INTP Characteristics

The INTP is very independent, and values independence in others. They can play the team game, but then prefer to go and get on with it, working in sporadic bursts of energy. Although quite deep and private, the INTP can at times seem totally outspoken because of their directness of communication and economy of words. The INTP is blunt, to the point and does not like to be 'fobbed off.'

Other people may assume that the INTP says very little. But this is only when there is nothing to say. The general chitchat of social life is not for them and they prefer to speak only about areas that interest them, things they consider important. There is an expedient side to the INTP character, and this means they will focus on the things, which interest them most, and can actually become totally absorbed in such activities. The routine, the detail bores them rigid and they will put off completing tasks, which they see as unnecessary, preferring to 'blitz' them nearer the deadline. For the INTP follow-through does not come naturally, and completion will be via a huge burst of energy at the last minute.

The INTP is intellectually curious and enjoys the more complex and theoretical problems, often for their own sake. Practical application has little interest for the INTP, who prefers identifying the solutions and then leave someone else to plan the work. They do however dislike slop, mess and waste and also errant, illogical thinking and poor diction. They are flexible, do not like to be fenced in but have very high standards.

The INTP is the cynical, (they prefer to call themselves ‘realists!’), character who is intensely logical, analytical and detached. Independent and sceptical they believe solely in the power of logic, finding it difficult to express or even to ‘do’ emotions. Rarely intimidated the INTP will work through even the most apparently momentous problems with the same logical demeanor and furrowed brow that they would display when filling in their expenses.

A problem is simply a problem and it will have a logical answer. Try and flatter an INTP and they will become very suspicious. Give an INTP a compliment and they’ll think, ‘what’s s/he after!’ They are very good at evaluating, seeing the flaws in any argument or the downside in any situation and their cup is always half empty, never half full.

The ultimate pragmatists INTPs are not marathon runners but sprinters and so will work in short bursts of energy and during such periods the emphasis will be on getting it done. They get extremely bored by routine preferring to focus on the bigger issues, the conceptual, the problematic and the logical and they will work long and hard at such issues. However their boredom threshold is low and once the activity becomes mundane, maintenance or about follow-through, the INTP will once again disappear into their own world of ideas, possibilities and the complex.

INTPs are thoughtful, analytical characters. They may disappear so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them, and the people in it. Precise, formal and proper, INTPs will often correct others should any shade of meaning be even slightly ambiguous. They may not want to do ‘it,’ but if it must be done then it should, MUST, be done properly, according to agreed protocol.

The open-endedness (from Perceiving) coupled with the need for competence (NT) is expressed in a sense that his conclusion may well be met by an equally plausible alternative solution, and that they may very well have overlooked some critical piece of information. An INTP arguing a point may very well be trying to convince themselves as much as the opposition. In this way INTPs are markedly different from INTJs, who are much more confident in their competence and willing to act on their convictions.

Getting to the heart of 'the truth' is extremely important to the INTP but will be as far as they will probably want to take it. That they know the truth, that they could demonstrate it is enough for them and they do not feel any need to prove it or to go further and demonstrate it, to other people, indeed that would not be the INTP way. Knowing they are right is all the INTP needs and then they can turn their thoughts privately to other logical, and interesting, activities. One INTP friend will only have lunch if it means sitting down with a ‘proper’ knife and fork, with ‘proper’ being the key word for him, obsessed with the ‘right’ ways of doing things and ‘right’ can be defined as what the INTP has concluded after much logical deliberation.