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Published on September 13, 2018

All You Need to Know About Dealing with Conflict in INTJ Relationships

All You Need to Know About Dealing with Conflict in INTJ Relationships

Have you ever had a family member who is extremely smart, but not the greatest at emotionally connecting with you?

Or do you have a friend that questions everything you do and loves to ask the question “why?”

Or maybe you have a very intelligent boss who is capable of solving complicated problems, but he never listens to any of your good ideas?

Chances are that you are in a relationship with someone in the INTJ Meyers-Brigg personality.

Being in an INTJ relationship can be quite challenging so here’s the breakdown on everything you need to know about them and how to best connect with them.

For the purposes of this article, I will be personifying the INTJ personality and using it as a noun.

What is an INTJ?

INTJ’s are one of the most rarest personality types and form only 2% of the population. Here is a brief overview of the characteristics:

  • (I)ntroversion – They focus their attention inward and get their energy from having time alone
  • i(N)tuition– They rely on the information they get from within themselves. As a result, they tend to focus more on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details.
  • (T)hinking – They prefer to make their decisions based on their own logical reasoning and analysis rather than their own emotions.
  • (J)udgement – They orient themselves to the external world through planning and organization rather than going with the flow and having sponinaeity.

What are INTJs like?

INTJs are natural born leaders, but they don’t rush to take charge of situations unless they feel it’s absolutely necessary. They are able to think quick on their feet and come up with effective solutions when things are not going well.

They are intensely curious and have an engineering type mind where they always have a need to comprehend how things work.

More importantly, the purpose of their need to understand things actually isn’t to satisfy their curiosity, but it’s more to figure out how to apply that knowledge in an innovative manner to effectively create improvement.

Their high level of competency enables them to do this very effective and it doesn’t take them long to understand new ideas.

Their brains operate like they are constantly playing chess where they are always analyzing situations and planning strategies and tactics to place themselves in the best situations. This is why they have the innate capability to outsmart others the most compared to any other personality types.

The benefits of being in a relationship with an INTJ

As you can imagine, being in an INTJ relationship can have quite a few amazing perks:

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They are amazing problem solvers.

INTJs invest themselves heavily in their rational thought, logic, and analysis of cause and effect. This in turn enables them to objectively assess challenges to find the root cause of an issue and come up with the best solutions.

You’ve probably noticed that when you have a complex problem, you’ve been trying to figure out for a while, an INTJ sometimes can solve that problem in a matter of minutes.

They create the best case scenarios.

INTJs excellent critical thinking skills combined with their love for innovation gives them the amazing ability to improve existing systems and processes.

This is why they hate following traditions and procedures without understanding the purpose and value of them.

They have a need to understand why things are done the way they are so they can evaluate if that’s the best way to do it.

This trait can prove to be extremely helpful when you are trying to figure out things like how to find good deals, plan trips or choose the best product to buy.

They are extremely reliable.

Because of their amazing problem solving skills that are supplemented with implementation, they prove to be extremely reliable.

Their determination to always get to the bottom of things ensure that they implement the best solutions possible.

When you ask INTJs for help, you can depend on them knowing they will do everything they can to bring you the best results possible.

They are always taking initiative to grow.

INTJs make great employees if you place them in autonomous roles because they are very independent and proactive.

Once INTJs have a clear understanding of a situation that needs to be addressed, they are great at analyzing the best options and taking the initiative to get the work done.

They are also great resources to learn from because they are always actively seeking ways to improve.

They are the jack of all trades.

INTJs have a very high level of intelligence, competence and knowledge and combined with their natural desire to keep developing personally, it’s not surprising that they are extremely multi-talented.

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You may find they have answers to almost all the challenges you run into to the point it surprises you at how much they are capable of.

The difficulties of being in a relationship with an INTJ

Like all good things, there are some bad things about INTJ’s that may prove to be quite the challenge:

They can fall into arrogance.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance; and INTJs are guilty of falling into the latter.

Their high level of confidence and capabilities might at times become more of an arrogant mindset instead.

They tend to be judgemental.

INTJs usually are quick to dismiss others especially when they feel like they sense a gap in competency.

They may tend to look down on people who are less competent and treat them in a condescending manner.

They engage in destructive behavior when under high stress.

When INTJs are under extreme stress, their greatest strengths becomes a debilitating weakness.

They become overly analytical and may engage in excessive behaviors like drinking or eating. They begin to act much more impulsively and create more projects than they can handle.

While their analytical skills prove to be imperative when solving complex problems, there are times when they are overanalyze and make things more complicated then it should be.

They don’t respond well to authority.

INTJs hate hearing phrases like “Because I told you so” because they deepest core value lies in finding the most rational answers.

They tend to rub authorities the wrong way because INTJs often question all their motives and it can come off as offensive even though the intention is to figure out the best way to do things.

A big pet peeve for INTJs is whenever you deny a request with answers like “Because that’s just how it’s always been done.”

They lack emotional availability.

Because they operate so heavily with the logical left hemisphere of their brains, INTJ’s have trouble utilizing the emotional right brain.

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This in turn can lead to difficulty in creating intimacy and emotional connection with others.

How to work best with INTJ relationships

Working with INTJ’s can prove to be both productive and difficult. Here are some ways to help enhance your with INTJ relationships especially during times of conflict:

1. Give them their alone time to think and recharge when brainstorming solutions.

While group feedback is important, INTJs work best when they at least have a separate time to also be able to think things through uninterrupted.

If they don’t accept your ideas, don’t take it personally. They are not being rigid. They are genuinely trying to figure out the best solution in an objective manner.

In fact, they are actually very open to ideas as long as it helps lead to the solution so don’t give up on the first try if they reject an idea you have.

What to do?
  • When making suggestions or coming up with ideas to solve a problem, be sure you first have a good sense of the background information first. If you ask questions that you could’ve just googled first, they will quickly dismiss you so be sure to ask questions that show you at least have a good foundational knowledge of the situation.
  • Don’t micromanage. Doing so will make them very resistant to you and disengaged. Instead, communicate your needs and once you confirm they understand the situation clearly, provide whatever necessary tools needed to get the job done and leave them to get the work done.

2. Connect by showing a desire to learn.

INTJs hate small talk but are highly stimulated by deep intellectual conversations. The purpose of all the intellect they build up isn’t to be better than people, but it comes from a genuine love for growth and improvement.

Although the amount of knowledge and competence they have may be intimidating to some, they gladly share their knowledge if they sense from you the desire to learn and apply it.

INTJs often are misunderstood because they are often thinking 10 steps ahead so it’s hard for others to keep up. This is the reason why they are usually very lonely, but they do have a deep desire to feel understood.

What to do?
  • Don’t beat around the bush. INTJ’s often get annoyed by unproductive superficial conversations.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask deep questions to help get you to the point where you are synced up and on the same page. They appreciate when others make the effort to meet them at their level of competency.

3. Don’t be offended when they question you.

When dealing with an INTJ, they often try to ask a lot of questions that start with “why.”

This naturally will trigger you to become defensive so it’s important to remind yourself that the intention isn’t to attack you, but more to figure out what the best approach and solutions are.

This is why it’s important to always communicate the purpose behind what you request of INTJs.

What to do?

When giving a task or asking for a favor, always provide the reasons why you are doing so.

If they don’t have a clear understanding of why the particular task is important, they will often be very disengaged.

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When you clearly communicate the purpose behind what you are asking for and agree on why it important, INTJs will almost always produce results that exceed expectations.

4. Call them out on their bullsh*t

INTJs can tend to place themselves in a mindset where they think highly of themselves.

Sometimes, it just takes giving an honest reminder to them that the way they say things to you is sometimes very condescending.

What to do?

When INTJs fall over into becoming arrogant and judgmental, don’t be afraid to point it out to them. They value open and honest conversation.

You can count on it that they will be spending a ton of time trying to understand what is going wrong and come up with a solution for improvement.

5. Activate the emotional half of their brain.

While INTJs are highly logical, they do feel emotions. And when they do, they feel them very deeply.

They often times may seem emotionless, but this doesn’t mean they are. This is because they are too busy spending time rationalizing things and are too caught up in their minds that they don’t feel the need to always be expressing their emotions.

What to do?
  • Frame the lack of intimacy as a problem to the INTJ and you can rely on the fact that he or she will work hard to try and come up with a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Do things that will help activate the emotional right brain in order to improve your connection with each other because INTJs are left-brain dominant and engaged in logical activities all the time.
  • Implement ways to touch whether it’s a handshake, hug or intimate physical behavior if it’s a partner.
  • Try to check in occasionally about how they feel.

Creating your own best case scenarios

Being in a relationship with an INTJ can be very rewarding, but can also prove to be emotionally taxing.

Once you come to the understanding of how INTJ’s are wired, you can learn how to best communicate and build the relationship together.

Whether it’s a family member, friend, or partner, figuring out how to work with each other in a way that’s more productive will empower both people in the relationship.

When you use the tips provided here, you will achieve so much more together than if you each approached things your own way.

And together, you’ll ultimately be creating your own best case scenarios.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Eugene K. Choi

A life coach who helps people discover how to best utilize their passions and talents through a proven process.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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