Are you wondering if you’re an INFJ or INTJ? People get inaccurate results on the MBTI often, especially if they’ve only taken free online tests. The best way to determine your true personality type is to learn how the cognitive functions work. In this series, I’m going to explain the major differences between INFJs and other personality types, starting with the differences between INFJ and INTJ personality types.
Are You An INFJ or INTJ?
One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I tell if I’m INFJ or INTJ?” INFJs and INTJs are similar in many ways. They are both introverted, intuitive, and judging personality types. They also share the same dominant function — introverted intuition (Ni).
However, the two types are also very different. According to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, INFJs are Idealists (NFs) and INTJs are Rationals (NTs). There are major differences between these two temperaments. INFJs and INTJs also have different Thinking and Feeling functions in their top function stack. See the table below to see what the function stack looks like for each type.
Explaining Functions in INFJ and INTJ
Both types use introverted intuition as their ultimate guide in taking in and understanding information. However, the actions they take to accomplish the end goal are different. INFJs rely on extroverted feeling (Fe) to implement their Ni vision in the external world. INFJs will ask questions like, “How will my decision affect other people?”, “Will this decision be unpopular or create conflict within the group?”, and “Is there a chance this decision could hurt someone?”
INTJs rely on extroverted thinking (Te) to implement their Ni vision in the external world. They ask questions like, “Does this process make sense logically?”, “What steps are required in order to complete the task?”, and “What is the most efficient way to get there?”
This isn’t to say that INFJs don’t value efficiency or that INTJs don’t care about people’s feelings. The auxiliary function (Fe or Te) is simply what comes most natural to these types when making decisions.
Other Personality Type Differences
INFJs are harmony-seeking idealists. INFJs seek group harmony and avoid conflict because of auxiliary Fe. They also prefer to keep their personal values and opinions to themselves or to share with only those they are close with due to their tertiary Introverted Thinking (Ti). If the conversation becomes too heated or controversial during a group discussion, INFJs will try to find a way to ease the tension or remove themselves from the conversation entirely. An exception would be if the conversation revolved around a topic that they felt extremely passionate about or if they felt as though they or someone else was being unfairly attacked.
INTJs don’t have a problem with tensions that may arise during a debate. In fact, most NT types enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas and rarely get personally offended if the conversation becomes heated. INTJs enjoy sharing their thoughts and ideas but can be uncomfortable with relational conflicts due to their tertiary Introverted Feeling function (Fi). If an INTJ feels that a personal value is being senselessly attacked, Fi will be triggered and cause them to get upset, defensive, or withdraw rather than deal with the uncomfortable emotional experience.
INFJs and INTJs In Relationships
Since INFJ and INTJ personality types both have dominant Ni, they are both growth-minded in relationships. They’re also extremely loyal and dedicated to working hard to make a relationship work if it lines up with their Ni vision. Becuase of this INFJs and INTJs are usually successful in relationships with one another. You can read more about INFJs and NT relationships here.
However, INFJs and INTJs are very different in how they prefer to deal with relational conflict. If an INFJ has an issue with a partner, they will feel better after discussing the issue and sharing their personal feelings. INFJs see the exchange feelings as a way to grow closer and strengthen the relationship. However, INTJs prefer to process their feelings and emotions internally, rather than talk them out with someone else. They often need more time to figure out what triggers certain emotions and often try to rationalize how they feel.
Keep in mind that what I’ve discussed above is how INFJs and INTJs tend to act in most situations, as that is what comes naturally to them. It isn’t to say that if you don’t respond a certain way 100 percent of the time, you aren’t an INFJ. For more information about the top four cognitive functions of INFJs, check out the In-Depth MBTI section of the website. In the next article in the series, I explain the major differences between INFJs and INFPs.