If you are a young INTJ female, you have likely already spent most of your life feeling as if you are different, in every way. It took me a long time to come to terms with my differences. At nearly 40, I have learned so much about myself and how the fact that I am an INTJ has affected my life path. It hasn’t been easy, and there are a lot of things I wish I would have known in my teens, twenties and even into my early thirties that would have made many decisions and relationsips easier. Not all of these things are true of every INTJ female, but they are true for me, and I am hopeful that even one of these lessons will offer some help and clarity in your life’s journey.
Your Intuition Is Never Wrong
INTJs have incredible intuition, and it is one of the greatest gifts we possess. I have ignored my intuition on countless occasions, only to be proven that my initial gut feelings were accurate. This is a difficult realization, as my intuition often coaxed me on an alternative path from what my heart wanted at the moment. When it came to relationships, I have spent nearly 8 years single, due to trusting my intuition in the dating process. I learned that the smallest gut feeling would escalate and eventually end the relationship, so I await for the right person who doesn’t raise a single red flag. It could have been the smallest thing that “bothered” me, such as a certain inflection in a way of speaking or something as small as a wrinkle, but my intuition let me know, every single time.
It wasn’t until my mid-thirties when I started trusting my intuition 100%. I have turned down great jobs, rethought my desires to relocate, avoided personal relationships and activities, simply because my gut raised an impossibly small red flag. Once I started trusting it completely, my life improved immensely; my career is better than ever, I make better relationship decisions and have settled down in a home and city that didn’t feel like “settling” to me. I now have everything I could ever want and need, and I truly believe that the power of intuition led me there.
It does take time to recognize it and what it is actually telling you, but over time, it will become your most trusted ally, or as I like to call it, my guardian angel.
You Are Likely Very Different From Other Women
This is something you almost certainly already know, but INTJ women are very rare and are so very different from society’s female standards. I have personally always had challenges with relating to other women, and this has not changed for me with age; in fact, it just gets more difficult as I get older.
INTJ females are fiercely independent, loyal, intellectual and honest, which are traits that are typically not all seen within one woman. We also typically don’t share interests in many of the topics of conversation and activities that many women enjoy. Because of this, it is difficult to find women we can relate to and enjoy spending time with. They exist, but they are as rare as you are, so it is best to accept and cherish these differences early on, in order to avoid frustration as you get older.
Relationships Are Challenging
Following my notes about intuition and being different from typical women, once you are in a relationship, it will always be challenging. I went into this in great detail in a previous post, explaining what some of the biggest challenges are. Assumptions and expectations are a constant battle for us, as so many women fit a particular mold that we can’t even begin to fit. It takes a long time and a high level of intimacy to get to a higher level of understanding to appreciate what an INTJ has to offer, and it takes even longer to prove that we are as genuine as we appear. If you have noticed a pattern in your relationships, it is time to trust your intuition and be true to who you are.
INTJs show love and affection differently than most people, and this will be another challenge in any close relationship. It is always important to communicate what your style is to a new partner so they don’t feel unwanted, unloved and unappreciated. Since we don’t communicate our love in typical ways, we must always educate our partners.
Educate Yourself On The Other Personality Types
Yes, we are different from other women and relationships are difficult, but in true INTJ fashion, there is always a solution. Getting to know the different personality types, their behaviors and what makes them tick is extremely valuable knowledge when it comes to developing relationships and just getting through life. Since the INTJ is rare and often misunderstood, it is best to do your due diligence and understand why someone else doesn’t understand you. From there, you can educate them on your differences and develop a more intimate and understanding relationship.
Take Time For Yourself
No matter what you are doing in your life, the great lifeline of the INTJ is alone time. We don’t always like being alone, and some of us may treasure human presence more than others, but no matter what, recharge with time alone often. Alone time is essential for our productivity, psyche and success with our relationships with others, our career and our lives. It keeps us energized and ready to take on whatever comes to us.
Constantly Challenge Yourself
Lack of challenge in life and career leads to boredom, depression and other possible psychological side effects. If you have ever watched, “A Beautiful Mind” about the notorious INTJ and Nobel Prize winner John Nash, it is my theory that his existing schizophrenia was further escalated by that lack of challenge in his life at any given moment. He enjoyed the decoding work that he did after his time at Princeton, and when that ended, he didn’t have a challenging project to dive into, therefore the schizophrenia created a top-secret decoding project for him. For those of us that don’t have schizophrenia, it is still just as important to keep our minds challenged, growing and deep in a challenging project to avoid the overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and lack of accomplishment that may arise.
This is especially important in our work, in which we need to be challenged at all times. If we don’t have something to optimize, build, enhance or make more efficient, dissatisfaction at our job will occur at a frighteningly rapid pace. INTJs are notorious workaholics and make incredible employees in the right position, so it is best to choose your career path wisely. Your career has to truly interest and challenge you, and settling for a job that doesn’t meet these requirements will only lead you to a constant search for the right position.
Always Be True To Yourself
Being an INTJ female has great rewards, but I found myself hiding a lot of my “INTJ eccentricities” in my younger years. Since the depth of us is so difficult to latch onto for so many people, I found it much easier to hide it. Hiding it, however, resulted in great cost in the level of my happiness overall. I learned that there is no purpose in hiding any of it, as genuine relationships cannot be established when you are hiding bits and pieces of your personality.
Greater self-love and happiness is the great result of self-truth, and it is important to maintain this throughout all stages of your life. You want to keep the friendships, relationships and achievements you have built throughout your life, and not being true to your nature will only lead to consistent loss of what you have acquired. Let your freak flag fly and be proud of it, that is who you are and you are a rare bird who will be appreciated throughout your life by the people of whose opinion you actually value.
Value Your Mistakes
We all make mistakes, but when I look back at all of the bad decisions I have made in my life, I view them as extremely valuable lessons. The INTJ has a great gift of learning from their mistakes and developing into a stronger, more aware individual which is on a greater path as a result. Every mistake, even the really difficult ones can be overcome and make you into the incredible mindful woman you will become.
Also published on Medium.