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INTJ Men and Feelings: Ever Feel Faster than a Feeler?

Thursday September 24, 2020

A good question:

I am an INTJ female and I have a question about INTJ men. Do INTJ men ever wonder if they “feel” better or more effectively than the feeling personality types in their life? For example, sometimes I can easily feel the unspoken truth that someone likes or dislikes me. I usually have to do something about it because it can cause a very distracting effect. It almost feels like I’m the one soaking up the emotional impact for both of us. In most cases these are feeler-types, like ENFP, INFP, INFJ

And you often end up acting on this before they do, right? This is a pretty wild topic…I find it really deep and interesting to think about, myself.

Maybe because I don’t think of myself as 100% Thinker…

And to answer your question, yes, I’ve met more than a few INTJs who are really impressively attuned to the Feeler-side of life. Here are some aspects I’ve noticed:

  • They may have learned to speak and write in a gentle, sensitive way
  • They may have already processed the need for a values-oriented life, so they’re quick to talk in values-oriented terms and set healthy boundaries, for example if they’re pressured to make a decision that goes against their values
  • They may display outward emotion in ways you’d never expect
  • They may have a good hold on charisma and are able to use it in a flexible manner
  • They may generally like this feelings-oriented part of themselves and enjoy interacting with it in a positive way, expecting and reaching positive outcomes
  • They may have a surprising capacity for actively taking on, and working through “relationship logic” when troubles arise

In a lot of cases, these individuals were raised by, or in part by, feelers. Maybe mom was an ESFJ and dad was an INFJ, for example. In some other cases, maybe both parents were Thinker types, and the INTJ ended up magnifying their Feeler-side in order to differentiate in some ways.

Some INTJs have told me it’s a bit “hard to watch” their Feeler friends who seem to deprive their feelings a voice. For example, an INFJ friend who constantly projects a thirst for the logical-analytical side of life during an ongoing relationship crisis, or an ENFP friend who is obsessed with information processing in the face of a mounting personal values crisis.

This is not to say those situations or approaches are “wrong” for those other people, but rather I think it’s fair to say that it can be frustrating to watch others ignore those aspects of life, when you yourself have found tremendous value in giving more direct attention to those aspects of life.

And if you’re relatively new to this kind of thing as an INTJ, maybe watch out for projection, the “I felt it first, and you’re not even able to get at your feelings, how sad is that” take.

You may also find that this additional capacity can indeed bring you to clarity faster, in some ways, than the others with whom you are working or relating. For example, you may find it necessary to communicate the fact that you’re just done with a process or context, because you already know everyone else is, too, through empathic intuition or communications.

At these junctures I do find it helpful to be forthright yet gentle in communications, but I also think it’s wise to ask for feedback during the process of disengagement or other decision-making. One of the worst things you can do is to act condescending or make assumptions. Being conflicted about one’s own feelings, and possibly feeling mostly one way or another is different from being completely decided about how one feels, and it can hurt others to treat them as if their minds are definitely made up, when in fact they are simply not sure how to express the depth and complexity of what they’re feeling.

As a final point to consider, I’ll just add that sometimes you simply can’t engage with Feelers or Thinkers in a Feeler way, at all. Maybe they’ve gone stubbornly silent, even though you both know that it’s time for them to express themselves.

I find that’s a good juncture at which to bring in a gentle sense of humor, or bring up a random thought, and see if it can help to lighten the mood a little bit. Sometimes the best thing you can do is allow people to move on to a different line of thinking, and often they’ll later demonstrate in other ways that they really got the message that you hoped they would get.

Anyway, it’s always good to talk about this, a worthy topic. Especially given a mental model with such a dichotomous look at personality aspects: Thinking vs. Feeling. But life is really much more complex than that.

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