INTP
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How do INTPs communicate?

INTPs can be insightful communicators, when the subject inspires them. Thoughtful and independent, they may not have a great need for conversation, but when discussing complex concepts or innovative ideas they can become quite intense and display a wealth of information and insight. Logical and analytical, they can weigh possibilities endlessly and are great at playing devil’s advocate. They love to pick apart ideas but are not convinced by anything but the most rational of analyses; they can spot a flaw in logic a mile away, and rarely hesitate to point it out.

What are INTPs like as partners?

INTPs are independent and clever partners. They enjoy engaging intellectually and want an intelligent partner who can match their ability to think critically.

INTPs have little appetite for the mundane aspects of life, and may disregard the usual rituals of a relationship. They are rarely interested in tradition, preferring instead to design a lifestyle that makes sense for the parties involved—even if it looks highly unconventional to other people. They are tolerant of individual preferences but will rarely do something because they are told they "should."

INTPs tend to analyze the theory behind everything, and may interpret human interactions with the detached logic of a psychological researcher. They may find others difficult to deal with when they cannot understand the logic behind their behavior. When things get too emotional, they may retreat to their own world of thoughts and ideas.

INTPs want plenty of space in a relationship to explore their own thoughts, ideas, and interests. They value a partner that appreciates their ingenuity and problem-solving ability, and one that understands their need for autonomy.

What are INTPs like as parents?

As parents, INTPs encourage competence and independent problem solving. They often do not tune in easily to their children's feelings, but will enthusiastically help them to reason out a complex dilemma.

INTPs are usually involved in their own projects or ideas and typically do not take much pleasure in the mundane, day-to-day tasks of caring for children. As a result, the Architect parent may sometimes seem distant to their children, but their true delight in parenting is in sharing exciting ideas and concepts with young minds.

For more information: Please Understand Me II

INTPs and Other Personality Types

Kindred Spirits

People of the following types are more likely than most to share the INTP's values, interests, and general approach to life. They won't necessarily agree on everything, and there's no guarantee they'll always get along, but they're more likely to feel an easy rapport and have plenty of things in common.

Intriguing Differences

People of the following types are likely to strike the INTP as similar in character, but with some key differences which may make them seem especially intriguing. The INTP may find people of these types particularly interesting and attractive to get to know. Relationships between INTPs and these types should have a good balance of commonalities and opportunities to challenge one another.

Potential Complements

INTPs may not feel an immediate connection with people of the following types, but on getting to know each other, they'll likely find they have some important things in common, as well as some things to teach one other. Although people of these types may not attract the INTP initially, their relationships present a lot of potential to complement and learn from one other.

Challenging Opposites

People of the following types present the most potential for personality clash and conflict with the INTP, but also the best opportunities for growth. Because people of these types have fundamentally different values and motivations from the INTP's, initially, it may seem impossible to relate. But because they are so different, their strengths are the INTP's weaknesses, and if they are able to develop a relationship, they can learn a tremendous amount from each other.

Are you an INTP?

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Check out the INTP Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INTP? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!

Comments

Tyler Reid Matos (not verified) says...

Yes, that is a great idea!

engurch (not verified) says...

hummmmm. well im speechless.... this is so accurate.. im so wishing to meet and share with people of these mentality....... this is where I belong and I wish meeting people of this category............ if u know any way of meeting n relating with more intps pls share with me......

gregor (not verified) says...

I completely agree and identify with that. As being only 3% of people and 2% of women, we just arent as filly understood as some people. Though I did have a borderline personality type and can identify with traits from N/S and P/J, I think this test is quite good and I have gotten INTP before on other sites.

Guest (not verified) says...

Completely relate to this. I just took the test (from multiple sites) and discovered that I fall under the INTP (somewhat INFP) female personality. The description has certainly provided explanations to many befuddling questions... how I struggle to find people who think like me, why I have a small group of friends, or why I tend to bury myself in my own world when no one seems to 'understand' me. The only thing is I'm not sure where to go from here. I certainly don't know anyone who is an INTP and this makes it harder to get over some self-doubt issues.

Guest (not verified) says...

I feel you :/

Guest (not verified) says...

Me too

Rick Harrison x cassie (not verified) says...

true dat.

bekkahz (not verified) says...

Most people say the ideal type for femininity in women are the ESFJ (and ESTJ for masculinity in men) and this type is diametrically opposed to every aspect of a true INTP. The only real upside to this I can see is that, being an INTP, we, generally speaking, just don’t care what society thinks of us.

Prairie Girl (not verified) says...

I am also a woman, and on more than one occasion have been called a cold-hearted b--ch. I accept that I am perceived as "odd" or "strange."

I am an extreme introvert and I find it interesting that someone can balance between extroversion and introversion. When I was a teen, my mother asked me in great exasperation if I could be "normal." I could not grasp that I was not "normal."

Relationships have been challenging. My "feeling" is absent. I am accused of thoughtless directness, and inconsiderate of others' feelings.

my4salebox says...

Yeah, when I was in my early 20's and among a lot of new coworkers, I found out later (from a trouble-making guy) that someone described me as a "stuck up b!tch" after ONE meeting with me which was over a practical business matter in which I was trying to be professional (and was unsure of myself).

It really hurt my feelings because:

A. It's inaccurate, made with very limited information.
B. In that part of life, I ran around always feeling like I didn't belong with others, not the other way around.
C. I hadn't yet been exposed to a lot of strangers who would take me as a full adult out on my own. And people were, as I was finding out, not that careful with their wantonly hateful & train-wreck opinions. Up until then, most of my social circle were other geeky and sweet kids who were into "topics" and what we're learning in life. We weren't running around calling people b!tches or getting into petty "Oh no you di-int!!" fights.

Anyway, by then I was friendly with the person who called me that name (hence, the guy was trying to make trouble). So I swallowed the insult and kept the friendship. By then I knew she knew she made a mistake. And I began to realize some guys are capable of that rotten sh!t "Do you know what XYZ said about you?" that a lot of silly girls fall for. I've seen it a lot of times since before learning how to keep certain types of people out of my life.

In fact, I've been in absolutely absurd (and thankfully rare) situations where a silly girl has come up to me to challenge what I said about her, though I said no such thing. Other types can be infuriatingly damaging... and they call US cold.

Eh... I'm on a soapbox. I'll come down now.

my4salebox says...

Cuddliness... Don't you hate it when a coworker brings in a baby and people are like "Hey--awww!--Hey, a baby!" and they look at you like you're supposed to squeal and run over cooing? (As if they'd ever seen you squeal and coo before). When I was in the Army and one of their wives brought their babies in, the guys would ask if I wouldn't prefer to see the baby with the other women (soldiers).

Random guy peer: "It's a baby! Don't you want to see the baby? ... You know you wannaaaaa :D "

What PERSON did he think he'd been working with until then?!

I'd crawl in my skin at the social awkwardness I KNEW would befall me if I did (because then that would mean mingling with cooing, giggling mommies and wanna-be-mommies, and then getting the "Is she an alien?" vibe from them after a few minutes).

I simply declined. I was there to do army stuff, not to be held out as a freak... which was unavoidable if I went over to the baby or stayed away from the baby.

Jonathan (not verified) says...

@Veronica
I understand where you're coming from, as I feel similarly. I'm not sure where I found it, but somewhere in my research of personality types I read that INTPs are one of the more likely types to share aspects of other types. For instance, I also have a significant overlap with INFP, although I'm still mostly INTP.
Although I haven't done it myself, supposedly you can get a more complete typing by having a meeting with a certified Myers-Briggs Master Practitioner, although I believe that is fairly expensive.

Dominator (not verified) says...

The test said I was either this personality type or a "Healer". Reading the descriptions of both, it seems I am an architect that keeps a foot (or maybe a toe) in the realm of the healer.

In terms of the suggested careers: most of the Architect's career options seemed much more interesting to me than the healer's whose options barely seemed bearable.

Cassie (not verified) says...

The only thing that was off for me was in the least favorite careers. it was cosmetologist and thats what I want to do lol.

StaceyAce27 (not verified) says...

Cassie, I'm an INTP and I'm a hairdresser. I believe a became a hairdresser for a number of reasons. Since we are analytical thinkers and problem solvers; I felt by leaving the biomedical device industry and becoming a hairdresser gave me to flexibility and ability to work on larger creative and entrepreneurial projects. Go for it! So far (it's been2 years) I have been very happy with my career change. I miss critical thinking, but now I have more time for writing, research and a multitude of other projects for me to feel fulfilled in my work. Good luck to you! ;)

TouchofChange (not verified) says...

I'm leaving my current position in Communciations to pursue a career in Massage Therapy. I think this falls into the category of wanting to solve complex human problems since massage therapists often become more than just body workers for their clients. I'm also very excited about the prospect of running my own business they way i want to and having significant and meaningful connections with each of my clients on an individual basis (I don't connect well with lots of people, I'm much better one on one.) The section on my parenting tendencies was so spot on I got chills!

Guest (not verified) says...

When you take your test look at the percentages. Look and the one letter differences of your lowest percentage.

DanTheSmudger (not verified) says...

Initial results weren't very conclusive whether I was a Thinker vs Feeler and whether I was a Judge or Perceiver but reading through the Architect I could nod my head pretty consistently as I went along. Some aspects of the Architect don't agree with me entirely but it's 80% accurate and in tough situations, I can imagine myself reverting to type.

has3000 says...

It pretty much got all of that right, except that I do believe in God.
However, I do really enjoy learning and defending my faith with science and logic.
Other than that, this is definitely me!

SheWarMachine (not verified) says...

Took the words out of my mouth :D

SoSaysSunny (not verified) says...

Me, too!

As an intensely logical and objective researcher, I find no conflict between science and the Bible.

Science cannot disprove God because it cannot transcend the physical world to make any conclusions about the metaphysical. Any intellectually honest INTP must concede the possibility (however improbable) that a deity exists.

Though it is impossible to argue people into the faith, logical arguments can help remove their misconceptions. That's what I try to do.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes, science can't transcend the physical, but it doesn't need to, only the idea of empirical evidence does. You may argue that this is in fact why science cannot transcend the physical, because the supernatural leaves no physical evidence. Then how can the supernatural be proven? If you pointed to miracles as evidence of something we have no scientific explanation for, then your logic defeats itself because what you claim leaves no physical evidence in fact does.

Darko (not verified) says...

Hello. To accommodate us, I'll begin by simply stating that I'm barely an INTP, as I have only slight preference towards introvertedness. In the middle between the the architect and the visionary. Now, i must say that I'm kind of jealous that the INTJ are being called masterminds. To get to the point, I want you to know that I understand your belief in god. Children conditioned to be religious don't have a choice. The certainty of god's existence is equal to the certainty of a human's ability to breathe. Now, i simply want to state my personal, non judgemental opinion on the matter. To prove a point, I'll ask and answer a series of simple question. What is god as perceived trough a human mind? The creator of the universe. What is god as perceived by a christian? An old man that sees everything and can do anything, whose favourite hobby is watching what every particular human being does, praising those who do things that are "good" and punishing those who do things that are "bad". In short, the point is simple. If we assume the universe is infinite, god exists for sure. If we assume that it is not infinite, god may or may not exist. On that subject,De gustibus non est disputandum. However, since religion is a completely different thing from god and belief in god, that we can discuss. Religious establishments are there to answer questions about god. Answers are not necessarily true, but they serve their purpose. Once the answer has been given, the subject is not further discussed by people who accepted it, because od the human tendency to take the easiest, simplest path. My statement is the following: All religious traditions are irrelevant to both god and the belief of the religion, making them useless in the study of god. A more personal opinion, the ideas around which religions were formed were presented by wise men. The beliefs and traditions themselves that were formed around those ideas, have been run by non wise men ever since. Long story short, god is cool, religion sucks.

Science and Logic (not verified) says...

Guest (not verified) says...

Same here. There isn't any conflict between science and spirituality in my mind, but I find it so hard to tell or convince other people.

Guest (not verified) says...

Not leaving my name so that this cannot be seen as a brag.

I am an actual genius INTP ( I did not make my brain, so it is no more than saying I have dark hair and wear a ridiculously large shoe).

I am also a Christian (and not forced that way by my parents when I was a kid). I am 44 years old and know what I know and why I believe and have analyzed to the hilt what I have experienced and found nothing lacking in terms of being able to accept faith. Between cognition and metacognition and the willingness to be independent but also reason and wonder and consideration, I have no doubt of the matter of faith, nor the existence of God.

I mean, really, back in the day the VERY SMARTEST guys on the planet--we are talking huge IQ's--thought the earth was flat and that there was no need to wash one's hands before delivering babies. Just because technology has not caught up to "the supernatural" does not mean it won't eventually.

While INTP's are analytic, they are also not locked in. They work easily in the abstract. They must consider possibilities or they cannot think and synthesize clearly. I would offer that an INTP who cannot accept that there might be more than we do not understand or put our hands on (be it God or something else) might be stronger, or perhaps straddle the fence, with another one of the personalities. I would also offer that there is a difference between fact and truth, which are not the same (thank you Indiana Jones ;) ),and I believe that one of the personality types relies on one while INTP's search for the other.

Guest (not verified) says...

I absolutely agree with you. I am very very analytical and process the way that God could have possibly made this vast and expansive reality. I am a 16 year old christian and it has taken an abundance of information and evidence to get me to believe that there is a God. Even though I firmly believe that after countless discussions in my head and hours of research, I still somewhat question the probability of aliens and such in the universe. You know the "well the Bible never clearly stated that there were NO aliens". The pure fact that the Bible never truly mentioned the existence of aliens got me thinking. Overall I agree with what you say and there is just too much evidence for the existence of a God.

Guest (not verified) says...

ok if you believe in the god of the bible than there is noway you are a logical and so forth type person becauase the bible is a load of crap.... your still young so that is only reason why you might still be this type but i highly doubt it.

Guest (not verified) says...

Feels like I sit between a intp and intj but somehow these profiles make it seem like the natural human need for attachment is irrelevant for these types. I wonder if these types ever have a desire or need to be close to specific individuals but find themselves in cognitive dissonance because once they engage that partner or individual and intimacy becomes imminent their attention to that outer world becomes draining and they retreat back into their inner worlds to recharge. In the end causing these types to seem very calm and steady yet,internally ping ponging back and forth between emotional needs and the need to recharge.

Guest (not verified) says...

That would be a fairly accurate description of my love life.

DrMcSarcasm (not verified) says...

Has anybody else spent three hours deciding on a deodorant? The biggest epiphany of my life was learning the personality type. Now I fit in by understanding what all the other people prefer and how to identify them.

Guest (not verified) says...

That has very often been my experience, although there are very few people that I just haven't tired of, which can be just as alarming.

Guest (not verified) says...

That's me. I don't mind the concept of closeness but the reality leaves me fairly confused lol. I guess I understand people not at all, because their motivations and actions often leave me confused. That must be where the love being powerful but naive bit comes in. I do best being friends with emotionally quiet people, but in romantic situations I think my own life experiences have led to a me who is a little needy, which pisses me off, so I turn cold. Frustrating for the other person for sure lol

Kendo (not verified) says...

This is also a perfect description of the Enneagram Five, which I and (likely) most INTPs are.

Marquis (not verified) says...

Wow, this is me almost exactly. I've never felt so understood in my life. Seeing how rare this personality type is I can see why I feel so different from everyone I meet and why I'm so misunderstood.

Echo (not verified) says...

I feel exactly the same way, sometimes I used to worry about not being able to empathize well with others and why I felt so out of place even when all my friends are also introverts. this gives very good insight n the fact that it's okay to be different and how there are others who think the same way as I do.

Mae (not verified) says...

This describes me quite well, though I seem to cross over a lot with the INTJ personality too.

However, as a career graphic designer I would NOT suggest graphic design for INTPs. After 15 years I find this work so incredibly tedious and boring its practically painful. I will be going back to school in the next year or two and pursuing an education in either science or economics. Hopefully one of those careers will keep me interested for more than 15 years!

Confused (not verified) says...

I took the test a few times yesterday and earlier in the day and it gave me different personality types...ISTP, INFP. So I decided to retake it tonight and be completely honest with myself. I ended up with INTP. I didn't really think it was me so I retook it 2 more times, still the same even though I changed a few answers I felt could also describe me. All of them came back as INTP.

I do have a love for biology and I'm thinking of going back to school...however, I suck at math. I am also one of those people who can't stick to one thing and I get bored easily. I am beginning to think maybe I'm crazy.

Guest (not verified) says...

You know, you can definitely show aspects of more than one type! I am an INFP/ISTP cross for sure. I love understanding things both theoretically and practically. I understand the boredom problem as well. I think that is an aspect of the perceiving type. However, it helps if you look at it as a challenge.
One more note: I am a student in the biology field (genetic manipulation in plants) and it is very exciting and rewarding. My intuitive side gets to theorize about the effect the genes will have on the plant's physiology, and my sensing side gets to put it to use in a practical way.
Don't worry! You're not crazy!

Matt (not verified) says...

I took this test to find out more about myself, I have trouble connecting with people and i finnaly know why but also in that response I find it interesting because tryin to find a friend just to hang out with that is really a friend is really hard to do because they ither get really tired of my thought process or always offended by my openess when really I try to help, this test has really helped me along my way of discovering who I am and what I want to be, sadly still long way to go very very little intersts me anymore.

sandra.sharratt says...

I have a few really good friends that just get me so I am very lucky that way. I went through a long period of not being able to find anything that really interested me too. I got rid of cable tv, and just use the internet now and I am writing all the time. I have finally found interests and like minded people online. Twitter is a great place too, if you want to find like minded people, you set the parameters and vet the sources yourself. It has been really helpful and I feel less like a freak and more apart of something big. Good luck and I hope you find something soon, there is a whole world of issues out there that need an INTP to unlock and solve.

ephemeral_ (not verified) says...

The description itself is good although it doesn't atually describe how INTPs work. However, what they are describing isn't so much the INTP in the cognitive sense, but more akin to something like enneagram 5. An unfortunate overlap. As an actual INTJ 5w4 (I usually score INTP on MBTI tests though), I relate a lot to these descriptions. The question one needs to ask is what they are genuinely trying to describe here.

Holly (not verified) says...

When I took the test I was profiled as an INTJ, however, J was my lowest percentage advantage over P at 11%, (if I remember correctly). Reading descriptions of both personality types I related more to the INTP personality. In doing further research on the difference between J and P I found that I definitely swayed towards P more; I like open ended decisions, for instance, and generally dislike making detailed lists and planning my time (which annoys my ENTJ father to no end.)

Guest (not verified) says...

I believe that most of what has been said fits in with me. But I think that given 'emotional' experiences and situations in the past, even simply of those around me, I can then 'file' and expand on those emotional factors in my thought processes, enabling me to relate to people with a stronger Feeling component.

Guest (not verified) says...

This fits me perfectly. I'm self-reliant, but not in the best of ways. I find it extremely hard developing friendships and forming them to begin with. Sure I feel misunderstood but it bothers me, I hardly give it much attention since I value independence above all. I don't believe in God, and I despise conformity; I find it important that I be different than others in every way I can.

Katharine (not verified) says...

Hi there, I am an intp but I don't come across as very 'cool'. Could this be because my main interest and area of passion is people and relationships. Thus, I am always interested in people and generally freindly towards them? Do any other intp's relate to this - perhaps particularly any other female intp's?

pch98 says...

I can understand how you might feel this way. I always felt as though I was an outsider... Confused by the behavior/attitudes of others. So, I chose to study psychology to get a grip. Eventually wound up working in non-profit mental health field. I guess I concluded that in trying to understand the behavior of others I'd have to suspend judgement. And, the more you immerse yourself in the passion... such as psychology/mental health it only makes sense to cultivate empathy as it would seem that for the client to experience empathy from someone who is working with them would help to develop trust. And if you are not a "cool" intp... it would mean that you are a warmer intp, just the kind of intp that a client could feel comfortable in working with. For me, being a true introvert, working with people can tax my energy so I have to pace myself. So that might be a difference between you and I. Yes, I can relate... I am a female intp.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am a female INTP as well. Keep in mind that one of the defining aspects of being an INTP is a driving motivation to understand how the world works; that includes people. One of the most renowned psychologists (who was also greatly interested in metaphysics), Carl Jung, was an INTP. In my experience we spend so much time trying to understand and dissect emotion that this naturally leads us to be interested in people and relationships in general, even if it is from a detached viewpoint.

Guest (not verified) says...

As a female INTP, I've noticed that as I've grown up and matured, I've felt more of a need to be with people. A lot of times, the emotional openness and outgoing personality that I've developed doesn't fit descriptions of INTPs. The main cause of this has probably been my friendships with actors, who are generally outgoing and friendly people. So, you may have just adapted to your group of friends/peers? For me, my interest in people is draining though, so my case may be a bit different. Also, a female, there often is pressure culturally to be friendly and fit in with the crowd. So, I'm guessing that the main cause here is just your situation socially. It's not really related to being INTP, but more to the personality that you've developed over time.

diamondvrio says...

Hello Katherine.
I am also a female INTP. I think I may have a thought as to why you ask those very questions. We are known to find the human mind infinitely fascinating. I have learned to manage people in the way society has been enforcing into me since I was a child. I learned from others on how to study, manage, cope and blend into the social norms, so to speak. I use my social teachings that I had to use in order to understand people. People tell me things that are very personal that they would never say to others. Perfect strangers...waitresses,check out clerks, I am friendly so to gain their trust to learn about sociology. Being female is a definite bonus because we are perceived as less threatening and trustworthy? Just my theory.

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