What's It Like To Be an "INTP"

A Self-Portrait Personality Type Description for INTPs**

By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.

Personality Type:    INTP - Designer Theorizer
Temperament:   Theorist (NT)
Interaction Style*:    Behind-the-Scenes
Likely Social Style: Amiable

How to read these Self Portrait Personality Type Descriptions

I want to know the truth and get down to the bottom of things. It’s an internal life, living in the head, theorizing constantly about how things work.

I can link many thoughts and shoot off in multiple directions at once in an attempt to clarify and explain things really well or to try to represent the fullness of who I am and all the different things I can do and can’t do. I like to design—not just implementation but the stuff before that. There is a goal, a theme, and I start from that and work through the specifics one by one, keeping the whole thing integrated as I go, until I come up with “the elegant solution.” Often when I talk to people they only get from me a few steps—one, thirteen, a hundred. That’s all that gets verbalized, and what’s very clear to me either I’ve forgotten or find unnecessary to say out loud, which can come across as confusing at times.


Self-Portrait
Personality Type Descriptions by
Linda V. Berens, Ph.D. and
Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**
ISTJ

 

I am very knowledge and big picture oriented. I want to bring everything that can be known into understanding a problem or situation. I enjoy working with those who think like I do but verbalize better. We can end up leaping forward rapidly and building off of ideas, asking questions with an answer in mind but wanting to verify things and learn more. If I am knowledgeable in that area, I always have something to add, to help better understand the idea and add something new. Although sometimes, even when I know we agree, people feel like I am trying to challenge them, which is frustrating because I am just doing it out of excitement. I try to understand all the variables and possible influences and then apply as broad a range of information as I can bring to the problem, to impact why the problem exists. I am interested in developing new skills and trying new ideas with those skills, and I am a good team member, and yet sometimes a little group work can go a long way. Most of all, I love to learn.



Central for me is honesty and integrity, especially intellectual integrity. If it’s not an honest approach to the issue at hand or to the relationship or organization, then it becomes an illusion—it only appears to have substance. I respect people who are genuine, honest, and open and doing what they are good at and what they enjoy and are up front about what is important to them.

I have a penchant for clarity. Some people say I’m hairsplitting, but there is value in precision.

I don’t like sloppy thinking, waste, and redundancy, and I am uncomfortable with sending out something that isn’t as good as it can be, but it has to go out anyway. I like things thought through. Incompetence just sets me right off. I have very little tolerance or patience, especially if the person is above me or isn’t really trying. I don’t think I push people any harder than I push myself and most people probably push less, which is where conflict comes in. Some people say my standard may be way out of whack and I assume the other person is competent. I like to avoid conflict at all possible costs, but if it reaches a point where I can’t go anywhere unless this gets resolved, then I will jump in and take care of it. That takes me a long time and I will go miles out my way to avoid that. It’s an ongoing decision between fairness and not letting people walk all over me.

There is this constant balancing act between selfconfidence and questioning myself. Sometimes I feel secure and comfortable about knowing and thinking about and recognizing a lot and knowing how to learn new skills and ideas and concepts. But I have an almost instant ability to detect limitations—not knowing enough, picking out what’s missing, adding in an alwayspresent feeling that it’s not quite right, and not knowing everything there is to know with insufficient time to learn everything that is important.

I can be seen as too unfeeling, too quick to start into work with not enough basis laid out for the day, and I’m not much for the personal amenities or socializing. Yet it is important that others are aware they are important to me. It’s not the first thing, but it’s in my awareness. I tend to try solving personal problems all by myself. Then sometimes I wind up without accurate information from others or about how it will affect others. I believe there must be an answer or a solution if I can just figure it out.

This concludes "What's it like to be an INTP,"
A Self Portrait Personality Type Description.

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**The Personality Type Description shown above is wholly owned and copyrighted by the authors Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D. and is used herein with their permission.

For a complete set of Personality Type Descriptions by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi please see: "The 16 Sixteen Personality Types - Descriptions for Self-Discovery"

*Interaction Styles as developed by Linda Berens, is a powerful lens with which to better understand people. For a complete understanding of Interaction Styles see:
"Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to Interaction Styles"

Practitioners, Organizational Development Consultants, HR Managers, Leadership and Teamwork Trainers,
click here for professional level training by Linda Berens in:
Interaction Styles, Temperament, and Personality Type