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

5 years ago
Why cant the world be filled with INTP. Then I wouldn't have to argue with people that can't seem to get past their own feelings, and i wouldn't get interupted when people think I'm zoning off like today. No I'm not zoning out, I'm thinking about the universe and the possibility that it is nothing more than a singular consciousness and that God is merely a peg on the evolutionary heirarchy of said consciousness, based on a more logical form of free will. People need to not interupt intps that are lost in thought as our thoughts are so much more important than what happened to them today. Good info on here though. Now I can show my gf so she stops saying 'I know' when I'm explaining things because sometimes I'm not really talking to her, I'm trying to figure somthing else out and what I'm saying is just a part of it. lol
5 years ago
Yep, a super-consciousness is probably true!! But I also think that may be, the world are formed by basic logic links (u cannot NOT eating in the exact moment when u're eating;…) & we cannot go against those basic building blocks, meaning we have limits that are unpassable. Lead to some good consequences, still checking them out!there is the chance that an ultimate principle exist, too! Seeking for it!
5 years ago
You guys should all be my friends, I have so much stuff I need to express.... I could burst...., I'm currently in the process at my attempt at writing a book. I need more time, and knowledge to pack into it though, besides that I dedicate most of my time to my family; one of whom is a toddler, and a job. It'd be so great to take over a coffee shop for a few hours and meet up with people like you folks though, I'm almost sure some of us could start up a network of ever flowing information's to share. The world does need some push in a better direction for the overall good for humanity and the circle of life. Thanks for letting me say that.
5 years ago
Always wondered why everyone around me enjoys small talk and I only want to discuss the most complex things as in depth as possible...and of course I love debating, I will even debate a point I don't necessarily agree with just to prove I'm the better debater...or just have a million intriguing conversations in my head and not understand why people say I'm quiet ^^, I love being an INTP and I'm in an amazing relationship with an ENTP guy <3 the art thing I totally get, I do graphic design as a hobby and work on something for months only to totally scrap it if someone doesn't think its amazing..the need to be perfect is extremely tiring!
Tamika Tihema
5 years ago
I have been with a hard core INTP since uni. He got kicked out of two high schools growing up, did no work, but would ace the maths C exam with little effort. He used to shut the door on people if they visited his house to play as a kid. He did his entire computing science degree without owning a computer, and one night sat there and unknowingly derived Plank's constant from first principles coz he had an idea (ah, he didn't do physics at school and didn't know who Plank was - see previous comment regarding expulsion in high school!!). I did physics at uni, so recognised what he was deriving, and that was my first clue to being with, well... let's face it, a genius! This type should not be underestimated because they are quiet and "zoning out" - they will be responsible for ground breaking discoveries, just don't expect a big "woo har' when they do, they are celebrating on the inside : ) . SURPRISINGLY, i am a hard core ESFP! Its an interesting combination, but i "apparently" am not fussy and can cope with any type !? SO, i feel privileged to be friends and be with an INTP. (this long comment would be driving him nuts right now .... "dot points" is what he's thinking...!!) Embrace your inner nerd, and change the world INTP's! We need you
5 years ago
I am INTP and my husband ESFP, Sometimes I wonder how it works but it just does. The only letter we have in common is P which makes us both easygoing, we love dreaming and scheming and making it up as we go along. Other than that we have totally different ways of trying to convince the other, me being rational and him emotional, and he is obviously much more outgoing than I. I like being with people who are the opposite of me, that way I am always learning and benefiting from their different perspective.
5 years ago
That was awesome. What a good friend you are, and I have to say I'm glad we're all rooting for INTP's. We all need to work together and do our parts with righteousness'.
4 years ago
Hello, that sounds really interesting. My dad is an INTP, whereas my mum is an ESFJ. They're complete opposite! Celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. My dad is Aspergers and has a degenerative brain condition as well as quite a vulnerable personality. When he is discussing physics or a subject he knows and understands, he is fine. However, if he feels challenged, he becomes defensive and even aggressive. Strong Mum cares for the family and for vulnerable Dad while he is deep in theoretical engineering (his job). He is addictive, like Sherlock Holmes was to cocaine, but to alcohol instead. Interesting family dynamics!
5 years ago
Art: illusions of senses, seeing with your eyes closed, allocation of creation/destruction
5 years ago
I wonder if anyone else is an artist and an INTP and finds the combination difficult. The "fear of failure" thing is true and can lead to a goal of perfectionism -- the nemesis of creativity. I'm trying to get over myself, though.
5 years ago
Same here, I am an INTP musician and it does not work well together! lol
4 years ago
Yes, I am a guitarist- But I have reconciled myself to the knowledge that there is know such thing as perfection and as good as you are is as good as it gets- you are never done learning, thus you can never be perfect, so just live with things the way that they are. I have trained my INTP self, (I am surprisingly not a perfectionist naturally, I do something, look it over, and decide that it's good enough for who it's for" [me] and move on.) I am also a writer. I have problems writing things that have to do with pain and emotion, which is bad, but I write mysteries, and since I love to work out creative, new ways to solve seemingly simple mysteries, this is also good!
4 years ago
I think I have an Idea that may help you "get over yourself" while also helping you use the goal of perfectionism to motavate you on your next project. I am just starting out as an INTP artist, looking to major in 3-D animation. Its not so much that I fear other people won't like my work, because most people don't ever thing more in debth on artwork than looks good/bad, but I fear wether or not I will like my work. I've had this problem of perfectionism when it comes to my art for a while, and although I would love my most recently finished art peice when it was done and everything was as near-perfect as possible, over time, say a month, I would start to see more flaws, have more criticism for it and eventually hate my past work. You need to remember that you are your biggest critique and likely noone else will ever look more deeply into your own artwork with an extream bias than you. What I do to avoid this is remind myself how much I loved it upon completion by immediately critiquing it, with a small paragraph. When I look back I see how I felt, and although I do not feel this any longer, I say that this was the best possible peice of art I could do at that time, and since then I have learned more, and critiqued more, not for worse but for the better because now I can go on to one-up an art peice of mine I once thought, at the time of completion, was perfect.
J. Doe
4 years ago
You're not alone. Once I see something wrong with my artwork, I have to stop and start over with a completely new or fresh idea.
4 years ago
I am; it's just perspective. It's not as hard to get through the fear of failure if you flip it around and completely have no expectations about its success- make music, (in my case) or art or whatever for yourself, and if it is successful, it's a bonus. If it's very personal but not terribly well-known, that's still a a victory in its own way, provided, again, that one can shift their expectations about their purpose in the act of creation from a means to be known, make money or something similar to self-expression, experimentation and originality. There is a part of me that would very much like to leave behind my music not for posterity but for my family and friends, people for whom it would be more meaningful to listen to than if they didn't know me.
4 years ago
Needing perfection and trying to teach oneself how to play piano do NOT go together. Just as being a writer who publishes over the internet and needing the wording to be just perfect make writing a decent story impossible. I agree; perfectionism is the arch nemesis of creativity, but it can't be helped. Good luck getting over it!
Miss Cat
4 years ago
I am most definitely an INTP artist, and always have been. I like to broaden my preferences, exposures, awareness of different forms of art and artistic entertainment, and use it to my advantage in every scenario available. My greatest problem is furthermore my inability to chose one particular interest, because, being a clear INTP perfectionist of the art, I have a tendency to want to perfect my skills in all areas, and I can never tell whether it's holding me back or growing me as an individual all the more. By this point I have accomplished two Associate Degrees accompanied by one Certificate of Completion. Clearly from that statement alone, I cannot deny the fact that an expanded growth of knowledge and skill are my greatest cravings in life, and success is what I want most out of my abilities and life talents. At the same time, after many countless hours of self-analysation, I feel like success might also be my greatest fear, as an individual, probably inspired most by my overwhelming fear of failure and just not being good enough. Here I stand, yet I continue. Very slowly, so as to try and make sure the decisions I make final will be worth it for my future and personal growth. By this point now, I have grown an exceptional love and skill for Drawing, Painting, the production of Mixed Media, Singing, Writing, Photography, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Visual Storytelling. Out of the fine arts, my favorite medium is ink, not necessarily the easiest medium to master for illustration. I have always found a challenge in choosing some of the most difficult skills to conquer, and I don't always succeed, but undoubtedly, it's a puzzle that satisfies my INTP need for growth. By this point now, I have outgrown, but still undeniably love Music, Dance, Theater, Musical Theater. Even now, years upon years after even being in a choir, I work my voice and do what I can to expand my range from the highest of Soprano to as low as my Alto range can muster. Then, after stating all that I have, I still can't deny the overwhelming interest that overtakes me in eventually trying and hopefully succeeding at an attempt at Animation. I am so eager, yet I almost feel like I've wasted so much time learning other trades, I can't tell whether I'm grateful or irritated with myself for not focussing on one single and defined subject throughout the entirety of my upper-education... Once again, testing my abilities to grow. It's a blessing and a curse. Focussing on the fact that you yourself made an effort to point out the arts, another conflict I find, being a clear INTP, is an even greater means of conflict with interest. Because of my love of the arts plus the love of social sciences and our natural means and needs for social analysis, I have wanted for quite a long time now to complete my double-education in both Digital Media Arts and Psychology, a subject that I have had an overwhelming passion for just as long as I've been exposed to a pencil and paper. I was averagely unaware of the particularly defined subject of "Psychology" itself until about mid-High School, but this is when I simply fell into absolute love with the subject, recognizing it as something I had already always had within me, and still, to this day, after taking many classes on the subject and succeeding exceptionally without even much effort at all, I will never manage to get enough. Little makes me happier than studying Psychology while doing art, and I feel they work together beautifully when the time is right. Well, to my unfortunate disarray of interest, I don't have enough money to finish a full education in both, already have an Associates in each, so minoring would be useless, and often times Universities separate the two areas into two separate schools of interest entirely, so I'm basically stuck, then. Art or Psychology? The need to chose truly hurts... Freedom from social expectation and defined thought as a full-time Art Enthusiast with my INTP need for eccentricity and expressionistic subjective creativity, or the delight of analytical understanding and expansion through psychological and philosophical analysis with my INTP need for solving a greater puzzle of logic and perspective? Which would be the more successful and self-reawrding career? I only wish I could do both... It simply kills me having to decide, and I assure you, I feel your pain... Oh, how I assure you that I feel your pain....
4 years ago
I am, though to be honest, I think the perfectionist thing has helped more than hinder. It's been my main driving force. Sure, my artwork is pretty mediocre as it stands, but that's why I continue. Mediocrity be damned! I'll eventually make this perfect if I keep learning new things! Also, I suggest any artist who is INTP to draw through analytical design rather than just through what you see. It's far easier to understand and put things together if you learn fundamental blocks which can be pieced together in your head to create things.
Nikolaj Lykke Nielsen
4 years ago
I'm INTP, play music, draw and write. And yes, I take a very long time to finish things. A teacher in primary school told me that Muslims make deliberate mistakes when e.g. building a house "because only Allah is perfect." True or not, that perspective has helped me keep my perfectionism in check alot of times. Also, imperfection fits into the larger pattern of Life, and that is a delight in itself, I feel. I guess I try to embrace the flaws, making them obvious, and then focusing my perfectionism on the really important parts of the work. It's a way of working around perfectionism without abandoning it. But yeah, it's a constant back-and-forth between the ideal and actually finishing things :)
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