INTx Unleashed: INTP Survey Results

Last summer we released a program for INFs called INFx Unveiled. As a result, we received a deluge of correspondence from INTJs and INTPs asking when they were going to get a program to meet their needs.

Over the years that Personality Hacker has been in existence, we have become very aware of the unspoken needs of the INTs. Most suffer in silence or put on a brave face to deny the pain they experience when they receive criticism for being themselves.

I personally became aware of this deep wounding when someone asked my husband and I if we were ever lonely.

I responded, “Never.”

He responded, “Every day.”

I’m an INFJ, and he is an INTJ. It broke my heart that he was quietly carrying around that kind of loneliness. I had no idea.

I don’t think INTPs are any different. They may even feel more marginalized because their Feeling cognitive function is a blind spot for them.

Personality Hacker took immediate action in order to meet the needs of this important demographic. We sent out a survey to gather the information we needed to create a program specifically for INTs.

Over 630 INTPs and INTJs responded to the 14 questions in the survey.

In this series of two articles, we are going to share some of the most common responses we received from each type. I am addressing only a few of the questions from the survey in hopes of giving some insights into these oft misunderstood types.

The questions are:

  • What do you do really well?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you wish the world knew about you?

What Do INTPs Do Really Well?

Female INTPs:

  • Languages.
  • Math, Logic, and Computers. I’m also really good at predicting what people will do.
  • Acting (inferior Fe and Ne combined).
  • I see people and problems in a really clear light.
  • Focus/learning.
  • I’m good at giving advice. Most people find me to be open-minded and a good person to vent to since I take pride in staying objective.
  • Being open-minded to different people and different experiences.
  • People tell me I give good advice. I think that is because I completely ignore any and all emotional aspect and focus on the rational and logical.
  • Listening, keeping secrets, imagination, noticing patterns, and finding connections between things.
  • Analyzing macro-sociological trends, figuring out cause and effect, coming up with and refining theories.
  • Observing and remembering my observations.
  • Thinking, planning, logic, research, problem-solving, adaptability, being hilarious, sarcasm, surveys.
  • I love numbers, science, philosophy, and writing. I’m really good at asking “what if?” and making people see things differently.
  • Use humor to block emotion

Male INTPs:

  • I overthink everything.
  • Analysis.
  • I’m good at figuring things out and working through problems.
  • I can organize information, pattern recognize, and streamline data/uncovering underlying principles, and refining existing fields.
  • Finding flaws in logic, doing calculations, and nitpicking.
  • Problem-solve; Solve riddles; Spot patterns.
  • Data mining, scrubbing, and analysis.
  • I can manipulate and read people like a book. I’m constantly searching for answers, and the universe responds.
  • Keeping an open mind, meaning there are multiple ways to skin a cat.
  • I easily find inconsistencies, but I don’t know how to explain how it is inconsistent.
  • I dissect everything. I like to play devil’s advocate. Deadpan humor.
  • Reaching above average levels of knowledge on a topic of interest very quickly, identifying the most important pieces out of a large amount of information, motivating others with realistic and effective strategies.
  • Coming up with ideas that get me excited — particularly in art.

What motivates you?

Female INTPs:

  • I am always trying to do better, be smarter, healthier, etc. in order to have a more comfortable life style. If I want something done I have to do it myself, so my motivation is basic needs like rent, cooking food, sleeping well. Making my meager needs as cozy as can be.
  • I’m working on that right now. I don’t know if I can cope with my marriage, but I don’t know how to fix it, and I don’t know how to leave. I feel like I’m hiding in a shell. I love learning new things. I’m constantly curious, and love to share my discoveries and intersections with others. The internet was made for me – new stuff to discover, and a safe platform to share it.
  • I learned to say out loud what I am going to do next instead of just walking away from people when I think we are finished talking.
  • I’m motivated by my effect on the people around me, as well as my own health. I believe that the only way I can help others is if I first help myself.
  • I’m motivated by the future, by my desire to help people, and by a need to accomplish things. I want to be the best I can be and keep on growing, learning, and understanding.
  • When I come across something that doesn’t exist, but I really want it to. When I know something can be right or perfect if I just work on it.
  • I can’t be motivated by outside sources. I have to feel tired of the way I’ve been enough to want to actively change

Male INTPs:

  • The times I’ve engaged with the most energy has been when I’ve been able to see my path, all steps, in front of me from beginning to end and I’ve had a concept of what it would take.
  • With unclear steps, or no apparent path to success I can’t seem to find the motivation.
  • Family. Impact.
  • Intellectual Gratification.
  • Challenges. But nothing long term that actually changes how I live.
  • Injustice motivates me. I will not stand for hypocrisy or bullying. Ever.
  • You cannot live alone. That’s a fact.
  • My future motivates me. I have a drive to work hard so that I can have a comfortable life. My motivation usually comes from my own internal decisions and a need to feel or do better.
  • Work that truly challenges my brain. Like the idea of being a detective or scientist or someone who rules the world from behind the scenes motivates me. If I find a romantic partner who seems perfect then trying to explore depths with them motivates me as well.
  • Once I screwed up my exams at the end of high school because of complacency and family issues, I realized that I couldn´t simply expect to do well based on an old reputation. I had to work hard and go and take stuff I wanted. I also got tired of being in the background and started projecting myself more, because even though being very good at what you do is great, if nobody notices you, how are you going to get anywhere?

What do you wish the world knew about you?

Female INTPs:

  • We aren’t robots!
  • People assume that INTx are all these logical robots who are smart and analytical and they try to shove me in this non-feeling object box and I try to conform, and it hurts, and people don’t get that.
  • People are wrong when they assume I’m socially incapable. Sometimes I’m just disinterested.
  • Hmm, we’re smarter than the average person, and we have a lot of feelings.
  • There’s a method to the madness.
  • People assume I don’t care for others, while it’s quite the opposite. I am always trying to help them and be around when needed.
  • I prefer alone time.  
  • They think I´m an angry person. The truth is that it’s hard to make me angry.
  • My RBF. People think I’m smarter than I am. They believe that I think I’m better than them. I wish they knew that I actually like them.
  • People should try to dig deeper instead of relying completely on what they think they see on my surface.
  • We have emotions.
  • I really really don’t like talking to people who I’m not very familiar with.
  • We’re not angry or critical or upset or judging; we’re just trying to figure things (you, the situation, the universe, the correct action) out.

Male INTPs:

  • You can express anything to me as long as it’s said in a way that doesn’t feel like stakes are riding on it.
  • That when I’m by myself, it’s because I enjoy it and not because I’m depressed.
  • I’m not shy; they are boring.
  • They often don’t understand how much work it is for me to connect with my emotions, and I wish that the world knew that for some people, emotions are WORK, period.
  • I struggle to deal with emotions, but that does not mean I do not feel or do not care. I just need you to have patience and try to connect with me.
  • There is marketable value I can bring to the table if you’ll help facilitate it.
  • I’m not lazy or inept. I just like to be 100% sure before I act.
  • I enjoy both people and data equally. I like solving problems that impact lives.
  • I have so many interesting ideas in so many areas.
  • Even though I can be very stoic, I still feel emotions, quite a lot at times – I would love if people could understand my emotions, without me having to tell them.
  • We’re not jerks.
  • If I am being quiet/reserved around new people, I don’t dislike you; I just don’t know what to say!
  • I wish people knew just how sensitive I can be.

 

So there you have it. Real INTPs weighing in on their deepest thoughts and emotions. My intention in sharing these quotes is so other INTPs can gain inspiration and clarity. Please feel free to share your personal insights to these questions in the comments below.

If you found the above quotes enlightening, you should check out our new program INTX Unleashed where we interview 6 high performing INTs and explore their strategies for hacking into their personalities and using their strengths as springboards to greatness.

 

Showing 8 comments
  • Alan
    Reply

    Something I am really good at:

    Figuring out how to solve a problem, detailing one or more routes to one or more solutions, and then wandering off before any solution becomes a reality. There is always another tantalizing idea nearby…

    Can any fellow INTP’s relate?

  • Riki
    Reply

    When I discovered I’m intp first thing that shocked me was that we don’t have feelings and I couldn’t accept I’m intp because I actually am very sensitive especially to my close family and children and I think I pickup quickly when their not happy and will do anything to help them and figure out the problem ,I also worked with kids for quit few yrs I love their pureness and honesty and cuddling with them. The thing I did resonate strongly with is that I do look pretty blank on the outside and I have very hard time expressing feelings and giving sympathy.especially in the moment, and once I leave the situation i Sort of let myself feel emotions .if I do share emotions openly it means I feel very safe with that person and I like how that person will react to me.but it will be more with showing it not so much talking ,like il let them see me in tears or just in sad mood whereas others I’d never let and keep my blank face . Then after a day or two once my thoughts are clear I will go over with my partner what has bothered me then

  • Kaylah
    Reply

    As an INTP raised by two feelers as parents (INFP, ESFP) my parent’s usually assumed I was “stuffing” when I didn’t outwardly express my emotions. I was constantly encouraged to “let it out” without even necessarily understanding what “it” was. This was emensly frustrating for me and actually hindered my emotional growth. One thing I would like others to know, eapecially parents, is that not everyone is going to process emotion the same way.

    • Will
      Reply

      Interesting. I especially like that the INTP articles I have seen thus far here steer clear of generalisations like “INTPs all like anime” (Really? I find the art shoddy, the stories and characters flat. The stories running in my own head are far more engaging.) Or, “INTPs don’t care about/notice hygiene.” (Ok, I do pay less attention to my hair and beard length/style than some, and I’ve been known to skip multiple meals while in the grip of some project or problem, but seriously I do shower every day as a general rule.)

      As a borderline INTP/J, I would encourage one seemingly out-of-type activity: paintball/airsoft. There is a unseemly amount of satisfaction to be had analyzing the systems underlying player behavior on the field, then finding a willing walk-on group to enact your theories to devastating result. The other side will never see it coming.

  • David Lee Sellers
    Reply

    Regarding feelings: I wish that others knew how innocent and sincere our hearts really are. When we do open up to someone in our interpersonal world, we are 100% sincere in our connection and feelings for them. I’ve heard it called naive, but it’s not that. It’s that when we are with someone we are connected to we assume that you can be yourself, be open, be honest, truly express yourself. The thought is, “why would you lie or misrepresent your feelings with someone you love?” It’s always crushingly disappointing and extremely hurtful to us if someone betrays that kind of trust, respect and love. In part bc we internally don’t believe that you can really be open with others (we’re reticent from the outset as our default) and that we should have known better bc we know how people tend to be. I think ours is a defensive type at heart and much of our focus is on predicting the behavior of anything we observe, so as to make our environment as safe as possible so that we can be feel it’s okfor us to be more open. Just basically, if an INTP is open with their feelings with you, realize what an incredible gift that is and dishonor or abuse it.

  • Wee
    Reply

    I’m female, but it seems I agree more with the males, except maths.

  • Mel
    Reply

    I, as an INTP am almost relieved to read these insights especially by the female INTPs. I do have a lot of feelings. I trained in performing arts as a child and facial expressions used to be my most distinguishing feature as a dancer, courtesy Fe now I know.

    I am curious about what region of the world did majority of the survey respondents grew up in…

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Mel! We sent out the survey to all the INTs on our mailing list. These were people who would have had an account with us last October and whose account would have been tagged with an INTJ or INTP type. The majority of responders seem to be from countries where English is the predominant language: USA, Canada, UK, Australia.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt