If you’re an INTP personality type, you’re a highly rational and fiercely independent person. You may feel different from others because your personality type is actually quite rare—INTPs make up only 3 percent of the population (female INTPs are even rarer than males). Like the famous physicist Albert Einstein, who is thought to be an INTP, you’re drawn to the discovery of subjective truths and universal law. It was Einstein who said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Are you an INTP personality type? Here are 12 signs that you are. (Keep in mind that typology describes general personality characteristics. Your background and experiences make you an individual, so you may not relate to every point but nevertheless be an INTP. Try our quick, free test to learn more about your personality type.)
1. You’re a seeker of truth. You wish to uncover the underlying universal law behind everything you encounter. To you, life is a complex puzzle to be solved. You’re especially fascinated by what motivates others and makes them tick.
2. You take intellectual matters seriously. You devour books, articles, and podcasts on the subjects of philosophy, religion, psychology, evolutionary theory, and anything else that interests you. Isabel Briggs Myers, who helped create the Myers-Briggs personality system, wrote in her book, Gifts Differing, ”INTPs are perhaps the most intellectually profound of all the types.” But the cultivation of knowledge is not all a solemn matter for you—you’re intellectually playful, quirky, and open-minded. You have an almost child-like awe and wonder of the world.
3. You make decisions by asking, “What makes analytical sense?” You value logical thinking more than emotion. For example, you’re more persuaded by an argument that is based on research rather than one that uses emotional or inspirational appeals.
4. But it’s not that you don’t have emotions. It’s just that you place them at a lower priority than rational thought. You’re actually quite genuine and personable when you feel comfortable with others. Sometimes you worry about how others will take something, so you don’t share your true thoughts and observations out of fear of hurting their feelings. You’re flexible and open-minded, so you rarely get angry, but when you do, others should watch out—you can be a powder keg of an explosion.
5. You can quickly locate any logical inconsistencies in a belief system or argument. You’re always noticing when information doesn’t add up. You can easily poke holes in others’ arguments or beliefs. When you express what you see, others may think you’re criticizing them, but to you, it’s not personal because you’re simply trying to get at the truth. You want accurate information yourself, so you figure others do, too.
6. As an introvert, you don’t let everyone in. You may conceal part of your personality—your highly rational and cerebral side—and only a few people are granted full access to your private inner world. You tend to vet others before letting them see the real you. However, once you sense that someone is no real danger, you can develop intimacy at a surprising speed.
7. You’re indifferent to the particulars of everyday life. You don’t care for small talk or discussing the everyday matters of people’s lives. Gossip doesn’t interest you. Sometimes you struggle to connect with others because you have no desire to play social games. Yet when someone gets you talking about a topic that interests you, you can become quite loquacious.
8. You may struggle to find a career that fits. You dislike corporate culture and the organizational life. If you keep your highly cerebral side private, you may feel that others don’t recognize your true competence and knowledge. Many INTPs find satisfying work as freelancers or entrepreneurs because they prefer to work outside the system.
9. You’re so independent that sometimes you wonder if you actually need other people in your life. But you do. Your independent projects only take you so far, and you may eventually realize that you feel empty without a few close connections. You value partners and friends who are intelligent, creative, and open-minded. Ideally, your closest intimates are people who share your specialized interests, so you can co-explore truth together.
10. You like simple living arrangements. You prefer living on less rather than more. You may shy away from serious financial obligations, like buying an expensive home or taking out loans, because you fear these will diminish your sense of freedom.
11. You’re suspicious of conventions and you’re far from traditional. Highly individualized and independent, you’d rather reason out your own way than go with the crowd. In fact, you relish breaking apart conventional ideas that others take for granted. You don’t understand how anyone can hold onto theories or ideology that have been proven illogical.
12. At your best, you change the way reality is perceived. Along with Einstein, the famous philosopher Socrates was probably an INTP. With their ideas, these men have changed the way whole societies see reality, showing that mature INTPs can be powerful thinkers.
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