It’s fucking long. Don’t read. This is for my own reference.
INTP personality (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-personality)
“Philosophers”, “architects”, “dreamy professors”… These epithets are most often used to describe the INTP personality type. Forming around 3% of the population, INTPs love theories and believe that everything can be analyzed and improved. They are not that concerned about the real world and practical things – from the INTPs’ perspective, it is often less exciting than ideas and intellectual pursuits. People with this personality type have no difficulties noticing patterns where others cannot – this makes them brilliant theorists and analysts.
The accumulated knowledge is the most valued asset of any INTP. Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork which is constantly absorbing, processing and generating all kinds of theories – this is how the INTP mind works. People with the INTP personality type possess the most logically precise mind of all personality types – they can easily notice even the tiniest discrepancies between two statements, no matter how much time would have passed in between. It is a bad idea to lie to an INTP. They may appear dreamy sometimes, but this is not because their mind is resting – quite the opposite.
INTPs are enthusiastic and impartial when it comes to dealing with problems – they drill through the details and then develop a unique approach and ultimately a viable solution. INTPs are usually very intelligent and insightful people, able to remain unbiased in any situation. They absolutely love new ideas and theories and would never miss an opportunity to discuss them with other people – however, this never-ending thinking process also makes them look somewhat pensive and detached, as INTPs are perfectly able to conduct full-fledged debates in their own heads.
People with this personality type may also find it quite difficult to explain their thoughts to others, even when it becomes obvious that their theories are not easily graspable. INTPs may also move on to another topic before their co-workers or partners have figured out what the INTP wanted to say.
INTPs cannot stand routine work – they would much rather tackle a difficult theoretical problem. INTP personalities really have no limits when it comes to theoretical riddles – if there is no easy solution and the topic is interesting enough, an INTP can spend ages trying to come up with a solution.
INTP personalities are usually very shy and reluctant when it comes to meeting other people. However, INTPs can also be very friendly and confident when they interact with people they know well or talk about things that interest them. INTPs are flexible and relaxed in nearly all situations, except when their beliefs or logical conclusions are being criticized. In those cases, the INTP is likely to become very defensive and argue tirelessly.
Sharing many personality traits with other T types, INTPs do not really understand or value decisions based on feelings or subjective opinions. In their opinion, the only good solution is the logical solution – INTPs do not see a point in using emotional arguments. Such an approach preserves the “sanctity” of their intellectual method; however, this also makes it difficult for INTP personalities to understand other people’s feelings or satisfy their emotional needs.
Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends on your frame of reference. – Albert Einstein
Individuals with the INTP personality type are likely to be very open-minded and even eccentric. These traits, combined with their capacity for inventiveness and original thought, make up a very powerful mix – it is not surprising that INTPs are responsible for many scientific discoveries. An INTP is unlikely to care much about social expectations and the “usual” goals such as job security – however, they will do their best to find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed.
One of the few bottlenecks that INTPs impose upon themselves is their restless fear of possible failure. No other personality type worries that much about missing a piece of the mental puzzle or overlooking some crucial fact that might lead to a better solution. Unlike their more confident INTJ or ENTJ cousins, INTPs could spend ages reflecting on their actions. Even when an INTP is arguing with someone, this should be taken with a grain of salt – they might as well be arguing with their own mind.
INTP strengths and weaknesses (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-strengths-and-weaknesses)
- Great analysts and abstract thinkers. INTP personalities are great at noticing patterns and seeing the big picture. They also possess an impressive ability to jump from one idea to another, linking them in ways that usually bewilder most other personality types.
- Honest and straightforward. INTPs do not play social games and see no point in sugar-coating their words. They will clearly state their opinion and expect others to return the favor.
- Objective. People with the INTP personality are very logical and rational individuals, who see no point in involving emotions in the decision-making process. Consequently, they tend to pride themselves in being fair and impartial.
- Imaginative and original. An INTP’s mind is always working, always producing ideas regardless of whether they are likely to see the light of day. Not surprisingly, INTPs have no difficulties coming up with innovative, original solutions.
- Open-minded. INTPs tend to be open-minded and willing to accept ideas different from their own, provided that they are supported by facts and logic. Furthermore, INTPs are usually fairly liberal when it comes to social norms and traditions, judging people solely on the basis of their ideas.
- Enthusiastic. INTP personalities can spend an enormous amount of time trying to figure out something they are interested in. They will also be very enthusiastic when it comes to discussing that topic with other people.
- Absent-minded. INTPs are able to focus all their efforts on analyzing a specific idea, but this usually comes at a cost of ignoring everything else. They may be forgetful or simply miss things that have nothing to do with the object of their interest.
- Second-guess themselves. INTP personalities may be excellent analysts, but they often lack the decisiveness of J types. An INTP may find it quite difficult to decide which idea is the best one, always looking for more information and doubting their own conclusions.
- Insensitive. INTPs are likely to find it difficult to include emotions in their decision-making process, focusing all their efforts on getting the rational basis right. Consequently, they may often come across as insensitive or be puzzled when it comes to dealing with an emotionally-charged situation.
- Very private and withdrawn. INTPs are often reluctant to let anyone inside their minds, let alone their hearts. They may often come across as shy in social settings and even the INTP’s friends are likely to have a difficult time getting to know them well.
- May be condescending. INTP personalities are usually proud of their extensive knowledge and reasoning abilities, but they may get easily frustrated trying to describe their thoughts other people. INTPs enjoy presenting their ideas to other people, but explaining how they got from A to Z is another matter.
- Loathe rules and guidelines. INTPs need a lot of freedom and have little respect for rules and traditions which put artificial limits on their imagination. People with this personality type would rather have less security and more autonomy.
INTP relationships and dating (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-relationships-dating)
Even though romantic relationships and dating are inherently difficult for INTPs, people with this personality type take them very seriously. The main problem that INTPs are likely to face in this area is that they are not naturally sensitive or emotional individuals – consequently, understanding another person’s feelings or expressing their own is not something that an INTP is well equipped to do.
Furthermore, INTPs strongly dislike being at the centre of emotionally-charged situations. As interpersonal conflicts are virtually inevitable even in happiest romantic relationships, INTPs may find those situations quite frustrating and consequently try to avoid or ignore emotional conflicts in their relationship, especially during the dating phase. If there is no escape, the INTP will try to find a solution, but likely rely on the analytical approach, which can be very different from what their partner (especially if they belong to one of the F personality types) might expect. INTP personalities should try to include this in their thought process, especially when it comes to dealing with conflicts in the earlier stages of the relationship.
These weaknesses aside, INTP personalities tend to be very loyal and faithful partners. INTPs are also unusually direct and honest, even if they have just started dating someone. People with this personality type always stick to their commitments and are actually quite easy to date and live with – they have simple daily needs and do not demand much from their partners. However, despite seeking simplicity in dating and romantic relationships, INTPs do not lack passion or romantic feelings. On the contrary, people with the INTP personality type tend to be extremely creative individuals whose vivid imagination allows them to always remain very enthusiastic and passionate in romantic relationships. Anyone dating an INTP may be quite surprised by this sometimes.
INTPs’ simple daily needs are a complete opposite of their inner world, which is bound to be very complex and colourful. However, there is a certain logic behind this – INTPs purposefully seek simplicity in the “real” life so that they can focus all their mental power on the inner world.
People with the INTP personality type are likely to use their rich imagination to achieve as much as possible in intimate situations. While their enthusiasm can be very impressive, INTPs should be aware of their tendency to prioritize the inner world – it is entirely possible that an INTP will imagine an intimate situation in a very exciting and interesting way, but will choose not to reveal that to their dating or long-term partner.
Another potential issue that someone with the INTP personality type should try to resolve is their tendency to overlook their partner’s emotional needs. As already mentioned above, INTPs are not naturally sensitive or emotional, but their partner might have a very different personality – it is important for an INTP to try to understand their feelings and communicate on the emotional level, instead of simply relying on commitment and dedication and believing that this is all that is needed. Of course, their partner should also be aware of INTP personality traits and quirks, and try not to demand constant flow of emotions from the INTP.
INTP friends (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-friends)
INTP personalities are likely to be very knowledgeable, intelligent friends, but they are notoriously difficult to get to know, and few people have the patience and determination to get through their shields. The INTP’s mind is always buzzing with ideas, riddles and solutions – in contrast, communicating with other people is often more a nuisance than a pleasure for an INTP. Consequently, INTPs tend to be very picky when it comes to choosing friends – if the other person has significantly different interests or simply cannot cope with their endless stream of ideas, it is unlikely that the INTP will see them as close friends.
Bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that INTPs are likely to have a very small circle of good friends. Many personality types seek friends for chatting, emotional support, social validation etc. INTPs tend to dismiss these things as trivial and this naturally restricts the pool of potential friends. People with the INTP personality type are bound to gravitate towards other NT types, who share their passion for theoretical discussions and intellectual riddles. That being said, INTPs will value and respect their friends greatly, and work hard to keep these relationships strong.
INTPs friends are unlikely to be very warm or emotionally supportive – if you are having some issues, the INTP will easily come up with several rational solutions, but do not expect them to understand your feelings or know how to explain something that is more emotional than logical. This does not mean that INTP friends have no feelings and should only be seen as walking encyclopedias – quite the contrary, INTP personalities may have very strong sentiments, but they are likely to be hidden from plain sight. Still waters run deep.
INTP friendships are likely to be unambiguous, strong and straightforward, free from power games and emotional baggage. INTPs reward their friends’ loyalty and understanding with thought-stimulating ideas, sound advice and reliability – it is not easy to become an INTP’s friend, but if you are inclined to try, you will find that such a relationship is worth the effort.
INTP parents (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-parents)
People with the INTP personality type are likely to be relaxed, loyal and tolerant parents. Their children will be encouraged to think and act independently, seek knowledge, and not be afraid to voice and defend their opinions.
INTPs tend to be independent and open-minded individuals, which influences their approach to parenting as well. It is unlikely that an INTP will try to discipline their children for minor offences, control their lives or try to instill certain principles. They will, however, be very devoted parents, although maybe not in the traditional sense – this devotion is likely to be more intellectual than emotional.
INTP personalities are not naturally sensitive and may find it quite challenging to communicate with their children on the emotional level. They will have no difficulties engaging them in rational, intelligent discussions, but emotions are the INTPs’ Achilles’ heel and they may have to rely on their partner’s help in such circumstances or learn how to step out of their comfort zone.
Generally, INTP parents simply want their children to grow up as smart, independent and tolerant adults. INTPs are very unlikely to be demanding, strictly traditional or obsessively caring, which will give their children plenty of freedom – however, people with this personality type also need to make sure that their children’s emotional needs are not neglected.
INTP careers (http://www.16personalities.com/intp-careers)
The INTP personality type possesses a unique combination of traits and typical INTP career choices reflect this as well. We will now discuss the traits that make INTPs successful in their chosen careers – please feel free to suggest any additions or simply leave some feedback in the comment section below this article.
Let us begin with one of the most prominent personality traits shared by all INTPs – their love for theoretical methods and ideas. Best INTP careers turn this unique trait into a major strength, as very few other personality types enjoy theories as much as INTPs do. For this particular reason, INTPs are excellent career scientists (especially in highly theoretical fields such as physics or chemistry), mathematicians, technical writers or system analysts.
Next, INTPs enjoy finding and analysing underlying principles and ideas. Many typical career paths allow INTPs to utilise this trait, even though this often comes with practical applications that do not really interest INTPs. For instance, INTPs can be great corporate strategists, business analysts, video game designers, programmers or engineers (this career is particularly suitable for INTPs due to their love for theory).
INTPs tend to be very independent (even somewhat eccentric), hold themselves to very high standards and dislike managing other people or being managed, especially later in their career. These traits are rarely seen as attractive in modern corporate world and INTPs should avoid mentioning them in a job interview – however, if their manager proves to be insightful and open-minded enough, the INTP will be a never tiring generator of brilliant and unique ideas. Some of the best INTP careers making good use of these traits may focus on legal, freelance consulting or forensic or laboratory research routes.
Finally, INTPs are typical “lone wolves” and typical INTP careers revolve around this trait. They live in their own minds, love solitude and tend to despise small talk and other social necessities. INTPs do not really understand or enjoy emotional exchanges and are unlikely to spend a significant amount of time chitchatting with their colleagues or customers. For these reasons, customer-facing careers are highly unsuitable for INTPs – they would do much better in roles that focus on data and theories rather than people. For instance, INTPs may be excellent lawyers, data analysts or even journalists, as long as they find the field interesting – these are some of the best career choices for people with this personality type.
INTP personality in the workplace(http://www.16personalities.com/intps-at-work)
We have already covered the type description, relationships, parenthood etc. – let’s now discuss how people with the INTP personality type behave in the workplace. I split this article into three sections – INTP colleagues, INTP managers and INTP subordinates. All three are equally relevant as there is a high chance that you will experience the joy of being in each of these categories at some point in your life.
Even if you are not an INTP yourself, this information should be useful in case you run into someone with this personality type at work. It is usually quite easy to recognize an INTP, but if you still have doubts about your co-worker or a manager, see if the traits listed below ring any bells.
- Insightful and unbiased – INTPs stay out of gossip, but are able to decipher the underlying motives quite easily
- Reluctant to mingle and chat, but enjoy discussing new theoretical ideas with co-workers they consider equal to themselves
- Cautious and suspicious of other people’s motives
- Prefer working alone and dislike sharing ideas with “untested” colleagues
- Very uncomfortable with expressing emotions or being around people who are expressing them – INTPs do not really know what they are supposed to do in such situations
- Enjoy solving riddles and noticing patterns
- Have very high standards, especially for themselves
- Dislike explaining their ideas and expect subordinates to be as insightful as they are
- Very tolerant and flexible
- Open to suggestions, as long as they are logical
- Secretly dislike managing other people
- Easily notice discrepancies
- Loathe schmoozing and strongly resist all forms of emotional manipulation
- Very innovative, original and resourceful, but demand a lot of freedom in return
- Do not care much about being liked and are less concerned about job security compared to other personality types – these notions do not hold much value to INTPs
- Dislike routine work and implementation of ideas – would much rather focus their energy on generating new ideas
- Need to be accompanied by an “implementer” (preferably someone with an S personality type) who could put their ideas into practice, but this may take time and clever management – such things cannot be forced on an INTP
- Resistant to criticism, but will not understand emotional arguments
- Typical “lone wolves” – INTPs function best when they are left alone