What Does an INTJ Want for His Birthday?

Good news, everyone!

So, this past Monday was my birthday. I turned 32. And because using real life as inspiration for my blogs is easier than trying to come up with original material, I decided to answer the question what does an INTJ want for his birthday.

This one is going to be a little different because while I am going to cover the cognitive functions and offer practical suggestions for them, I am also going to cover what I really want, and what INTJs want in general and where this desire comes from. So, let’s get on with it.

Reach Out to the Truth

An INTJ’s primary function Ni is all about the truth. It’s constantly looking for meaning and insight into the cosmos. And while it would be nice to receive some sort of cosmological insight from on high on our birthdays, life unfortunately doesn’t work that way. Therefore, we have to work with what we’ve got. In this case, the best way to give an INTJ truth, meaning, and insight is to give him books. Whether they are fiction or non-fiction doesn’t really matter. An INTJ will be able to draw insight from either.

A Well-Oiled Machine

An INTJ’s auxiliary function Te is after logic, fact, and efficiency. Now, while a book can give an INTJ logic and facts, it can’t give him efficiency, meaning a book is a poor choice for Te. What’s better is the gift of efficient and logical actions. Basically, ensure that an INTJ’s birthday goes off without a hitch. Have all the guests arrive when they’re supposed to, have the food prepared, and make sure all the presents run in accord with the INTJ’s birthday list. (You can go off the list, but unless you know him really well, I would discourage you from doing so.) Basically, make sure that whatever the INTJ is expecting, hoping for, and/or planning for happens exactly as he is expecting, hoping, and planning.

Notice Me

Out of all of the INTJ’s functions, his tertiary function, Fi, is simultaneously the hardest and easiest (read as “takes the least effort”) function to satisfy on his birthday. Since Fi is a deeply personal function, focused on the identity of the INTJ, what Fi is looking for is acknowledgement. But how do you acknowledge an INTJ?

The easiest method is to simply remember it is his birthday and wish him a happy one. Some points are lost if you don’t remember, but some points can be gained if you insist on doing something special for the INTJ. For instance, my best birthday in recent memory was my 30th because my work gave me a cake and a couple of my friends insisted we do something to mark the occasion. So, we went bowling. And while we did have to wait an hour or longer for a lane, it felt nice to be thought of.

However, I would warn you against pushing the acknowledgement too hard. Doing something special to mark the occasion is nice, but asking the staff at a restaurant or bowling alley for special birthday considerations is taking it too far. INTJs want to be remembered in a respectful and dignified manner. Making them the center of attention in a room full of stranger will only embarrass them.

But, that’s all fairly easy to do. So, what’s the hard part?

Well, throwing the INTJ a party is a form of acknowledgement, but it’s a very basic form of acknowledgement. Everyone gets a party or a special dinner. While appreciated, it’s the easy way out. So, what’s the better method of acknowledgement? Well, do you recall how I discouraged you from getting the INTJ a present that isn’t on his list? If you know the INTJ well enough, you can—and should—disregard that advice. Because Fi is so personal, and made all the more personal by being buried in an INTJ’s function stack, those that are able to get him a present that isn’t on his birthday list but is one that you know he would like, will touch him more than than any other gift. To know the INTJ so well that you can accurately guess what he wants and likes is the top most form of acknowledgement because it displays how well you know him and how much you think of him.

Follow the List and Check It Twice

Lastly, we come to an INTJ’s inferior function Se. Se is a more materialistic and experience-based function. Here, you can get an INTJ a material gift, music, food, take him somewhere, do something new and fun with him, or even be affectionate with him. How will you know which to do? In this case, it is best to ask. Se knows what it wants, so it is best to get it right and just ask your INTJ what he wants, hence, a birthday list will exist. He’ll also tell you what he wants for dinner, whether or not he wants a cake, and whether he would like to do something special for his birthday. If you can follow directions, then this is the easiest function to satisfy.

So, let’s recap: To make an INTJ happy on his birthday, you should get him books, make sure all the plans go off without a hitch, wish him a “Happy Birthday!”, and just abide by the birthday list. But, is that really all there is to it?

What Do INTJs Really Want?
Two of my favorite things: bucks and babes.

Well, all those things are good for starters, but if you really want to make your INTJ happy, there is something he desires more than anything else in the world. Me personally, I really want massive amounts of money or a girlfriend because they represent the two things I am currently lacking the most of in life—financial freedom and intimacy. But the one thing that all INTJs want more than anything else is freedom. The question though is why. Where does this desire for freedom come from? Honestly, I don’t know, but I have a guess.


Since Ni pursues truth and meaning, it desires to look for ultimate truth, wherever it may be. As a result, Te and Se work to aid the search by looking for and removing inefficiencies in the search and by supplying any material goods or novel experiences that may lead to ultimate truth. Fi meanwhile fuels the personal drive to pursue ultimate truth and views finding it as the ultimate fulfillment of the INTJ.

Now, that’s all very deep, but returning to our main theme, how does someone gift ultimate truth/freedom to an INTJ for his birthday? For Te and Se, it’s easy—just follow the advice from the first part. Make sure the INTJ’s birthday goes off without a hitch and gift the INTJ with whatever he tells you to. For Ni, you can fall back on books, but any deep insights or meanings you have come across in your life will suffice. As for Fi, perhaps remind the INTJ of all the insights and truths he has discovered which will be edifying for him and possibly give him the opportunity to try to combine them into some new insight. I don’t know if that will work, but it might.

The Ultimate Gift

In closing, no matter what you get an INTJ, it’s all directed toward the main objective, which is freedom. It seems that INTJs are believers in the saying “the truth will set you free”, therefore, the ultimate truth will set them free ultimately (Copyright Bryan C. Laesch). And that is what INTJs want for their birthday.

What do you think? Did I get this right or did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.

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