"INTP" Themes and Relationships
By Linda V. Berens Ph.D. and Dario Nardi Ph.D.
||INTP - Designer Theorizer
|Likely Social Style:
- Theme is designing and configuring.
- Talents lie in grasping the underlying
principles of something and defining its
- Seek to define precisely
and bring coherence to systems based on
the pattern of organization that is naturally
- Easily notice inconsistencies.
elegant theories and models for their own
sake and for use in solving technical and
- Interested in theorizing,
analyzing, and learning.
- Thrive on
exploring, understanding, and explaining
how the world works.
Themes and Relationships
for each Personality Type
by Linda V. Berens, Ph.D.
Dario Nardi, Ph.D.**
For Designer Theorizers, life is a process of becoming an
expert. And they almost never feel quite expert enough.
They enjoy reflecting on how things work, why they
work that way, and what makes them not work and then
really solving a problem, not just fixing it for now. They
also enjoy generating ideas and seeing new patterns and
elegant connections. These new connections activate
their talent for design and continual redesign. The clarity
they bring to defining problems as well as words helps
them go straight to the essence of a problem, a situation,
or a concept.
Their thought processes seem random, yet they are
logically coherent. It is as if they hold a matrix in their
minds with multiple connections, and their conceptualization
and design work often involves crossing the
arbitrary boundaries of thought and disciplines to
activate the imagination and picture the patterns.
Making discoveries is a better form of nourishment than
food, for without these, their intellect would starve.
These are the people who reflect on the process of
thinking itself and seek to produce an elegant design to
solve social as well as technical problems. Flashes of
insight truly energize them.
In the interpersonal realm, they also engineer
connections—connecting people with new ideas and
information and sometimes with others. For being such
basically solitary people, they have a surprising ability
to network people with people, usually around expertise.
They know who knows what and how well.
Their most satisfying relationships often come from
sharing knowledge. Even then, they frequently detach
to analyze a situation or problem before re-engaging.
Others often misread this detachment as not caring,
when often the analysis and problem solving are done on
behalf of the other person.
They often say they struggle with attending to the
physical world—like filing papers, dealing with repairs,
deciding what to wear, or maintaining their own bodies.
Even more, finding the right words to use to convey their
clarity of thought often eludes them.
For Designer Theorizers, relationships are a lot about
expertise. They enjoy having a joint area of interest and
expertise to share. They often seek out relationships
to have different thoughts and experiences. Disruption
that comes with conflict and strong emotion keeps
them from thinking clearly, so they avoid confrontation
unless it is necessary. Frequently they may find
themselves lacking the interpersonal skills they need,
and relationships can become competitive. Their
penchant for precisely defining words, clarifying
ideas, and pointing out inconsistencies can be wearing
at times even if it is in the best interest of the other
person, the group, or the project. A calm, conflict-free
environment is preferred, and consultative relationships
are preferred over hierarchical ones.
In their close relationships, they need autonomy,
with the perspective that nobody has the right to “let”
them do or not do anything. The notion that there is a
role they are supposed to serve can be a surprise and
a shock, and a relationship can feel like bondage if
too many traditional roles are imposed. Traditional
roles can interfere with their intellectual needs. The
challenge for them in a relationship is to not be
robotic and preoccupied with constant analysis and
work or hobby interests. They may self-sacrifice for
the relationship, sticking with one person in spite of
difficulties. They can be very supportive about giving
each other independence and going the extra mile to
support that independence.
This concludes "Themes and Relationships for INTP,"
A Personality Type Description.
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