INTP Strengths and Weaknesses

INTP Strengths

INTP strengths
  • Great Analysts and Abstract Thinkers – People with the INTP personality type view the world as a big, complex machine, and recognize that as with any machine, all parts are interrelated. INTPs excel in analyzing these connections, seeing how seemingly unrelated factors tie in with each other in ways that bewilder most other personality types.
  • Imaginative and Original – These connections are the product of an unrelenting imagination – INTPs’ ideas may seem counter-intuitive at a glance, and may never even see the light of day, but they will always prove remarkable innovations.
  • Open-Minded – INTPs couldn’t make these connections if they thought they knew it all – they are highly receptive to alternate theories, so long as they’re supported by logic and facts. In more subjective matters like social norms and traditions, INTPs are usually fairly liberal, with a "none of my business" sort of attitude – peoples’ ideas are what matter.
  • Enthusiastic – When a new idea piques their interest, INTPs can be very enthusiastic – they are a reserved personality type, but if another person shares an interest, they can be downright excited about discussing it. More likely though, the only outward evidence of this enthusiasm will be INTPs’ silent pacing or their staring into the distance.
  • Objective – INTPs’ analysis, creativity and open-mindedness aren’t the tools of some quest for ideology or emotional validation. Rather, it’s as though people with the INTP personality type are a conduit for the truths around them, so far as they can be expressed, and they are proud of this role as theoretical mediator.
  • Honest and Straightforward – To know one thing and say another would be terribly disingenuous – INTPs don’t often go around intentionally hurting feelings, but they believe that the truth is the most important factor, and they expect that to be appreciated and reciprocated.

INTP Weaknesses

INTP weaknesses
  • Very Private and Withdrawn – While INTPs’ intellectualism yields many insights into their surroundings, their surroundings are ironically considered an intrusion on their thoughts. This is especially true with people – INTPs are quite shy in social settings. More complicated situations such as parties exacerbate this, but even close friends struggle to get into INTPs’ hearts and minds.
  • Insensitive – Oftentimes INTP personalities get so caught up in their logic that they forget any kind of emotional consideration – they dismiss subjectivity as irrational and tradition as an attempt to bar much-needed progress. Purely emotional situations are often utterly puzzling to INTPs, and their lack of timely sympathy can easily offend.
  • Absent-minded – When INTPs’ interest is captured, their absence goes beyond social matters to include the rest of the physical world. INTPs become forgetful, missing even the obvious if it’s unrelated to their current infatuation, and they can even forget their own health, skipping meals and sleep as they muse.
  • Condescending – Attempts at connecting with others are often worse than INTPs’ withdrawal. People with the INTP personality type take pride in their knowledge and rationale, and enjoy sharing their ideas, but in trying to explain how they got from A to B to Z, they can get frustrated, sometimes simplifying things to the point of insult as they struggle to gauge their conversation partners’ perspective. The ultimate insult comes as INTPs give up with a dismissive "never mind".
  • Loathe Rules and Guidelines – These social struggles are partly a product of INTPs’ desire to bypass the rules, of social conduct and otherwise. While this attitude helps INTPs’ strength of unconventional creativity, it also causes them to reinvent the wheel constantly and to shun security in favor of autonomy in ways that can compromise both.
  • Second-Guess Themselves – INTPs remain so open to new information that they often never commit to a decision at all. This applies to their own skills as well – INTP personalities know that as they practice, they improve, and any work they do is second-best to what they could do. Unable to settle for this, INTPs sometimes delay their output indefinitely with constant revisions, sometimes even quitting before they ever begin.
5 years ago
The description of INTPs hits very close to home. Yes there are somethings about it that miss me or skipped me completely. But the strengths are right on the money. I detest the word liberal though I am a conservative with libertarian beliefs that have yet to be shaken. I cannot stand a person that believes in stuff they can not defend or explain or debate. Now the weaknesses are interesting and I think the fact I have been a boss or an owner for nearly all of my working life of 26 years now may have contributed to the weaknesses being off the mark in some cases on me. But proper grammar is not something I value nor understand and at age 42 I accept it's never going to happen. My mother on the other hand who did make it into Mensa can proof read something I write that was spell checked and said to be good and find dozens of things to fix on it. Yet she has no ability to reason. On the financial topic I was a god when I cared back in my 20s I once was balancing 20 credit cards never late never an issue. But now I have no personal bills to speak of and its good because I couldn't care less about the subject. Yet at the same time I run a small company 4 employes about 200k a year in expenses and I don't even need to balance the check book I can tell you with in 100 bucks whats in there at any time. I know whats coming up even if its just an annual bill, the AMX is due in full every month sometimes as much as 9k and I manage never to charge on it if I wont be able to pay it. So if the weakness is in fact a personal interest it becomes an unexpected strength. Hence managing a company means despite being shy and quite by nature I am loud and forceful when I need to be. I do not like public speaking but will jump into it when needed. And I almost never second guess my self I am proven right so often I completely trust my decisions. Yet at the same time if something better comes up I adapt to it very easily I do not care where the idea came from as long as it is good. Insensitivity is called a weakness but I don't value being sensitive nor understand its purpose. So it's a weakness I have but do not mind it in fact if anything I am proud of it. Never been married and date very seldom I honestly do not even look nor remember how too. But since becoming aware of the personality types and seeing what my ideal match is I think that may be something I would like to try. The trouble is by my calculations it means there is only 1.3 women per 1000 that fit me and then you still need to screen for married women or those that are too young or old. So it sounds like I am screwed. But every thing else is pretty accurate. It's funny how honesty is so rare and most can not see how it fits with total disdain for rules or any "authority figure". I conduct myself very ethically I can not stand cheats and liars probably why I do not like cops. I am law abiding but my interests are military tactics and strategy so you could only imagine the things that go through my mind in a typical day.
4 years ago
Matthew I totally agree with your thoughts on sensitivity. I have accepted that I am simply not that friend. I value an honest opinion above all else, because if one cannot trust their friends to speak the truth, it is a defeated purpose isn't it? I can admittedly take as good I get, & that tends to surprise people - why, for the life of me I cannot understand? I can read between the lines, so I almost always know whether the truth comes laced with malice or not. I have INFJ friends; I warn them before heavy conversations that they HAVE to warn me in advance if they need kid glove treatment - I need a lot of time to prepare myself to keep my tongue under control; not try to give them solutions. My point is that I am that friend who you can rely on tell you the truth, in as objective a way as possible, stand by you without judgement. And I know from personal experience that the very few friends I have, value me for the exact same thing. I anyway do not go by social norms; I am law abiding, but disregard them not, when it's convenient, but when it is unethical, or plain hurtful or impedes progress of thoughts, ideas. I think so much about money as a concept, that even though I wasn't great with it, I have, due to sheer fascination with the mastery my banker spouse displays with money, has helped me observe; absorb a bit. Now I'm intrigued about what kind of thought process occurs behind financially sound brains; no prizes for guessing where that intrigue can lead :-)
5 years ago
I agree with everything, except maybe for the last point. Sometimes I like traditions, because it gives me rest in everyday life. And if it is getting boring, I just will think of a way to make it more interesting. Or just change the tradition or just add a few things to the tradition. Its like me loving the principles; if the tradition is a rough scetch of everyday life, then I'll add the fun things to it to keep it interesting and stimulating. And I am a fairly strong INTP so I don't think that its completely out of character for an INTP.
Barry Pearson
5 years ago
I WAS poor at money management, but I think that was because I hate routine administration and prefer to avoid it. It was too easy to ignore the administration tasks associated with money and vaguely hope it would look after itself. The trick is to treat it as yet another problem to be solved as effectively as possible. Do so, then move on.
5 years ago
Sounds about right to me, I don't have any problems with money management, that is, when I get to actually thinking about it. Admittedly I have gone home and the lights have been off and it's always a surprise :-P
5 years ago
I'm a strong INTP myself, and I know money management is one of my most glaring weaknesses. Maybe we all have some well-developed practical skills, and other really crappy ones? For instance, I'm terrible with money, but I have excellent senses of time and direction, and an intuition for complex systems like computers and languages.
5 years ago
Jon said: "Maybe we all have some well-developed practical skills, and other really crappy ones? For instance, I’m terrible with money, but I have excellent senses of time and direction[...]" I think you're on to something. I am also a strong INTP, but I am awesome with money. My sense of time is borderline creepy to some people (I am within 5 minutes of an atomic clock when asked, any time of day or night). But my sense of direction is /awful/. Without the sun to look at, I have no idea which direction I'm facing. Not even a guess. And I can stand in place, eyes closed, and twist around for a few seconds...I'll have no idea what to expect when my eyes open.
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