INTJ and INFJ are two personality types that share many similarities.
But there are many key differences between them which allow you to tell them apart.
As an INTJ, I had so much fun researching what’s the difference between these two types.
And today, I’ll share my research with you.
Without further ado, I present to you the INFJ vs INTJ showdown.
What is INFJ
INFJ is the rarest personality type out there. People with this personality type make up about 1.5% of the population.
And if I had to describe them in the shortest way possible, I’d say they’re human contradictions.
Because they are:
- Introverted yet people-oriented
- Logical yet emotional
- Pessimist yet optimist
I could go on. But the best way to envision the INFJ personality type is to look at its cognitive functions.
As you know, there are four psychological functions:
And each of them can be focused inwards (introverted) or outwards (extroverted).
What’s more, there’s a chronological order of them, which indicates how well-developed they are.
In the case of INFJ, we have:
- Introverted intuition – their strongest function helps INFJs process information in patterns. That, in turn, allows them to see the bigger picture. Highly intuitive, INFJs understand a deeper layer of meaning, so they can read between the lines.
- Extroverted feeling – INFJs consider both the emotional and physical needs of people around them. That which impacts their decision-making.
- Introverted thinking – INFJs are concerned with precision and a deep understanding of how things work. This function helps them make decisions based on sense, not just feelings.
- Extroverted sensing – INFJs’ least-developed function helps them pay attention to their surroundings. This lets them enjoy the moment.
What is INTJ
INTJ personality type is right behind INFJ when it comes to rarity, as only a handful of people in the world fall into this category.
Like any other personality type, INTJ is best understood if you look at its cognitive functions. Here they are, in order of their development:
- Introverted intuition – INTJs’ ability to find patterns and underlying principles allows them to “see ten steps ahead.” Intuition gives them a holistic view of any situation, which helps them actualize ideas.
- Extroverted thinking – this function is what makes INTJs such great strategists. When solving problems, they base their decision on logic and critical thinking rather than emotions.
- Introverted feeling – this function often develops later in life. Introverted feeling helps INTJ understand their own as well as other people’s feelings. It not only helps INTJs read people better, but also be more compassionate towards them.
- Extroverted sensing – this function helps INTJs process information with their senses and “be present.”
INFJ vs INTJ: What’s the Difference?
At first sight, these two personality types appear quite similar. But that’s far from the truth. There are a few key differences between them, which we’ll discuss individually.
The difference in cognitive functions
Even by just glimpsing at the first section, I’m sure you’ve noticed the clear difference in certain cognitive functions between INTJ and INFJ.
To be precise, their feeling and thinking functions are reversed.
But what does that mean in practice?
External feeling allows INFJs to read other people – their words, body language, and facial expressions. And in a way, they absorb the emotions people around them feel. That, naturally, leads to them caring about how their words and actions affect other people.
So when making a decision, they’ll stop to think about how their actions can affect the people around them.
That’s rather polite of them, but it also gives INFJs much trouble. Making a decision that doesn’t negatively affect anyone is hard, sometimes impossible.
INTJs, by contrast, have a more objective and rational decision-making method.
Realistically speaking, pleasing other people doesn’t turn out to be efficient in most cases. So instead of focusing on other people’s feelings, INTJs try to find the most logical and economical plan.
Talking about emotions
I know, both of these personality types are introverts. But when it comes to feeling as a cognitive function, they’re directed differently for these two types.
In the case of INFJs, they have an extraverted feeling function. This means putting their emotions out there helps with making sense of them.
Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the main attraction of the party troubling everyone with their feelings. INFJ is an introvert, after all.
But in a relationship, for instance, they won’t fret about sharing their feelings with their significant other.
INTJs, on the other hand, have their feeling function introverted. So while they might be very troubled by their emotions, they won’t feel like sharing them with others. That also goes the other way – they don’t like when people share them either.
If an INTJ does share their feelings with you, know that’s a very rare case. You’re one of the rare people who got a chance to peek into their emotions.
Warmth and approachability
When you compare their approach to communication, it’s clear that INFJs appear more approachable.
They tune into the emotional wavelengths of others, sometimes too much. This makes it hard for them to express their opinions for fear of hurting other people. And likewise, they also fear criticism from others.
INTJs don’t have such issues in communication. They’re very direct and blunt, as they believe in efficiency in all things. But that also makes them appear rather cold and uncaring of the people around them.
Which is not exactly the truth. INTJs simply understand that pleasing people is not efficient – it gets nothing done.
Debating about opinions
INTJs are great debaters.
They have an extraverted thinking function. Therefore, they enjoy discussing topics people have strong feelings about. Because they base their opinions and beliefs on knowledge, they’re very passionate about defending them.
Religion or politics? Sign INTJs up!
INFJs, on the other hand, would probably run away as far as possible from such a discussion.
Their thinking function is introverted, so they think that personal views and beliefs are exactly that – personal.
And the reason behind that?
Well, someone might get offended.
And the tension in conversation is something an INFJ wants to avoid at all costs.
When it comes to work, INTJs like making plans. Their method is very linear, with the work organized into tasks.
INTJs have the ability to see the greater picture, which makes it easy for them to stay focused on the job ahead.
Now, INFJs also have the ability to see the big picture, thanks to their introverted intuition. But they have a different approach to their work. INFJs work holistically. They don’t stick to a plan but rather do as they feel in the moment.
The article didn’t answer all your questions? No worries. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about these personality types.
Is INTJ rarer than INFJ?
Can INTJ and INFJ be friends?
Can I be both INFJ and INTJ?
To Sum Things Up
INTJ and INFJ are very similar, yet very different.
While both are introverts, INFJs don’t mind talking about emotions. INTJs, on the other hand, keep them private.
But when it comes to opinions and beliefs, INTJs are the ones to stand by them and oppose those who disagree.
INFJs, on the other hand, will try to please people around them, even if that means keeping their opinions to themselves.
Can you tell INTJs and INTPs apart? Here’s our article with the main differences between them.