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

2 years ago
What I personally wonder about is how the other comment sections look like for other personalities. Being an INTP myself, I will have to view others thoughts of this website and analyze why people communicate the way they do based on their own personality. I think there is a common writing style that comes with a personality and I see it through out this comment section.
quantum physics
2 years ago
I thought my intellectual curiosity and thoughts were unique in my own perspective but man was I wrong. Hello similarly minded individuals!
2 years ago
Heh. was just reading a few of the other types, and noticed my immediate response to some of the "feeling" types was "ugh". I wouldn't mind changing a few traits of mine, but being ruled by fickle emotions is certainly not one!
Michelle G.
2 years ago
I am an Intp and I have trouble with "not paying attention to the important parts" of conversations. I find myself constantly putting the puzzle together in my mind and overthinking the slightest discrepancy when engaged in conversation. Also I have such a great fear of failure that sometimes I would rather not even try than to try and possibly fail. Any advice would be appreciated.
2 years ago
Right?? Sometimes someone says something, like pastor at church, and then I spend the next 10 minutes pondering that! When I come back to awareness of my surroundings, I have to try and figure out where he is now! Or, remember school? My favorite thing in 3rd grade was right after lunch. Lights out, heads down, and the space between my arms became a whole world and my eraser a person and -Wow- SO much better than school!!! :)
2 years ago
I remember playing sports when I was young... My how many injuries I obtained! I was pretty good at volleyball, but I was always getting smacked in the head because my thoughts were always wandering. We had a big game, so I was pretty well focused; but then some one from the audience came in late with a baby that was crying, and I began to wonder about the brains of infants and how they differ from adults, when WHACK!! Volleyball hits me right in the face. I was so embarrassed. In another instance, I was playing softball and the ball was coming right at me. I could of caught it, but as I was looking at it I thought about how clear and deep blue the sky was, and was wondering about how the colors of the sky can change and how can the colors be gradient like that, when suddenly KLONK!! The ball hits me right in the forehead. I suffered a concussion, and had to be taken to the hospital. I still have a small knot on my forehead from that one. >_< Hahaha, sports are dangerous for INTPs!
2 years ago
You sound like me. I play hockey and I have not been injured yet, but I fall down a lot because I forget about balancing. I don't know how some people are so well coordinated.
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