Just by looking at the letters of these personality types, you might think that they’re nearly the same. Mistyping is common between ISTJs and INTJs simply because personality test questions can be ambiguous.

Although these two types can share a lot in common, they function quite differently. Take a look at the functional stacks of ISTJs and INTJs to see the characteristics that most closely define each one.

ISTJ Functional Stack:

  1. Dominant Function: Introverted Sensing (Si)
  2. Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  3. Tertiary Function: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  4. Inferior Function: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

INTJ Functional Stack:

  1. Dominant Function: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  2. Auxiliary Function: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  3. Tertiary Function: Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  4. Inferior Function: Extraverted Sensing (Se)

Similarities Can Mean a Lot

As you can see, the ISTJ and INTJ personality types share their auxiliary function of extraverted thinking. Those who use Te are able to remain objective, making decisions based on logic and developing plans based on an individual analysis of circumstances.

Introverted feeling for both of these types means that they are able to feel deeply and have empathy for others. However, since Fi is only a tertiary function, what they know will typically be more important to ISTJs and INTJs than what they feel in a given situation.

Simply put, ISTJs and INTJs are able to put their feelings aside when it comes down to the actual decision itself. The auxiliary function of extraverted thinking is stronger than the tertiary function of introverted feeling, though the two personality types definitely take mental notes on how any given situation affects their gut instincts.

Goal oriented, those with these personality types are highly dedicated to their work, often giving everything they’ve got and working long hours. Because ISTJs and INTJs are forward thinking, planning is an absolute must though INTJs tend to be a bit more creative in their endeavors.

Organization is of utmost importance. In fact, ISTJs and INTJs are more than happy to help others in organizing their thoughts, plans, or surrounding environments. This is especially true if it will make their own lives easier.

Both being introverts, these types prefer to spend time alone or with close friends and family. They prefer one-on-one conversations that focus on more engaging topics rather than the trivialities of small talk.

More Than Subtle Differences

Because the ISTJ and the INTJ types share so many characteristics, it can be difficult at times for a casual observer to tell them apart. However, their dominant functions reveal how they understand and process information.

Introverted sensing for the ISTJ comes from what they can gather with their five senses combined with their past experiences, helping to pave the way for a more ideal future. They prefer tried-and-true ways of doing things and aren’t typically willing to rock the boat.

On the other hand, the INTJ gains understanding through an unconscious process of intuition. Looking more at the big picture and future possibilities, INTJs strongly dislike set rules and traditions. Rather than settle for the way things have always been done, those with this type always finds room for improvement.

Making decisions can be a slow process for ISTJs. They must gather details, compare them to their past experiences, and anticipate any potential negative outcomes. INTJs are less likely to worry about the results of their decisions as they are quite confident in their intuitive abilities.

Although both of these types often base any conclusions on the information they receive combined with past experiences, the ISTJ is able to remember all of the details of a previous occurrence while the INTJ is most likely to focus on the impression of a past situation.

When it comes to change, ISTJs aren’t very enthusiastic when it comes right down to it. In fact, it can take them a long time to deal with it even when change is a necessity. INTJs, alternately, are more apt to see such change in a more favorable light.

In communication with others, the ISTJ personality type loves gathering and sharing information in all of its detailed glory while the INTJ prefers ideas and a more generalized picture. Someone with an INTJ personality type may become frustrated if they feel another person is taking too long to come to the point.

ISTJs value what actually is, basing their observations on concrete evidence and the finer details. Rather than taking things at face value like ISTJs, INTJs notice patterns and are quick to discern inconsistencies by reading between the lines.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Dutiful almost to a fault, ISTJs will meet whatever obligations are expected of them. This means that they often have a hard time setting boundaries and saying no when asked for assistance. Their word is their bond, even if it comes at a great expense.

Chaos is completely unacceptable to someone who is an ISTJ. They’ll do all that they can to ensure that they and others adhere to the rules and regulations set forth in any given environment. While it can be irritating to some, this is simply because the ISTJ finds it more efficient and effective.

Seeing their environment from many angles allows the INTJ to come up with creative solutions, allowing them to better anticipate possibilities that cold come up in the future. They trust themselves, and once they come to a decision, no one can tell them that they’re wrong.

Because they’re open to possibilities, INTJs can learn a variety of new tasks with ease. Their hard work and determination only emphasize the success they can achieve in all of their endeavors.

Structured and responsible, ISTJ personality types are often seen as stubborn and relentless. Because they rely solely on facts, they have no time to entertain the opinions of others. With a greater regard for honesty than for emotions, those with this type can be seen as insensitive and uncaring.

Since INTJs are rational in nature, they’re prone to view those who take the feelings of others into consideration as illogical and even inferior in their thought processes. This can make them seem too judgmental.

With their high analytical skills, INTJs may seem too picky or overly critical in their relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Others may be put off by this, causing some of these relationships to fail before they even have a chance to grow.

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