I am 27 female INTJ (English and Creative Writing graduate) working in a lowly job in an English public sector. Words cannot describe how I hate my job and how little opportunity for development it provides.

I am married, only due to the fact that I could not possibly support myself on my shitty wages. I hate even the thought of having children and frankly, staying at home and taking care of anyone makes me feel sick. My marriage makes me feel sick and I would love to leave but…

I have childhood issues (my parents never loved me and do not love me now either) which render me almost impossible to live or function on my own – I always need a safety net, otherwise I feel like I am drowning. I have been in therapy in and out (currently in) for the last 14 years and the more I explore the more I find out that my biggest issue is that I cannot simply be myself. That I feel insecure to do so. It does not help that I cannot seem to find a job that would give me that security. Obviously, my role in life is not to be a home-maker. I need a career. But I generally hate whatever happens to me and whatever I do. So I keep thinking more and more I should just settle for something for INTJs that is well-paid because if I am not going to enjoy it, I might as well earn good money for doing it. Because I generally do not mind what I do as long as I can do it independently and that I deem it worthwhile.

I do admire the advice you are giving on career, however, it is hard to understand why you decided to have children. But hey, I might turn 35 and maternal instincts might kick in – biology is a mystery and is not to be treated lightly.

I was always drawn toward older men and it was a mistake to marry someone my age and maybe if I met someone my age I would look at the prospect of having kids more favourably but maybe it is just my insecurity talking. Either way, I would love some advice on how to get a career/forget about a relationship for now. It is sad to think that despite having 3 long-term relationship I have never had sex with anyone I love but it is even sadder that I have never enjoyed anything that I have done at work.

Just to be clear, I am not disrespecting anyone (regardless the gender) who chose family over career/the other way round. I think it is amazing that some people posses the self-knowledge that helps them making decisions they are happy with, whatever they are.

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10 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    One of the hardest personality types to be if you’re a woman is an INTJ. An INTJ is the least likely type to want kids. They like working alone, they solve complex problems and have poor social skills. All these traits are much more typical of men than women, so it’s hard for a woman to feel like she knows where she fits when she’s an INTJ.

    That said, you have the great fortune of already KNOWING you’re an INTJ, so you can look it up online and see that you are just being yourself. You are a very typical INTJ.

    Here are some things that are typical:
    INTJs are good writers but it’s not fulfilling to them. So INTJs often think they should write, but they shouldn’t. INTJs like systems and solutions and writing isn’t about that.

    INTJs don’t feel the need for a great emotional connection as much as they need a great job. So it’s typical for INTJs to have sub-par relationships.

    INTJs don’t understand why people want kids – INTJs are purely logical and from a logic perspective, kids make no sense for anyone (of course).

    Okay. So you are just being you, which is fine. But that means you need to do things that will be fulfilling to you. You should work in a company and move your way up by managing systems and teams that are unruly. You are better than anyone at getting things done.

    You have problems from childhood, but you are young. They will work themselves out if you keep at it. I honestly think your biggest problem is not honoring who you are now. There are not huge things wrong with the way you are feeling – it’s just nonstandard.

    Okay. So if this seems right, you should just go get a job at any company. You will do fine in a company. And you need to learn more about personality types so that you understand where you fit in. No one loves personality typing more than INTJs because it’s logical and there’s a formula.

    Here’s a course I taught on personality type.
    http://www.quistic.com/seminar/fast-trackyour-career-with-myers-briggs

    You could take this course. Or, if you don’t like learning via video, then you can just google INTJ and read about it. You’ll feel comforted by what you read, I think.

    Good luck!
    Penelope

  2. Questioner
    Questioner says:

    What about her marriage? Does she just accept that she’s stuck with this ‘sub par relationship’?

  3. blazingsuth
    blazingsuth says:

    I am a 29 y/o female INTJ. What Penelope says about writing is so very, very true. My suggestion is to become an analyst, of anything you can enjoy or understand. Being an analyst is great, you get to read a lot, think about how it all fits together, then write up a quick report on it and move on to the next topic or project. You can even tailor the type of analyst job to your interaction preferences; I have had jobs where I practically never talked to anyone, and jobs where I talked all day long. The jobs where I talked all day long sucked for me, but not for everyone.

    I think the other thing you need to understand as an INTJ is that ‘typical’ will never apply to you. The sooner you get comfortable with that, the better. I gave up trying to fit in or be like everyone else (or even try to get them to understand me) by the time I was about 16. It saved my sanity. Once I gave up on that (there is a grieving process, try to make it as short as possible), it was so much easier to approach my life as a system, how do I get along with ‘typical’? What systems do I need, what can I ignore?

    Your marriage is another story, Maybe once you get more comfortable with yourself, it’ll make more sense to you, maybe not. I hope you figure it out before you add children though.

    • Annie
      Annie says:

      Wow, I want to become an analyst if that’s really what the job is like. How does one become an analyst? At 37 no less?

  4. Rachel C.
    Rachel C. says:

    Had to jump in here as a female INTJ. I think your eventually hating everything you do sort of fits with being an INTJ. We ferret out things that suck about the world around us and try to create order. If you are unable to create order (either in that you don’t have ownership of that role, or people just don’t value that in your organization) you will get frustrated. I think we also bore easily If we are not highly stimulated by complex scenarios so we tend to leave. It’s usually takes me 1 yr or less to get bored of a job, depending on complexity. Even companies I was at for years it was because I kept getting promoted or taking in more responsibility. But now I’m working on my own freelancing business to cure my boredom.

    Luckily there are crappy systems all around ( I guess there aren’t enough INTJs ). Even in writing. Look into something like content strategist or content manager.

    I can’t comment on the marriage or kids as I’m married, he is also an INTJ, and we have 2 kids. Even as an outlier you can be an outlier, so embrace who you are. There is nothing wrong with who you are and what you want.

  5. Rachel C.
    Rachel C. says:

    As a side note I’ve never come across as many INTJs as on this blog in my life. INTJs and ENTJs must go hand in hand

  6. Angie
    Angie says:

    I envy all you INTJs who are so clearly INTJs! I’ve tested as “inconclusive” between the T and the F, so you can imagine all of the inner struggles I have. But I can identify with what you all have said here–I get bored with new jobs as soon as I’ve learned them, I have sub-par relationships (when I’ve had relationships), I don’t want to have kids, I think I should be a writer (but then again, I don’t), I notice all the things that suck in the world (too many things) . . . I want to look more into the analyst thing. How does one become an analyst?

  7. Leanne
    Leanne says:

    Penelope, you strike me as being spot on–

    For a long time I tested as INFJ, but recently I have been coming out an INTJ. I had always figured I wanted kids, but now that my daughter is 2 I feel like I might have been happier if I had not have had her. I love her, but I have been completely miserable since she was born, and I look forward to her being grown up and out of the house. (Any advice for how to be a better INTJ parent???)

    Also, for ten years I have dabbled in freelance writing, but I never seem to get motivated enough to do it seriously.

  8. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth says:

    As a happy INTJ mom of two, this comment has been on my mind, so I’ll try to give some advice. You need to realize that being home full time with your daughter is going to drive you crazy unless you have some kind of project. You need to have something to research, analyze, and plan, and caring for a two year old is wonderful if you can live in the moment but gives few opportunities for that kind of planning. So find something to research, for pay or not. Freelance writing doesn’t motivate you because it doesn’t fulfill that need. That may even be why you find yourself unhappy now that she’s two — when she was a baby you probably found lots of reading to do about development, feeding, etc, but that all slows down with toddlerhood (although since mine were speech delayed, I had lots to read, and kept lists of words, emerging words, etc.)

    What to look at? It doesn’t really matter, but consider researching school options. When to start preschool, whether to start preschool, traditional, Montessori or Waldorf? If you’ve settled on homeschooling, what kind? Or there are even a million varieties of unschooling.

    Or who does your family finances? If no one does, take them over and put everything into some kind of tracking software like Mint (free) or Quicken. Track your spending by category, set a saving goal, and put structures in place to meet it.

    The key is that you need something to think about to be happy. And your two year old needs you to be in a place where you don’t resent her, so figure out how to make that happen. And realize that once you have a system in place, it won’t keep you busy any more and you’ll need a new project.

  9. Latisha Renée
    Latisha Renée says:

    I am a female INTJ single Mom. Yes, I am a typical INTJ. My parents and I both knew from a young age that I was different. They just couldn’t put their finger on why. I spent a significant amount of time beside myself reading and observing people – not socially connecting.

    I tend to move through a variety of roles within a company. Once I mastered them, definitely boredom sets in.

    So I have a variety of projects that are research-based that I involve myself in. I have started a business that definitely has that research and analyzing and boardens my ability to express my creativity.

    Writing is fulfilling for me but I believe because I do alot of researching on a wide variety of subjects. For me, writing and researching go hand in hand.

    I was in a steady relationship for a while but actually enjoy being single. I oftened wonder if I got married – eventually would that person become annoying because of the level of emotional committment. It may work with the right personality type. Sounds like another research project for me:)

    I enjoy being a Mom balanced though with adequate alone time for me. Although, I spend probably less time “mothering” – the quality of that time is better as a result.

    Definitely look at different learning opportunities for your child. I found myself giving them crafting projects, reading assignments, and extensive quiet time. I find myself giving my teens a list of constructive things to do.

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