INTJ Empathy

INTJs are known for not being empathetic. Does this mean that it’s difficult for them to understand and accept others or does this mean that they don’t feel others?

To answer this question, we first need to have an understanding of what empathy is and how it works.

At it’s core, empathy can be broken down into three main points, all concerning the feelings of another.

  1. Relating to them.
  2. Understanding them.
  3. Responding to them.

These are sometimes called somatic, cognitive and affective empathy.

But how do these relate to MBTI?

As empathy is concerned with feelings and emotions, rather than thoughts, it mainly relates to the functions Fe and Fi. For an INTJ, these are their 7th and 3rd functions (respectively).

Being Fe ‘blind’, INTJs tend to be thought of as indifferent and place little value on social harmony. In this sense, INTJs will often find it very difficult to understand and respond to the feelings of people in general. They may feel out of their depth when dealing with others being emotional and may rationalise empathy.

However, Fi is the tertiary function of INTJs and although for some, this function may be very underdeveloped, for others this can be one of their stronger. For the latter individuals, such as myself, stronger use of Fi can mean higher empathy, especially towards people who are close to them and/or have gone through similar experiences to them. This is because they can relate to them and understand what it is like to be in their position.

INTJs with strong Fi may find it difficult to express their own empotions or respond to the emotions of others, but often still relate to other people. This is where Fi empathy comes from- relation to experiences. Strong Fi-users feel deeply for others not so much because they can understands them as an outsider, but because and when they have been in that position themselves.

Hope this helps.