The Unnerving INTJ Death Stare: Causes & Meaning
by Lisa Sparrow
Have you ever been around an INTJ and realized they’re just gazing at you without a word spoken? No worries—you aren’t the only one who has experienced the famous INTJ stare.
People usually misinterpret the look on their faces as an expression of resentment. While it can be true in some cases, the INTJ gaze can have various other meanings.
This guide will help you decipher the INTJ death stare phenomenon by explaining:
- What is the INTJ Stare?
- What Causes the INTJ Death Stare?
- 7 Common Meanings Behind the INTJ Gaze
- What’s the Difference Between the INFJ and INTJ Stares?
And much more!
What is the INTJ Stare?
The INTJ stare is one of the most recognizable physical features of this personality type.
It’s a long, serious, and intense glare that INTJ people give to those around them. At times, this gaze can also be directed to a random part of the room or somewhere above everyone’s heads. If an INTJ is looking at you like this, you’ll feel like they’re staring right into your soul and reading your mind—that’s how powerful it is.
Since the look in their eyes seems cold and emotionless, people also call it “the INTJ death stare.” This is because they usually maintain a blank facial expression while staring, which can confuse or intimidate people around them.
Still, there’s no need to fret. The truth is that most of the time, INTJ people aren’t even aware that they are giving you the stare. So, it’s not their way of making people uncomfortable or giving them anxiety—it’s simply a part of their being.
What Causes the INTJ Death Stare?
We can explain why the INTJ stare happens by focusing on the primary cognitive functions of the INTJ personality type.
Let’s start with their dominant function—Introverted Intuition (Ni). This mental process gives INTJs the gift of deciphering hidden meanings and a brilliant, analytical mind. They examine how specific things and people are connected to each other and get quite invested. This occupies their attention so much that they sometimes forget to breathe, talk, or... look away.
The INTJs’ Ni works along with their inferior function, Extraverted Sensing (Se), which helps people focus on the present moment and their physical self.
Since this isn’t their dominant or auxiliary function, it has the opposite effect. People with the INTJ personality type often struggle with noticing details in their surroundings or paying attention to what is happening around them.
While these two cognitive functions work together, INTJs get so detached from the real world that they don’t even realize they are glaring at someone or staring into space.
7 Common Meanings Behind the INTJ Gaze
Not sure what lies behind the intense INTJ stare?
Here are the most common reasons why an INTJ may be staring at you.
#1. They’re Lost in Thought
As said previously, INTJ people spend a lot of time thinking about diverse things, topics, and people. They feel the urge to analyze everything, as this is how they process the world around them. So, if you catch an INTJ staring at you intensely, they might just be in the middle of their thought process.
When they think about something, INTJs are so focused that they forget that there are people around them. This means that the look they give you probably doesn’t have anything to do with you at all. Your face may just be the random spot they set their eyes on while contemplating.
#2. They’re Focused & Interested
If an INTJ is interested in or fascinated by the things you’re saying, you’ll know it by the way they’ll be glaring at you. Their uninterrupted eye contact means they believe you’re worthy of their attention or think you’re fun and intelligent. You can consider it a compliment since INTJs don’t often verbally praise people.
Mature INTJs who work on themselves may notice that you’re uncomfortable due to their stare. In such cases, they’ll try to reassure you by smiling or replying to something you’ve said to encourage you to keep speaking.
#3. They’re Bored
It’s quite hard to grab an INTJ’s attention. Unless you’re talented at storytelling or particularly interesting, they may just get disconnected and stop paying attention to what you’re saying. This is usually followed by their deadly stare, which can help you realize that they’re bored.
In such cases, the glare is an INTJ's way of escaping from people and situations that don’t stimulate them intellectually. When their mind begins to wander, they delve into their imagination and start thinking about other things.
In fact, this might be one of the reasons INTJs are so innovative, as mind-wandering is closely linked to creativity.
#4. They’re Angry or Disappointed
This one is pretty rare, as it’s well-known that INTJs usually hide their feelings and prefer to maintain a reserved attitude. Still, sometimes the emotions are too strong, and they just can’t help it.
This type of stare appears when an INTJ is utterly disgusted or irritated by what someone is saying or doing. They also tend to give such a look to people who aren’t too intelligent but talk too much or annoy them in any other way.
#5. They Want to Be Alone
Introverted by nature, INTJs often need some “me time” to focus on developing their ideas. At such moments, they don’t want to be disturbed.
Yet, it’s not always easy to tell people this or make them realize it themselves. For this reason, INTJs may stare blankly into space, hoping you’ll get the message and leave them alone.
#6. They’re Hiding Emotions
Another reason for an INTJ staring into space or your eyes is their attempt to conceal a strong feeling they’re experiencing at that moment.
As we’ve already explained, INTJ people don’t often show their emotions openly and believe that’s a sign of weakness. So, if they get sad or concerned about something, their first reaction will be to hide these feelings behind a blank, indifferent gaze.
#7. It’s Just Their Resting Face
Even though it may sound weird, some INTJ people simply adopt the famous stare as a part of their default facial expression.
INTJs don’t need to have a special reason to stare you down, and most aren’t even aware that they’re giving off such a look. Nonetheless, people often get confused while trying to decode their attitude and struggle to choose the best way to approach them.
What Makes INTJs Intense and Intimidating?
The INTJ stare is just one of the features that can make you shy away from people with this personality type. Besides that, INTJs may also come across as intimidating due to:
- Their reserved nature. INTJ people aren’t chatty and will not laugh at your jokes out of politeness. They often keep their reactions and emotions to themselves, which can make people around them uncomfortable.
- Their brutal honesty. If they notice something that bothers them—be it a specific action of yours or one of your flaws—INTJs will let you know. And no, they won’t sugarcoat it. Their comments are often harsh, even if they don’t intend to hurt you.
- Their perception and ability to predict things. People often feel exposed under the watchful eye of an INTJ. Individuals with this personality type tend to notice the slightest swings in someone’s mood or attitude. So, the combination of this trait and their deadly stare can easily make others mortified.
What’s the Difference Between the INFJ and INTJ Stares?
The INTJ personality type isn’t the only one characterized by an intimidating, penetrating glare. If you know any INFJs, you may have noticed that they also tend to give such looks to others.
But, are the INTJ glare and INFJ stare identical? Certainly not. Here’s the explanation for that.
Both the INTJ and INFJ personality types are Se-users, which means that such gazes are a part of their nature.
However, INFJ people are also affected by their auxiliary cognitive function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which makes them concerned with other people’s moods and emotions. So, if you catch them staring, an INFJ will look away to avoid making you uncomfortable.
On the other hand, INTJs’ auxiliary cognitive function is Extraverted Thinking (Te), which is the complete opposite of what INFJs use. People with the INTJ personality type aren’t too sensitive to other people’s emotions and reactions. Therefore, they are less likely to stop glaring just because you feel exposed.
FAQs About the INTJ Stare
#1. Which personality type stares the most?
INTJ personality type people are definitely the ones most likely to gaze at you without looking away. They are followed by INFJs, who also tend to do this regularly.
#2. Do INTJs like eye contact?
INTJ people find it appealing to lock eyes with someone they care about, as it allows them to penetrate into their soul and see through them. This changes if they don’t like you or feel uncomfortable around you. In such cases, they’ll probably avoid eye contact and won’t acknowledge your presence.
#3. Do INTJs care about looks?
The short answer is: not really. What INTJ people look for in a partner is common sense and intelligence; that’s what attracts them in the long run. This doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate pretty people at all—they just won’t be impressed as much as they would be by a brilliant mind.
#4. What do INTJs find attractive?
Besides intelligence, INTJs are drawn to strong, independent individuals who follow their ambitions and do everything in their power to accomplish their goals. In other words, INTJs are attracted to people who are similar to them. They believe these people can understand their true nature, regardless of whether they become friends or their romantic partners.
And that’s all you need to know about the piercing INTJ stare!
Let’s wrap up this article by emphasizing several key points:
- The famous INTJ stare may seem intense and intimidating, but in most cases, people with this personality type don’t do it out of bad intentions
- INTJ people may give you the deadly look if they are bored, interested, or disappointed, but it can also be their default facial expression.
- It’s true that both INTJs and INFJs are characterized by their intense glare, but INTJ people care much less if their stare makes other people feel awkward.