INTPs are independent, reserved, and live in a world of ideas. They can work well on a team but prefer to work alone in sporadic bursts of energy. Although private, INTPs can at times seem totally outspoken because of their directness of communication and economy of words.
Other people may assume that INTPs say very little, but this is only when there is nothing to say. The general chitchat of social life is not for them. They prefer to speak only about areas that interest them, things they consider important.
• Reserved and impersonal
• Live in a world of ideas
• Skilled with hair-splitting logic
• Has strongly defined interests
• Enjoys theoretical and/or scientific subjects
INTPs are skilled at analysis, seeing differences and developing categories. As strategists, they map out all feasible events well in advance. They adapt and improvise as means to an end. They solve complex problems, enigmas, and riddles.
Areas of Growth
• Improve follow-through.
• Nurture relationships.
• Remember to communicate.
• Be sensitive to others’ needs.
• Take care of details.
INTPs may overlook the human element in their quest for objective truth and understanding. They can be bitingly critical and sarcastic and may be seen as cold and distant. Also, they tend not to like the small talk necessary for social situations.
Expect INTPs to be skeptical of anything and everything—and yet always willing to explore and improve on whatever exists. While they are open to new ideas, they are skeptical of their validity until logically proven otherwise.
• Freedom to work as long and intensively on a project as desired
• Working on concrete projects with tangible results
• Having work contributions genuinely appreciated
• Being respected for special expertise
• Autonomy and independence
• Strict rules and regulations
• Being supervised by incompetent people
• Being responsible or supervising incompetent people
• Too little alone time
• Being confronted with strong emotions
INTPs direct their energy toward acquisition of knowledge and competencies. They are devoted to accuracy and seek it, often splitting hairs if need be. INTPs abhor a lack of willpower. They also seek out complicated problems to solve.
To function at their best
INTPs will not fit snugly into a typical structure. They value independence of thought and action. They need their space—to think, to be free from other people—to work in short bursts of energy. INTPs do not like too much detail, preferring a broad brushstroke approach. The simple and obvious bores them, and anything they see as trivial or unimportant will be pushed away. If it holds their interest, the high critical thinking ability of INTPs and their shrewd judgments means they can analyze and distill even the most complex problems to cut to the core of what needs to be done.
INTPs are very independent, deep, and private yet can at times seem totally outspoken because of their directness of communication and economy of words, speaking only when there is something to say. INTPs find emotion difficult, as they are logical at heart, analytical, and objective, with no time for anything they see as “fanciful.” INTPs will find it difficult to share their feelings, although they will be blunt and outspoken regarding their thoughts.
In times of low energy or moments of single-minded concentration, INTPs are aloof and detached in a way that might even offend more relational or extraverted individuals. This makes INTPs very difficult to know, as they will tend to be very skeptical and wary about close emotional involvement. Emotions tend to be slightly outside their own life space, and if someone gets too close too soon, they may find that INTPs “close down” and focuses only on rational issues. This means that INTPs may not pick up on the verbal and nonverbal cues. They may tread on toes or fail to notice another person’s feelings and can therefore be seen as slightly cold or harsh. Strong emotional impulses, which they do not understand, can cause problems for INTPs.
Actually, INTPs are relatively easygoing, quiet, and amenable to most anything until something violates their principles. Then, they become outspoken, inflexible, and at times downright unreasonable, switching from reserved to actually enjoying the heated debate and drama. INTPs can move from compliance to throwing dolly from the pram very quickly, often shocking those who didn’t realize a principle had been trodden on. Once this is over, INTPs will look to move back to a less confrontational and visible position, as they become embarrassed if too long in the spotlight.
INTP at work
In a work setting, INTPs will use their love and store of knowledge to bring a clear explanation of how and why things happen using empirical data, evidence, hypotheses, and rational thinking. INTPs may not be the most vocal, but when discussions enter the arena that holds their interest, they will become quite outspoken and very clear-thinking. INTPs will be the ones who point out the downside, the ones who protect the team from self-deception, and the ones who can see the follies of ideas quickly and can focus the group on a new direction. INTPs are great critics and will be blunt in assessment. Typical pessimists, INTPs have a major concern for the scary sense of potential failure, so they are excellent at seeing the potential pitfalls in any plan.
INTPs are superb at analyzing problems and evaluating ideas and suggestions. The team will be better placed to make balanced decisions given the serious, unemotional, and prudent nature of INTPs. They have great judgement, discretion, and hard-headedness. They also see—and are happy to point out—the downside, so they protect the team from omissions, errors, and heading off in the wrong direction.
Although quiet, INTPs will come to the fore at analyzing problems and evaluating ideas using their superb judgement and serious, unemotional nature to ensure the team makes balanced decisions. INTPs need those around them to be proactive and keep from coming to them with questions. They like arguments and actions to be well thought through and will excel at ensuring this is the case.
INTPs will not fit snugly into a typical structure. They value independence of thought and action. They need their space—to think, to be free from other people—to work in short bursts of energy. INTPs do not like too much detail, preferring a broad brushstroke approach. The simple and obvious bores them, and anything they see as trivial or unimportant will be pushed away. If it holds their interest, the high critical thinking ability of INTPs and their shrewd judgements mean they can analyze and distill even the most complex problems to cut to the core of what needs to be done.