31 Realities of Life for an INTJ Woman

Long ago, in a former blog life, I blogged about life as an INTJ female. One of those posts was one of the most popular things I’ve ever written. It feels like a good time to share it with you again (or for the first time).

Remember, these are generalizations and Myers-Briggs can be a wonderful tool, but a poor master. (Scroll down for more resources if you’d like to find out more about Myers-Briggs)

INTJ woman
1. You feel like you’re surrounded by aliens when 2 or more people are crying.

2. You feel like an alien has hijacked your body when you cry.

3. Your brain won’t shut off, even when you’re tired. Especially when you’re tired.

elephant cartoon4. You’re frustrated when you know you’re riding the elephant while everyone else is blindly exploring only one part of the elephant. You’re probably saying something like, “It’s an ELEPHANT. And we can ride it. It’s awesome.” And other people are just not listening.

5. You struggle with Mom Guilt because of things like the fact that you don’t bathe your children as often as the ISTJ or ISFJ moms. You don’t see the point, and “helicopter parenting” makes you edgy, but the comparison still makes you slightly insecure.

6. You’re left out of invitations because people assume you won’t come.

7. You’ve never been spontaneous. Spontaneity in others is frightening.

8. Surprises are ALWAYS bad.

thinking in my head9. You write lists when you should be sleeping.

10. You are alternately amazed, amused, or annoyed by the extroverts you know.

11. If you’re around people, you’d generally rather be around typical men, or you’d at the very least prefer a mixed group of men and women. Because men usually don’t ask how you’re feeling and you’re not expected to care how they feel. And the conversation you prefer is about world events, politics, the finer points of theology, and not about feelings, emotions, or what someone did / said / wore.

12. You’ll know exactly what needs to be done, but people might not be listening to you.

13. People resent your accurate predictions.

raining books14. You have more books than shoes, jewelry, or Facebook friends.

15. Sarcasm is your native tongue and people you know are scared of ending up on the wrong side of your sarcasm.
hypothetical arguments
16. You could verbally annihilate a customer service rep or terrible waitress, but depending on the situation, you might not actually say the words out loud because despite your strong opinions, you’re not really comfortable with confrontation.

every conversation17. Every conversation you’ve had in a day lives on in your memory that night.

18. You will know exactly what you should have said months or even years after a conversation took place.

19. Poor logic by politicians, world leaders, celebrities, etc. will infuriate you. You might take it personally. “Do they think we’re all stupid?!”

loyalty is rare20. You are loyal to relationships even when the other person does not meet your definition of loyal in return. You find relationships are rewarding but also hard work. Unfortunately, you might assume a friendship is on the rocks when the other person doesn’t return a text or “like” a picture of your kid on Facebook, because, seriously, it takes like 5 seconds. If someone can’t give you 5 seconds, you are obviously pretty low on their priority list. (You believe it’s not about feelings, it’s about logic.)

21. The more people you interact with in a day, the more decompression time you will require in an evening.

22. You will never meet your own impossible standards.

approval not needed23. If you are criticized on a skill or talent before you feel confident in it, you may never try that skill again. And you may never forgive the criticizer, even if they thought they were helpfully offering “constructive criticism”.

24. If you’re criticized about something you consider yourself capable or gifted in, the only thing that will be damaged is your view of the criticizer. You weren’t seeking their validation and it therefore has little power over you.

25. You will waste hours – days even – of your life trying to control things outside your control.

26.You will resist change if you don’t see obvious benefits to the change. Change that makes sense is still difficult and you will wrestle with it until it becomes the “new normal.”

keep calm and stay aloof27. You will have to learn to embrace the labels bossy and aloof. You will joke about them, even though sometimes they bug you. (And you may have to explain far too often “I’m not [mad, angry, upset], that’s just my face.”)

28. You will expect your husband to read your mind and you will be frustrated when he can’t.

29. You’re not sure what people are talking about when they say things like, “Just be in the moment.” What moment? How do you forget everything else?

30. You will jealously guard your whimsical, creative side, and very few people may ever see that side of you, because you dread exposure or criticism more than you crave recognition or validation.

tried to be normal once31. You’ll meet other women who understand you, “get you,” and think you’re perfectly normal, but only on the Internet and they’ll all live far away from you. So fire up your internet surfing device of choice, because you’re going to spend a lot of time there.

Being a rare type can be fun. It can be frustrating. Being a non-F type as a woman can be isolating, but when you consider that there are a lot of “Non-F” types (INTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ, ESTJ, INTP…), maybe it isn’t really so unique as we sometimes think.

If you don’t know your type, or you’re unfamiliar with the concept, consider these quizzes: 16 Personalities / Human Metrics / The Myers & Briggs Foundation

Do you know your Myers-Briggs Type? What are the realities of your life?

31 realities of life intj woman
If you’d like to see more about being an INTJ, or Myers-Briggs in general, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to those topics:

Practical Personality Portfolio

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  1. This list is terrific! Thank you for putting into words what it is like to be an INTJ woman! I strongly relate to almost all of these with the exception of #15. I’m not sure if I know any INTJ women (I suspect one friend is), but several of my sons and my son-in-law do share this personality profile, which is kind of fun.

  2. Seriously spot on! Although I score 50/50 with an INTP, so take anything on the list that smacks of Type A and it’s softened by the “day-dreamy” side of the INTP.

  3. I thought I was wired so incredibly weird for so many years and almost wondered if there was something wrong with me. After discovering the MB test and the fact that I am a female INTJ, #31 is hilariously true. All are true though!

  4. As an INTJ woman, I feel like everyone teeters on at least one letter. For me, it’s p. Some days I am all about being certain, and my confidence in my statements is on point. Other days my confidence is wavering and I can’t be on time for shit and it seems as though I’ve slipped into perceiving rather than judging. I’ve noticed these moments happen whenever I have a loss of stability. Do you have similar moments? What letter is ready to kick your ass for a day by taking the lead, and if there is one, does anything trigger it for you?

  5. Caroline Turlington says

    I love this list – as an INTJ woman trying to make sense of this world it makes me feel ever so slightly “normal” if you know what I mean. I always wondered before I did the Myers Briggs test why I didn’t fit in! As a child number 23 baffled my ES mother! I think you are the only other female INTJ I’ve met!

  6. This is me haha, I found it so funny, thank you

  7. Czerwony Koteł says

    I can’t agree with 28. (maybe because I’m 21% extrovert), but the rest is great. Especially that about an elephant. Sometimes I really wanna cry in frustration because people get me wrong or don’t get me at all – which is worse one?
    At least, my brother in an INTP and we can talk with each other (although he pisses me off, ’cause he’s a bit emotional guy).
    Thanks for the list. Now I can show it to others :)

  8. Okay, this list is close-to-perfect, but am I the only one who feels that number eleven is rather sexist? Like, it was written for INTJ women to relate to, but then goes on to reduce conversations that take place between females to always being about “feeling, emotions, or what someone did/said/wore.” I’ve never unwillingly sat through such a conversation in my life, and very rarely do the women I associate with want to talk about these things. It’s a very generalized statement, that can be deeply offensive when one looks at the implication that women are too shallow to care or too stupid to understand such things as world politics and theology. Everything else was pretty spot-on though.

    • I wish women did not conform to the stereotypes, but often times they do. You could also say men want to talk about women/sports/cars or something equally stereotyped, and it wouldn’t be wrong in all cases. I will give the author the benefit of the doubt that she is not advancing the prejudice as much as she is speaking from experience. INTJ are known for appearing dogmatic even though they are actually open-minded and will change their view with new information (dominant intuitive perceivers).

      I have noticed the gossipy feeling-oriented talk happens when I am not around because I kill it pretty quickly. Most women stop trying to talk about stuff like that with me because I will say rational things and that often ruins it for them. This has not gone smoothly in my attempts to relate to other women, or SF types especially (one being my mother..).

      As a woman it is more taboo not to show interest in clothes, fashion, gossip, and traditionally feminine interests. I think that is what the author was aiming for, but wanted to make it more concrete as an example of the social isolation it creates.

      I relate to most of this list, and some of it I didn’t think about until I read it! Thank you for posting.

      • I would first like to say that my comment wasn’t meant as a personal attack on the author. I’ve simply made a habit of calling out sexist dialogue, even when unintentional, because continuing to restate these ideas is detrimental to young girls. By grouping women together, you send the message that those that don’t conform are strange or wrong.

        I understand what you’re saying though. I’ve never been particularly interested in traditionally feminine things either, and like I said- the rest of this list is perfect. But the idea that the typical male is interested in intellectual things and the typical female is not is very sexist.

        It’s fine to say that you generally get along better with men because they don’t ask about things like feelings. That is probably a true statement actually, considering how our society associates emotion with femininity and teaches boys that they can’t be feminine. I also understand the taboo aspect of not caring about clothes or romance– I’ve lived that.

        But the author isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples here. The article compares shallow women to deep men and holds both as a representative for their entire gender. I’m not shallow and neither are the women I associate with. It’s offensive to suggest such a thing, and maybe if we didn’t promote the idea that that’s just how girls are, then we wouldn’t have young girls(like the ones we used to be) who feel so out of place.

        • I did mention that these points are generalizations, specifically in point 11 I used the words “generally” and “typical”. I certainly don’t believe ALL women are a certain way or ALL men are another. That’s was one point to writing this post. ;)

          b is accurate when explaining that I was (perhaps poorly) trying to point to a concrete example of social isolation. I also appreciate b pointing out the difficulties in relating to SF types, because that has been a recurring issue.

          I suppose it would have been better to say that I don’t really want to be around groups of people talking about shallow things, of any type. (Can’t say I’d get very excited about some stereotypically “Male” discussions either. But there I go typecasting again.)

          Thanks for stopping by, everyone. My apologies if this post or an INTJ Female Christian viewpoint is not what you wanted to read. (Closing comments now, because I can’t monitor comments on such an old post indefinitely.)