How to Speak "INTP"

  • Be prepared to consider as many options as possible, and anticipate that decisions which have been made may change as new information becomes available.
  • Challenge their creative problem-solving skills. INTPs seldom encounter a problem that they cannot solve. The trickier the issue, the more they will enjoy it, and the more energized they will become.
  • Give INTPs adequate time to "noodle" ideas around before expecting them to act on them.
  • If possible, spare them the boredom of working out the details. Instead, let them focus on the creative, more challenging aspects of a problem or situation.
  • Let them know that you respect their competence and expertise.
  • Respect their privacy and don't probe for information about their personal lives unless they are willing to share. Even close friends are wise to let the INTP initiate personal discussions.

from The Art of SpeedReading People, Tieger & Barron-Tieger


Private, intellectual, impersonal, analytical and reflective, the INTP appears to value ideas, principles and abstract thinking above all else. This logical type seeks to understand and explain the universe--not to control it! Higher education often holds a particular appeal to this type who tends to acquire degrees and amass knowledge over the entire course of life. Abstract or theoretical subjects are usually the INTP's cup of tea, and academic or research careers may seem attractive to this type. From science and math to economics and philosophy: just name the discipline, and you'll find INTPs perched on the loftiest rungs of theory and analysis. In whatever field they choose, INTPs take on the role of visionary, scientist or architect, and they usually prefer to make their contributions in relative solitude. The mundane details of life may be the INTP's undoing, since this type lives in a world guided by intuitive thinking. Often perceived to be arrogant and aloof, the quiet and sometimes reclusive INTP may have to struggle in the personal realm, as well, for feelings are not this type's natural forte.

from The Personality Page