Every-so-often (read: “more-often-than-not”) the staff at Geeks Under Grace likes to feature something fun, unique, and (above all) nerdy. We challenged our staff members to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and discuss their findings, along with five fictional characters that they share a type with.
If you’re unfamiliar with this test, I’ll give you a quick catch-up so we’re all on the same page. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a psychological, personality-assessment test which measures how individuals perceive their world and make decisions based on those perceptions. The test scores individuals by labeling them with a four-letter type. This type represents four dichotomies that the individual has the most in common with, and each dichotomy is determined from a set of two. Confused? Don’t worry. It’s not as complex as it sounds.
The four different dichotomies are:
Introversion VS. Extroversion: Introverts are reserved and private, enjoy time to contemplate and consider, tend to think things through, live in their own inner world, need alone time to “recharge,” and would rather observe than be the center of attention. Extroverts are talkative and outgoing, enjoy a fast-paced environment, find energy in parties and socializing, tend to work ideas out with others and think aloud, and would rather be the center of attention.
Sensing VS. Intuition: Sensing types focus on the reality of how things are, pay attention to concrete facts and details, prefer ideas that have practical applications, and like to describe things in a literal way. Intuitive types imagine the possibilities of how things could be, notice the big picture and see how everything connects, enjoy new ideas and concepts, and like to describe things in a figurative or poetic way.
Thinking VS. Feeling: Thinkers make decisions in an impersonal way, rely on logical reasoning, value justice and fairness, enjoy finding the flaws in an argument, and are usually reasonable and level-headed. Feelers base decisions on personal values and how they may effect others, value harmony and forgiveness, like to please others and point out the best in people, and are usually warm and empathetic.
Judging VS. Perceiving: Judging types prefer to have matters settled, think rules and deadlines should be respected, prefer to have detailed instructions, make plans in advance, and like to know what to expect. Perceiving types prefer to leave options open, see rules and deadlines as flexible, like to improvise and make things up as they go, and are usually spontaneous and enjoy new situations.
Once the test has determined which of the two in each set that the individual is most like, it arranges them into a four-letter type. For example, an individual who was an extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving type would be classified as an ENFP.
Now that you understand the basics of the test, let’s take a look at the staff behind Geeks Under Grace and see how our personalities stack up with our fictional counterparts.
Shawn Bain – ENFJ
ENFJ’s are compassionate leaders by nature. Our Extroversion tends to make us the first in line to accept the challenge of leadership by openly engaging people to side with our cause. With iNtuition we typically shoot for the stars by looking at the big picture of our goals. Our Feeling tends to make our goals more compassionate, and gives us more of a tender heart for those that are weak or suffering. Finally our Judgment leads us to plan our actions to achieve a more favorable outcome through strategy.
Some prominent leaders throughout history have been ENFJs, namely King David, and many were known for their compassion and defense of the poor. The same has been true for many of the fictional characters that have been classified as ENFJs. While there may be some disagreement as to what their personality type really is, as there will be with almost every fictional character, these are the characters that I have chosen that best match my personality in comparison with the MBTI test.
The Lion King
The empathetic king of Pride Rock. His benevolence led him to give the evil hyenas a place to live next to his kingdom, though it was well within his means to push them out of their home. In the end, his compassion for his family led him to misplace his trust and leave him vulnerable to his brother’s murderous scheme. Like Mufasa, I tend to be empathetic toward other people. This can be a good quality for a leader, but when you partner that with our lack of attention to detail we can sometimes overlook the bad in others. This makes it easier to forgive, as we tend to be optimistic and look at the good in others, but leaves us more open to be used for others’ personal gain.
Cyclops has tasked himself with the protection of the entire mutant race. He feels that, since he was born with powers, it is his civil duty to use those powers to protect those who have been condemned for their genetic mutations. While he has drifted in and out of the X-MEN, he has always done what he can to further the mutant race. This quality is deeply instilled in me. I feel that if I can’t use any influence I have to help those in need, that I have wasted the resources I have been blessed with. Unfortunately (and fortunately), this can lead to my leaving a project that I don’t feel is having an impact on those that need it. That is why ENFJs are typically the ones that are seen leading political causes that affect the less-fortunate.
While William Wallace was a real person, the movie Braveheart is a fictional telling of his history, so I’m going to use him, dang it! Feel free to ignore this section if this bothers you. William Wallace used his extroverted, charismatic nature to influence a rebellion against the overwhelming odds of a tyrannical government. His natural leadership showed his passion in the darkest times. It was so instilled in the people he touched that they fought with enough ferocity to overcome the massive and well-organized English army… even after his death! As ENFJs, we are predisposed to inspire others. Speaking life comes easier to us. This quality is good if our cause is good, but can be negative if we aren’t working toward a positive cause. Fortunately, as Christians, if we line our causes up with Scripture, we can inspire many people in the correct way.
Lord of the Rings
Faramir is introduced as he meets the hobbits that are carrying the One Ring. After learning about his brother’s death (due in part to being tempted by the ring), he wishes that he had gone in Boromir’s place to join the fellowship. He knew that he would have been much more successful at resisting the temptation of the ring (as he shows in The Two Towers) and his brother’s life would have been spared. If there is ever an opportunity for me to do something myself, I will do it rather than send someone in my stead. This can often times lead to spreading myself too thin amongst tasks, but it also prevents putting a heavy load on those who look to me for guidance. If a task needs to be delegated, I will give the easier task to others and take the harder one for myself.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The leader in blue that does anything it takes to get his ninjas through. Leonardo never backs down from a fight when someone needs him. His steadfast leadership often sends the teens into drastic situations to pull a fallen teammate or helpless victim *cough* April *cough* out of dire circumstances. He doesn’t do it haphazardly though. Leo always weighs the consequences of the attack and plans the best, most strategic approach to the fight. I am not one to let evil win willingly. For instance, when I see a friend post about hot topics on Facebook (i.e. abortion, apologetics, etc.) I make sure to get notifications from the post so that, if they are confronted by someone, I can be a friend in their corner. I often choose sides in political and social arguments that are in protection of those who can’t take care of themselves. I approach these arguments tactfully though. I do my research and form an opinion in case I have to argue that topic in the future, and I don’t get into debates that I don’t feel have significant importance. When deciding on a charity to donate to, I research to see which charity has the most impact (based on the demographics of the location they are in and the percentage of proceeds that go to the cause).
My intent with this article is not to paint myself in a good light, but to compare myself to traits that I find admirable in these characters. I am much more flawed than I am whole, but we can save those flaws for future, deeper articles. Thank you all for reading, and I hope this gives you some insight into ENFJs!
Silas Green – INFJ
“I think we must expect great things from you…” –Mr. Ollivander, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
INFJ personality types tend to be characterized by the need for solitude, strong emotions, and a desire to remake the world. We tend to make very good teachers and mentors (like a lot of INFJs, I went into liberal arts in college instead of the sciences; INFJs tend to be drawn to the humanities). INFJs tend to want to be involved with people, but still need time alone to “recharge.” They often have few close friends, and, in my personal experience, those friendships do not come particularly easy. They are capable of great empathy, but can fall into the traps of pride and ambition if they are not careful. Famous INFJs include Ludwig Wittgenstein (one of my favorite philosophers), Mahatma Ghandi, and… maybe even Hitler? There are good and bad in every personality type.
The consummate INFJ. He’s a teacher and a wise mentor to Harry Potter, but he’s got some skeletons in his closet. INFJs tend to be secretive, not only because they feel an inherent disconnection with the rest of humanity, but also because they tend to be empathic enough to know how people will react. Dumbledore usually stays in the background, but he wants to pass his wisdom onto others. He genuinely cares about people and works to make their lives better, but he doesn’t see himself as the hero.
Overwhelmed by her own feelings, she actually goes off and builds her own ice castle to live in, away from people. The song “Let It Go,” is an anthem of surrender to one’s own feelings and embracing the distance between you and everyone else. Elsa shows some of the negative aspects of being an INFJ. Some of us are too quick to exile ourselves and choose solitude over the people God brings into our lives. And there is a stubbornness that comes with the mindset as well. God says to trust in him with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding, but INFJ’s tend to trust their own feelings and intuition, even when it gets them into trouble.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
This character really shows the messianic tendencies of an INFJ (a lot of fictional, messianic heroes are INFJ types, including Aslan and Daenerys Targaryen). We’re not ambitious or anything. We just want to save the world. Like other INFJs, Nausicaa tends to keep to herself, frequently spending time alone out in the Sea of Corruption (a mutated jungle that is spreading over the earth). She doesn’t seem to have close friends, even though she’s friendly to everyone. INFJs love from a distance. Actually… sometimes we kind of tend to love from on high. Spiritual pride and ambition are dangerous traps for us, but if we can avoid them, we can accomplish great things. Nausicaa leaves her village and everyone she knows so she can go try to stop a war, save the world, and… um… become a god? Are all INFJs so full of themselves?
A god. W-Wait a minute! I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence. And besides, his godhood isn’t the issue. The point is that he feels disconnected from his family and world after finding out that he was stolen from another realm. And he sets out to save the world from… okay, no. Actually he tries to destroy everyone. This is INFJ personality at its pitch-blackest. We can be the opposite of saviors, actively punishing the people around us for not connecting with us, which we have made practically impossible for them. Unlike Elsa, who accidentally curses her homeland, Loki does his evil deeds on purpose. There’s still a seed of empathy inside him, but it only makes him more dangerous. Of course, Loki gets some sense beaten into him by something even stronger than a god, which brings me to…
One of the Endless–primal forces incarnate that are even beyond gods (okay, we INFJs might have a slight complex…) He’s a loner who always dresses in black and likes to tell stories (INFJs do tend to be creative–a side effect of the solitude/emotion cocktail we’re always drinking from). Dream creates an entire kingdom of stories, to which he retreats often, but he always comes back to our world and interacts with humans. He feels the need to be involved in the lives of others, even while keeping his heart beyond their reach.
Cooper Barham – INFJ
INFJ’s have a deeply inspired sense of protection and reserved insight. The Introversion keeps us largely to our own devices and company, where we are often our own best friend and source of energy. This is not to assume we are inherently awkward when confronted by social situations. Our iNtuition helps us see things on a larger scale, beyond the immediate here-and-now, and can also make us feel mildly psychic in our ability to predict outcomes with accuracy, particularly the behaviors of people. Feeling gives us a mind and priority for emoting. We search for strong emotions in our relationships and daily consumptions, and use the strongest of those to drive our ambitions forward. Judgment formulates our life into an organized blueprint with the highest chance of success. We don’t often do things off the cuff, but with a foreseen and planned intention to do so.
Now, for a couple of my personal favorite INFJ characters in fictional historia. These are characters with which I feel a strong level of connectivity or empathy (one of our strongest traits). In writing this, it’s difficult not to sound like I’m appealing to my ego, since most of these characters would be considered awesome by most people. Please understand, these are ideal INFJ’s in most cases–people that us common INFJ’s aspire towards.
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Great Lion of C.S. Lewis’ beloved fantasy series, Aslan is known by many names, having a perplexing level of forgiveness and compassion, and as the God-symbol of the wonderful realm of Narnia and beyond. He is depicted as a talking lion, the King of Beasts, and is perhaps the most idealistic and perfect version of an INFJ there could be, as he exhibits no flaws in his character. Makes sense, considering he’s representative of Christ, a perfect being. Lewis describes Aslan as an alternative form of Jesus, if Jesus were to appear in a fantasy universe (Jesus is also largely considered to have been an INFJ in his human capacity).
The primary trait I wish to emphasize in talking about Aslan is based on one of the most famous descriptions of his character: “He is not a tame lion.” Aslan is humble, benevolent, loving, and lovable, but he is also immeasurably powerful and, to his adversaries, a horrifying danger. The thought of meeting Aslan is off-putting to people because of his power to change the heart, even if it sometimes hurts. This is to say, Aslan might be understanding and gentle, but he also has great insight to what’s best for others, and will not back down or cut corners when being honest about who they are and what they need. He can (and will) call out all the wrongs they’ve done, and every darkness inside of them, but he does so in the hopes that they’ll let him help them. He’ll attack the root of the problem with fierce resolve. But he forces nothing, and possesses infinite patience. He will never leave them, and wants nothing more than the best for them. When finally they are ready, he will be there to save them, and act as the leader they’ve always wanted to follow.
Professor Charles Xavier
Professor X, founder and figurehead for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters (or just Xavier Institute), has a long and complicated past, with a lot of ups and downs. But most people know him as the old man in the wheelchair, working to promote peace between mutants and the society that discriminates against them, protect the mutants from humans who would wish to do harm to them, and (in cases like Magneto) defend humanity from mutants who would like to return the violent sentiment. Charles Xavier is far from perfect, but still stands as one of the most memorable and respectable characters in all of comic book history. He’s kind, patient, brilliant, accepting of all people groups, human and mutant alike, and self-sacrificing. What I’d most like to accentuate though, is his understanding of others and ability to decide on a course of action.
Xavier is very passionate in his dream of seeing mutual respect pass between humans and mutants, even to the point that he’d be willing to fight against his best friend Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), despite how much it hurts his heart. He has a goal, he has a plan, and he has enough foresight to know that it’s worth the struggle, even at cost to himself and what he wants most–to see Erik share the same dream. Xavier soothes the concerns of mutants and their families, insuring that he will do his very best to make everything better.
And he does.
It should be clarified, this entry is not about Batman. The dark cowl does more than change Bruce Wayne’s physical identity, but alters his character so much that Batman must be considered a separate entity in terms of personality. True, Bruce Wayne often meets the social scene, flaunting his charisma and philanthropy, but all of that is often nothing more than a show. Introverts can be skilled in public self-display, too, but that doesn’t mean it’s their preference or source of energy. Bruce Wayne might appear shallow, but he’s never more at home than when he’s preparing for those exciting, nighttime exhibitions, researching enemies, and otherwise keeping to himself in the Batcave. He’s exceedingly organized, a testament to his superior J, and is known for toppling his opponents through brain-splitting formulation and planning. Bruce constantly challenges himself to grow, largely to protect the people of Gotham, but also just to prove that his limits simply haven’t yet been reached.
Itachi Uchiha & Sasuke Uchiha
Itachi is the primary focus of this entry, but Sasuke needs some attention, too. They are, in essence, parallels of one another–one with exceeding success in his INFJ-ness, and one who, for the majority of the series, does everything wrong. They are the same character, but take very different paths.
Itachi is a man who’s greatest weakness and greatest strength is himself. Despite being an elite shinobi, he’s never able to separate his heart from his actions, but still possesses a wisdom beyond his years and an intuition as to what massive conflict can bring. As such, he subjects himself to his own emotional torture as he acts in the best interest of his village, and his brother, by personally killing everybody in his family in order to keep them from starting a war. Itachi is profoundly conflicted in what he does, and, even on the evening that he murders his father, his father describes Itachi as somebody gentle. But the truth of the entire ordeal is never brought to light, so Itachi shoulders everybody’s hatred and acts as the fall guy so the village can be at peace. Itachi demonstrates staggering levels of selflessness and sacrifice, earning him a place on pretty much everybody’s favorite Naruto characters list.
Sasuke is Itachi gone awry. He had that love, too–the love Itachi had for his family–but, because the truth was never made known to him, over time that love gives way to hatred. They are both introverts, who work hard to be the best they can be, and, despite their intelligence, behave with emphasis on their Feeling in contrast to Thinking. Perhaps the largest difference is that Sasuke’s iNtuition is in disrepair, so he fails to understand what Itachi was trying to do. Even when Sasuke learns the truth, his heart is so far gone to feelings of anger that he doesn’t know how not to be hateful, and translates his brother’s ambitions incorrectly. They are both very similar, and completely different all at once.
In trying to determine what MBTI personality type Edward Elric was, I struggled to decide if he was an INFJ. It just…didn’t seem right. At least, not at first. But, ultimately, I believe he is an INFJ, albeit a broken one. His intelligence blurs his F, which is mostly explosive, and despite his limelight attention-grabbing, he demonstrates more tendencies towards introversion than extroversion. I appreciate Edward Elric for his inherent insight, passion, and–yes–his flaws. INFJ’s have prominent vices in anger and pride, both of which are major issues in Edward Elric. He fails to separate his emotions from his reactions, subjecting himself to the trouble of poor impulse control. But Ed is also very aware of his shortcomings, and, in spite of himself, tries to demonstrate a sense of selflessness and forgiveness to friends and enemies alike. While it doesn’t happen right away, his intuition grants him understanding towards the people he fights–why they do what they do–and a self-reflection so he can modify himself for future situations based on that experience. My favorite thing about Ed actually spawns from a quote his brother Alphonse makes about him early in the story. This quote has come to be one of my most favorite lines of all time.
“I think the ability to try your very hardest at something is a talent all on its own.” Al says this as he observes his brother working to solve a very difficult and important puzzle. Most wouldn’t consider hard work to be a “talent” per se, but Ed demonstrates that ability in such force that Al is forced to believe that, in Ed’s case, it must be. What Ed lacks, he compensates for in his ability to try.
David Austin Black – ENTJ
I’m an ENTJ. That’s Extroverted Thinking with Introverted Intuition. We tend to not enjoy being around inefficiency and are most likely to “take charge” of a situation. Usually, we struggle with taking other’s views/opinions of a certain situation seriously (when they don’t line up with our views/opinions). I’ve got a few fictional characters from geekdom with whom I share my personality type, so let’s jump right in!
Emperor Palpatine, arguably one of the greatest Sith of the period after the Old Republic, has no patience whatsoever for incompetence. His work as a senator and Chancellor before his coup d’état shows how well he is able to lead people while at the same time showcasing the brutal efficiency typically craved by an ENTJ personality type. His raw and seemingly (to him) righteous anger that he masterfully keeps hidden from the Jedi is another key component of ENTJ’s. We feel strongly, but often consider expressing those feelings to be a form of weakness and thus keep them hidden. The moments when an ENTJ expresses his/her feelings are generally… intense. Mine don’t usually come accompanied with lightning, though. Usually.
The arch-enemy of the X-men and The Master of Magnetism, Magneto is another ENTJ. Just like Palpatine, he tends to hide his emotions until they come bursting out in force. He has always seen himself as in the right and has difficulty viewing non-mutants in the way his friend, Professor X, does.
The Clown Prince of Crime, Batman’s worst enemy, is usually classified as an ENTJ. This might seem strange considering the first two are not really characters typically associated with humor, but the Joker uses his humor as a mask for his true emotions. He blocks out his inner emotional turmoil and boiling anger with laughter, and it is truly scary when the facade comes down. The Joker’s no-tolerance policy with failure is prevalent in different media; he is shown to constantly kill his own comrades if they have not succeeded in certain endeavors.
Finally, an ENTJ that’s not a villain. Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, is the most self-confidant Robin. He does not understand his father’s and Dick Greyson’s code of using non-lethal weapons as he considers it inefficient. As such, Damian typically uses a katana and is rather violent when it comes to taking down criminals. His end-goal is getting the job done–in pretty much any way possible. Unfortunately, Damian is killed by his evil clone. Those darn clones; they’ll be the death of us ENTJ’s.
Please tell me you know who this is. I’ve saved the best for last. Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker, is the epitome of what it is to be an ENTJ. His ruthless approach to failure and lack of faith, coupled with his willingness to get his own hands dirty when necessary to complete a task, characterize this most famous of Sith Lords. Emotions are completely beneath him, at least when he has come to terms with his transformation from Jedi to Sith. He truly believes that his actions are right and will bring order, but his single-mindedness when it comes to his goals is the downfall of many ENTJ’s–including him.
JP Franco – ENFJ/P
I have taken the Myers-Briggs test several times over many years and have received approximately the same results every time. The last time was interesting because my Extroversion had decreased and I had tied in Judging and Perceiving (jokingly, I say I tied J/P because my name happens to be JP, but it was actually insightful into my personality). Surprising no one, I scored almost 90% into Feeling.
As this ENFJ/ENFP hybrid, here is how my results personally explain who I am. My low scoring Extroversion translates into how I am energized by small groups of people whereas bigger crowds of strangers can still drain me. The INtuitive part of my score is a result of my interest in possibilities and big abstract ideas more than concrete facts. I’m a huge Feeler and often find myself initially making decisions based on how I feel. I have learned that my Judging preference comes out when I’m dealing with people. If a moderately important conversation I’m having with someone gets interrupted, it will be the only thing nagging my mind until I get the chance to finish it. I NEED closure when it comes to people. As for everything else, I am totally unstructured and flexible (my Perceiving). I will start projects that never get finished, I keep my schedule open, and I am more apt to play before getting any work finished.
I have tried to choose characters who are more feelings-oriented, but I also wanted to explore both the J and P parts of personality as well.
Naruto Uzumaki (ENFP)
Naruto is a young ninja whose loud mouth and bold, spontaneous personality either help save the day or just make things worse. If a friend of his is in trouble, he becomes so driven by the love for his friend that he seems to forget all reason (and concern for himself) and he will stop at nothing to save them. His emotion-driven reactions often lead him to get hurt (usually physically, sometimes emotionally), but in the end, he has no regrets for standing up for what he believes is right and who he cares about. Though I’m by no means battling for the lives of my friends, my love for the people around me can result in hasty decisions without fully considering what is happening.
Kitty Pryde (ENFJ)
When Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men as one of the youngest members of the team, she showed that she had maturity beyond her age. She is usually very collected, but there are times when her emotions get the best of her and she verbalizes how she feels and acts out. A moment comes to mind where she storms out of the mansion yelling, “Charles Xavier is a jerk!” for moving her off the X-Men’s main team. Having matured a lot since then, she is very caring and empathetic as we see her intentionally invest in, and lead, the time-displaced original X-Men in All-New X-Men, always fighting for what she believes is best for them. She also seems to have good friendships with some of the strangest and marginalized of X characters like Doop. Kitty’s intentionality and loyalty to her friends are things I love about her character because those are two traits that I value and think I exhibit in my own life to the people around me.
Scott Pilgrim (ENFP)
Scott Pilgrim Series
This is going to be an extreme example of what an ENFP can sometimes be; however, I totally feel this can fit me. Scott Pilgrim is one of the laziest, oblivious, and self-absorbed characters I’ve ever read, yet he’s somehow still a bit endearing. Scott’s character seems to exhibit a lot of immature ENFP tendencies. He is very imaginative to the point where reality often blurs with his dreams and fantasies. He has little to no structure for his life. In order to understand something, he has to usually relate it to video games, like when he compared job promotions to a “job-class system”. Unfortunately, when I’m being immature, a lot of these characteristics will show up. I can easily fall victim to Scott’s reasoning of “But it’s haaaaaard” and never get any work done. There are times that I get so emotionally spurred on that I completely miss the big picture, which often happens to Scott in the books. Don’t take this the wrong way though. Scott Pilgrim does have some good characteristics; he’s fun, approachable, and great thinking on his feet. However I think there’s a lot about him that should be a cautionary tale for any ENFP’s.
Peeta Mellark (ENFJ)
The Hunger Games
Since my first read-through of The Hunger Games, I have unashamedly been Team Peeta. Aside from Katniss’s initial sacrifice, Peeta is one of the only characters who constantly thinks of others and is willing to do what he believes is best for them. Interestingly, ENFJ’s are known for their charisma. We see that he also has a way with words and can charm others with his self-deprecating humor and genuine interactions. He is also incredibly devoted to Katniss, who doesn’t really return that same level of loyalty. Due to his naturally sensitive and caring nature, Peeta does lack a bit of a backbone and should have been more confrontational with Katniss. The ENFJ characteristics of reliability and loyalty are very apparent in most of his actions. Though, honestly, I can relate to being so blinded by that loyalty that you glaze over the faults of others. Oh, and we both passionately devote our lives to bread. He likes to make it. I love to eat it. It is unproven if this love for bread is a part of the personality of an ENFJ, but it’s hard to argue against it.
Rinoa Heartilly (ENFP)
Final Fantasy VIII
Rinoa is the love interest and foil to the main character of FFVIII, Squall. She is warm, energetic, passionate, and just a little bit stubborn. In the game, Rinoa has joined a resistance movement for Timber’s independence from Galbaldia. As you progress, you learn that part of her motivation for this resistance is rebellion against her father, who is a colonel in the Galbaldian army. Rinoa is quick to speak her mind without fully thinking through what the effects of her words may be. ENFP’s can often be very excitable and it’s hard for them to keep from speaking their minds. Rinoa’s character shows a bit of immaturity at times, but granted she’s also seventeen-years-old. At times, I have been known to speak without really thinking through what I’m about to say. Even though that may not be the best of qualities, I do find her character relatable in this way.
In short, ENFJ/P hybrids are teenage, mutant, ninja, slacker, bakers. Or that may just be me.
Thomas Martin – INTJ
My type is INTJ. This means that I am destined to be a criminal mastermind… At least, that is what Hollywood would have you believe. INTJ types are frequently portrayed in the villain role of stories. Seeing as us INTJs are misunderstood, I aim to shed some light on the subject.
My personal experience as an INTJ: yes, I am very calculating. Everything is “Big Picture” for me. Even in relationships, I see things first through a cold, logical view before I feel all warm and fuzzy. This does not mean that INTJs are incapable of feeling emotion. It simply means that logic is placed at a higher priority in my decision-making process than my emotions (or even the emotions of others, which can cause problems). My decisions are the “best, logical solution” without considering how they may affect my relationship with others.
Yeah… I can see why INTJs are shown to be selfish and evil, especially when viewed through the eyes of an ESFP type. However, when I say that I don’t care about your emotions, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you. I don’t want you to feel bad, but I don’t understand why you can’t push your feelings aside and see that I’ve come up with a strong solution. In turn, that is why INTJs usually only befriend people who either accept their solutions or can provide intellectual stimulation. If you logically have the better solution, I like you.
Good examples of INTJs are not very common outside of the usual Hannibal Lecter or The Brain. People frequently misinterpret characters like Squall Leonhart as INTJs, due to Squall being aloof and uncaring (he’s really just an emotionally-damaged INFJ).
The following are some fictional characters that accurately match up with most of my brief INTJ description:
V for Vendetta
Yes, V goes through his own share of traumatic experiences that shape his life, but it is his willingness to forfeit an identity in order to best serve a revolution that convinces me of his INTJ status. All of his moves were made as if he were playing chess. He didn’t mind losing a few pawns to get his pieces in better positions. He even tortured Evey in order to better mold her into the person he needed her to be. In his mind, he did it for her own good, but most people would see it as cruel.
Speaking of calculating, let’s look at the original famous detective himself, Sherlock Holmes. Benedict “Cucumber” plays an excellent role of INTJ Holmes in the recent series, Sherlock. He doesn’t hate people; he just has no interest in them. Unfortunately, Holmes is not a realistic take on an INTJ, but rather an INTJ with all of his traits (positive and negative) turned up to the max.
Dr. Otto Octavius
I told you! It is hard to find fictional INTJ characters that are not villains. Honestly, this choice here is just because I’ve always been interested in science. Also having robot arms would be cool.
The Karate Kid
Wax on, wax off. Mr. Miyagi is another one of our chess-playing INTJs. He works as a maintenance man at an apartment complex and keeps to himself. His skill in martial arts is only used when it is necessary to achieve his goal and never used to show off. He trains Daniel-san in a strict and unorthodox way without much sympathy for Daniel’s feelings. Mr. Miyagi is a great example of how an INTJ can greatly build up others even through a reserved and emotionless mindset.
Dr. Simon Tam
A man who threw away his job to become a vigilante on the run does not seem like a smart idea for an INTJ. Simon’s big picture, however, is not the success of his own life, but the survival of his sister, River. Every choice he makes is just another move on that chess board towards protecting River. Can you tell that I like chess yet?
You may disagree with my classifications of these fictional characters, but this is seen through my own bias as an INTJ and as a fan of all of these characters. Plus, I genuinely like all of these characters and relate to them in some way.
Casey Covel– INTJ
I’m an INTJ—a female INTJ. We make up less than 1% of the population and are the rarest type for females to score. You might consider me an endangered species.
INTJs are (in)famously known as the “masterminds” of the world because of their openness to ideas, their love for concepts, and their creative intuition and drive to improve and make a lasting, impactful change. When they go bad, INTJs make great villains, warlords, and tyrants. Most every villain in fiction can be categorized into this group: Sauron, Voldemort, Hannibal Lecter, Scar, Orochimaru… blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
But the truth is, we’re actually pretty awesome people. We make fantastic strategists, loyal friends, revolutionary earth-shakers, straight-A honor students, master chess-players, and powerful wizards (see: Gandalf). Among our mottos are: “Everything has room for improvement” and “Does it work?”
Let’s delve into some fictional characters that share the INTJ type, discussing a bit more about what it means to be a “mastermind” along the way.
The Lord of the Rings
“Middle Earth stands upon the brink of destruction; none can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the ring, Frodo.”
Elrond exemplifies the INTJ’s unique relationship with leadership in that they make responsible leaders and strategists… usually when it’s most lacking in the world or workplace. As the leader of Rivendale, Elrond is none-the-less willing to allow authority its place. He calls together a council in order to determine the fate of the Ring (which exemplifies his strategist side), but is more than willing to silently keep vigil while others take presidency. This is a standard INTJ trait—the ability (and desire) to silently observe, especially before taking action and forming conclusions.
Elrond’s dislike for small-talk and his need for quick and effective closure are trademark of his Introversion and Judging sides. When the Ring arrives in Rivendale, he’s quick to form a thought-out plan in order to get it on its way. His private meetings with Gandalf are highly characterized by serious exchanges of information with little room for idle talk. INTJs often engage in discussion for informative purposes and don’t usually see the benefit in small-talk or other societal nuances. Effectiveness, above all, lies at the forefront of their thinking, perhaps because they are always dwelling on the future and “what could be.”
In addition, Elrond wears what has come to be an INTJ stereotype—a consistent, frowning glare. Because they dwell so much on ideals and their inner worlds, INTJs are often lost in deep thought. It’s not unusual for them to be asked about their emotions—if they’re upset, angry, or if someone has offended them. The truth is they’re usually quite happy, or at least content, but are merely lost in deep, reflective thought.
If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me about my seemingly upset face, I’d probably be rich.
“In the ninja world, those who break the rules are scum, that’s true, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum.”
Kakashi’s strongest INTJ factors are his nonconformity and his loyalty. As a sensei, Kakshi first comes across as very harsh when, in fact, he simply wants students who are willing to be iNtuitive and think for themselves, regardless of the established rules. This is seen when he threatens to fail all three of his students if they break the crippling rules that he’s established for them. Once his students see that the current rules will only weaken their team member and hurt their entire team, they break the rules in order to feed their teammate and get his strength back up. Kakashi then informs them that, “In the ninja world, those who break the rules are scum, that’s true, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum.”
In doing so, Kakashi gets across a powerful message about unity and loyalty in the face of standards. In general, INTJs see rules as useful and conform to them because they are helpful in maintaining order. When rules cease to be useful, INTJs no longer hold to them and seek ways to change and improve what currently exists. This may mean breaking conformity—and may result in principle isolation for the INTJ—but this type doesn’t care much about what others think of them and are very self-confident in their ideals and beliefs.
Like Kakashi, INTJs seek out time to be alone and reflect, just as Kakashi is typically seen reading or taking periodic time out of his day to stand at his friend’s graveside. Though they may have many acquaintances (classmates, coworkers, etc.), INTJs have only a few close friends, just as Kakashi is incredibly close to Guy—a level of friendship he shares with perhaps one or two other characters. Once this friendship is earned, however, INTJs are the most loyal of all types and will defend these relationships with their lives. Kakashi does this—quite literally—multiple times, and it’s his iNtuitive ability to envision the future that leads him to sacrifice his life during Naruto Shippuden.
Don’t worry. He gets resurrected… eventually.
“Our job is to find truth, no matter how painful it may be.”
Analytical, logical, socially inept, clueless in romance, introverted, secretive, and possessing a glare that makes grown men knock their knees together, Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth might as well be a poster child for the INTJ type.
As a prosecutor, he favors justice above all else, which is highly indicative of the Thinking within the INTJ type. He enjoys going directly to the crime scene himself and using his iNtuition in order to draw logical connections between clues. In the game, his lawyering power is—literally—logic, and he plays mental chess with his opponents in order to get information from them. If that doesn’t scream INTJ, I don’t know what does.
Edgeworth embodies the socially-awkward side of the INTJ. He self-admits to being bad at small talk, has almost no personal relationships outside of his work, and is completely oblivious to the slew of women who are madly smitten with him.
When under great stress, Edgeworth perfectly imitates two classic INTJ recovery techniques—repetition and isolation. He deals with his first defeat in court by locking himself away and repeating Wright’s name over and over again, as he’s unable to get it out of his mind. Psychologically, this also makes him more susceptible to hang onto the past, resulting in his learned phobias of earthquakes and elevators, along with recurring nightmares of his father’s murder.
He’s also strongly characterized by Judging, as his cases rely solely on his ability to work out an argument in advance. When presented with a snap-second decision, Edgeworth can only painfully grasp at straws, unable to assemble his logic quickly enough. This is seen when he objects in order to keep a case going, only to confess, “I was hoping to come up with a question while I was objecting, Your Honor… I didn’t.”
The Hunger Games
“My spirit. This is a new thought. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but it suggests I’m a fighter. In a sort of brave way. It’s not as if I’m never friendly. Okay, maybe I don’t go around loving everybody I meet, maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but I do care for some people.”
Female INTJs are quite rare, making up only 0.8% of the population, and in fiction they seem to be even rarer. Fortunately, Suzanne Collins wrote up an INTJ heroine for the twenty-first century in her best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.
Katniss exemplifies incredible iNtuition throughout the games; in fact, that’s the reason she survives. In visualizing the “big picture,” and seeing a future free from rule by the Capital, Katniss is able to create small ways to bend established rules set by the Capital. In the games, she takes actions that no other tribute ever has—creating a funeral pyre for a fallen contestant and threatening to kill herself unless the Capital calls an end to the games. These small acts of iNuitive thinking transform the face of the Hunger Games and start the rebellion.
Katniss’ strong, INTJ-loyalty is exemplified when she takes her sister’s place to be in the games. She refuses to be weighed down by emotions and distances herself from others, useful cold logic in order to steel herself for the bloody competitions within the Hunger Games.
Because of their ability to lay out plans in advance, while guided by inner thinking, INTJs are able to use creative methods in order to achieve their goals. Katniss uses several unconventional methods in order to survive, including dropping a nest of Tracker-Jackers on her unsuspecting enemies.
“Is there anyone out there other than me who’d be willing to eliminate the vermin from the world? If I don’t do it, then who will? That’s just it: there’s no one. But I can do it. In fact, I’m the only one who can. I’ll do it. Using the Death Note, I’ll change the world.”
Light Yagami is an INTJ gone bad… and in the world of fiction, that’s not entirely an unusual thing.
Possessing a powerful iNtuition—one that foresees a future without crime—Light acts on his seemingly-noble ambitions when the means to do so falls right into his hands. And while he knows that killing criminals is wrong, he does so believing that he can be humanity’s savior—destroying his soul and mind for the benefit of the world as a whole. Eventually, the power in his possession—one of the INTJ’s greatest vices—overtakes him, and soon more than criminals are at risk for termination.
Like their INFJ cousins, INTJs desire betterment. The difference lies in the mindset. INFJs want to save the world. INTJs want to improve it by making the changes necessary. Both types are willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and self in order to attain those ends, and often take pride in knowing that their sacrifices won’t be in vain. INTJs know their sacrifices won’t go to waste because everything will go “just as planned.”
Like Light, INTJs almost always have high GPAs and win multiple awards throughout their education. This is largely due to their perfectionism, high performance standards, and ability to plan—and work—in advance. If there’s a downfall for the INTJ (aside from social interaction), it’s their encounters with randomosity (read: Perceivers). INTJs dislike surprises and like to plan ahead. When encountered with the unexpected, they may be briefly thrown off their game. Watch Light’s interactions with L (an INTP type), and you can literally see this unfold.
To the INTJ, reality is an ever-changing phenomena that is shaped by the ideas of its inhabitants. As a rule, INTJs see reality as something malleable—something that can be changed and conquered—and no idea is too far-fetched. To the INTJ, it’s literally, “Fun to do the impossible.” Light Yagami realizes that those in power have the ability to shape this reality to their own standards and selfishly sets out to do just that, all the while believing that it’s for the good of everyone. In his own words, “If we catch Kira, he is evil. If he wins and rules the world, then he is justice.“
While INTJs set out to make change in cold, reasonable ways, they often overlook the necessary human factor. Light maps out plans to force people into his mold of an ideal world, never truly realizing that people must change before society ever can (an INFJ would have undoubtedly taken this approach instead). And when Light declares that he’ll create a world inhabited only by those he judges to be good, honest, and hard-working, Ryuk answers with some INTJ-fatal logic: “Do that, and the only one left will be you.”
INTJs are mysterious… or utterly confusing… depending on your perception of them. We’re incredibly loyal friends, but not quick to show emotion. Why? It’s hard to say, but it’s most likely due to the fact that we don’t understood societal nuances, and we see warmth (on a stereotypical level) as a shallow façade. INTJs dislike being anything other than what they are (unless of course that works into their ideals and goals). Being “fake” is out-of-the-question.
If ever you find yourself facing an INTJ, relax. We’re not going to eat your soul. We’ll take a long time to warm up to you, and you’ll probably not understand our sense of humor, but we’re incredibly loyal once you gain our trust.
It’s truly unique, being both a Christian and an INTJ, largely because this type is the least likely to hold any religious beliefs. That being said, INTJs hold strongly to what they are convinced of, and those who claim to be disciples of Christ are likely to be disciples until the bitter end. C.S. Lewis was one such INTJ, and he gave the world perhaps the greatest Christian fiction stories ever written.
Thank you for reading through this monstrosity. I hope you’ve been entertained, enlightened, and not utterly frightened. I’m off to eat a potato chip.*