Imagination, Independence, and Foresight: The NJs

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NJs are interested in new ideas and content with a lifelong profession. NJs come up with detailed action plans and make choices dependent on the future consequences of their actions. They develop a vision of what they want out of life and set out to make it a reality. They’re not sentimental, have little interest in revisiting past experiences, and are fiercely independent. They tend toward romanticism (they usually have an incredible imagination) and idealism.

These traits are the result of their introverted intuition cognitive function (Ni). This function looks at an idea, individual, or situation from a wide variety of angles in order to understand and solve it. It is good at reading people and looks forward. Ni sees how actions in the present will alter future events. Ni is strategic, able to envision a goal and systematically work backward to determine how to accomplish it. This can be as simple as writing a short story or as complicated as re-structuring a business model. After considering all the data, it eliminates all useless information to focus on a single course of action. (This is what I want. What do I do first?)

kahn star trek

Because the future is so important to them, the NJ has a hard time living in the present. They are big picture people who tend to neglect the details. Once they decide on a course of action, it is hard for them to change their mind or deal with unexpected hiccups. Since they rarely think about the past, aren’t sentimental about it, and have no real concept of what happened when, they won’t understand others’ adherence to tradition, unwillingness to try out a new idea, or look at a belief system or idea from a totally new perspective. They like to be on the cutting edge. They are forever in search of new ideas, but are intensely focused on their projects. They will not stop until their vision becomes reality.

NFJs are different from NTJs in how they relate to other people and deal with information. This has to do with their next most-used function.

NFJs use extroverted feeling (Fe), which gathers emotional data from the outside world. Because of the imaginative internal focus of Ni, Fe works differently in an NFJ than in a SFJ. Where SFJs need to share an experience to truly empathize with another’s emotions, the NFJ’s Ni allows them to imagine those feelings, and experience them right along with the other person. Because of this empathy, NFJs are very sensitive, and usually form strong bonds to nature and spiritual things. They easily anticipate and meet the needs of others, and are able to correctly identify reasons for behaviors. A healthy NFJ can be completely objective in a heated situation, and find a solution that benefits all involved. Fe needs external support and approval for its actions. NFJs are happiest when they are appreciated and affirmed.


Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings is an NFJ. Her long-term focus looks at the future impact of her decisions, she has an instinctive knowing about the different members of the Fellowship, and provides for their emotional and physical needs on their journey.

NTJs use extroverted thinking (Te), which gathers factual data from the outside world. It bases its logic on provable outside sources (research, textbooks, facts, scientific studies). Te makes logical decisions aimed at accomplishing a goal. NTJs are long and short-term strategists who enjoy problem-solving. They are efficient and love to accomplish things. They are the visionaries you want in your business, those able to anticipate coming trends and devise a long-term plan for continued success.

Tony Stark, from Iron Man, is an NTJ. He invents and then perfects his Iron Man suit, with the long-term goal of protecting humanity. He is purpose-driven, brutally honest, and efficient.

NJ children are happiest when:

  • They’re allowed to concentrate on one idea
  • Life provides them with new experiences
  • They are allowed to make detailed plans
  • They get to use their imaginations
  • They are allowed to be themselves
  • They have an angst-free environment (NFJ)
  • They can invent and prefect their ideas (Te)

All NJ children form a vision for their life that never wavers as they get older (doctor, writer, lawyer, inventor, CEO) and care mostly about information that will help them accomplish that life goal. ENFJ children are outgoing, talkative, and easily hurt by criticism. INFJs are private, fearful, and shy, but form intense friendships. ENTJ children like to take charge as natural leaders, and are frank in their opinions. INTJs are solitary and highly focused on their projects. They aren’t easily offended and can be blunt.

Self-Improvement for NJs: try to understand and value the traditions that others hold dear. Do not “steamroll” over people in a desire to fulfill your vision of the future. Learn to listen rather than problem solve. It’s okay to settle in one place and keep things the same. Don’t say, “I told you so” when a prediction comes true. Once you understand how much importance they place on the future, it’s much easier to find harmony with an NJ.

PS: Sorry, I haven’t been posting these as often. I’ll try and finish out the series soon! Most of my free time now is spent answering questions on my MBTI tumblr.

7 thoughts on “Imagination, Independence, and Foresight: The NJs

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  1. I’m almost positive that I’m an INFJ. It’s either that or ISFJ, and I really don’t see that much of myself in any of the ISFJ descriptions . . . whereas I see a LOT of myself in the INFJ stuff.

    That thing about NJ kids forming a vision of what they want out of life and never wavering from it? That was me. I decided what I wanted my life to look like when I was four years old and I’ve never once changed my mind. To me, it just seemed completely natural–but I think a few other people were a little surprised 🙂

    My dad is an ISFJ, though–and I think that when I was a kid, I kind of “imitated” him a lot. That is, when I read through the ISFJ stuff, I’m like, “yeah, I did some of that stuff when I was a little girl–but not so much anymore.” Does that make sense?

    1. To be honest, I don’t see myself in any of the ISFJ descriptions either, but once I understood what Si collectively is, I realized how much of it is ‘me’ — the accessing of personal experiences, the sensory impressions, the library of information that is immediately accessed based on new information (it includes faces, voices, etc), my tendency to see children as composites of their parents / see the resemblance in them, etc.

      But yes, little Fe children mimic their parents to some degree to ‘fit in’ to the family dynamic — having a strong Te mother really brought out logic in me, but underneath it is still Fe. So you may have mirrored your dad, but it just over-layed a personality on top of your real one.

      1. Right. Whereas I don’t really do that much–I don’t have a library of sensory information; I have more a “library of dreams and ideas.” I’m not averse to thinking about the past, but I’m happiest thinking about the future or about some completely imaginary world. (I spend a LOT of time in those two places in my head 🙂 )

        By the way–I’ve been checking out your explanations of the cognitive functions and it has been REALLY helpful for me. I was having a bit of trouble choosing between ISFJ and INFJ for my “true” personality, but now I know it HAS to be INFJ, because there’s no way that I’m Si-dominant with Ne as my weakest function. No way at all. Ni dominant with Se inferior makes waayyyyy more sense.

  2. NJs can absolutely be sentimental. In fact, NFJs may be the most sentimental of all the types. While we indeed have a more general future orientation, we also tend to see the past, present, and future as one interconnected whole. NFJ sentimentality is not typically about a past period of lived experience as in the case of SFJs though. You will be hard pressed to find an NFJ who wishes for a return to the “good old days”, but more likely you will find us diving deeply into the psychological and emotional evolution of a “soulmate” relationship(romantic or platonic). We may dig into the psychology of our childhood, using the insight to move forward and we will talk about it as often as an SFJ might if we have a reason or if it moves us forward. We must understand, but once we understand(Ti), we will hardly look back.

    Sentimentality is a function of Fe(broader emotional appeal). Because of that, Fi types tend to view it as inauthentic and lacking in depth.

    Also, NFJs are less likely to have an apparently singular focus in the way that NTJs do. NFJs can seem to be sidetracked in the fulfilment of their personal vision by their quest to improve the lives of people around them(Fe). The vision does not go away, but it may be held or otherwise modified in order to allow for the meeting of the needs of those around. You won’t know this unless you know the NFJ intimately. You must understand deep psychology in order to correctly type. Looking at surface behaviors is not nearly enough.

    1. Good points, although I think Fi types can be just as sentimental. I know a LOT of NFPs who are ragingly sentimental; it’s low order Si coming into play, their nostalgia for the good old days, and romanticism of the past.

  3. Very informative. I like reading these. They’re fun, they’re analytical–make me think of characters I’m familiar with, and ones I’m trying to form. I had to laugh when you wrote of the ENTJ that they like to take leadership–because that’s what I am, and that fact is rather undeniable. Although I don’t have a problem following orders from people I respect.

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