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
This is making me want to cry. I never feel like I can relate to my friends and the way they think. At one time I wondered if I was different or a genius because of my differences and I overthink everything to do with social situations and I get really jealous. My best friends are those who can listen to me rant and at least pretend to be interested. I'm so glad to hear that there are others who "get" me. Even if know one reads this comment, it feels like I am lifting a weight off of my chest. :)
3 years ago
This totally explains why I get so annoyed with absolutely everyone, even myself. Some days I wake up flipping off the world. I completely relate to the whole picking out discrepancies thing, my siblings and friends get so annoyed about it. It makes me happy to be rare and to know that the jabbering voice in my head that never shuts the f up, is normal and I'm not insane. Yay! My friends sometimes seem alien to me but I love being able to see all the other people with the same issues and strengths. INTP on guys!
Montana Smith
3 years ago
Hi. I am extremely relieved to have found somewhere with other like minded people. This description fits me eerily well, although I do have a few judging qualities. My mother is, and always has been, really into expressing your feelings and being comfortable with your family. I believe this has its merits, but her mind could not work more differently from mine. She does not think that I am cold or unfeeling unlike many others do, most likely because I am her daughter, but she is always under the impression that I am hiding my feelings which I find insulting. I am not murderous psychopath, I'm simply not gushing emotions. I am not hiding my thoughts about highschool drama, Im thinking actually about Ebola outbreaks, blackhole evaporation evaporation, and all the other things that I tell her every time she asks. I cannot seem to find anyone who will engage in an intelligent conversation without giving me that 'what kid of weirdo CHOOSES to talk about whether or not viruses should be considered alive in their spare time' look. I suppose the difficulties of finding like-minded companions who will debate things with you is one of the challenges of having such a rare personality type.
3 years ago
I'm either an INTP or INTJ. I loved reading the portion of this personality types description talking about how INTPs explain their theories, because its so accurate. I spend half of my time telling people things and I don't think a single person ever understands what I'm saying. Amusing, but sometimes I wish someone would understand me a bit better. My family is always asking me how I'm feeling, because they KNOW I must be keeping something inside. Has it never crossed their mind that Im actually OKAY and I really just want to have an intelligent discussion? I've spent a lot of my life feeling like no one will ever understand how my mind works, and having people tell me I should be more polite or tht I'm coming off as inconsiderate or cold. I can't say how nice it was to read this scarily accurate description.
3 years ago
Same, my mother would always tell me to try to be more considerate of other people, when I never understood what I said or did that was wrong, and thinking I would not have reacted that way if I was in there shoes.
3 years ago
It's amazing how perfectly this description fits me. Even I couldn't describe myself that well!
3 years ago
I have to say that I agree with you I felt happy when I read this it realy describe me too
Your name: