INTJ – Artemis, the Strategist and the Scientist

Welcome to the third part of the Myers-Briggs personality type blog series. If you missed the first post where I explained what the system is about, head there to catch up.

Mr Darcy INTJ Myers-Briggs

Mr. Darcy is INTJ

Today’s type is INTJ. The abbreviation stands for Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Judging.

INTJs walk the roads less traveled. They’re independent and strong-willed and determined enough to finish what they start. These visionaries focus on power, not over people but over nature. They strive to understand, control, predict and explain how the world works. They desire competency and respect intelligence.

Since they want to be great at what they do, INTJs can be very self-critical. The quest for knowledge and thirst for excellence can also lead to “all work and no play” mentality. But work is often play for INTJs.

They are one of the types with the highest average IQ. Others may feel intellectually inadequate around the INTJ as they’re not shy with showing how smart they are.

Being introverts, INTJs prefer their hobbies and interests over social events. They might not have a wide circle of friends but they are extremely loyal to their closest people. Even though they might not appreciate their friends’ foibles in other people, INTJs tolerate more from the people they love.

INTJs can have a rebellious streak in them even as adults. They follow rules only if they are useful and make sense. For example, in teenage an INTJ might become a vegan or start dressing in punk fashion, and an adult INTJ could surprise people around them with an unusual career choice. Authorities get similar pragmatic treatment. They are respected only if they earn it.

INTJ is more common type in men than in women. In fact, INTJ is the rarest type among women. NT women  can have a difficult time in our society because people tend to perceive them as being too masculine, or “unfeminine” due to their reliance on facts over feelings.

 

Strenghts

  • Creative
  • Strong insights and intuitions
  • Find new angles and novel ways to do things
  • Most independent of all types
  • Usually self-confident
  • Determined
  • Competitive
  • Not afraid of conflict
  • Demanding
  • Fairly open to well explained criticism
  • Future-oriented
  • See the big picture
  • Grasp theories easily
  • Good at optimizing things

Severus Snape INTJ

Lessons INTJs Might Need To Learn:

Break your ideas to others step-by-step. It won’t be obvious to others how you came to that brilliant conclusion. Also, it won’t be obvious to others what you think if you don’t tell them.

Understand that others think different than you. It doesn’t mean their thinking is inferior. IQ and rational logic are just one type of intelligence. There’s also social intelligence that Feelers tend to be good at. And at least 7 other types. Appreciate their strenghts.

Be kind to yourself. You can’t give your 100% in everything. Choose the things that really matter to you and excel at them. Accept good enough performance in everything else.

Be kind to others. We’re all erring human beings. Even at work place, people have feelings that can get hurt. The sentimentality may baffle you but if you ignore it, the work efficiency will suffer due to the bad feelings. So, when someone makes a mistake, encouragement sometimes works wonders. And hey, praise is great every time someone earns it. That’s every time progress happens, not only when everything is perfect.

Your self-confidence can be interpreted as arrogance. And yes, it is your problem too, not just other people’s. You’re 100% convinced of your ideas but you need to convince others too, and really listen to their arguments. *gasp* Some of those arguments won’t be logical. Some of them will be based on feelings and fears. Rational arguments alone won’t beat those.

Sometimes it’s smart to agree to disagree rather than continue the argument until they see your side. Not everyone take criticism of their ideas as well as you do, and then those pesky feelings get hurt.

Don’t let change of plans drive you crazy. Nothing is permanent in this world except permanent change. Let others to explain why the changes are made and talk it through.

 

INTJs At Work

INTJs need an independent job with enough challenge to keep them interested. They are brilliant at grasping complex theories and applying them to problems to come up with long-term strategies. Vision and the big picture are their strenghts but INTJs prefer to present their ideas to others only when they are ready.

INTJs usually rise to positions of responsibility as they work hard and pursuit their goals steadily.

INTJs can be very demanding bosses with low tolerance for mistakes and inefficiency. They drive others as hard as they drive themselves. They might value people based only on what they they know and what skills they have.

 

Possible Career Paths:

  • Scientists
  • Social scientists
  • Engineers
  • Doctors and dentists
  • Professors and teachers
  • Corporate strategists
  • Business administrators
  • Military leaders
  • Lawyers and judges
  • Computer programmers and systems analysts

 

Inside the Mind of an INTJ: Plotting vs. Pantsing Our Novel

My INTJ guest is Marcy Kennedy, a talented writer, blogger and freelance editor. She has co-written a historical fantasy book, the Amazon Heir, together with Lisa Hall-Wilson.

Lisa’s type is ISFP (The Composer/Artist) so she and Marcy are different in how they take in information, make decisions and how final they want those decisions to be.

Here’s how Marcy and Lisa described their writing processes and the adventure of writing together.

We work really well together…most of the time. Our personalities blend well together…most of the time. But when we’re not on the same page, the results can be disastrous. Plotting is one of those places.

 

Lisa says: The fun in writing for me is exploring the story as I go on an adventure with my characters. ISFPs are all about the here and now – so I look for ways to make things feel fresh and new. I think you learn more from what you did wrong than what you did right a lot of the time. I have been known to write three or four vomit drafts before I really begin editing. Not very efficient, but far from a waste of time.

 

Writing with Marcy has been challenging at times because I like to try things out before making a final decision on whether it works. To me it seems like Marcy strives to write every scene perfectly with the first draft. Her instant dismissal of ideas that I’ve thoughtfully considered and put forth (but aren’t in “the plan”) has been hurtful and discouraging.

 

Marcy says: Much of the fun in writing for me is the planning because that’s where my creativity can shine best. It’s a game, like solving a puzzle. If you can write without a detailed outline and character sketches, you’re not an INTJ. INTJs usually have contingency plans for their contingency plans. Our plans give us the courage to write, and live, without fear, and make us great to have around when trouble hits. My first drafts still need editing, but the changes are relatively minor because I made my big mistakes and learned from them during the planning stage where they were easier to fix.

 

The uncertainty and figuring-it-out-as-she-goes that makes writing fun for Lisa destroys the fun of writing for me. It’s not only that INTJs love order and enjoy the planning process (we do); it’s also that we hate inefficiency. I get discouraged rewriting so many times. Lisa’s pantsing has made writing our book stressful and exhausting for me. I’ve felt like my process and my desires for the course of the story weren’t respected or even considered.

 

Lisa & Marcy say: We’re both very ready to look at doing something in an out-of-the-box way, but Lisa does it because the current way is broken, while Marcy does it because she’s constantly searching for a better way, a more effective way.

 

Our differences here have been a source of conflict because neither of us feels like we’re on our best game when we have to accommodate the other to any great degree. By meeting in the middle, Lisa has felt like she’s in the world’s strictest military bootcamp, and Marcy has felt like she’s jumping from a plane without a parachute and hoping they’ll figure out a way to not die before they hit the ground. But we didn’t give up.

 

And working together has forced us both to see the weaknesses inherent in our individual processes and find ways to improve on them. We’ve learned patience. We’ve learned persistence. We’ve also learned to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Neither of us means to hurt the other, tromp on their opinions or desires, or take away their joy.

 

Fascinating differences. Thank you very much, Marcy and Lisa. Sounds like you’ve both learned a lot from each others. I can’t wait to hear more about your book.

This Friday we’ll hear a bit more about how INTJs and INFPs make decisions. And I’ll cover Lisa’s type, the INFP.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, lets continue with the INTJ profile and its mythical correspondences.

 

Mythical INTJ: Artemis

Artemis INTJArtemis was the goddess of the hunt in the Greek mythology and often depicted with her bow. She was also associated with forests, vegetation and the moon.

She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo, the god of the Sun. When Zeus gifted her brother a golden carriage and a golden bow, Artemis wanted a silver carriage, a silver bow, fleet-footed hunting dogs and twenty nymphs to accompany her.

Artemis chose to remain a virgin. She avoided men but enjoyed challenging them in masculine sports like hunting and shooting with a bow and arrows.

Men were enchanted by her beauty and tried to catch glimpses of her. When a hunter named Actaion saw her bathing, Artemis turned him into a deer and his own dogs killed him.

Tomboys, singles and Amazons are Artemis achetypes. She lived in close union with the nature so she had the keen senses and unpredictability of a wild animal. Due to her virginity she has innocence but also enough strenght to compete with any man. Since she has features of both genders, she is an androgynous figure.

 

Mythical INTJ: Prometheus

According to Keirsey system, the personality types with NT element belong to the Promethean temperament.

In the Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan, a culture hero and a champion of mankind known for his intelligence. His name means Forethinker.

He sided with Zeus and the gods in the battle against his parents and siblings, the Titans, and had strong sympathies for humans against the whims of the gods.

He tricked Zeus into choosing the bad parts of an animal as a sacrifice from humans. Enraged, Zeus took fire away from the people and hid it. Prometheus stole a spark, hid it inside a giant fennel-stalk and brought it to people.

As a punishment, Prometheus was chained to a rock in the Caucasus and his liver was eaten daily by an eagle, regenerating by night as he was immortal. Years later, the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules) slayed the eagle and freed Prometheus from his chains.

The myth of Prometheus shows that going against the prevailing mores and rules may bring mankind the “gift of fire,” but the personal consequences can be dire.

Prometheans can also focus only on making the gift possible and not think about the consequences. Nuclear weapons are one example. The archetype of scientific genius leading to tragedy made Mary Shelley give the subtitle Modern Prometheus to her Frankenstein novel.

 

Famous INTJs

Philosophers: Friedrich Nietzsche (nihilist), Karl Marx (father of communism), G.W.F. Hegel

Scientists & social scientists: Isaac Newton (physicist), John Maynard Keynes (economist), Nikola Tesla (inventor), Stephen Hawking (physicist)

Authors: Jane Austen (author of Pride and Prejudice), Ayn Rand (libertarian), Isaac Asimov (science fiction writer)

Others: Bobby Fischer (chess champion), James Cameron (director), Jodie Foster (actor), Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates (chairman of Microsoft), Martin Luther (Protestant reformer), Betty Friedan (feminist), Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook)

 

INTJs in Fiction

Books & Comics: Mr. Darcy (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), Lisbeth Salander (Stieg Larson’s The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo), Raskolnikov (Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment), Professor Moriarty (Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes), Ozymandius (Alan Moore’s Watchmen comics), Severus Snape (J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter), Raistlin Majere (Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weiss’ Dragonlance series)

Movies: Clarice Sterling & Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs), Ellen Ripley (Alien)

TV Series: Greg House (House), Spock (Star Treck), Miranda Hobbes (Sex and the City)

 

INTJ Links

INTJ Relationships (Personality Page)

INTJ Central: Overview

Personality Desk: INTJ

Portrait of an INTJ by Elaine Sanders

Do You Think You’re a Strategist? You’re Probably Wrong by Penelope Trunk

Mr. Darcy’s Cognitive Functions (dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior)

Dr. House’s Cognitive Functions

 

I’d love to hear from you. Do you know an INTJ? What is life like with them? Have you been in situations like Marcy and Lisa where you work with a person who is quite different type from you? How did it go?

26 Comments

  1. Ryan King
    Oct 11, 2012

    I’m an INTJ and you nailed me to a T. It’s pretty interesting that my personality type tells so much about me. And here I thought I had this air of mystery about me. Cool piece.
    Ryan King recently posted..ROW80 Check-in ~ Day 10My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Oct 11, 2012

      I’m glad to hear from an INTJ that you identify with the description 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Ryan.

    • Marcy Kennedy
      Oct 11, 2012

      I admit, I always find it a touch eerie as well to see myself described so well. You could have substituted my name every time it said INTJ in the introduction and been accurate.

      And I will say, it can be hard at times to be a female INTJ, especially when you’re 5’2″ and look like a ten year old.
      Marcy Kennedy recently posted..5 Writing Tips from Historical Fiction Author Jody HedlundMy Profile

  2. Louise Behiel
    Oct 11, 2012

    fascinating post, Reetta. well done. I’d like to be in the room when Marcy and Lisa are working. hmmm what fun.
    Louise Behiel recently posted..Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend. What Did You Do?My Profile

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Oct 11, 2012

      Thank you, Louise. It’s awesome how Marcy and Lisa were able to find a middle ground and finish their novel together.

    • Marcy Kennedy
      Oct 11, 2012

      Haha. Sometimes we’d crack you up with our banter, and sometimes you’d be looking for a white flag to wave. We actually don’t write in the same room. We can’t because our processes are so different (plus we live in different cities). We’ve found a great way to make it work long distance though.
      Marcy Kennedy recently posted..5 Writing Tips from Historical Fiction Author Jody HedlundMy Profile

  3. Samantha Warren
    Oct 11, 2012

    Interesting post. Every test I’ve ever taken puts me as an INTJ, but unlike Marcy, I’m very much a pantser. My outline is minimal at best. But most of the rest of that fits me to a T. And now I understand why I’m always drawn to the characters like Snape and Raistlin, the bad boys who you just know have more to them than meets the eye. 😉
    Samantha Warren recently posted..Doing NaNo? Start Now!My Profile

    • Marcy Kennedy
      Oct 12, 2012

      When I hear someone who’s not a planner say they’re an INTJ my advice is always to look at your scores. Sometimes you’ll find that two of your letters score very equally–your might score closely between the T and the J in the final dimension. When that happens, you’ll have a lot of the characteristics of an INTJ, but it won’t fit exactly because you’re borderline with another personality type.
      Marcy Kennedy recently posted..5 Writing Tips from Historical Fiction Author Jody HedlundMy Profile

      • Maria Grace
        Jan 3, 2013

        I am also an INTJ that does not outline. I am actually qualified to do MBTI workshops and have counseled a great deal using that tool. My scores are all very skewed toward my preferences, none of them are in the middle or would suggest any borderline between the types.

        Oddly enough I can create amazingly beautiful detailed outlines. When I do though, I find that I cannot write. The story is DOA and all desire to pursue it further vanishes. Everything else in my life is very orderly and planned, but my writing does not work that way.

        I have found though that if I have a general road map of major plot points and the climax, then it flows very smoothly. Any more detailed than that and the muse simply dies.
        Maria Grace recently posted..History A’la Carte 1-3-13My Profile

  4. Diana Beebe
    Oct 11, 2012

    How fascinating. I’m usually INTJ also. I say “usually” because, on a different day I might get ISTJ (which just goes to show there is a little wiggle room in these tests).

    I have always loved Artemis (perhaps becuase her Roman name is Diana), so it’s fun to think we have yet another thing in common. My yet-to-be-published novel’s main character is that archetype.

    Thanks for sharing Marcy and Lisa’s story. The writing process is so individual that it’s always interesting to hear how writing partners pull it off. Their story has high-level similarities to mine, and I look forward to reading it for the differences. 🙂
    Diana Beebe recently posted..Bad Parenting Plus Experiments Equals SupervillainsMy Profile

  5. Lisa Hall-Wilson
    Oct 11, 2012

    Great post, Reeta. This has most definitely been a learning experience – and where we were more likely to accommodate each other in the beginning – two years into the process we’re often at each other’s throats. But the collaboration has produced our best work – so that’s bound to require some growing pains IMHO.
    Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted..The Courage In A WomanMy Profile

  6. Rhonda Hopkins
    Oct 12, 2012

    Love this series! I’ve always scored as an INTJ but with the F nearly as strong as the T. I recently scored as a INFJ. I’m not sure if the change in jobs had anything to do with it, but now that I’m writing full time instead of out in my former job, I can sense a difference. In most things I like to plan and like everything just so. But when it comes to writing, I’m a pantser. It’s difficult for me to plot and plan my books. I like being surprised at what my characters get into. The other characteristics INJ never vary. It was always the T and F warring with each other. 🙂

  7. ST
    Oct 16, 2012

    Hi Reeta,

    Ever since I first learned about personality types years ago I have loved seeing writers use it to build characters. Learning that I was an INTJ had a big impact on me. I ended up putting together a really comprehensive page on it. Feel free to add it to your links section above.

    I also find the Enneagram a fascinating complementary personality system and I’ve written about that a lot too.
    ST recently posted..Some Thoughts on Anarchism & PsychopathyMy Profile

  8. mcc
    Oct 28, 2012

    I wanted to comment directly to the Dr. House entry, but can’t.
    I don’t believe House is INTJ. As an INTJ myself, the way he uses Te / Ni / Se / Fi strikes me as being an ENTJ.

    For example,
    – House’ primary function is Te. He often speaks before thinking, and thinks out loud in order to reach a conclusion. That’s not what INTJs do… an INTJ thinks their system through in solitude and then speaks when they’ve reached a judgement. It is, however, how an ENTJ uses Te and Ni.

    – House craves for outside input. This is another indicator for the true order of his Te and Ni. He’ll get anyone to listen to his ideas because he needs to talk through them. Even the janitor will suffice. This is not only indicative of an extroverted personality in general, but goes back to my first point regarding usage of Te to feed his Ni. An INTJ may seek outside input, but they would never seek it out and rely on it to the degree House does. House *needs* other people to have a verbal banter using his Te. An INTJ uses Te to filter their Ni and then frame their conclusion in a way that other people will be convinced.

    – House is highly dependent on social contact. He requires people around him and becomes a rather pathetic figure when left by himself. Despite how much he loathes people, he’s clearly energized by being in their presence. This is classic E behavior. Intros, particularly INTJs, are quite comfortable by themselves and would not so desperately seek out human contact all the time.

    – Of his 4 functions, it seems to me Fi is by far his weakest. In contrast, his Se is fairly strong and seems more like a tertiary function to me. I think you could argue that a lot of the tv show revolves around juxtaposing his strengths (Te, Ni, Se) against his undeveloped Fi. He has it, but he really struggles with it… and this struggle makes him somehow endearing? pitiable? human? to the audience.

  9. Josiah
    Nov 5, 2012

    This is really awesome the page you created here as I am too an INTJ. Though I’ll say I’m almost equal with INFJ according to a couple tests. I’m a high school boy that’s single quite often, and I’m fairly smart. But I don’t think I would make decisions without looking at the consequences, so I’m wondering which mythical being I would connect the most to. Do you think you might know?

  10. Nad
    Nov 24, 2012

    Will you/ have you posted any other MBTI blogs? For I am truly impressed by how well you described this type! It was very concise and well-thought out!

    • Reetta Raitanen
      Nov 24, 2012

      Thank you, Nad. I’m glad you found the INTJ description accurate. I have so far posted INFP: http://www.reettaraitanen.com/posts/infp-persephone-the-idealist-and-the-healer/

      I will post ISFP profile next Friday (30th of Nov).

      • Nad
        Nov 25, 2012

        VERY Awesome, and exciting!! Thank You! I know I’ll love this… I just so happen to be an INFP myself! (: I will surly devote myself to looking upon all of the MBTI you post!
        What personality type are you?

        • Reetta Raitanen
          Nov 26, 2012

          Sweet, thank you 🙂 I’m INFP or INTP so it was easy to start with a type I know well.

  11. jane
    Jan 25, 2013

    I have a correction to submit about what you guys wrote about Artemis. You guys wrote “Due to her virginity she has innocence,” but you must know that the ancient Greeks did not view virginity in this way. You can’t substitute their society’s views with that of your own. On the contrary the Greeks thought a virgin was wild and untamed, NOT innocent. I majored in Classics when in college and I thought this mistake just too big to ignore.

    Thank you,
    Jane

  12. George
    Sep 12, 2016

    Great . I got a clear idea about INTJ

  13. williyamjam
    Nov 25, 2016

    I’m the person who has to hire all the entry level people because the INTJ would rather do the work himself than have to deal with people who have no experience. I am the person who has to sit in the office with no windows because the INTJ says he would never have agreed to rent that office and I shouldn’t have either.My oldest son is an INTJ so I’m obsessed with reading what makes INTJs fulfilled in adult life. Melissa is one of my son’s favorite people, and I learn so much about INTJs from watching them together. For example, that picture up top is Melissa and my son having a great time.

  14. valentinebruce
    Nov 29, 2016

    This is really awesome the page you created here as I am too an INTJ. Though I’ll say I’m almost equal with INFJ according to a couple tests.

  15. williyamjam
    Dec 15, 2016

    In every job I’ve had, the person I’ve worked most closely with has been an INTJ. I realize, in hindsight, that even as a twentysomething I would seek them out. Melissa is an INTJ, and she reminds me of that every time I suggest that she has done something wrong. She is incredulous. She reminds me how rare it would be for an INTJ to be incompetent. And she’s right. Which is probably why I always want to work with INTJs.

  16. williyamjam
    Feb 1, 2017

    The INTJ Artemis could surprise the people around them with an unusual career choice. But Authorities get similar pragmatic treatment. They are respected only if they earn it.

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