This was said to me by one of my friends the other night while we were talking about the Myers-Briggs types. I know she meant well by it, I wasn’t offended by it, and I’m certainly not here to dispute the validity of it. However, what she said made me think, and I believe it’s evidence of one of the biggest misconceptions regarding INTJs and the Meyers-Briggs personality types as a whole.
I’ve written about something similar before when I ranted about INTJ representation in fiction and how I was tired of being cast as the villain. Stereotypically, INTJs are callous, arrogant, and overall unkind people. As I stated in that earlier post, this stereotype is actually very rarely the truth, but how can that be? If INTJs are supposed to have these traits of fierce independence and confidence, how can they be kind? I’m not gonna pretend I have all the answers, but I’d like to provide a few thoughts on the matter.
Anyone who’s been following me for any amount of time knows that I’m obsessed with interested in personality types, specifically the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I’m not going to go into a whole tirade of what the MBTI is, but basically, it assesses your personality using four categories: Introversion vs. Extroversion, Intuition vs. Sensing, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Perceiving vs. Judging. The results are then combined into a 4-letter type – For example, I am an INTJ, which means I have the introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging qualities. Though certainly not an exact science, I think it’s pretty interesting. It’s also helpful for writing, especially when it comes to characters.
Anyways, a while back I got to thinking about how personality affects writing style, and specifically how the thinking/feeling aspect can affect writers. Again, I’m no expert, but this is what I’ve noticed based on the writers I’ve known over the years.