INTJ vs. INFJ

Compatibility

So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.

The INTJ is the patient visionary clear on how the future should look and will work with quiet, logical determination to make it happen. The INTJ loves an intellectual challenge and is stimulated by the abstract, the complex, the new and the untried; facts and figures bore them. They can seem a little detached from others as they quietly process so much information inside their heads.

Serious minded and caring, values are so important to the INFJ. Integrity is their watchword and they will be excellent listeners, supportive and with a strong desire to ‘do the right thing’ often the catalyst for making things better. The INFJ will work patiently long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent of thought and spirit.

Relationships

There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

Being around them

For the INTJ everything has a scientific base so getting close would be difficult initially, as they don’t see the need for emotional connection. Their engagement tends to come via intellectual arguments with like-minded people.

Although quite gentle, and preferring to be out of the limelight, the INFJ will work long and hard behind the scenes to maintain harmony but they are also intensely independent - both of thought and spirit.

Dealing with emotions

For INTJs emotion doesn’t compute and so they may not understand their impact on others or indeed gauge the emotional reactions of others, which can make them appear as insensitive or a little cold.

This is a necessary escape valve for INFJs providing both time to rebuild their depleted energy and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent ‘givers.’

Openness and sharing feelings

INTJs are private and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misunderstand. INTJs want people to make logical sense and so feelings are difficult for them to fathom.

Although at times strident and outspoken, INFJs can only be emotionally open about themselves with a chosen few. At times INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their close friends.

Drivers and values

INTJs are intellectually curious and love complex problems and analysing data to and come up with unique solutions, driven more by concepts and abstract ideas than by the emotions of people.

Values are at the heart of the INFJ and they will take relationships as seriously as they do their causes and their global outlook and big picture focus may mean that it is difficult to get on their wavelength.

Conflict

Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.

Initial response to conflict situations

The INTJ is often impervious to their environment as they are deep and private and love getting their heads into complex problems. They love the intellectual robust debate and won’t really ‘see’ conflict.

Deep and private the INFJ will keep their own counsel. Yet they have such deeply held beliefs that others may be surprised how forthright they can become to defend values or those they feel need support.

Issues they'll fight on

For the INTJ it is about creating something new and worthwhile and this will be their focus. They won’t really see the emotional issues and will work at a more cerebral level where they are more comfortable.

Although the INFJ prefers and will create harmony, they have such strong and deeply held values, these honed over a long time and they will defend those values vigorously if they are transgressed.

Conflict style / communication

INTJs work more at an intellectual than emotional level and so would see conflict, if they did engage, as simply an extension of the debate and their arguments would be well thought through, based on data.

Because the INFJ is basically private, they will fight only on issues that really mean something to them and thus they can switch from being quiet to incredibly crusading, assertive and stubborn.

How they feel after

As the INTJ inhabits an internal world of complexity, ideas and possibilities, working towards conclusion, any conflict would simply be seen as part of that process, enacted then it’s time to move on.

All interactions, given the nature of the INFJ as champion and supporter, will eventually deplete their energies and they will need to recharge on their own, thinking deeply about issues and connecting the dots.

At Work

We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.

Contribution to the team

INTJs will overturn established practice be forward thinking and truly radical. They love the intellectual challenge, coming alive with difficult problems to solve then step back again when it becomes mundane.

Although introverted, the INFJ has very strong opinions, honed over much private reflection and will voice these strongly, less concerned with self and ego than with the cause.

Leading

The INTJ will be at their best with the facility to work for long periods on their own. If they do lead they prefer like-minded people who also love the intellectual debate and complex challenges.

INFJs can make inspiring leaders as followers will believe in them and want to ‘sign up’, having a devotion to the cause that borders on evangelical so people will have a crystal clear vision of what could be.

Being managed

The INTJ will often find the mundane and routine tedious and energy sapping and may prefer individual contribution excelling at deep diving and working on the unique, the interesting and the complex.

Meaning is at the heart of who the INFJ is and they would not be motivated by ‘doing a job’ but need a cause, something which is important to them, something to believe in.

Attention to detail / focus

INTJs are perfectionists, with an endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. They will work long and hard on such tasks, driving towards closure, impervious to the outside.

Strongly humanitarian, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their desire for closure and completion, they are generally ‘doers’ as well as dreamers, who take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility.

Creativity

INTJs are ideas people. Anything is possible. INTJs love developing unique solutions to complex problems, and, conversely, if it were not complex or interesting then why would they bother?

The INFJ is the innovator, coming up with genuinely radical and different ideas and solutions a great driver for the team, often taking on far too much but this is simply due to the INFJ desire to complete.

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