If there is such thing as a “most independent type,” it would definitely be [INTJ]. Our thoughts must be reasonable to us, and we value the freedom to think for ourselves. We are the boldest type when it comes to refusing to be forced to do anything we don’t want to do. We will just not do it, and are offended by the idea that anyone can control us. We can respect being under leadership if it is intelligent, competent, and enlightened. But for anything important to us, we ultimately must go in the direction we have come to consider to be best. We do like to believe in people, but for many areas in life, we quickly learn that there’s no substitute for figuring things out for ourselves, and not trusting anyone else who has not thought things through as much as we have.
This often makes us pioneers, and sometimes leaders, not that we seek to gain followers. We are not flattered by a following, as it can be a burdensome responsibility, although there are times when the benefits from a coordinated group effort can be worth it. We will fulfill the role of leader if we must, but have no problems surrendering the role to a more natural leader, unless of course, the group effort has become our pet project, and handing it over to someone else would lead our precious vision to its doom, in which case we will not let our control be diluted by those who are less competent.
We are often seen as visionaries, iconoclasts, and insightful, but we are not inherently ingenious per se, we just don’t make assumptions, and like to challenge those of other people when they have not followed them to their logical conclusions. We are visionary in the sense that we start with a blank slate and get a picture of how things should be, and then can be able to see the best route to get there, assuming there is one. Direction is something we pretty much always have in our lives, even if we take a longer route than TP types, and this sense of direction can sometimes be of help to others, assuming they know what they want.
Unless we allow or force ourselves to be expressive (and some of us are naturally quite expressive,) we are the hardest type to read. Our facial expressions give nothing of our thoughts away, so we often leave people guessing what we are thinking.
We have high standards of reason and logic. If something does not make sense, we will not put up with it, at least not in any place that we care about. This includes the parts of our lives in which we feel ownership (perhaps our homes, our jobs, our families,) and especially in our own minds, and minds of people we care about. If it is too inconvenient to fix, or we just don’t care enough, it’s much easier to leave it alone. We know the vast majority of the world is hopelessly beyond our control, and the more we take on, the more effort we have to invest to fix things. So if we are ever critical of you, it usually means we care about you and accept you enough to include you in some aspect of our world. Criticism is the greatest flattery you can receive from an [INTJ], and the lack of it is possibly the worst insult that can be given.
In general, we do like to see people reach their potential. And for ourselves, we place a lot of value in reaching our own potentials. Therefore, we often set for ourselves very high standards in reason and logic, and in performance for our areas of expertise. We don’t expect others to meet these standards we hold ourselves to, but when people are around us, they soon become aware of our standards for reason, and often subconsciously start judging themselves by our tough standards. The end result is that we can often be perceived as intimidating without even doing or thinking anything. Sometimes this is convenient, but in general it serves to put an unfortunate gap between us and other people.
On the other hand, one kind of gap that we are less likely to have is the kind from gaining “social status.” While we can be practically minded in respect to those with whom we socialize, we tend to, moreso than any other type, ignore things like job position, social class, or ethnicity when deciding whether or not to talk to a person or how to treat them. We are too practical to assess people by artificial grades of worth. Instead of rating a person’s worth, we assess the worth of correspondence with that person. This may still be cold, but at least it makes sense on a raw level.
We are real people. We have to be logical — it is who we are. But somewhere, whether deep down or not so deep down, after all the necessary logical criticisms and “reasonableness repairs” are done (euphemisms for the eradication of stupidity,) we long to be able to love and accept other people. After being forced to be the cold-hearted bearers of reason in our world, we [INTJ]’s are probably the last kind of people that love and warmth is expected to come from, so it can sometimes be difficult for us to get people to be think of us as people who need to love, but it’s true. Every type has something that you would least expect from them, and that’s ours. We often must be critical and non-accepting towards many things, but for when we don’t have to be, now you know a need you may have assumed never existed.
While our most pressing attention is devoted to logic, we are all really artists, and logic is the coldest manifestation of this artistic drive in us. We have appreciation for aesthetics, whether it is in the musical, visual, or culinary arts, clothing, architecture or spatial layout, elegance of system design or computer program structure, a nice sports play, an elegant dance, or martial arts. We value being creative in these ways.