The Behaviors of a Real INTJ
Given the sheer amount of mistypes online there are for INTJs – real, fictional, celebrity, or otherwise (I’m frankly tired of every Tom, Dick, and Harriet being classified as an INTJ, especially if there’s an ounce of “villain” in them) – I’m going to talk about, and give you examples of, an actual INTJ villain for contrast purposes. Remove the “evil” actions and his thinking process remains Ni/Te/Fi/Se, which is what makes him an INTJ. If another character/individual doesn’t approach life with a similar cognitive process he/she isn’t an INTJ.
The character is Cardinal Richelieu
from the BBC’s The Musketeers. (Yes, again. I spoke of him several days ago, but more evidence came to mind since then.) He does many things, many
underhanded, even evil things, but it’s all in the “greater service of
France” – a higher concept, in which he sees himself as a
“servant” to the nation with a higher calling; everything else is sacrificed to this vision he has for France, as a global power, forever focused on generating desired positive futuristic outcomes (Ni).
Everything he does, every decision he makes, is calculated – and above all, LOGICALLY EFFICIENT. It’s Te. Real Te. Not the fake Te that a lot of so-called INTJ villains are accused of having, actual Te-motivations.
Let me give you a single example (though he approaches the entire season’s run of episodes with this kind of reasoning, every single time).
In one episode, a forward-thinking female courtier is making waves at court for her radical thinking – she wants women educated. She thinks marriage is rubbish. She sees what she wants and takes it.
The cardinal sees no real problem with this, though he makes some snide remarks along the way, because what does he care about her opinions or how her morals differ from his (tert-Fi)? Oh, no, what he sees is a vast amount of money he cannot get his hands on, which would build King Louis the fleet he’s always whining that he doesn’t have – a financial incentive to attack this woman, with tangible, real-world applicable results that get them somewhere. Take her down, get his hands on her money, use it to build ships to defend France and keep the short-sighted, spoiled king thinking he’s the greatest thing on earth, so he can continue running France in the future.
So he looks around for a logical method to achieve this. Knowing the superstitions of the time, he uses heresy to do it – she’s controversial; she has women in and out of her rooms often – why, what if she’s molesting the poor things, and there’s witchcraft involved? Burn her – burn her, and she forfeits that gigantic estate and all that lovely money, which he could put to better use, to France.
That’s Te logic. Observable facts that generate practical, useful resources.
After a near-death experience forces him to confront his mortality, and because Richelieu’s getting what he wanted anyway – Athos convinces him to let her live (”I’m not a cruel man – what do you propose?” – ie, give me a logical reason to spare her life!). Athos proposes something he’s amenable to – she can go off, and live on a small pension somewhere and teach, so long as she doesn’t tell anyone what he did, in getting all that lovely money away from her. She tattles, she dies. Fine, both parties can work with that.
That’s proper Te villain logic. It’s not evil for the sake of being evil, it’s not to generate chaos for its own sake (like an EXTP villain might), it’s not to create emotional angst in someone else (bad Fe), nor motivated solely by some vision without any practical logic or application behind it – it’s to accomplish something (Te) in the service of a higher vision (Ni).
The cardinal believes, genuinely believes, and in some cases is correct, that no one – NO ONE – can run France more efficiently than he can, so he SHOULD be the one in charge. Many of his justifications include “serving France,” “serving the interests of France,” France’s future as a major European power, France’s inevitable destiny, France’s impending conflicts with Spain, looking to the future, finding a singular vision, and carrying it out – Ni; accompanied by Te motives: money, power, getting things done, financial benefits, running the government, making wise political and business moves. He even admits that he has no interest in becoming Pope, despite its immense power, influence, and wealth, so he could care less that he’s just lost that possibility – he has a cause (France) already that he cares about (Fi) more!
Naturally, not every INTJ – villain, hero, or otherwise – is going to be this terrific in the case of bold, observable cognition, but to be classified AS an INTJ, you need some of that – some of those motives, some of that confidence in running things, some of that detached, working Te on display servicing a greater vision.
Inferior Se kicks in with the cardinal never doing his own dirty work – he doesn’t like to put himself at physical risk, any situation where he must improvise in his environment leaves him at a loss, and his stupidest moment involves trying to assassinate the queen on the king’s whim (shaky opportunistic and short-sighted inferior Se), which opens him up to discovery and puts him in full-on panic mode as he foresees his situation crumbling. HOWEVER… I should also mention that this decision isn’t without Te-reasoning either; the queen is barren, so she’s worthless in terms of protecting France’s future with multiple heirs. Why shouldn’t he replace her with someone who can have children, since France’s royal family needs them to stabilize the throne?
Another wonderful example of an INTJ whose thought process is much like this for comparisons (one who isn’t a villain, technically) is Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall. Many of the same traits manifest throughout the miniseries – someone asks him a loaded question, Cromwell replies with the detached financial / political facts of the situation, in a calm manner; he is a laid back but amazingly efficient man in office, who finds it semi-easy to run the government in a way that continually keeps the future in mind and England’s better interests at the forefront, and shows easy futuristic planning (his ideas about Mary, his incredibly insightful perceptions into Katharine of Aragon before Henry VIII sees her as a threat, warning his son not to look at superficial motives but instead focus on what is “really going on,” etc) in addition to Te skills (financial benefits, weighing the profit margins of war with France, making ideas into a reality through hard work, diligence, and focus, giving factual answers when asked for an opinion, and finding ways to increase the king’s coffers).
He is, once again, like
Richelieu, due to his foresight and naturally efficient Te the “best man for the job.”
THAT is an INTJ.
- ENFP Mod