Getting To Know Me: INTJs and Conflict

INTJs are masters at absorption and have an unquenchable thirst for learning… so we don’t see conflict as a negative. We do, however, view emotional over-reactions as inappropriate and idiotic. Here’s how to have conflict with an INTJ…

We don’t love or hate conflict, we just see it as a tool to learn. Often times our questions and curiosity will create conflict. For us, this isn’t an issue. For those that care about us, or even those who don’t, we are the devil incarnate.

There are two types of conflicts for INTJ’s, emotional crap, and learning… let me explain…

Emotional conflict: To say we avoid and despise this would be a grave understatement. We see this as unproductive and unnerving. Most INTJ’s have little fear, but if there is one thing we avoid based on fear, it’s emotion-based conflict.

It’s a two-part reason, 1) We don’t like dealing within the emotional realm. Logical solutions need to be objective, and emotions cloud that. We don’t see solutions stemming from an emotional standpoint. 2) We hate being vulnerable. True, everyone is uncomfortable being vulnerable, but for an INTJ it’s the worst state of being for us. It means we failed at planning contingencies to this situation and we let our idiot heart make decisions. We feel comfort in facts and logic, and emotions defy both. We’ve created many layers to avoid being vulnerable, but there will be that one person who can tear those down. Pain like we’ve never felt before.

So when it comes to emotional conflicts we either tend to avoid them at all cost (if we are subject to a vulnerable moment, and it’s with the one person we hold most dear), or we try and guide the other person (everyone else than that one dear person) towards a more logical and analytical approach to their issues.

Also note that an INTJ won’t even bother with an emotional conflict unless they love you, or they feel obligated to. So if you have the opportunity to share emotions with an INTJ you’ve already been deemed somewhat important.

Learning conflict: We love this. This type of conflict doesn’t bother us in the slightest. Our goal is to learn, not to be right. But if we are factually correct, we will not sugar coat it, tell you “white lies”, etc. We value authenticity and being blunt. If we love you we will attempt to educate you. If we don’t, we will either state the facts and feel confident in our superior ability to piss you off, or deem you an idiot and ignore you forever more. We really value our time, and learning, if you have nothing to offer then you’re not worth our time. Our greatest compliment to you is conflict. We are giving you our time, our thoughts, our open minds. We don’t do this for many people.

INTJ’s require resolution. We want to fully understand something, reflect on what it means, and resolve the conflict. This is pivotal to our sanity. For us, this requires learning. It’s like crack… we’re addicted. But for us, it has to be resolved.

So… what’s the best way to deal with conflict and the INTJ personality type?

  • First, and foremost, consider your own personality type and communication capability. All INTJ’s are excellent learners and may be a very strong communicator. If you’re emotionally reactive, or not a strong communicator, you’re entering into the conflict unarmed. If the INTJ cares about you, you’ll be fine if you remain open. They care so they’ll want to guide you and resolve the conflict. If the INTJ cares, they will want a resolution that’s not just logical, but brings both parties to a space of contentment and peace.
  • Note that resolution is essential to the INTJ. If you start a conflict, or move a conversation into that realm, you’ve got to be prepared to resolve it. You don’t have to, of course, but you will create a huge wedge in your relationship with the INTJ. If you don’t care about the INTJ, your actions are irrelevant. If you do care you will either need to resolve the conflict or express a time that you can resolve it. Everyone gets busy, and an INTJ logically accepts timing may not be appropriate, so expressing that you desire resolution but need to postpone the conversation, will go a long way to preserving the relationship.
  • If you have an emotional need that creates conflict, whoa is you. Yes, INTJ’s have emotions, and they can be quite passionate about ideas, goals, or their loved one. They don’t generally mind expressing how they feel to the one person they adore. When it comes to emotional conflict, though, you’re invoking both the very deep and hidden feelings they have, and their logical need to resolve conflict. It’s a conundrum to them… which part of themselves do they use? They prefer their brains, but if they love you they know their hearts are involved. The best way to approach this is to be expressive, detailed, and open-minded. Watch your reactions and be ready to apologize quickly if you overreact. INTJ’s are very accepting of honest mistakes, as long as there is accountability and communication. If you feel they’re over-reacting, or not responding they way you’d hope them to, ask questions. Don’t be afraid to question everything, and be accepting of their questions. INTJ’s need to analyze and understand. We aren’t robots though… especially with the one person we care deeply for. Since those people are very few and far between in our lives, we don’t have enough practice in communicating our emotions, or when we feel hurt. We’re far more likely to just pull away and move on. We consider that the safest option. INTJs are fearless, except where the heart is involved.
  • If you’re dealing with a boss or co-worker that’s an INTJ, conflict will always be logical, fact-based, and focused on a solution that’s goal and risk orientated. Approaching it any other way will fail. Your INTJ doesn’t need to be right, but absolutely needs to be factually correct. They are the most open-minded bosses or co-workers you’ll ever meet. They never have hidden agendas because they value authenticity. They also highly value accountability, so performance and communication will be expected. They need movement forward, progress, so if you’re always solving for the now while working towards the future, you’ll work well with the INTJ. If you’re an asshole that has to be right, are incompetent, or like bullshit stories to appease people the INTJ will not like or respect you. If they love that job, they will decimate you. If they don’t like the job, they’ll move on to something they love more. They may still decimate you for the fun of it. The INTJ makes an excellent leader for those who expect success and continuous growth. Be authentic, accountable, and communicative with the INTJ and you’ll resolve conflict easily.

Most people avoid conflict as a whole, if you’re one of these types, consider this: Do you care about the outcome? If so, the only way to influence an outcome is to partake in the conflict’s resolution. If you don’t care about the outcome, the INTJ would consider it wise to not waste your time or energy in conflict. Conflict doesn’t have to be negative. It does have to be resolved. The art of resolution is based in communication, commitment, authenticity, and intent. Check yours before you enter into a conflict, especially a conflict with an INTJ.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me. And, if you’re interested in working with me, check out my coaching program.

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