INTJ Personality - The Mastermind

Also Known As:

The Architect, The Strategist, The Scientist, The Innovator

Famous INTJs:

Colin Powell, Beethoven, Samantha Power, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Vladimir Putin, Christopher Nolan, C.S Lewis, Lance Armstrong, Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bobby Fisher, Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking, Isaac Asimov, Martin Luther, Heraclitus

Fictional Characters:

Bruce Wayne (The Dark Knight), Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), The Governor (The Walking Dead), Dr House (House, M.D), Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones), Socrates (As portrayed in Plato’s dialogues), Walter White (Breaking Bad), Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes)


Switzerland – quiet, orderly, intelligent and carefully neutral.

Basic Fear:

Being prevented from the pursuit of knowledge, or losing the ability for complex thought processes.

Basic Desire:

To develop a complete understanding of the world around them through intellectual pursuits and the collection of information.

INTJ Overview

Forming just 2% of the population, The Mastermind is among the rarest types of personalities. Breathing a natural air of curiosity leads the INTJ to pursue all the knowledge like oxygen.

The pursuit of knowledge will propel the INTJ into the realm of theoretical thought and develop a passion for academia and debate.

INTJs generally find it difficult to find like-minded people who are similarly of advanced intellect with a superior ability to think critically and analyze the facts presented to them. Due to this struggle, they tend to isolate themselves and express feelings of loneliness. INTJs see the world differently than others, and have a hard time looking at the world from the eyes of the masses.

Putting their energy into intellectual and personal interests makes them a poor candidate for working in a corporate position. Many INTJs will seek a field in which they can prosper and explore ideas with freedom.

INTJs are proud of their analytical mind which stores a wide range of information on many thousands of different topics, all waiting to be explored and adapted to meet certain goals and ideals. They are calm and confident in situations which they fully understand; and they will react in a positive manner in most situations, as long as it doesn’t involve too many social situations.

The term ‘walking encyclopedia’  has been used to describe the INTJ. Pairing that moniker with the never ending willingness to teach others and share knowledge with their peers makes the INTJ a font of knowledge.

The INTJ will relish at an opportunity to showcase their intellectual power, masking the ego by offering help to people in areas they possess a high level of knowledge and experience.

Depending on the experiences that an INTJ encounters, they will usually display an outer image of confidence and extroversion. In truth, this is just a show in order to fit into society’s need for constant socialization.

INTJs are often crippled with social anxieties; self loathing can become a constant, dark cloud looming over the head of the INTJ.

By realizing the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal foibles and quirks, the INTJ has the power to independently rise from this dark pit of isolation. Doing so will give the INTJ great pleasure in being a strong, unique presence in this ever-changing world.

INTJ - Albert Einstein“Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventions, prejudices, and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” ~ Albert Einstein


A powerful hunger for learning and knowledge often develops in early childhood, leading the INTJ child to be excluded from common activities associated with “normal” children. The INTJ child will much prefer to sit alone and read a book instead of playing a game of football with the neighborhood kids.

Being singled out a “nerd” or “bookworm” from a young age, the INTJ child will grow to adopt a proud self-image of a young intellectual who far surpasses his peers in school. However, the INTJ child will easily make friends with like minded children.

The INTJ will happily share his knowledge and expertise. Although it might often seem that the child is being a bit blunt and offensive, at heart she just wishes to inspire others to learn with the same passion she feel towards knowledge.

Work Life

INTJ’s have a strong power of analysis and are extremely competent when working on their own. They will be notably less sociable than other personality types. If required, the INTJ can easily step into a position of leadership, especially if they believe the current leader is underperforming, or if they are already undertaking their own projects.

Pragmatism and logic come together with a strong work ethic. Due to these qualities, most INTJs can perform exceedingly well in high-pressure environments. The INTJ understands that emotion can prevent logical decision making and this understanding benefits them in situations where others may become overwhelmed.

Due to the INTJs belief that nothing is impossible, paradoxes in social communication can occur. For example, the INTJ can be a powerful idealist with a strong belief in one idea, but also be a harsh critic to another. This stems from the INTJs reasoning powers and belief that they can tell if a person will succeed or not due to their previous attempts and level of intellect.

INTJ’s are always finding different perspectives from which to view a certain topic, and will let that “outside thinking” show in their work. High performing INTJs will often achieve great accomplishments throughout their life. The pursuit of money is rarely considered worthwhile to the INTJ, although the projects and fields that pique their interest often lead to a huge windfall of cash.

The power of perception is highly developed among INTJs. Perceiving is the first reaction to many situations for the INTJ, allowing them to grasp the situation completely before taking any action. This is one of the reasons why the INTJ is so good at creating theories and ideas – he allow things to unravel, paying close attention to every change along the way.


When it comes to relationships, the INTJ will pursue a person with a similar character and ideologies. This allows the relationship to offer more than just companionship; it allows the INTJ to explore the theories and ideas with a partner.

INTJs make a very demanding partner and will have high expectations in their relationship.

Spontaneous infatuation is a rare feeling for INTJs. The most common method of developing affection is waiting and watching to see if the partner holds similar and corresponding traits.

Once invested in the relationship, the INTJ will be a reliable and dedicated partner, placing harmony at home and the strength of the relationship high in their life priorities. However, the INTJ will withhold emotional struggles and pointless social rituals which they believe are irrational.

This lack of emotion might lead other people to see the INTJ as a distant outsider. INTJs will be highly loyal partners and will put a vast amount of energy and time into improving the relationship and creating stability.

The INTJ values honesty and morality in a relationship. Open communication often leads to the understanding that any aspect of the partnership can be changed to suit various needs of the partners.

With the amount of time and energy the INTJ puts into the relationship, understandings of why things go right and wrong will emerge. The INTJ will then use this knowledge to further strengthen the relationship and create a powerful union built on understanding and trust.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (INTJ)“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is.
Self-knowledge has no end – you don’t come to an achievement, you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Social Life

photodune-1118912-businessman-hand-holds-social-network-mIn a social setting, the INTJ is out of his comfort zone, finding normal social experiences such as small talk agitating and pointless. Some other personality types will inevitably see the INTJ as a rude person who doesn’t care for others, but this is not necessarily true.

Most INTJs have difficulties when it comes to reading people’s emotions and responses, leading them to feel like they speak another language. They rarely seek to hurt people’s feelings and create problems between the social group, it’s just that they don’t always pick up on social cues.

When engaged in an intellectual exchange, the INTJ will continually forward the conversation. These interesting talks can often end up in engaging debates that can go on for hours.

Inspiring conversation is what drives the INTJ into social environments. When the situation lacks this, the INTJ will retreat into her own mind to find enjoyment from complex thought.

A strong social group might never notice that the INTJ is at heart an introverted person. The INTJ is fully aware that they do not play well with strangers, but when with a group of close friends the INTJ will be truly comfortable.

This comfort can be greatly disturbed by something changing the demographics of the group.

For example, if a new person was to enter the social group, introverted thoughts would likely lead the INTJ to a place of envy towards the new person. When the INTJ takes the time to understand the new person’s goals and foibles, the INTJ will return to his natural comfort and social engagements within this preferred group will once again become a source of contentment.

INTJs who do not find a strong group of friends, or who have friends with little to no understanding of this unique personality type, will inevitably retreat into themselves; this can lead to becoming separated from the social group. At this point, the INTJ may head down a path of true introversion and isolation, which can take many years to break out of.

Unfortunately, this is the curse of INTJ in social situations. In his mind, the INTJ will be crippled with social anxieties and will create situations in his head that have no chance of becoming a real event.

However, the INTJ uses these social simulations to calculate outcomes and probabilities within the group. It is not uncommon for the INTJ to completely stop engaging in social situations until a time arises when they feel strong enough to re-engage with the world.


Regarding friendships, the INTJ will often have more luck with quickly developing a friendship than finding a romantic partner. The INTJ will use the same filtering technique for friendships as he does for intimate relationships. This often leads people into thinking the INTJ is rude and abrupt. However, in truth the INTJ simply seeks for a more suitable companion to get the best possible results from the friendship.

INTJs seek friendship with soul mates instead of just simple acquaintances whom they deem not worthy of their time and intellect due to a large number of variables.

During these friendships, the INTJ isn’t exactly the shoulder to cry on. Since they usually suppress their own emotions, they have difficulties understanding another person’s reasons for an emotional outcry. As a result, they will often seem a bit dull to the feelings of others.

Becoming a close friend of the INTJ is worthy of notice. The INTJ will subject any potential friend to a large list of positive and negative expectations just waiting to be met or broken.

Stalwart honesty is a pillar of the INTJs view of social interaction, so liars will not fare well with INTJs. They are often rapidly expelled from any social group where the INTJ is the dominant member.

A strong mutual desire to better themselves and their friends is what truly develops a friendship with the INTJ.

The INTJ will openly encourage their friends in joining them in the crusade of self-improvement and realization of new concepts and ideas. Those individuals who fall short of this expectation will be cast aside by the INTJ. Those who meet the high standards of the INTJ will be rewarded with a deeply meaningful friendship that can span a lifetime.

Self Esteem and Ego

INTJs are a mixed breed when it comes to self-esteem and ego. They have a strong power of self-confidence, believing deep down that they can truly accomplish anything in life which they seek out as a goal. The ego constantly reinforces this self-belief and offers reassuring thoughts to the INTJ after a period of self-doubt.

Self-doubt is often triggered by external forces such as social events, but may also come from completely random factors. For example, something as simple as a passerby who is laughing can trigger the INTJ to go into thinking overload, utilizing every type of critical thinking to try and discover what it was that had the person laughing. The INTJ does this to isolate the possibility that the person was laughing at his expense.

Repeated negative outcomes are often what drives the INTJ into himself, accepting introversion as a basic defense method. After all, what could go wrong when there are no people around but yourself and your mind? Introverted isolation is also a selfish endeavor to some degree. The INTJ truly loves being able to dip into deeply introverted thought and can easily spend an afternoon pondering something significant.

Confident INTJs will often carve themselves a piece of the world to call their own; this may be in their own home or in a preferred public space such as a library. In this domain of self-reliance, the INTJ will become an extremely passionate and will appear highly extroverted when good friends are present.

It is in this comfort zone that the INTJ’s true personality comes out.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”
~ Lao Tzu


The INTJ is often a slave to perfectionism. Though this has many benefits it also has many drawbacks, especially when it comes to relationships and parenthood.

The core understanding of how something works is extremely important to the INTJ. They will often play with different concepts and ideas in order to fully understand the topic.

When it comes to the career or chosen work of the INTJ, they will stop at nothing before they reach the desired final outcome.

The problem solving force behind the INTJ’s personality propels the individual to completely control each part of a theory or idea.

Great results in a career or in specific projects are almost always the outcome of this situation.

However, this perfectionistic, controlling nature is a double edged sword, especially when a particular variable cannot be controlled. Children, for example, can become a great source of disapproval for the INTJ.

In parenthood, the INTJ parent must remember that the child is still learning about life and will not understand the outcomes of their actions.

Parenting can become quite a struggle for the INTJ who cannot turn off this perfectionist mindset.

Though the problem solving mindset of INTJ parents and their passion of sharing knowledge will likely encourage the child to grow into an intelligent individual, INTJs should still consider the child to be somewhat of a long-term project. It may seem insensitive, but the INTJ places emotion very low on the scale of priorities.

Another drawback of the perfectionist mindset is the inevitable encounter of certain social situations which are beyond the control of the INTJ. One of the greatest struggles the INTJ will face, especially as a young adult, is how to deal with people.

People are notoriously unpredictable and cannot be controlled. This complete randomness can put the INTJ’s calculative mind at a loss. The inability to relax in unfamiliar social environments is what keeps the INTJ close to the walls in large rooms, or in the quietest area of a party.

With so many points of interest and possible variants of outcomes, the INTJ will inevitably retreat into complete introverted thought. Once this occurs the odds of engaging in simple conversation drop significantly. The main goal for the socially-awkward is to end the event as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Cognitive Functions

1459974325423The cognitive functions are a hierarchy of 4 separate filters that a person uses to process information. These 4 functions are sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling.

Every person has a dominant function, which is the default running mode for their personality. This dominant function is supported by the auxiliary function, the second most familiar operating mode.

The tertiary function usually develops more over time, becoming more apparent as the person develops in their consciousness.

The final, inferior, function can be described as a person’s “Achilles’ heel”. It is the most underdeveloped way of processing information.

These cognitive functions all fall under 2 categories: introverted and extroverted.

Introverted functions are self-focused and internal, they are often considered to be more intense and require greater concentration. These functions gather all information and decision-making factors from within the individual.

The extraverted functions forms the opposite purpose, constantly pushing things out into the world and their surroundings. They are more extensive and distributed, choosing to focus on many things over a small period of time instead of a singular idea.

Intuition is commonly known as the unconscious way of knowing, or “thinking without thinking”.

For the INTJ, intuition is the default thought process behind most actions. This allows them to skip over large amounts of thoughts in order to reach a conclusion, without having to consciously think of each part in a separate way.

Ni is a perceiving function, although INTJs have a good idea of how it works and why they still do not fully control it. The INTJ who can realize this and construct a method of controlling the intuitive functions will most likely become a master of complex thought.

However, this does not mean that the INTJ can run on autopilot when engaging in different situations throughout life.

The main realization of the INTJ is the thirst for knowledge. This means that the intuitive function cannot run without sufficient fuel on a subject.

For example, the INTJ cannot fully explore a certain theory without knowing its individual parts, thus leading the INTJ to learn everything they can about the subject. Only when a critical mass of understanding is achieved can the intuitive process begin to rapidly process thoughts and concepts.

The most powerful sense that the human being has is vision. Many INTJs have reported that the default way of thinking is in vivid pictures and images instead of words.

This visual processing is a great strength of the INTJ in the fields of analysis and theory; they are not constrained by the rational and logical thought that other personalities are.

Extraverted thinking is the logical side of the INTJ, serving as an extremely beneficial function to introverted intuition. Te helps the INTJ to break down theories into smaller chunks and independently analyze each segment in relation to the bigger picture.

Extraverted thinking is a means to establishing goals and procedures, allowing the INTJ to reach a logical conclusion to any given theory. Clear definitions are formed using this function, and a defined roadmap is marked out in the brain of the INTJ depicting how to move from step one to the finish line.

Ultimately, Te offers a solution to the chaos and randomness that sometimes is a part of intuition, allowing the INTJ to isolate areas and render the unpredictability of a situation under control.

As Te is the auxiliary to the INTJ’s intuition, the two can pair together to create an easy-to-understand explanation of the ideas of the intuitive function. This ability to take a huge mess of ideas and compress them into a neat stack of ordered files showcases the superior thought patterns of the INTJ.

Extraverted thinking plays a large role in the difficulties that INTJs face regarding social situations. But it can also assists the INTJ in expressing complex thoughts which they experience. When Te meets another person who cannot approach ideas with logic, or can’t detach from emotion when reacting, the INTJ will become frustrated.

This frustration comes from the INTJs inability to understand the driving forces behind the other person’s rationale. In reality, it is simply just a different person’s way of dealing with situations. In the heat of the moment, this thought may only present itself to the INTJ after it’s too late.

Introverted feeling is what leads some people to believe that INTJs lack empathy and display an absence of emotion.

In reality, INTJs are highly perceptive to the feelings of a select few individuals. It is the unconscious decision to not take the correct amount of time to understand people they perceive as being of lesser importance. This subconscious choice leads to the INTJ to often feel as though she does not understand most people.

Fi leads the individual to seek an intense emotional investment with his family and one or two close friends. The INTJ will often become a loyal, honest and committed partner, and the well-being and development of any children will become a paramount point of focus.

Instead of showing the world how they feel the INTJ directs all emotional changes and reactions internally. This allows the most dominant functions to begin understanding the current situation. Fi is why the INTJ can seem, from an external point of view, as an emotionless being.

Fi may lead the INTJ to seek a new understanding of himself, allowing him to improve his social inadequacies in order to pursue a particular career or relationship.

Introverted thinkers find themselves extremely sensitive to the many injustices of the world, especially in cases where the victims are unable to defend themselves. It is this sensitivity that pairs up with Ni when the INTJ dreams of a world of equality and peace.

The prominence of the Fi can vary widely from one INTJ to the next. Fi seems to have a strong correlation with the stability and security of childhood and young adolescence. These negative experiences at a young age are perhaps what leads to a high level of emotional instability in some INTJs. The opposite can be said for those with a stable, happy upbringing.

The search for self-understanding and finding a place in the world is driven by Fi. It gives the INTJ a strong desire to understand what makes them so different than the rest of the population.

The inferior function is the most unconscious of the four functions, often times regarded by the INTJ as pointless or elusive. Extraverted sensing is the process of directly perceiving the environment – without using any mental filters at all.

This lack of an obvious sense of what surrounds them can lead to the image of an individual who sometimes seems oblivious to their surroundings. INTJs try to replace the sensing function via experiencing the environment in an intuitive way.

The surroundings are subconsciously noticed and realized. This leads to the INTJ knowing things without ever realizing or making the conscious effort to learn such information. That passive sensing can lead to being easily overwhelmed and overstimulated in chaotic situations and noisy environments.

Feeling disconnected from the outside world and, in some cases, their own bodies leads to the INTJ being defensive when it comes to experiencing the unfamiliar – for example, when trying new foods, drugs, or physical activities.

The lack of previous knowledge and experience leads to a high level of uncertainty and the new experience is deemed too risky to chance.

Areas of Strength

  • Your quick mind will prove to be your most powerful tool. With the ability to rapidly grasp new ideas and concepts, you will be the first in the room to understand a new ideology.
  • Curiosity plays a vital role in your hunger for knowledge and will guide you throughout life and lead you to many fulfilling absolute understandings. Planning out many possible outcomes from different actions you take, it allows you to plan for a variety of results when working on a project.
  • Independence will lead the way. You are more than capable of following your own path in life. Your disinterest towards authority figures will be noticed when you do not agree with a boss regarding a project or task.
  • Your tenacity to follow what you believe is the right course of action will drive you further and further in your chosen field. The sky is truly endless for you if you can tap into the power of leadership and start your own company.
  • Your powerful level of self confidence will often lead you to the correct conclusions. If you are right, you are right, no matter what and until proven otherwise.
  • This brutal following of your beliefs will lead you to be seen as an honest individual in communication. People will see your intellect and you will gain much respect, as long as you remember that not everyone can be right all the time.
  • Working hard on your projects is what drives your self-worth. The ability to undertake and complete tough tasks and projects is what makes you a powerful asset to any company, or a powerful figurehead when launching your own projects.
  • When properly explored, ideas which might seem false or even ridiculous to you can be extremely rewarding to fully experience. This part of your curious nature will often be shown when learning new things and meeting new people. Alternate lifestyles are often an aspect of life which provides much interest to INTJs. It is when you are proven wrong that you truly open your mind, after believing one thing for so long, and not giving thought to other possible conclusions. When the penny drops and you realize you were wrong, hundreds of doors and thought patterns can be explored in order to reach a more developed conclusion.

All of the previously mentioned strengths mixed together create a strong-minded individual. If, in order to reach a new goal you have to learn an entirely new language, you will do so almost effortlessly.

This will develop a powerful sense of understanding, which when used will allow you to deconstruct advanced and complex ideas. This leads once again to a better understanding of the subject.

Also, you will be able to suggest improvements at most stages of the creation period of any task.

Areas of Improvements

  • As an INTJ, your confidence can be awe inspiring. However, people of lesser intellect will end up taking your brutally honest actions in social areas of life personally. The way that you have closed up to anyone who criticized your opinions is great for self-preservation, but a prevention of your social growth.
  • You work best in your own way, this is true. However, sometimes we will be pushed into highly structured environments in order to fulfill a task. You must remember that other people are being put through this as well. Though you seem to be the only one who wants a way out, these other people are often feeling the same way. Be careful not to be too harsh on people who don’t follow your ideals to the letter.
  • When it comes to romance, forget about your needs and requirements. The list you have made for your ideal partner most likely resembles an imaginary figure. No one is perfect in this life and you will end up either giving up the search or alienating all possible dates with your ruthless checklist of attributes. Forgetting your tastes in this area is the best action to take if you truly wish to love and be loved in return.
  • Sometimes being right isn’t of paramount importance. If you asses an argument or point to be irrational you will simply deny the advance and close up. This judgmental belief structure will lead you to be of a closed mind toward certain aspects of life. Allow people to be right in their own way once in awhile in order to achieve more in the social realm.