Living Happily in our World as an ISTJ

People of all personality types sometimes experience problems dealing with specific aspects of civilization and human interaction. For the ISTJ, problems are generally associated with being unable to tolerate behaviors that go outside perceived norms, and with not putting forth effort to meet others’ emotional needs. These problems stem from building up the importance of the ISTJ’s inner world and diminishing the importance of the external world. ISTJ’s who recognize that their knowledge and experience can be enriched by the synergy of other people’s knowledge and experience will find that they can be committed to their internal worlds and still have satisfying relationships with others. The key to accomplishing this is development of their highest extraverted function, Extraverted Thinking.


An ISTJ who uses Extraverted Thinking to find fault externally rather than internally may become so strongly opinionated that they form rigid and unreasonable expectations of 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 ISTJ’s inner world and lifestyle, but will reduce a lot of valuable input, arrest the development of their social character, and stagnate the development of the ISTJ’s rich store of experiential data. In extreme cases the ISTJ may find him or herself quite alone and lonely.


More commonly, the ISTJ will run into trouble when they try to order and structure the outer world, rather than their inner world. Trying to structure people into a predefined,



acceptable system is problematic. The personality types who value the unique individual will be offended by the apparent lack of respect for their person, and people with personality types who follow social values will want to be honoring their own system, rather then being forced to follow yours. Many people experience being controlled or manipulated as a form of suppression, and resist it. Eventually, they may harbor serious resentment against the suppressor.


Specific suggestions:

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 until you understand the details.


Try to identify the personality type of everyone you encounter frequently in your life. Remember that Intuitives often have a wandering style of expression. Try to exhibit tolerance for this.


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 are speaking.