This is the ninth post in our 16 Months of Type series and we focus here on INTJ. To remind you, we are using our material on managing life transitions with psychological type (formerly available through CPP as Introduction to Type® and Reintegration and soon to be available on CareerPlanner.com – stay tuned!) as the jumping off point for each piece and then connecting this material to the self-discovery process that frequently accompanies life-changing events (LCEs). Read on!
INTJ, Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging When facing an LCE, INTJs typically want an approach that is objective and universally applicable. If your preferences are for INTJ, you tend to suspend judgment while seeking additional pertinent information. Those who prefer INTJ also tend to be very independently minded, seeing meaningful connections between disparate ideas that others may overlook. If you prefer INTJ you most likely feel most at ease when you have the opportunity to examine an idea in its entirety before deciding whether to move forward with it, in part or in whole. As a rule, INTJs tend to guard their “processing time” carefully and will resist being rushed into action until they feel satisfied that they have constructed a complete and thorough plan that accounts for any and all possible negative consequences. INTJs tend to cautious and have as their ideal philosophy, “measure twice, cut once.” This tendency can be especially magnified during times of change. Those who want to learn by doing, trying things out as they go will need to be patient with the INTJs measured approach. INTJs prefer to avoid surprises and the necessity to retool their design midstream.
When INTJ preferences are overdone, people who prefer INTJ may be so intent on pursuing a long term goal and crafting an overarching strategy to meet it that they fail to see small steps that could be taken today to improve their quality of life. The usual INTJ desire for all data to be examined from every angle and for the “right” target to be selected out of all the myriad possibilities can go into overdrive. This can mean they miss opportunities already present and available in their immediate environment. This drive for analytical perfection can keep them from simple, practical, and concrete strategies that could begin improving conditions immediately. When INTJs remain focused on outcomes that are theoretically possible but extremely unlikely, they can waste time and energy that might be better spent understanding and working with their new circumstances rather than trying to force reality into their vision of how things should or could be. During times of ambiguity, INTJs can become fixated on remaining detached to manage anxiety. When taken too far, this can cause them to neglect to consider the impact of their decisions on their own emotional well-being as well as on the well-being of their significant others.
When facing an LCE, INTJs typically need an insightful companion to mentor, guide, and support them on their transition journey. Since those who prefer INTJ enjoy debate, discussion and challenging the conventional wisdom, they seek companions who can spar with them and hold up under repeated rounds of questioning. They tend to see their situation as unique and therefore they want a companion who can inspire them to devise a far-reaching and innovative solution that is as individual as they are. A discriminating companion will respect the high standards to which people with preferences for INTJ hold themselves while assisting them in determining which are worthy holding onto with their usual tenacity. This guidance can also help them see which standards, if maintained, could actually prevent them from attaining that ideal future state that they seek to achieve. Finally, wise counsel can assist INTJs in remembering that life by definition is a mystery and not everything can be anticipated or planned. With encouragement, most INTJs will recall people, events, and occurrences from their past that although unexpected, were of tremendous benefit – assuming a curiosity mindset creates room for more such unforeseen gifts.
When such a companion is not present in the life of people who prefer INTJ, they may reject common sense plans and believe that there is little benefit to asking others for advice. Without reminders of their shared humanity — including possessing a physical body with physical needs — they may assume that their situation is somehow so exceptional that the wisdom and practical experience they might glean from others simply doesn’t apply. In addition, without a companion to help them avoid seeing any failures as their sole and personal responsibility, INTJs may struggle to take effective action in the here and now to alter their future for the better. This lone wolf tendency may cut them off from rewarding, interesting, and even fun experiences with those that are seeking to collaborate or help if only they would be allowed to do so. In the absence of a practically minded companion who reminds INTJs to utilize the knowledge and experience of others and helps them clarify their immediate priorities, people who prefer INTJ can get hung up on waiting for a flash of insight that signals the perfect plan and suffer unnecessarily without support. A perceptive companion can reassure them that getting going on implementing a “good enough” plan, that is, one that eases their suffering and allows trusted others to participate, will make them better off in both the short and the long term.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 79
If you prefer INTJ (or you have someone in your life with this four-letter type code), the following questions may help as you process a life-changing event.
- How can you find ways to enrich your experience by connecting with others and reaching out to share stories, time, and strategies?
- How can your past experiences be a guide to what might help you manage things more successfully now?
- How can you assess the impact of your actions on those you care about?
- How can you build flexibility into your goals and plans to take advantage of learning opportunities as they appear?