This section INTJ Development is about the unique developmental path of the INTJ personality from birth to midlife. While an individual’s personality development is, personality type provides a good general framework for you.
To understand the INTJ’s development, we have to understand the hierarchy of mental functions for the INTJ. The hierarchy of mental functions for the INTJ is about which mental function (Sensing, Intuiting, Thinking or Feeling) the INTJ is most comfortable with using and which they are least comfortable in using.
Without going too much into Type dynamics, let’s look at the INTJ’s hierarchy of mental functions:
The INTJ is most comfortable with the Dominant Function Introverted Intuition and least comfortable with the Inferior Function Extraverted Sensing.
As a child, the INTJ will develop the Introverted Intuition function. They will be most fascinated by stories that stretch their imagination and will often ask their parents to repeat fairy tales or myths to them.
They may also prefer to stay at home to read and learn instead of heading out to socialize with other children. They may also show intelligence beyond their age in understanding the world.
If they have not properly developed this function in their youth, they may not develop sufficient insight to make good decisions, thereby becoming stubborn or narrow-minded.
During puberty, the INTJ will start developing the auxiliary function, Extraverted Thinking. They will develop the ability to make judgment calls and decisions according to external, objective criteria that are easily observable to all.
They become straightforward, frank and objective teenagers who are generally not concerned about popularity or peer pressure.
If they have not been allowed to develop this function, they may not know how to use their creative insights to achieve their goals or make their decisions.
Assuming an environment is supportive to their development, most INTJs would have developed Extraverted Thinking and Introverted Intuition by the time they’re above 20 years or so.
Their areas of improvement will most likely come from the underdeveloped sides of Extraverted Sensing and Introverted Thinking.
Here are some suggestions for improvement:
If these behaviours have not been developed by the age of
30, the INTJ will feel the tension to continue growing and start developing the
Tertiary Function Introverted Feeling.
The INTJ may start to show compassion and sensitivity toward those around them; they may even surprise their loved ones with their new-found expressions of love and emotion.
The INTJ can further develop the Introverted Feeling function through these simple exercises:
From midlife onward, the INTJ’s focus turns toward the inferior function, Extraverted Sensing.
Their underdeveloped Extraverted Sensing comes out in a childish and undeveloped way when they are under stress, causing them to over-indulge in material pleasure or put their focus on unimportant details.
But in midlife, there is an unconscious shift and desire to develop that inferior function in order to achieve wholeness and continual growth. It is an uncomfortable but necessary transition.
Here are some simple exercises to consciously develop the Extraverted Sensing function:
The developmental paths of individuals are unique to themselves depending on the environment, culture and social norms they were brought up in.
Some cultures value certain personality traits more than others, and ultimately several factors affect personality development. No two people need to develop the same way, and hence only some of the above may apply to you.
This page only serves as a general guide for anyone using it as a reference. If you like to learn more about your personal, unique developmental path, please contact me.
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