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

3 years ago
As a contrary to most of the comments written below I come of as a person who people gravitate to for friendship, But I am painfully shy and it takes me a good amount of time to form any sort of a bond. But I haven't lost friends as much as time builds cobwebs over the relationship. Is this a common trait as my new job as an entrepreneur requires me to smile, greet and create contacts with whom I'm expected to maintain a relationship. Quite frankly the most most irritating part of my job description.
2 years ago
I'm generally the same way. Friendship is relatively easy to find, but I'm quite shy and it takes time to form a strong comfortable bond with most people.
3 years ago
Very well written. I found myself in a lot of those sentences.
3 years ago
When I am at school I feel like i'm accepted but also alone. It doesn't bother me but I can't help but feel like anybody truly understands me, and I have almost no personal connections with anyone at my school. None of their conversations interest me either, does anyone else who is a INTP feel like this, or ever felt like this?
2 years ago
In school, I'm always pondering about philosophy, the universe, and the world. I never socialize much with anyone. You shouldn't feel lonely, you've got yourself. Also, many of the greatest scientists have an eccentric streak, Tesla, Einstein, Ect. It is a good thing that you are unique! Be true to yourself.
Abigail W
3 years ago
Here are my opinions on, well, life, I guess. I'm a bit curious to see whether other INTPs agree with me. -I am a mostly liberal person. Honestly, everyone should just mind their own business and stop trying to choose who others are allowed to love, trying to change people's religions because they're "false", etc. -I like knowing why something is done before actually doing it. I am not one to follow rules blindly. -My dreams often make no sense at all, and almost always take place in unrealistic or fantastical situations that I am 110% sure will never occur. For example, last night I had a dream that New Jersey took over the world by brainwashing its inhabitants, but it didn't work on me therefore I had to stop them. -My mother is an INFP, and although we agree on many things, she is always yelling at me because "what I am wearing makes me look like a slob" or "I am insensitive and I should try to help out for once" -I am considered a nerd and a geek. I'm proud of it, though, and I pity all of the superficial people who have nothing better to do than to make fun of others. -Even though almost 3/4 of all people are Sentinels or Explorers, almost all of my friends are Analysts or Diplomats. -I am socially awkward, reserved, and considered "weird" among my peers.
3 years ago
Is it just me, or is it a typical thing for INTP to think a lot about the comment they're writing, then change it a few times, read it again and still not being sure if they want to publish it? xD Are some of you as indecisive as I am? And also, I tend to focus on one thing/idea/project for a really short time, because I easily get distracted by something new and more interesting...
2 years ago
i write a comment really fast and confident but the second before hitting send my mind starts analyzing all the different points of view the other person could come from or the theory could be examined from, i could be missing. its kind of brilliant mind moment. but in the end i just hit send (after rearranging the post 17 times) on the first idea as i realize it could go on forever
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