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
Reading the breakdown of what the INTP personality is was amazing. Like, every point they made, I was saying exactly what they suggested I might be. Everything was just so accurate, it was just... incredible. Truly. There have been so, so many times where I've had entire debates going on in my brain, whether it's about the benefits vs. the disadvantages of using an improper semicolon in the narrative of a fiction book, or whether I should actually define myself as genderqueer or not even bother because I'm usually comfortable identifying as the same gender I was assigned at birth. The topics of the debates vary from extremely important to utterly inane - and/or insane - and I know that no one I know personally would have any idea what in the hell is going on with my brain. I can't tell you how many times I've told my mom about stuff I was thinking about, and she's like, "What even made you think about this?!" and I just say something along the lines of, "I don't know! It's my brain - my brain's just weird..." The stupidest, weirdest things make me think of something seemingly completely unrelated to someone else, but what they don't know is that really, that one thing made think of another thing, which had one keyword/feeling similar to one thing which made think of a different thing that had something in it similar to this other thing, and that thing finally made me think of the thing I tell them about. So really, it's all connected, but there's absolutely no chance in hell I'm going to be able to explain to them how I thought of it, so I just say, "Random thought, but, [insert thought/question]." But then, there are those miraculous moments where it all makes sense... and I'm so excited about this thing... and I tell someone... and they're like... >.< -.- *crickets chirping* .... "Wha?" So I pause for a second, and then I explain it again, trying to maybe talk a little slower, and/or change some phrasing to make it clearer, and still.... *crickets*. And they're like, "Soo... you mean [insert incorrect statement here]." Annnnd cue extreme irritation, because are you freaking KIDDING me right now, that was the most logical and simple explanation of the most AWESOME thing in the universe, and you not only misunderstood, but you think I said the OPPOSITE of what I actually said? What?! Just, no. No. Screw you, because you know what? I don't even care anymore. I'm going back to my own bubble where apparently the only one who can understand me is me, and you can go to your bubble where apparently you don't even have enough critical thinking to understand something someone else thought out for you. And see?! I don't even know if that made sense. It makes sense in my head, at least! *sigh* This is seriously like an INTP support group, isn't it? Ha. Well, congrats - you're now my psychologist. Sucks for you. I supposed, though, if you're all INTPs as well, you ought to understand me much better than a lot of people do, lol.
Simple Walrus
3 years ago
You, young lady h- I mean, uhh- I'm not very good at this gender neutral stuff- uhh- I don't even know if you WERE born female, but I typically see Tasha as feminine, standing as an adorable shorthand for Na-tasha, so here goes... You, young lady have spoken the truth on an equal level to this overview above our comments (just more casually). The train of thought you described in perfectly oversized paragraph of truthiness #1 was the first to catch my attention. I'm overwhelmed with how you were able to describe the realization I have come to at the end phase of many a shower before. Then, you continued to impress me with the second perfectly oversized paragraph of truthiness about trying to toss the ol' leather ball of perfectly formulated logical theories and the intended receiver of this sport-referencing metaphorical idea-ball just ducking fumbles it and your team misses the winning 3-point one-time strike, or some other bad, intentionally inaccurate sports detail. If I don't make any sense right now, it's probably cause I'm tired. I think a lot more weirdly when I'm tired.
3 years ago
I know exactly how you feel. I can barely have a conversation without spewing "nonsense". Worse yet, I have an awful habit of sharing half-formed thoughts, which are far more difficult to decipher. It's gotten to the point where I often simply don't share my thoughts because I feel like nobody will understand. And they probably won't. That leads to me having full imaginary conversations in my head. Even worse, I some begin muttering to myself as if I'm having a conversation, which makes me look insane to anyone who sees.
3 years ago
I used to be intp.. I started bartending a few years ago which really taught me to be comfortable around people and additionally how to hold a conversation with strangers. Now I'm kinda e/intp, honestly a very strange mixture. I didn't really think that I would have fit into a personality type but everyone here is so much like me. It just sounds like I make connections easier, maybe?
Daniel B
3 years ago
It helped me finding love abroad, someone with a lot of life experience.
3 years ago
I always felt I was missing a part of my brain when I communicate with people. I only really listen to a small percentage of what is said, the rest of the time I am day dreaming. Nice (and also sad) to know this is not unique :)
3 years ago
Everyone is unique, even within a personality type.
3 years ago
I believe Nikola Tesla deserves a spot on that Famous INTPs list. He was very famous in his time, but because he was generous and wanted to give the fruit of his intelligence to the world for free, his name has been swept under the rug.
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