Do INTJs Know-It-All or Are They Extraordinary Strategic Thinkers?

Often, INTJs may be viewed as “Know-it-alls,” because they are preternaturally curious about how and why things work. And people are included within the realm of things.

INTJs’ intense desire to learn and know everything within their interest have no boundaries.

As a result, INTJs can reflect an elitist attitude about their intelligence. The challenge for many people in dealing with INTJs is that INTJs’ intelligence is real.

Lawrence (2019) stated several struggles experienced by INTJs as, “They will always try to communicate their logical prowess, but those explanations can be a bit blunt if they’re not careful… They can be a bit too systematic, to the point where creativity is lost… Perfection can be their bane. They’re constantly looking for it. Obsessed, I would say. But they could sacrifice too much for it—like their time, relationships, and finances” (P. 1).

And INTJs don’t cut corners and often see truth as black and white with very little gray area.

Sólo (2017) said, “There’s always a “right way” to do things in your head, whether it’s how to dress a sandwich or how you load items in your grocery cart. Following the system might help make small tasks more efficient, or it might simply make sure you get the specific result you want. The only problem is you’re often bad at mentioning this, or explaining why you prefer it. As a result, you get super annoyed when someone doesn’t follow the “plan”’ (para. 12).

INTJs are misinterpreted because they fail to share what others might deem as “critical information” because of their introversion.

This plays out in two major ways.

One, INTJs may be still processing information, and by the time they are willing to share their perspectives, the opportunity has passed. Thinking quickly may not be a strong suit for many INTJs.

Secondly, INTJs have superior execution and follow-through. Consequently, if someone has an idea or plan and fails to execute, INTJs see no reason to explain away the fact that they pursued the idea themselves.

Others may see this act as betrayal. However, INTJs will never let a good idea go to waste.

In short, no one can implement ideas better or faster than INTJs because they have read volumes of books where tying disparate concepts together comes easy.

Elizabeth (n.d.) revealed the core of her thinking by stating, “As an INTJ my brain is constantly firing to build these systems to create the processes that make the most sense and can achieve the best results. I am still an introvert and I will not just say something if I haven’t thought long and hard about it. I am not impulsive. If I do something or say I can do something, it’s because I’ve thought long and hard about it” (para. 17).

 

Do INTJs Know-It-All or Are They Extraordinary Strategic Thinkers?

INTJs have opinions about many things

INTJs are voracious readers and history serves as a backdrop for best practices. When a subject comes up that INTJs may have not experienced, they may draw on historical events to juxtapose a point.

Consequently, it would appear that INTJs have an opinion about everything. However, when an issue arises, look at an INTJs eyes and demeanor.

You can see the processing of information happening before your eyes. It is at this exact time that INTJs are searching their mental database for the most pristine and objective answer to a question.

And what is more pristine than an objective fact?

Are INTJs know-it-alls? They certainly have a lot of information at their disposal. On the surface, it appears that there isn’t anything they don’t know.

INTJs exhibit healthy paranoia

Because INTJs live inside of their heads where they are most safe, it’s the outside world that creates the greatest fear. They consistently ask the question, “What if…?”

This healthy paranoia is a way of coping with anticipated, but unexpected events. In envisioning the worst possible outcome of a situation intellectually, this cushions the blow of impending doom. Pain is assuaged by breaking down events to its infinitesimal level.

INTJs’ self-esteem is tied to performance

Often, INTJs judge themselves based on their performance. And this means any kind of performance. They can accept the notion that they can’t master every skill, but they are unmatched with skills they deem within their wheelhouse.

As a result, INTJs can also demonstrate elitist traits when it comes to skills they have spent an inordinate amount of time developing. Their mantra could easily be, “I excel; therefore, I am…”

Any setback could emotionally last for years, until the failure proves to not have an impact on the mission or crusade.

INTJs are strategic thinking introverts that see themselves as epic heroes

Strategic thinking introverts encompass INTJ, ISTJ, and INTP personality types. They have vivid imaginations that propel their actions into remarkable exploits.

As others observe quietly from afar, often without approbations, these introverts marvel independently at the majesty of their intellect, and its creations.

They are their own biggest cheerleaders.

INTJs, particularly, view the body of work that they create as transformational. They are able to evaluate their work, and objectively compare it to competitors. They are the first to acknowledge to themselves when they have fallen short of excellence.

After all, their work is altering the landscape of the intellectual world in a visceral way.

Intellectual pursuits by INTJs are relentless, consistent, and endless. To be hardwired for critical analysis to create intellectual property could be a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because INTJs such as Sir Isaac Newton, Ayn Rand, and Bill Gates have transformed the world with their ingenuity.

However, it’s a curse because jealousy, insecurity, and irrationality by others infect the intellectual environment of INTJs.

It takes steel determination, focus, and asceticism for INTJs to identify, diagnose, analyze, and solve critical problems.

If INTJs are know-it-alls, it is because they have dedicated their lives to enlightenment as others sought entertainment.

The reticence of critics to do similar work in a complex world is reminiscent of the notion that, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.”

While INTJs are creating, critics are complaining.

—Julian McCain

Related: The Strategic Introvert: A Quick Guide for Building Influence in a Domineering World  

References

Elizabeth, L. (n.d.). I’m an INTJ and we need to talk. I Think, I Feel. Retrieved from: https://www.ithinkifeel.com/home/2018/3/7/im-an-intj-and-we-need-to-talk.

Gyles, M. (n.d.). Nero fiddled are Rome burned. Bill Thayer. Retrieved from: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Journals/CJ/42/4/Nero_Fiddled*.html.

Lawrence, A. (2019, July 10). 35 problems and struggles all IMNTJs face. Owlcation. Retrieved from: https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/24-Struggles-All-INTJs-Can-Understand.

Sólo, A. (2017, May 17). 24 signs that you’re an INTJ personality type. Introvert, Dear. Retrieved from: https://introvertdear.com/news/intj-personality-signs.

The INTJ personality type. (n.d.). Truity. Retrieved from: https://www.truity.com/personality-type/INTJ#.