INTP Personality (“The Logician”)

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein

The INTP personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being "common". INTPs pride themselves on their inventiveness and creativity, their unique perspective and vigorous intellect. Usually known as the philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor, INTPs have been responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history.

The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

INTPs are known for their brilliant theories and unrelenting logic – in fact, they are considered the most logically precise of all the personality types.

They love patterns, and spotting discrepancies between statements could almost be described as a hobby, making it a bad idea to lie to an INTP. This makes it ironic that INTPs’ word should always be taken with a grain of salt – it’s not that they are dishonest, but people with the INTP personality type tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.

This may make them appear unreliable, but in reality no one is more enthusiastic and capable of spotting a problem, drilling through the endless factors and details that encompass the issue and developing a unique and viable solution than INTPs – just don’t expect punctual progress reports. People who share the INTP personality type aren’t interested in practical, day-to-day activities and maintenance, but when they find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed, there is no limit to the time and energy INTPs will expend in developing an insightful and unbiased solution.

INTP personality

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

They may appear to drift about in an unending daydream, but INTPs’ thought process is unceasing, and their minds buzz with ideas from the moment they wake up. This constant thinking can have the effect of making them look pensive and detached, as they are often conducting full-fledged debates in their own heads, but really INTPs are quite relaxed and friendly when they are with people they know, or who share their interests. However, this can be replaced by overwhelming shyness when INTP personalities are among unfamiliar faces, and friendly banter can quickly become combative if they believe their logical conclusions or theories are being criticized.

When INTPs are particularly excited, the conversation can border on incoherence as they try to explain the daisy-chain of logical conclusions that led to the formation of their latest idea. Oftentimes, INTPs will opt to simply move on from a topic before it’s ever understood what they were trying to say, rather than try to lay things out in plain terms.

The reverse can also be true when people explain their thought processes to INTPs in terms of subjectivity and feeling. Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork, taking in every fact and idea possible, processing them with a heavy dose of creative reasoning and returning the most logically sound results available – this is how the INTP mind works, and this type has little tolerance for an emotional monkey-wrench jamming their machines.

Let Those Who Would Move the World First Move Themselves

Further, with Thinking (T) as one of their governing traits, INTPs are unlikely to understand emotional complaints at all, and their friends won’t find a bedrock of emotional support in them. People with the INTP personality type would much rather make a series of logical suggestions for how to resolve the underlying issue, a perspective that is not always welcomed by their Feeling (F) companions. This will likely extend to most social conventions and goals as well, like planning dinners and getting married, as INTPs are far more concerned with originality and efficient results.

The one thing that really holds INTPs back is their restless and pervasive fear of failure. INTP personalities are so prone to reassessing their own thoughts and theories, worrying that they’ve missed some critical piece of the puzzle, that they can stagnate, lost in an intangible world where their thoughts are never truly applied. Overcoming this self-doubt stands as the greatest challenge INTPs are likely to face, but the intellectual gifts – big and small – bestowed on the world when they do makes it worth the fight.

Logicians You May Know

Hazel
1 year ago
I'm a INTP-A in a junior high school now, and it's so hard for me to explain my question, my idea, or my thoughts clearly to people. It seems that I've always led them to confusion or wrong understanding of what I'm saying. I hope in the future I can improve my communication skills.
Anonymous
1 year ago
Lucky for you you're in junior high and thats the best time to practice communication. When doing group projects where the teacher or instructor doesn't clarify if there is a team leader make sure you are the first in your group to speak even if it's something siple like hello. Then quickly suggest trying the activity without a leader. This will ensure that one person who hasn't completely worked out their idies won't take control. Then take a deep breath and explain your idea the best you can and ask if anyone has any other ideas. This tactic helps improve both grades and communication skills. It's at least worth a shot and gets easier with time.
Margaret ressler
1 year ago
Out of curiosity, did anything happen to you guys in your childhood? I had a really rough childhood and I'm pretty sure that's why I qualify as an INTP-A right now. Whenever I explained to my parents my way of dealing with a situation, as if there was a computer in my head generating thoughts through experience and curiosity, whilst asking questions, they tried to send me to a therapist because they thought I was emotionally disconnected and cold. Like there was something wrong with me. I have a major superiority complex, and my brother called me manipulative. Though I don't know if I would call it manipulation, I see it more as managing the world around me in order to suit my desires, I wouldn't use it to unnecessarily hurt someone. I'm just curious to see if anyone has these things in common with me...anyways I had a really messed up childhood and I wanted to know if anyone else was like that. Like a social experiment I guess...
RandomHighschoolGirl
1 year ago
I wouldn't say mine was too out of the ordinary, but I did grow up with a single mother, always moving around so little friends, and never able to express or understand the kind of "regular" interactions people had. So I spent a lot of time playing by myself. Other things, like an emotionally abusive step-father and a mother that turned the other way, probably also contributed to things. And same! Got a superiority complex, mostly because everyone around me seems to have the thinking capabilities of blind sheep. I'm a bit cynical that way. Perhaps there is a link!
Anonymous
1 year ago
The EXACT thing happened to me- the rough childhood, and therapist, AND the superiorty complex. I just wanted my parents to cooperate, so I can sort out my life but that never happened
Anonymous
1 year ago
Yeah, I also had a rough childhood (well I got picked on at school, quite a lot I guess and it definitely affected me in the way I developed my personality later on). But the environment at home was quite healthy. I guess I kind of took advantage of my little brother (looking back at it now I see where I did wrong) but back then it was just about me making my life easier. I didn't want to exploit him or be mean to him. In any case, things are pretty good/great now and I would never trade the hardships in my childhood for anything in the world. I think those events helped me see the world more clearly and helped me not succumb to any kind of peer pressure later on.
Ricardo
1 year ago
I don't think so. I had issues with my father and I relate to the superiority complex but my mother was very tender and loving and yet I grew up a little crazy. I think the way we think has something to do with our particular genetics as I believe we all have high iq's so I can only guess people with high Iq's tend to detach from the world and question and process everything. I may be wrong as it's just a guess. I also think we can be very social and very warm if that's based on a logical basis, I mean, if sometime we thought about it and decided it was the best thing to do.
Corbin Smith
1 year ago
I have had a rough childhood myself. Specifically, my brother was born with a disability and was given the attention he needed rather than any being given to me at all. Since I could remember (The very first thing I remember was me sitting in the hospital when my brother's lung collapsed), I had never really gotten any attention from my parents. That combined with my mother always forcing me to participate in things I didn't want to participate in, I have never really had any true emotional attachment to any person. Also, I began playing video games at a very young age, and replaced all the time I would normally spend playing outside or pestering my parents for attention, I played Crash Team Racing. I believe that this event is probably what caused me to become such a logical thinker. If anyone were to sit in a room for 4 hours a day, playing something that was coded with computer logic they'd become a more logical thinker. I don't think there is anything wrong with you, just as I don't believe there is anything wrong with myself. I think it was just your way of dealing with what you had to go through. Make sure you're not confusing your pride with a "superiority complex". If you truly do have a superiority complex, tone it down for people that you think it's worth toning it down for, but don't let anyone tell you that you're a bad person because you are proud of your accomplishments. Even if they are no big deal, or someone else thinks that they are no big deal - Child: "Hey mom, look! I learned how to multiply!" Mother: "Oh, okay." - or thinks that you're just boasting - Teenager: "Listen to me play this song," Friend: "Stop showing off." - don't let that discourage you. Push through the pain and continue your work. You can revel in your own work and someone will eventually notice you, and appreciate what you do. As for being manipulative, everyone is manipulative. Everyone has desires, and they use what they have to get what they want. Your brother is most likely just as manipulative as you are, so don't let that bother you. What you should be proud of is that you would never unnecessarily hurt someone to get what you desire, which means that you are not as "emotionally disconnected and cold" as your parents say you are. That's just how you think. I say if it works, don't fix it. If anything, make it better. If thinking like a computer works for you and helps you in your everyday life, you should embrace that. Don't let your parents tell you what's best for you. I've listened to my mother tell me what's best for me for my entire life, and didn't realize that I can think and speak for myself until very recently, and am just now realizing how many opportunities I have missed out on. I'm not saying rebel against your parents. I'm just saying embrace who you are. Remember, your parents just want what's best for you. Sometimes they forget that what's best for them is not always what's best for you. If you are struggling with your parents, my advice is that you just do whatever makes your parents happy, and then indulge yourself with what you enjoy. Your parents want you to make straight A's, but you want to become a professional skateboarder? Do both. Make your parents happy, and then reward yourself with what you want to do. Your parents will be more willing to buy you that $300 Xbox One if you are making good grades in school. Life is full of boring, monotonous work. Just do it. Do it until you don't have to do it anymore. Eventually it will end. Don't give up. The harder you work, the less time you have to wait. My apologies for being so long-winded, but I really enjoy this topic. I look forward to any response that you provide back to me. Hopefully I helped you with your social experiment.
Anonymous
1 year ago
Unlike alot of people my childhood was brilliant exept for the bullying. I do think my parents contributed to me feeling superior to others and that in turn led to manipulateness which i am proud of but confused about. I am very good at manipulating my way into positions of power but at the same time i like helping people who are having a tough time by manipulating them to try something or coming up with "original" ideas to get them out of tough spots. After reading lots of your replies i am also interested to see if the dark triad is more common in INTP personalities.
MST
1 year ago
I used to manipulate a bit but I hated that about myself. My siblings were pretty annoyed with me for a while there because they thought I was being a know it all. I still don't understand how I was coming across, the things I talked about seemed pretty standard in my mind.
Semicedevine
1 year ago
I absolutely HATE when parents try to make your personality type into something that you're not. It can be sometimes virtual hell just to survive through a prodominantly-feeling type childhood with an intact logician interior.
Jojo
1 year ago
Reading this whole thing described me completely. It was great to finally understand more of the inner workings of my mind. It made me even more curious to read up on other personalities. And I've come across a great many of all the different types. Clashes with a few while befriending others make this fun.
INTP
1 year ago
I don't really surpress my thoughts or emotions, I just don't want everyone else to see what I'm feeling/thinking. When I'm in a bad mood, I feel like everyone around me is an idiot, and when I'm in a good mood, I don't really care what's going on with everyone else. I feel like my life is being smothered by the people who want me to accomplish practical things (do your chores, get a job, etc.) and people who always want to be around me. I like being an INTP in quite a few ways... My dreams are very vivid and wacky (I dream pretty much about every night and can remember them throughout the day) I enjoy thinking by myself I enjoy being creative and being naturally smart (just so I can pass classes easily) But there are a lot of things as an INTP that I can't do. For instance, I cannot communicate with girls. I have no idea what they're thinking and and am extremely embarrassed to even ask. My few attempts have been awkward. I cannot win arguments, and 3 hours later, I think of the best come-back and the most agrivating thing is that I know I'm right, but I can't communicate that across. I think all my jokes are hillarious, but no one else thinks they're funny at all. One interesting thing is that I sometimes get loney while working and wishing that I could be a more social character, only to remember how much I hate stupid loud people, and then go "Oh, yeah, that's why I enjoy being alone so much." (Not saying all people are stupid/loud, just most people in my life right now.)
Leo soriano
1 year ago
Who else takes an interest in history, psychology and human behavior on here?
Anonymous
1 year ago
Yes indeed very fascinating subjects.
C. S. S
1 year ago
Me! I've studied humans so well that I am a good actress. Lead role for my school play this year. I can mirror emotions I've seen before but even when I feel them I don't understand it and I Hate being confused! So I study phycology and Human behavior even more and think I finally understand emotions to be proven wrong again and again. Its bloody frustrating. A vicious cycle.
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