By Dr. A.J. Drenth
Much has been written, both on Personality Junkie and elsewhere, about INFJ-INTP relationships and INFP-INTJ pairings. These type dyads seem to enjoy natural rapport and compatibility. And while this is certainly worth noting from a romantic perspective, the value of INP-INJ interactions extends well beyond intimate partnerships. In this post, we will discuss some reasons why INTPs and INFPs can benefit from conversing, connecting, and consulting with INFJs or INTJs.
INFJs & INTJs as Perceivers
We must begin with the fact that INJs, who use Introverted Intuition (Ni) as their dominant function, operate first and foremost as perceivers. Their main role in life is to take in information. Both INFJs and INTJs tend to absorb copious amounts of information, even if largely unconsciously; they are like information sponges.
As predominant perceivers, INJs are very patient with the information-gathering process. They prefer to remain open and forestall judgment until all the necessary information has been collected.
INTPs & INFPs as Judgers
INTPs and INFPs, by contrast, are predominant judgers. Their dominant Fi or Ti function prompts them to make judgments rather quickly. As discussed in my latest eBook, My True Type, INPs are less apt to “perceive for its own sake” than INJs are. They often form quick judgments based on impulse, making them more prone to upfront errors and inaccuracies. By judging prematurely, they are like horses with blinders, apt to miss the bigger picture.
Combining Typological Strengths
In light of these differences, INPs are wise to consult with INJs, especially when it comes to bigger projects, decisions, or theories. Of course, acknowledging the benefits of consulting with others does not come naturally to INPs, since they see themselves as capable and independent arbiters. Hence, a certain amount of maturity or life experience may be required for them actively seek out others’ input.
INJs can help INPs see the big picture and ensure they have not formed judgments based on inadequate information. They may also foresee future problems that INPs may fail to see or consider. For example, my early approach to blogging was to put my head down and write as much as possible. I refused to consider all the business aspects, worrying that these might bog me down and curtail my inspiration. Along the way, I was fortunate enough to develop a friendship with an INTJ blogger who kindly informed me of numerous business considerations and strategies I was missing. Without our conversations, it may have taken me years to discover these things on me own. Why? Because I wasn’t looking for them. I wasn’t opening myself to that information. My eyes were only focused on things that my subjective logic (Ti) reasoned was necessary. Through interactions with my friend, I learned that INJs don’t operate this way. They don’t block things out in the way that IPs (or EJs) are apt to do; they perceive (Ni) before they judge.
But what about EPs? Aren’t they predominant perceivers as well? The reason I think INJs may be a bit more helpful to INPs than say, ENPs might be, is they use a different form of intuition. When I (an INTP) engage with ENPs, I often feel like I’m talking to myself, since we are both using Extraverted Intuition (Ne). And while I also find myself agreeing with many of INJs’ ideas, their methods and modes of reasoning are intriguingly different. They shake-up my typical way of thinking (in a good way), allowing me to see things in truly novel ways.
More specifically, INFJs can help INPs determine whether an idea, inclination, or enterprise is coming from a healthy place or whether it is more ego-driven. They can shed light on whether INPs’ ideas and motivations are aligned with their best and most authentic self. INTJs excel with critiques of logic, strategy, methodology, and accuracy. They can also help INPs better connect and situate their ideas within the larger scope of extant knowledge and systems.
In light of the above, if INPs really want to better themselves and their ideas, consulting with INJs can be a truly eye-opening and transformative experience.