Online course: Best practices for leveraging INTJ strengths (and how to be a likable INTJ )

This course includes four days of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this course for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.  

Sign up now. 

INTJs are only 2% of the world’s population, and female INTJs are the most rare of all types. However, the most common type on this blog among women is INTJ, which is statistically amazing.  Maybe every female INTJ in the whole world reads this blog. And almost all the super high-level men I coach are INTJs (Mr. Famous is an INTJ.)

Sometimes I feel like I know more about INTJs than about my own type, ENTJ. 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.

Of course this means that I am always the front person. I’m the one who raises the money for my startups because my INTJ thinks the song and dance is BS. 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.

And this picture is what it looks like when you ask INTJs to make it look like they are having a great time to other people.  (Yes, that is my son pulling out his book at a meal.)

So often when I’m coaching an INTJ, I find myself wishing I could introduce them to each other. When Melissa’s recruiting business took off so that she didn’t really need to work for me anymore, she kept doing courses with me because she loves interacting with all the INTJs. In fact, it was her idea to do a course for INTJs. She said everyone would sign up because it’s so exciting to not have to deal with the other types.

This, of course, is a uniquely INTJ perspective. ESFPs, for example, would love to meet any type in an online course. And we will talk about things like this—how INTJs think really differently from other people, and how to prevent that unique perspective from getting the INTJ into trouble. After all, this is definitely not the most well loved personality type in the office.

In fact, it might be the most loathed type in the office. So we will talk about how to get those coworkers on your side while continuing to keep those people on track.

If you want to see the details of the course, they are here. And go there to sign up as well.

Now, I’m going to tell you a story:

I am starting a program where I email people information about their type each week. I wanted to make sure the information I selected is what that particular type would like, and then it occurred to me I should just hire someone who is each type to write the emails about their type. So I wrote a very short description of what I’m looking for. Basically ten separate paragraphs about five positive and five negative traits of that type that most people wouldn’t know.

Here are some examples of what people sent back to me after I hired them:

The ESTJ decided she should critique someone else’s list, she wouldn’t generate her own.

The INFJ was insulted by all the negative traits so there were ten positive traits on the list.

The ISTP didn’t write paragraphs. He just made a list of positive and negative traits.

The ENTJ’s assistant called to ask if she could get paid double what I offered so she could outsource it.

The INFP couldn’t find personality traits that seemed on target. So he came back with one paragraph.

The ENTP sent twenty paragraphs because she had so many good ideas for what to write that she couldn’t stop.

The ISTJ said he did research about personality type and decided it was stupid.

The INTJ was absolutely the ONLY person who was able to just do the assignment and send back ten paragraphs.

That’s when I knew I definitely had to do a course with only INTJs.

So join me and Melissa and a bunch of INTJs I admire, and we’ll show you best practices for being an INTJ, avoiding personality type pitfalls, and finding the best way to structure your life to get what you want.

The price is $195. 

Sign up now. 

190 replies
Newer Comments »
    • pasha
      pasha says:

      What a hoot! Going through a stack of unread books today your name caught my eye – just came back here to check it out; coolness. My brother’s name is Pete Veres (the book looks like a misprint/typo to me).

  1. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    I am an INTJ. How can I NOT take this class?

    We LOVE taking classes!

    And frankly, I just love spending time with you.

    INTJs can also be nice.

    • Sarah M
      Sarah M says:

      Hah! This comment made me laugh. I am also a nice INTJ, though I think it’s because my mom hammered Emily Post-like manners into me from a young age. So…the class taking is an INTJ thing? Because I *love* taking classes, going to conferences, and just learning in general. I thought that was just a personal thing, I didn’t assume it was a MB personality quality.
      Sarah M

  2. Anne
    Anne says:

    “The INFJ was insulted by all the negative traits so there were ten positive traits on the list.” That fits me to a T! I would definitely do that!

  3. pasha
    pasha says:

    Ctrl-F: INT=41
    : INTP=0

    I myself like INTJ’s, though the J pulls a little bit; it’s like we’re both horses but I’ve got the longer lead.

    Do something on INTP’s and you’ll really get my attention (I feel like we’re so left out). (I attended your blog webinar a couple years ago-good deal.)

    Keep up the good work.

    • Raluca
      Raluca says:

      I agree!

      I did the search on the whole website, INTP is hard to find. And we like taking classes too…

    • Esther
      Esther says:

      I wonder if a class for INTPs would be as profitable… we’d have to make up our minds to attend. Hahaha :)

    • Lorri
      Lorri says:

      Another INTP here (female).

      I’d just like to know why there are so few of us, and why even fewer female INTPs.

      • Christine
        Christine says:

        The orchid hypothesis postulates that an evolving balance of types of people is maintained through natural selection to optimize the probability of survival for the human race.

        Synopsis from an article on the orchid hypothesis published in The Atlantic:

        “Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care. So holds a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success. With a bad environment and poor parenting, orchid children can end up depressed, drug-addicted, or in jail—but with the right environment and good parenting, they can grow up to be society’s most creative, successful, and happy people.”

  4. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    Did you hear the one about the INTJ who went to university and minored in Psychology AND Sociology, so as to specifically to address an innate lack of social skills? It was the only area in which I wasn’t naturally competent, after all.

    Perfection achieved. ;P

    • gordana dragicevic
      gordana dragicevic says:

      Loved this!
      How about the one about the INTJ who consistently took jobs that involve working with people, because that would be the surest way to get competent socially? That’s me. It would be soooo less stressful working with numbers of something, but much less challenging. I have a really stubborn need for solving tough problems – and people are the toughest “problem to solve” i can think of :)
      Btw. don’t think i’ve ever met another female INTJ in person… and i got hooked to reading this blog before i knew i was one.

      • Tanya
        Tanya says:

        Yes! It was the problem-solving part of me that couldn’t stand not knowing what made people ‘tick’, that pushed me out of my comfort zone and deep into the subject. Watching Jane Goodall documentaries as a small kid also gave me the idea. As a perk, studying sociology helped me find a previously unknown aptitude for leadership and a strong sense of empathy for the underdog, which led to me working as a community activist and advocate.

      • Suzie
        Suzie says:

        Oh my, so I’m not the only one! I took Theology at university instead of languages because I was already good at languages but wanted to get better at Theology. I do this ALL THE FREAKING TIME and sometimes I wonder why I don’t just pick the easy option that I’m good at already. Now I know!

        • gordana dragicevic
          gordana dragicevic says:

          Yes, that’s interesting, i also thought i was the only one doing that kind of thing :)
          I also have a knack for languages – by my early twenties i was reasonably fluent in six, then i lost interest… I have a degree in physics (which i find absolutely fascinating), but hardly did anything with it, i felt there must be something more difficult and more important to do.
          Tanya, you might be interested to know i ended up a community activist and an advocate as well!

      • gordana dragicevic
        gordana dragicevic says:

        INTJs in general are quite good at discriminating what is useful, and not hesitant to act on that. I know quite a few who quit university because they realised the degree wouldn’t get them where they wanted to go. Honestly i can’t picture an INTJ who wastes time on degrees (or anything else) that would obviously turn out useless.

    • Christina
      Christina says:

      Apparently there are quite a few of us. Understanding people was always more difficult and Intro Psych was my first C (ended up having difficulty with the deadlines as I was in the military at the time) so it became my major. LOL.
      Glad to see it’s not just me. Math would have been easier.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I could tell she didn’t want to do the job. She asked if she could help me find someone else. I convinced her to do the job, but then I felt bad that she didn’t want to do it and was doing it anyway, so I did it with her. Sort of. I was not very helpful. And then after she finished the job she didn’t want me to pay her.


  5. Mojgan Fay
    Mojgan Fay says:

    Please also do a course for us ENFPs. How can we best use our, seemingly crazy, strengths?

    • ellen
      ellen says:

      ENFPs are like the underdog, I’m always bummed because ENFPs are neglected. No one can relate to us but we relate to everyone. Kinda lonely…

  6. Liz Ness
    Liz Ness says:

    Can’t wait! Also, any chance you’d teach an INTJ course on marketing? (I know you’re going to touch on sales in this course and I’m psyched, but I’m thinking I’d like to dive deeper.)

    …Or, if there’s a book you could recommend (heh-heh).

    • Jay Cross
      Jay Cross says:

      Here’s the 1-sentence course on INTJ marketing:

      Design the strategy yourself but partner with ESTJs for the execution.

      The book to read is “Breakthrough Advertising.” It’s out of print and costs $100+ from the few places that sell it but it’s worth 100x more.

      • DB
        DB says:

        Nice! I am an ESTJ and I am rapid about execution. Pretty much every waking moment I am problem solving, breaking down barriers, and pushing things forward. Also I am friends with everyone so they don’t mind that I’m telling them what to do.

        So, I would happily execute your strategy. ;-)

    • Melani Dizon
      Melani Dizon says:

      Hi Liz,

      Great idea for a class on that. I’ve been coaching people on creating marketing plans based on their personality type for about 8 or 9 years and it’s the most fun I have all day!


  7. Jay Cross
    Jay Cross says:

    From one INTJ to however many others are hanging around here, allow me to offer a bold conjecture.

    90% of the value of this course?

    Will come from learning how to stop your INTJ weaknesses from nullifying your INTJ strengths.

    The “how to be a likeable INTJ” thing isn’t a parenthetical afterthought. All else equal, it could be the decisive factor in your long-term happiness.

    There is so much INTJ worship on the Internet that it’s easy to dismiss the shortcomings that are unique to this type.

    Have you ever noticed how, on the majority of personality type websites, the INTJ summary is longer than all the others?

    That’s partially because most of the writers are INTJs themselves, wanting, as we all do, to flatter their egos.

    I’m NOT saying you should dismiss your considerable strengths, but the fact is…

    The overwhelming tendency of *most* INTJs to pat themselves on the back creates a powerful arbitrage opportunity for *you* IF you are willing to confront your weaknesses.

    So yes: join this course and bask in the reverence, but pay even closer attention to the pitfalls.

    Can’t wait for this one, Penelope!

    • Dana
      Dana says:

      As yet another female INTJ, I *will* be taking this course, but, your comment … “The ‘how to be a likeable INTJ’ thing isn’t a parenthetical afterthought.”?

      I’m wondering if this course will make me want to be a likable INTJ because, quite frankly? I don’t care if people like me, I just want the work done … and done right in the most efficient manner. Being “likable” has never been a goal of mine as I don’t see it as beneficial in any way *shrugs*

      Maybe I’ll change my mind after this course … maybe …

      • Jay Cross
        Jay Cross says:

        I get it. Most INTJs will never value “being likable” in and of itself…

        …and if you work alone, it may be wholly unnecessary…

        But if you work with others, you’ll be surprised at how being even a little bit likable translates into team members going the extra mile for you.

      • Suzie
        Suzie says:

        I think that part of what makes me likeable at work is that I am extremely efficient. But I have also learnt to be *adequately* likeable as a person in general. I take part in tea-making rounds. I ask about people’s children. You don’t have to do this a lot, but five minutes a day is a small price to pay to be ‘part of the team’.

        Sometimes being ‘part of the team’ feels like a bad thing because it means you get asked to do other stuff like hang out after work, but I just say no. And that’s OK, because I am adequately liked.

  8. Sheila Fisher
    Sheila Fisher says:

    Alas! I’m an INTP. Still a rare flower, but universally well liked. I wouldn’t sign up for a course not on my type as a matter of principal, but don’t you think you’ll end up with a bunch of non-INTJs signed up for the class?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Probably we should all sign up for a course about INTJs since most of us work for an INTJ. And most of us struggle to make them happy with what we do. Maybe I should do a bonus night: How to impress an INTJ. Except I think I might not be able to fill a whole hour. hahahahhahha


      • Caralyn
        Caralyn says:

        I am a ISFJ with some E with an INTJ teenage daughter. OH MY WORD it can be hard! Penelope, any tips on parenting one? She’s homeschooled so we are together all the time.

        • jessica
          jessica says:

          Homeschooling doesn’t mean you need to be together all the time. Solve the ‘being together all the time’ part.

          Find things she likes and get her involved in them outside of the home.

      • Sheila Fisher
        Sheila Fisher says:

        I get along fine with INTJs, its all the Feeling based decision makers I have trouble with. I don’t understand them at all. Will this class cover strategies for dealing with Fs as a T thinker? That’s what I need.

        • Penelope Trunk
          Penelope Trunk says:

          This is not a course about how to deal with INTJs. I mean, I guess, if you have an INTJ in your life who makes no sense to you, this course might help, but really this course is for INTJs to get more mileage from their strengths.

          For example, INTJs will learn to deal effectively with people who are F’s — they are a great resource for the INTJ.


      • Kina
        Kina says:

        How to impress an INTJ? Get s*it done without asking a million questions or be asked to do it and get it done right so it looks like you have a brain. Voila!

      • Amelia
        Amelia says:

        As an ESFP that works with INTJs, I really hope you do include the bonus ‘how to impress.’

    • Daniel Baskin
      Daniel Baskin says:

      Universally liked is an overstatement. You may think so, but if you are a typical INTP, this is not so. INTPs have similar social issues to INTJs with maybe a single drop more of playful, except we’re not future oriented and we solve problems too slowly. (But when we do solve them…oh when we do…it’s a thorough solution–actually, about 10 pages too thorough for anyone else–even other INTPs.)

  9. Morgan
    Morgan says:

    Hah! I love the photos. I would also pull out a book to show people what a good time looks like. Seriously debating this as, of course, me and my INTJ ego want to hear about how special I am.

  10. Fatcat
    Fatcat says:

    The responses you got were hilarious. I tested as an INFJ but sometimes I’m not so sure. :-)

  11. Derek J Scruggs
    Derek J Scruggs says:

    Can we just skip to the dating part, where you introduce me to hot & randy INTJ women? Who intuitively understand that “hot & randy” is ironic?

    ENTJ’s are good too.

  12. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    Lol. This is so funny!

    When I first started reading this blog I was appalled at how rude the commenters were but now I just shrug it off as oh, they must just be INTJ and let it go at that.

    I don’t think this seminar will work by-the-way, but good luck to all!

  13. Marie-Eve
    Marie-Eve says:

    I’m an INTJ and I am so tempted by this course! But I’m not done sucking the life out of “How to write about your life”, so it will have to wait.

    Anecdotal about female INTJs: I had never met a real life INTJ, only many online. Then I met a mom in my homeschooling coop and she kept telling me all the interesting stuff she had read online and in this and that book. And I thought, she is so much like me. Then I find out she’s been reading this blog for years and Penelope had convinced her to homeschool her two boys. I had her finally take the MBTI a few weeks ago, and of course, she tested INTJ.

    So yeah, we all follow this blog.

  14. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Penelope –

    1) I’ve taken many Myers-Briggs quizzes over the years, and I almost always land on INTJ. The description seems to fit scarily well.

    However, there’s a dearth of academic justification for the Myers-Briggs. Its biggest proponents seem to be the career coaching industry and large corporations that have a vested interest in not admitting that the Emperor has no clothes.

    So even though I intuitively agree with my INTJ results, I have trouble reconciling that with my need for empirical data backing this up. Do you have an answer to this (that appeals to an INTJ)?

    2) Along the same lines (need for data), can you provide testimonials, or better yet, case studies from other INTJs you have coached in the past? It would be helpful to show specific ways (not generalities) in which you have helped them advance their careers.

    3) I am realizing as I’m writing this it’s coming off as rude and accusatory. Sorry! If this were a business email I’d write a first draft with all the points I need to make, and then go back and run it through my “normal person” filter. But I think maybe you won’t be offended if I don’t, and I have a lot I need to get done today and a very limited supply of energy.

    4) Generally INTJs have decent careers. You could afford to charge a lot more for this course (if it turns out to be effective). Is there no cap to the number of participants?

    5) Actually, nevermind this could be a good strategy. Get us hooked with a very affordable intro webinar. Then once we trust you know what you’re talking about, have a second webinar focused exclusively on finding a romantic partner.

    You could really charge us whatever you wanted. We need career advice about 10% as much as we need help finding a partner.

    • Hannah
      Hannah says:

      I loved reading this comment. I loved the efficiency of numbering, and the no BS approach.
      I write a first draft of my emails as well, then I ask my husband (ISFP) to add the niceties. It baffles me how easily he does this.
      ps. I found a partner when I started respecting that people who were calm and laid back were not lazy.

      • Andrew
        Andrew says:

        Thanks for responding, Hannah!

        1) I was disappointed Penelope didn’t reply, but I guess it makes sense since she’s a busy ENTJ exec who doesn’t have the time to delve into the weeds and/or prioritizes other tasks higher. (Perhaps she did a quick risk/reward evaluation in her head.)

        However I’m a bit surprised that, in attempting to sell a course to INTJs, she does not modulate her approach to better appeal to the stereotypical preferences of INTJs— we like data, logic, and rationality. I want to believe her anecdotes, but they’re unverifiable and there’s an inherent conflict of interest. And I think most INTJs would really appreciate examples of potential specific outcomes.

        “we’ll show you best practices for being an INTJ, avoiding personality type pitfalls, and finding the best way to structure your life to get what you want.”

        This is so general as to be nearly useless (to me). Strategy is a fluffy word that gets abused all the time. Perhaps she should have delegated the details stuff in this post to Melissa.

        2) Again, I’m sorry. This sounds very bitchy. But I wouldn’t take the time to leave this feedback if I didn’t have some irrational emotional attachment to Penelope. (Been a reader for many years…. I hate being a fanboy. Gross.)

        3) Re: emails. Such a good tactic, right? I’ve adopted this at work, too. I’ll send a draft to my project mgr (an extraverted feeler type) before sending any important external emails.

        4) I’m beginning to realize that what I think I want (ENTJ / Type A, ambitious) in my romantic life is not at all what is good for me. Hannah, how did you decide to love someone laid back? It’s a struggle for me.

        • Dana
          Dana says:

          “However I’m a bit surprised that, in attempting to sell a course to INTJs, she does not modulate her approach to better appeal to the stereotypical preferences of INTJs— we like data, logic, and rationality. I want to believe her anecdotes, but they’re unverifiable and there’s an inherent conflict of interest. And I think most INTJs would really appreciate examples of potential specific outcomes.”

          YES!! EXACTLY!! When I first read this post, my initial impulse was to sign up. I’ve also followed Penelope for years and the idea of putting a face, a voice, physical mannerisms to what I see in print is appealing, but not worth $195.

          Everything else describing what I’ll get from the class is indeed “FLUFF” and, therefor, not appealing. There is a part of my INTJ self that wonders how all of these INTJs can possibly be so gung-ho about enrolling – it just isn’t logical – and I have to wonder if they really are INTJs (I’m sure that statement will ruffle a few feathers *shrugs*)

          • Andrew
            Andrew says:

            Full disclosure:

            The past several days have been an obsessive flurry of research about MBTI for me. Reading this post sparked something. And I’ve now done enough research to accept, though imperfect, MBTI is a valid tool/framework.

            So I signed up for Penelope’s course this morning. I have a good career, so the introductory price ($145) will not break the bank, so if the course is useless, eh, I’ll get over it, but if the course has useful information about advancing my career and personal life, it’s worth 10x its cost.

            That’s how I justify it to myself, anyway.

            Also, in the past I have booked a private consultation with an ENTJ interior decorator Penelope has recommended on her blog– Maria Killam– which was much more expensive than what Penelope is charging.

            Maria is absolutely amazing decorator to have for an INTJ client. Because I had been living in my place for 2 years without buying much furniture or picking a paint color. And she swooped in and was like “paint this room this color, that room this color, this is the logical reasoning I used to make these decisions, you will be happy with them. DONE.” And that was only the first 15 minutes of the 1 hour call. ENTJ’s provide the burst of energy and clear direction navel-gazing INTJs can often lack.

            So hopefully Penelope will bring that to the table, too.

            As far as putting a face and a voice to Penelope, just search YouTube! She’s pretty blunt and funny.

            Here’s a good one:

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      About the dating: you would be blown away to know how many coaching calls end up really being about dating advice. The most common type for this is, of course, INTJ men. They want to know what the rules are so they can just create a system for doing it.


    • Alan
      Alan says:

      “So even though I intuitively agree with my INTJ results, I have trouble reconciling that with my need for empirical data backing this up. Do you have an answer to this (that appeals to an INTJ)?”

      I think that the fact that people see themselves in the descriptions is itself the empirical data. I’ve never seen anything nail me like my INTJ designation, and the test gave me the INTJ designation. Heck, most people probably see themselves aptly described in their astrological signs. People ridicule that. But if it works, it’s right.

  15. Ann
    Ann says:

    I am a 60 year old female INTJ, with a start-up on dementia caregiving. I have a couple questions about this course.
    1. How will you screen, so that only INTJaare in the course?
    2. I find many online courses to be fluffy. Thus, how are going to teach concrete strategies for coping with other personality types. An example, my research assistant is a millennial and some other personality type. She does great work for me, but only when it is convenient for her. I have learned to keep my annoyance in check because she is tenacious and charming. Thus,the reason for my question about concrete strategies.

  16. Kathy Shaidle
    Kathy Shaidle says:

    I forgot to add that some people claim to like me but they are a) lying because they’re afraid I’ll wish them into the cornfield, or b) genuinely nice people who can’t believe I’m the horrible/weird person I appear to be .

  17. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    INTJ here. I feel like I would rather have my spouse take this course so that he can see that it isn’t just myself that has this personality, but I think he would be too offended with the INTJ tendency to be intentionally provocative.

    I have wondered if I would have been better suited (personality wise) with a male INTJ… because feelings wouldn’t get hurt all the time. But what I have found out through my personal dealings with other INTJ types is that I get annoyed really easily with the persnickety nature…I am also persnickety but I think one of me is all I can handle.

    I like INTJ friends because they are cool with not having contact regularly and still being friendly.

  18. Kelsey
    Kelsey says:

    The various personality types’ responses had me doubled over laughing. I’m an INFJ, but INTJs are the personality of which I am most envious. The sheer confidence and ambition of the INTJ is something I lack when I’m around other people. i have Asperger’s too, and I love the freedom to pursue my work with single-minded devotion, but protecting that time for work requires sacrifice. Relationships are complex and time-consuming, and I always find myself choosing the relationships. But I miss the work…

  19. Pio
    Pio says:

    I am INTJ and I hate dealing with people who are too slow to understand my ideas. I often do the work by myself because that way it’s faster and less tiring than explaing the whole concept to my underling (low level management position)
    Will gather some money and sign up for the course, because it sounds interesting.
    Love reading your posts about INTJs, Melissa and your son.

  20. Krysten
    Krysten says:

    Alright, I’m in. Though I’d pay double for a course on “How to Make Lots of Money Without Having to Talk to Anyone.”

    • Linda
      Linda says:

      This is the class I want.

      My husband and I (both INTJ) have a business and we can’t scale it up because we can’t cope with having more than 1 employee. We’d rather do the work ourselves than have to manage people.

    • ruo
      ruo says:

      This problem only applies to female INTJs… worrying about being likeable seems to be competing with being competent at the same time. Being competent first, being likeable second.

      Men INTJs are quietly climbing to top of the ladders. They’re so well liked and revered. I see that they’re showered with attention, money, and the best clients. I don’t know how they do it.

      My favourite way to “communicate” about my social awkwardness is to friends&family:
      don’t talk to me about useless stuff, but do ask me what i think.

      I’d buy your book with that title!

      • Tanya
        Tanya says:

        The simple answer is sexism.

        It’s been my personal experience and general observation–people-watching being one of my favorite pastimes– that competent, independent, problem-solving women are generally seen as: cold, unnatural, weird, disruptive, undermining, rebellious, bossy, know-it-all, insubordinate, et c.

        I could go on, and I’m sure several men and women will jump in to claim an exception, but the general rule holds.

          • Tanya
            Tanya says:

            Not complainers, Alan. The correct term is “people calling out a problem”. Societies condition those “natural gender differences” you believe in. If someone called you a cold bitch for being a logical person and called another gender a coolheaded, assured professional for the same behavior, you calling it out wouldn’t be complaining. The problem would be with that person’s perception. Which is my point. People of any gender will act as personality dictates, but our society punishes those who don’t fit the “mold”. Women tend to get the worst of it in general, since we’re deemed the lesser sex, but men suffer too with these rigid expectations. For example, a guy who enjoys being around small children all the time might be seen as a pervert or have his masculinity questioned, whereas a woman who wants to be around small children all the time is typically not given a second thought.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        This is not actually true. The INTJ males I coach who are at the top of the ladder often get feedback that says they are unpleasant to deal with. And it affects their ability to get people to do what they want.

        More importantly, though, for high-level INTJs is the fact that they hate taking the time to get people excited about the vision, probably because they are not naturally good at doing that. But for an INTJ to reach the very top they must develop this skill.


        • Zellie
          Zellie says:

          Maybe I’m not good at getting people excited, but the reason I don’t do it is because I feel they should just listen to me. If I say it is good or right, let’s not waste any more time.

        • ruo
          ruo says:

          im curious: where does the top of the ladder INTJs get feedback from? do they actually listen to the minions working under them or this would be like a more seasoned INTJ or an ENFJ boss to the INTJ?
          i cant imagine them asking for feedback from an ISFJ who works for them.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            The INTJs can tell they are not getting a great response from people around them. But also, companies pay for in-depth analysis of how effective top managers are at motivating people to do their best work. It’s expensive to have bad managers at the top of a company.


  21. David
    David says:

    This course sounds interesting, but at 61, most of my career years and mistakes are behind me, and US$145 is more than I want to spend on something I don’t feel I need.

    I realized in my 20’s that it was simply a good social strategy to smile and be polite, pay attention to other people’s interests and concerns and establish some kind of interpersonal connection before getting down to whatever actual business was at hand. Much better than banging heads and alienating the very people you need to get along with.

    Discovering the Meyers-Briggs personality type theories was a revelation for me…people weren’t just being dumb and obstinate, they were simply built differently and you have to cope with those differences. I can do that.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Maybe I am just really ignorant, but when I am 61 I want to have time left to make a lot more career mistakes. Because if I am not making mistakes then I’m not trying anything new. And that would be so boring.

      I wonder if I just don’t know what is ahead. It’s just what I feel now…


      • Anna
        Anna says:

        Ditto. I’m 51 and I’m just getting started on several new adventures, both personal and professional, which include a lot of learning and making mistakes! Just getting cranked up for the next 30 years….

  22. lisa sharp
    lisa sharp says:

    I noticed your list didn’t include an ENFP. You should hire me. I would gladly do it, be your best cheerleader and help you develop ideas for your course :)

  23. bea
    bea says:

    Gah. I’m an INTJ but I’m extremely frugal and I’m also convinced that I can do my own research and answer my own questions about playing to my strengths, and overcoming my weaknesses, so I can’t bring myself to sign up for this course. Even though I really want to. I’m hoping that “just create your own course” voice in my head is smacked down by the “just do it!” chant that’s going on up there as well.

    Any other INTJs on the fence like me?

    • Melissa
      Melissa says:

      I’m on the fence too. I think I know how to be likable. Some people like me. I’ve even worked with some of those people.

      I’ve also been experimenting with outsourcing my tasks lately and it has been going really well. I save hours and hours of work every month.

      I’m wondering how to be likable without needing a nap. I also worry that I don’t ever see a big enough picture because I love being in the details.

      I also hate that one of my clients insists on phone calls. I can do face-to-face or e-mails, but these phone calls are throwing me off. It’s like an entire day is lost trying to arrange my brain around this call and I retain almost nothing from it because no concrete resolutions are made.

    • Dana
      Dana says:

      Yep! Right there with you! I’m all about learning how to better leverage my INTJ strengths, but this whole “How to be a likable INTJ ” component just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve been “unlikable” (but respected professionally) for all of my adult working life (I’m 50 now). I just don’t see that the effort, and fraudulent presentation of self, will produce an ROI that is significant.

      • Dave Gordon
        Dave Gordon says:

        I don’t think that emulating the behavior of people with naturally developed social skills is fraudulent. That’s how children develop their social skills. Saying “I’m sorry for your loss” is only fraudulent if you’re thinking, “I’m glad the asshole is dead.” The INTJ dilemma is that we say things that we mean, at inappropriate times or phrased indelicately. If you’re glad the asshole is dead, comment on the lovely memorial service. Full disclosure is rarely required.

    • Melissa
      Melissa says:

      I went for it because I read the line in the course description about developing “social skills to get along with people who are uncomfortable with direct, goal-based communication.”

      I didn’t even know that made people uncomfortable! SMH…

      • Adrianne
        Adrianne says:

        I don’t think I realized that was exactly the problem until reading this blog post and Melissa’s comment. I know I have to consciously “be more polite” when communicating to others (i.e., “Why don’t you try X” or “I would recommend doing X”, instead of “You need to go do X”)…and I hadn’t realized until now that being more polite really translates to trying to sound less direct and goal-oriented.

      • pzr10
        pzr10 says:

        I’d never thought about this in terms of problems with ‘goal-based communication’ but it makes complete sense now!
        Also, when we present an analysis of a problematic situation – which for us is exciting and the starting point for problem- solving (e.g. discovering MBTI) – I wonder if it has the opposite effect on certain types (e.g. INFP)? Whereas we feel excited to have a framework to deal with the problem, another type may feel that an analysis is final and it stops them from seeing a solution at all?

  24. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    I’m in. Melissa is right. INTJs definitely need a course like this. But try being an aspie female and an INTJ. We are probably the rarest of all types.

    • Linda
      Linda says:

      From what I’ve read most apsies are INTJ. I even wonder if it’s possible to be INTJ without being aspie.

      I don’t tell anyone I’m INTJ because I don’t want to announce I’m slightly autistic.

      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth says:

        This has come up before during Penelope’s child personality course, Melissa and I posed the question.. I happen to know many INTJ’s who are AS. But there are many AS who are not INTJ, so it is not always true but I think it is one of the main ones along with INTP.

  25. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    So tempted to do this. INTJ, but I keep thinking I should be a nicer person and that usually leads to INFJ nonsense. On the fence.

  26. Christina
    Christina says:

    Long time reader. I’m a sahm. We homeschool the kiddos. Serious burning question. How to tell the difference between INTJ and INTJ. I test N on Quiztic but have tested S in the past. I am firmly I and firmly J. T is much stronger than F. But could I be 50/50 N/S!? Thanks!

    • Joyce
      Joyce says:

      Hi, Christina! Yes, you can be borderline N/S. My brother is a pediatrician and he can either be INTJ or ISTJ. You may want to read the profiles of both INTJ and ISTJ and see what fits you more.

      The fact that you’re homeschooling your children makes me think you’re more intuitive. A sensing person learns more from information coming from the five senses and tends to be more practical. A intuitive person learns more from thinking about ideas and problems and tends to be more futuristic.

      Of course, the INTJs here can give you more information. I’m just an INFP who sometimes want to be an INTJ. I classified my classmates who passed the bar exam. Eleven are INTJs, five are INFJs, one is ENFP, and I am INFP.

    • Daniel Baskin
      Daniel Baskin says:

      Yes, you can be IXTJ. Myers-Briggs / Jungian typology is just a set of ideas that help describe common, broad differences in personality. You can remold these ideas into principles that allow for middle splits between letters and have things still make sense when you try to figure out the order of your cognitive functions. (This integration of “X” letters is too complex to detail here, though.)

  27. Kat
    Kat says:

    Does the webinar offer realistic advice on negotiation for INTJs?

    I’m sure a lot of INTJs end up doing all the work but not necessarily paid more.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      This is not actually very common with INTJs. They are high earners. They tend to get out of low-level jobs very quickly. So if you are an INTJ who is totally stuck and feeling like you are always doing low-level work you might want to have a coaching session instead. Because there is probably something else going on.


      • Adrianne
        Adrianne says:

        Just for reference sake: What are the number (dollar?) boundaries that define high- vs. lower-earning? (It seems like it could be relative, especially factoring in location differences in cost-of-living – at least in the United States.)

      • Jen Bruntlett
        Jen Bruntlett says:

        So, this is absolutely me. And I’ve thought about reaching out for coaching, but being in the low-level job I am and not making very much money, it’s tough to justify the cost. But maybe I should just take the plunge.

      • Kat
        Kat says:

        Other than becoming likable, I think it will benefit a lot of INTJs if the course covers these topics:

        1. Fast-tracking to leadership and skip the career ladder bullcrap. I believe INTJs are high earners only if they take charge. And it doesn’t matter if that’s in a employed setting or in a startup. The only high-earning low level jobs are IT specialists, or other types of specialists who gets paid $50+ an hour on a contractual basis but don’t get permanent employment. Which still doesn’t translate to that much money in the long term.

        2. Which brings us back to negotiation skills.

        INTJs are already equipped with great planning skills and execution skills. The course will cover people skills. Certainly INTJs will benefit from learning how to negotiate so that if they’re not leaders yet, their employers will realize the company will take a hit if they lose the INTJs.

        • Penelope Trunk
          Penelope Trunk says:

          INTJs definitely need skills to get out of low-level jobs quickly. I’ll show how to do that in the course.


      • pzr10
        pzr10 says:

        Another female INTJ here. I love this blog.
        This comment by Penelope gives me hope. I’ve been struggling professionally and financially. I was going to ask whether the course could help repressed INTJs access their strengths but it looks like I should save for a coaching session instead.

        I was taught to distrust my instincts and I learnt the necessary social skills a long time ago. Genuine empathy is a good thing, but I’ve completely crushed my INTJness – and it’s like having my head in a vice… Does anybody else feel this split-personality effect? I can’t connect the pleasant person who lures people into thinking I’m friendly and normal and the abstract thinker who accidentally launches into an analysis. How to kill chitchat in a single step :)

        • Adrianne
          Adrianne says:

          Maybe you are not supposed to connect them. There is not necessarily anything wrong with you if you are an analytical thinker *and* you are behaving in a pleasant manner. It may feel like your head is in a vice because you feel obligated to have a clear connection between those two – maybe they are just separate as different parts of you. Think of your social skills as another tool to help you navigate the world.

          Also, it seems you feel obligated to let people monopolize your time via socialization because you feel like you have no right to set boundaries (I think this was a problem for me when I was younger). This seems to be a general introvert problem, as we can appear to be so good at listening that others think they have license to monopolize our listening time. So, take a baby step: Think of something to say to people to efficiently cut off conversation (other than, “You talk too much, go away.”)

          • pzr10
            pzr10 says:

            Thanks. True, the two sides don’t need to be connected – I hadn’t thought about the fact that sociable people don’t expect their public and private selves to be identical… Reminds me of the time someone said to me ‘You’re so sincere!’ and I thought ‘What a weird thing to say, is there any other way?’ Erm, yes :)
            And about boundaries – your comment made me realise that I never set reasonable limits even though I’m aware of my need for alone time. E.g. I should plan to spend a maximum of two and a half hours in a client’s office (I work freelance) because it would allow me to socialise for fifteen minutes before the meeting and settle action points after the meeting, whilst remaining sane. Instead, I go in there with no time limit, thinking it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t happen every day, then people pour their hearts out to me and drag me into their office feuds, and I leave a complete wreck needing an isolation tank (when a quiet coffee would have done the trick if I had left earlier).

            Epiphany: plan to leave before my mental carriage turns into a total pumpkin!

        • Sheri Shetman
          Sheri Shetman says:

          I am an INTJ female, and I live with this dicotimy constantly, but do not perceive it to be negative. I just choose what is most appropriate for the situation at hand. I consider it as having learned to be versatile without losing my core self. besides, I find it an invaluable asset, like a quiet one-to punch.

  28. Heather
    Heather says:

    I am and ENTJ, but I’m only an E by one question, so I’m borderline I. Which explains why people seem to think I’m borderline likeable.

    By the way, have you looked into Strength Finders? We’ve done that test at work and talked about our strengths with each other. It really seems to help.

  29. Melani Dizon
    Melani Dizon says:

    I’m an INFP and naturally I drive Penelope crazy:) At one point she told me she had coached me more times than any other person. I am so fascinated by our differences and how she talks to me that I can’t get enough.

    As I was reading about this course I kept thinking – A whole course on ONE personality type? I can’t imagine being so certain on one type that I would want to just talk about that. Of course.

    I loved that the INFP couldn’t find personality traits that seemed on target so he came back with one paragraph. I would have come back with 10 novels about each one in order to meet the “assignment” but then I would have written about how each one could be another type or types too.

    I have a theory about ENFPs and INFPs that they are so crazy and out there with all of the possibilities that they actually have that type but they have another type that they live at because otherwise their life doesn’t work.

    • Joyce
      Joyce says:

      Hi, Melani! Do you already have a discount for the coaching with Penelope? :)

      I agree with you. I’m INFP. I used to submit research papers weeks or months after the deadline or never at all. But when I work with a boss, I become INTJ. I can write articles or make presentations within a day and prepare pleadings within a week.

    • Esther Rosenow
      Esther Rosenow says:

      I am an INTP closest to center on T/F. Still very clearly INTP to myself, though. INFP sounds like me in some ways, but INTP is dead on.

      I think INTP has the same hurdles you mention for INFP & ENFP. So many possibilities & so many reasons any one of them is right or wrong. Sometimes I feel like N/P is a double burden, P bringing indecisiveness and N bringing future-worry. I envy ISTPs more than INTJs, though. I prize my silliness, and I don’t think INTJs care about being silly at all.

      I agree also about living as another type… at work I’d look like an INTJ. I’m very decisive at work, obsessed with efficiency, I evaluate others based on their competence, get things done & move on… but my house is a mess, I’m totally disorganized in time, I hate cutting off relationships, and I analyze things infinitely without caring about the endgame.

      I’m only recently recognizing the strengths of P versus J. Like, it sucks to be an indecisive mess when you’re up against society’s physical framework, but when it comes to matters of opinion, staying open to more data makes for more diplomacy, greater loyalty, more patience, and on and on. So there’s that.

  30. INTJ Professor
    INTJ Professor says:

    Likable? Listen more than you talk and have a sense of humor, but never, never at the expense of a co-worker, or, in my case, a student.

    • Dana
      Dana says:

      *shakes head* I think most (all?) INTJs know *how* to be more likable, the issue is do we see any benefit to being more likable. *shrugs* Someone will have to prove to me that it matters before I take this course ….

      • Piro
        Piro says:

        I guess you could find all the necessary info scattered online, or just use your common sense and some coaching 1 on 1 to come up with answers you’re looking for.
        With Penelope you’ll get them all in one place thoroughly organized, I guess. And it comes with a price.

  31. Alison Rodriguez
    Alison Rodriguez says:

    The INTJ fall-back recipe for success is to hang out with ENTJs.
    I love to work with them. As NTJs they ‘get it’ and they complement some of our shortcomings.
    Maybe that’s why INTJs like to hang out here??

  32. Susan P
    Susan P says:

    When I read that there are only 2% INTJs but a lot of them read your blog I thought, “well, maybe the Quistic test incorrectly labels more people as INTJ than most of those types of tests, and so some people here think they are INTJ from that test but they really aren’t.” So then I pulled out my results from two old Myers-Briggs and confirmed that I really am an INTJ (but almost 50/50 on J/P), so I have no support for my original theory.
    I’m not sure that people like me, but if they actively dislike me I’ve never noticed. It’s not something I care much about but I think I can be pleasant enough. Small talk just kills me though. I think people just think I’m shy when really it is that they aren’t talking about anything I want to talk about so I keep quiet in a lot of social situations.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        Derek, I think this you’re right.

        INTJs are excellent managers of nut cases. I think this is because INTJs are really good at sifting through a bunch of crazy ideas to figure out which are genius and worth the time to implement and how to implement them.

        INTJs are hands-down the best at that, but they can’t use that skill unless they have a few ENTJs or ENTPs around them.


        • Adrianne
          Adrianne says:

          “INTJs are excellent managers of nut cases.” Love that statement – will keep me in a good mood for at least the rest of today!

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer says:

      Me too. I am perfectly competent in social situations with a topic. No topic, I flounder.

      My favorite point in meeting a new person is when I find the thing they know about but I don’t, so I can grill them. Once I met a guy at a rave, discovered he was an archaeologist, and pinned him to the wall for 30 minutes so he could tell me the current theory on the peopling of the Americas. Turns out, that’s weird behavior… For a long time I thought I must be Aspergers, but no: just INTJ!

  33. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    The photo of the pair of INTJ’s having fun is so nice to see. Makes me feel like I’ve got allies who get me even if most people I know are clueless.

  34. Allie
    Allie says:

    Faithful reader and INTJ here! I don’t consider myself socially deficient because my dad is an ESTJ, and my big sister is an ENFP so I was forced to learn how to be social in dealing with them. Despite that, being INTJ as a female makes it very hard to find good girlfriends. I’m not a big fan of frivolous conversations. If something is not improving me, improving the world, or making me money I find it hard to care too much about. I’m very confident and have high standards for myself and others. It helps me to be taken seriously in the workplace (I’m a lawyer), but socially, it’s not the most endearing.

    On a side note, my boss is an INTJ as well. The blunt criticism can be rough since I pride myself on my competence, but I am always looking to improve myself so it is motivating in a way. I do like that there is no pressure to spend 30 minutes in the morning chit chatting before buckling down, and he understands my work process.

  35. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    What about INTPs?

    That’s my type and everything I read seems to imply absent-minded but smart. There’s not much about the work place except that we have terrible social skills – which I already knew.

    My husband is an INTJ so this seminar could be a little bit like couple’s therapy.

  36. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I have learned to censor myself, but sometimes I still slip. At home not so much of problem because the dynamic is totally different than at the office. At home the conversations are more meaningful and dynamic.

    I was riding in the car this past week with my family, and I qualified I know this is going to sound bad but. . . .and I did not mean what I was about to say to the people in the car.

    So. I had been watching episodes from season 4 of Game of Thrones. At some point one of the characters said, “Leave us” and the room cleared. I said to the family, I wish I could just say that at work, without any repercussions, when I’m interrupted or I need to have a private conversation. It’s simple. To the point. I know it would be so very wrong to do it (socially rude) but there’s a part of me that would love to because it’s the quickest way from point a to b.

    I don’t know if that’s part of my INTJness, but to me it some how fits.

    • bea
      bea says:

      I feel like this course has already started here in the comment section.

      “Leave us!” I think most INTJs could actually muster the gravitas needed for that directive to clear the room. I have been known, on occasion, to say “please stop talking now.” I say it nicely, but I’m not sure it matters how nicely you say it, it still comes out harsh.

      I keep coming back to this question of being likeable and whether or not it truly does or doesn’t matter to me. I think it depends. Many times, I really don’t care if I’m coming off as likeable, especially in a professional context. I may not always be likeable, but I have impeccable manners and know when to use them. I can also determine when I need to pipe down. And when I need to turn on the charm.

      I work in the legal profession as a forensic linguist and I think my personality type fits in well with the attorneys and other subject matter experts I work with. In fact, I think my personality type is uniquely suited for my work. I’m often the only linguist in the room with a bunch of big ego personalities, many of whom have “know it all” postures that rival and exceed my own. Believe it or not, it often makes for a productive working environment. One good thing about being an INTJ is that other high level professionals don’t intimidate me in the least, neither does criticism. I can take all manner of feedback without getting my knickers in a twist.

      I also agree with what somebody upstream said about having a sense of humor, as long as it does not rest on having a laugh at other people’s expense. I have a great sense of humor and am not above a good self-deprecating jab when the opportunity arises. I think it’s disarming and a good trait for INTJs to possess, as it can smooth our our rough edges.

      I have been told that in social contexts, I come off as cautious and a bit chilly, but that I’m quick to warm.

      I remember at my husband’s company Christmas party, people kept crowding around us to talk and I thought “damn, my kick ass ENFP husband is really popular here. They love him!” He later told me that it was because they were shocked at how funny and charming I was being (I was about 3 cocktails in at that point). He said that before that, they were all kind of scared of me. I actually found this to be hilarious. If being a little scary saves me from making small talk (except at company Christmas parties), I’ll take it.

      It’s cathartic posting all this here amongst so many INTJ kindred…

      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth says:

        I can relate to this, especially about having a few drinks. Thanks for sharing.

        One thing I get tired of is people asking me “What’s wrong?”. Nothing is wrong, if something was wrong I would let people know. Or they say “You look mad.” Well, I’m not mad. Maybe I am just thinking about something, maybe that’s just how my face looks. Again, if I was mad I would say something specific.

        • INTJ Professor
          INTJ Professor says:

          When I was a girl and young adult, random people on the street, mostly men, would stop me and say, “Smile!”

          • Elizabeth
            Elizabeth says:

            Well-intentioned strangers have also told me to smile more because it makes me look pretty. I learned a new level of restraint after such comments.

        • bea
          bea says:

          Man oh man. If I had a dime for every time my husband asked me “what’s wrong?” I’d be a rich woman (we’ve been together 15 years, so you think he’d know by now). Same with the “smile!” brigade. I always imagine myself walking around with a smile plastered on my face, and then I imagine that my husband et al would probably think “Oh my hell, that woman has snapped. She’s on her way to the nearest bell tower.”

          I am always in deep thought about something or another and it shows on my face. I have just accepted my lot in life as far as facial expressions and concern trolling go.

          Here’s another question I’d like to punt to all my INTJ kindred: Do y’all get bored easily? Because I don’t think I have ever been bored in my life. I can always find something productive to get my hands on. Or I have a very rich life inside my head that I consult when I have some down time, or when I’m having to sit through something I don’t find particularly interesting. My husband and daughter always complain of boredom and I seriously just do not get it. Maybe that’s not an INTJ thing though and just some personal quirk.

          • Elizabeth
            Elizabeth says:

            Never bored. I love being alone with my thoughts. This is why I don’t think people really get bored, I don’t know anyone who sits there and stays intentionally bored. But maybe that is just me. Now I have three kids and have to work to get that alone time to think about things. I mostly live in my head and it is why I can write great stories, make up new characters for the stories… that is easy for me.

          • Paul
            Paul says:

            Right – I never get bored. There’s always a design issue to work through or something new to learn about. Even while riding in the car (or low-key driving), I’m problem solving or thinking through a logical issue that I’m going to write up.

        • Tanya
          Tanya says:

          Even after 13 years together, two days ago my husband, out of nowhere, started defending himself against whatever he must have done, as we were pulling out of the driveway. Then I was all confusion-and-WTF until he revealed that I gave him an angry look, and I had to say, “No, that was my surprised face!” We’d popped off the parking pad for a sec and the car tire had dipped down suddenly. Apparently, my wtf-just-happened processing face is the same as my angry face. And last night, my closest co-worker revealed that I was super scary and intimidating until she got to know me, and that people in other labs will ask her to ask me things because they think I’m mean. They’ve never actually said anything to me, they just think I’m mean.

          • Elizabeth
            Elizabeth says:

            I used to get told the same thing. “Wow, you are so nice!! I was so intimidated by you when I first saw you but now I am so glad we are friends.” Just another thing that I don’t care about. The thought of going out of my way to intentionally make my face look welcoming is irritating. I actually did an experiment at the small college I went to where most everyone knew who you were. I walked around with a huge smile on my face and said “Hey, how are you today!” or “I love that shirt” and then all of a sudden I had about 20 people that wanted to start hanging out with me and I never did it again.

          • Christine
            Christine says:

            @Elizabeth: Hahaha, I love your comment!

            I totally get that thing where you worry that if you are too nice to people, they will start following you around and then you will have a lot of extra work to do.

    • Jennifer
      Jennifer says:

      At work I say, “I need to focus on this, just give me 30 minutes — then I’ll come find you.” Everyone seems to respect that. Even if 30 minutes turns into a few hours.

  37. brooke
    brooke says:

    A previous post mentioned and I told my husband I had been considering business cards but had only gotten to the design stage. “You realize that business cards have phone numbers people call, right?” INTJ crises averted!

    • Andrew
      Andrew says:

      Hahaha that’s so perfect. I was just arguing with my friend who is designing his own business cards. “Why do you even need a business card? People can just Google you if they need to find you.”

      I think if I had to use business cards it’d be Twitter & a public facing email address (not my main one).

    • redrock
      redrock says:

      not all cards have phone numbers, and you could use something cool like a QR barcode which links directly to the website or email.

  38. Dave Gordon
    Dave Gordon says:

    As a contract project manager, I find that my INTJ behavior can be either an asset or a liability, depending on the people I have to work with. Since it’s a different group on every assignment, fitting in is probabilistic. I learned how to be likeable, funny, and even charming as a teenager, but I have to remember to flip the switch – the exercise of my cultivated artificial social skills doesn’t come naturally.

    I’ll be sixty this year, and I’m getting well and truly weary of dealing with normal humans. I’ve considered living in a tent in the Cascades, where I can be my borderline autistic self. But since I’m INTJ, I’d probably clear an acre or two, build a cabin, plant a giant vegetable garden, and take up blacksmithing. Since I’m a consultant, I can make a business case for spending the 145 clams on either the course or a good felling axe. However, I’m not convinced that meeting other INTJ’s would lead to a demonstrably better outcome than sitting in a tree, cutting the soles out of my shoes, and learning to play the flute.

    I’d be mildly interested in feedback from other INTJ’s. Normal people, not so much.

    • Bibi
      Bibi says:

      I’m a 50 yr old INTJ woman. After a 15 yr career in healthcare I am DEFINITELY well & truly tired of normal humans (healthy or otherwise). Social skills & being ‘likeable’ are still things that do not come naturally to me. I simply don’t enjoy them.
      I’ve often wondered if I have Aspergers- but I can read people extraordinarily well.
      So about 10 yrs ago I sold everything I owned in the US & moved to a tiny touristy town in Nepal. My husband owns a jewelry shop & I have a gallery specializing in Buddhist art here. Four hours a day Oct. through March selling art to tourists is enough social interaction for me. Tuesdays I have tea with some local lamas & we discuss life, Buddhism, BS, & jellybeans.
      I have to say this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, I’m sure normal humans would be bored to tears with my lifestyle. I don’t think I really care anymore if I’m ‘likeable’ or not. I’ve definitely come to the conclusion I don’t need the constant validation that normal humans need from each other. (Although a course like this when I was 18 yrs old would have made a WORLD of difference in accepting my ‘weirdness’ & mistakenly thinking I was always ‘missing’ something that my normal peers somehow enjoyed.) Oh the pleasures of absolute autonomy & scads of free time!!!

      • Amy A
        Amy A says:

        I love your comments, Bibi and Dave. Reading them and other comments here is quite freshing and encouraging for me.

        Bibi, Your life sounds fantastic to this INFJ. Substitute selling art with coaching clients for me.

        I resonate with not needing to be liked. I am thrilled to know this isn’t a trait of only sociopaths, but also of socially-competent people who simply don’t get charged-up from a lot of people contact,’tap dancing’, people-pleasing and being responsible for others self-esteem.

        One thing I am not seeing in the comments might be the very thing which makes me an INFJ instead of INTJ is the need for a very small and emotionally-connected social circle. I don’t do superficial relationships; and ‘friendship’ means being part of day-to-day life (not meeting for coffee a few times a year). Even my passion for coaching reflects that connecting with business clients must be deep and authentic in order to be fulfilling for me.

        I had close relationships with two INTJ females which ended because the emotional connections were ‘right there’ yet totally elusive. Ugh.

        I do desire to be liked by the people in my tiny inner circle. But maybe more than being liked, I value being understood, seen as unique, competent and good at what I do, and seen as someone who stands up for and lives my values. I wonder if this is common with INTJs (or even my own type).

  39. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Thank you for this! I will be signing up. As a female INTJ I spend about 50% of my time on being more likable – I spend huge amounts of time crafting emails, playing out conversations in my head, and forcing myself to do small talk. If I could use 100% of my time to actually focus on my craft (tech marketing) my work results would be AMAZING – but no one would like me, no one would be on my side, and I would have zero wins at work. I learned this lesson at my first job out of school when I sent a rather brusque email to someone on the sales team and saw the outcome of that. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time on this area and I do believe that I’m well-liked, but it comes at a cost – the part of my soul that I expend to make up for this deficiency.

  40. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    The first time I did Myers-Briggs was at a large public company. I was in my 20’s and my type was INTP. Now I’m in my 40’s and I always come up as INTJ on tests (like the one on Quisitic). Is it common for your type to change a bit over the years?

    On another matter, I left corporate America in 2003 to become an entrepreneur with my husband/business partner. I think it was largely due to my frustration with having to deal with all the B.S. that INTJ’s can’t stand. I feel fortunate to have figured out a way to design my own work, environment and schedule. (Although there’s still plenty of non-INTJ stuff to deal with on a daily basis.)

    Love the comments here! It’s so rare to find a gathering of my peeps. Looking forward to the class!

    • Catherine
      Catherine says:

      My understanding is your overall type stays the same but your cognitive functions (external or internal of thinking, feeling, intuition and sensory) develop at different life stages.

      You’ll test as different types because surveys are not always accurate. I spend a lot of time doing data analysis on psychosocial survey results and experience firsthand how results can be skewed by mindset, mood, emotion and environmental cues that prime you towards certain responses. If you’re relaxed and answering as honestly as possible, the likelihood of testing as your true type is higher.

      What helped me pin down my type was learning what I could about each of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types and eight Jungian cognitive functions.

      INTPs, for example, have extraverted feeling as one of their four cognitive functions. This means that also they are thinker types, they are warmer and care more about what others think. Because it isn’t the first or second in command function, the amount that happens is smaller.

      • Raluca
        Raluca says:

        I am an INTP female, and the way I see it, the test shows where you are at a specific point in life. The test shows how close you are to one of the extremes, which is not fixed over time. For example I have an INTJ friend that is more preoccupied with his emotional side lately (yes, they do have one!), and he scored closer to F last time he took the test. So for now, he gets INFJ as a result, but when in doubt, the best way to check is to read the description of that type. Usually it does not “sound like you” when this is just a phase, not how you always act.

        • Catherine
          Catherine says:

          A lot of INTJs I know have a soft, squishy interior behind a logical armor. This stereotype of them being robots is misguided in my opinion. It’s not that their feelings don’t run deep- it’s simply that they’re able to take a step back from their emotions and see a situation objectively.

          • Raluca
            Raluca says:

            Yes, they are represented like robots because that is what they look like to people not close to them. Perception is reality…
            I have INTJ friends and my long term boyfriend is one. They choose not to show emotion, because they don’t see how feelings could be a part of solving any problem. Trouble is some problems need feelings taken into consideration. The first step to that would be for the INTJs to identify and deal with their own feelings. And that is one of the things I have in common with them.

  41. Heather
    Heather says:

    I have the INTJ and Asperger’s personality issues (partially diagnosed as a kid, but they never did find the right one or any treatment). This whole site is fantastic…I am finally understanding why I am so weird!! And I just wanted to say thank you for all the awesome information on how to less annoying. I also am gathering good ideas for avoiding what have become regular meltdowns now that I am in menopause. I have been at my wit’s end with myself, and I feel more empowered now. Thank you!

  42. Heather
    Heather says:

    How to “be” less annoying. Although I think this corrected post might be one of those annoying things…

  43. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    I’m an IXTJ and get along just fine with people at work. I’m a friendly co-worker who remembers to bring my ‘Game of Thrones’ DVDs to people who want to borrow them and often makes them laugh. I’m pretty good at making friends in the break room.

    But let me be clear, having good social skills and getting along with people doesn’t mean I like to be interrupted when I’m working. And it’s not much different when I’m at home, either – I despise a ringing phone.

    Former managers have liked me because they say I’m approachable and helpful, so obviously I mask my aggravation, which causes me stress. It takes me a long time to get back into what I was working on, and as the deadline looms closer, the stress just grows as I continue to be interrupted. I sure do hate to have to tell people I don’t have time to help them, but sometimes that’s what it boils down to.

  44. Priscilla Wood
    Priscilla Wood says:

    I remember I wanted Jay (Penelope’s editor) to be my editor so I contacted him. He asked me to send him a post a day for seven days. If you miss a day I won’t take you, he said. So I did, everyday I wrote 1000 words and emailed him. At the end of the seven days he got back to me and said, you were the only one who did EXACTLY what I asked you to do!

    INTJ woman here!

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