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The INTP at Work

At work, the INTP is motivated to solve complex problems in an original, innovative way. Architects want to analyze systems and ideas thoroughly to create deep understanding, and enjoy designing creative solutions to highly abstract problems.

INTPs rarely have much interest in organizational traditions, preferring to forge their own path to innovation. They hate being limited by bureaucracy and rules, and are often more in tune with the theoretical soundness of their ideas than they are with the practical applications. They typically prefer to focus on creating the idea, and to leave the tedious details of implementation to someone else.

INTPs work best independently or with a small team of colleagues that they perceive as smart, competent, and logical. They quickly tire of colleagues who are aggressive or overbearing, and can be dismissive of people who aren't as clever as themselves.

An ideal organization for an INTP is flexible and non-traditional, and values ingenuity over conformity. An ideal job for an INTP allows them to address complex theoretical or technical problems with creative, novel solutions.

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Top Careers for the INTP

INTPs are first and foremost thinkers, and this quality can be seen in their choice of careers. Although INTPs can be found in a wide variety of fields, a happy and satisfied INTP is invariably found in a career that allows them to use their intellect, analyze concepts, and think deeply.

INTPs have an innovative nature and are often drawn to cutting-edge fields such as technology, engineering, and the sciences. Although INTPs overall are a rare breed, visit an area like California's Silicon Valley or a tech company like Google or Apple and you'll find that nearly every other person seems to be an INTP. This type naturally thrives in the challenging, unpredictable world of tech.

Many INTPs are creative and seek an artistic bent to their career. INTPs are particularly drawn to artistic fields with a touch of science or technology, for instance architecture or graphic design.

Although INTPs typically prefer careers that have them working with ideas more than people, a contingent of INTPs consider human problems the ultimate frontier of intellectual inquiry. Thus, you find some INTPs in careers that allow them to study the human experience, including psychology and other social sciences.

Top careers for the INTP include:


Technology is a highly attractive field for INTPs, and many INTPs are drawn to computers from a very young age. Even INTPs who do not work in tech fields typically nurse an interest in computers on the side. Working with technology allows INTPs to exercise their reasoning skills in perfect concert with their creativity and desire to experiment and innovate. Some INTPs even say they understand computers better than they understand other people!

Most any career in computers or technology can be considered a possibility for the INTP, but some sample tech careers for INTPs include:


Engineering careers are a good fit for the logical, analytical thinking style of the INTP. They particularly enjoy engineering fields that allow them to exercise a measure of creativity in their work. Some sample engineering careers for INTPs include:


Scientific careers are a natural choice for INTPs. They enjoy all aspects of the sciences: the opportunity to build specialized knowledge in their field of choice; the ability to focus at length on complex, abstract ideas; and most of all, the exploratory process of scientific experimentation. Some sample science careers for INTPs include:

Business and Law

Both business and law careers can make good use of the INTP's analytical instincts. Good business careers for INTPs often stimulate their interest in complex theories, including advanced mathematics. Some sample business and law careers for INTPs include:

Arts and Language

Some INTPs focus on their creative instincts with a career in the arts. Typically, though, even an INTP working in an artistic field finds a way to use their analytical side in their work. Some sample artistic careers for INTPs include:

INTP Careers to Avoid

It is important to note that any personality type can be successful in any occupation. However, some occupations are well suited to the natural talents and preferred work style of the INTP, while other occupations demand modes of thinking and behavior that do not come as naturally to this type. Occupations that require the INTP to operate outside their natural preferences may prove stressful or draining, and often sound unappealing to Architects who are choosing a career.

The following occupations have been found to be unpopular among INTPs, based on data gathered from surveys of the general population.

The INTP on a Team

INTPs are thoughtful, analytical team members who contribute a deep understanding of complex problems. They are often most interested in the theoretical questions behind the team’s goal, and can help the group to identify key principles and generate innovative ideas. They tend to engage with the vision of the team, analyzing it rationally and objectively and offering options and possibilities.

INTPs do best on a team when they are given freedom to analyze logical problems in an original way. They are skilled at coming up with creative solutions, but don’t put much stock in the established way of doing things. Team members who are highly loyal to tradition may encounter friction with the INTP. Architects are typically independent thinkers who’d rather debate ideas than make small talk. They may become impatient if too much time is spent on pleasantries, and may put off team members who seek a more personal touch.

For more information: What's Your Type of Career?

The INTP as a Leader

In leadership positions, INTPs inspire others with their intelligence and innovative ideas. INTP leaders are often unassuming on the surface but catch everyone's attention once they begin talking about their ideas. They generally allow their reports a lot of latitude, preferring to set the overall goal and trust their team to solve problems autonomously.

INTPs enjoy exploring new possibilities and engaging in creative problem solving, but may sometimes get so caught up in the world of ideas that they neglect to lead their teams into action. They may have trouble hashing out details, and often leave it to someone else to create exact specifications. They do best leading competent, intellectually driven teams who understand their complex ideas and can fill in the details to create realistic plans of action.

INTP Career Stats

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zach4535345345 (not verified) says...

INTJ's are statistically less common, so im not sure what your source is on that. 

Oel Robert Scott (not verified) says...

I was an ENTJ five years ago. I recently tested as INTP. I can say I have changed my way of viewing and interacting with the world over these five years.

Funny enough I am an Architect.

I also do Graphic Design Projects in my spare time.


Amir Asef (not verified) says...

Is it really possible to CHANGE your personality?!

Ghwangz says...

I personally believe that it's quite possibly you can change your personality, especially over the span of 5 years, though very rare. 

R. Stephen Gracey (not verified) says...

The straightforward answer is, "No." Type does not change because that's essential to making the whole model work. The whole system of psychological type begins with the premise that we are born with a "true type" within us that we cannot observe directly, and which emerges as we grow. How we express our type evolves as we gather new experiences. How one reports oneself on the MBTI (since it *IS* a self-reporting instrument) may change over time, but in my experience, the better you know yourself, the more consistent the inventory's outcome. And for some people, the inventory cannot sort preferrences accurately. In my case, I often answer many of the items with "F" answers because I have worked Extraverted Feeling principles into my web of values. That doesn't change my nature as an INTP. It just means that the inventory doesn't work very well for me with respect to that preference.

Identifying your own type may come easily to some and may take longer for others, but rest assured, your "true type" does not change any more than your "handedness" changes. If you're left-handed, you're always left-handed, no matter how much skill you may develop with your right hand.

katyatoo (not verified) says...

I have type tested as INTP since I was a teenager and the test was done by a psychologist with a scantron form.

Just within the past few weeks browsing Quora I've read a lot of material about and by people that identify as INFJ and find that the majority of what is described is accurate for me.

I would have likely been on team "type doesn't change" before because that was my experience. Now I'm curious what the heck is going on- did I start as INFJ and adopt INTP to cope with life? Am I really an INTP that has developed FJ over time? 

I'm leaning more toward FJ that adopted TP. Or maybe I just have very little preference or alternate dependent on circumstances.

Who knows? My mom said I had a distinct personality change at a very young age (possibly related to trauma) and that before that I was more extroverted.

Maybe I'm an ENFJ in disguise. 

Luan (not verified) says...

Yes you can. 2 years ago I was ENFJ. People do change over time

Jimmy james (not verified) says...

No you cannot.

NoraLF (not verified) says...

Yes, ofc. I change between E/I and T/F frequently.

Jimmy12354322 (not verified) says...

The personality function stack develops over time and is the person's primary cognitive way of adapting to the world, and although it is not static, and the unconscious functions can be developed, they will never perform better than the person's dominant conscious functions. In the case of the INTP, the conscious function is introverted thinking with the opposite in the unconscious, extroverted feeling. 

Salosimlenoel (not verified) says...

Actually very interesting how scarily accurate this is for me,

I've currently been struggling as a Team leader in Sales, not because I'm incompetent but because I don't have a "flamboyant energetic attitude". I can do everything right but because my attitude doesn't fit and feel like an outsider at times.

Interstingly enough, I've been thinking about studying and Engineering is actually something I've been considering doing

clo Ndigq (not verified) says...

Hey  Solsimenoel My names  clondaggr and I came across your comment under an article about INTPs . I’m just reaching out to let you know your not alone I was recently just in a sales position myself and struggled to become a team leader and also rethinking my decision of going back to school for computer science I would love to chat more on the topic of your hardships you faced and how you overcame them. 

P.S don’t mind my grammar  

nk (not verified) says...

this was scary to read. but im not very scientifical though. interesting though i dont understand myself, i just go with whatever i am. i try to understand everything except myself lol. my real self is never out in this world, like my personality just responds to what is going on around me, the real person never comes out. only i know that, and thats why my energy is kinda inside always, though everyone thinks i am a social, smart, and funny person, i dont give shit about superficial things, i just want to solve the problems that i feel. i feel like i just want to shut off my presence in this world. (and open the inside). though my ego wants to be popular, and have social importance, that is also interesting. i feel like i can make myself into anything i want, but that wont satisfy any desire, i really dont know what i am here to even feel or do....nothing makes sense execpt when you dissociate and what isnt your focus is your focus. 

CJT (not verified) says...

You sound (read) like an INFP. Without even having to examine the implications of your post, it's obvious by the shear number of times you used "feel" to describe your function/purpose/longing, your dominant function is introverted feeling. You "go with the flow" and can assimilate socially or "be anything" bc your constantly internalizing subtleties of other people's emotions and feelings (whether you notice it or not).
As a INFP, your seeking for things to fit into your internal value system (so you appear sociable and extroverted bc you value popularity and merit).
your extroverted function Ne (the trait you show the world) is your intuitive function. Meaning you are open and exploratory, flexible and adaptable to new feedback and info. It is the reason you don't show or behave as if you have a strict agenda/external purpose.
Taking in information IS your secondary agenda/purpose!  Therefore, your extroverted function allows you to intuitively navigate social scenarios and adapt to whichever social persona is most appropriate. (And your dominate internalized Feeling function (Fi) gifts you w the innate ability to embody nearly any personality you choose. This is bc your extraordinarily versed in the nuance of emotions and feelings since you internalize Or introvert your Feeling function. 

You don't make choices or execute actions often, bc your a Perceiver, not a judger.  You avoid closure and decision bc as a perceiver your always awaiting new info to process and inform. (So you can evaluate how you feel about something before deciding) You incline towards organizing your inner world vs your outer world. Meaning rather than structure and organize your External world with objective choices, tight schedules, deadlines, planning, appointments, and systematic order, you prefer freedom from demands and strict guidelines in your external world. In other words your not a type A character.

So your organization happens internally.  Meaning you spend more time in your head, trying to sort your thoughts and feelings about things and what they mean, and who you are, and how "this or that" feels.  Studying "everything else" is how you study yourself! It just doesn't appear that way.. By studying everything else, your discovering how you reflect, relate, feel about it. This sculpts you're internal world. Your reflective rather than decisive and orderly. As such you need info to reflect on. So you trade commitment, speedy action, and decisiveness for the liberty and freedom to address things as needed, at your pace (usually last minute) so that you remain able to continue evaluating your options and construct internal value systems. 
Also, INFP's don't express themselves to the world bc remember, you INTROVERT or Internalize feelings and keep that inner world to yourself. Bc your attune to feelings you can adapt to the Emotional or social climate of your environment. You understand other people really well, you just don't extrovert your true self. 

You can find desire and meaning by understanding the dichotomy between your introverted cognitive processing and your desire for social acclaim. They don't have to contradict eachother. Just utilize them appropriately to serve your purpose (which you will eventually develop). Remember you are a SEEKER by nature so don't fight it. Follow your depth. That is your purpose. When your ready to share that with the world, your extroverted intuit will know what to do! 

AH (not verified) says...

Sounds like something I would've written!

owlmagic (not verified) says...

You don't sound like an INTP. 

Zee (not verified) says...

I also read this and I agree to some extent. While I think about the posibilities or theories of life, I do not think that I am very scientifical. Though, I may be outgoing, I do not like popularity. I try to avoid the crowd as much as I can. And I try to solve my problems on my own without involving other people.

Collector_m (not verified) says...

In the last item of the "INTP Growth and Development" you have forgotten to properly close the HTML strong tag. So, the entire section is in bold face, instead of only the title. Yes, I'm an INTP.

R. Stephen Gracey (not verified) says...

RAH!!!!  :) There was no truer INTP thing ever written! We are the masters of proper grammar, cleanly commented code, consistent naming conventions, high-precision tools, clear analysis, and complete explanation. (We also use a comma before the conjunction in a series.)

Don't make me work out the team's vacation schedule, though. My head will explode! Too many variables, and too many of them that involve team members' feelings!!!!

smharclerode42 (not verified) says...

"We also use a comma before the conjunction in a series."

Wait, even THAT tiny detail is characteristic of INTP's?! GTFO of here...I mean, it's one thing to rationally understand that "free will" is a wholly illusory concept, but it's another thing entirely to realize that even one's cherished, minute idiosyncrasies can be entirely attributed to a 16-category personality index. Bah, humbug and all that fun stuff.

Jennifer Miller (not verified) says...

Welcome to The Freethinker Club. Population 2%. The only rule is there are no rules to oppress the mind. Everyone is welcome to conceptualize as we please. However, for some odd reason, 98% of the population runs away at the door. Freedom doesn't scare us! A free mind is a beautiful thing, more precious than gold. You've got the courage to share it, my friends. 

Brett45g (not verified) says...

Yes!  That's the thing exactly, Free Thinker's Club! 

Thor, DK (not verified) says...

Really well said :D

kakasaheb (not verified) says...

i have tried personality test which i belong to intp

but as intp says its everything confusing no stability nor security 

no skill nothing then why i m having this 

cartographer (not verified) says...

"Engineering careers are a good fit for the logical, analytical thinking style of the INTP. They particularly enjoy engineering fields that allow them to exercise a measure of creativity in their work."

As an INTP cartographer (masters degree in engineering), this article seems too accurate....


R. Stephen Gracey (not verified) says...

That's true, but we don't all have the gift for mathematics. I'm verbal, not quantitative. I'd never have made it through an engineering program. But I studied six languages and can draw up tables comparing and contrasting grammatical structures. :) Type teaches us:

  1. How we are like EVERYBODY of our Type.
  2. How we are like SOME PEOPLE of our Type.
  3. How we are like NO ONE ELSE of our Type.

I'm really wonderfully surprised to meet other INTPs whose processes are so similar, yet whose skills are so different.

Benjamin says...

This website is correct. I went on 16 personalities and got Logician a.k.a INTP-T. I have always wanted to be an aerospace engineer or architect and this website those jobs are for me. 

Hank (not verified) says...

As an architect my day job is highly connected to relationship building, which can be draining... I've found that having other outlets that allow me to explore, ideas and work alone are rejuvinating. 

Guest (not verified) says...

I loathe radio laughter. 

emily lin (not verified) says...

Hello, can you please change the text colour from yellow to something darker. It is hard to read and it hurts my eyes. Thanks.

Grey Fox says...

I’ve done this test a few times now. INTP and INTJ always come up as very good matches for me. It’s funny (strange) that even though I got a slight preference for Perceiving on this try, it still gives me INTJ as the top - very good match. Both you can’t be both, each one has different engines (functional stacks).

Roham (not verified) says...

Really don't mean to be rude. But INTJ is architect not INTP


Jennifer Miller (not verified) says...

I agree. INTPs are Logicians. INTPs can be architects, but labeling our personality type as Architect suggests that INTPs are planners. Our gift is conceptual thought. 

How are INTJs and INTPs mistaken for one another? I like INTJs. What's the world without abstract or strategic thinking? How does A=B, though? 

another one (not verified) says...

One time i worked in service/sales and generally yes, I hated it, but I actually enjoyed interacting with the customers usually. I was mostly selling ice-cream, but a little bit waitressing. I just loved the ice-cream selling part, because I could see people coming with a frown and going with a smile. There was nothing complicated, nothing ambiguous in that aspect, just give them a big portion of ice-cream and make them happy. But waitressing was horrible and coworkers were mean.

Now I'm a researcher in theoretical computer science focusing on graph algorithms. This is my favorite job so far. It's great. I'm getting spoiled by how fun this is, I think I will never be able to go back to something as mundane as software engineering (which I have been gladly doing for most of my life). The only thing missing from my current job is psychology, which I also find fascinating. I have been thinking of starting fantasy fiction writing in my spare time to add more creativity and psychology to my life.

(My personality type comes out sometimes as INTP and sometimes as INFP. I'm adding this as a disclaimer because some of my preferences might stem from the INFP aspect )

Justwrite4now (not verified) says...

Same here my personality type is sometimes INTP and other times an INFP

INTP-L (not verified) says...

I have taken this test at least 10 times and all 10 times my result has been INTP. I would suggest taking the test at least 3 x, if you keep getting different results then it could just be that you might not be fully self-aware yet or you could be a combination of personality types. I find INTP to be the most accurate for me, not everything is going to relate to you because this test isn't supposed to tell you what your personality is like to a T. 

Giggity (not verified) says...

INTP Digital Marketer here, I freaking love it

2L82Pray (not verified) says...

I've taken this test half a dozen times and it always comes up INTP or INTJ (both among the rarest for females, which I am). I have to admit, finally, this is me with a fine line between the two. Hopefully, this will end my gridlock on what to do with my life. After 10 years in a career I tolerated rather than loved, coming back to this was my only way to decide to stop being a rebel against myself

dogbrainzzz.. (not verified) says...

Don't get your hopes up too high.

The INTP type is known for her high dissatisfaction with current jobs. It might have to do with the fact that you do not tolerate authority. I have the feeling that I am an oiled, well-kept, top-notch, thinking and working machine... throw in a few more humans however and it can all turn into shit real fast...

AMM (not verified) says...

The more I read comments the more I feel at home and the more convinced I am that understanding the functional stacks accounts for those variations, both in our experiences as indicated in the comments and how some of the typing descriptions out there don't take the variations into consideration when categorizing INTP.  An example is the absentminded professor vs warmest machine Or as I relate to it - my creative / intuitive side vs my logical / linear thinking side. It's all there but I can switch between them. I've had to both develop my capacity to allow my thinking, structured, mind to run strong when I need it most like at work where my creative / intuitive innovative nature supports that but takes a back seat (currently in law administration) but then outside of those work or home times that require my logic I run more with my freewheeling creative / innovative side when the absentminded professor is the best description. I don't understand the functions enough to talk about them concretely (yet) but I sense that they provide insight into this type of flexing that can show up. I love it when I infrequently come across more creative / intuitive / innovative bending career examples for us as I don't entirely fit the science / mathematician angle. Perhaps had that side of me been more encouraged I can see how I could have utilized that more and ended up extra strong in the more structured thinking realm but as it is I tend towards middle ground - not quite a lawyer (or doctor or accountant or architect) but with strong abilities in any of those directions with too much out of the box thinking and absentminded living to have developed my strong thinking into something on par with my capacity. So I try to capitalize on both which is leading me to craft something more structured but later in life. 

JuliaJ (not verified) says...

Just wanting to add to the conversation. I've identified as INTP for years now, but I've also always thought maybe I was INFP because I see myself as a pretty emotional person. Luckily, my husband, a true INFP, has been able to teach me a bit about the other side. Lol. We've had so many and such severe misunderstandings about personal conduct and consideration of each other, I've doubted he even cared about me more than once. We finally got talking about it, and as it turns out, he "thinks" in feelings. Like, you know how you think in words and pictures and more abstract ways about physical and intellectual tasks pretty much constantly? While you're doing that, he's just riding the waves of emotion around him and trying to keep afloat. That's what's foremost in his consciousness. It's such a fundamental difference, I didn't even think it was possible. But that's how he says it is, so I guess I have to believe him. Lol. In terms of our motivations, he's trying to keep everyone at ease all the time to preserve his sanity, and I'm always trying to figure something out. Or I'm just completely awed and enthusiastic about a fact. I may seem dopey or unaware, but I just get taken by ideas. He considers the social implications of what he's doing first, whereas I think of them later. At times, I feel I have to choose between the truth and the appropriate thing to say. And guess what I choose. (It's not malicious. I really just value the truth, so it's almost automatic.) ...OK, now guess what he would choose. See? It's difficult, but because we get each other pretty well on every other level and balance each other on this one, it works. But my point here is, ladies, don't let certain people on the Internet try and tell you you can't be who you are because of XYZ. You know who you are, so go with it.

unknown (not verified) says...

the test says that i am this but i'm not shure.

INTP-JJ (not verified) says...

Fellow introverts who want to make a difference should join here:

Haiqa Edward (not verified) says...

I am an INTP . I  dont have  friends .I cant trust anyone because i feel like certain people are not honest .I want to change the world but dont know how to do it.I really love solitude but some times I am really depressed cause I dont have anyone to talk to  who understands what i want to say.


Shikamaru (not verified) says...

I feel you , I want to change the world, but, for me I would hate having to deal with a lot of people just to try...

dogbrainzzz.. (not verified) says...

Turn yourself into a project or study of N=1. I did that and I am slowly learning to control my worst personality traits.

Then it all comes down to testing your theories (in this case: about yourself). For an INTP this means putting in some harder work; going out is one of the things you'll need to do.

For example: against depression I arm myself by training my body: I exercise (weight training/running/body weight training) during the week, I consider sleep to be my most valued good, I use fasting to control my body weight etc... (studies have shown it helps your mind a lot when your body is fit; I used to be in my mind too often to notice my body decaying) During running I listen to audio books or do some thinking. I keep a notepad with me at all times. I take note of my progress in what I do, because I think training is boring, but making graphs about my progress engages me to do the work.

For social interactions I did a similar experiment. I went to clubs/bars/cafés by myself. And started noti(ci)ng how other people interacted with eachother. IF you go by yourself you are in a severe disadvantage: you'll be the odd one out. So what I do now if I go somewhere where I do not know anyone is this: I smile; I say something to the very first person I come across (the interaction doesn't last more than a minute: eg "there is a police control going on further down the road", it doesn't have to be true), the point of this is that other people in the venue will have seen me interacting with the person, which makes me appear less alone, less odd, etc...; then I typically order a drink I talk to the bartender or people who are also waiting for a drink (this conversation needs to be highly casual+ make eye contact+keep smiling+if someone is rude to you ignore it and turn away; never engage with someone more than a few minutes); if you get your drink keep moving around; if you start noticing your energy going down or start feeling alone, go out once, return and repeat; if you lost your mojo, leave (the key is to not let other people notice that you are feeling insecure: by moving around a lot and talking you can accomplish this): the important thing is with this exercise (and it is an exercise) is that you learned something= 'you can interact with other people'. It will not be on the level you want to, but that is not necessary... See it as a tool you can use to get out, feel less alone and socialise. It might happen that some of the people you meet will stick to you and you may become friends. To me it is very important to analyse who those people are... if they are bad news, ditch them, you do not need them.

For deeper and more meaningful conversations: Go to the local library and see if they organise book clubs or philosophy courses/gatherings/cafés. Consider it also an exercise to participate in these things. People who tend to go to these things most of the time also feel a need to talk about deeper issues. You could also consider adult classes on any topic. You'll learn to do something new and you can interact with other people doing the same thing.

By going to such events you can control your need to be alone. If you want to be by yourself, you simply skip a class or an event.

To me friends are overrated: some are too clingy, too obnoxious, too self centered, etc... By constantly meeting new people, you can socialise without too much interaction with your normal life. You can always choose, however, to make real friends and introduce them into your life. It is important however to always set your boundaries for yourself.

To change the world you need to learn how to influence people. This is a hard cookie to crack for an INTP, but the above exercises should be a start. Communication is most important to make some real impact on what happens. I suggest reading books about Malcolm X, JFK, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, etc... Learn to write speeches and apply them to a live audience, maybe even go to a ToastMasters gathering.


If you do the work, you will get there eventually.

Deanna Graham (not verified) says...

Haika, your abilities are rare and special. People are intimidated by your abilities, and don't have the logical capacity to do anything except be mean in petty ways. Female INTPs have it the worst. Be strong. Knowing your gifts and shortcomings as an INTP means the low IQ people can't keep you from reaching your greatest potential as a human being. Hang in there. It gets better, I promise.

TheManCone (not verified) says...

When testing remember nature vs nurture. The test is Identifying your Nature but is not complex enough to seperate what personality traits were nurtured into you. Say a question ask do you like to talk excessivley? You are shy so you answer no this will misidentify you if your shy only because you grew up with a sibling/s that teased and mocked you so holp this helps some/all of those that get identified and say thats close but doesn't sound quite like me.

MARISOL (not verified) says...

I feel I am this BUT not a very bright one... because I studied engineering next to really high IQ people and I am not even close to them......

so, may be I am not this, I feel completely detached from the society and lonely and a misfit everywhere


Nacho752.34 (not verified) says...

You could be on the spectrum too based on your personality and career choice and your inability to connect with others

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