INTJs sometimes present themselves as extroverts, when in fact they are merely asserting themselves. INTJs share many traits with ENTJs and in particular, the trait of Te: Extroverted Thinking, which is defined as:
“Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence”
INTJs have a dominant (most developed) trait of Introverted Intuition (Ni) and an Auxiliary trait of Extroverted Thinking (Te). In ENTJs this “Te” is actually their dominant trait and the Ni is the auxiliary.
There are many contexts in which INTJs may seem extroverted:
- In a crisis – An INTJs demeanor and slowness to react emotionally in a crisis makes them seem extroverted. INTJs may tend to be assertive under pressure.
- On the job – INTJs can be assertive in their professions, when necessary. They can be effective public speakers in their areas of expertise and take on positions of leadership in the absence of an effective alternative.
- In the presence of trusted friends – if you are a friend or confidant to an INTJ, you will see another more assertive side to them.
- When they are being humorous.
- When speaking/arguing in favor of their convictions/beliefs.
This assertiveness is often mistaken for Extroversion, to the degree that even INTJs themselves may wonder if they are in fact extroverted at times. I have had these thoughts, about myself and other INTJs, which compelled me to learn more about the functions of Introversion and Extroversion. I realized that the traits are not interchangeable, in much the same way that one does not become a Sensing type just by using a sensing function at times.
Extroversion is not merely occasional or even frequent assertiveness or an element of social interaction. It is a function of how the mind incorporates data and stimuli. In the MBTI portion of the forum is an excellent post detailing the conceptual nuances of the the MBTI functions. It describes the difference between all of the functions and data/environmental stimuli are processed by the mind.
Extroversion and Introversion are most likely not able to be interchanged/developed as they are psychologically different approaches to interacting with the environment and where energy is focused. For an extrovert energy is focused externally. For us introverts there are entire universes of energy within.