If you had one thing that you could tell the world about you, what would that be? Everyone, no matter who they are, has some burning need inside them that they just wish they could tell people. For some, it may be, “Please notice me.” For others, “Please help me.” For me, being an INTJ woman (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging), I am constantly dying to say, “Please—understand me.” Contrary to public opinion, I really am an open book to read. But even open books are useless if no one takes the time to read them. If you’ve never encountered being an INTJ woman, here are some things that I want to share with you about what it’s like being a part of this group of women that makes up only one percent of the world’s population. (That’s right, I said one percent.) I share these things not so I can be scrutinized under a microscope like a science experiment, but so maybe—just maybe—you can understand just a little bit more about the human being behind the face that people blow off without a thought.
1. Everyone seems to think that I don’t hae feelings.
I am not a robot. Really. I’ll say that again. I. Am. Not. A. Robot. I feel things harder and deeper than you think. I just don’t express myself as easily or as emotionally as other women. But I am not a machine. I am a human being. Human beings can get broken, too—but, unlike machines, they are more complex and have to be healed and not just fixed. And believe me, this is a really complicated system we’re dealing with here.
2. When people are talking to me, they think I’m disinterested.
I don’t believe in superficiality. I will not laugh to boost your ego, and I will not play that game that other girls do by bulging their eyes out of their sockets and pretending they’re fascinated by you. But if my mind is in tune with what you’re saying, I will look you straight in the eye and nod to show my interest. I love to listen and learn new information. So if it seem like I’m staring you down, don’t freak out. What you’re saying really interests me, and I’m hanging onto every word. And I won’t interrupt until you finish. (Or until I have some intelligent input to add to the conversation.)
3. Intelligent discussion is my love language.
Flirting…what is this thing you speak of? Yeah, here’s one that no one seems to understand. Intelligence is attractive. What’s the point of manipulation and love prattle to make someone fall for you? If you’re looking for a deep and meaningful relationship with someone—whether that’s a friend or a partner—does it not make logical sense that you should build your relationship on intelligence and mutual respect? So let’s not talk about feelings (until it’s absolutely necessary). Let’s talk about cause and effects that have changed the world.
4. I am constantly misperceived as being opinionated and obstinate.
Opinionated, yes. Obstinate, no. I have very, very strong beliefs that I stand by with every ounce of my being. But if you can rationally and plainly present your case and prove to be without a doubt that I’m wrong, I am open to change. Nothing is worse than going through life believing a lie. I want to get to the bottom of things and know the whole truth. If you can prove me wrong, I won’t be angry with you. I’ll have learned truth and will be happy that you have opened my eyes to a falsehood.
5. People immediately determine with one glance that I either have RBF or something is terribly wrong with me.
“Are you all right?” I get this all the time, and it makes me want to facepalm. Yes. I’m fine. I’m just thinking really hard. I’m not going to plaster on a smile if there’s no need to waste energy just to make my face look more appealing to you. Instead of asking me if I’m all right, you could instead ask me what I’m thinking. I love to share my thoughts—and I’ve got a lot of them. It’s just a simple question, but it shows me that you have a genuine interest in me and not a shallow assumption of me based on my appearance. This is part of being an INTJ woman.
6. I plan so much for the future, it’s almost a fault.
A bucket list. A retirement fund. A forty-year plan. (Broken up into five, ten, twenty, thirty, and forty-year goals. Yes, really.) It’s hard for me to stay in the present when my mind is so stuck on where I want to see myself in the future. If you hang around me long enough, though, I’ll take time in the present for you—but only if you mean enough to me to put my plans on hold. If I make time for you, that says a lot about your character.
7. People view me as an emotionally-deprived schemer.
Not exactly true. While I am not the person you should go to for emotional support, I will do everything in my power to devise a solution for your problem. And this solution is not crying my eyes out with you or gossiping or talking about our feelings. Nothing excites me more than working out a strategy. If you present a problem you have, I will sit down and research and write out a fifty-step master plan to solve it. I am fiercely loyal to my people, and I want to see them succeed. This is part of being an INTJ woman.
8. I just don’t fit in with the common stereotype of women.
This basically sums up why INTJ women are not easily understood. Quite frankly, we have qualities about our personas that are socially considered ‘male.’ Like all people, all INTJs are different, but the consensus across the board seems to be that we are not interested in frivolous things that other women may be (things like expensive gifts, fancy dresses, playing with little children, etc.) In the workplace, we conveniently crush social expectations and have minds of our own. INTJ women don’t grovel, we are fiercely independent, and we don’t answer to anyone for approval. If we know it’s right, we do it. And not a lot of people like that. This is part of being an INTJ woman.
So, what do I want you to take away from all of this? Simply this: no one should ever jump to conclusions about who a person really is based solely on appearance. If you do, you just might glance over someone who has so much love to share, but who has rarely been given the chance to share it. I am not anything that you expect—and that’s all right. No one is. It takes all kinds of people to make a world. Understanding and respecting each other is the first step to making it a better place for everyone. This is part of being an INTJ woman.