Because INTJs tend to feel like they don’t fit in, they may need extra reassurance that you actually want to spend time with them.
Ever wonder how to be friends with an INTJ? People with this Myers-Briggs personality type have a reputation for being intelligent and aloof loners, but like many stereotypes, this isn’t really all that accurate. Even though they are introverts, INTJs put a high value on friendships, and they can make wonderful friends.
As someone with an INTJ best friend who also happens to be my sister, I find it puzzling when I hear people talk about INTJs as unfeeling or robotic. I’ve laughed out loud a few times (thankfully not during an in-person conversation) when people say INTJs don’t care about their friends or have no emotions. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If an INTJ comes across as uncaring, it was most likely by accident (and if not, they’ll probably be honest enough to let you know).
If you’re not yet sure why you’d want an INTJ friend, check out this article, 7 Reasons Why You Need an INTJ Friend in Your Life. Since you’re reading this article, though, I’m going to assume you either want to make friends with an INTJ, or you want to be a better friend to the INTJs in your life. So, without further ado, here are 10 things INTJs need from their friends. These things aren’t entirely exclusive to the INTJ personality type, but they are a really big deal to these introverted-intuitive-thinking-judgers.
What INTJs Need From Their Friends
INTJs are fiercely loyal once they care about you. After you earn their trust and they consider you a friend, you can bet they’ll expect the same kind of loyalty from you in return. Betraying an INTJ is the fastest way to end the friendship. You’ve heard of the INFJ door slam, right? INTJs can be just as bad, or even worse. If you get the door slammed by an INTJ, you might as well not exist anymore.
2. Freedom and alone time
Many INTJs want friends, but they’re also perfectly capable of being happy on their own, thank you very much. Smothering them with attention is not the way to prove that you’re worthy of being in their close friend circle. Unlike some extroverted types, who enjoy frequent contact through texting or meeting up, INTJs are content to mostly be left in peace. Similarly, don’t try to control them — that never ends well. You need to give your INTJ friend space or they won’t trust you enough to share their time with you.
Also, don’t be upset if they won’t drop everything to hang out with you at a moment’s notice. While they do like to be included, most INTJs prefer to plan things in advance.
3. Straight-forward honesty
Contrary to rumor, INTJs do have feelings. Your unkind words can hurt them deeply, but you can also hurt them with insincerity. They would much rather have you “tell it like it is” than talk in circles trying to protect their feelings. If they can’t trust you, to be honest, they won’t trust you at all.
Also, don’t be afraid to share your advice with them. INTJs welcome constructive suggestions for personal or professional growth. Just be sure you treat them with respect while you’re being honest.
4. Intellectual Engagement
INTJs use Extroverted Thinking to interact with the outer world, and they lead with Introverted Intuition. They’re not going to be interested in close friendships with people who can’t engage these sides of their personality. They want friends who can and will participate in debates about interesting topics and deep-dive into abstract theories. The exact conversation topic will vary depending on the individual INTJ, but the bottom line, they need friends who can engage them intellectually.
Many INTJs are not quick to trust people. They need people who are going to stick around, who won’t get offended if the INTJ wants to argue/debate with them, and who plan get-togethers that will give the INTJ plenty of opportunities to connect on a deeper intellectual level. Most people stay at the “acquaintance” level for quite a while before the INTJ trusts them enough to consider them a friend. You’re probably going to need lots of patience and a commitment to sticking around if you want to be friends with an INTJ.
If you’re friends with an INTJ, don’t just assume they don’t want to be included in something. Invite them and give them the option of whether or not to hang out. They might turn you down, considering how much they love their alone time, but don’t make them feel guilty if that happens — and keep asking.
Because INTJs tend to feel like they don’t fit in (especially in their earlier years), they may need extra reassurance that you actually want to spend time with them. If you keep offering to include them, they will appreciate it. INTJs will make sure they spend time with their closest friends, and it may surprise you how often they accept your invitations.
Many INTJs have difficulty processing feelings and/or connecting with other people on an emotional level. INTJs need friends who will be okay with the fact that the INTJ can’t always empathize with them (though they will listen), or be very emotionally expressive.
They also need friends who will try to see things from the INTJ’s perspective. Someone who’s really willing to listen to the INTJ, try to understand them, and ask relevant questions to clarify their perspective is invaluable to an INTJ. You’ll also need to keep doing this. Misunderstandings can easily happen if you and your INTJ friend don’t work on communication and understanding.
8. Problem solving
One way that INTJs show they care about their friends is by solving their problems. They want you to accomplish goals, fulfill your dreams, and work through the thing you’ve been talking to them about. They may be pretty blunt in how they communicate their views about what you need to do, and they need you to know that they’re being hard on you because they care. They also love it when friends want to strategize with them and solve problems together.
INTJs might seem like they have tough skin, but like anyone else, they can be deeply affected by criticism or discouraging situations. They don’t appreciate empty platitudes like, “Don’t worry; it’ll all be okay in the end.”
However, they do need people in their lives who can provide concrete encouragement. They need friends who will remind them that they’re not stupid, they’re not failures, and that they are valuable (preferably with evidence). INTJs fear being seen as stupid or mediocre. A good friend will be able to help them realize that a setback or mistake doesn’t have to define their lives — and encourage them to keep going.
INTJs place a high value on respect. They absolutely cannot stand it when people undervalue their opinions, ignore their advice, cut them off in conversations, or dismiss them as unimportant.
Also, you should never share private matters or belittle/criticize an INTJ in front of other people. While they aren’t usually seen as a “social” type, they care deeply about how they are viewed in their social circles. They want to earn respect, and if you can’t see that or honor those desires, you’re not going to make it into their friend circle. No amount of love and understanding can make up for a consistent lack of respect.
This article was mostly about being a good friend to INTJs you already know. If you’re trying to befriend an INTJ who you recently met, then you’ll also want to check out my article, 5 Steps to Making Friends with an INTJ.
I hope these 10 points help you build better friendships with INTJs. I also know these probably aren’t the only things that INTJs need/want in a friendship, so I’d love to hear if there’s anything you’d add to this list.
If you’re an INTJ, what are the most important things you’re looking for from your friends? If you’re friends with an INTJ, what tips do you have for keeping that friendship strong? Share your thoughts in the comments!