"If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say."
INTJs as They Typically Are
Detached pragmatists, INTJs are systematic and often visionary problem solvers. They approach problems in a methodical manner. While often slow to act, they are unconsciously observant and analytical, slowly noting how the parts of the whole fit together before taking decisive action. When they do so, they typically seek to arrange things to suit their needs or to achieve a particular goal or vision.
Outwardly INTJs often appear distant and, for the most part, inexpressive. They can come across as cold or even harsh, but are more or less just detached. They do not easily get caught up in their emotions, the emotions of others even less.
Despite their somewhat stiff appearance, INTJs tend to have a rich inner life and will have an eclectic set of interests that tend to run very deep. Their interests are often geared towards abstract and theoretical subjects that should, nevertheless, be able to be benchmarked by objective metrics. Whatever their interests are, they tend to pursue them with an almost obsessional intensity where they will let their curiosity lead them as it will. Some INTJs tend to be perfectionistic in nature where even in their more relaxed and less abstract hobbies, they play in order to win, that is, to become very practiced and skilled.
While often not the greatest with people, whom they can have a hard time appreciating or understanding emotionally, and whom they find exhausting at times, INTJs nevertheless often find themselves in leadership positions due to their ability to devise systems that help facilitate work in a rational and efficient manner. INTJs tend to be good at this, since they usually have a greater overall vision of how things can and should function. They tend to be academically oriented and a good fit for higher education where they often pick more science or technology orientated fields. Degrees in which they can learn theoretical topics that have a basis in real world application tend to appeal more to INTJs than purely theoretical fields such as philosophy or literary theory.
INTJs tend to have a high drive for autonomy. Perhaps the highest among all the types and they will plan extensively and many years into the future to achieve what they want and to build the kind of environment they want to live and work in. Generally unsentimental and with no particular regard for the status quo, they can often clash with others in trying to implement the changes they desire in order to bring change to the overall system. They tend to take a top-down approach where they will first work out an overall plan before going down a layer to further refine its implementation and only then - finally - will they address all the details. They can often seem somewhat arrogant and they will work ruthlessly towards their goals, applying the criterion 'does it work' while having little regard or remorse for what has proven not to work. INTJs generally dislike dealing with procedures and states that are not optimized, and seek to change or refine them and to push their ideas forward in order to build, create, and innovate.
While they can seem harsh, INTJs are often far more tolerant then they appear. While they do tend to ruthlessly question everything, they'll usually question themselves and their own ideas even more than those of others.
They are not hesitant or doubtful in trying to figure out what they want to do. In fact, INTJs tend to have a strong intrinsic motivation towards evaluating both their own ideas and those of others and to determine whether they are valid or invalid. To this end, while often very blunt, INTJs aren't as judgmental as they may appear and consider a great many things, such as feelings, ideas, thoughts, plans, to be separate entities from those exterior objects or people who formed them. They may express criticism towards an idea without necessarily realizing that to others it will seem as if they are also criticizing the person.
With regards to emotion and feeling, in spite of appearances INTJs are often deeply emotional in a very raw sense but are just as deeply loath to express such emotions to others. Often seeing human nature as unavoidably repetitive, most "good" causes and ideals are something that they remain largely indifferent to. They can, however, be idealistic towards certain virtues or ideas in a quite impassioned way that stands apart from the usual conceptions of right and wrong. Some also have a deep love of aesthetics and art and will become enamored with certain expressions of the human spirit in art which they can use to analyze and explore their feelings by letting their thoughts take shape around said expressions.
INTJs tend to have few relationships as they will often desire quality over quantity and seek to form deep bonds with people so they can utterly be themselves and explore ideas without having to worry about how they are perceived. INTJs often simply seek to be understood in their friendships and relationships due to their difficulty relating to people and society. INTJs tend to see very little value in flirting or expressive body language and often tend to be very direct in communication and dislike small talk. While more than happy to help friends, they are not the best at anticipating others' emotional needs. They tend to be strong verbal communicators and to require strong verbal communication in return.
While they can often ramble when excited, hopping from idea to idea, INTJs will often use remarkably concrete words when talking about ideas, as if they are all but given physical form by the INTJ's exploration of them. They can be inventive with language at times when trying to discuss a new idea, but in general they seek to discuss specifics about ideas (where NTP types are more prone to discuss generalities). They will do so since they dislike endless speculation that cannot be settled either way, and in this sense, INTJs will often remain silent on such topics and only speak if they feel they have relevant information or insight regarding it.