What comes to mind when you think of people like Sheldon Cooper, Hermione Granger, and Albert Einstein?
If it’s something along the lines of aloof, highly intellectual, nose in a book kind of people who don’t care much for society’s standards, then you’re probably on the right track.
That’s because all three of them belong to the INTP personality type.
The INTP personality type or the Logician personality is one of the 16 personalities from the Analysts group of the 16 personality test which is based on the Myers-Briggs Indicator and Carl Jung’s personality theory.
Often getting lost in thoughts and not caring too much about their presentation, INTPs are usually found with their noses buried deep in their interests.
Whether it’s scientific fields or creative ones like design and sculpting, you can be sure to find INTPs trying their best to achieve their ultimate goals in these.
However, they aren’t the easiest people to socialize with because they’re so wrapped up in their little heads.
Not only do they find it hard to be precise and effective with their words, but also tend to be brutally honest, while overlooking people’s emotions which can be a hard no for most people when it comes to making friends.
Interested in what life is like when you’re an INTP?
Keep on reading to find out more about how their mind works, their greatest strengths and downfalls and how well do they do when it comes to interacting with people in their lives!
Personality aspects of an INTP
A person’s personality type (aka INTP-A/T) is essentially an acronym for their preferences in 5 different aspects of life which make up their personality.
These aspects are mind, energy, nature, tactics, and identity. Each of these aspects has 2 categories.
Mind– The mind trait describes how we engage and interact with our environment. This can either be Extroverted (E) or Introverted (I).
Energy- The energy trait describes how we view the world and process it, which is either Observant (S) or Intuitive (N).
Nature- The nature trait describes how we deal with our emotions and make decisions. The nature trait is either described as Feeling (F) or Thinking (T).
Tactic- The tactic trait describes how we tackle our daily tasks and can either be Prospecting (P) or Judging (J).
Identity- The identity trait describes our overall confidence in our abilities and decisions. The identity trait can either be Assertive (A) or Turbulent (T) and varies in every individual.
In INTPs, the preferences are Introverted (mind), Intuitive (energy), Thinking (nature), and Prospecting (tactics).
Now let’s take a closer look into what each of these traits tells us about the INTP personality type.
Since INTPs are introverted, they draw their energy from their inside world, by spending time in solitude. They expel energy in social settings and often need time to recharge on their own afterward.
If left unbothered, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find an INTP spending time away from people, (even loved ones) for long periods; whether they’re busy learning a new topic, conjuring up theories, or just relaxing.
INTPs are more intuitive than observant which means that they will focus more on abstract ideas, theories, or concepts rather than the real world.
Their intuition, which plays a dominant role in their personalities, allows them to explore different situations in life from all possible angles and perspectives.
However, this can make it harder for them to concentrate on one thing at a time because they forget to live in the present and get consumed by all possibilities and thoughts of the past and future instead.
This can sometimes be quite overwhelming for them if they have a lot of tasks to tick off their mental to-do lists and also prolongs their decision- making process.
Thinking implies how INTPs prefer to focus more on the objective and logical aspect of things when it comes to making a decision rather than their feelings.
In all aspects of their lives from relationships to work, they ask themselves questions about what works for them based on their experiences and make decisions based on that.
Most INTPs use the knowledge they gain, logically think everything through, and not only construct their opinions about things but also create their own logical framework (or a book of logic if you may).
This framework is different for every INTP but they use it to brainstorm different ideas and figure out the functioning of other intricate systems.
This trait implies that INTPs prefer to be in a flexible environment when it comes to learning or working rather than having fixed deadlines.
Strengths of an INTP
Think objectively and can spot problems easily
INTPs can break down systems around them to understand them better.
Along with that, their ability to spot patterns in everything around them and make connections where they might seem unrelated is remarkable.
That is why INTPs make great analysts because not only will they break down a system, but will also be able to compare it with the knowledge they already have.
And after scrutinizing each component, they can spot the exact flaw in a system.
Good at spotting lies
This goes hand in hand with an INTPs’ ability to spot problems,
Since INTPs are so good at spotting patterns in everything, as they try to link all the knowledge they have, they will easily notice when something doesn’t add up.
They can distinguish between what counts as adequate proof and what doesn’t, which makes them naturally skeptical people who are hard to lie to.
Imaginative and Creative
Apart from being highly logical, INTPs are constantly looking for new ideas to inspire their creativity.
INTPs are also great at brainstorming ideas for a new project, a new product launch, problem- solving, etc.
And the new ideas that they come up with are quite out of the box and often seem unattainable until an INTP actually puts them into action.
When INTPs enthusiastically share these ideas with people around them, they are usually met with surprise because people consider INTPs to be closed off and uninterested.
Open-minded and non- judgemental
Even though most INTPs can often come off as know- it alls, they never claim to have all the answers. INTPs are always open to new possibilities, ideologies, and interests.
They respect the fact that others’ logical framework differs from theirs and are open to hearing about how other people think and function even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.
Stemming from their introverted nature comes an INTPs need to be very self- sufficient and self- reliant.
INTPs love to take care of their own needs, without having to rely on other people for help.
Even when it comes to making decisions, they assess what they want, what they think is right and make their decision based upon that rather than asking other people for their opinions.
This can be a challenge to tackle when they have to make decisions with a partner in matters like child- care or with coworkers regarding a group project.
However, for the most part, an INTP does listen to other people’s suggestions when appropriate. And if your reasoning is presented to them in an intellectual, logical way that makes sense to them and is relevant, they’ll be more likely to value it.
Handle criticism well
INTPs are open to constructive criticism from people, as long as it’s backed up by solid reasoning.
They can separate personal feelings from logical reasoning which allows them to focus on the validity of the criticism given, without any sort of contempt or hurt feelings.
Then, after analyzing, they can either choose to ignore it, dispute it, or consider it depending on the situation. The only time they are touchy is under stress.
Even if they don’t show it, INTPs have a deep desire to be liked by those around them.
And often, to avoid criticism in the first place, an INTP tends to over-explain whatever they’re talking about just to make sure that everyone understands exactly what they mean before objecting.
Weaknesses of an INTP
INTPs are not the most socially well- rounded personalities.
A part of them secretly desires validation and approval from others as they want to be appreciated for their creativity and knowledge.
However, at the same time, they fear being misunderstood or accidentally embarrassing themselves, so their shyness takes over.
Especially around people, they don’t know well, they will feel extremely self-conscious and end up behaving quite awkwardly.
To save themselves from the embarrassment, they socially isolate themselves and often end up feeling lonely, anxious, and detached from others.
You’ll notice that a lot of INTPs can’t make a decision in the spur of the moment- or in time at all.
They need to take their time, assess all possibilities, and then reach the most logical solution.
And even then, their decision tends to stay very open to change in case new, relevant information comes in.
Hard on themselves
ISTPs hold themselves to such high standards of perfectionism that they can be very hard on themselves if they mess up or say something stupid.
They often end up doubting everything they do, simply because they think they can do so much better. And when they do mess up, it can take a while before they forgive themselves and move on.
Can’t follow rules and guidelines
Similar to an INTJ, when left to be by themselves, INTPs are quite good at getting absorbed in their own little world and living off of the productivity inside.
However, they don’t do as well when put under strict rules and regulations. The idea of someone tries to control them not only annoys them but also makes them feel restricted.
INTPs do not share the same enthusiasm about sharing their feelings as they do with ideas. They live by Elsa’s words, “Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know!”
The introvert in INTPs does not want people to intrude into their heads.
Since they’re more inclined to logic, they often fail to understand the extent of people’s emotions.
And when they do understand, rather than offering emotional support, most of the time, they’ll probably just get very awkward instead. Other times they’ll just direct their energy towards analyzing the situations that caused you pain.
When provoked unnecessarily, INTPs can get very defensive and arrogant, very quickly.
If you try to oppose their order of plan or try to undermine their knowledge and openness, they will use their intellect to rip you apart.
INTPs will pick apart everything you say and make it seem like you have no idea what you’re talking about, while simultaneously making themselves seem smart.
INTPs and Relationships
INTPs in relationships can be the most clueless yet the smartest beings at the same time.
How INTPs flirt
To be honest, they don’t.
All of their attempts at flirting usually go in vain because of their social awkwardness.
An INTPs very subtle way of showing that they like you might just be listening very attentively to what you’re saying or resorting to bad humor in conversations.
On one hand, they do want to be desired and direct, but on the other, they like to play around and flirt a little bit- even if it’s awkward.
INTPs in a Relationship
INTPs are very skeptical people and they need to know exactly what it is about them that interests you. And they need to know that you’re in it for good.
Commitment is scary to INTPs so even though they will never be the ones to initiate, once in the relationship, an INTP will be loyal, caring and enthusiastic about sharing their interests with them.
An INTP will get along best with people they can have intellectual conversations with about their shared interests.
Being in a relationship with an INTP is often quite easy because of how low- maintenance they are. Simple things like making sure they’re comfortable are enough to make them happy.
They are very caring people who will not only make sure your needs are well taken care of, but will also make sure you get the freedom to be who you want to be.
Communication in a relationship with INTPs
When it comes to communications, it’ll come as no surprise that any topic that grabs their interest will have them talking for hours. They will also make an effort to learn more about something interesting to you.
Sometimes, they get so overwhelmed by their thoughts that they find it hard to connect them and communicate precisely. Instead, they end up doing it in bursts of scattered information which can be quite frustrating for the other person.
INTPs also fall short when it comes to dealing with their opens and being open about them or providing any sort of emotional support.
If conflicts arise, they’re the kind of people to bag their emotions and look at the problem from a logical standpoint, even though that’s not how it works in relationships.
Do watch out for a lot of brutal honesty when being in a relationship with an INTP, even though to them, they’re openly communicating to avoid conflicts and maintain a good understanding.
INTPs as Friends
INTPs usually come off as quite self-centered, arrogant, and even closed off which doesn’t make them the most approachable personality type.
So even if they have acquaintances, it can take a while for them to actually put in effort and form close friendships because, for the most part, INTPs don’t care about other people unless their interests collide.
It’s rare for INTPs to make friends because they need someone to rely on for support, or are impressed by their wealth and status.
They will simply be interested in people who match their intellect and can almost provide a challenge sometimes.
They don’t like small talk and they aren’t the best at displaying their emotions, however, they’ll do little things like showing up at your house when you’re sick or get you lunch to let you know they care.
INTPs as Parents
As parents, INTPs bond best with their kids when they are sharing similar ideas or discussing things that are interesting to both of them.
For the most part, INTPs give their kids the freedom to explore their interests, however, they are still adamant about making sure that their kids are educated.
The area of parenting that INTPs struggle with the most is when it comes to providing emotional support, especially to more sensitive children.
As intuitive- thinking types, this does not come naturally to them, and often an INTP tries to offer their support through a logical analysis of a solution when all their kids might need is a hug or some empathy.
INTPs at Work
INTPs at their best, are logical masterminds. Not only are they able to channel their logic into creativity but are also able to use logic to create theoretical ideas.
Because of their ability to brainstorm, they are great consultation employees who come packed with multiple ideas about new projects or products.
They can systematically figure out the frameworks of different systems and are able to diagnose problems and recognize what works for that particular system and what doesn’t.
For instance, if they’re working on a new product launch for a company, they’ll be able to figure out the best way to market the product for the directed audience and eliminate all nonsensical ideas.
INTPs thrive best in careers where they get to put their analytical mind to use and can link what they’ve learned all together and apply it to what they are working on.
When their intellect is linked with creativity, they can excel in fields like architecture, animators, or composers.
Other careers that are best suited for INTPs include computer programming, scientists, web developers, financial analysis, etc.
INTPs can be very similar to ENTPs at work but they are less engaging with their co-workers, especially those who don’t have a strong work ethic or aren’t as intellectual as the INTP.
Instead of seeking out conversations with colleagues and bouncing ideas off of them, they prefer to do it all in their heads.
They aren’t the biggest fans of teamwork. Their own opinion is what matters to them and they like to decide on their own.
Often INTPs will seem quite mediocre until they start voicing their ideas. That’s when INTPs really get to shine.
Do you know anyone who fits the description of this rare personality type? If yes, we hope you have a better understanding of how their brain functions and the reasons behind their occasional awkward behavior.
If there’s an INTP in your life that you’d like to get closer to, just stick around and try approaching them with a topic you know they’re interested in to get the conversation going.