Yep! INTJ. And proud of it!

One of the less common Myers-Briggs personality types, sometimes called the mastermind, or scientist:

Before going into the personality description, let me spend a few sentences looking at each of these characteristics.

Introverted. This is not a synonym for "shy". To overcome the confusion some psychologists use the alternative spelling, IntrAvert. In this context, introverted means that the person gains more energy from internal resources than external ones. The introverted person (in this context) gets energised and recharged when alone, without the need for other people. The extraverted person, by contrast, gets their buzz from parties, meetings and all social intercourse.

Intuitive. This is seen in contrast with sensing. Jung believed that people tend to either look at the world around themselves and observe the details through their five physical senses (sensing), or that they have a kind of inner feeling, or intuition about how the world is and this inner sense tends to guide their response to events and people in the real world (intuitives). So the INTJ tends to have some kind of inner gift for understanding of the world, but on the downside may tend to ignore direct evidence even when put in front of their noses.

Thinking. Again, according to Jungian psychology, some people tend to be dominated by their thoughts, while others are dominated by their feelings. So this person does not necessarily analyse everything by thinking rationally about it, but rather responds to their own thoughts on the subject. They can appear a bit insensitive, as these people do not really trust their feelings and respond to them quite as much as perhaps they could.

Judging. The fourth, and final dimension of Jungian psychology is the difference in how we live our lives in the great wide world. Those classed as judgers tend to be organised and have lists of what to do and where things should be put as aids to planning their lives and managing their time. Perceivers, by contrast tend to go with the flow and feel that lists and categories do more to destroy freedom and remove flexibility than act as aids to planning. So this person will tend to be fairly well organised, usually thinking the consequences of their actions through to a conclusion.

INTJ, the mastermind.

The mastermind is not necessarily a brilliant mega-brain, though many can appear that way. The INTJ archetype is more like the master planner. Perhaps a criminal mastermind might be closer to the type description. Someone with vision, intelligence, ability to plan and see the vision through to reality, but one who has less than perfect respect for the rules of behaviour or social success. This person is independent of almost everything, and is prepared to consider almost any alternative to achieve the desired result. On the flip side, they owe no allegiance, except where they choose to show loyalty.

The INTJ is above all a pragmatist. Things, ideas and sometimes even people are judged and used according to their abilities and utility. If an INTJ finds something or someone useful, then they will employ it without too much regard for the philosophical or moral implications. With people, an INTJ will never respect someone merely for their position or title. The INTJ will always challenge the person of rank, in an effort to assess their strengths and weaknesses. The INTJ will then make their own judgement as to whether the exalted rank is justified or not. The same with the downtrodden: an INTJ will look for a rough diamond among the pile of discarded rocks, and, if they find someone useful, even when society has rejected that person, then the INTJ will frequently become a friend and mentor, no matter what more respectable people might say.

The INTJ cares little for what others think. They have their own internal standards and will strive to meet these in all their actions. If other people respect them, that is good, inasmuch as people usually like to cooperate with those they respect, but it is not the first priority for an INTJ. If others despise them, well, that just shows how sort sighted people can be. External approval or otherwise will register on the INTJ radar, but it won't affect their behaviour one iota. Perhaps as a consequence of this disregard for external approval, the INTJ has masses of self-confidence, and usually will carry on in their own private groove until they themselves decide it is time to stop.

If this gives an image of dry, or unemotional behaviour, then that would be wrong, for INTJ people can be deeply passionate about their dreams and goals. Once an INTJ has an idea and a vision, then they are almost unstoppable. The light gleams in their eyes, they become animated, the enthusiasm and joy shines through that seemingly dry exterior. Their mastermind starts formulating plans to make the vision become a reality. And if the rules appear to block that vision, well, rules are meant to be broken, or at the least, bent to the will of the Mastermind. They can become quite charismatic, bringing people along by sheer force of personality and enthusiasm.

Most INTJs, however, tend to shun the limelight, preferring the background to centre stage. Although they make good decisions, and make them quickly, INTJs tend to prefer helping out behind the scenes rather than the glory of leadership. They will always observe the group dynamic, however, and may eventually come to the conclusion that the existing leadership shows room for improvement. If the project is dear to the INTJ heart, then the INTJ will, reluctantly, come forward to lead the whole project. Their offer to lead is not made through arrogance, or a desire to be admired and praised, but through a firm belief that, despite their preference to stay in the background, the best outcome is only likely to emerge once the INTJ is installed as leader. Often they are right in this, as they are supremely well equipped to see the whole scope of the project from just a sketchy outline, and to use the resources at their disposal with little sentimentality or emotional distraction. At the end, when the project comes to a successful fruition, they will go out of their way to describe exactly how each member of the group performed, playing down their own contribution while praising others.

INTJs have a reputation for emotional coldness. The individual INTJ is, of course, aware of this tendency. They subject their own character and attributes to the same ruthless assessment as everything--and everyone--else. Many are very sensitive to the moods of others, but their reactions are focussed through the brain, rather than through the heart. As they get older, the INTJ will develop strategies to deal with the emotional outbursts of others, but a relationship with an INTJ is likely to be difficult for anyone ruled more by their feelings than their thoughts. The INTJ is aware of this disparity and will willingly work hard to talk problems through, analysing issues, offering solutions and deciding to change their behaviour. Unfortunately, it will be hard for any INTJ to get fully in touch with their own feelings and to act on how they feel, rather than doing what they think is best.

The INTJ always thinks out of the box. If something has been done in one way for a thousand years, that is no reason for continuing the tradition. If the INTJ can see a more efficient or more effective way of achieving the same outcome, then he will throw away all tradition in an instant with never so much as a backward glance. However, the INTJ knows that others do value tradition, and will try to include this sense of continuity as one aspect of the outcome, weighing the damage inflicted by destroying tradition against the benefits of greater efficiency.

Two INTJs together will end up in an argument. Not a vitriolic, passionate argument, with insults cast from the heart, meant to hurt and degrade, but an intellectual fencing duel as each tries to assess the strengths, weaknesses and general outlook of the other. It is quite possible that each holds the opposite view to that which they are arguing, but that never stopped an INTJ: they are perfectly capable of defending any point of view, arguing persuasively, logically and with plenty of facts to support their case. They do, however, know the weaknesses in their own arguments and, in a perverse way, enjoy it when the weaknesses are found and their argument destroyed. But that won't stop them toying with anyone who appears a bit arrogant or whose mind appears closed to the possibilities.

Oh, and I'm quite happy to be in any list that includes Demeter, Augusta, Chattering Magpie, Cletus the Foetus, datagirl, dragoon, Excalibre, izubachi, Magnas, novasoy, panamaus, Posmella, pjd, Professor Pi, WaldemarExkul and Halspal.

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