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10 Things You Should NEVER Say to an INTP

Sometimes you never see it coming. You’re in the middle of talking, you’re having a bad day, or you’re anxious and someone says a few words that slap you across the face. Your blood begins to boil, your heart rate increases or you realize you’re being severely misunderstood.

We’re all bothered by different statements and words more than others. In general, everyone hates hearing “calm down”, “relax,” or “you’re being too sensitive”. When I spoke with members of each personality type, across the board everyone hated those statements. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being irrational, regardless of their thinking or feeling preference. But what especially triggers the deep-thinking, analytical INTPs? Let’s take a look.

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  1. “That’s Just The Way It Is”

If an INTP is questioning something or skeptical about a decision or rule they won’t rest until they’ve determined whether that rule or decision is rational. INTPs are natural skeptics and innovators, and are rarely happy with accepting anything as “just” the way it is.

  1. “Because I Said So”

INTPs don’t have an innate respect for authority.  Respect must be earned, not automatically given based on rank or position. Telling an INTP “because I said so” is a sure way to invite dissent and bitterness.

  1. “Why Aren’t You Talking?”

Unless INTPs are engaged in a stimulating theoretical conversation they are rarely chatterboxes. They are analytical and keep many of their judgments and thoughts internalized. Being criticized or pestered into talking is a sure way to make them feel uncomfortable or irritated.

  1. “Have You Heard About (Random Celebrity)?”

Celebrity gossip holds little to no interest for INTPs. People who spread rumors and share the details of other people’s lives tend to invite distrust from the INTP. They may be wary of forming relationships or friendships with these people.

  1. “Yes Or No, You Don’t Need To Explain”

INTPs aren’t quick to express yes or no judgments. They share their perceptions through Extraverted Intuition (Ne), but keep their judgments internalized. Telling them to oversimplify or leave out pertinent information is asking them to repress a natural part of their personality. It’s also just plain rude.

  1. “Hurry Up and Decide!”

INTPs despise being rushed into anything. They like to have time to explore their options and analyze situations fully. Being rushed into a decision, especially a long-term decision, can cause them a great deal of stress.

  1. “Hey, I Know You’re Reading, But…”

If you see an INTP reading, it’s best to be as quiet as possible and leave them to their book. Interrupting them for any reason, even if it’s a friendly question about said book, will frustrate them.

  1. “Why Didn’t You Notice My Haircut?”

INTPs aren’t especially concerned with superficial details in their environment. They’re more likely to be thinking about bigger-picture issues than whether or not someone got a haircut/lost weight/is wearing a new outfit.

  1. “Let’s Have a Heart-to-Heart Conversation”

INTPs enjoy having harmonious environments, but they don’t enjoy discussing their feelings unless they are really close to someone and instigate the conversation themselves. Being forced to talk about their feelings makes the INTP rely on their inferior Extraverted Feeling (Fe) function, which in turn can cause stress and discomfort.

  1. “Get Out Of Your Head!”

Asking any introvert to get out of their head is tantamount to asking a fish to breathe air. The nature of introversion is that you prefer the world “in your head” to the outer world.

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What Are Your Thoughts?

Any statements you’d like to add? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments!

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Susan Storm is a certified MBTI® practitioner and lover of all things psychology-related. She is the mom of five beautiful children and loves using her knowledge of personality type to understand them and others better! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to learn more about type!

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46 Comments

  1. I disagree with point 7, because the question could possibly initiate an interesting conversation. If someone is already asking this, they might even be willing to talk about the book.

    Other than that, the listed questions and statements really are annoying ; )

    1. Yes, I’m thinking of taking that question out, and finding a different statement to go there from INTPs. I got a lot of INTPs who mentioned it, but since posting this two years ago more and more INTPs have commented saying that they’re not sure that point fits! Thank you 🙂

      1. I don’t think I would completely disagree. I hate my husband – or any close relationship- to ask me what I’m doing. It’s neither their business nor their problem unless I ask their help; mostly they ask that question to seek attention which annoys me greatly, especially if I’m currently busy in Bath in 1790 or so – No; it doesn’t matter if I read this book thrice-. Also If I KNOW their will not read the book I’m reading nor read it already there isn’t an argument point. It may be a good point to start interesting conversation in some circumstance like a friend I think it’s cultured or smart enough to share me new info, about some other book, but I personally wouldn’t take an interruption in the best part of the book warm heartedly almost never. About number 4; I don’t especially care about celebrities but I wouldn’t reject information from some famous I particularly like, thought most of the time it is true I’m the last in find out, because I’m always thinking in something else probably. I would add another point which I find extremely irritant “I’m bored!” it’s something that ignites me instantly because how can you be bored with so many books to read, videos to watch, things to learn?; You have to had a vicious mind prone to superficiality and easy pleasure. Btw Love your the Second life announce hehe.

  2. I hesitated over that one too but then i remembered that sometimes i hate being asked ‘what are you reading?’ because im usually reading something that others wouldnt like or understand why im reading it (very obscure or very specofic topic area). I hate recommending books to others because so often they have hated the book or couldnt see what i was raving about. Like most intps i dont take things literally but prefer to use a story as a starting point for examining human behaviour or new ideas or whatever. Others just read the story and cant appreciate the nuance i found in it. So i think you were onto something with this one.

    1. I wonder how many INTPS (or any other types) have experienced the insidious caveat to the question, “What are you reading?” that makes me grit my teeth. It’s when, after the nosey person asks their question, they go to stand right behind you, all the better to read over your shoulder and (oh, horror of horrors!) reach down with their hand and put their finger on the page, often covering the very line you’re in the middle of reading. If anyone reading this has committed that crime, you may have wondered what was causing the strange sizzling sound. It was most likely the INTP’s blood boiling in their veins. If I want to have a discussion about the book I’m reading, I’d prefer this to be arranged in advance. That’s what book clubs are for.

  3. As an confirmed INTP (consistently gets the result every time I do the test on a number of different websites), I’d rather other people don’t refrain from saying something because it might “incite dissent and bitterness”, “make (us) uncomfortable or irritated” or “invite distrust (from us)”, making us wary of forming relationships with them.

    No dear people, please don’t hold back from showing your true self, even if by doing so you risk a eliciting a negative reaction from us. If you are indeed not the kind of person I’d want to form a relationship or a friendship with, I want to know as soon as feasibly possible. Because if you edit yourself in attempt to gain our trust and friendship, only to surprise us later on when your real self is revealed, the outcome will be infinitely worse.

    Much has been said about the “INTJ door-slam” but other types are capable of doing it too. My type is supposed to be very laid-back and easygoing, but if you push an INTP too far there’s no going back. I doubt that any of the 16 types would respond well to betrayal.

    1. What do you think of INTJs?
      Personally I’ve been friends with one for 3 years now and I agree on many things in her way of thinking.

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