4.13.2012

Obama the INTJ

There does not appear to be any consensus online about this, but as for me I am convinced: Barack Obama is an INTJ.  As am I.

INTJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging.  Introverted doesn't mean shy as much as it is about thinking inside yourself rather than thinking out loud, and drawing energy from solitude rather than from people.  iNtuitive means focusing more on what lies ahead than what is now.  Thinking is about facts instead of feelings.  And Judging prefers completion over keeping options open. 

Together, they make up what is known as the Rational Mastermind, a high-falutin' title if there ever was one.  Such people tend to see life as a big chessboard, process information towards a decision, work hard and demand the same of others, and project confidence and competence.  My read of President Obama is that he is like this: his moves are calculated, for all his charisma he is introverted in temperament and in processing information, and he loves to entertain big ideas but anchor them towards a practical and incremental plan of action.  Tellingly, he is often accused of a common complaint about Rational Masterminds, which is that he is cold and unfeeling; not true of us INTJs, it's just that our hearts also contain a strong sense of ambition/drive/rationality that often trump any gushing or empathy.


My life is obviously far less complex than Obama's, but I feel a kinship with him in how we tackle our responsibilities, what is hard for us, where we thrive, and how we tend to view the world and its challenges.  And so while I often admire him as a person and often do battle with his political positions, I am learning to also observe him for hints on how I can stay sane and be sharp. 

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