INTJ Dark Side | INTJ Stress | INTJ Unhealthy Traits, Patterns

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The INTJ dark side: What’s it like? What are some unhealthy traits that INTJs will exhibit when they go to the dark side? How do INTJs react while under stress?

INTJs have a lot of great strengths. We’re known as one of the more intelligent MBTI types (according to IQ test results, anyway). We are big picture, conceptual thinkers. We are great at solving complex problems. We know how to analyze something using objective logic. Our intuition can give us unique insights into things.

Some of the greatest scientists who ever lived were INTJs. In fact, Isaac Newton was an INTJ, and he is often referred to as “the father of science.”

Nevertheless, we have our struggles and weaknesses–our dark side, if you will. Below are some of our dark side traits.

INTJ Dark Side

Overanalyzing Things to a Fault

INTJs have the ability see every possible outcome in a given situation. The good news is that this skill allows us to create contingencies and prepare for major mishaps. However, the downside is that we often talk ourselves out of things. Because we can see every way in which a business, career, or relationship could fail, we might not pursue it. Hence, we might miss valuable opportunities to meet new people or expand our horizons.

Furthermore, knowing all of the different things that could go wrong in any given situation creates a certain level of anxiety or stress. We can become fixated on the possible “bad” outcomes.

In social situations, this could mean fearing that person X might ask us something uncomfortable, or that we might not come off as “normal.” In business or our career, we might stress over the possibility of failing.

Either way you slice it, overanalyzing things can be rough.

Bouts of Paranoia

INTJs can be secretive and extremely private people, and they often worry about people knowing too much about them. They will go to great lengths to conceal the personal details of their lives, even from friends or extended family members. INTJs commonly use anonymous accounts online, may use pseudonyms, and so forth.

One reason they do this is to reduce the chance of people knowing “too much” about them, which could lead to undesirable circumstances (the information could be used against them in a negative way). We strongly dislike it when others know our business, and we generally dislike being asked personal questions.

While extreme paranoia isn’t a common trait for healthy INTJs, they can struggle with it when they go to the dark side. INTJs can begin to feel as if the world is against them. They can feel as if everyone has betrayed them, and everyone is hoping for their demise. They might feel as if everyone they know is trying to manipulate them, find out information about them, or use them.

In severe cases, paranoia may occur alongside other mental health issues. For example, the late mathematician John Nash Jr. was an INTJ, and he suffered with paranoia and schizophrenia.

Bobby Fischer, arguably the greatest chess player who ever lived, was also an INTJ (and Enneagram Type 5). Fischer often struggled with paranoia, and he would go to great lengths to see if people (or the Russians) were spying on him or manipulating him. Fischer’s paranoia was emphasized in the film Pawn Sacrifice.

INTJs are Quick to Put People into Categories

INTJs can be quick to categorize people they meet, often putting people into a “like” or “dislike” box soon after a conversation. For many INTJs, the vast majority of people they meet will probably go into a “dislike” or “uninteresting” box. Once an INTJ puts you in the dislike box, it can be extremely hard for them to ever put you into a “like” box.

People will often ask questions such as, “Do INTJs hate everyone?” or “Who is ever good enough for an INTJ?” In many cases, it’s not that the INTJ hates you–it’s just that he or she didn’t find much in common with you (or spotted an undesirable trait). The INTJ probably still likes you on some level, but they have decided not to spend too much time with you.

Social Anxiety and Struggles

INTJs are not known for their impressive social skills. In fact, most INTJs struggle with social awkwardness and social anxiety. However, when an INTJ goes to the dark side, he or she can cut off everyone and go into total isolation mode. While even healthy INTJs require periods of solitude to research, read, and think about their intellectual interests, unhealthy INTJs can isolate themselves so much that they begin to feel intense feelings of loneliness or extreme depression.

Becoming social again is a real challenge for INTJs who have isolated themselves. They might even resent the human race and become misanthropes.

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