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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

More by this author

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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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