As an INTJ, I have heard many terms related to the assumption that I am “full of myself”. I have been told I am snobby, conceited, “little miss perfect” and other related sentiments I could give two shits about. I have heard these things my whole life, and I am quite used to it. The only fact about these statements, is that they are a complete misconception.
The INTJ is not so much conceited, as that they typically present only the best of themselves, and not in some superficial way. Anything we work at, we have to master, for ourselves, and we would prefer not to be caught dead doing anything half-assed or presenting anything that is not complete.
This isn’t to say that we are perfect or that we do not make mistakes; We make more than our fair share of mistakes, and we exhibit a rather strict regimen of practice and rehearsal for nearly everything we do. Any display of “perfection” that we present, is most certainly earned. Because we don’t make a display of the journey and hard work that leads to this “perfection”, we are viewed as conceited.
The difference is, is that when we are in our state of practice, rehearsal or study, it is typically in extreme privacy. For the sake of example, In 2014, attained my second college degree online. Nobody knew about it until the day I announced that I graduated and received the honor of Salutatorian, as arbitrarily as I would have mentioned that I was going to a concert that night. Because I didn’t share my struggles, my failures or sit online crying about having to study for the two and a half years I was in school, my message was received with the typical “little miss perfect” sentiment. Whatever.
That is just one example of a myriad of things that display our alleged “conceit”. I have even received the accusation of conceit for my house. Yes, my house. My own family comes into my home and always makes a comment about not wanting to set something down in “her perfect house” or want to mess anything up on my “perfect table”. My first college degree was in Interior Design, and I enjoy applying that to my own life. Excuse me for wanting to live, and having the ability to maintain, a cohesive minimalist look. I do this for me, not for anyone else, but they see it as a snub to their lifestyle and immediately believe that I am judging them because they don’t live that way.
What they fail to understand is that I don’t judge and don’t care. That would make me conceited, not the way I choose to live.
What else makes us “full of ourselves”? Our natural habit of correcting mistakes. What makes this a misconception is that we always always welcome the correction of our mistakes without our assumption that you automatically think you are better than us. Our brains just don’t work that way. We don’t want to look like an idiot, so if we are provided a new fact that changes our course, we welcome it.
We assume that nobody else wants to look like an idiot, but unfortunately, many would prefer not to be corrected and live in their own charade of perfection. If you were walking around with a piece of toilet paper jutting conspicuously out of your pants, would you not want someone to tell you? I certainly would, and our unwarranted correction of mistakes falls in that same category.
We don’t correct someone to slight them, we correct them to help them.
What people fail to see behind our veil of perceived superiority, is our complete lack of judgement. We are very much aware of the fact that we are a nutcase, and any judgement we have is directed inward. We don’t judge someone for sharing their journeys and struggles, we don’t judge their messy homes (which is probably far from messy) and we certainly don’t judge someone for being out of practice in anything, unless it is a final presentation. We just prefer not to display our weaknesses or failures and choose to live in a way that is comfortable, sane and right for us.
It also doesn’t help that the INTJ is a notorious recipient of the Resting Bitch Face™, which automatically screams, “Screw you, I am better than everyone so you can now wash my superior feet and rot in hell, you peasant.” Everyone knows that.