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  • Very Private and Withdrawn – While INTPs’ intellectualism yields many insights into their surroundings, their surroundings are ironically considered an intrusion on their thoughts.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.
Pam H.
5 years ago
It's not that I consider money management a weakness. It was, until last year when I finally decided to do an assesment of my spending habits. While I do not value glamour (which in my point of view is only affordable once I begin to earn 4 times my current income as I am allergic to spending money I don't physically have) and see myself as unambitious, I do value stability. I just turned 24 and had been in the labor force for four years now. And the first three years I never took my finances seriously. I spent what I had (which was more than enough for a single woman with no responsibilities), only making sure I had no debts since they make me itch. What made me decide to control my finances was my father's offer to see me through graduate school (the tuition's on him) and so then I felt my salary start to feel smaller and mediocre what of all those ambitious career-people you find yourself surrounded with in gradschool. Only when the necessary expenses begin to grow and eat up my humble hard-earned moolah did I realize the importance of paying my self first --- something I'm really quite obsessed with these days.
5 years ago
I was reluctant at first of the idea of a personally test, I was not sure how accurate it would be. But after doing one for career orienting purposes I got a very high score for INTP. When I read the description it confirmed almost every idea I had of myself. Almost all the traits seem to fit me perfectly. I definitely pride myself on being very objective and rational. I also despise it when people use subjective reasoning as a method for acquiring truth. It’s also true that I am very open-minded and only judge people on what matters, their brain. And yeah, I don’t follow authority or tradition. I love history but that’s where I feel tradition should stay as a thing of the past, progression is what matters most to me. Don't get me wrong, I do think discipline and rules are essential. But I have to disagree with the notion that we are like machines with no emotions. It is true that I am a very private person and I dislike revealing myself to others. But I am also a very passionate person, so in consequence I am very emotional. Since others have mentioned it, I am personally great at managing money. My sense of direction is quite poor however and so is my sense of time. I always seem to merge days together, and I honestly never know what time it is or the current date. I am also probably the most hardcore procrastinator I have ever met, its hard for me to finish anything because I'm always like 'I'll do it later'. I'm also pretty disorganized and like to act spontaneously. As for careers and such well I am still in high school so I can't really comment from experience. But I would say that I have a knack for science, followed by history and philosophy. I am not too tech savvy, I prefer nature over machinery. All in all, I would without a doubt consider myself INTP. ...we only count for about 1-5% of the total population. I feel quite lonely at times not being able to share my ideas in person with people who will understand.
5 years ago
I'm a strong INTP, and I agree with almost everything here (esp. money management--LOL), but I actually like rules and am more empathetic than the article seems to suggest. I don't have problems with insensitivity--in fact, in a lot of cases, I'm TOO sensitive. It's true, however, that I hate overly emotional arguments and don't understand people who only appeal to pathos, or give into the other side solely on the basis of a desperate appeal to emotion. I also feel awkward in emotionally charged situations, but that's an extension of my overall awkwardness in social situations, not because I don't care or don't want to help. I think rules are important in every society--it's one of those strong opinions that, as an INTP, I am very honest, straightforward, and stubborn about xD
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.
5 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.
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