All the typings and observations in this post are based on definitions and information presented in the aLBoP Guided Tour 😀 So if any of it bugs you, please go read that before leaving me a grumpy comment… Or, you know what? Let’s just skip the grumpy comments! Have a nice day! <3
“I seek the means to fight injustice;
to turn fear against those who prey upon the fearful.”
Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins
The INTJ Dragon is the dynamic facilitator of the world as it might be. Backed by the unyielding efficacy of universal principles and the useful plans of action which proceed from them, the Dragon knows just how to shape large-scale trends with penetrating accuracy. Majestic and surprising, these titans excel at unleashing the world’s untapped potential.
With big, wide eyes for Principles and the use of what could be, young INTJs immediately see a special world, not immediately visible to most; a world of complete, interworking elegance, where anything you imagine *can* be accomplished, the only limit being on how much you know and understand the world and its trends. So, from a very young age, little INTJs will be bursting to know about how things always work, trying to extend the borders of their capacity to do and change.
Complex little things, with a depth of desires and goals that usually extends beyond what their years and size might let on, young INTJs are usually quite varied, and often the same little INTJ will be vastly different depending on their surroundings, with the same INTJ alternating from silly and effusive in a situation where they feel comfortable, to withdrawn and closed down in a situation where they feel like their hidden depths are undesired or unsafe.
With their feelings and motives late in their cognitive process giving ITJs a natural inclination to cloak and protect their feelings, and with very little patience for shallow interactions and associations, it might be hard to tell what’s going on inside a mini INTJ (or a full-sized one). And with INTJ’s Type Specialization of discovering and accomplishing the unused potential of what the world can be, little INTJs can often be accused of not caring about the needs or social desires of others, with extreme examples of young INTJs being called “heartless” or “monsters” for not wearing their vaulted hearts on their sleeves.
In a culture where status-quo is god, where the ability to keep one’s life from changing unexpectedly is lauded as the pinnacle of safety and responsibility, INTJ’s natural desire and ability to bloom change on an epic scale is often deemed immensely frightening… which leads to the ever-present portrayal of INTJs as villains in media (and regurgitated stereotypes >:C ).
When society treats INTJs like villains for a desire to shape and change the world into the beautiful thing they can imagine, a little INTJ can quickly become disheartened as their experiences with individuals (their last and most vulnerable cognitive step) teach them that their desires are too forceful, to ambitious, too idealistic, and too isolated.
For all cognitions, our last steps are our greatest struggle, leading to our Type Angsts. For INTJs, this means that all their frustration and self-disappointment with feeling like their motives aren’t stable and reliable enough, as well as feeling lost about what motivates others, gets interpreted within INTJs as a deep, core fear that everything is their fault.
Used to being able to line up their plans as the natural continuation of Principles, and follow through to make things happen, INTJs naturally end up fearing that if something went wrong on the way to the ideal of what could be, that it could have been avoided had they personally done something different. If only they had been faster, stronger, better, cared more, not trusted individuals so much… been in control of themselves and everything they touched, then things would have just gone right, and safe and like they were supposed to. We call this deeply embedded fear and the ways INTJs cope with it, Anakin Angst.
These fears and interactions give an INTJ three choices.
The first is to react to Anakin Angst by insisting that they truly *can* be in control of everything, that they can make the world they imagine… if they just go around everyone who is getting in their way. Often with resentment of those who do not grasp their vision, these first choice INTJs will be undeniably driven to accomplish the feats they know are within their reach, if they just push the limits a little farther.
But these INTJs are also likely to pull inward, shutting down to people, who just start looking like a liability in the way of what needs to be accomplished. And since other people have wills of their own, this clenching INTJ is likely not to be able to just go around everyone. In the pursuit of their own visions, this INTJ can easily end up stepping on the visions and Type Specializations of others, adopting an attitude, perhaps without even meaning to, that others’ ambitions, desires and wills must be of less use, if they can’t see what needs to be done to achieve the giant end goal. When INTJs consider others’ desires to be subservient to the big picture, they can end up trying to force others’ wills, often even becoming an example of the very thing they wanted to fight in the first place.
But INTJs who insist on pursuing their visions without regard to the people around them will find their destination cold, lifeless and alone, lacking the brightness of other points of view and wills going in their very own directions. A world without perspective from every direction, and every Type of Information and Objective represented, won’t have either the use or meaning it needs, and that’s hardly the smooth-running utopia that an INTJ may picture.
The second option INTJs have, is to defer to those who insist their ambitious hopes for the world are just too drastic, dramatic and long-sighted, and so they temper their own goals to fit the expectations of those around them. Surely, they think, their vision of the future is as dangerous and inconsiderate as it is portrayed. Surely they should let others, with safer intentions, protect individuals from their damaging objectives. And so the INTJ tries to put away the planetarium of their minds in favor of following the path that is already set, or risk the possibility of breaking the world the ones they love, love.
The ironic thing is that these second-option INTJs often end up afraid and withdrawn from the very people they hoped to protect and care for, assured that their intentions are something that they need to keep away from others, or end up hurting them in the process. And in addition, as they grow deflated about others’ opinions of their motives and intents, this INTJ is likely to feel unwanted and close off their secret heart from others.
But an INTJ who has halted the pursuit of the potential they envision will inevitably end up discovering that trying to quarantine their true desires doesn’t actually end up keeping the ones they love from harm. Meanwhile, their ability to make good in the world is tragically minimized as they refuse to stand and live up to their own personal power.
However, the INTJ story need not have a dark ending. Despite what INTJs may fear when the path seems lone to carry out ideals that some would never think to expect, their designs and ambitions are wanted and desired by individuals who love the inspiring might that healthy INTJs bring with them.
If this third INTJ turns to those who can ground them in the meaning and worth of individuals, including themselves, they will be able to gather the strength to reject the negative image that many would give them of their own character. And as INTJs learn to love the person they are, by listening to those who truly see them and know their hidden depths, then their visions are given the perspective of hope. And an INTJ with true hope is completely unstoppable.
Because the world needs those who can wield universal principles like cleansing fire, people who are ready to stand and do the hard things in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves, those who can use sweeping trends like wings to further grand plans; in short, the world needs INTJ Dragons.
The INTJ Dragon is found often and memorably throughout fiction. Whether it’s as the fearless mentor and leader who isn’t afraid to push their protégés to their limits, the child with power and secrets that even they themselves do not understand, the scholar who has more adventure in them than might first meet the eye, or yes, even the villain who is always one step ahead of the heroes—the Dragon is always there with their gears turning.
And in fact, even though I usually reserve an examination of the “Dark side” of each Type Hero for the end, it seems with the Dragon I can’t wait that long. INTJs are so very often cast as villains, to the point that it’s joke worthy, that we really can’t go on longer without addressing the fictional fascination with Dark Dragons.
But I think the major reason that INTJs are so often cast as villains in stories, besides fear of the change that INTJ’s Type Specialization brings, is that they really are pretty bad-A at it. I was nervous to include so many villainous examples in this post, as part of my intent in writing The Dragon is to overcome the stereotypes associated with this wonderful cognition… but the thing is, it’s hard *not* to love Dark Dragons.
In a world that often treats power itself like a villainous trait, our sense of archetype finds it refreshing seeing characters who both have and use the power necessary to take the world by storm, shaping it and changing it, letting nothing stand in their way. How can we not feel a thrill of excitement when these titans come on the screen or page, their thunderous theme music filling us.
But the lie, I believe, that our culture buys into in this case, is that power itself is the treacherous slope that has brought these leviathans down their dark paths. As our true heroic Dragons show us, power used to protect, nourish and empower the individual wills of others, as opposed to subverting them, is something we desperately need more of.
I found it fascinating to realize how often within the same piece of fiction, both the teaching mentor and the villain would be written as INTJ. Dumbledore versus Voldemort, Professor Charles Xavier versus Magneto, Nick Fury versus Loki, Elrond versus Sauron; over and over again, the author gives both the student-protagonists and ourselves the prospect of two potential worlds, given voice by two powerful INTJs who can imagine very different scenarios of how the world could be.
But our mentor INTJ has been to the edge, they’ve seen the slippery slope of power, and realized that the rise and fall of every civilization has one thing in common: its people. A Dragon who has been to the other side of Anakin angst and is ready to lead others to the magnificent world they can imagine, realizes that they’ll never get there without individuals to back them up, fuel their way, and show them that what brings their world color, is the people in it.
Like all IJs, INTJs feel like “if I don’t do it, no one will,” and as the most future-oriented of the most zoomed-out types (NT, IJ), the Dragon is enduring, patient, and calculatingly meticulous, toward the larger end goals they’re trying to achieve. But when not left alone, the Dragon can be an immense friend.
While they might have to go out of their way to show just how much they care, Dragons love people quite deeply, especially those who have shown integrity and a lasting appreciation of the principles they hold the dearest. And though they might not expect to find those who will truly love, respect and see them for who they really are, the Dragon is likely to latch onto such people like the ray of brightest hope they could imagine. Always paradoxically both complicated and straightforward, with a deep-seated seriousness, and yet with a childlike understanding of people, the Dragon is likely to catch you off guard with unexpected humor that’s remarkably true and yet not what others would be thinking about.
Dragon or Dark Dragon, INTJs are sure to be able to take the world by storm, but with people who can anchor them in hope and perspective, nothing can get in the way of a healthy Dragon on their way to make the world better.
Male: Sherlock, BBC’s Sherlock
Female: Eleven, Stranger Things
Villain: Loki, Thor and The Avengers
Who are the Type Heroes? Read the intro here, and stay tuned to meet them all!
Want more information on INTJ, the Dragon? Read their Cognitive Orientation Guidebook here.
Author’s note – 2/17/17: This post is the 9th in the Type Heroes series, but the first in several years. Part of the reason it took me so long to come back to this series, even though it is by far the most requested, is because I’ve learned so much in the nearly four years of creating aLBoP (and I learn new things all the time) and I want to do justice to all the beautiful complexity that I’ve learned about each of the cognitive types over the years! I wish I could just go back immediately and update the previous 8 Type Heroes to the level of detail and nuance that I’ve been able to pour into this one, but that would really clog up my ability to produce new content, especially since 7 types are still desperately waiting for any version of their Type Hero!
But my hope and plan is to finish out the last of the Type Heroes (cue The Last of the Mohicans music in my head) with this degree of balance and depth, and *then* return to update and improve the previous 8 Type Heroes to my new standards, collages included most likely. So if you’re thinking “Hey!! 😛 Why does INTJ get the oh-so-special treatment??!?!” it’s just because it’s the first in the New and Improved™ Type Heroes! Super excited for all to come, and hoping it’ll show everyone all the better that anyone can be a hero. <3