INTJs are the most independent personality type, and we tend to have few friends. In fact, some INTJs have no friends outside of work or family. According to the MBTI Manual, INTJs were the most dissatisfied with friendships among all types. However, some INTJs do want friends, yet many struggle to make them.
So, if you’re struggling to make friends, I’m going to give you a few practical tips that can help you as an INTJ.
- Put yourself in some kind of social situation (school, work, organizational club, church, etc.). The internet can also be helpful to find people. If you’re never around people, you’ll never make friends. So, make a conscious effort to be in some situation on a regular basis.
- Smile and be friendly. People react to body language. If you go into a social situation with a scowl on your face, people won’t want to approach you. Instead, go into it with a smile, and be friendly. Ask people how they’re doing. Shake hands. Be nice.
- Go into the situation with some small talk topics planned in advance. This can ease the awkwardness and make you seem much more sociable and friendly.
- Ask a lot of follow-up questions. Most people love talking about themselves. This will take the pressure off of you during the conversation.
- Don’t be so rude and blunt. Many INTJs struggle with this. I remember reading about Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. He was an ENTP with this same problem. One day, a Quaker friend took him aside and told him that he was abrupt, abrasive, and obnoxious, and that people were getting tired of his attitude. Benjamin Franklin took that to heart, and he wrote that “I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertions of my own. I even forbade myself the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix’d opinion, such as ‘certainly,’ ‘undoubtedly,’ etc., and I adopted, instead of them, ‘I conceive,’ ‘I apprehend,’ or ‘I imagine’ a thing to be so or so; or ‘ it appears so at the present.’” He also said that when another proposed something he thought was in error, that “I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting abruptly.” This clearly worked for him, for he became a talented diplomat.
- Remember, if someone makes a mistake, don’t point it out. No one has appointed you as the correction police. People make errors all the time, including INTJs. Learn to overlook them.
- If someone has a bad idea, say something like this: “We can definitely consider doing this project that way, but what if we tried it this way?” Don’t say, “That’s a dumb idea!”
- Finally, learn to put a filter on your mouth and speak tactfully. Granted, this is more exhausting for the INTJ, but it makes for smoother relationships.
- Don’t debate everyone. I get it–it’s fun to showcase your debate skills as an INTJ. Here’s the problem: If you’re trying to make friends, don’t do it. It turns people off, especially when you crush them in the debate or argument. People hate to feel dumb.
- Maintain professional demeanor in your dress and communication. If you want to make friends, try using profession speech and dress. In other words, don’t throw out an unnecessary profanity every second or wear some shirt with a politically charged phrase.
- Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This is the heart of this article and video. I’d strongly recommend that you read that book. It will provide you with several strategies to improve your communication with people. This can lead to better job opportunities, relationships, and more. It’s an old book, and it’s probably cheap on Amazon.com. I don’t agree with all of the philosophies in it, but if nothing else, it will give you some strategies to practice.
In conclusion, it can be hard to make friends as an INTJ, especially once you get a bit older. However, there are strategies you can use to increase your odds of making them. I’ve applied these strategies, and I know that they’ve worked for me. In fact, they’ve worked a little too good. My biggest problem now is turning people down for various invitations.
However, always remember that if you want to make friends, you need to place yourself is some regular social situation. You also have to work on your bad relational habits, and improve your small talk skills.