Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2 Comments A+ a-

Breakfast of champions--NOT
G'morning! Am sitting here waiting for my special-needs son to get past the 'mood' he woke up in. Not sure why he's in one, but very little makes him happy when he's like this. Except maybe a HoHo, which I can't feed him for breakfast for obvious reasons.

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to engage in a serious discussion with an INTJ. My son's case worker (Cathy) came for a home visit, and we sat down to talk about placements for my son outside the home. He'll be 18 next year, and I'm starting to realize that he needs more than my husband and I can provide here at home. I tried to convey my feelings about the situation, and she responded with logic and facts. It was actually quite interesting. She came up with some insights that I had keenly felt, but been unable to put into words. I was amazed at the easy ebb and flow of our conversation.

I've read that INFJs and INTJs are similar and can get along quite well. INFJs are Counselor-Protectors, and INTJs are Scientist-Diplomats (not all-inclusive labels for either, by the way). The two types share Ni as the dominant function, so both are introspective and think in images, using metaphors and analogies to explain our ideas. From looking at our functional stacks, I'd say the biggest difference lies in our auxiliary functions. INFJs use Fe to relate to the world, while the INTJ uses Te.

Here's a blurb I found on the website:

INTJs have a preference for extraverted Thinking as their auxiliary process.  Thus, they are given to "segmenting" -- which includes measuring things with objective criteria.  They will naturally calculate how long something will take, how soon the next event will occur, and enjoy telling you about these measurements.  They like organizing for efficiency, systematizing, structuring.
 INFJs have a preference for extraverted Feeling as their auxiliary process.  Thus, they tend to be "charming" and are given to "connecting" -- which includes maintaining an extensive web of relationships.  They are given to adjusting to and accommodating others, deciding whether something is appropriate or acceptable to others. 

I've often seen the similarities between the way Cathy and I think. How we express them is a different story. I care about feelings and impacts, she cares about details and structure. She can talk for several minutes at a time about extremely detailed issues, delivering facts and data in an almost ruthless manner, sometimes talking herself through different avenues. She can pick an issue apart and examine its minute components, while I'm busy trying to figure out why the the issue exists in the first place and what can be done to repair/enhance it. She can come up with a million band-aid approaches, and I'm more interested in going for the root of the problem.

Together we had a great conversation. She left with a mission to do her research and pull in others that need to be involved, and I was left with the feeling that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I think that if I could, I'd have at least one or two INTJs as friends to help balance out my large-scale thinking. I tend to look at the big picture and miss details, and I think the opposite is true for them. In the workplace, this combination would probably be quite valuable.

Well, I'd better sign off. My son is still in his mood, and I'm hoping Johnny can snap him out of it when he arrives!

Have a great day guys,


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October 15, 2012 at 6:42 PM delete

The relationship of INTJ and INFJ is very interesting. They can be very helpful to each other for the reasons you mentioned here. The INFJ is very in touch with the deep level of things in an emotional way and the INTJ is able to name and label those things in a very useful way.

I myself am an INTJ who is close to INFJ. I usually feel like I have both of them inside me at the same time. So I definitely am very familiar with how they work together.

October 16, 2012 at 7:16 AM delete

Hi there - I really like how you stated that INTJs can "label" the deep, connected levels the INFJ is feeling. That's a perfect way to describe my conversations with Cathy. Sometimes I can feel something but not quite pin it down with words. She, however, can pull it out and define it, giving us both a better view. The Thinker/Feeler pair can be amazing.

So you must fall toward the middle on the Thinking vs Feeling line? That has to be an interesting way to function! I feel like I've developed my Te fairly well and can engage on that level, but it's not by instinct. Do you ever struggle with your Te/Fe pulling you in opposite directions??