You have your own unique personality that helps define who you are and how you handle life’s obstacles. One of those obstacles could be opening up to someone or getting them to open up to you.
Knowing someone’s unique personality type is the first step to understanding how to emotionally communicate with them. A great tool for this is the Myers-Briggs personality test (MBTI), which groups people according to the personality traits they display. These can determine many qualities you may not have realized impact you.
INTJ stands for introversion, intuition, thinking, and judging. INTJs have a harder time making deep emotional connections because they tend to focus more on rationalizations and logic and less on emotions.
So how do you really get an INTJ to open up?
This personality type is well-known for analyzing everything around them and therefore can get a little caught up in their own thoughts.
Because they spend so much time rationalizing, emotional depth may not exactly be an INTJ’s cup of tea. They may struggle to verbalize their feelings, share deep emotional connections — like saying they love you — or be hopeful of the future.
INTJs may appear to be cynical pessimists, and they often can be. But at heart, they’re realists. They’re always trying to figure out what kind of effort and hard work will let them reach their dreams, which gives them the well-earned nickname of “the Architect.”
They yearn for logic and rationale, so flights of fancy aren’t going to be well-received. This is because they’re often perfectionists who hate the idea of failure.
But they’re also open to new ideas to help quench their huge curiosity and thirst for knowledge — so long as those ideas are based on facts and evidence, that is.
So how do you get an over-analyzing INTJ to open up emotionally when they live in a world of staunch logic and sometimes painfully single-minded determination?
With the right approach, you can get them to open up to you on a deeper level. They’re not trying to shut you out; they just need to know when it’s OK to not be so independent.
Here are 6 ways to get an INTJ to open up to you and share their complex inner world.
1. Make them feel comfortable.
It’s rare that an INTJ will express their emotions or talk with someone about past traumas and emotional experiences. They’ll need to feel a certain level of trust with you and feel like they can be themselves.
Try giving them subtle but consistent reassurances that it’s safe for them to disclose personal information to you.
Show them that there’s nothing they can say that will make you harshly judge them.
INTJs are more on the judgmental side and will likely assume you are too, which will make them avoidant of sharing things. They’re afraid to receive a negative reaction and essentially “waste” their time trying to get to know someone.
2. Give them the time they need.
INTJs hate feeling rushed to do anything — especially when it comes to showing emotions.
Let them take things at their own pace and avoid nagging them that they never open up. Begging them to talk to you about serious topics will only make them retract even further.
Instead, show them that you’re interested and you care but are willing to take things slow.
Pressuring them to talk to you will only lead to arguments and make them resent you. They may even avoid spending time with you if they think they’re going to have to deal with you forcing them to open up.
3. Don’t shower them with affection.
Just like how you need to take things at their pace emotionally, you will need to with affection as well.
INTJs are incredibly logic-driven and goal-oriented. They’re willing to plan and prepare for the long haul to reach a destination, so they’re not going to be happy with you trying to force them to move faster than they’re willing.
Although you might have good intentions, showering them with hugs and kisses will only make them cringe at first. INTJs aren’t big fans of hugging or even holding hands until they are super comfortable around you.
The best way to be affectionate is to be attentive when they do share their inner thoughts with you.
If you were thinking you could hold them and listen to them talk about past traumas, think again. Be patient. Eventually, they’ll get there and will open up to you.
However, if you’re looking for a touchy-feely kind of partner, an INTJ might not be a good match for you.
4. Spend quality one-on-one time together.
INTJs are naturally introverted and will never be the kind of partner you can drag along to parties or large outings. They would rather spend time in a small group of people they’re comfortable with or just the two of you alone.
Never try to get an INTJ to open up about feelings in front of other people, or they’ll clam up and be that much harder to crack. Instead, wait until you’re spending time one-on-one in a safe space to attempt a more serious convo.
5. Engage in open conversation.
While it’s important to take things slow with an INTJ, it doesn’t mean you should keep your feelings to yourself. Open communication is still a necessary element of all healthy relationships, even those including someone with an INTJ personality type.
Tell them that you want to know them on a deeper level, but that you understand it will take time.
This will eliminate a lot of pent up frustration toward them and ensure that you are both on the same page. This also allows them to mentally prepare to have harder conversations in the future.
Remember, INTJs are often embedded in their own thoughts and may not open up right away. By sharing your own feelings, you may plant the idea in their head that to better communicate with you, they need to do the same.
This type of logic may seem unnecessary to those who are not INTJs, but your INTJ partner will appreciate the consideration and time.
6. Express loyalty to them.
INTJs hate failure. This worry applies to relationships as well.
If something isn’t going to serve to better the INTJ’s life in the long-run, then why waste the time on it now? This type of calculation may seem cruel, but it’s really not.
If you want an INTJ to open up, show them you’re in it for the long haul; that you aren’t going to break their heart.
Showing them that you’re all in will encourage them to express their feelings to you. You’re making yourself an important — and lasting — part of their lives. This means they’ll be able to extend their extensive inner world to include you and feel safe to do so.
INTJs are open with a select few. They are secretly concerned about the emotions of those they care about. Expressing your loyalty through reassurance and words of affirmation will get you invited into this elite group’s emotional center and deep thought process.
Lindsey Matthews is a writer who covers love and relationships, news, and pop-culture topics.