How do INTJ personality types communicate? What style of communication do they use, and what forms of communication do they prefer? Do INTJs like talking? Do they like writing?
In this article and video, I’ll share my observations of how INTJs communicate. I’ll also share some of my own personal preferences.
INTJ Communication Style
Here are some common INTJ communication traits, styles, and preferences:
- INTJs often have sophisticated vocabularies, and this is evident in any communication method they use.
- INTJs tend to be highly skilled writers, and they can often be persuasive essayists who write with authority. INTJs write with authority because they research and ponder ideas exhaustively, and so they develop confidence in their ideas or knowledge. They’re also skilled debaters for that reason.
- INTJs tend to use many words when writing to make points (they beat the dead horse). For example, if someone asks me a question, expect a written answer ranging in size from one paragraph to a 10,000-word essay.
- INTJs can also be very eloquent speakers, but this probably doesn’t come as naturally as writing does.
- INTJs tend to use few words when speaking about ideas, and they sometimes fail to explain their ideas in detail. They may have difficulty in piecing together what’s in their heads, and they expect you to see what they see in their own minds. This can cause some people to further question the INTJ, which can then frustrate the INTJ—they don’t understand why you can’t see the picture or plan that they see in their own heads.
- INTJs dislike repeating themselves.
- INTJs often pace back and forth while talking face-to-face (with friends) or on the phone.
- INTJs dislike small talk with strangers or icebreakers. It’s awkward, and they struggle in thinking of something to say. However, if someone carries the conversation, it isn’t as painful.
- INTJs dislike on-the-spot questions that don’t allow them time to think. Even simple questions like, “Will you pick up a shift for me at work?” can be difficult for the INTJ, because he or she will want to analyze all of the pros and cons of doing so before answering.
- INTJs also hate high-pressure salespeople because they don’t have time to research and ponder something before making a decision.
- INTJs prefer to talk via written format (text or email) or face-to-face with most people. In my own experience, I don’t like talking on the phone very much. I can do it when I have to do it, but I avoid it. The only exception was when I was in the dating phase with my wife. Then, I found that I could talk for 2-3 hours. But that was the exception. I actually canceled my home phone and only have a prepaid phone now, and I did NOT set up a voicemail with it!
- I’ve never been terribly assertive in group communication. I usually sit back and let others express their ideas, and I only express mine when asked (unless I’m extremely passionate about something, in which case I will express my opinion). Some INTJs may be more assertive types though.
- INTJs may have difficulty concentrating on conversations if they’ve recently been pondering something deeply. After writing or debating someone online, I have trouble focusing on what my wife is saying.
- INTJs may have a delay in answering a question, because we have to stop thinking, replay what you asked, and then answer.
- INTJs have to see the big picture if you tell us something, so we may question things as we seek out a way to understand that big picture so that we can form a conceptual model. The INTJ will then seek ways to improve that model.
- INTJs often offer suggestions on how to improve things by saying, “If you’d do it this way, it would save you time or money.”
- INTJs rarely share their inner fears, secrets, ideas, or beliefs. If an INTJ shares that with you, they probably think very highly of you.
- INTJs don’t like for questions to veer into personal matters before they feel comfortable with you. They tend to volunteer information when they finally feel comfortable.
- INTJs prefer anonymous communication online. Many INTJs blog anonymously, create pseudonyms, or use cartoon avatars on forums.
- INTJs can be blunt or abrasive in their communication. If you have a dumb idea, an INTJ may be the first to let you know about it. They may even tell you the idea “makes no sense,” without realizing that it will hurt your feelings.
- INTJs tend to question things if it sounds unbelievable, and they will probably ask for your reasoning, sources, etc.
- In professional settings, INTJs prefer to think about something before answering, and they may even want time to research something in great detail before deciding. I’ve heard that a lot of companies have finally realized the value of introverts in a board meeting, and they’ll give them a list of items to be discussed, or allow them to go home and write a report.
- INTJs tend to be quiet in social situations, especially if the INTJ is around unfamiliar individuals.
- INTJs dislike interruptions, so don’t interrupt them in mid-sentence or while they’re concentrating on something. When I begin thinking deeply about something, I have a logical process going on in my mind. If X is this, Y is this, then I can do P. When I’m interrupted, that whole process comes to a screeching halt, and I lose all of that information. On days when I brainstorm, I even tell my wife to just email me so that she doesn’t interrupt me in the middle of some in-depth thought process. I can’t stand to watch people interrupt others (example: Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reily, or Piers Morgan…ugh).
- INTJs often like talking in spurts. We may need a lot of alone time to concentrate, read, or whatever, and then we may come out of our underground lairs to talk. We may zone out when we are working and ignore or turn off the phone.
- If you’re dating an INTJ, realize that every INTJ may approach texting and other forms of communication a bit differently. However, if the INTJ doesn’t like you, they’ll minimize their contact with you. They’ll be dry, and they won’t ask follow-up questions. They’ll also make themselves unavailable, etc.
In conclusion, INTJs have a somewhat unique approach to communication. Other personality types may find it difficult to understand why an INTJ needs time to think before answering, or why an INTJ may become quiet in a social situation.
However, INTJs can be very effective communicators. INTJs have a natural talent in writing, and many INTJs earn a full-time living from their written work (Stephen King, etc.). INTJs can also become effective speakers.