Unhealthy INTJ Traits: How To Spot The Signs (And Fix Them)

Without realizing it, you already know some pretty famous INTJs. Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lewis Carroll, Elon Musk, Nikola Tesla, and Al Gore all belong to the INTJ club. As such, you also know that INTJ types forge their lives with confidence, creativity, and independence.  

Those are the characteristics that represent the healthy INTJ, but what about the unhealthy INTJ? Can it be that these deep thinkers have a darker side? If so, just what is a toxic INTJ, and why do those personality traits come out? 

Here’s a look at four traits of the unhealthy INTJ and, if you’re an INTJ, what you can do about them.

What Does INTJ Stand For?

To understand the unhealthy INTJ traits, it is helpful to know a bit about the personality type first. The INTJ is one of the personality types on the Myers-Briggs personality test. 

It stands for (I)ntroversion, i(N)tuitive, (T)hinking, and (J)udging. It is from these character traits that both the positive and negative aspects of the INTJ personality are born. 

Certain aspects of the INTJ personality, like introversion or thinking, may have a more dominant function (also called outward function). The other aspects of a person’s personality play a secondary or auxiliary role in the makeup of the personality. These are the auxiliary functions of the INTJ’s personality makeup (also called inward function).

What Is a Toxic INTJ: Unhealthy INTJ Issues and Solutions

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Unhealthy INTJ Traits

1. Logic and Intelligence That Breed a Sense of Superiority. 

The issue: In the best of circumstances, the thinking aspect of the INTJ allows this personality type to think deeply about an issue, which gives rise to logical solutions to life’s greatest problems. 

Unfortunately, an INTJ’s often superior intelligence leads them to act in a disrespectful and condescending way when those around them don’t fall in line with their logic. Outward irritation in an unfavorable situation may be a sign of this, according to the Coolist.

The solution: If you’re an INTJ and recognize this trait in yourself, you may find it helpful to take a step back and realize that not everyone has the same information that you do. You can also ask yourself if your logic is based on confirmation bias, which is the tendency to stick to your beliefs regardless of the evidence against your argument. 

2. Inability to Understand How People Feel

The issue: Again, due to the INTJs’ highly logical tendencies, they tend to overlook how they feel and how other people feel. According to Quora, their extreme logic makes them push down their own uncomfortable feelings. 

Because they’re not comfortable with their own feelings, it’s impossible for them to be in tune with and accept the feelings of others, which can make them come across as cold.

Yes, it’s possible for an INTJ to be emotional, but rarely will they be so outwardly.

Blame this on “thinking instead of feeling” being dominant in their personality. Their introverted nature also leads to this extreme.

The solution: Awareness can help with this. It’s natural for an INTJ to turn inward when their feelings get a bit rough. If you struggle with this as an INTJ, just know that while some international processing is okay, you must learn to seek outward connections, particularly with those you care about. Otherwise, your personal life will likely be lonely and depressing because you lack a connection with others. 

INTJs are notoriously bad at relationships, romantic or otherwise, but that doesn’t mean they can’t develop skills to turn things around, and that’s true for you as well!

3. Perfectionism and Imbalance That Leads to Burnout

The issue: If you want something done right, give it to an INTJ because INTJs are known for being industrious, according to Better Help.

This leads to both negative and positive outcomes. The healthy manifestation leads to innovation and superior craftsmanship in their work. 

However, for the unhealthy INTJ, this can lead to a descent down the rabbit hole on a never-ending quest to achieve good, better, and best, but best never comes. This creates burnout for them at work and the tendency to be critical of others who don’t meet up to their impossible standards. 

The solution: If you’re an INTJ who falls into this trap, we recommend getting some accountability partners. These people will support your ambitions. However, they will encourage you to leave a job when it’s well done, even if it’s not perfect. In other words, they’ll hold you to a high, but not impossible, standard. Ideally, you’ll learn how to do this for yourself over the course of time.

4. A Serious Nature Gets in the Way of Relationships

The issue: In general, INTJs can be very serious to the point of being strategic and businesslike. In the unhealthy INTJ, this can come across as coldness, particularly when coupled with the INTJs tendency to clam up emotionally. 

The solution: If you’ve found yourself slipping into the more serious side of the INTJ personality type, you may want to concentrate on self-care and the pursuit of fun. We understand that an INTJ might find this challenging.

However, even something simple as putting fun on the calendar can help. Your battery will be recharged, which, in turn, will make you function better at work.

Related>> How To Tell If An INTJ Misses You

5. Stubborn and Immovable

The issue: Stubbornness counts among the INTJ’s unhealthy traits. While it’s good to stick to your guns, this can be taken too far sometimes, and unhealthy INTJs are often stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn.

According to Happier Human, this trait stems from the INTJ’s tendency towards perfectionism and a desire to stick to the rules and regulations at all costs.

The solution: Psychology Today suggests that people often slip into stubbornness in an attempt to protect their sense of self.

If you find yourself in this predicament, you may want to take a step back for a minute and ask yourself if you’re trying to “win” because you feel the need to protect yourself, which includes protecting your point of view.

In this instance, some honest reflection may help get things moving again. 

Final Thoughts on the Healthy and Unhealthy INTJ

Known as “the Architect,” INTJs have many wonderful qualities, including being brilliant strategists and loyal to a fault. However, if left unchecked, even the INTJ’s most positive traits can turn sour. If you resonate with this, you may want to take a step back. You may also want some accountability partners to help balance you out if the need arises.

Want to learn more about INTJs? Check out these resources:

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Unhealthy INTJ PIN

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