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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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