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
Surprisingly true !!!
5 years ago
I'm so glad I found this. I've always felt different to everyone else (I'm a 15 y/o girl), and found it really hard relating to people. I now spend my time with a group of people who whilst they do not understand me, accept me and leave me alone with my thoughts. Whilst I am thankful for these people, my greatest emotional pain in life comes from loneliness. Even when I go out with people and have a good time, afterwards I feel awful. Does anyone else have this problem? Like some of you have said, I don't agree that INTP's cannot understand others' emotions. It's the exact opposite (for me at least). I think where the lack of understanding comes in, is with our own emotions. I feel very extreme, intense emotions all the time. But about 70% of the time I don't know why I'm feeling them. When I'm feeling really down and look for comfort in my parents, it becomes so frustrating because when they ask what's wrong I literally cannot tell them. This in turn makes me even more emotional. Does anyone have some tips about understanding your own emotions better? Anyway I'm so glad I found this, it actually made me cry (see I do have intense emotions haha), because I have finally found 'my people', and I thought that would never happen. Someone really needs to host an INTP get together, so I can stop feeling so lonely.
5 years ago
I am 20 and have the same problem, i have been on bi-polar medication to resolve this problem... maybe i do or do not have bi-polar but these extreme emotions send me crazy so that helps. I am also INTP so i think its just learning to manage things better. I also didnt have many friends in school because i couldnt care to listen to them and didn't understand other girls but since then i believe im the most empathetic person i know and feels everyone else's emotions (not necessarily showing them) and often told i should be a rasta woman or make a fantastic hippy hope any of this helps, or at least you can relate
5 years ago
Could anyone further elaborate what is meant by our ability to notice and decipher patterns? I felt it's kind of a broad statement and I couldn't exactly grasp it. Any examples relevant for a high school student, a girl notably?
5 years ago
So many of the descriptions listed resonated with me, so it was quite entertaining reading about myself! One thing I do feel is a sense of being overwhelmed with todays events. The more i'm exposed to tragedies in the media, being an INTP supposedly means I absorb and try to make sense of them all. I have become very cynical about major world events almost to the extent of paranoia. As such I am slowly drifting away from caring about them and find myself focusing on esoteric challenges, which is a worrying trend. Is this something INTPs succumb to? For what its worth im a 28 year old surgeon.
5 years ago
I honestly believed there was something wrong with my brain before discovering the 16 Personalities. I'm constantly in my head, and I can hear my thoughts as clearly as I can hear my own voice. I'm infatuated with existence itself, always grinding away at new theories, trying to just make sense of the universe. I think the worst part is my inability to express my ideas verbally. I have these incredible ideas that sound brilliant in my head, but any time I attempt to verbalize them, I get looked at like I have 2 heads. Over time, it was as if the ideas took on a life of their own, distracting me from everyday life. It got to the point where I couldn't concentrate on an actual conversation, because my thoughts became such a dominant force. Friends would comment, "why are you so quiet?" and I would respond with the unfamiliar sound of my own voice, "I just think a lot." I've tried going to parties in an attempt to re-acclimate myself to social environments, and I just stand there, digging for words that would make sense in the situation, but I just draw blanks, and stand there, thinking, not saying a word.
5 years ago
Can't everyone hear their thoughts clearly?
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