The INTP Personality Type
The Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking Perceiving Type
You like to think that you’ve got your whole life figured out. But you still find yourself second guessing every little detail of your plan.
Sometimes, you think so much you forget to take action. But you’ve got more answers than most people and sometimes it really pays off to be the smartest monkey in the room.
Reason, Originality, Variation and Skill
Critical, Contemplative, Diverse, and Tactical
Introverted iNtuition, Introverted Thinking, Thinking Perceiving and iNtuitive Perceiving
Existential Intelligence, Analytical Intelligence, Trade Intelligence and Change Intelligence
The INTP Personality Type
INTPs primarily rely on reason and originality. They are thrifty and ingenious at their best and tactless and self-centred at their worst. They enjoy logical and philosophical thought and a chance for good existential discussions. INTPs appreciate a chance to play the devil’s advocate and to explore different sides of the picture.
They are masters of argumentation and tend to love to trade and barter with other people. While sometimes seen as lazy, the INTP personality type is programmed to respond very well to challenge. When pushed to their limits, they reveal inventiveness and show many secret skills.
INTPs are usually quite private types, and tend to mostly hold their thoughts and ideas to themselves. This can get them seen as secretive and avoidant of other people. They also have a tendency to appear quite detached on the surface. Being thinking types, they prefer to find rational solutions and ways to deal with their emotions.
They are unlikely to communicate when they feel badly about something or when they are going through difficulties in life. But should their negative emotions go unresolved for too long, they can blow up and lose their normal cool. So INTPs need to check themselves and ground themselves in these times. INTPs are often upset over how irrational and overly simplistic people can be, but these more negative traits can also take over the INTP. Clouding their judgement. This is often something INTPs do not realise themselves, as it comes from their unconscious. With self-study, you can learn to become more self-aware as an INTP and learn to deal better with your inferior functions.
INTP Business Mindset
The INTP personality type tends to employ an ENTJ business mindset to the world. The world is seen as a business or a place with vision and agency and ambitions. The INTP sees themselves as the people set to figure out what those secret ambitions are.
The INTP acts as the hacker that observes analytically what game plan other people have. The goal of the INTP is to intercept this or to find ways to aid this process to work more smoothly. So as an INTP, the first goal is to figure out what people want to achieve. Then, it is to help people achieve that, or to in a competitive find ways to counter their strategy in some way. It can be difficult then to realise that people behave illogically at times or that they do not know what they want.
Many therefore struggle to motivate INTPs and falsely perceive them as lazy. INTPs do not respond well to implicit motivations and uncommunicated expectations. People may sometimes expect them to do something just because its the nice thing to do. But INTPs do not abide by normal conventions and social norms. They do not follow the crowd and they do not respond to traditional disciplinary techniques.
Perhaps because of this, INTP kids are some of the hardest to raise. INTPs have a rebellious side and lots of creative energy. But they believe there are secret natural laws to the universe and how everything works. They are really just trying things out and experimenting to find out how. INTPs have great logical ambitions but thought experiments aside, they have a pretty pragmatic view on reality as a whole.
INTP Cognitive Functions
Introverted iNtuition: Associated with theory, philosophy, and existential thinking. Needs privacy to operate at its fullest potential. You use it when you engage your internal and abstract world, considering ideas and dreams and language. Introverted iNtuition refers to our ability to form a simulated hypothesis about the world. What can we imagine or dream about the world? How do we see and what do we think about existence? If we let our ideas roam free and wild, what do we see when we close our eyes, where do our thoughts linger, and what do we consider? What ideas do you see before yourself that you would like to test or make a reality? How could the world be different, or what could you learn about the world and about abstract topics?
Introverted Thinking: Connected to reason, rational thinking, and evidence-based belief. Needs to be fed internal data that can be falsified or tested. Things need to be clearly defined. Introverted thinking considers the world of reasons and the inner self and what we think would be ideal for the world. How should it work, and according to what rules and instructions should we solve our problems? What do we know about something, and how it works, and how it appears to work? If we reason about something, what can we learn about it and its properties? Introverted thinking is analytical and it refers to how we think something would optimally work. It is our ability to think of the “smartest” “swiftest” and “easiest” solution to a problem, but when we start thinking about the world at large, our solutions can still become quite complex, as everything we have seen begins to intermix, and we have to think about how different rules work together.
Thinking Perceiving: Thinking and perceiving is associated with skill, development, testing and analytical thinking. You use it to test out ideas and to measure up performance and skill. Needs challenge and competitive elements to function. Thinking and perceiving considers tactics and rules and strategies and ways to implement them. What is the smart way to do something. How can I define or measure something? How can I test or break down an idea or a plan into parts? What can I do to get from A to B to C? What skills do I need to accomplish something and how do I need to adjust to do it better? If given a tool or a resource, how can I customise or adjust this tool so it works optimally to my needs or to what I need to do?
iNtuitive Perceiving: Touching on variation, change, and the ability to carry dialogue. iNtuition and Perceiving is related to our ability to see options and alternatives in a situation and different ways to do things. The NPs have a quick ability to see alternatives and ways to do things differently. Not all NPs are brainstormers, but most can rapidly see new courses of actions and can think of an option to anything. Consider your ability to imagine changes to things around you, as they come.
When I say potato, you say… Intuition and perceiving imagines and twists and turns and alters the world around it, seeing the world as something fluid and open to adaptation. The iNtuitive Perceiver sees changes, changes that are about to come, changes other people are trying to make happen, and ways things are adjusting in the moment. They can also think quickly about how to adapt an idea when presented with one. If given an idea or shown something, even something far reaching or broad, they can usually think of immediate applications for the idea and how they could use it in their current environment.
INTP Body Language
The INTPs that I’ve observed tend to at their best appear detached, analytical, tactical, self-assured, intelligent, sharp, and somewhat critical. INTPs have an open, broad squint, that hints of their rebellious drive. They look at you as if their head is full of questions and options. Their eyes dance and their relaxed squints look amused. The thinking and perceiving makes an INTP more tactically adept.
INTPs appear as if they always know something that everyone else has overlooked. Their head is often slightly lifted, their gaze looking down on you, rather than up at you. INTPs will often dance their heads from left to right or right to left. INTPs often engage in weighing gestures, pulling information from within, and then weighing and holding it up and presenting it to other people.
INTP Variations in Mindset
You will find different INTPs have developed different mindsets. There are active and outgoing introverts, and more careful and cautious introverts. There are iNtuitives that love to learn new theories and to get new ideas, and iNtuitives that like to go deep within a specific idea or theory. There are Thinkers that love to test their abilities and to explore how to implement a solution, and Thinkers that prefer to focus critically, elliminating problems. There are perceivers that are quick to form an opinion and to make a decision about how to implement an idea or to solve a problem, and INTPs that prefer to brainstorm things. These are all healthy variations in how INTPs think.