INTJ function stack (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will look at the INTJ function stack.

What is the INTJ function stack?

The INTJ function stack is a combination of all of their core traits and they are as follows:

  • Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  • Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  • Tertiary:  Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  • Inferior:  Extraverted Sensing (Se)

In the INTJ function stack, one may notice that the dominant function is the Introverted intuition, whereas the function that supports it is the extraverted thinking, which means that this function stack may also be written as NiTe, which is a shorthand way of describing the INTJ personality in the function stack form.

Based on the Jungian theory of personality, each MBTI personality type uses the 4 chief cognitive functions, out of the total 8, while the other 4 make up the shadow functions and these are that are layered according to their relative strength.

The functional stack or function stack is the name given to the collection of these functions which are stacked according to their dominance or inferiority.

INTJ function stack: Details

Let us explore the nuances of the INTJ function stack so we may get a better understanding of the INTJ personality.

Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni)

The dominant function of the introverted intuition in the INTJ personality serves in the capacity of a background processor and it allows the INTJ individual to be able to compute and process information.

This function in the INTJ function stack is the one responsible for their ability to understand things without being bothered with consciously working through problems or even each part of their own thoughts. 

The introverted intuition function provides the INTj with instinct-based decision-making which makes it easy for them to face challenges without necessarily being too aware of the new situations that may develop in their lives.

The INTJ may often feel like they are simply able to see ten steps ahead and predict what might happen in a certain situation because they are able to make sense of the network and connections of information in their brain in an easy way.

This function in the INTJ enables them to find an optimal solution to new problems, and with the help of the other functions.

While it is great for the INTJ to be able to focus on the optimum solution to a problem, there are some drawbacks to having an introverted intuition as well.

For one thing, the introverted intuition means that the INTJ might not necessarily feel like doing things they deem boring they might find their inner world to be just as real, or even more, sometimes, and one may find that they may switch off from the environment around them and start daydreaming.

The INTJ is also quite picky about things and the introverted intuition function makes them expect things to be a certain way, because it is used to things a certain way and when things don’t fit into their preconceived notions, they may not be able to ignore minor flaws and feel like they need to criticize everything.

The INTJ has a propensity to think about future prospects and constantly imagine what they will do or how they will solve a certain problem, and as a result this person ma often has trouble with relaxing and enjoying the present time.

The INTJs may love knowledge and consume large amounts of it, but because they depend so much on the introverted intuition function, they may not be able to use all that knowledge till they have produced a big picture of how it all works and connects.

Jung described the introverted intuition in the following manner:

“In this way, introverted intuition perceives all the background processes of consciousness with almost the same distinctness as extraverted sensation registers external objects. For intuition, therefore, unconscious images acquire the dignity of things. But, because intuition excludes the co-operation of sensation . . . . the images appear as though detached from the

subject, as though existing in themselves without any relation to him. Consequently, in the above-mentioned example, the introverted intuitive, if attacked by vertigo, would never imagine that the image he perceived might in some way refer to himself. To a judging type [thinking or feeling] this naturally seems inconceivable, but it is nonetheless a fact.”

Auxiliary: Extraverted Thinking (Te)

The second function on the INTJ function stack is the extraverted thinking function, which means that INTJ is capable of directing their thought processes outwards and take real, lasting decisions about challenges they face and situations the find themselves in.

Where the introverted thinking function is about the analysis and logic that takes time to assess and plan, the extroverted thinking function is the action-oriented function, which is the executive aspect and takes prompt decisions and can be seen and observed in real-time as it works.

It is the extraverted thinking function Te that allows INTJs to operate efficiently in all areas of life, by ensuring that they are able to bring to life all the actions they decide on without mulling over them for hours and days.

The extroverted thinking function in the INTJ function stack is the perfect companion for the introverted intuition, as together they make for a person who is quick to decide on what needs to be done and even quicker to do it.

That does not mean that these people are rash, because they are not, and there is no impulsivity in them at all, but they can make decisions easily and you can be sure that they won’t hide behind the menu wondering what they want to eat. 

Jung says the following about extraverted thinking, which may clarify what this function is about.

“This type will, by definition, be a man whose constant endeavor—in so far, of course, as he is a pure type—is to make all his activities dependent on intellectual conclusions, which in the last resort are always oriented by objective data, whether these be external facts or generally accepted ideas. This type of man elevates objective reality, or an objectively oriented intellectual formula, into the ruling principle not only for himself but for his whole environment.”

Tertiary:  Introverted Feeling (Fi)

The tertiary function in the INTJ function stack is the introverted feeling function which is usually quite far behind in the cognitive processes of the individual and may not even make itself known until they are older.

The introverted feeling function may cause many introspective moments for the INTJ, and they may make these people quite liable to being staunch in their moral code and values at times.

The introverted feeling function serves as the secondary decision-making process in the INTJ function stack although it is far less effective than the primary process of extroverted thinking, which may be seen in the fact that it takes much longer to come to a conclusion.

The introverted feeling aspect of this function stack is an internal process, and it may give the INTJ the tendency to mull over all the details before deciding on a course of action.

But because this function is subconscious, it is likely to take place only in certain aspects, especially in situations where the dominant function is having trouble coming up with a plan or there are some other problems or reasons for hesitation.

An example of when the introverted feeling might pitch into the decision-making process maybe when the person is unsure of how they feel about a decision or even how others might feel about a particular thing. 

The introverted feeling function may sometimes act as a warning system for the extroverted thinking function, and make the person aware of the fact that they may be on the verge of doing something they should not be doing.

Inferior:  Extraverted Sensing (Se)

The last function in the INTJ function stack is the Extraverted Sensing or sensation function, and this runs completely in the background and may enable the person to somewhat subconsciously seek out new sources of information to provide them with the knowledge they need to make decisions properly.

Jung describes this function in the following way:

“Objects are valued in so far as they excite sensations, and, so far as lies within the power of sensation, they are fully accepted into consciousness whether they are compatible with rational judgments or not. The sole criterion of their value is the intensity of the sensation produced by their objective qualities… However, it is only concrete, sensuously perceived objects or processes that excite sensations for the extravert; those, exclusively, which everyone everywhere would sense as concrete. Hence the orientation of such an individual accord with purely sensuous reality”

This description paints a picture of someone who might not value the old or the sentimental very much, and while that is not entirely true in the INTJ, given that this is their inferior function, they do have the tendency to seek out new things and they may value the sensation of newness in a certain new situation.

The INTJ may also value things tremendously for the value they have to them and seek out things of this sort more so than anything else.

The extraverted sensation is the INTJs more concrete side that allows them to connect to the world around them and seek new situations to connect with. 

The fact that this function is last in the INTJ function stack also means that the INTj may feel easily get drained if they are put in any situation where they have to actively engage with the people, or the world, outside of their own mind for an extended period of time.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the INTJ function stack. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): INTJ function Stack

Are Intj good in bed?

INTJ may be good in bed, but they are less likely to engage in casual sex than other personality types, given their introverted and logic-driven nature.

The INTJ may also often view engaging in sex as practical and necessary, like perhaps that it has health benefits or that it is a human need, but they won’t do it impulsively or due to being overcome with desire.

Who are INTJs most compatible with?

The INTJ is likely to be most compatible with someone with extroverted thinking or feeling, like an ENFP or an ENTP.

Can INTJs be talkative?

Yes, INTJ can be quite talkative, especially when the subject interests them.

The INTJ may also be very talkative with people they are close to and like the other introverted type INFJ, they can talk at great length about things that interest them.

What is a functional stack?

A functional stack is a collection or hierarchy of cognitive functions proposed by Carl Jung, that consists of a dominant function, an auxiliary function, a tertiary function, and an inferior function.

These functions in the functional stack are arranged in the order of their relative strength.

Citations

Psychological types by Carl Jung

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.