The INTJ

We have just looked at the dominant forces of our society and have seen that state and church are giving way to science, technology, psychology and entertainment. We have also examined three of the four iNtuitive, Introverted MBTI types. I suggest that these two topics are related. In fact, I suggest that each of the four candidates for replacing state and church has transformed one of the four iNtuitive Introverted MBTI categories.
We have already noticed that the INTP naturally gravitates toward science. In other words, the discovery of science has opened up a new world for the INTP. Before, all he could do was study books and use Perceiver logic to analyze their contents—as in the scholasticism of the Middle Ages. Science allows him to go beyond the bookworm stage. It shows him that the entire external world is ‘written’ with iNtuitive sentences, and that he can use internal Thinking to ‘read’ this ‘book’ of Nature.
The INFJ has gone through a similar transformation. Initially, his only option was philosophy—building theories out of semi-deluded self-analysis. But, psychology has allowed him to escape from his self-constructed prison by showing him that he can extend his analysis to other people. Instead of abandoning self to the introspection of navel-gazing, he can broaden his horizons by studying the behavior of society.
With this in mind, let us turn to the INTJ—the fourth iNtuitive Introverted MBTI type.[404] I suggest that the transformation of his thinking is especially significant because it has happened in our lifetime. We will begin by describing the natural INTJ, and then show how technology has given him a new lease on life.
As usual we will start with the auxiliary or mental assumption, which in this case is Extraverted Thinking. Remember that the MBTI categories, according to MBTI theory, are all ‘either-or’—a person uses either one mode or another, but not both. Thus, the INTJ uses Thinking with the external world and suppresses external Feeling. In other words, he approaches his external environment objectively and ignores all subjective emotional Mercy experiences.
Obviously, such a person is not swayed by emotional status. Most people accept the opinions and pronouncements of established authorities. The INTJ does not. He tries to look beyond the ‘experts’ and discover the real facts. He uses logic to evaluate his beliefs, thank you very much.
This viewpoint gives the INTJ an unusual view of reality. Unlike others, he does not fixate upon specific Mercy experiences. As far he is concerned, what really matters is the Perceiver facts that lie behind those experiences. One positive result is external flexibility. He knows that the situations of life can change, and he is equipped to adapt when they do.
Unfortunately, this seemingly ‘rational’ approach of the typical INTJ is full of hypocrisy. This is because, like Spock of Star Trek, the logical INTJ has a ‘human mother.’ Remember that Mercy strategy is the first to develop in a child. All other mental programming grows from this emotional core. Because the INTJ was also a young child at one time, this emotional foundation lives in him as well. Therefore, when the INTJ suppresses external Feeling and focuses upon external Thinking, he is showing others the logical periphery of his mind while at the same time pretending that the emotional core does not exist.
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How can one know that this emotional foundation is there? Because the INTJ is a private person who is easily hurt. If he had no subjective emotional core, then he would not need to keep his personal life hidden. But, he is very sensitive to rejection from those with whom he has emotional ties. This shows that his mind really is integrated around personal feelings.
I speak here from personal experience, for, as far as I can tell, I began life as an INTJ. In fact, I suggest that most INTJs are either Perceiver or Contributor persons. Why? Because these two styles both have conscious access to Perceiver thought and they can both see how vulnerable Perceiver confidence is to Mercy pressure. Thus, it is natural for these two styles to emphasize what is conscious, and then defend it by suppressing subjective feeling.
So, am I a typical INTJ hypocrite? Not any more. For years I have struggled to escape from the emotional suppression practiced by the INTJ by integrating facts with feeling. To the extent that I have succeeded in bridging T/F through personal transformation, to that extent I have emerged from the fundamental hypocrisy of the INTJ.[405]
Moving further, hidden within the T/F separation of the typical INTJ is a P/J split. This is because the mental operation of the INTJ depends upon the subjective core that he suppresses. Remember that Perceiver facts cannot ever exist as independent entities. Rather, they are connections between Mercy memories. Facts are gathered as Perceiver strategy looks through its ‘window’ into Mercy thought and notices similarities and differences in the ever-flowing stream of Mercy experiences.[406] But what determines which experiences flow by Perceiver thought? Exhorter strategy. Exhorter mode is naturally attracted to experiences with strong emotions. These fill Mercy thought and are then categorized by Perceiver thinking.
Therefore, the attention of the INTJ is driven by the very subjective core that he is suppressing. Subconsciously, in Mercy and Exhorter thought, his mind is continually being attracted to emotional situations in his environment. The INTJ responds by suppressing the feelings and working out the facts. In order to Judge the external world, his mind must always contain a subconscious, suppressed fragment which operates in MBTI Perceiving.
Others sense this emotional suppression as a sort of generalized condemnation. Let me explain. When the INTJ uses Perceiver strategy to learn facts about people, he is constructing mental ‘self-images’ about them.[407] What type of self-image does the INTJ impose upon others? One which despises personal feelings and which rejects those who express themselves emotionally.
Perceiver facts, by their very nature, apply equally to all Mercy situations. Therefore, this same self-image will be imposed upon the subjective identity of the INTJ himself—a self-image which suppresses external Feeling. Therefore, deep down, the INTJ will know that he has no right to exist in the external world as a person. Notice exactly what is being suppressed. Not the internal feelings of the INTJ. These continue to exist in privacy. Rather, it is his external existence as a living, breathing, feeling person that is being mentally condemned. The INTJ thinks that he will never lead a normal life.
Obviously, no one can live with such a conclusion. But, this is what logic states, and the INTJ assumes that logic applies. Therefore the nagging doubt always remains—I am not a person; I will never have a ‘normal life.’ This fatalism can affect the relationship of the INTJ with members of the opposite sex. On the one hand, he finds it difficult to interact emotionally with others. On the other hand, his self-image predicts that he will never be able to interact emotionally with others. One can see why the INTJ is so sensitive to personal rejection from friends.
Let us turn our attention now to the dominant mode of Introverted iNtuition. What does the INTJ do with the collection of Perceiver facts provided by Extraverted Thinking? He builds an internal world of possibilities, free of any emotional attachment to external idols. This happens in both Mercy and Teacher thought. On the one side, Perceiver facts re-link Mercy experiences and create internal images of what could be. What type of images? Ones that can be implemented in the real world, for these images were created by facts that were acquired through rational external observation. On the other side, whenever Teacher thought in the INTJ is faced with a pile of Perceiver bricks, it is emotionally motivated to build them into a general structure. These theories can usually be applied externally, because they are constructed out of mental bricks that came from the external world. And, because Perceiver strategy hates redundancy, these theories are usually free of repetition and overlap. Also, because of their basis in Perceiver analysis of rational external observation, there is a freedom from emotional idols.
While the INTJ appreciates logic, he lacks the motivation to restrict his thinking to the dry reasoning of higher math and formal logic often pursued by the INTP, who uses the same mental modes of N and T, but switches the dominant and auxiliary. The reason for this is interesting. The INTJ gains most of his facts by analyzing emotional situations from the external world. If he tried to focus upon internal rules of logic, he would have to use confidence to direct subconscious attention away from the external stream of emotional Mercy events.[408] This would be a losing battle, because emotionally driven Exhorter excitement will almost always win out eventually over Perceiver inhibition. However, if the INTJ can use internal iNtuition to build internal theories and visions, then this internally generated Teacher and Mercy feeling can pull the attention of subconscious Exhorter thought away from the stream of external Mercy input.
In fact, if these internally produced feelings are strong enough, then the internal world will become the main focus of subconscious Exhorter attention. As a result, the ideas of the INTJ often acquire a life of their own—Exhorter strategy finds internal emotion exciting, this drives his mind, he acquires more facts, these add to internal structure and create more excitement for Exhorter thought.
The INTJ may be good at building internal structure, but he has problems when it comes to implementation. On the one hand, he is motivated to apply his theories and visions. This is because they are constructed out of facts gleaned from the external world. Therefore, by applying the theory or vision, the INTJ would gain more external facts.
On the other hand, the ideas of the INTJ lack two critical components. First, they exclude human feelings. Thus, the INTJ finds it easiest to apply his ideas in areas of life which are objective. Second, they gloss over Server skills. The INTJ may know what is logical, but he has a much weaker grasp of what is doable.[409] Therefore, the ideas of the INTJ are usually applied to organizations and institutions, because these entities ignore personal feelings and they maintain a distinction between instructions and actions. Here, he can focus on words and know that actions, by others, will follow.
Let us look now at the way in which technology has transformed the INTJ. We will focus upon consumer electronics because these attract the attention of the INTJ most strongly. First, there is an external world full of Perceiver objects. Electronic stores are filled with ‘black boxes’ such as audio equipment, video gadgetry and high-tech computers. These devices are completely free of Mercy emotions and obey only Perceiver logic. This satisfies the INTJ’s auxiliary mode of Extraverted Thinking.
Second, consumer electronics provide a continuing stream of novel and improved devices. Almost every day, new gadgets appear which make old ones obsolete. Thus, not only is auxiliary Thinking satisfied, but there is enough externally generated novelty and excitement to keep subconscious Exhorter strategy fixated.
Third, there are iNtuitive possibilities. Electronic devices can be assembled to form systems. In other words, these Perceiver objects can be tied together to form both awe-inspiring examples of Teacher order-within-
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complexity and amazing exhibits of Mercy wonder. Simply imagining these possibilities is sufficient to quicken the heartbeat of the INTJ.
Fourth, there is a minimum of Server skills. Assembling electronic components does not require years of practice. A modicum of manual dexterity is sufficient. In fact, most electronic components fit together like building blocks. Thus, the INTJ finds that iNtuitive thought, apart from Sensing, is sufficient to allow him to enter the magical world of electronics.
Fifth, not only is iNtuition sufficient, but it is also necessary. With mechanical devices, you can observe gears turning and rods moving. When they need fixing, you can usually see where the problem is. This triggers Sensing. In contrast, electronic devices work invisibly. You cannot use Sensing either to observe or to understand them. Instead, you must use iNtuition to imagine how they do or do not work, based upon the few physical components that you can actually see, and the connections between them.
Finally, programmable electronics, such as computers, are actually controlled through iNtuition. Very little physical movement is required. Instead, you type in verbal instructions, or use the mouse to manipulate symbolic objects that can be seen on the screen.[410]
You can see why the INTJ turns easily into a techno-freak. Technology transforms his mode of thought and frees him from emotional contact with people. This does not mean that the INTJ avoids all individuals. He is always happy to interact with those who share his technical bias, because this interaction focuses upon facts and derives its emotional pleasure from technical possibility.

[404] We will discuss the INFP and entertainment immediately after this next section.
[405] Why do I include these personal details? Because, when the topic of study is the human mind, then rational thought cannot be assumed. It must be acquired.
[406] The first volume describes this relationship in detail.
[407] His mind is forming images about their selves.
[408] The Perceiver person finds this especially difficult because he has no conscious control over concentration. Like a rider trying to stay on a wild horse, he attempts to retain conscious control even as his mental attention is being dragged here and there by emotional pressure.
[409] Yes, yes. The same complaints could be made about the material in this book. But, when idolatry rules, then personal feelings cannot be trusted. And, when doing is no longer an option, then one has to follow logic regardless of doability. What other choice is there?
[410] This is like the distinction between talking and acting. Speech does involve some physical movement—you have to flap your lips and waggle your tongue. This is minimal, though, compared to normal action.