So you’re an INTJ.
And you’re living through the 2020 Pandemic.
Me too, on both accounts.
Hoarding toilet paper, or worrying about whether or not to wear a face mask, probably isn’t your biggest issue right now.
Enjoying the isolation way too much, or arguing with your adult siblings about politics and constitutional freedoms just might be.
2020 has been a hard year on all of us (well, since March, anyway).
We all have our opinions about what’s going on and what someone needs to do to fix it.
After all, aren’t INTJs the “masterminds” who pride themselves on coming up with solutions?
Sadly, I don’t have any solutions for you today.
Not ones that will “fix” the pandemic- or any of the issues it’s causing- anyway.
I do have a few ideas to help us all live well through this crazy time.
These five habits will be good for everyone; but for the INTJ, they just might be extra needful.
If you like this post, won’t you hit a “share” button for me?
#1 Don’t live in isolation.
I know, you enjoy being alone.
In fact, you need to be alone.
Perhaps more than just about any other personality type on the planet.
I get it.
I do too.
But isolation isn’t healthy.
Not even during a pandemic.
If your church is open, go.
Check on your friends and family and neighbors.
Drop a few hand-written cards in the mail each week (or month).
Resist the urge to get sucked into the emotional, mental and physical vortex of isolation.
It isn’t as glamorous as it seems, I promise.
But do enjoy the extra down time.
#2 Get outside your head.
I’m aware that most INTJs recognize their thinking capacities as a super power; but our greatest strength is also our Achilles’ heel.
It’s crucial that we intentionally get outside our heads.
In other words,
stop living within the confines of our mental worlds so that we can fill up our emotional tanks and take care of our bodies too.
Here are a few ways I do this:
Spend time in nature.
I love the outdoors.
But if I’m not careful, I’ll spend 99% of my time lost inside my head:
reading, writing, working on my computer, helping my kids with their school work, etc.
All of which is done inside my house… and inside my head, so to speak.
—> Nature is therapeutic for me, so I’m intentional about going outside for a morning run; taking my kids out for a swim day; or going on a nature walk with my boys.
Some days, I compromise and take a book outside. Ticks both boxes.
Unless you live in a rural area, acquaint yourself with local parks, walking tracks, hiking trails, aquariums, etc.
Take up a sport or work out.
My 16-year old daughter isn’t an INTJ, but she is a “head type” personality (type 6 on the Enneagram); taking up Karate has been good for her.
—> I feel better mentally when I work out physically.
I like to exercise, and I took up running about a year ago.
Best decision ever.
Cultivate meaningful friendships with other thinkers.
I’ve blessed to have a handful of friends who love to talk about ideas and facts like I do; these are my “thinking” friends and I relate to them in ways that I don’t necessarily connect with “feelers.”
When I need a break from a draining world and pace of life, I carve out time to stay connected with these thinkers.
—> Even a brief conversation about an idea, current event, historical fact, or a favorite book or movie can fill me up almost like nothing else can.
It just feels good to exchange time and words with someone who “gets” you.
INTJs need friends too.
Preferably ones who will pull you outside your world of thoughts without minimizing your need for mental stimulation.
#3 Quit trying to understand every single thing that’s going on.
We like to research and figure things out, don’t we?
I mean, we want to know-
What really happened in Wuhan, China?
Is there a genuine coin shortage in American, and what on earth does that have to do with a virus?
Is this the beginning of the end times? Should we prepare for the worst?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a scientist, politician, or stay-at-home mom:
If you’re an INTJ, you will try to wrap your brain around any bit of knowledge you can discover.
We are wired to think and understand.
We want to create a “big picture” context for every snippet of conversation and circumstance around us.
Beware of the insatiable hunt for facts.
Being informed and well-read is a good thing (in my humble opinion).
Staying up all night with your eyes glued to a screen (while you “research” for days on end) is not.
Being that person who has an answer for ever question that was ever- or never– asked is also not good.
Sometimes, we don’t have to know.
Sometimes, it’s okay to just be.
#4 Give other people space to disagree with you.
I have never had to bite my tongue so often as I do now.
I’ve always been a woman of strong (mostly silent) opinions.
But right now, there are so many issues (which I may have accidentally researched a lot about).
Which means I have so many opinions.
And these issues are so close to my heart:
liberty, government, worship, my children’s education, my family’s well being.
It’s easy to feel fire in your bones when your relatives or friends or the news media express a viewpoint that contradicts yours.
Save the lecture.
Hold your tongue.
Everyone doesn’t have to agree with you.
And, no, that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
(I knew you were going to say that.)
#5 Keep your relationships in tact.
I struggle with this too.
You see, in addition to being an INTJ female, I also type as a 1 on the Enneagram.
That means I typically will hold on to my ideals or principles over relationships with people.
It’s not a conscious choice; it’s just how I’m wired.
I have to be very intentional about valuing people over principles, and relationships over rationale.
I have a feeling you do too.
A few tips for surviving the pandemic without losing all your friends and family members:
- refuse to read or comment on controversial social media posts
- if necessary, remove social media apps from your phone and just don’t go there
- swallow your words rather than “chew out” a person
- try to see someone else’s perspective
- agree to disagree (it’s really a thing)
- be willing to make concessions in order to work together
- find common ground
- don’t make every issue a hill to die on
Plagues don’t last forever.
This pandemic will end.
Life will return to some semblance of order in the future (at least, I hope so).
Eventually, the issues that are keeping us up by night and staring us in the face by day- they will all be part of the past.
On the other side of this, I want to still have close relationships with my family and still have a community of friends who love me.
Being nice matters.
Sometimes, even more than being right.
Okay, maybe more than sometimes.
If you’re an INTJ, what would you add to this list?
What is keeping you centered and sane right now?
How exactly are you being nice on purpose? Because I know you’re not doing it by accident! *wink*
Here’s to living well-