Have an INTJ in your life who you can’t figure out? It’s okay. You’re not alone. Most likely they have needs and desires that confuse the heck out of you, so read on to discover what your INTJ needs most:
Autonomy. Leave them alone and let them do things the way they like when possible. They have a system in their minds for how things make sense and they’d appreciate the freedom to exercise autonomy in their environment, thinking, decision-making, and feelings. They’ll be stubborn and contrary if they don’t get this need met.
Independence. Don’t make them conform to group values/needs all the time. They have to do this at least part of the time in life (work, school, etc.) so don’t expect them to want to look to the group for cues on how to think, feel, or behave when they don’t absolutely have to. Understand that doing things their own way isn’t meant personally, it’s just how the Abstract, Utilitarian types are built.
Respect. This one goes without saying. To an INTJ, respect is love and you can’t have love without respect. They may not always be right but they put a lot of thought and earnestness into the decisions they do make, so don’t take their process or contributions lightly.
Space. Physical space, emotional space, mental space. They need the space to be themselves and explore their own ideas without having to serve, please, explain to, or be observed by other people. Don’t modify their space or things without asking. Don’t violate their personal space if you don’t have to.
Understanding. What looks like selfishness is really a preference for effectiveness, practicality, or direct goals rather than others’ values and feelings. If your INTJ is crossing a line, let them know. Give them a boundary or a structure and they’ll follow it if it makes sense. But don’t expect them to mind-read what you feel or value and act on that immediately. It is obliviousness on their part, not malice. Explain your needs and feelings to them. They get frustrated if they can’t follow your chain of reasoning.
Understanding in regards to how they use Fi. Introverted feeling values authenticity, and tertiary Fi is no exception. Personally, I use my values as a compass to evaluate external values, and I operate by the Golden Rule to a fault (do unto others what a tertiary-Fi using INTJ would value in that same situation). While the Platinum Rule might be better, I wouldn’t know how to act without running it through my own personal value system first. This may again lend itself to the appearance that INTJs are selfish. But one of my primary values is non-hypocrisy, which means I would never want to treat someone in a way I wouldn’t accept myself. Fairness and consistency are extremely important to me. INTJs are unlikely to want to step all over someone if they wouldn’t want it done to them. In a conflict, try to determine your INTJ’s Fi values and gently remind them that you have similar needs. It should be easier for them to understand if they’ve experienced it themselves.
Respect for their learning process. They need context, they need a systemic framework, they need structure, they need time to analyze. They can do poorly in environments where they are expected to act quickly and make lightning fast decisions, or are expected to know something without getting to understand how it fits into the whole. They’re better thinkers than action-oriented doers so give them the time to think and understand. Give them the whole, not just the parts.
Logical arguments. When you want to make a case for something, present it as a logical argument so they can follow your reasoning and evaluate, critique, or discuss. Don’t expect emotional appeals or outbursts to change their minds. Don’t say something absurd and expect them to go along with it if it doesn’t make sense. They appreciate and respect well-thought out reasoning even if they don’t end up coming to the same conclusions.
A plan. Don’t expect them to be adaptable and flexible because you can’t come up with a plan. Respect their time, respect their resources, and respect their need to know what’s coming beforehand.
Fairness. Make things fair. Apply rules consistently. Don’t favor one over another arbitrarily. Unfairness is rarely logical.
Coffee. Because coffee is awesome.
Of course, your individual INTJ may vary, and factors such as Enneagram type and so on will influence their particular flavor. However, this should give you a good idea of how to avoid or navigate conflicts with your INTJ! If you’re an INTJ and want to add your own needs and experiences, comment below!