The INTJ Introvert

black flower

INTJs are one of the rarest of the sixteen psychological types and account for approximately 1-2% of the population.

Boy, don’t I know it.

Once, when my teenage daughter was working through some struggles, I took her to a counselor. In an effort to let the counselor know that I acknowledged and accepted the differences in peoples’ personalities, I dropped the words, “Myers-Briggs.” That counselor barely let me finish my sentence before she let me know how much she hated the personality type indicators. I thought it was a great way to invalidate my point, but whatever. Whether she felt like it pigeoned holed people or not, I have been taking that test since the 70’s, and it comes out the same way every single time, so I’d have to say that something fundamental has stayed consistent with me over the years (by the way, she was in her late 20’s, maybe early 30s, and I’m nearly double her age. I might know some things). That being the case, I think learning about the different personality types can be good place to start when trying to understand what makes other people tick. It can also be a good way to let people know who you are. Of course, we are complex and no one size fits all, so to the counselor’s point, I get it, but when I accepted personality type indicators, as a basic premise to understanding people, life got easier. Well, it got easier for me to understand others. I’m not so sure that it helped others understand me better. That 1-2% thing is hard. For the most part, we are alone.

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INTJs are one of the rarest of the sixteen psychological types and account for approximately 1-2% of the population. 

Every time I read that, it makes me feel special and sad, all at the same time. The descriptive word for the INTJ; Scientist. Now, take that personality type, plop it down into a conservative, religious, anti-college environment in the 60’s, and you have a woman who becomes a frustrated should’a-been-a-scientist housewife/mother. Me. Don’t get me wrong. I loved being a housewife and mother, but no doubt I carried out my job differently than another personality type probably did. Thankfully, I had a boy first so I didn’t have to deal with the emotional overload that is typical of little girls. That, and the constant bewildered look on my face, came with child number 2.

Now she’s almost 20, and I’ve settled into a life with an INTJ husband. Finally, someone who gets me. Then, for some cosmic reason, that only the God of the universe understands, we decide to become best friends with another couple who are nothing like us. The eventual fallout is inevitable. It’s not permanent but our social ineptness, and their emotionally powered relationship, is a contrast in studies that leads to uncomfortable misunderstandings on a regular basis. Still, we carry on, going on outings and missing each other when we don’t see each other for awhile. It’s proof that people can get along no matter their differences, if they work at it. That’s what I’ve been doing my entire life…working at it. What other choices did I have because I’m fairly certain that connecting with other INTJ women, has been an extremely rare occurrence over the years, and when I did meet one it was some academic or doctor who didn’t have time for a relationship with a should’a-been-a scientist housewife/mother (except for my friend J, who is in the same boat).

If you’re reading this, and you’re an INTJ woman, you know exactly where I’m coming from. Yes, we love our solitude. It’s how we work best, but gut-wrenching loneliness comes from being misunderstood. INTJs aren’t looking for someone to go shopping with. We just want to know that there’s someone out there who is interested in what we’re interested in, and will share ideas and concepts. Is that so hard?

INTJ woman…unite! I’m being ironic, but that’s INTJ humor for you.

My call to action:

  • Feel free to share your female INTJ journey
  • What did you do with your personality type: teacher, dentist, writer, scientist, other?
  • What is your friend base?
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