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  1. #1
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Default The Dark Side of the INTJ

    Before I pose my question, I'd like to preface the thread by saying that I am in no way generalizing, or attempting to criticize another type. I work with many INTJs and often date those I meet outside of work. I've a deep appreciation for them. I am looking for people's insight and experiences into their dark side. Ideally, responders to this post will either be INTJ or have had direct experience with their dark side.

    We all have a dark side; to the extent that other factors such as mental illness, abuse, etc. may be in one's past or present, that dark side may obviously be amplified or further distorted.

    Background
    As many of you know, I've been casually dating an INTx who usually tests INTJ. He just did his Johari window and I contributed: we overlapped on "cynicism", "withdrawn", "unhappy", and "smug". He wasn't thrilled about my choice of "cowardly" (or possibly "weak") but that's an aside.

    I'm not here to talk about the nuances of the above. I'd like to gather insight and experiences into extreme cases of the above. I have observed a coldness, calculation and deep unhappiness in him that sometimes scares the shit out of me. He has mental illness in his family (sister is bi-polar; tried committing suicide when he was 7 while she was babysitting). His father is an emotionally distant professor and his mother is affectionate but verbally abusive and needy.

    On the surface he is brilliant, extremely successful and handsome. He has done very well for himself. He is comfortable discussing ways in which he thinks he's awesome as well as deeply unhappy and cynical. Despite these things, he is very loving, affectionate, and empathetic to those he loves.

    But he coldly rationalizes behavior that worries me. He is technically honest. I have never known him to lie, but he is a pretty talented wordsmith. One example I've seen: rather than tell a woman he's moved on, he quietly slips away and after several days emails her to say he "is going quiet as he needs time with his head." He has actually started sleeping with someone else. To friends, he will say of the first girl, "We are no longer seeing each other. We remain friends, though." And to his new lover who asks who he is dating concurrently? "What is "dating?" (lengthy conversation ensues, he tries to squirm out of it). Then, "I briefly dated another woman. She knows I wasn't 100% sure about her. We are friends but no longer seeing each other in person." And when his former lover eventually figures out--two weeks later--that he's effectively dumped her, he tells her: "It wasn't actually my belief that we were no longer dating, but since you seem to suggest that we have stopped dating...yes. You are clearly unhappy so that seems reasonable to me. I am comfortable with that."

    NONE of this is technically dishonest. He is simply a master at getting people to do/behave in ways which suit him; he will carefully and cold-heartedly weed out early those who are unwilling to play along and says he never regrets the consequences of his actions. He is also open about the fact that he prefers to be "mentally and/or physically dominant" with women he dates. An observation is that his driver's license pic looks like a goddamn serial killer. I nearly dropped it when i saw it. I have never seen such a cold, hateful, empty look on another person's face. It shocked me because he usually wears a very neutral mask. This thing looked like it belonged in a police lineup.

    Anyway. I do not want a romantic relationship with this man. Nor am I judging him. He is in my life and I care about him. My questions to INTJs and/or those who have experience with them:

    - Does any of the above sound familiar?
    - Do any of you INTJs find yourselves engaging in similar behavior (mental/physical dominance, manipulation, exposing facets of a situation to someone, in order to increase the likelihood that they will comply?)
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
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  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    You seem to have very very mixed feelings about this guy...not surprising from your description!

    I probably don't have any massively useful to contribute, not in terms of INTJ men anyway. I thought the guy I was recently interested in was INTJ, but now I'm leaning towards ENTJ. Anyway.

    My mom is INTJ, almost certainly. I love her to death. She's intelligent to the point of being semi-genius and while she is extremely selective about who she gets close to and cares about (she's far less of a people person than I am), she is ferociously devoted to her family and is emotional and passionate where we are concerned - I am sure she would die for my dad, me or my brother.

    On the darker side, though:

    -she finds it virtually impossible to admit that she is wrong about anything. She tends to be right about a lot of things, which I think is part of the problem...I think she also finds it hard to not look down on/feel superior to people of lesser intellect.
    -she doesn't have the greatest social skills - well, if you're one of the tiny number of people in her inner circle she can be warm and fascinating, but she basically doesn't do small talk at all.
    -she tends to exaggerate and sometimes has a really warped perspective on things.
    -she had a tendency while we were growing up to lay guilt trips, which I think did some damage.

    I love my mom a great deal and she's no more imperfect than any of us. We all have a dark side, I guess, but what I've described seems to be hers. How much of it is INTJ-specific I'm not sure. But that's my two cents for what it's worth
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  3. #3
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Hmmmm I don't think this is something that's limited to INTJs... sometimes I see myself doing similar things. Not mental or physical dominance... but definitely a little bit of manipulation. Putting it in the uglier form, lying by omission. Perhaps this comes a little bit from Ni in accurately (or inaccurately) addressing the other person's perspective. Given the opportunity, most people will come to their own conclusion of things whether you want them to or not. It's just better to steer them a little bit towards the right direction.

    Basically I found that it takes way less energy to subtly nudge people in the right direction as oppose to outright challenge/confrontation. Comes from being an I? Looking at things from your perspective as a ENF... somebody who's likely quite upfront about most things, we probably seem a tad cold.

    But this approach definitely helps when it comes to getting buy in for your ideas. They see it as something they discovered and both of you now work towards a common goal.
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  4. #4
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    You seem to have very very mixed feelings about this guy...not surprising from your description!
    that is true. i am trying to disengage - the knowing on a deep level that i don't want a romantic relationship is there, the will-power to say no is not entirely there. hence the post...

    coincidentally, the moment i pulled away from him and told him i no longer wanted a relationship with him, he came forward. i'm pretty sure he aims to dominate me emotionally but has no present desire to commit to me. he says he's undecided "but open to it" (but he likes to say that he's "open to any and everything." see what i mean? )

    On the darker side, though...she also finds it hard to not look down on/feel superior to people of lesser intellect.
    this guy recently told someone that he struggles to find women to date who are not "intellectually underpowered." he said most women he dates claim to be interested in intellectual pursuits, but in the end they usually have nothing insightful or even funny to add. he is absolutely comfortable being called arrogant and smug. he said most of the Johari descriptors wouldn't bother him, except for the two i came up with: weak and cowardly. i know that got him thinking (it's hard to dominate someone who thinks you're weak and cowardly!). which is why he very badly wants to whisk me away to a romantic weekend on a beach.

    she tends to exaggerate and sometimes has a really warped perspective on things.
    i have had the most difficult time accessing this man's sense of morality. he is ultimately pretty sensitive about the subject of his "inner moral compass" as he prides himself on being honest and straightforward in his dealings. when i pointed out to him that sleeping with his ex after they'd broken up and while she was still in love with him hurt her, he said "i can only go by what people tell me. she tells me that she accepts our break up. she is a mutually-consenting adult who has the right to do what she wants." yet, when she rebounds afterwards and starts missing him, he will give her a shoulder to cry on, perhaps a charity fuck, but is sleeping with another woman all along and not disclosing that to her. when asked why not, he will say "she knows we are no longer dating. i don't discuss the details with her because they would hurt her." but you know what? the details would not only hurt her, THEY WOULD GUARANTEE THAT SHE WOULD NO LONGER SLEEP WITH HIM! i told him this and he simply shrugged. admitted that there is an element of him benefiting from the arrangement, but that all parties involved knew the score.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
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    Johari.

  5. #5
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    From the limited info you provided, i'd say:

    He's addicted to powerplay and made a very logical study of it. He needs to fall on his ass and realize what's important in life. He might be a great guy underneath it all but this trait alone makes him unreliable at best. And yes..he won't stand for you resisting him as his ego probably needs you to believe he's awesome..especially if you're a target in his eyes.
    Frankly, he's no worth the risk. This is not a desirable trait in a mate, as far as I'm concerned...and I love playing a game of powerplay myself to spice things up, but he's using it as a videogame which he must beat.


    If you decide to go along for his ride, know the consequences. He cares more about winning than he does about finding a mate, I'd say. And once he's won..he'll need a new thrill, probably.



    If you want him to back off, I'd suggest (and I know it's hard, coz you probably like the arrogance/dominance in him) that you remain unimpressed and especially *uninterested* when he asserts himself and courts you. If you linger but a little (and I fear he might already know), he'll just consider it a bigger challenge. If you can..ignore him. Make him wait. Make it clear to him he's not what you're looking for and that his game is not interesting to you...at least not the way he's playing it. And stick with it. If you become inconsistent it'll only egg him on more.



    Edit: for that matter, show him what honesty is, and tell him up front that it *is* that quality in him that turns you off/makes you hesitant at best, and that it's not what you're looking for. Don't expect him to change anything or sound hopeful. Just state it as a matter of fact and move on.
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  6. #6
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Hmmmm I don't think this is something that's limited to INTJs... sometimes I see myself doing similar things. Not mental or physical dominance... but definitely a little bit of manipulation. Putting it in the uglier form, lying by omission.
    i think that's what bothers me the most. i think it's not only lying by omission, it's lying by omission and calculated manipulation. sure, i'm capable of similar behavior. ENFPs can be highly manipulative. but when people's feelings are involved? that may be the key. his feelings simply are not. certainly not to the degree mine are.

    Looking at things from your perspective as a ENF... somebody who's likely quite upfront about most things, we probably seem a tad cold.
    being upfront is a compulsion. i am not always that way, particularly when someone's feelings are at stake. but, yeah, i feel deep pain if i'm dishonest with someone. this guy seems to have the ability to rationalize things and view situations much more dispassionately.

    But this approach definitely helps when it comes to getting buy in for your ideas. They see it as something they discovered and both of you now work towards a common goal.
    exactly. i recently played into one of his "i had not thought of it that way, but since you're suggesting it, yeah. sounds good to me." tactics. so irritating to realize i'd been duped. now it is ON and i refuse to fall prey to his tactics. the question is: admit i'm outmatched and run for the hills? or stick it out for a while and try to forge something Meaningful.

    seems unproductive, beneath me and destined to give rise to emotional pain. can an ENFP disengage emotions? i'm guessing not. i probably should try dating an NF.
    Last edited by AgentF; 02-25-2011 at 12:14 PM. Reason: quotetard
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


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    Johari.

  7. #7
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satine View Post
    From the limited info you provided, i'd say:

    He's addicted to powerplay and made a very logical study of it.
    addicted to powerplay? 100% agree.

    w/r/t his careful study of it, that reminds me of a scene in the film Slingblade. the killer is telling his drunken victim that he's studied on killing him, "studied on it quite a bit." at times i feel that i'm in the presence of someone standing at the roadside, watching me sleepwalk into oncoming traffic. no intention to stop me, just observing. part of what i think is happening is that i'm not engaging his heart. his mind isn't 100% sure he wants to be with me. so i guess what i'm left with is, a chode.

    He needs to fall on his ass and realize what's important in life. He might be a great guy underneath it all but this trait alone makes him unreliable at best.
    i very much think he needs to fall on his ass. he is due for a humbling based on what i've seen. i just don't think it would serve me on any level to BE that agent. i think the ultimate humbling might be that he dies alone. (not that i want that for him but i think it's the only one he'd be affected by). he's confessed that dying alone is his only fear. i, on the other hand and very gratefully, have forged strong relationships with friends and family...it is a virtual impossibility that i meet that fate. but when he told me about that fear, i realized how alone he must be.

    And yes..he won't stand for you resisting him as his ego probably needs you to believe he's awesome..especially if you're a target in his eyes.
    yeah, i kinda wish INTJs who like dominance + who've been rejected would comment on that. the "target" and the game. as a fellow ENFP, i know what it is to target someone. i certainly know about games, but those usually involve sheets with Twister dots printed on them.

    any games i play are ultimately a desire to engage someone on a very deep level. i think this guy uses women until he finds one he can "tolerate" intellectually for a while. subjugates her, decides it isn't working, then moves on. interestingly enough, his last girlfriend of 2 years became slightly verbally abusive and often lashed out at him when stressed. he stuck around for 2 years then ended it. i met him right after they broke up. anyway, he does have a weak side, but only made himself vulnerable with her after she became sub. i think he's still reeling from the realization that he misjudged the situation/was wrong about her. i may very well be dealing with the "that's never going to happen to me again" backlash.

    If you decide to go along for his ride, know the consequences. He cares more about winning than he does about finding a mate, I'd say. And once he's won..he'll need a new thrill, probably. .
    agreed. the playing field is not level here. he might experience an intellectual or physical thrill of the chase, but his emotions are squarely in check.
    Last edited by AgentF; 02-25-2011 at 12:40 PM. Reason: engrish
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
    ~ Catherine the Great


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    Johari.

  8. #8
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    He must have an inner beauty. Surely all the cynical use of other people is protection for that inner beauty. And once you find it, poke it in the heart with a knitting needle. Make it bleed. Vengeance must be steady and sure.
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  9. #9
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    I know we've talked more about this elsewhere but I just want to say in thread that whether he means to or not, you are being f**ked with. He is going to keep doing what he wants as long as you give him permission by letting him. It sounds like he believes that is fair and in some ways, I agree. We are all responsible for how someone treats us by giving them permission to carry on treating us badly or not.

    Sometimes I think a person can look so hard at motivations and justify things in that way that they can't see the forest for the trees. I do it all the time and I suspect NFs are particularly prone to that kind of thinking. But all you can reliably go on is what you see and how a person you are involved with makes you feel.

    When I get tripped up delving into someone's motivations because I don't understand why they are behaving a certain way, I try to give myself a dose of reality by thinking 'what if he were behaving this way with my sister?' Then I always know the right way to go. Why they are doing whatever it is doesn't matter anymore.

    (Would love to hear the opinion of INT guys about the OP. And as to whether someone is fair game in dating as long as they are letting you treat them a certain way).

  10. #10
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    He must have an inner beauty. Surely all the cynical use of other people is protection for that inner beauty. And once you find it, poke it in the heart with a knitting needle. Make it bleed. Vengeance must be steady and sure.
    Grin.. in a way you're right, but I dunno if she's ready to do that without being sucked into his game. He needs someone to do this to him though and pronto.
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