Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving (INTP) is a deep and powerful personality type.
Whether or not you’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and other personality assessments, you may be wondering if you’re really an INTP and wanting to confirm it.
Here are the key signs that you’re definitely an INTP.
1) You’re highly introspective and thoughtful
As an INTP, you often feel a bit out of place.
You tend to avoid social situations and would rather watch a deep documentary or read an interesting book than have fun at a party.
You’re not necessarily unfriendly or even socially awkward, you just generally prefer thinking and reflecting to talking and being around other people.
There’s a reason that you may feel like you’re in the minority as an INTP: because you are!
David Keirsey is a renowned psychologist who developed a type of personality test named the Keirsey Temperament Sorter based around similar parameters to the MBTI.
According to Keirsey, only about 5% of people are INTP, making it by far the rarest personality type of the 16 principle types.
In other words you don’t just feel like you’re a bit different, you actually are!
2) You have a small number of close friends
INTPs can be sociable and charming, but they don’t like to scatter their energy too much socially.
This leads to having a tighter and deeper friend network: quality over quantity every time!
The INTP’s closest friends are also likely to be fairly reserved and quiet themselves.
If you’re an INTP you like to make friends with deep thinkers from all walks of life, but also people who have high emotional intelligence and an intuitive grasp of things.
Whether you’re playing chess, talking about philosophy or hosting a book club, you’d rather spend time with a few people who share your interests than larger groups where you tend to feel unseen or bored.
3) You are fascinated by how things work
The INTP is especially strong in their analytical thinking capability.
As such, you are able to take subjects, issues and ideas and break them into parts until you understand how they all fit together.
If you want to study the Vietnam War, you’re not going to start by reading individual accounts from soldiers or civilians:
You’re going to start by considering the big picture and then dividing it up into understandable chunks:
History, religion, economics, social, political.
Then you’re going to look at every part individually and try to piece it all together into a rational thesis about what primary factors led to the war, including the French war in Vietnam prior to US involvement.
You also like to figure everything out before you take action.
If your computer is having a problem, for example, you’d rather do a disk defrag and run the antivirus for a few hours to eliminate basic issues before you move on to troubleshooting more specific possibilities.
4) You tend to shut down in stressful group situations
INTP individuals can actually be very comfortable and happy in groups when they feel accepted and at home.
But when you’re around a lot of people and the situation gets hectic, you tend to more or less shut down.
Too much shouting, random conversations, babbling and confusion and you’re already mentally checked out.
You just don’t have the energy or interest to deal with lots of people who aren’t really saying or doing things you find meaningful.
Whereas an extrovert might draw meaning and enjoyment from a large group, you find it hard unless you see the point of the group or feel inspired by it.
5) You need time to recharge after social situations
You may strike others as aloof or even unfriendly at times when you are actually just socially exhausted and need space.
As an INTP you need your time to recharge and recuperate after very intense or large social situations.
You find a lot of social interaction kind of shallow and unsatisfying, and you’re more interested in talking about deeper concepts or ideas.
You need your own space and freedom and sometimes a road trip or hike alone is your dream day.
People trying to rope you into social events or even be friendly may rub you the wrong way when you’re in this mode.
You need your space and your me time, you’re an INTP!
6) You’re slow to commit in romance
The INTP is highly perceptive and thinks deeply before jumping into any committed relationship.
If that’s you then you know exactly what I mean:
You have romantic feelings and fall in love, but you’re not into any type of mind games or mixed messages.
If you like someone and they’re not very clear about how they feel or are taking you on a run-around, you’re going to ditch them very quickly.
You’re interested in something real, but too much confusing emotional intensity or lack of clarity can leave you headed directly for the exits.
7) You’re passionate (about logic)
As an INTP almost nothing gets you more excited than logic and reason.
You can’t understand people who act purely on emotion and don’t care about logical reasoning.
Your time alone is often spending figuring out what you are sure is true and then working up to larger concepts about that.
“INTPs present a cool exterior but are privately passionate about reason, analysis, and innovation.
“They seek to create complex systems of understanding to unify the principles they’ve observed in their environments.”
As I mentioned earlier, the INTP likes to break things down into understandable chunks, but they then try to put those back together into a unified theory.
They don’t like to assume or jump to any conclusion, which is why they take everything apart before putting it back together (sometimes in new ways).
8) You find true believers baffling
The INTP is a person who builds beliefs and conclusions based on logic.
As such, you find those who hold a priori absolute beliefs very strange and confusing.
Even something as simple as the existence or non-existence of a God may strike you as too presumptuous.
You want to start from the beginning and figure out what’s even meant by the concept and why we care and then get into how we could actually know or not.
You want to come up with your own solutions and conclusions rather than those others have reached, and therefore find highly spiritual or religious people who believe received doctrine to be somewhat confusing.
9) You have a scientific and philosophical mind
Well known INTP’s include people like Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin and Abe Lincoln.
These are people who were deep thinkers and ideologically committed.
Descartes famously said “I think, therefore I am,” trying to link existence to the ability to think and influencing centuries of philosophy in the process.
Musk is currently in the middle of trying to transform the way we live, while Einstein revolutionized our entire understanding of reality.
You’re in great company.
The world of the INTP
The INTP is a great personality type to be.
Although people may find you a bit difficult to approach or understand at first, the friendships you have will be deep and meaningful.
You will be able to bring your own gifts to the world in unique and powerful ways that change the way all of us think and live.