One of the rarest Myers-Briggs® personality types, INTPs make up a mere 3.3% of the U.S. population. These independent thinkers have a knack for cutting through denial and finding innovative ways to solve problems. Analytical, curious, and creative, they make the world a bigger and more progressive place just by being here.
So do you want to ensure that the INTP is your true personality type? Or maybe you want to understand an INTP in your life better! Either way, let’s start exploring some of the things that most INTPs will find relatable!
Signs That You’re an INTP:
#1 – You Spot Inconsistencies Instantly
When people’s words or conclusions don’t add up, you notice it like a glaring red light. It’s hard for you not to seem pedantic because you tend to point out these errors immediately unless you’re trying really hard to stifle your responses.
#2 – You Search for Precision
You hate generalizations and “good enough” words. When you’re trying to explain something you want to find the most accurate possible word to use. You may even pause mid-explanation and peruse your mind for the most precise word. Being able to explain something as concisely and accurately as possible is important to you.
#3 – You Must Have Logical Integrity
You don’t want to live with biases, clouded reasoning, or in servitude to traditions and social rituals. Living in accordance with your logical principles is something you prioritize. You have to know that you’re looking truth square in the face and not getting distracted by the whims of others.
#4 – Authority Doesn’t Impress You
People who pull rank or expect high levels of respect just because of their position irk you. Authority that’s gained by popularity, office, or position, mean very little to you. You look at each person individually. What creative ideas do they have to share? How powerful are their arguments? You can be impressed by the fast-food worker or the college professor equally if they have something interesting to say. But you have no interest in sucking up to authorities.
#5 – You Want to Understand the Universe
Your curiosity and focus on the big-picture lead you down many random paths of discovery. Ultimately you want to understand the truth and substance of the universe. Why are we here? How did we get here? “Why’s” and “How’s” run through your mind at an endless pace.
#6 – You Hate Redundancy
Repetition is mind-numbingly boring and irritating to you. At school, you probably hated repeating your times tables or reciting various lines over and over again. Once you know something you want to move on to something else rapidly. You have a steep learning curve and not too many people can keep up with it.
#7 – You’re an Architect of Ideas
Driven by a sense of creative genius, you thrive when you can construct new ideas and explore new theories in math, science, philosophy, and art. Being able to understand something new about life or the universe and refine your idea so that it’s accurate, coherent, and concise is something you enjoy.
#8 – You’re Seen as “Difficult to Know”
Because your thinking side is focused internally, you’re often underestimated or not seen for your true level of competency. What people are more likely to see with you is your intuitive side. They’ll see the ideas and alternatives you generate and the way you can argue a point from any angle. But your laser-sharp logic is often in the background, only shared with people who you have an airtight level of trust in. Because your judgments are more internalized than outwardly expressed, people can find you mysterious and hard to pin down.
#9 – You Crave Connection, But Getting There Can Be Tricky
You deeply desire intimate connections with other people, but forming those connections can seem like surviving a game of Jumanji. Trying to understand other people’s emotional and social expectations can be a daunting task, and if you jump through all those hoops and you still don’t have a connection, you can easily become cynical and jaded. Giving up your time and space on a gamble seems perplexing on many days. But don’t give up! The world needs your intellectual ingenuity and creativity. They need YOU, beautiful quirks and all.
#10 – When You Were Young, You Always Felt Like You Were Getting Scolded
You crave radical honesty in all of your interactions with people. Beating around the bush or walking on eggshells to make people comfortable isn’t your style. When you were a child, you probably felt like no matter how hard you tried, you were always on the wrong side of the conversation. The majority of people have a love-hate relationship with truth. They want their truths spoon-fed to them with a big lump of sugar. This can be damaging to your self-esteem if you feel like, despite your best efforts, you’re continually misunderstood and reprimanded.
#11 – Relational Neediness is Your Enemy
The enemy of your Introverted Thinking style is emotional overload and incessant relationship demands. People who crave all your time, embroil you in emotional chaos or manipulate you will tear down your ability to focus, analyze, and think clearly. Your dominant function requires regular alone time so that you can really delve into concepts, ideas, and problem-solving. Without this time to recharge your batteries, you feel drained, lethargic, and unfocused.
#12 – You Love Swapping Ideas with People
Getting tuned into your intuition and brainstorming new ideas with other people is deeply satisfying for you. While you’re an introvert, you still enjoy breaking down theories, exploring possibilities, and testing arguments through debate. These activities allow you to tap into your auxiliary Extraverted Intuition (Ne) and help you to stay balanced.
#13 – You Approach Almost Everything with Skepticism
You are rigorous with yourself to ensure that your ideas and opinions carry logical weight. You apply this same rigorous analysis to the outside world. Before you subscribe to anything, you need to make sure that you’re not getting swayed by your emotions or popular opinion. You have to break down ideas or rules and look at all the components to see if they really stand up to scrutiny.
#14 – You Don’t Like Organizing People
You’d rather work independently than be in charge of organizing anyone else. Your quiet and reserved nature often makes you feel uncomfortable dealing with a lot of people in a work capacity. You crave a flexible, autonomous lifestyle, and being responsible for people goes against the very things that make you comfortable. This doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader though.
#15 – When Your Gifts Aren’t Appreciated You Become Cynical
Unfortunately, many INTPs aren’t readily understood by the majority. As a rare personality type, it can be easy for you to feel different and coerced into “fitting in” with the majority. When this happens, people with your type become cynical, negative, sarcastic, and critical. You may engage in arguments fully knowing that you won’t win any friendships by doing so.
#16 – You Hate Surprise Visits
There’s almost nothing worse to you than someone showing up unexpectedly at your house wanting to chat. You prize your alone time and are never quite sure what to do with people who appear unexpectedly and expect your time. You can feel awkward, distracted, and disappointed when you are spontaneously expected to socialize.
#17 – Friendliness and Positivity Calm You Down
Being around warm, gentle people gives you a sense of inner peace. You find yourself picking up on their joy and positivity and becoming more cheerful and friendly. Your inferior function, Extraverted Feeling (Fe), gets fed during these times and you’re able to break out of your shell a little bit and feel safe in expressing yourself.
#18 – You Are Tolerant and Open-Minded
Even though you test ideas with intense scrutiny, you prefer to accept people for who they are instead of changing them. Even though you can be inadvertently tactless sometimes, you try to be considerate of others and give them the opportunity to express themselves. You don’t want to interfere with other people’s lifestyle choices and personal truths unless you see them as doing real harm to themselves. You crave independence and personal freedom and so you aim to give that to other people as well.
#19 – You Are Plagued By Insecurity When You’re Extremely Stressed
If you have been chronically stressed and overwhelmed, you may have a “grip” stress reaction. When this happens, your inferior function, Extraverted Feeling, “takes the wheel” of your life. You suddenly become preoccupied with what other people think of you, whether they like you or hate you, and whether you matter to anyone. You may worry that your closest friends hate you or are going to abandon you. You may reach out to people with an anxious need for connection and affirmation.
#20 – You Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Practical Tasks
Attending to nitty-gritty tasks like washing the dishes, cleaning, or paying bills can feel aggravating and dull to you. But you absolutely love having all of that dealt with so that it isn’t taking up mental clutter in your mind. You enjoy having a comfortable, healthy lifestyle and often enjoy supplementing practical tasks with fun activities (like listening to an audiobook while cleaning house).
#21 – You Have a Vivid Imagination
You enjoy imagining new scenarios and looking at alternatives and options. You have a talent for evaluating the potential of something and seeing random connections that other people miss. As rumored INTP Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
#22 – You Crave Creative Freedom
You don’t like doing things by the book unless you’ve tested that it is truly the best single way to do something. You crave a lifestyle and career that allows you to experiment, innovate, and transform things. Routine and following a list of pre-ordained rules bore you.
#23 – It Can Be Difficult for You to Express Your Values and Needs
While you’re deeply aware of where your curiosity is guiding you, you’re not as in tune with your core desires and values. When people ask you to dig into your emotional world and explain it you can feel a sense of stage fright and insecurity. It’s easier for you to discuss theories, ideas, and facts than it is to make sense of the deeper emotions in your soul. That said, you appreciate people who hold space for you and give you a safe, judgment-free zone to express your heart.
#24 – You Enjoy Playing Devil’s Advocate
When everyone is ganging up against an ideology or idea, you naturally tend to take the side of devil’s advocate. You can see something from many different angles and perspectives, so it’s easy for you to play either side of an argument and point out discrepancies or biases in other people’s thinking. You don’t like anyone, or any idea, being picked on unfairly.
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What Are Your Thoughts?
How many of these signs did you relate to? Do you have any ideas or insights to share with other readers? Let us know in the comments! You can also find out so much more about your INTP personality type in Personality Hacker’s INTP Course!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter