How INTJs are Perceived: What No One Is Talking About

It has been said that all stereotypes have some aspect of truth attached to them.

And if we’re honest, if stereotypes are positive, we don’t mind stereotypes unless we can’t live up to the expectations.

The same applies to INTJ personality types.

If INTJs are perceived as intimidating, cold, and aloof, they don’t mind these stereotypes if these attributes make them appear attractive, empowered, and mysterious.

And whatever perception you have of INTJs, you can never be sure that it hasn’t been carefully manufactured for public consumption.

As introverts, they cherish their solitude but still desire to attract others on their terms.

Enlightened INTJs use appearance management as a means of gaining and leveraging power.

Christopher F. Clark, a query respondent on Quora, said:

I think that it is stereotyping (of the worst kind) fed in part by “action” stories needing arch-villains, which needed to be smart, driven, and anti-social. Caricatures like Sheldon Cooper don’t help either. Real-world INTJs are also somewhat rare and tend to be clustered in professions where their natural withdrawing and intellectual natures are rewarded, e.g., STEM careers. As a result, most “average” people don’t have many examples to counteract the stereotype.

No one talks about how INTJs perceive themselves and operate from these self-perceptions.

Despite INTJs’ intellect, their self-perception may differ from what others perceive when considering their physical appearance, environment, experiences, and insecurities.

Many INTJs may have been disempowered as children, but how they reconciled these experiences determine how they perceive themselves.

INTJs who align with conventional beauty standards have evolved from childhood disempowerment to adult entitlement.

Whereas INTJs not aligned with beauty standards may use their intellect to leverage power through educational achievement and financial independence.

INTJs who are attractive, educated, and financially independent are a triple threat.

Although not peculiar to INTJs, the degree of sensitivity, introspection, and self-awareness that INTJs practice can be exaggerated human experiences.

When INTJs are proverbial “Jerks,” they are well aware of their actions as a means of manipulation and control because they have something others desire.

INTJs and appearance management

Can introverts be vain?

Of course, they can. Vanity is often associated with extroverts who seek admiration and attention. And since introverts typically shun the limelight, they frown upon anything that brings undue attention.

However, once you become aware of the standards and values within a society, it is impossible not to be affected by these ideals.

INTJs are acutely aware of the social impact of appearance management as a means of getting what they want strategically.

Like many introverts, they observe the hierarchy and currency that attractiveness brings.

how are intjs perceived

On Personality Café, an online community dedicated to discussions around personality types, Corgiflatmate posted on INTJ attractiveness by saying:

It definitely makes people more inclined to intrude upon your time–and space–but I must respond to it differently than you. With (male) strangers, I’m quite acerbic and biting, sometimes to get them to leave me alone, and other times to see how they step up to the challenge. With people at work, I’m just friendly enough to not get blacklisted and sh** upon, but nothing above that. I strive for kindness because it ISN’T in my nature to be so. Misanthropy comes much more naturally, so I make a point of being kind to try to balance out my nature. My impatience with people slips through often, though. When asked, “Why don’t you like Fifty Shades?” the other night, I replied, “I don’t know, because I’m not a vapid fool?” before I gave myself a moment to censor my reply. So, there’s one less work “friend.”

As strategists, the ability to create imagery through appearance management is gender-neutral, and men do it as much as women.

I realized at an early age that being attractive, intelligent, and strategic provided more opportunities than those less fortunate.

INTJs who share my experiences know they have received privileges that are s not as easily accessible to others.

Since I can remember, I was always liked by my teachers and was selected when opportunities emerged to go away for the summer on an educational excursion.

Because I was athletic, I would be selected to play baseball and football, and all my parents merely had to do was sign a permission slip.

I was meticulous about my appearance by always ensuring that my clothing reflected an air of elegance.

My hair was always aligned with the latest style. And I began lifting weights as soon as I was introduced to them.

I could attract my desired life by making myself the epitome of intellectual and physical excellence.

how are intjs perceived

As a mature adult, I have kept a similar regimen started as a child.

It works for me because my early hypothesis of the world revolving around beauty, intellect, and strength has not changed.

If anything, these ideas have never been more relevant in today’s society.

I would love to say that I was ahead of the curve, but that would be disingenuous.

I wasn’t ahead of the curve. Human nature never changed.

Vanity, self-interest, and control align with the mythological characterizations of INTJs.

We adopted a “Don’t get mad, get even” attitude about life from disempowering early experiences.

Hypersensitive personality types often take barbs and slights to extremes.

To say extreme measures aren’t necessary for a domineering world suggests that you’re not paying attention.

Or you’re not sensitive enough to care.

INTJs care.

And we care enough to reinvent ourselves in an image of perfection.

Although perfection isn’t attainable, we want you to believe it is.

And we are the embodiment of it.

All stereotypes have some kernel of truth to them.

For INTJs, we had to create images to reflect our inner world as a means for survival.

Otherwise, the world would have crushed us long ago.

–Frank Halloran


Clark, C.F. (n.d.). Why are INTJs perceived as cold and evil? Quora. Retrieved from:

Corgiflatmate. (2012, June 10).  INTJs and physical appearance. Personality Café. Retrieved from:

Related Posts