The Secret Lives of Strategic Thinking Introverts

Strategic thinking introverts are motivated by solving critical problems and can be counted among the most intellectual introverted personality types. 

A self-determined, crafty, and potentially sinister machine may be underneath their aloof veneer.

The American Academy of Advanced Thinking categorizes strategic thinking introverts within the Myers-Briggs personality types as INTJs, ISTJs, and INTPs.

Crystal is a website that outlines the single common denominator among strategic thinking introverts within Myers-Briggs.

Crystal (n.d.) described INTJs’ motivations by suggesting, “Critical thinking often energizes and motivates INTJs. Thinking through complicated problems, even those that are abstract or theoretical often drives INTJs. They love having the chance to explore different solutions. INTJs may also be excited by hypotheticals, which give them the opportunity to imagine unique, complex scenarios and come up with the most clever ways to resolve them” (para. 2)

Crystal described ISTJs’ motivation by positing, “They are very pragmatic people who enjoy finding functional solutions to problems. They tend to work quickly to find a solution and feel energized when they’re able to make it happen. By making sure it’s practical and data-backed, ISTJS are likely to feel more confident in their solution’s success” (para. 5).

Finally, Crystal described INTPs by stating, “INTPs are motivated by solving complex, complicated problems using their skills in analysis and intuition. They enjoy considering hypothetical scenarios and thinking through potential outcomes in order to come up with the best solution” (para. 2). 

A structured philosophical journey

One of the characteristics of strategic thinking introverts’ lifestyle is the degree of the structure attached to it. As superior problem solvers, a disciplined life is required to achieve the great things that these introverts animate within their imagination.

Ambitious strategic thinking introverts demonstrate their preternatural curiosity in different ways. As avid readers and researchers, the spectrum of intellectual pursuits may range from mere journal writing to publishing articles, books, and position papers.

At the upper crust, these introverts develop whole bodies of work that tackle problems they have endeavored to solve and explore artistic ways of documenting them.

In their minds, if it isn’t documented, it doesn’t exist. Because they are data-driven, they often express their brilliance through literary works.

Also, being self-critical, this breed of introverts writes with an imaginary conversation inside their heads to respond to the research question fully and proactively refute potential critics. 


Secret Lives of Strategic Thinking Introverts


They would necessitate that any credible work requires at least three citations from reputable sources.

As legacy builders, creating and distributing ideas and solutions are means by which influence is derived. They want to recreate the world in their image.

Because they are stratospherically intelligent, they may suffer from a God complex.

Strategic thinking introverts thrive on recognition. However, not necessarily to gain fame, but to advance society.

Consequently, daily, there is a set amount of time for reading, researching, and writing, as well as any other regimen for self-improvement.

If this daily regimen is not maintained, strategic thinking introverts feel like failures or like the day was wasted. 

Strategic thinking introverts are existentialists.

Many strategic thinking introverts can be described as existentialists.

Your Dictionary(n.d.) postulated that “Existentialism is a philosophical theory that people are free agents who have control over their choices and actions. Existentialists believe that society should not restrict an individual’s life or actions and that these restrictions inhibit free will and the development of that person’s potential” (para. 1).

Your Dictionary listed the following as acts of Existentialism:

  • Take responsibility for your actions.
  • Living your life without regard to commonly-held religious or social beliefs.
  • Believing as an educator that being a teacher provides a beneficial and critical role in the growth of students.
  • Selling all your belongings and riding a bike across the U.S. to earn money for autism.
  • Determining your career choice based on what you think is a meaningful way to spend your future. 

Strategic thinking introverts can be Machiavellian.

Taylor (2018) reported that “Machiavellianism is a personality trait involving a cold, calculating view toward others, and the use of manipulativeness and deceit to achieve one’s goals. Machiavellians have limited empathy for others on a cognitive and emotional level and appear to have a reduced theory of mind. Machiavellians are more inhibited and withdrawn than psychopaths and narcissists, which fits with their profile as being cunning individuals who strategically plot against others in order to get ahead in life and achieve their goals” (para. 9).

Taylor’s analysis is a fair assessment of traits of some strategic thinking introverts.

Although these introverts are predisposed to Machiavellianism, Machiavellianism manifests through environmental influences based on early childhood slights and feelings of disempowerment.

Strategic thinking introverts may have once been optimistic about human nature and collaborative efforts until individuals proved to be impediments to their goals and aspirations.

Consequently, strategic thinking introverts evolved into Machiavellians after countless disappointments when cohorts had opportunities to demonstrate their higher good but often failed to do so.

After several failed attempts to create progressive alliances, strategic thinking introverts started a “Go it alone” philosophy to offset psychic pain and disappointment perpetrated by others. 

The secret lives of strategic thinking introverts are intellectual journeys of self-discovery.

As social scientists and academic artists, they begin their journey with openness and a sense of optimism.

Along the way, society makes an indelible mark on them that transforms them forever.

The resources, tools, and insights gathered become weapons for survival.

Without this intellectual weaponry, society would thwart the efforts of strategic thinking introverts, and all efforts would be futile. 

And futility is the death knell for these introverts.

Many strategic thinking introverts would live by the tenet that the end justifies the means. 

Ultimately, these introverts spend a great deal of time contemplating the world’s woes and what they can do to become change agents.

Along the way, they want to remain kinder, gentler souls.

However, in the end, their actions and beliefs respond to societal prescriptions.

To move and motivate the higher angels in society requires understanding the utopic and dystopic ways in which people behave.

Strategic thinking introverts are keenly aware of this dichotomy and agonize each day for reconciliation.

This is the bane of their existence. And only outstanding achievements can assuage the pain.


Edward S. Brown, M.S.


Related: Strategic Thinking Introverts’ Time Has Come to Quietly Dominate


Examples of Existentialism (n.d.). Your Dictionary. Retrieved from:

INTJ motivations (n.d.) Crystal. Retrieved from:

INTP motivations (n.d.) Crystal. Retrieved from:

ISTJ motivations (n.d.). Crystal. Retrieved from:

Taylor, B. (2018, Oct.8). Machiavellianism, cognition, and emotion: Understanding how the Machiavellian thinks, feels and thrives. PsychCentral. Retrieved from: