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The Mastermind (INTJ) Personality Type (Characteristics and Traits)

INTJ personality type

The INTJ personality type, also known as the Mastermind, refers to people who are Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging (INTJ). Individuals with this personality type have an analytical, innovative mindset that’s rooted in logic.

The INTJ personality is characterized by four dominant attitudes, first identified by psychologist Carl Jung and used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to describe the sixteen common personality types.

  • Introversion (versus Extraversion): Jung described introverts as people who are “characterized by orientation in life through subjective psychic contents”. This means INTJs focus more on their inner thoughts than what goes on around them.
  • iNtuition (versus Sensing): Intuition helps those with an INTJ personality form their thoughts and opinions based on perceived patterns rather than observations drawn from the five senses.
  • Thinking (versus Feeling): INTJ personalities use logic and impartial thinking rather than feelings to arrive at their conclusions.
  • Judging (versus Perceiving): People with an INTJ personality judge the information at hand to arrive at a fixed final verdict. They prefer not to leave things open-ended, the way people who prefer perception over judgment do.

INTJ personalities are often called the “Mastermind” because of their propensity for analysis and innovation. The “Architect” is a common archetype used to describe INTJs. An easy way to understand the INTJ personality is to consider the characteristics of a good architect, such as methodical planning and overcoming design challenges through innovation. INTJs approach life with the same penchant for analysis, thorough planning, and creativity.

INTJs possess three discernible characteristics. Firstly, INTJ personalities are focused inward, quietly immersing themselves in the study of the world around them. Secondly, INTJs prefer to think strategically, in concepts and ideas, often focusing on the big picture rather than minute details. Thirdly, INTJs will always defer to logic to problem solve.

INTJ personalities’ main strength is their passion for learning how various processes around them work. The deep knowledge they accumulate over time allows them to think strategically and come up with innovative ways to solve problems. At the same time, INTJs’ awareness of their own intellectual capacity is their Achilles’ heel, and can lead them to develop a superiority complex. This feeling of preeminence may cause Masterminds to act in a patronizing manner that alienates others.

Since the INTJ thrives on problem-solving, typical INTJ careers include professions in the legal, financial, scientific, engineering, administrative, and editorial fields.

Male Masterminds are slightly more common than female Masterminds. INTJs’ tendency to detach from emotions and focus solely on logic associates the INTJ personality with traditional masculine gender roles. 

What does INTJ stand for?

INTJ stands for Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, and Judging. These are four out of eight possible Jungian personality traits, which exist in opposition to one another. Introversion is the opposite of Extraversion; iNtuition of Sensing; Thinking of Feeling; and Judging of Perceiving.

The unique combination of INTJ’s dominant characteristics yields the Mastermind personality archetype. INTJs keep to themselves, think strategically, rely on logic, and are seen as rational rather than emotional.

What are the INTJ traits?

Below are the three INTJ traits that define Mastermind personality types.

  • Reserve: INTJs prefer their own company to socializing. However, INTJs maintain a small circle of close friends with whom they share a close bond, and to whom they are deeply loyal.
  • Thirst for knowledge: INTJs want to learn how the world functions and why it works the way it does. INTJs’ desire to learn often supersedes their drive to achieve financial security, social acceptance, and a stable family life.
  • Rationality: INTJs don’t feel comfortable with their own emotions or those of other people and opt to think rationally in any situation. Because of this tendency to dismiss emotions, INTJs may be perceived as cold and detached.
  • Industrious: INTJs use their intelligence to keep themselves actively working towards long-term goals.

What are the INTJ strengths?

Below are the five INTJ strengths that are commonly associated with the Mastermind personality.

  • Passion for learning: INTJs enjoy learning how things work and accumulate a large database of knowledge on subjects that interest them.
  • Strategic thinking: Instead of focusing on minutia, INTJs see the “big picture,” and this enables them to make strategic decisions with long-term consequences.
  • Originality: INTJ personalities like to think conceptually, which allows them to find innovative solutions to problems at hand.
  • Rationality: People with an INTJ personality let logic guide their decision-making process.
  • Independence: INTJ personalities equate conformance with underachievement and thrive on using their creativity to forge their unique path.

What are the INTJ weaknesses?

Below are the five INTJ weaknesses that Masterminds are known for.

  • Arrogance: INTJ personalities are acutely aware of their intellectual prowess, and this awareness often borders on superiority. Others perceive this superiority as condescension.
  • Aloofness: INTJs’ obsession with logic causes them to be detached from emotions and lack empathy.
  • Perfectionism: INTJ personalities approach each task with precision, but this thoroughness often evolves into perfectionism. INTJs respond to this trait by setting impossible standards for themselves and others.
  • Pugnacity: People with an INTJ personality cherish their independence to a point of being combative with anyone who may impose restrictions on them, like authority figures.
  • Social ignorance: INTJ personalities lack emotional intelligence, which makes it hard for them to nurture effective personal relationships.

What are the career paths for INTJ?

Ideal career paths for INTJs utilize creativity and logical reasoning to solve intriguing problems. Below are four jobs compliment INTJs’ character traits.

  • Attorney: Legal professionals make their living by finding creative solutions within a set of constrained parameters. These functions are the essence of the Mastermind’s mindset.
  • Civil Engineer: Like INTJs, Civil Engineers are masterminds. Their job requires them to possess a gargantuan stock of knowledge, while creative thinking helps them overcome complex design challenges. These skills are hard-wired into the INTJ personality; even INTJs’ perfectionism (normally a weakness) is a plus in civil engineering.
  • Economist: Seeing the big picture and drawing on extensive knowledge to predict a logical outcome is an economist’s primary skill set. INTJs have these traits entrenched in their personalities.
  • Editor: INTJs thrive in an editorial role, where their creativity, precision, and knowledge on a wide array of topics is pushed to the limit.

The above list is not exhaustive, you can find more careers compatible with your MBTI type with the career personality profiler.

How does an INTJ prepare for a job interview?

To prepare for an interview, an INTJ should follow five basic steps.

  1. Learn as much as possible: INTJs are lifelong learners and should use their drive to learn about the role for which they are applying.
  2. Reflect on past experiences: INTJs are observant and maintain excellent memories. Masterminds should prepare examples of their experience, focusing on hard and soft skills that align with the potential job.
  3. Think strategically: INTJs have a keen ability to anticipate other peoples’ behavior. Masterminds can prepare answers to possible questions by using their observational skills.
  4. Practice conversation topics: INTJs have a natural drive and intellectualism that other people perceive as unfriendly. Masterminds should practice conversation topics to appear less stoic.
  5. Prepare Questions: INTJs’ intellectualism and confidence will aid them in asking the interviewer some of their own questions. Masterminds should pose their own questions to show the interviewer that they are earger to learn more about the company.

Are INTJs good employees?

Yes, INTJs make good employees in roles that require hard work. Given room for creativity, a good deal of independence, and intriguing problems to solve, INTJs will excel at their jobs. INTJs flourish in roles that challenge them and will rebel in an environment that micromanages them. Masterminds are perfectionists that are able to ignore their emotions until they can accomplish a task which makes them highly productive workers.

What career paths should INTJs avoid?

The four career paths below are examples of jobs INTJs should avoid.

  • Sales Person: INTJs lack the ability to nurture interpersonal relationships, which is a critical skill for any sales person.
  • Social Worker: INTJs aren’t compassionate enough to be effective social workers.
  • Hospitality Careers: With no room for creativity or problem solving, plenty of micromanagement, and lots of interpersonal communication, an INTJ won’t thrive in the hospitality sector.
  • Receptionist: Receptionists must speak with people all day long, and sound pleasant and accommodating while doing so. INTJs’ introversion and lack of social skills makes them ill-suited for such a role.

What are the statistics for INTJ personality types?

Statistics for INTJ personality types suggest that The Mastermind is uncommon at 4.8% of the population. With that statistic in mind, we can assume that there are around 380 million people with the INTJ personality worldwide.

INTJ personalities are creative and analytical, so you’ll find most people with INTJ personalities in arts, sciences, and business. Because of their inward-focused, independent nature, you’ll seldom see INTJs in service-oriented roles. While INTJ’s characteristics are predominantly masculine, the split between male and female INTJs is 5.1% and 4.8% respectively. Regardless of gender, The Mastermind stands out with 10 strange INTJ personality traits and habits.

Who are the INTJ celebrities?

INTJ celebrities are famous Strategists and Masterminds including politicians, athletes, scientists, entertainers, and authors. Below are examples of INTJ celebrities.

  • Vladimir Lenin (former Premier of the Soviet Union)
  • Augustus Caesar (former Roman emperor)
  • Lance Armstrong (American former professional road racing cyclist)
  • Bill Belichick (General Manager of the New England Patriots)
  • Nikola Tesla (inventor)
  • Isaac Newton (English mathematician)
  • Stephen Hawking (English theoretical physicist)

There are many more famous INTJ people, who exhibit the same brilliance as the above list.

What are some INTJ quotes?

Below are five INTJ quotes that best capture the profound vision and vivid imagination of the Mastermind personality type.

  • “My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success.” — Isaac Newton
  • “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” – Nikola Tesla
  • “A boo is a lot louder than a cheer.” – Lance Armstrong
  • “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” – Stephen Hawking
  • “Practice, the master of all things.” – Augustus Caesar

What are the INTJ subtypes?

The two INTJ subtypes are INTJ Assertive (INTJ-A) and INTJ Turbulent (INTJ-T). Both INTJ subtypes possess the four fundamental personality traits of Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging. However, each subtype handles challenges and communication differently.

INTJ-A (Assertive)

The Assertive INTJ is a highly confident but unapproachable recluse. INTJ-As’ introversion and self-assurance are so extreme that INTJ-As have little desire to communicate with anybody, unless it’s to assert their opinion in a debate. These qualities set them apart from other INTJs, who are more willing to consider the opinions of people around them. INTJ-As have a high level of confidence in their abilities and subsequently deal well with stress. INTJ-As believe they’re always right, so they feel no need to worry as challenges arise. However, INTJ-A’s extreme confidence in their intellect is also their weakness, and they have no interest in self-improvement or learning from their mistakes.

INTJ-T (Turbulent)

The Turbulent INTJ is the forthcoming Mastermind, and one who’s aware of their failures. INTJ-Ts have an ability to spot their mistakes, which sets them apart from INTJ-As. INTJ-Ts have a more open mind, accept suggestions from others, and resolve complex issues more effectively than INTJ-As. However, with the ability to see their flaws, Turbulent Masterminds are more prone to self-criticism and don’t handle stress as well as INTJ-As.

What are the interactions between INTJ personality type and others?

INTJ typically has positive interactions with other personality types, but this is especially true with like-minded people. Although INTJs are introverts, they do enjoy a stimulating discussion, as it gives them an opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions.

INTJs are natural leaders as seen in their aptitude for innovation, strategic thinking, and an unwavering vision. INTJs are often found in senior leadership positions in business, like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. Masterminds also often hold political office; at least 7 US presidents were INTJs.

The INTJ type seldom seeks out social interactions or new friendships. However, they do make friends with individuals they can trust and cherish these relationships deeply. INTJ people have fun participating in solitary activities. INTJs’ favorite pastimes include reading, playing music, and playing intellectual games, like chess. They also enjoy physical activities, like martial arts, and doing things around the house, such as gardening and organizing.

INTJs have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for research, so they make excellent students. As with most activities in which they engage, INTJs prefer to study alone. At work, INTJs thrive in an efficient, well-organized environment. They work best with colleagues who are intelligent and competent at their jobs.

How to communicate with an INTJ personality person?

Here are five strategies that will help you communicate with an INTJ personality person.

  • Arrive at your point quickly: People with an INTJ personality type do not like small talk, nor are they interested in having a personal relationship with you. Get to your point as soon as you can without wasting time on chit-chat.
  • Present the big picture: INTJs don’t like to concern themselves with little details, so presenting your information from an overall perspective is the most effective way of engaging an INTJ.
  • Detach from emotion: INTJs are irritated by emotional people, mostly because emotions often stand in the way of logic. Present your ideas logically and the INTJ will listen.
  • Expect criticism: INTJs have unshakable opinions about many things, and they’re happy to express them. So, whatever it is you say to them, may be met with criticism on the spot.
  • Ask for an opinion: INTJs enjoy sharing their insights, so asking them for an opinion is a good way to stimulate the INTJ and engage them in conversation.

How does an INTJ behave in a relationship?

In a relationship, an INTJ behaves the same way they work and study, by conducting meticulous research and having high expectations. In a relationship, INTJ people like to retain their independence to a large degree, although they stay deeply loyal to their partner. Masterminds like to support their partners’ success and intellectual development, but they seldom express their affection in a romantic way. This dichotomy often makes it difficult for a person to understand their INTJ partner. In conflict, INTJs defer to logic, which isn’t a suitable response because the partner is charged with emotion.

“With practice, INTJs become skilled at nodding and making responsive noises at appropriate times, while internally wondering whether dolphins have language or thinking about how Star Wars breaks the laws of physics.” — Anna Moss, author of The Secret Lives of INTJs

How is the INTJ personality in parenthood?

In parenthood, people with an INTJ personality make supportive parents. INTJs focus on developing intelligent, independent, and capable children. Although INTJs set limits on their children’s behavior, they stay flexible and encourage the kids to explore the world, try different things, and ultimately find their own path.

“I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you are perceiving it as though it really existed.”— Christopher Nolan

How productive are INTJ business people?

INTJ business people are highly productive and value being their own boss. Look no further than billionaire entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg for an example of an incredibly successful INTJ. As employees, however, INTJs’ keen sense of independence often stands in their way of pursuing company objectives and following policy guidelines. For this reason, INTJs excel more in business by working for themselves.

“I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.” — Elon Musk

How efficient are INTJ science people?

INTJ science people are highly efficient because they are great theoretical thinkers who rely on logic and possess an analytical mindset. Some of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries, such as gravity, evolution, and Alternating Current (AC) electricity come from INTJ scientists. However, INTJ science people are often dismissive of criticism and seldom acknowledge their failings, or the superior achievements of scientific rivals.

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” — Nikola Tesla

How are the genders of INTJ personality?

The male and female genders of the INTJ personality have some differences in how others perceive them. Male and female INTJs share the Mastermind’s fundamental personality traits. However, the INTJ personality type is more aligned with traditional male gender roles. So, while male INJs are seen as assertive, reserved, and powerful, their female counterparts are often perceived as domineering, cold, and masculine. In relationships, both male and female INTJs are fiercely independent. However, female INTJs are more likely to embrace a more traditional role of a nurturing, loving partner, mostly because that’s what society expects of them. In business, both male and female INTJs are highly successful working for themselves. Meanwhile, in science, female INTJs are underrepresented while male INTJs have a heavy presence. This distinction likely stems from the fact that traditionally, science is a male-dominated field.

How is the INTJ female personality?

The INTJ female personality is uncommon, with 4.8% of women fitting The Mastermind archetype. INTJ women are independent, creative, analytical, and happy being in their own company. Unfortunately, female INTJs often struggle with their introversion, mostly because our patriarchal society generally doesn’t view introversion as a positive personality trait for women. While introverted men are perceived as “strong and silent,” their female counterparts are seen as shy and reclusive. INTJ women often feel like outcasts because of this double standard. Despite these challenges, female INTJs are generally successful in their careers, and are heavily represented in business, politics, literature, and the arts.

How is the INTJ male personality?

The INTJ male personality is uncommon overall, but INTJ men are more prevalent than women Masterminds at 5.1% of the male population. INTJ men are assertive, self-confident, deeply intelligent, and enjoy being on their own. The INTJ personality type is closely aligned with the expectations our patriarchal society has for men, so INTJ men are generally viewed in a positive light. INTJ men find success in a multitude of fields that interests them, with heavy representation in politics, philosophy, and science.

What are the strongest signals that someone is an INTJ?

Below are the five strongest signals that someone is an INTJ.

  • INTJs are direct. INTJs don’t have time for niceties; they’ll speak their mind without worrying that their words may offend.
  • INTJs leave emotion at the door. INTJ people feel that emotions detract from sound logical reasoning. As such, INTJs seldom fall for sob stories; nor do they outwardly express their feelings.
  • INTJs don’t ask for your opinion. During a discussion, INTJs are quick to offer their opinion, but seldom want to hear yours. They know that they’re always right.
  • INTJs are highly knowledgeable on an array of subjects. Their depth of knowledge can make INTJ people seem pedantic.
  • INTJs don’t seek out personal relationships. INTJs have a very tight-knit circle of close friends. While they cherish their friendships, they make no effort to seek out new personal relationships.

How to understand whether you are an INTJ or not?

To understand whether you are an INTJ or not, see if you agree with the five statements below.

  • Do you care what others think of you? INTJs have little regard for the opinions of other people. They’re also highly independent, and pride themselves on their self-reliance. If you don’t care what others think of you, that’s one signal that you’re an INTJ.
  • Is achievement important for you? INTJ people value personal achievement. If you prioritize your career or academic goals over family, relationships, and financial well-being, it’s a signal that you’re an INTJ.
  • Should emotions play a role in making decisions? If you feel that emotions have no place in decision-making, it’s a sign that you’re an INTJ.
  • Do you prefer to work in groups or alone? INTJs love to work alone. If you would rather complete a task on your own rather than as part of a team, it’s a sign that you may be an INTJ.
  • Are you concerned more with the present or the future? If you always think in the long-term, it’s a valid sign that you’re an INTJ.

If you are still unsure whether you are a Mastermind, try a personality type test.

How to classify personality types for INTJ communication?

To classify personality types for INTJ communication, you can break them into four fundamental classes.

  • Kindred personalities: These personalities are best-suited for communicating with INTJs because they have a similar world view and share the same interests and values. These personality types may still fail to form a meaningful personal relationship with an INTJ, but if anyone will, it’ll probably be them.
  • Friendly personalities: These personality types may not intrigue the INTJ immediately, but are bound to do so with time. As they get to know each other, these personalities may find that they complement each other and help each other grow.
  • Challenging personalities: People with these personality types have wildly different world views, values, and interests than INTJs. Because of these differences, conflict is almost inevitable between INTJs and these personality types. At the same time, Challenging Opposites present an excellent learning opportunity for INTJs, and vice versa.
  • Different personalities: People with these personality types have different views than an INTJ, but the INTJ will typically find them interesting to communicate with. Despite their differences, INTJs share a key fundamental trait with these personality types — intuition.

What are the main similarities between other personality types and INTJs?

There are three main similarities between other personality types and INTJs. Firstly, like INTJs, ISTJ and ENTP personality types prefer logical thought to emotional decision-making. Secondly, INTJs’ independence is a common trait for other introverted intuitive types, including INFJs and INFPs. Thirdly, INTJs’ reserve is a shared characteristic for all introverted MBTI personality types.

What are the kindred personality types for INTJ?

Below are the four kindred personality types for INTJs.

  • ISTJ: ISTJs are kindred personalities for INTJs because they’re also reserved, logical, and lead structured lives. Their main difference is that ISTJs prefer to focus on facts and details while INTJs like to theorize.
  • INTP: INTPs are kindred personalities for INTJs because they also prefer solitude, think intuitively, and rely on logic in decision-making. Their main difference is that INTPs are less structured than INTJs and prefer to leave things open-ended.
  • ENTJ: ENTJs are kindred personalities for INTJs because they are equally rational, strategic, and structured in their thinking. Their main difference is that ENTJs are highly sociable whereas INTJs like to keep to themselves.
  • INTJ: INTJs are their own kindred personalities because they have common ground on all aspects of existence. The main difference between INTJs is only discernible through analyzation the INTJ subtypes.

What are the most friendly personality types to INTJ?

Below are the four most friendly personality types to INTJs.

  • ISTP: ISTPs are the most friendly personality type to INTJs because they share a tendency to think rationally and dislike emotional outbursts. Their main difference is that ISTPs are free-spirited doers while INTJs are structured visionaries.
  • ESTP: ESTPs are the most friendly personality type to INTJs because they are also rational thinkers. Their main difference is that ESTPs are outgoing and spontaneous whereas INTJs are reserved and organized.
  • ESTJ: ESTJs are the most friendly personality types to INTJs because they also prefer logical thought and thorough planning. Their main difference is that ESTJs are detail-oriented, whereas INTJs prefer to gloss over the minor details in favor of the big picture.
  • ENFP: INFPs are the most friendly personality types to INTJs because their imaginations are as vivid as a Mastermind’s. Their main difference is that ENFPs think with their hearts while INTJs think with their heads.

What are the main differences between other personality types and INTJs?

There are three main differences between other personality types and INTJs. Firstly, ESFPs are the most affable personality type on the MBTI spectrum, which makes them a polar opposite of INTJs’ style of communication and social behavior. Secondly, ESFJs are wildly different from INTJs because they’re highly sentimental and very sociable. Thirdly, ISFJs are vastly different from INTJs because they’re detail-oriented, whereas INTJs prefer to see the big picture rather than nuances.

What are the opposite personality types to INTJ?

Below are the four opposite personality types of INTJs.

  • ISFP: ISFPs are opposite personality types to INTJs because they’re practical feelers while INTJs are theoretical logisticians. Their main difference is that ISFPs use a system of beliefs to arrive at conclusions, while INTJs defer to rational thought.
  • ESFP: ESFPs are opposite personality types to INTJs because they are outgoing and spontaneous whereas INTJs are detached and predictable. Their main difference is that ESFPs love to socialize and engage large crowds of people while INTJs prefer their own company.
  • ISFJ: ISFJs are opposite personality types to INTJs because they are attuned to people’s emotions while INTJs aren’t interested in others’ feelings. Their main difference is that ISFJs make decisions based on their values while INTJs rely on logic.
  • ESFJ: ESFJs are opposite personality types to INTJs because they are sociable, sensory, and emotional, while INTJs are reclusive, imaginative, and rational. Their main difference is that ESFJs care about the needs of others while INTJs generally don’t.

What are the most different personality types for INTJ?

Below are the four most different personality types from INTJs.

  • INFP: INFPs are different personality types from INTJs because they’re emotional whereas INTJs are more rational. Their main difference is that INFPs follow their feelings whereas INTJs reject feelings in favor of logic.
  • INFJ: INFJs are different personality types from INTJs because they’re aware of others’ feelings, while INTJs are usually not. Their main difference is that INFJs are deeply interested in humans while INTJs have a greater interest in the physical and inorganic world.
  • ENTP: ENTPs are different personality types from INTJs because they’re impulsive while INTJs are deliberate. Their main difference is that ENTPs often behave in unpredictable ways, whereas INTJs prefer a routine.
  • ENFJ: ENFJs are different personality types from INTJs because they are gregarious while INTJs are more solitary. Their main difference is that ENFJs like to organize events with other people while INTJs try to minimize their contact with others.