"INTJ" Themes and Relationships

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    INTJ - Conceptualizer Director
Temperament:   Theorist (NT)
Interaction Style*:    Chart-the-Course
Likely Social Style: Analytic

How to use this Personality Type Description

INTJ Snapshot

  • Theme is strategizing, envisioning, and masterminding.
  • Talents lie in defining goals, creating detailed plans, and outlining contingencies.
  • Devise strategy, give structure, establish complex plans to reach distant goals dictated by a strong vision of what is needed in the long run.
  • Thrive on putting theories to work and are open to any and all ideas that can be integrated into the complex systems they seek to understand.
  • Drive themselves hard to master what is needed to make progress toward goals.

Themes and Relationships
for each Personality Type
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**


INTJ Theme

For Conceptualizer Directors, life is a process of maximizing achievement—not just accomplishments— but achievements that reflect penetrating thought and insightful integration of all they’ve learned. And they can never learn enough. A constant drive for selfmastery is what keeps them focused on achievement, whether masterminding a project or venture or developing their social or physical skills. They enjoy mastering anything that attracts—the more challenging, the better.

Their thought processes tend to be integrative, analytical, and often complex. It is as if they see a map of a domain by analyzing what is really there and then build a vision of where to go that no one has ever thought of yet. Then the long-range strategizing just happens. This internal map keeps the vision in focus, and they just know the action steps that need to be planned for and taken. Sometimes they dress the plan up with logic because all others see is the plan, not the underlying concepts behind it.

Systems thinking comes naturally to them as they quickly grasp the interrelatedness of everything in their universe. They have a talent for seeing the reasons behind things. People often don’t appreciate the complexity of thought behind what is a deceptively simple strategy that keeps them and their endeavors on the leading edge.

It is important for them to maintain independence, to be an independent thinker. In the interpersonal realm, this can become a problem as people misread the independence and masterminding for arrogance rather than an inner desire to find useful solutions that will help people in the long run. They know how important it is to get to where they (we) are going and must hold fast to the vision even if others don’t see it. Realizing progress toward goals is necessary for their survival. When progress is not being made, life is dull and draining. Yet progress often feels illusive, since it may be outside their control. In response, they develop strategies like recruiting others who share their vision.

Interacting with others is perhaps their biggest challenge as they apply their strategic thinking to the social arena. Finding ways to be spontaneously genuine requires them to set aside strategy and independence, which is sometimes more difficult than mastering social skills.

INTJ Relationships

For Conceptualizer Directors, relationships are about progress and should serve a positive purpose. Even occasional growth will be enough to continue a relationship, but if there is no improvement they will give up because there is apparently no point. They will want to learn from the experience and then go on. They enjoy collegial relationships with others who stimulate their thinking. They can be either stubborn about their own point of view or in a state of complete doubt about what’s going on. They are often oblivious to the effect of their responses on others and can be defensive if feeling questioned. They tend to be absorbed in work yet enjoy time with people, but they tend to see purely social time as wasteful. They can instantly latch onto someone they have a strong intuition about and will feel very loyal to that person, staying for the long haul. Staying means the relationship is not a waste of time; it fits in the larger scheme of life.

In their close relationships, they want an ultimate connective experience. They are very private, showing affection only to those close to them. They don’t like the feeling of being indecisive and kept up in the air emotionally. Because communicating emotions feels embarrassing, they want some structured way to interact and communicate, to leave no room for uncertainty. This can make them look more traditional than they really are.

This concludes "Themes and Relationships for INTJ,"
A Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type