The Many Ways to Irritate an INTJ

Good news, everyone!

So, with Christmas encroaching on my time and me needing to focus on my writing as I do have a big deadline by the end of the month, I decided that my blog needed a couple of short and easy-peasy blogs. This one originally started out short and easy since it only focused on the cognitive functions Te and Fi, but after I started writing, I found ways to expand it to Ni and Se. So, it didn’t end up being short.

Anyway, the point is that there are many ways to irritate INTJs. As you may be able to tell, since I was going to limit myself to Te and Fi, most of those irritations are focused on those two functions, but Ni and Se do have their fair share. I’m sure this blog will offer some interesting insight into why INTJs always seem to be exhausted and annoyed with everyone else as they are a unique blend of imaginative, rational, ethical, and stylish. Let’s get into this, and following my previous blog, I’ll be going through these irritations according to the function stack.


Lack of Vision or Imagination

Now, while I was looking for the ways Ni can be irritated, I made an interesting discovery: all the ways that irritate Ni are related to someone having a lack of vision or imagination. Let’s examine these and you’ll see what I mean.

  1. Being Closed-minded

If your dominant function is going to be one that requires a lot of imagination or is constantly searching for answers wherever they may be, that function is going to look for answers, truth, and insight in interesting or unique places that others will write off. This is why some INTJs experiment with drugs, but for me, it’s why I’m willing to listen to dubious or mystical sources. You never know where you may find an answer or that creative spark that leads to an answer. (Except you won’t find it in drugs—we already know that.)

So, because of this open-minded approach, Ni is irritated when someone says something or proves to be closed-minded about an experience, piece of advice, or person. One of the things that always gets to me is that phenomenon where after you’re rejected by someone or a job, and a friend or family member says to you “their loss”. This bothers me because I can’t help but think “What if it isn’t their loss? What if it really is my loss? Is there something actually wrong with me?” You can’t always think it’s “their loss”—that’s how you build up an ego of never being wrong or always being perfect. I mean, INTJs are never wrong and we are always perfect, but what if we aren’t? The truth could be that we aren’t, and so, in our relentless pursuit for the truth, which we never know where it’ll be—because we have found leads in some surprising places—it irritates Ni whenever someone detracts from an idea simply because they “have a hard time believing that”.

  1. Plain, Simple, Average, or Common
Now that’s a house.

Imagination doesn’t like to concern itself with reality. As a result, INTJs are often imagining ways to do things better or even imagining a better life. I don’t know what sort of life most INTJs imagine themselves having, but me, I want to be a writer, which isn’t average. I want to live in a house that looks like a Gothic cathedral, which isn’t plain. I think deep and complex thoughts, especially with being a writer, which are not simple. And I know I don’t behave like the common person. While there could be many reasons for that, I’m pretty sure it’s because of Ni. As a result, when people have plain dreams, simple thoughts, average lives, or common careers, I get fed up.

  1. Failure to Perceive or Appreciate the Truth

Ni gets really irritated when people fail to perceive or appreciate the truth. It’s quite astounding how many people prefer to lie to themselves about the way of the world or themselves. Being as different as I am, I often see people confound their reason in order to live a more comfortable life. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to live the most comfortable life possible, but as one who has lagged behind others for many years, I have seen what’s down that path, and it contains neither comfort nor truth. You spend most of your time distracting your mind because when you focus on the truth, everything becomes uncomfortable as you begin to realize that you are your own worst enemy and that you are the reason for everything you want but don’t have in your life. And there, Ni’s irritation for closed-mindedness, being simple, common, or average, and failing to perceive and appreciate the truth is manifested into one as you realize you are your own irritation.


Since Te is an extraverted function, it uses hard fact and proven truth to help define the self and make sense of the world. As a result, there are at least three things it finds that obstruct that work, thus becoming irritated and irritating the INTJ as a result.


Te follows a set of rules to come to a conclusion. It is the same principle that rules 2+2=4. It is the law of reason and logic. Some may find that too restricting to live by, but by acting according to logic and reason—by adopting an external logic and applying it to the inner mind—it results in a steady and predictable life. Just like an experiment tested by the scientific method. If it can be repeated over and over, and achieve the same result every time, it goes from hypothesis to theory to law. But for those who aren’t comfortable with this technical explanation, what in the hell am I talking about?

Originally, I had something else here, but I was mostly venting. So, instead, let’s discuss something that everyone should be a bit more familiar with.

I am a practicing Catholic, one of the denominations of the Christian faith, and everyone knows that Christianity has a list of rules governing its believers known as the Ten Commandments. Now, in the middle of the Ten Commandments, specifically commandments 5 through 8, there are rules detailing how you should conduct yourself, especially in relation to others. Those four commandments are “You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:13-16 NRSV). And at first glance, everyone can agree that it’s wrong to kill, it’s wrong to steal, and it’s wrong to lie, but many don’t seem to be able to heed thou shall not commit adultery. 

“Those who will not live by the law, shall die by the law!”-Moses (Charleton Heston) The Ten Commandments. 1956

And yet, as I have noticed in my life, by not committing adultery, I seem to be free of many of the concerns that many in our modern era have, such as bastard children and crazy exes. (Wise Man says: never stick your dick in crazy.) And many women have trust issues because they have given themselves away before demanding a proper “I do”. (Wise Man also says: no ring, no ting. No rock, no cock.) And no one really likes a man-whore, either. I mean, sure, I am somewhat naïve, having never known the warmth of a woman’s flesh, but I also don’t have any of the problems, physical, mental, or reputation-al, associated with committing adultery. Therefore, by following external logic, I have managed to not be illogical and not irritate my Te. (Aren’t I special?)


In a similar vein to being illogical, Te is also irritated by inefficiency. Not only is there a right way and a wrong way to do something, there is also a quick way and a long way. Sometimes the two differ, but other times they are the same. Now, sure, some things do require patience because the process is long, but why wouldn’t you want to speed things up if you could? Of course, though, lack of speed is not the only inefficiency you can experience. Forgetfulness is one I find my parents experiencing more and more these days, along with the fact that both of them are going deaf. (Degradation is inefficient.) Needless repetition is another. And, of course, there’s the issue of efficient systems becoming inefficient because someone’s brain misfires, like when old people are driving and have the right of way, but stop to let someone leaving a driveway into traffic. I have seen this in real-life and on YouTube, and that time on YouTube resulted in a motorcyclist hitting a car he didn’t see. And there you have it, not only can inefficiency waste everyone’s time, but it can also result in an easily avoidable accident.

Wrong (Fact or Way of Doing Something)

And speaking of old-people-who-have-the-right-of-way-but-let-someone-into-traffic-anyway, an example of being illogical and inefficient, it is also an example of being wrong or doing something wrong, another way that irritates Te. Although, sometimes people get things wrong by accident, and sometimes it is more efficient to do something the wrong way, but for those incidents that aren’t as easy to forgive, Te still gets irritated because being right or doing something right the first time always has better results.


Unethical Treatment or Injustice

Fi is focused inwardly since it is introverted, but it can be irritated by external instances of unethical treatment or injustice. However, we must be careful not to confuse either with immorality. I mean, sure, unethical treatment and injustice can be immoral, but Fi is mostly focused on the perspective of “How would I feel if that was me?” (Fi is subjective and morality is objective.) It’s for that reason that INTJs try to treat everyone fairly, or at least, as fairly as they would hope to be treated by others. INTJs don’t want to be victimized, preyed upon, marginalized, or unfairly targeted. It’s for that reason that INTJs may suddenly take up a cause or donate generously on a whim if they feel moved with compassion for someone or something’s misfortune.

An example of such behavior is that last year my office had a giving tree where we were donating gifts to two down-on-their-luck families. Most of the office took tags for the children, so I decided to focus on one of the mothers as it seemed that my co-workers were not as sympathetic towards them. I may have also been swayed by the fact that I’m a man and I want to protect women, or simply because I’m “thirsty”, but I decided to fulfill this woman’s request for a weighted blanket and it was quite the quest. It took quite a bit of time and I only found them by sheer luck. But to see justice done, and to hopefully never be in the same position, my Fi drove me to act.

Being Inauthentic

Because Fi is focused on how the self feels, it is constantly defining and redefining the individual. It wants to make sure that no part of the individual is hypocritical or inauthentic. They loathe both so much that when they find either in others, they pull a door-slam and walk away. “A committed enemy is better than a false friend.” And it is for that reason that when an INTJ becomes aware of a hypocrisy in their personality or in their life, they strive to resolve it, whether that means finding a reason to justify why it actually isn’t hypocrisy, or changing themselves to no longer be hypocritical.

I’m not fond of glass mugs, but this picture is lovely.

This happened to me recently where my Old Man commented on me drinking tea recently, and thought it was because I had given up Pepsi for Advent. In actual fact, I was fasting from Pepsi as a sacrifice to help resolve the mess involving the 2020 election. And when he mentioned my drinking tea, I tried to rationalize it by saying that I prefer the taste of Pepsi to tea, so it’s still a sacrifice, but considering how much sugar I use in my tea, I think I have become forsworn. Guess I’ll have to say good-bye to tea until either the election is resolved or until Christmas comes (because you do not fast on the Feast days).

Assumption of Character or Failing to Appreciate the Individual

This one is interesting because it can manifest in a couple of different ways. As I said, Fi focuses on the authenticity of the individual, and because so much work is done to ensure the authenticity of the individual, it can often be quite irritating when others assume our character or fail to appreciate who we truly are.

“Who do you think I am?!”

Let’s start with the first one: assumption of character. Now, anyone would find it vexing when someone accuses you of being something you’re not, but for personality types with Fi, it’s especially irritating. It can range from being upset about a misunderstanding because now someone thinks you’re a douche bag to being downright indignant when people assume we’re like everyone else. It’s like, do you not really know who I am? And if you don’t, why are you assuming things about me? As for the douche bag thing, well, I’ve had multiple misunderstandings with the opposite sex, and I’d love to apologize for many of these misunderstandings because if there’s one thing I don’t want to be, it’s a douche bag. Jerk and asshole I can live with though.

“Does this person think I’m stupid or incapable?”

INTJs are, sometimes unfortunately, proud people. And most of our pride is centered on our abilities, so when someone explains to us how to do something we already know how to do but may have made a small mistake on, we get irritated. I imagine most people would, but, if we consider the Ego and Shadow theory of personality for a second, which claims that Fi is one of the “arms” of the INTJ’s Ego personality, meaning we wish others would validate us, well, we tend to take such criticisms personally. It can make us seem indignant or petty, but it’s entirely true. And unfortunately, the only example I can think of is really petty.

I remember a time I was playing an aerial combat simulator (an aerial warfare video game) at my uncle’s house, and I would occasionally suffer snarky comments from my cousin like “Come on, honey” and comments from my other uncle like “Are you trying to land?” whenever my flying was less than stellar. And they were just jokes, but I thought that the fact that I was proceeding through the levels successfully was worthy of some recognition and respect, especially since I had never played the game before. And jokes like those made my blood boil.


Lack of Good Taste

Se is a sensual function. That doesn’t mean it’s sexy, although it could be, what it actually means is that it’s focused on experiencing what the outer world has to offer, especially the finer things in life. Although, “finer things” can be subjective. I can appreciate the class and talents of a major symphony orchestra, but nothing sounds better to me than heavy metal. Although, I think heavy metal mixed with symphonic instrumentation is the best of the best.

Anyway, since Se is so focused on the world and looking to experience it, nothing irritates Se quite like a lack of good taste. There have been a couple of times where I’ve gone over to my uncle’s house—and this uncle was a music producer—and my cousins were listening to gangster rap. Well, I wanted to throttle them for it and throttle my uncle for not introducing them to actual music. And then, last year, when I was in the market for a new car (not a new-new car), one friend told me buy something that was mechanically sound, but otherwise a complete piece of junk, from a mechanic. And then another friend recommended a used Chevy. I imagine my disgust was visible for both recommendations, especially since I had already settled on buying a BMW. Now, true, both are good ideas for saving money, and I do like Corvettes and old Camaros, but INTJs are looking to wield a certain kind of style. Most Chevrolets don’t have any style and I had already driven multiple versions of mechicanically-functional-but-still-junk. Money was no option, to a point, so bring on the style! I mean, what’s better: settling for the crap your family and friends think is good, or going for the real “stuff”?

Failure to Notice the Obvious

It never ceases to amaze me what people fail to notice whether it’s the outside world or even something that happens in a movie. I’ve seen things from miles away and as a result, can predict certain outcomes with almost 100% accuracy. I also remember things that no one else does. I can remember the tiniest details from high school and farther back than that, and the people around me are always amazed by my recall. It’s also amazing to what extent other INTJs aren’t aware of this ability. It’s one of the reasons why we have revelations out of “nowhere”. We saw or heard something somewhere and Ni was busy synthesizing it in the back of our minds while we’re doing something else up at the front. So, as you can imagine, it gets tiring when I have to point out what should be obvious to other people. They may explain it away as “I was worried about other things”, but the truth is, so was I, and yet I still noticed these things.

Failure to Appreciate Novelty

Now, it should be explained that not every novelty should be appreciated. Take my cousins’ taste in music for instance. However, one novel experience I had that was worth it was when I took my motorcycling class. Even if I never own a motorcycle—though I do want one—I feel better-rounded for the experience. I now know how to operate a motorcycle, and who knows how that can benefit me? (An appeal to Ni in Se!) Another experience that was worth it, although it wasn’t pleasurable, was when I went to my high school reunion or to the homecoming game as an alumnus. I didn’t have fun at either, but after going to both, experiencing them, feeling the energy of the people, being able to say that I have done both, there is something to it all that I appreciate, while many others would say, “if it wasn’t fun, it wasn’t worth it”.


As you can see, there are many ways to irritate INTJs. Do these all relate to INTJs? Possibly not. Are there more? Oh, goodness, yes. This was just a short list that I could think of when given only a week to write this. Given longer than that, I could definitely come up with more or write a more eloquent piece. But the point was to try to cover the many ways INTJs are irritated with as little thought and as little time as possible, and I think I succeeded. What do you think? Did I miss any obvious ones?

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