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.
||INTP - Designer Theorizer
|Likely Social Style:
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.
Personality Type Descriptions
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
and Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**
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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