, thinking feelers are kind of silly and exceptionally draining, thus not worth having a sense of missing out. It actually feels nice to excuse myself from that kind of engagement. (I guess I also tend towards contempt. Their conversations are shallow and ridiculous. Why would I want to be part of it? I’d rather do my own thing than delve into that shallow pool. That sounds incredibly arrogant… there I go censoring myself… ha ha.)

    I’ve found that if I have just 1 or a few friends who mostly understand me and fully accept me, I don’t need larger social circles.

    Anyway, the toughest part for me as an NT is being a mom. I have always thought that according to my own standards, I’m a damn good mom. But as per society’s standards, I am probably a really inferior mom because I don’t (and won’t) experience the sentimentality most moms do. I really bristle against all of that, feeling it’s just silly and not authentic to how I experience being a parent. Crying because they’re growing up? WHAT?! Why would I cry? I’m thrilled! Crying over graduation? What?! Why would I cry? I’m proud and excited. I just don’t approach motherhood with the same emotions. When my baby was born, the one thought screaming through my head was “What have I done? What have I done?!” I was terrified by the feeling of responsibility. The love didn’t come until later. And, of course, I was terrified I’d be a bad mom because I never felt any sense of love for my unborn child. The love came later, after getting to know her.

    I also don’t consider being a mom my full identity or get as much validation from that role as my other roles in life. I love my child, of course. But I am more than a mom. And mom-ing is draining! I find it exhausting, especially since my daughter is an INFJ (so many feels… so many BIG feels). I’ve had to inform my (adult) daughter on numerous occasions that I simply cannot be for her in some ways she may need me. I simply don’t have the capacity. And I feel icky when I even try. She understands and has learned to value the benefits I bring to parenting as an INTJ.

  • Jo

    Ironically for an NT, this podcast hit me right in the feels. I have never felt so seen and validated, and I have to express my thanks. Even though I’m intj, not entp, so much of what you said felt completely familiar. All the holding back, all the people who think they’re meeting you halfway when they’re nowhere close. I almost cringed when Joel started talking about how everyone struggles with some type of labor. I think he’s got a good point, but I’ve had so many feelers minimize or misunderstand the extra layer of effort an NT woman puts in by telling me “everyone feels that way sometimes” that I threw up my hands in frustration. Despite that moment, I really felt seen by everything you had to say and mostly love Joel’s way of teasing out the nuanced feelings and intents behind the kind of human interactions that can be such a source of pain for me.

  • Karen

    Thank you! seriously, it is so nice to hear and recognize the situations, feeling met in the nt womanhood. I feel comfortable being a a woman, but expectations and how easily I trigger other women and men are exhausting. It was a really good point of how it, at times, feels like some kind of bullying, which can set of all the spiraling theories og how the world is almost plotting against you – but it is acutally/probably just a matter of feelers feeling they are meeting you (and it was so fun about how feelers often think they are the the ones trying to meet everyone elses needs the most, which can kind of feel like a dictatorship or passive-agressive behaviour from the nt perspective)

  • Maya

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been a lurking fan of your podcasts for a while but this one has come in the perfect time really – using lockdown downtime to look inwards, untangle some of the wounding and ultimately repair the relationship I have with myself which will in turn lead to better and more authentic relationships with others.

    This has really resonated with me a lot, which shouldn’t be surprising since I’m an NT woman too (ENTP), still wondering what the hell is wrong with me. You have hit the nail on the head with describing how much energy we expend trying to meet other peoples’ expectations of how we should show up in the world and how often enough negative feedback results in self-censorship and trying to force a couple of measly flowers in the front yard while we have a beautiful garden at the back of the house that we are not looking after. I am in my mid 30s now, still struggling with having a healthy level of self esteem, being a freak and owning it unapologetically though I think it might be getting better with age. I used to have this gunshot energy you mentioned but have dimmed it so much (all my own doing) I am struggling to access it again and am living in a way that is discordant with who I really am.

    I feel many other NT women could relate to this. How can you realign with this after many years of pretending to be someone else just to be liked by others?

    • James

      Maya, first off there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re exactly as you should be and you will not benefit in reality by kowtowing to others in how they think you “should” be other than how you are. I wouldn’t force anything, just let your essence naturally flow and surprisingly there will be many including myself that see you as more feminine than you realize. Femininity is freedom of expression, creativity, any emotions, being silly, being weird, truth is the most feminine women in the world don’t make any sense and act nothing like the main stream societal norms portray women to be and that’s OK, their not meant to, their energy is just meant to be enjoyed. If you would like to learn more about femininity from a woman that doesn’t take any shit and is apologetically herself and doesn’t follow the crowd. I would have you take a look at the femininewoman.com for some study into the subject.

      R/ INTJ

  • Eli

    I’ve been reflecting a lot on these types of topics lately, though not always in a personality type frame. This podcast gave some language to some of the feelings I’ve been having. I’ve struggled a lot with building a career and making career decisions, and I’m seeing that part of the problem is that I am so attuned to monitoring the opinions and feelings of those outside of me that I’ve sort of forgotten how to trust myself to make good decisions and build my own ways of thinking, even if these are nonconformist. I’ve lived most of my life in family, friendship, and professional spaces with feelers, and early on I became very accustomed to monitoring everything I say and do for potentially off-putting vibes. It’s frankly ridiculous to think about, putting it into writing. Now, this is related to personality type (ENTP or INTP) as well as some other life experiences that have instilled a solid pendulum dynamic swinging between social avoidance and trying to be part of groups. I’m really starting to feel within my own body (like it’s becoming physical) that I have become totally accustomed to thinking I need to put on a “mask” of sorts for all kinds of social interactions. Working online, I can feel more blatantly the tenseness that characterizes the process of “putting on” my socially acceptable character for interacting with others. At this point in my life, it’s not helping me, it’s hurting–and what’s more, nobody really even knows that this is all going on inside me!

  • S

    Wow, this was a fascinating conversation and as an entp myself, I feel so *seen*. I think about this a lot, and while the obvious connection might be to explore how NT defies traditional patriarchal gender roles applied to women by men (especially in romantic relationships), I find that the greatest challenge is often the pressure applied by women to each other.

    I struggle with female relationships because I feel obligated to over-emote all the time. Most women view it as a way to connect, and nonconformity is often seen as a threat. Over time it’s absolutely draining and exhausting, particularly in relationships with SFs. My lack of interest in “sensory” things is interpreted as a lack of interest in life itself. It’s not only draining but a little sad to have your very existence misunderstood or looked down upon.

    Another thing I find interesting is how this relates to motherhood and what a “good mother” or someone with “motherhood instincts” is expected to be like, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole…

    • Antonia Dodge

      We’ll talk a bit about being an NT mom in the next podcast. 🙂


  • Mary True

    As an I/ENTJ woman I definitely find myself making friends with most males easily. Except for the few who seem to automatically hate me. I don’t feel like I fit in, but I enjoy and love the company of other women. With maturity I have learned to recognize when I have stepped on toes, but still resent having to explain myself when I have done nothing wrong. I think my biggest failure may be reining myself in so those who might appreciate me for me, never get to see the real me in average social situations. I think you two are great and appreciate your insights so much. Thank you! You gave me a lot to think about.

    • Deepa Vedartham

      Hi. ENTP here. I found a lot of interesting things in this podcast, a lot of interconnected problems and concepts. There is a lot of friction between how our natures are (as NT women according to typology) and what nurture expectation we have upon ourselves from society (what and how a woman should be). A major part of that reason I think is the there is not much emphasis by people to look at the nature component of people , understand their type and that of others and how they naturally see the world. Also as an NT woman the recurring problem I see occurring is “where to draw the line”. How much should i compromise my ne and ti , and how much should I try to let social norms help me meet my essential and basic needs that any woman has. I’m not trying to sound one worse than the other, but I want to have both and bridge the two. I’m still trying to figure out the ropes, and it’s really great that you addressed this and articulated it so well. Looking for more content on this topic !!

  • TNic

    As an entp woman, yes, I can get socially depleted, and yes, I have played down my intellect at times to fit in, and I’m not the esfj hostess, but I’m not sure I fit all of this or want to wear the label that feeling just isn’t my thing. My infp friend and I have great feeling-type conversations, and she appreciates my natural curiosity about her problems and desire to help her nt puzzle out her relationship issues. (She loves that I bring objectivity to her overly emotional reactions to people and I love how her deep empathy hits me the right way and helps me open up.) I’m a six with subtype social on the enneagram, so maybe this shifts things a bit, I’m not sure. (I’ve also considered that I am close to enfp, or spend a lot of time in extroverted feeling as an entp — not sure which, so maybe all of these shift the dynamic.) I also like that the intp women on here have gotten comfortable with showing curiosity towards others, and I do this — quietly listen and take in their problems, I actually like that…my friends say I have unique perspectives and insights on their problems, which makes me feel good.

    I also want to say, my infp friend and I are sometimes taken aback my our esfj/enneagram type 3 female friend who can come off as the proverbial Avon lady — a cheerful smile but little real deeper emotional depth underneath. Very very nice person, and would never talk behind anyone’s back, but she isn’t someone either of us trust with deeper emotional baggage, but we trust each other very much in this realm. So even feeling type women can have trouble with other women when it comes to connecting, it isn’t necessarily nt women in particular. It’s probably a mid-life skill for us, but since we spend our youth gaining knowledge, for me, anyway, it’s kind of an ahhhh sometimes just to relate to others and not feel like I should be learning something new. I truly appreciate learning about others now, and like doing that one on one, especially.

    • Antonia Dodge

      It is not uncommon for ENFP 6 so types to identify as Thinkers in Myers-Briggs as they are in the head triad of the Enneagram and information instinctively filters through thought first.

      An observation. Your mileage may vary.


      • TNic

        Thanks Antonia, I appreciate the reply. This makes a lot of sense for me. To be honest, even though I’m much more into the MBTI than enneagram, and I get the way we can use our stacking functions to make improvements, whenever I get to the core of my biggest issues in life, I identify more with the enneagram description and the constant need to be vigilant about potential problems. That I’m sure about…I’m a 6…ugh! (On a different note, have you done a deeper dive into people’s 8th function. I hate most that I don’t have extroverted sensing b/c I live among so many extroverted sensors (I live in a sensate culture) and their energy for the real world drains me. I need my sensory to be calm and contemplative–hiking or walking–not hitting the pavement hard, fast, and long!:))

  • Angela

    Hi Antonia and Joel,

    Thank you so much for bringing this topic up. What a relief to hear other NT women are feeling the same sense of being misunderstood constantly. I am an almost 25 years old INTJ woman, and I know how difficult it was to grow up fully embracing myself completely unconditionally. I developed pretty severe mental disorder symptoms given my genetic predisposition during this process (i.e., eating disorder, psychotic states, etc.). The wounding is so deep that I had to switch my major several times during undergrad to study psychology to heal myself, which took another extra two years to earn my degree while studying in a foreign country not using my mother language.

    On the other hand, learning all the theoretical stuff on a conceptual level is completely different from truly getting the inner wisdom and to be healed. I’ve been in psychotherapy for a while and am studying a master on psychoanalytic theories right now, still unsure of what exactly will be the thing to bring to the world to get the greatest fulfillment in my future career and to find my comfortable space.

    Anyway, all in all, I know we can all figure this out gradually. Keep doing the inner work, and letting it be manifested onto the external world.

  • Beverly Atchison

    I discovered I was INTJ on my 63rd birthday several years ago on your website. That was the BEST birthday present ever since I had always thought that either I was insane or from another planet. In this podcast you absolutely NAILED IT in describing my daily/lifetime struggles. I have literally damaged my jaw joints from keeping my teeth clenched most of the day at my job because I either make people mad or they just don’t have a clue what I am talking about. Thank you for all your input and hard work in sharing these personalities! I know I am an unusual sort but at least I know I am not alone! I wish there were some sort of chat room situation for people like us! Thanks again.

  • Lynn

    Fun to hear your perspectives. There are a few things I’ve found helpful as an INTP woman. I understand and embrace my natural curiosity as an expression of feminine energy, and I create my own safety which allows me to more easily surrender to the masculine energy of my partner. (I’m NOT talking about subservience in any way, but dropping the need to always be in charge and have everything “under control”). I think surrender was so hard before because of a lifetime of feeling I needed to be invulnerable and to never get it “wrong” or show incompetence in any way. Once I understood how much of this was coming from within I was able to see that I was the one responsible for making myself safe in the world. Another thing is to recognize that I don’t need to put my perspective onto a situation or discussion, as it usually isn’t heard anyway. But instead of judging or wishing others could comprehend things in a deeper level (huge energy drain!), I invest instead in my role as a detached observer, and reinforce to myself that others are where they are and it’s futile and arrogant to think they should be different then they are. By taking absolute responsibility for myself and my energy I’ve been able to reach a much more comfortable and nourishing place, and to experience the beauty of my own unique feminine energy.

  • Kaila

    Hello! Very interesting podcast. I’m an Intp woman, and more than anything when I’m with sf women or in a big crowd that is majority feeler, I have to almost drug myself with the moment or with a safe interesting topic in order for me to actually enjoy or look like Im interacting with the group. I find myself usually making big waves of fun to entertain myself, which also entertains others, yet I come into the problem of looking like I taking attention away from mostly esfj types, to which they eventually start getting jealous and even when I give the limelight back to them they feel like second pick. Or I leave the group in some way and it looks they are turning their heads asking “where’d she go?”. My friends know I’m a “randomized one hit wonder” socially more than a consistent flow of social harmony, but those new to me are really shocked when they find out my inconsistent nature in the social realm.
    I grew up with almost all feelers, so I’ve always been different from them and my mother (esfj) knows that more than most. I have no nt women friends and 1 distant nt man friend, and have only met one legitimate intp man in my life that totally inspired me when I was young. My closest friends are an enfj, istj and isfj who each consider me to be their best friend and one has an especially interesting story as to why and how we came to be friends.
    I don’t have an issues with femininity, but I can understand how others might. 🤔

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