For the uninitiated, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a typography of 16 personalities that aims to help people understand aspects of their own personality and those around them. And of those 16 types, INTJ—nicknamed the “mastermind” type—is one of the most rare. According to Truity, an online destination for career assessments and personality tests, INTJ accounts for just 2 percent of men and 1 percent of women (including the recently passed icon for equal rights Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg). So, what is an INTJ personality, what makes them so special, and, well, could you be one?
For background, INTJ stands for “introversion, intuition, thinking, and judgment,” and the personality type reflects someone who is reserved, intellectual, focused, are principled. The best way to learn whether you are one is to take an MBTI personality assessment (but, also know that it is possible to work toward changing your MBTI type through learned behavior and the MBTI functions). So if you find yourself in the INTJ category or committed to growing toward that direction, how can you shine as brightly as RBG (or you know, as close to that as possible)?
As introverts, INTJs aren’t chasing after the spotlight, but when it’s their moment to step into it, they do. They also allow their true convictions to drive and inspire their work. “Although INTJs don’t always speak up, when they do, they are excellent at making a point; direct and careful in their language, they mean every word of it,” says Molly Owens, founder and CEO of Truity. To make the most of this energy, she says tapping “into your ability to concentrate deeply on a subject matter, and strongly convey your arguments is a clear way to flex a strength, as INTJs are very often thought leaders at work.”
“Although INTJs don’t always speak up, when they do, they are excellent at making a point; direct and careful in their language, they mean every word of it.” —Molly Owens, founder and CEO of Truity
Likewise, it can be easy for introverted INTJs to be so absorbed in their cause that they can become a lone wolf at work, head to the ground. But these masterminds can be sure not to let this stand in their way, either. “Striving to become more sensitive to the personalities and capacities of those around you and your colleagues is key,” Owens says. “Respecting their ideas, even if they contradict yours is crucial. Often, for INTJs to achieve this, they need to make the effort to forge closer bonds with their colleagues—even if they hold different views.”
But that’s just work, and in order to be truly content, INTJs need to feel deeply fulfilled at work and home. Professionally, they need to be lit up by a cause, a commitment, or a strong dedication to creating change in the world, and approach each mission with intense focus. They want to get things done and do it excellently, and their perfectionism rarely trips them up. “Although they can seem cool and detached, INTJs have strong passions under the surface; channelling that into their life and career is key,” says Owens. “In relationships, they often find happiness with ‘kindred spirits,’ or a partner with whom they share common interests, ideals, and goals.”
Ultimately, INTJ personality types tend to be quietly powerful game changers who use their passions to scorch the injustices around them. As long as they have a cause to fuel them and allow for close companionships with people who balance them out, who knows what they can accomplish?
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