An INTJ will typically have a very small, carefully selected social circle. This isn’t necessarily by choice, but more based on the fact that other humans don’t like us. It is not because we are bad people, that we are cold, unfriendly or anti-social; It is primarily due to the fact that most people cannot handle the truth. Aside from the fact that I just opened your mental file of Jack Nicolson in that glorious scene from “A Few Good Men”, it is simply a fact.
When meeting new people, it doesn’t take them long to learn that we are bluntly rational, and may the powers that be forbid us from letting any small amount of our morbid humor slip out. Luckily, I have learned to keep the latter buried, for the most part. The first time a new acquaintance makes the grave mistake of asking for our advice, the blunt answer we provide will typically turn them off to us entirely. By the powers of all that is INTJ, the second the scenario is provided for us (you know, the scenario they are asking our advice about), we can see the entire flow of events, including the outcome. I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t recall being wrong at any point in my memorable history.
At that point, the chance of that new acquaintance becoming a friend is about 4%. (That statistic is based on exactly zero amounts of data and I am rounding to the nearest 4%, therefore it is just an estimate). All I know, is that the odds are small. Unless our new acquaintance is a fellow rational, we will be met with immediate offense, however disregard the fact that our advice is correct and they will learn that after several failed attempts at solving their problem. The more humble of these beings may run into us days, weeks and sometimes years later and assure us that our advice was correct.
No worries. We know.
What we tell them is the truth, based on facts and a rational flow of events. It isn’t rocket science, but that is not what the general population wants to hear. What they want to hear, is that what they are thinking is right, that their irrational approach is validated and will result in their intended outcome. If that isn’t the case, we will let them know and volunteer our thoughts to what the rational approach is. They don’t want to know that what they want will take effort, work or sacrifice and the last thing they want to hear is the truth.
On the other side of that coin, we may run into one of the presumed 4%. The chances of one of these beings asking for advice is even lower than that, so our circle of potential friends is slimmed down even further. There is nothing more glorious than one accepting our advice with open arms and taking immediate action, thus getting to their result and moving on with their lives. Personally, I call that a win in my efforts to optimize another’s life to make it just a little better for them. Then, they can be considered a potential friend. Remember that morbid humor aspect I mentioned above? Let’s just say we will cut that new friend category in half, leaving us with less than 1% of a chance this newly introduced human will actually become a friend.
The point is, I am incapable of providing false advice to make someone feel better about themselves and very few people appreciate that. A simple question such as, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” may result in a truthful answer, thus raising the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse. I’m sorry, but if I looked fat in my jeans I would damn well want someone to tell me that I did.
Also published on Medium.