5 INTJ Hacks
1. Improve social interactions using intelligence and observation.
INTJs often feel that they do not fit into society. This is due to a lack of understand as to where others are coming from, or what makes them tick. To compound the problem, other people don’t understand the INTJ, either.
There’s an easy way you can improve this for yourself. As an INTJ, you have the intellectual ability and keen observational skills required to quickly identify other people’s personality types.
If you study the 16 personality types, even briefly, you’ll quickly start to understand much more about how and why people are the way they are. You may even be able to figure out their type on the spot. This can be an invaluable social skill.
Once you can identify a person’s personality type, you’ll immediately be able to modify your approach in how your deal with them. For example, let’s say you have a design client and you realize that it’s impossible for them to visualize a design concept (a typical limitation of S types). You can save a lot of energy by sketching out your idea to show her a physical representation of it. This will reduce frustration on all sides and lead to a more harmonious relationship.
This can be a fun exercise, and the more you learn about personality types, the easier it will be to identify the best way to get through to people. Best of all, you won’t need to change anything about yourself. It’s all about using your natural skills for observing others and using their personality traits to improve interactions.
2. This may seem counter-intuitive, but attempt to be less clingy in relationships.
Severely introverted types who spend a lot of time alone also love having a few close, intimate relationships. The INTJ, especially, enjoys having one or two people that they can really count on. These relationships can be familial, platonic or romantic in nature.
INTJs and other introverts can find themselves intensely clinging to a close relationship. Once a bond is forged, it is fiercely protected – after all, it’s so rare to find somebody that understands you. INTJs usually pride themselves on their cool detachment but will come to realize that they secretly need close relationships in their lives.
This is especially true for those who feel like they usually can’t find solid connections with other people. When a connection is made, they worry about losing it. That can lead to co-dependence or smothering behavior.
If you identify this in one of your relationships, step back and apply your usual logic and detachment to the situation. People are a part of your life because they want to be. Do not give them any reason to change this and they’ll stick around.
3. If you have trouble with networking, narrow your focus.
INTJs often experience difficulty meeting new people or interacting in a large group. Parties or networking events are a particular struggle, with the INTJ often left feeling like an outsider. You might wonder how you can ever learn to thrive in this kind of situation when it flies in the face of all your natural instincts.
The trick is to play to your strengths. Don’t expect yourself to wow the entire crowd with charisma and a compelling story. Leave that to the extroverts. Instead, choose one or two people to focus on. If you can identify a few people who you’d really like to speak with, based on common interests, put your focus on them. INTJs perform just fine in one-on-one conversations and will likely impress by speaking with passion and authority.
4. If something has captured your interest, stick with it.
INTJs are curious about the world, but also have a tendency to jump from one project to another. After becoming interested in a topic, they learn just enough to satisfy their inquisitiveness and then drop it for the next interesting thing.
If you’ve followed this pattern, you may have picked up a lot of surface-level knowledge about a variety of topics, but not much in-depth understanding about them. Essentially, this is the informational equivalent of being a jack of all trades but a master of none. Trust your instincts and understand why you were drawn to a project in the first place.
Many studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that the most successful businesses and entrepreneurs are those that stuck by an initial idea. It seems that long-term persistence is a better indicator of success than factors like intelligence or education (See our GRIT post about how to develop you persistence!). You can apply this to anything in your life, not just business—your relationships, hobbies, or fitness, for example.
5. Recognize your weaknesses, but don’t let anyone tell you to change yourself.
Every personality type has strengths and weaknesses, and it’s useful to understand these as a way to improve yourself. However, if you read a lot of material about the INTJ personality type, you’ll probably feel like there’s a lot of time spent telling INTJs to “fix” themselves, or mold themselves to better fit into society. This can seem harsh, and even impossible. We are who we are, after all.
A frequently-cited INTJ weakness is a lack of understanding of how they come across to others. Have you ever been told that you lack tact, or that you’re too blunt? If you’re an INTJ, you’ve probably heard something like that quite a few times. You don’t mean to hurt feelings, but it’s sometimes unavoidable.
You can use your judgement to decide when to lay out the truth and when to hold back. Do not feel like you should change your personality wholesale just because you’re more direct than other people, though. There are certain circumstances in which monitoring yourself and attempting to be more tactful and polite would be beneficial. Equally though, the people in your life will greatly appreciate – and benefit from – your direct, no-nonsense approach. As with all things, balance and moderation are key.
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