Discovery – Part 7: The Free-Thinker

Here comes another part of “Discovery”. There are some different
snippets in this one. I like it.

INTJ – The Free-Thinker
Profile by Sandra Krebs Hirsch and Jean Kummerow

INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of
looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They are
insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not
always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to
themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of
the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be
considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality
types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their
ideas, theories, and principles.


The independent and individualistic INTJ manner appears early in life.
As children, INTJs are often inwardly focused on their thoughts of the
way the world is or ought to be; they enjoy day dreaming. They can be
quite stubborn when information relayed to them by authorities, such as
parents and teachers, contradicts what they believe. They are sure of
their own belief system. INTJs are compelled to establish their own
rules, boundaries, standards, and style.

Often at an early age, INTJs make a commitment to furthering their
education. The life of the mind is very important to them. Examples
abound of INTJs from economically or intellectually impoverished
circumstances setting goals for themselves to continue in education,
often earning the highest degree possible.

INTJ teenagers may be seen as serious and reserved young people who are
labeled as bookworms by others. They set internal standards of
achievement for themselves and often do well academically. Being
sociable is a standard that they rarely think is worth their time and

As adults, INTJs are focused on attaining their inner goals and
standards. They set a particular course based on their theory of what
ought to be. They work extremely diligently to accomplish what they
feel is important. They enjoy what they do and see it as a challenge.
They are not easily dissuaded and may regard others’ needs and wants as
an impediment to attaining their objectives.

and Working

INTJs learn best when they can design their won approach and when they
are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them. They tend
to focus on systems, theories, and constructs relating to universal
truths and principles. They prefer challenging teachers, ones who meet
their standards. High grade-point averages and test scores tend to
characterize INTJs, who like rigorous academic work. Learning needs to
be a creative process. Rote memory can be dull and boring for the INTJ.

INTJs are diligent in pursuing new ideas and thoughts, and they exert
effort to master a given subject. This makes INTJs particularly adept
in most school situations. Because of their resourcefulness, thirst for
knowledge, and inner needs, INTJs tend to find ways of acquiring
knowledge. They gravitate toward libraries, public lectures, courses,
and other learners and teachers – sources that offer them information
and direction.

At work, INTJs use their conceptual strengths to analyze situations and
then develop models to understand and anticipate through relentlessly
to reach their goals. They will continue on with their plans, even in
the face of adversity and data that might suggest to other more
practical types that their goals are no longer feasible. By nature,
INTJs are independent individualists. They see their visions so clearly
that they are often surprised when others do not see things the same
way. INTJs are strong at critiquing and as a result tend to notice the
negatives. To them, a job well done should be reward enough in itself.
They may neglect to comment favorably on others’ contributions.

INTJs tend to seek occupations that allow them to change the status quo
and to design models to express their vision creatively. They desire
autonomy and room for growth. They prefer to work in a place in which
the future can be planned and where they can work for change in an
organized manner.

Some occupations seem to be especially attractive to INTJs: computer
systems analyst, electrical engineer, judge, lawyer, photographer,
psychologist, research department manager, researcher, scientist,
university instructor, and other occupations in which long-range vision
is essential.


For INTJs, love means including someone in their vision of the world.
INTJ men tend to be attracted to partners who enjoy living their lives
with and outward vitality and zest. Perhaps it is to compensate for
their internal, visionary focus that they often find partners who are
more outgoing and may even run interference to help the INTJ deal with
the day-to-day world. INTJ women, however, may seek someone more like

INTJs tend to have a model in mind of how their relationship ought to
be. This is less a romantic vision than it is and idea that relates to
how the relationship functions in a unique or special way. They tend to
withhold their deep feelings and affections from the public and
sometimes even from the object of their affections. They can be
intensely loyal and caring, even though this is not always expressed in
words. INTJs can be generous with their gifts if the gift fits their
vision of what ought to be appreciated by their partner.

When scorned, INTJs retreat to their own world and may share none of
their feelings with others. They may assume that there is a right way
for a relationship to end and look for that. They act on the outside as
if nothing has happened to them when indeed much has. They may lash out
with criticisms of their former loved ones. It may take them a while to

by David Keirsey

INTJs are the most self-confident of all types, having “self-power”
awareness. Found in about 1 percent of the general population, the
INTJs live in an introspective reality, focusing on possibilities,
using thinking in the form of empirical logic, and preferring that
events and people serve some positive use. Decisions come naturally to
INTJs’ once a decision is made, INTJs are at rest. INTJs look to the
future rather than the past, and a word which captures the essence of
INTJs is builder-a builder of systems and the applier of theoretical

To INTJs authority based on position, rank, title, or publication has
absolutely no force. This type is not likely to succumb to the magic of
slogans, watchwords, or shibboleths. If an idea or position makes sense
to an INTJ, it will be adopted, if it doesn’t, it won’t, regardless of
who took the position or generated the idea. As with the INTP,
authority per se does not impress the INTJ.

INTJs do, however, tend to conform to rules if they are useful, not
because they believe in them, or because they make sense, but because
of their unique view of reality. They are the supreme pragmatists, who
see reality as something which is quite arbitrary and made up. Thus it
can be used as a tool-or ignored. Reality is quite malleable and can be
changed, conquered, or brought to heel. Reality is a crucible for the
refining of ideas, and in this sense, INTJs are the most theoretical of
all the types. Where an ESTP sees ideas as the pawn of reality, an INTJ
sees reality as the pawn of ideas: No idea is too far-fetched to be
entertained. INTJs are natural brainstormers, always open to new
concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them.

INTJs manipulate the world of theory as if on a gigantic chess board,
always seeking strategies and tactics that have high payoff. In their
penchant for logic, the INTJs resemble the INTPs. The logic of an INTJ,
however, is not confined to the expressible logical. Unlike INTPs,
INTJs need only to have a vague, intuitive impression of the
unexpressed logic of a system to continue surely on their way. Things
need only seem logical; this is entirely sufficient. Moreover, they
always have a keen eye for the consequence of the application of new
ideas or positions. They can be quite ruthless in the implementation of
systems, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy.
Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the

To understand INTJs, their way of dealing with ideas should be observed
closely. Their conscious thought is extraverted and empirical. Hence,
they are better at generalizing, classifying, summarizing, adducing
evidence, proving, and demonstrating than are the INTPs. The INTJs are
somewhat less at home with pure reason, that is, systemic logic, where
principles are explicit. In this respect they resemble the ENTJs. The
INTJs, rather than using deductive logic, use their intuition to grasp


INTJs can be very single-minded at times; this can be either a weakness
or a strength in their careers, for they can ignore the points of view
and wishes of others. INTJs usually rise to positions of
responsibility, for they work long and hard and are steady in their
pursuit of goals, sparing neither time nor effort on their part or that
of their colleagues and employees.

INTJs live to see systems translated into substance; an INTP, by way of
contrast, is content to design the system. In both these types,
however, coherence is the master. Both internal and external
consistency are important, and if an INTJ finds that he or she is in a
working situation where overlapping functions, duplication of effort,
inefficient paper flow, and waste of human and material resources
abound, the INTJ cannot rest until an effort is made to correct the
situation. Cost-effectiveness is a concept which has a strong
imperative for INTJs, who frequently select occupations in engineering,
particularly human engineering. They also can be found in the physical
sciences, in roles which require development, such as curriculum
building, and, in general, any job which requires the creation and
application of technology to complex areas.

Fellow workers of INTJs often feel as if the INTJ can see right through
them, and often believe that the INTJ finds them wanting. This tendency
of people to feel transparent in the presence of the INTJ often result
in relationships which have psychological distance. Thus colleagues
find the INTJ apparently unemotional and, at times, cold and
dispassionate. Because of their tendency to drive others as hard as
they do themselves, INTJs often seem demanding and difficult to
satisfy. INTJs are high achievers in school and on the job. On the job,
they take the goals of an institution seriously and continually strive
to respond to these goals. They make dedicated, loyal employees whose
loyalties are directed toward the system, rather than toward
individuals within the system. So as the people of an institution come
and go, the INTJs have little difficulty-unlike the NFs, who have their
loyalties involved more with persons than offices. INTJs tend,
ordinarily, to verbalize the positive and eschew comments of a negative
nature; they are more interested in moving an institution forward than
commiserating about mistakes of the past.


As mates, INTJs want harmony and order in the home and in
relationships. They are the most independent of all types. They will
trust their intuitions about others when making choices of friends and
mates, even in the face of contradictory evidence and pressures applied
by others. The emotions of an INTJ are hard to read, and neither male
nor female INTJ is apt to express emotional reactions. At times, both
will seem cold, reserved, and unresponsive, while in fact INTJs are
almost hypersensitive to signals of rejection from those for whom they
care. In social situations, INTJs may also be unresponsive and may
neglect to observe small rituals designed to put others at their ease.
For example, INTJs may communicate that time is wasted if used for idle
dialogue, and thus people receive a sense of hurry from an INTJ which
is not always intended. In their interpersonal relationships, INTJs are
usually better in a working situation than in recreational situations.
They do not enjoy physical contact except with a chosen few.

As parents, INTJs are dedicated and single minded in their devotion:
Their children are a major focus in life. They are supportive of their
children and tend to allow them to develop in directions of their own
choosing. INTJs usually are firm and consistent in their discipline and
rarely care to repeat directions given to children…or others. Being
the most independent of all the types, they have a strong need for
autonomy; indifference or criticism from people in general does not
particularly bother INTJs, if they believe that they are right. They
also have a strong need for privacy.

The most important preference of an INTJ is intuition, but this is
seldom seen. Rather, the function of thinking is used to deal with the
world and with people. INTJs are vulnerable in the emotional area and
may make serious mistakes here.


At midlife the feeling side of personality should be given much
attention by the INTJ, who can work at expanding his or her abilities
to respond to wishes and feelings of others. They may also do well to
turn more attention to the sensory side of their natures, attempting to
get in touch with the joys of good food, good beverages, social
rituals, kinesthetic experiences…and play. The “wasting” of time in
play is an appropriate target as a midlife task for INTJs who can take
lessons from an SP, especially an ESP, in the art of enjoying the
pleasures of life.


Wishing to control nature, the INTJ “scientist” probably has more
difficulty than all other types in making up his or her mind in mate
selection. Even mate selection must be done in a scientific way. It may
well be that the narratives, plays, and films impugning the “rational
and objective” approach to mating have as their target our
thorough-going scientist INTJ. Nevertheless, when young, the INTJ is
attracted to the free-wheeling, spontaneous, fun-loving “entertainer”
ESFP. But the INTJ requires that mating meet certain criteria, else it
is not undertaken. So the INTJ doesn’t often go through with what is
begun by natural attraction. Since he or she proceeds in a rational and
methodical way, the selection of a similar temperament is more likely
than selection of opposite, following the assumption that those who are
similar ought to do well together. The INTJ “scientist” is also
attracted to the ENFP “journalist,” probably because of the
enthusiastic, effervescent, and apparently spontaneous enjoyment and
wonderment this type exudes-the very antitheses of the careful,
thoughtful exactitude of the INTJ.