10 Things You Should NEVER Say to an INTP

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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. “Did You Hear What (Random Friend) Did?”

Gossip about friends holds little to no interest for INTPs. People who spread rumors and share the details of other people’s lives tend to invite distrust and skepticism. 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.

All About INTPs

What Are Your Thoughts?

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

Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type,  The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic,  The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer, and The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist. You can also connect with me via FacebookInstagram, or Twitter!


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  1. It’s so true about not noticing superficial details

    My family and friends get really irritated with me and I really can’t help it

    Did you see said persons shoes
    Did you see my new washing machine (yip I’m dead serious)

    For me I notice like how a person walks in or how they greet,facial expressions, body language
    Reactions to what I say or to what someone else says

  2. When I read “Yes or no, don’t explain “or “just decide ” I felt like I’ve been slapped, this is so true…. I’m not implying that the others are false they are actually true.

    It’s just that I’ve been told this a lot and have been criticized for it .I had a point in my life when I hated the fact that I can’t choose between simple things or feel like I have to explain or summarize my thoughts. No matter what I did it felt like the person in front of me was unsatisfied until I found out about my personality and realized that it’s just me and the way I think and it won’t do me any better to try and change my actions or thoughts since it’ll only make me stressed or anxious

  3. These really are very accurate. As a kid, my mom would get on to me multiple times a day for scowling or glaring when I was literally just sitting there minding my own business. It was just my resting face. It’s something that always made me feel self conscious in public because I don’t look like I’m enjoying myself in candid photos, and when my friends are visible over the moon, I can’t pretend to show that much excitement.
    I also used to display a lot of antisocial behavior, preferring to read at recess (while hiding under something because my teachers would not allow me to do so). I still do hate large (or small….) gatherings.
    Zoning out has become a major problem for me, as well. I never paid attention in school because I had no need to. I had a 4.0 until after my associates degree in engineering. Now that the classes are challenging, I need to pay attention, but I can’t focus in class long enough to take anything from it. Especially given I’ve already had four thermodynamics related classes and am currently in two more.

  4. If i had a penny for every time I heard these remarks below I would be one rich witch;

    Why do you challenge everything I tell you?
    Why can’t you be like her or those girls?
    Can’t you just be normal?
    If everyone else does things in this way why don’t you?
    You have no emotions so you dont care about anyone in this family.
    Your a cold woman woman are loving and affectionate
    What has she done now?
    I always thought you have a spectrum since you were little you cant show love you have no feelings

    Many more i guess i am al optimist with experience pessimistic thrills of being a female intp !!

    1. I definitely know how it feels to be pressured into doing what other’s want me to do. I feel like strangling someone when they ask me to do what everyone else is doing or if I should show more emotions to our guests (my parent’s friends come over whenever they want and they expect me to be happy to see them ????).

  5. I think something important to note is the difference between a healthy and unhealthy personality type. In this case, a healthy INTP has developed their last two functions (Extroverted Feeling and Introverted sensing) which means they’re actually probably ok to talk heart to heart with someone if someone asks. They may even be excited for the opportunity to develop their functions even more. This can go for a lot of the things in this article.

    Though, it will always take more effort and/or focus for a healthy developed INTP to use their lower functions.

    Now for a less developed INTP, all of these are true at varying degrees.

    I speak as a developing INTP who has been asked these questions before. 🙂

    P. S. The other day I was talking with a friend and realized he looked different. I realized he had got his braces removed! When I brought it up he informed me that he got them off a year ago. XD These things definitely make an INTP unique, just don’t stress too much about offending them as long as they have worked on their understanding side.

    1. I’ve experienced what you say in my own life, too. Even though I’ve been going through an unhealthy phase for awhile due to stressful circumstances (which brought me to this article), my Fe is pretty developed by now, and I honestly have no problem talking about emotions (mine or others) with anyone I’ve spent some time with and have a connection to. What remains true, though, is that I can have a hard time SHOWING emotions. So, for example, I can tell someone I was devastated when my cat died, but I would hate to actually cry in front of them.

  6. I have to disagree on the “,What are you reading?” question. It means they are interested in me. I would be flattered by such attention. Anyway, none of these sound like violent things to say. In fact, most of these sound like well-meaning advice to me.
    I have an insanely well developed Fe…so it could just be me????.

  7. Another thing is being told to be more empathetic. Especially when you were actually trying, and have no idea what you did wrong.

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