Are INTJs a bunch of misanthropes? In this article and video, I’m going to talk about misanthropy, which is defined as having a feeling of dislike, hatred, or distrust for human beings. Misanthropy is by no means an exclusive INTJ problem (any type could experience it), and not all INTJs experience misanthropy. However, many INTJs have suffered from this, and they often talk about misanthropy on INTJ forums. In fact, some people have suggested that INTJs are the most misanthropic types.
I think many INTJs fall into this pattern because INTJs are constantly looking for patterns in an attempt to form a conceptual model of the way things work. When you’ve been burned enough by people, you may eventually begin to identify a pattern and think that all humans are stupid, evil, etc. INTJs are also perfectionists, and they can be extremely critical of others (and themselves). These traits can lead to misanthropy.
If you think about it, misanthropy is like the ultimate form of racism, because rather than dislike one ethnic group, you begin to hate all humans in general. So, in a sense, misanthropy is racism to the extreme. Misanthropy is yet another potential INTJ weakness or self-destructive behavior that you may need to overcome as an INTJ.
INTJ Misanthropy Problems
Misanthropy can cause problems for the INTJ because it can distort their internal reality. Here are some issues that INTJs may experience if they indulge in misanthropic tendencies:
- It can lead to other self-destructive patterns (isolation, depression, cynicism). You may dream of living on a deserted island.
- You may find that you begin to treat people with contempt or disrespect.
- Your relationships may suffer.
- You may miss out on the “good” people who can positively impact your life (they do exist). Some INTJs have messaged me and talked about having difficulty in attempting another relationship due to being burned in the past. However, I wouldn’t give up so easily. I can’t imagine my life without my wife. She’s my best friend and business partner!
My Experience with Misanthropy
I came to a low point in my life where I basically hit rock bottom. I was lost in my career; I developed a bizarre hives condition; I rejected God and wasn’t religious at all; and the only good relationship I had was with my wife. I was depressed, nihilistic, and frustrated.
I was miserable!
I reflected back on my life and analyzed all of the people who had let me down or burned me. I also felt like many of the people in my life at that time were manipulating me, using me, or indifferent to the torture I was experiencing. All of these feelings led to a sense of misanthropy.
Of course, my misanthropy also led to other issues, like wanting to isolate myself from society.
How to Overcome Misanthropy
First, I don’t think there is anything wrong with expecting people to earn your trust. As an INTJ, I’m very slow to trust people, and when someone breaks my trust, they have probably lost it for life. But you shouldn’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. Be willing to trust people in small increments, and realize that no one is perfect (including you!).
Second, I don’t think there is anything wrong with disliking a person or even several people. There are some people who are just evil jerks, and they aren’t very pleasant to be around. You don’t have to enjoy their company or seek them out as friends. However, remind yourself that there are 7 billion people in the world, and there are some amazing people out there. Perhaps they are rare, but they do exist. Maybe you’ve been burned by 1,000 people. That still leaves BILLIONS that you’ve never even met! Don’t give up on people so soon.
Next, stay of the news as much as possible. Seriously, some people are crazy in this world, and if you watch the news daily, it’s going to make you have a negative perception of humanity. I’m not saying that you should never read the news, but if you find yourself struggling deeply with misanthropy, it may be a good idea to take a break.
In addition, try to minimize toxic people in your life and maximize the loving people. If you’re surrounded by toxic people, it can be easy to have a negative view about everyone. However, I’ve found that when I cut out or minimized contact with toxic people (and spent more time with more positive people), my perception of humanity began to change for the better.
Furthermore, remember that people can and do change. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to hang out with the “me” from 15 years ago. However, I’ve changed a lot since then. Remind yourself that life has a way of maturing and changing people over time.
Finally, here’s my philosophy on people: Love everyone. You don’t have to like everyone, but try to love them in the sense that you respect them as fellow humans, you wish them goodwill, and you’d be willing to help them out if they had a need. Be respectful to people, but minimize those who negatively affect you.
Conclusion: INTJs and Misanthropy
Any personality type can struggle with misanthropy, but perhaps INTJs are more prone to do so. It’s important to recognize this as an unhealthy thought pattern. Yes, people sometimes hurt us and let us down, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from being social. And in all honesty, you’ve hurt people or let them down, too.