A while ago I posted “a Rare Open Letter from an INTJ” and feel inclined to continue this one-sided correspondence with another.
A word that is not commonly associated with the INTJ personality combination is “emotional.” Another such word might be “caring” or “friendly.” Well, to quote a wise television character: FALSE.
INTJs are not unfeeling; rather, we simply like to keep our deepest feelings to ourselves. Jane Austen, in Emma, “If I loved…less, I might be able to talk about it more.” This principle is true of most emotions for the INTJ: the greater the emotion, the more hesitant to reveal it. As introverts and thinkers, we tend to dwell upon feelings and only share when we can explain them and are truly comfortable. And, in the midst of dwelling on these feelings, if we do not find any logic to explain them, we will try to either force them to conform to what we see as logical or attempt to forget them. This usually does not work very well as, try as we might, we cannot logic away everything. The need to eat, for instance. Or the basic human need for communication. (Hence this blog…)
INTJs are also not uncaring. At first, people of this type- myself included- may come across as reserved or aloof, not necessarily seeming the warm and fuzzy type. But we do care just as deeply as we feel. To quote Jane Austen again, “There is nothing in the world I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.” INTJs might not be as overtly caring as other personalities (ENFPs, for example), but when they find people that genuinely matter to them, they will put the same intense care into their friendships or relationships that they do their other pursuits.
This leads me to another point: how INTJs show that they care. Like I said, the INTJ may not express caring in an obvious way, such as with a spontaneous hug or card, but that does not mean he or she is not trying. From my own experience as an INTJ, I often show that I care through actions and time. You see, time is valuable to the INTJ, so if an INTJ expresses a wish to spend time with you, then you can be assured that he or she appreciates your company and is trying to care for you by setting aside that time. As analyzers, INTJs might also show caring through problem solving, an area in which they particularly excel.
If an INTJ offers advice or tries to help, even if it seems uncalled for or pushy, he or she is actually just trying to show that he/she cares enough to want to improve things for you.
So INTJs do feel emotion and do care, but express these in different ways. What does this mean? Well, obviously we cannot just shout “I’m an INTJ!!!” and refuse to share our feelings with the world or anything. That’s silly. INTJs, in order to be well-rounded, will need to show caring in other ways, as well as to share their emotions from time to time. What we need is people who honestly want to listen to us and make us feel safe in sharing the various emotions and ideas that are bouncing around in our heads. And regarding caring…INTJs will have to learn to care in other ways. I have learned that others often prefer a comforting hug to a strongly-worded letter confronting their issue and have had to adjust accordingly. But others should be aware of the ways in which INTJs care and know that, when an INTJ makes time for them or tries to help, he or she truly values their friendship.
That’s all. Carry on with your lives. Maybe force an INTJ into a hug or something to show that you appreciate them, weird little personalities that they are. 😉