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How To Spot INTJ: 10 Signs You’re Talking With One

Due to their rarity in the Myers-Briggs personality spectrum, INTJs hold a distinctive status that earned them the “unique” label. Also, being introverted, INTJs are even more elusive. They tend to spend less time in social events where most individuals gather and mingle. 

If you feel a special bond with this personality type but are still determining if you’re talking to one, this post is the best place to explore INTJs. You may even be surprised that most people in your circle are INTJs! Now, if you’re ready to know more, read on. 

How To Spot INTJ: 10 Signs You’re Talking With One

INTJs are highly private people who love peaceful surroundings with less social interaction. They need minimal socializing and prefer focusing on their passion projects and making headway toward bigger goals. You may already know a few INTJs without being aware of it. To be sure, here are some signs on how to spot INTJ in public seamlessly

1. INTJs eliminate the pointless drama and extras in life.

One of the classic ways of telling that a person is an INTJ is the way they do things. You see, INTJs move with a purpose. Just observe your INTJ friend in a supermarket. They’re keener about how the shelves are positioned, rather than being excited about roaming around.

In everything they do, they lean on efficiency. You bet, INTJs even notice the psychology of why shelves are positioned in such a way.

If a salesperson approaches them, they may respond briefly to discourage further small talk, making their way to the checkout, and avoiding eye contact with other shoppers.

Bookstores, however, are an exception, as they can take their time to get lost in their thoughts and explore.

Daily tasks are not an exemption. They may even use science when using pressure cookers and cooking rice!

Unlike other personality types, they don’t enjoy lingering around unnecessarily. They work with a clear purpose and often have a master plan in mind.

2. INTJs often cite sources during intellectual discussions.

If you’re talking with an INTJ, you don’t have to be a close friend to make them speak up about factual, controversial, and philosophical ideas. They can bring these conversations up out of nowhere.

As extraverted Thinkers (Te) who love bathing in information from books and other media, you’d hear them quoting a bunch of authors, scientists, and philosophers.

Even more, they guide you to check their own personal notes from their solo, yet extensive study and analysis. Taking down notes? They love that.

They are a mix of people who come ready with facts but are willing to listen to new ideas.

3. They enjoy sarcasm.

INTJs’ humor often dwells in the range of sarcasm and irony. They love dry jokes, but such lines often leave other people either confused or yep, offended.

Aside from the natural sarcasm flowing in their veins, INTJs love “smart jokes.”

So smart that we, regular people, may take our time seeing if they’re joking or attacking you. Lol.

INTJs are the type to say, “always remember, you’re just as unique as everybody else,” with a dry face, and then letting out a grin. Thanks, INTJ. Now, people are confused.

Here’s another joke I read from my INTJ father’s social:

“Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times by 60 people. So, that’s 0.383 stabs per person. Hehe.”

To be fair, this gets funnier if you imagine it. But too dark! See what I mean?

At this point, you don’t even know if you should be happy or offended. Thankfully, mature INTJs know better than to speak sarcastic remarks to someone they know nothing about.

But if you’re close with them and noticed they’re doing these, there’s a high chance they’re an INTJ.

4. They’ve mastered the “death stare.”

INTJs are often asked by concerned friends, intimidated colleagues, or “annoyed” family members why they have such a serious demeanor. If you come across an individual who appears to have a permanent stern face, chances are they are an INTJ. But in most cases, it’s simply their “thinking look.” 

When they think, they stare.

It’s not a floaty gaze, but an attentive, seemingly thousand-yard stare indicating they’re thinking outside themselves and engrossed in deep mental processing.

If they’re unaware of being watched, you may even see them silently mouthing words as if mimicking a discussion with themselves.

Please don’t take their stares against them. This is a situation where the expression “it’s not you, it’s them” applies. They don’t hate you. They’re just too absorbed in their thoughts. 

5. They love silence.

INTJs tend to be quiet and at ease with silence. They have no qualms about keeping things to themselves, even in familiar places like planes or buses. They are content with being alone and may not need to occupy themselves with a cell phone or any other activity to pass the time.

You might spot an INTJ sitting alone, wearing a resting B* face in public. But there’s no need to worry about them.

They tend to stay under the radar and blend in with the crowd. They prefer to observe and learn rather than be the center of attention. That’s why they make great friends with ENFPs, who offer a social lubricant and help INTJs build a connection with other people.

6. Got them explaining a topic they love? Ha! You’re stuck with them.

How to spot an INTJ? Here: When gossips break out, and co-workers start to huddle like players in football, you’ll spot the INTJs in the farthest corner, minding their own business. Probably zoning out, too.

Unfortunately, such trivial matters don’t appeal to INTJs.

However, when an INTJ lands on a topic they’re interested in — politics, religion, science, or even history. Their stories go on and on, starting from the foundation of “this” and how it developed into “that.” Surely, they know what they talk about.

But as storytellers, man, you’ll wish they would just come to the conclusion soon. (Yet they don’t!) Sorry, but you’re stuck here.

7. They overachieve because they willingly do the hard part everyone has given up on.

If you notice your friend or special someone working hard to achieve their goals, not stopping, and not even changing the goals despite the failures, you can bet they’re an INTJ.

INTJs aim for excellence. To them, stopping halfway when solving a problem is taboo. They have a natural drive to give their best effort and refuse to settle for mediocrity. Their competitive nature motivates them to challenge themself constantly and aim for higher success.

I know an INTJ who would spend recklessly long hours and sacrifice sleep and rest, to make sure a job gets done.

This story was from decades ago, and technology was less convenient than today. Again, it’s my INTJ father.

According to him, their electronic communications company lost their data. Everyone has given up on recovering them, so they had to call him, the INTJ. He spent a week without going home, with little to no sleep, to perform a slim chance of transferring their company’s database. No sleep? It was a reckless sacrifice, but he turned out successful. And you bet, he’s proud.

I also know an INTJ mechanic who would solve car problems that renowned automobile servicing shops gave up on. It’s like an addiction withdrawal to him to not know where the problem lies. So he won’t stop tinkering with a car simply because Engine Analyzers and OBD scanners can’t read the issue. 

Other employees would not exert the time, but INTJs are built differently.

They go beyond what’s asked, which is why they’re sought in whichever industry they choose.

8. They’re abstract, but also very practical.

Because they have a great passion for knowledge and its real-life application, they exude practicality which can be seen even in the simplest matter, like the clothes they wear. 

INTJs value functionality and usefulness over fashion and tend to be minimalistic in their wardrobe choices. They avoid flashy or extravagant clothing and accessories.

They prefer clothing that appears neat and respectable, favoring dark colors or a limited color palette, jeans, or a simple dress. Occasionally, they may wear cooler tones, like blue, but they often stick to a consistent outfit formula daily.

9. They get impulsive when stressed.

When exposed to prolonged or severe stress, INTJs may experience a sudden shift in behavior. They can become hyperactive, impulsive, and even reckless.

They’re typically methodical and have a controlled demeanor, so this sudden change can be as surprising to them as it is to those around them.

During this phase, they may spend their savings on a spontaneous cruise, overindulging in alcohol, suddenly shouting, or pushing themselves to run ten miles in the pouring rain.

They’ll do this even if it causes physical discomfort. Their ability to focus on long-term goals becomes compromised during these periods, and they may become fixated solely on the present. 

10. They can be challenging to surprise.

INTJs love to anticipate future events. Because of this, it’s hard to surprise them. It’s rare for anyone to catch them off guard, too.

They recognize subtle clues and recognize trends. These traits have become second nature, a skill they’ve honed since childhood.

They’re so hard to surprise that they can even spoil a movie for others, despite watching it the first time, simply because they pick up on patterns.

While this can benefit many aspects of life, it’s surely disappointing to their friends and family who would want to get a reaction from their INTJ.

Understanding and Acceptance are Essential

We’ve discussed thoroughly how to know if someone is INTJ. The more significant challenge this time is how to embrace these people as they are. 

It might be challenging to understand someone who doesn’t show that much emotion, keeps a lot to themselves, and are pragmatic in most aspects of life. However, it would help to learn not to take these against your INTJ friend, family member, or lover. 

Study how they do things and the way they think. Put yourself in their shoe. If you understand the motivations behind their actions and accept that that’s part of their personality, it’s easy to empathize. 

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