Some INTJ’s have difficulty fitting into our society. Their problems are generally associated with not knowing (or caring) how they come across to others, with having unreasonable expectations for others’ behaviors, and with not putting forth effort to meet others’ emotional needs. These issues stem primarily from the common INTJ habit of using Extraverted Thinking to find fault externally, rather than internally, and therefore diminish the importance of the external world, and increase the importance of the INTJ’s own internal world. INTJ’s who recognize that their knowledge and understanding (and therefore general happiness and feeling of success) can be enriched by the synergy of other people’s knowledge and understanding will find that they can be committed to their rich internal worlds and still have satisfying relationships with others. In order to accomplish this, the INTJ needs to recognize the importance of extraversion, and develop their highest extraverted function, Extraverted Thinking.
An INTJ who uses Extraverted Thinking to find fault externally rather than internally may become so strongly opinionated that they form rigid and unreasonable expectations for others. Their hyper-vigilant judgments about the rationality and competence of others may be a very effective way of keeping themselves at an emotional distance from others. This will preserve the sanctity of the INTJ’s inner world of ideas, but will reduce a lot of valuable input, arrest the development of their social character, and stagnate the development of the INTJ’s rich structural framework of understanding. In extreme cases, the INTJ may find himself or herself quite along and lonely.
More commonly, an INTJ’s interpersonal problems will occur when they express their displeasure to those close to them in very biting and hurtful terms. Everyone needs emotional distance at one time or another and the INTJ wants more than most types.
Perhaps this is why INTJ’s are famous for their biting sarcasm. An INTJ’s internal world is extremely important to them. They may be protecting their internal world by using sarcasm to keep others at an emotional distance, or they may be sarcastic with others because they believe that they have the more evolved and logical understanding of the issue at hand, and seek to cut off the spurious input that they’re receiving. This is an important distinction to recognize. An INTJ who is seeking an emotional respite can find ways to be alone that don’t require injuring feelings and damaging relationships. When distance is required, the INTJ should just “leave”. If an explanation is necessary, an INTJ should use their Extraverted Thinking to explain their need rationally and objectively, rather than using Extraverted Thinking to insult the other person, and therefore prod them into leaving.
Take care to listen to someone’s idea entirely before you pass judgment on it. Ask questions if necessary. Do whatever it takes to make sure that you understand the idea. Try not to begin judging anything about the idea until you have understood it entirely.
Before you begin talking to another person, pause for a moment and look at that person. Take in that person’s attitude and feelings at that moment. Be aware of the person with whom you’re speaking.
If you become upset, walk away immediately. DO NOT express anger. When you get angry, you lose. After you have calmed down, apologize for leaving and continue with what you were doing.
Try to identify the personality type of everyone that you encounter frequently in your life. Remember that people with the Sensing preference need to be communicated with in a direct, concise manner. Speak plainly and simply with Sensors, giving “yes” or “no” answers.
Try to be on good terms with all people, even those that you consider beneath you. Try to understand that everybody has something to offer.
When you make judgments or decisions, try to be aware of your motivation for making the judgment. Are you more interested in finding fault externally, or in improving your own understanding? Seek first to understand, and then to judge.