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

Yaniah
3 years ago
Did anyone else write a really long comment and then delete it all because they felt they weren't explaining it properly and the idea turned out to be less relevant than they originally thought or that someone else had probably already said it and they couldn't stand to be unoriginal?
Cameron
3 years ago
Absolutely. Especially when I'm trying to argue with someone. I get to the end after editing it time after time, look at it, think "they will not even think about changing their view" and delete it.
Anonymous
3 years ago
All the time. I can't understand how some people can bear to publish their comments without even reading it over first. I always end up deleting it because it's not relevant enough and I sound too complainy.
Pweas
3 years ago
and never get many peaceful moments. (introverted). I was also brought up as child number 3, so my parents though they knew what they were doing.. Sadly they dont. And they never listen either.. I do understand that alot of the time I say things and they have no idea what the heck I am saying, after trying 3 times over to explain it.. I give up, and say "dont worry!!". Also my mind is thinking out my conversation before I say it, and sometimes a whole sentence will try and come out in one go.. Blaaap.. And then I generally just make out that I never tried saying any thing.. Based on emotions.. I have emotions!! I just cant read others.. And alot of people cant read mine. I also understand computers quite well.. Because if you type the same thing again and again, you get the same result.. But if you say the same thing to a number of different people, they all react very differently. I hate disorder and my parents dont get that about me, also they often see me as a space head.. Which in some cases is true.. But it doesnt help getting their respect.. I do pride myself in being fair and modest, and most other people I know dont have the same. (morals isnt the word, but cant think of the real word) (ideas) I stuggle immensely to get friends.. I have no idea how other people tick, so... I find it hard to relate to alot of them. I know that makes me sound so robotic, almost phsycho... But thats me I do enjoy playing wit things.. Ill happily sit down and play with some massive algebraic sum, for no more reason than I have nothing better to do. I also love things straight.. If I start talking to someone about a subject, and they keep giving me UN interested nods.. I get extremely angry
Mel
3 years ago
Love your work! Understand your inability to be well understood by others!!! I live most of my life in my mind, I'm not crazy, simply struggle to understand the jargon projected by much of society I am surrounded by! I too will sit and work through hours of algebra, just for something to do!!! Cheers to you!! : )
Ellie
3 years ago
I think the only difference for me is that I am highly empathetic and can always tell what people are feeling. However, I do seem to be insensitive and so forth. I also prefer art and creativity to science, not to say I'm not good at the other things. I took way more math classes than I needed in high school. But, the rest is rather spot on. Especially the part about "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". Sometimes, I feel like people are looking at me like I'm insane. And then I realize I need to slow down and rethink how I'm talking to these people. And I often feel misunderstood and alone. I also have to admit to my indecisiveness. I never want to commit to any ideas and that drives my boyfriend crazy. This does make me quite happy though. And was glad to read this. :)
Anonymous
3 years ago
The empathetic part is the intuition speaking, often times it is the result of drawing a conclusion of a reaction based upon the personality of the person or previous reactions. Also, it is a result of simple observation of the history of emotional reactions in others. Noting facial expressions and body language, it is easy to tell what someone is feeling most of the time. Intuition comes in when they are trying to hide it AND you don't know them very well. Just wait until you get into a position in your career when you are the only one that knows how something works, and you have to explain it to others, in particular people who are known to be apt in emotional responses - AND you have a boss that thinks the only way to be is by having a "bleeding heart" for other people's troubles. You'll be banging your head against the wall in no time, because you will quickly realize they are the ones who are just "not getting it", not the other way around. Emotional people have a tendency to react with fear, jealousy, outright shock sometimes and disdain to people like us.
Em
3 years ago
I am exactly the same!
Lilly
3 years ago
Ahhhh!!!!! Thank God I'm normal! I felt I had a bit of mental situation there. I thought I was abnormal or something, well this helped me. I always wondered why am I not able to fit in nd now I get the answer. I really thought I needed a psychiatrist, I felt as if other people made fun of me. I overthought my mistakes and the silly things that I did, And well I do love being the center of attention but not this way. Thanks
PositiveAnion
3 years ago
Dear comment readers, I am happy to know that I am not the only who lives this slightly awkward life that is that of a INTP. I hope that others seeing these comments of ours can relate.I actually feel as though I know myself better after reading this here article.It also feels good to be placed in a group with Albert Einstein and Sir Issac Newton. -A fellow Internought, PositiveAnion
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