INTJ – No, I can’t “just relax”

INTJ patrick king

Hi, my name is Patrick and I’m an INTJ.

In a nutshell, this means that my natural tendency is to observe, analyze, and scrutinize any situation I find myself in, regardless of the context. Some might call it cold and calculating, but I prefer to live life in an efficient and optimized manner (so I tell myself).

When I’m by myself, I’m completely at peace with it. In fact, because I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.

That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute. I’m adept at breaking down how something functions into small steps, and it’s a big part of why I’m good at what I do – teach conversation and social skills.

But that’s not what life is all about.

Don’t ask me to be carefree

When I’m with my significant other, friends, and even family, sometimes it can actually be a significant hurdle to enjoying the life that I’ve built for myself, so to speak.

The foundation of relationships and friendships really can’t be quantified with a purpose or end goal. How can you quantify “fun” and “enjoying yourself?”

And that’s what I mean by the title of this post – No, I can’t just relax.

Believe me, I would love to lose myself in the moment and operate in a carefree world like some friends I know, but I just can’t. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy myself and have fun, but there’s always background static of “What about this or that? How can this improve? What’s the end goal here? I wish it was this other way.” It always feels like there is something to scrutinize and analyze.

In some sense, this puts me behind self-imposed bars where I feel like I’m on the outside looking in during a party or social gathering.

An INTJ will choose logic over emotions

And then there’s the part where I sometimes operate on a Terminator level in the face of strong emotions – Does Not Compute.

I actually think most INTJs have high emotional intelligence, but that doesn’t mean that we choose to act on it. Just because we are able to separate emotion from our decisions doesn’t mean most people can or should do that. This leads to INTJs hearing things like “You’re so blunt” or “You need more tact.”

Our biggest weakness? Listening to someone describe a problem and not being able to resist giving unsolicited advice – emotional catharsis is often a distant second priority to solving the actual problem.

The best analogy I’ve come up with for myself is that INTJs can’t help but see the world as a constant chessboard. Strategic thinking can benefit you in some ways but hold you back in others. As you can guess, emptying my head and stopping the chatter is key to my sanity.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m not a mostly-functioning human being with emotions and joy – I’ll just be thinking about it the whole time ☺

For more about Patrick and succeeding socially as an introvert of any kind, go to www.PatrickKingConsulting.com to pick up your free trainings and materials on better conversations and avoiding awkward silences.

Patrick King is a Social Skills and Conversation Coach and international bestselling author based in San Francisco, California. He focuses on using his unique emotional intelligence and understanding of human interaction to break down emotional barriers, instill confidence, and equip people with the tools they need for success.

When he’s not helping clients conquer the world, he’s either fronting an 80′s cover band or training for his next 10k.

15 Comments

  1. Great article. I believe that my teenage daughter is an INTJ, and as an INFP myself, I am always striving to understand her on a core level. We are alike in some ways, but vastly different in others. Reading things like this really helps to give me some insight into how she ticks. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Jennifer, not sure you’ll see this yet I wanted to comment to point you in the right direction on understanding your daughter better at her core. At the core of an INTJ is everything that is morally ethical and virtuously good, in a nut shell they are all about Aristotle’s definition of virtues, it’s about character and having the habit of doing what’s right in the world regardless of what other’s are doing. If you look up as I did “Complete list of virtues” you’ll find more information about us then I could type here. We have incredibly high standards for ourselves and those we care about to aspire to balance through habit, to be more purely virtuous. Yes were human and yes we tend to have vices more so to the extreme rather then the deficient. We are focused on the mean rather than the extreme or deficient, more so then not. Your daughter being female may seem like a contradiction in terms of what’s feminine based on the societal standard of feeling extroversion, she in fact uses Fi and Te the opposite as that of an INFP and most of her interests may seem a little masculine according to stereotypes, whatever you do don’t pigeonhole her or stereotype her it’ll trigger her defenses. If you want to know what forms your daughter’s beliefs, principles and values, look no further then this book I found on Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Works-Aristotle-Translation-One-ebook/dp/B00JW04P64
      It’s a heavy read at 2500 plus pages, it’s expensive, maybe see if your public library has it or anything on Aristotle. Here is one that is a little easier to digest and is an overview on Aristotle if you don’t need details. https://www.amazon.com/Aristotle-Everybody-Difficult-Thought-Made/dp/0684838230

      I do want to say something very important about INTJ’s for our INFPs that we admire so greatly for your depth of feeling, which is something we absolutely adore about you. When we seem to criticize you for anything, keep in mind it’s not criticism as in the negative being critical way, because that would be unethical and demeaning. We are brutally honest and direct, however what we do is observe, analyze, fairly weigh facts and evidence toward your virtues, and evaluate you in the present and provide solutions to overcome your vices. So to summarize that, we evaluate we don’t criticize, this is to your benefit not ours, we want you to succeed and we care deeply what you become, because it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that matters to us, we firmly believe in life liberty and the pursuit of happiness by way of virtue and we are not judgmental about bad habits, we have some too, were not perfect people and most people get more chances to do right then they may deserve, yet we are steadfast in our resolve to see you through any challenge you go through. We inherently believe in the good of the human soul and want to lift you up and help you balance your life so that you can experience inner harmony. Were more spiritual then religious in most ways, and we seem to be born with the gift of virtuous aspiration on steroids. Just observe super heroes such as Arrow, or Daredevil, both likely INTJs taking on the world, making the community safer and the world as a whole more connected and a better place to live. We don’t usually want to be famous, but we aspire to being great and excellent in all that we do, so that we can leave the world better than we found it. Changing just one life for the better inspires us, to push on and not give up, even on those that give up on themselves, we’ll believe in you long after you stop believing in yourself. There is so much more to tell you yet I hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Very interesting article. In this article i can gather more information about INTJ peoples. This blog really helped me to understand more about INTJ

    Reply
  3. Well…that is singularly fascinating! I can completely agree and relate to what was said in this article 100%. The only difference, I suppose, is that I have a very powerful spiritual bent…which is very…LOGICAL! Go figure.

    I recently told a colleague that I run my heart through my mind….and that when my heart is broken, I’m a profoundly disturbed individual. The thinking goes on overdrive…thinking and anylizing every emotion and placing it all in a spiritually meaningful context!

    It’s actually no fun. The anxiety is amazingly high…as my mind literally burns through the emotional fodder. And because I’m a natural empath…sometimes it’s double jeopardy…juggling the emotions of others involved.

    But I can tell you this: I get some AMAZING AND WONDERFULLY PROFOUND insights into human nature…

    …I wish…there were more people to share the insights with. I mean…there ARE people to share it with, but the sheer volume of what up there in my head is pretty overwhelming to the vast majority of people. Because context is so important for me to include, people loose interest and patience as I formulate my deliveary…to give the bigger picture in great detail…for holistic understanding. I so often feel incredibly cheated and slighted because, actually, I’m an incredibly patient and enduring listener. It’s one of my super powers. It’s a bummer that so few people have tolerance in return.

    …and this just adds to the social anxiety…so much easier to keep quiet (and incredibly dissatisfying).

    Be well my fellow INFJ-ers.

    Thanks for this great article. It really validated my own experiences.

    Reply
  4. I’m an INTJ as well, and this article is very accurate. INTJs are notorious for our separation of emotion and logic in our thought processes. The world is a chessboard and we’re always thinking ten moves ahead. There are obvious benefits, like being excellent problem solvers and being very capable in achieving results. There are obvious weaknesses too, since our blunt introverted logic is often seen as being cold, distant and negative. INTJs are unique and proficient but also misunderstood.

    Reply
  5. We inherently believe in the good of the human soul and want to lift you up and help you balance your life so that you can experience inner harmony. Were more spiritual then religious in most ways, and we seem to be born with the gift of virtuous aspiration on steroids. Just observe super heroes such as Arrow, or Daredevil, both likely INTJs taking on the world, making the community safer and the world as a whole more connected and a better place to live.

    Reply
  6. In fact that because I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute. I’m adept at breaking down how something functions into small steps, and it’s a big part of why I’m good

    Reply
  7. I’m completely at peace with it. In fact, because I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute.

    Reply
  8. I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute. I’m adept at breaking down how something functions into small steps,

    Reply
  9. When I’m by myself, I’m completely at peace with it. In fact, because I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute.

    Reply
  10. INTJ is everything that is morally ethical and virtuously good, in a nut shell they are all about Aristotle’s definition of virtues, it’s about character and having the habit of doing what’s right in the world regardless of what other’s are doing. If you look up as I did “Complete list of virtues” you’ll find more information about us then I could type here. We have incredibly high standards for ourselves and those we care about to aspire to balance through habit, to be more purely virtuous.

    Reply
  11. INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.That’s because work and business are mostly built on the currency of results and a defined end goal. When I see a goal and purpose, I can quickly articulate the steps needed to get there and execute. I’m adept at breaking down how something functions into small steps.

    Reply
  12. When I’m with my significant other, friends, and even family, sometimes it can actually be a significant hurdle to enjoying the life that I’ve built for myself, so to speak.The foundation of relationships and friendships really can’t be quantified with a purpose or end goal. How can you quantify “fun” and “enjoying yourself?”And that’s what I mean by the title of this post – No, I can’t just relax.

    Reply
  13. I’m by myself, I’m completely at peace with it. In fact, because I run my own business, I view being a “cold” INTJ as a massive boon because I can focus and hit my milestones like no other. The INTJ nickname of “The Architect” is somewhat apt.

    Reply
  14. the day i learnt that i was an intj i felt so much freedom. I used to go through all the cliche intj problems like distancing yourself or finding it hard to accept changes that i haven’t super analyzed but now it all makes sense. Now that i know why i do the things i do and how i can use that knowledge to better myself im happy.

    Reply

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