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Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

The emotional life of an INTJ

INTJs are classified as Thinking types in the MBTI. Their tendency to naturally relate to their emotions through logical means and critical thinking can appear cold to the outsider. Introverted Feeling plays a big role in the INTJ mind as a childish habit of going into and only seeing your own viewpoint and ignoring the perspectives of others. Extroverted Feeling represents and antagonistic outside, a tribe always trying to tell you how you should feel and how you should see things. The key to development to INTJs seems to be to first recognise and develop introverted thinking, and then secondly to learn to better manage your emotional side.

INTJs are in flow, introverted thinking types, and these types tend to spend a lot of time trying to explain their feelings to themselves and others. They have a need to know their feelings have rational grounds and can sometimes ignore emotions that they can’t explain. That can cause all kinds of problems, and that’s why INTJs need to develop and learn to better manage their emotional side properly.

The INTJ Personality Type

INTJ Cognitive Functions In Flow: Introverted iNtuition, Introverted Thinking, Thinking Judging, iNtuitive Judging
INTJ Cognitive Functions In Stress: Extroverted Sensing, Extroverted Feeling, Feeling Perceiving, Sensing Perceiving

This means that 1. INTJs often associate emotions with stress and 2. INTJs are extremely careful in how they express and manage their emotions and personal needs.

While all types have emotions, only feeling functions can directly access and relate to and discuss or reflect on emotions on a first-hand basis. INTJs can only deal with their emotions directly using one of two methods:

A) Escape into their own inner world of emotions constructing sometimes childish dreams and beliefs that often completely lack support in evidence or

B) Force themselves to confront their emotions directly, pressuring themselves to push out and express their feelings to the world around them.

Using Thinking To Deal With Feeling

Instead, most of the time, they prefer to use more indirect strategies. They can channel themselves into hard work to distract themselves from their feelings, and hope that they can explain away or come up with reasons to resolve the emotional distress. Oftentimes, their ability to push and control themselves can be very helpful in dealing with emotional problems. Many problems and emotional insecurities can come from our feelings of inadequacy at work or from lack of critical understanding of our emotional natures.

INTJs can generally compose themselves and take responsibility and do the right thing no matter what they are feeling. But be careful as an INTJ. Many INTJs can feel stressed and frustrated about this. The feeling can be “Why am I the only one that does any work around here?” “Why do I have to be the one to think about everything?” These are typical emotions when you are overcompensating for repressed emotions.

Not all emotions can be managed or avoided through work or logical discourse, and sometimes you’re going to have to be honest and open up about how you are feeling to other people. Practice letting go, and allowing yourself to be frank and honest when you feel taken advantage of. Be transparent and talk about how other people’s behaviour can affect you emotionally.

Confronting Your Feelings Directly

The reason INTJs struggle with doing the above is because they are incredibly careful about how they influence the tribe and the people around them. They believe they are primarily responsible for their own feelings and that their feelings are no other person’s business or responsibility, and so, end up keeping most things to themselves. They struggle to trust other people and fear that other people will take advantage of them.

When immature, they can create overly black and white stories, painting themselves in overly positive light. There can be a feeling that you have a responsibility only for the good stuff, and for none of the bad decisions or actions. And if it was indeed your decision, you can still think of a reason why you were justified to make this bad decision. Just to be sure you’re actually staying objective, try to take a step back from the situation and make a mental habit to consider what you personally could have done better to improve a situation.

Emotions are primitive, archaic things. A lot of the time, they can feel inconvenient, irrational, and silly. Why should I feel this way about something? Why do I have to like this kind of person or want this kind of thing? It’s true emotions can complicate things, but emotions can also make things real. Be careful not to deny or invalidate your own dreams or feelings, and instead try to think of smart strategies and methods that incorporate and acknowledge your feelings.

Finding Balance Between Thinking And Feeling

Now, I know, developing yourself on this level is extremely difficult and requires a high amount of conscientiousness and care. I would generally work with an 80-20 rule, arguing you should spent 80% of your time developing strategies and projects and choosing your natural approach, and the remaining 20% double-checking with your emotional side that everything is okay and that you’re still strong and that you can keep going. That way you have a benchmark, a few hours you can devote each day.

Also practice not letting things become too much for you. If you’re not ready to open up about something, and if you don’t have the ability to trust someone, or if you start feeling it’s too much, that’s okay. Take your time. Pace yourself. It’s okay to take things slow, as long as you know that in the long run, you’re moving forward. And if you fall, it’s fine to take a moment before you get back up again.  

Hoping this article can help you all learn to process and manage your emotions better and that it can help you understand the emotional life of INTJs slightly better than what you did before.


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