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Relationships for INTJ Personality Types

By Brenda Ellis,

INTJs believe in constant growth in relationships, and strive for independence for themselves and their partners. They are constantly embarking on "fix-up" projects to improve the overall quality of their lives and relationships. They take their commitments seriously, but are open to redefining their vows, if they see something which may prove to be an improvement over the existing understanding. INTJs are not likely to be "touchy-feely" and overly affirming with their partners or children, and may at times be somewhat insensitive to their emotional needs. However, INTJs are in general extremely capable and intelligent individuals who strive to always be their best, and be moving in a positive direction. If they apply these basic goals to their personal relationships, they are likely to enjoy happy and healthy interaction with their families and friends.

INTJ strengths

Each type has traits and behaviors that can strengthen their relationships. Most INTJs will exhibit the following strengths with regards to relationship issues.

Not threatened by conflict or criticism Usually self-confident Take their relationships and commitments seriously Generally extremely intelligent and capable Able to leave a relationship which should be ended, although they may dwell on it in their minds for awhile afterwards Interested in "optimizing" their relationships Good listeners

INTJ weaknesses

The first step in overcoming our weaknesses is identifying them and recognizing them in our own behavior. Once we've done that, we begin to naturally correct our weaker behaviors in real-time. INTJs may recognize some or all of the following behaviors that can negatively impact the health of their relationships.

Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times May tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, rather than the desired emotional support Not naturally good at expressing feelings and affections Tendency to believe that they're always right Tendency to be unwilling or unable to accept blame Their constant quest to improve everything may be taxing on relationships Tend to hold back part of themselves May replace real-world relationships with imaginary ones

INTJs as lovers and partners

"To love means to open ourselves to the negative as well as the positive - to grief, sorrow, and disappointment as well as to joy, fulfillment, and an intensity of consciousness we did not know was possible before." —Rollo May

INTJs live much of their lives inside their own heads. They constantly scan their environment for new ideas and theories which they can turn into plans and structures. Sometimes, what they see and understand intuitively within themselves is more pure and "perfect" than the reality of a close personal relationship. If an INTJ cannot reconcile reality with their rich inner fantasies, they may rely more on imaginary relationships than their relationships in the real world.

The INTJ's excitement for thoughts and ideas extends into their relationships as well as other parts of life. They will feel most bonded with those who match them in intellectual curiousity and ability. Any long-lasting love relationships will start with a mind connection, and then graduate to the physical and emotional attachment.

INTJs are not naturally in tune with their own feelings, or with what other people are feeling. They also have a tendency to believe that they are always right. While their self-confidence and esteem is attractive, their lack of sensitivity to others can be a problem if it causes them to inadvertantly hurt their partner's feelings. If this is a problem for an INTJ, they should pay more attention to the emotional effect their words have on their partner, and remember to recognize that whether or not their partner is in the right, they deserve to be treated with respect in their intellectual AND emotional needs.

Sexually, the INTJ enjoys thinking about intimacy, and about ways to perfect it. In positive relationships, their creativity and intensity shine through in this arena, whereas in more negative relationships, they might enjoy thinking about sex more than actually doing it. When an INTJ does participate, the act of intimacy is an expression of love and affection, and they don't feel a need to verbalize these feelings. Although, the INTJ who is partnered with a type who needs these kinds of verbal expressions can rise to the occasion, and should do so.

INTJs are able to leave relationships when they're over, and get on with their lives. They believe that this is the right thing to do, although the task is uusually more difficult for them than they like to admit or have known.

INTJs are highly intense, intelligent people who bring a lot of depth and insight into most major areas of their life. In terms of relationships, their greatest potential pitfall is the tendency to think about things rather than doing them, and their difficulty reconciling reality with their inner visions. INTJs are likely to be in positive, healthy relationships, because they're likely to leave relationships which aren't working for them (unless other circumstances prohibit that).

INTJ compatibility

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, the INTJ's natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. INTJ's dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition. More on INTJ compatibility

INTJs as parents

"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth...
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."
—Kahlil Gibran

As parents, INTJ's main goal is to raise their children to be intelligent, autonomous and independent. They want their kids to think for themselves and make their own decisions, and so are likely to give them room to grow, and to challenge their decisions and thoughts at key points in their lives.

INTJs have difficulty relating to babies and toddlers, and often don't really enjoy their children until they reach school age. They will be supportive and dutiful parents at all ages, but won't feel connected to their kids until they're a bit older.

INTJs enjoy the idea of their children almost as much as the children themselves. They are not naturally nurturing, and since their own need for expressions of love and affirmation are relatively low, they may have difficulty recognizing this need in Feeling children. If they do see this sensitivity, they may not value the importance of feeding it. In such situations, there will be a distance between the INTJ and the child. This is a problem area for the INTJ, who should consciously remember that their children's needs may differ from their own.

INTJs as friends

INTJs are often difficult to get to know well, and difficult to get close to. Those who are close to the INTJ will highly value them for their ideas and knowledge, their steadfastness and reliabilty. Although INTJs are generally very serious-minded people, they also have been known to enjoy letting loose and having fun, if others pull them into it. They especially love activities that require some thinking, like doing crossword puzzles and playing challenging games. They also can be really good at telling jokes, and exhibiting a sarcastic wit with a poker face.

While many people might be attracted to an INTJ's wit and intelligence, the INTJ is not likely to choose to spend time with people who they believe don't have anything to offer them. They especially like to spend time with other Intuitive Thinkers, and also usually enjoy the company of Intuitive Feelers. These personality types love to theorize and speculate about ideas, and so can usually relate well to the INTJ, who loves to analyze ideas.

Many INTJs believe that they are always right. In some INTJs, this belief is quite obvious, while in others it is more subtle. Some people may have a difficult time accepting what they see as a "superior attitude" or "snobbery," whether or not such snobbery exists. And some individuals simply have no interest in the theoretical pursuits which the INTJ enjoys. Luckily, the INTJ is not likely to be bothered.