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INTJs, even stereotypically, are not known for being the most emotional of types. In most people’s eyes they are one of if not the least emotionally expressive of all 16 types. The nickname “The coldest humans” is something I have seen used in MBTI memes referring to INTJs. While these types of thoughts are often stereotypes, they actually line up well with the cognitive functions of the INTJ and there are a few reasons why INTJs come off as cold or aloof.
INTJs have the cognitive function Introverted Feeling (Fi), which refers to having a subjective approach towards value judgements and emotional expression. This essentially means that INTJs don’t like to look to others or society as a means of deciding whether or not something is emotionally important to them or correct on a value-based level. They instead prefer to make these types of decisions internally and privately. As the name Introverted Feeling suggests, those with Fi in their stack also tend to be less expressive with their emotions than the types with extroverted feeling (which makes sense, they don’t “extrovert” or show their emotions/value judgements). This becomes amplified though when we look at the INTJs function stack and see that they have tertiary/third Fi. The tertiary function in the function stack is one that is unique and often hard to describe in terms of how it impacts the psyche. The dominant function leads the personality, the auxiliary is a supportive tool to the dominant, and the repressed/fourth function is the typical struggle area of a type – so where does this leave the tertiary function? Well, the tertiary function can be described as a “inner/secret desire” function for many people. The part of the psyche that is very important to us (it matches the same energy as the dominant function, E.g., Ni/Fi) but it is not overpowering to the dominant function and thus must take a back seat. It is also not supportive or antagonistic to the dominant function like Te or Se in the INTJ. The tertiary function plays the weird role of being important to a person but something that they aren’t exactly proficient with and aren’t always comfortable expressing. This is even more so noticeable (or unnoticeable) when the tertiary function is introverted, like Fi in the INTJ. This means that their introverted feeling function is already private due to it being introverted but it is also in a function slot where it is kept under lock and key, away from others. This combination of traits is what leads INTJs (and ISTJs too) to be the least emotionally expressive (on average) of all the types.
Other factors also play into this too though. Some reading might be asking “Well, ENTJs have repressed/fourth Fi, shouldn’t they be less emotionally expressive?” The answer to this is no, because the repressed function/shadow plays just as large a part in the psyche as the dominant function, nearly equally as Jung described. The repressed function is pulling in the other direction and is something that is likely to be resorted to in a time of stress or panic. Thus, ENTJs might respond with quick Fi emotions or value judgements in times of stress while INTJs are not likely to do this because they have repressed extroverted sensing (Se) instead.
INTJs are also a perceiving dominant type, not a judging dominant type (they lead with Ni, a perceiving function and have secondary Te, which is why they are still a “J” type). Perceiving functions are less “strict” than judging ones and often take a more fluid approach to situations, preferring to take in information and process it before making value judgements or decisions. This means that INTJs will usually prefer to mull over a situation or event before allowing the emotions to process inside of them. This is even more so true because of their tertiary Fi compared to say the INFJ/ISFJ who are also perceiving dominant types but have SECONDARY extroverted feeling (Fe). INFJs/ISFJs will naturally feel more comfortable sharing and expressing emotions compared to the INTJ but will also be less likely to immediately resort to emotional/value-based responses.
INTJs overall are just not the most expressive with their emotions for a variety of reasons, many of which were listed above. What this does NOT mean though is that INTJs don’t feel. INTJs can feel just as strongly as other types and the primary difference between them and many of the other types is that they will instead prefer to mull over and process their emotions privately before feeling comfortable discussing or talking about them (if they EVER feel comfortable doing so). To INTJs emotions are something to be kept private, but they are important to them. If you talk to INTJs one on one you will often find that they greatly value their Fi values and they often hold certain aspects of their identity and morals very highly in terms of importance. These are just things that they don’t feel need to be shared with the world. To an INTJ, feelings are VERY personal. If you want to be friends with an INTJ it is important to respect these emotional boundaries.
If you want to learn more about this topic check out my YouTube video! https://youtu.be/Jqho-CAIRoc