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

Albert Uttz
2 years ago
I'm an Aspie, a hybrid of European high function autism(mother) and German engineering(dad) and therefore an INTP. I do not peer with people. My pattern recognition was in the top 1% at 32 year old when they tested my IQ. They tested me because my son was ADHD. My daughter at the age of 5(now 20) tested at a 17 year old level in the abstract image section of the IQ test. My sister was the top interior designer in Atlanta
2 years ago
I loved reading this breakdown, especially the line "this type has little tolerance for an emotional monkey-wrench jamming their machines." Nothing peeves me more than explaining my sound progression of logic to someone (like my mom, an ENFJ) and having them project some irrelevant issue into the mix. I also love the clockwork metaphor. I almost teared up when I read the part about self-doubt, as I have depression and anxiety and I've been mentally torturing myself for the past few years trying to figure out what's wrong with me. This has lead to a great deal of self-doubt, since I still have yet to come up with an answer.
2 years ago
So true, I've always wondered why the conversations I have with my self are a million times more interesting than with my friends.
2 years ago
I've never been able to connect with people on a.. I guess intellectual level. The kinda factual stuff that gets me passionate makes me seem pretty crazy to others. I have to reign it in. All my crazy ideas, theories etc.. all just swirl around my head. Sometimes I prefer it that way. Sometimes I wish I had someone at the same level as me that I could just debate with and stuff. I wouldn't consider myself 'insensitive' to others feelings though. I care deeply about my friends feelings and will always be there for them. I just can never talk about my own feelings. I don't know about you fellow INTP's, but does being extremely tempermental come as part of the package? It does for me! I also always second-guess myself. I hate it. I'm always so afraid I'll fail and disappoint everyone. I'm just afraid to be 100% me, because I know people will judge me. But at the same time I love being me! All my crazy ideas and what-not. I have a natural ability to ignore the authority. And I basically chafe under rules and regulations. It serves me well at times.
2 years ago
This analysis is quite correct. I've always been that silent girl lost in her own world. No one payed much attention to me which was definitely good for me. Even my friends say that before knowing me, they thought I was arrogant/rude but now they say I am very nice (which is probably because I just smile when they're talking about nonsensical stuff like actors, make-up, relationships etc.) And that fear of failure part is so true!
2 years ago
It's so nice and funny to read comments that are literally my thoughts xD
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