Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I never want to commit to these,

but I seem to be an INTP. I mean, I'm a little on the line when it comes to I vs E, and when it comes to T vs F, and when it comes to P vs J, and even slightly with N vs S, but the profile for INTP seems to fit me most closely. Here, for my own personal use and for yours if you're as weirdly into psychoanalyzing other people as I am, are the excerpts from the descriptions of that personality type in Do What You Are.

ISTP and INTP: introverted thinking types:
Because they want to understand and make sense of the world, ISTPs and INTPs need work which allows them to make analyses--whether they are considering an abstract idea or a concrete project--in the most logical way possible.

INTP (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving), approximately 3-5% of the American population:
INTPs are conceptual problem solvers. They are intensely intellectual and logical, with flashes of creative brilliance.
Outwardly quiet, reserved, and detached, INTPs are inwardly absorbed in analyzing problems. They are critical, precise, and skeptical. They try to find and use principles to understand their many ideas. They like conversation to be logical and purposeful and may argue to the point of hairsplitting just for fun. INTPs are convinced only by logical reasoning.
INTPs are usually ingenious and original thinkers. They prize intelligence in themselves, have a strong drive for personal competence, and are interested in challenging other people to become more competent as well. INTPs are primarily interested in seeing possibilities beyond what is currently known, accepted, or obvious. They like to develop models for improving the way things are or solving difficult problems. They think in extremely complex ways and are better able to organize concepts and ideas than they are able to organize people. Occasionally, their ideas are so complex they have difficulty communicating and making others understand them.
Highly independent, INTPs enjoy speculative and imaginative activities. They are flexible and open-minded and are more interested in finding creative yet sound solutions to problems than they are in seeing those solutions made into reality.

Possible Blind Spots:
Because INTPs rely so heavily on their logical analysis, they can overlook what matters to others. If something is not logical, INTPs run the risk of dismissing it, even if it is important to them. Admitting to themselves what they really care about* will help them stay in touch with their true feelings.
INTPs are excellent at detecting the flaws in an idea but are more reticent about expressing their appreciation. (I am thinking/hoping that I don't actually come across as totally unable to express appreciation, but if not then it is a beautiful product of years of determined practice.) They can get bogged down on a minor flaw in one part of a plan and keep the entire project from moving toward completion because they refuse to let one illogical point remain within the whole. (Chloe goes crazy when we are having conversations and I just cannot let go of one tiny little point that seems completely insignificant to her.) When they turn their highly honed critical thinking skills on the people around them, their naked honesty may translate into unintended hurtfulness. They need to be told, and need to learn to ask, what matters emotionally to others. (Seriously, I have worked so hard at this.)
Because INTPs are fascinated with solving problems, they tend to be impatient with routine details and may lose interest in a project and never complete it if it requires too much follow-through or detail.** Turning their energy outward will enable them to gain sufficient practical knowledge to make their ideas workable and acceptable to other people.
INTPs sometimes feel inadequate when they try to live up to their own high standards of perfection. Learning to share those feelings with someone else*** can help them get a more realistic and objective view of themselves.

Using your strengths is easy. The secret to success for an INTP is learning to:
Be better organized, be patient with less intelligent people, and work at improving your social skills.
[end quotes.]

Okay, so INTP was me almost to a t. Not quite as completely me, but close in a lot of ways, is INFP--introverted intuitive feeling perceiving (3-4% of the American population).

INFPs value inner harmony above all else. Sensitive, idealistic, and loyal, they have a strong sense of honor concerning their personal values and are often motivated by deep personal belief or by devotion to a cause they feel is worthy. (That devotion part, not so much. I wish I could say that were true, but no.)
INFPs are interested in possibilities beyond what is already known and focus most of their energy on their dreams and visions. Open-minded, curious, and insightful, they often have excellent long-range vision. In day-to-day matters they are usually flexible, tolerant, and adaptable, but they are very firm about their inner loyalties and set very high--in fact, nearly impossible--standards for themselves...
Although they demonstrate cool reserve on the outside, INFPs care deeply inside. They are compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, and very sensitive to the feelings of others. They avoid conflict and are not interested in impressing or dominating others unless their values are at stake. Often INFPs prefer to communicate their feelings in writing, rather than orally. When they are persuading others of the importance of their ideals, INFPs can be most convincing.
INFPs seldom express the intensity of their feelings and often appear reticent and calm. However, once they know you, they are enthusiastic and warm. INFPs are friendly, but tend to avoid superficial socializing. They treasure people who take the time to understand their goals and values.

Potential Blind Spots:

Since logic is not a priority for INFPs (oddly, even though I really value logic, there are times when I choose to completely disregard it), they sometimes make errors of fact and can be unaware that they are being illogical (very rarely true of me). When their dreams become out of touch with reality, others may see them as flighty and mystical. INFPs do well to ask the advice of more practical people to find out if their ideas are workable and useful in the real world***
Because they are so committed to their own ideals, INFPs have a tendency to overlook other points of view (luckily, I am almost always aware of when I am doing this, and can step out of it. Or not step out of it.) and can sometimes be rigid. They are not particularly interested in physical surroundings (so untrue of me) and often are so busy that they fail to notice what is happening around them. (So true. Busy/distracted, whatever.)
INFPs may reflect on an idea much longer than is really necessary to begin a project. Their perfectionistic tendencies can lead them to refine and polish their ideas for so long that they never share them. This is dangerous, since it is important for INFPs to find ways of expressing their ideas. To keep from getting discouraged, they need to work toward becoming more action-oriented....
When INFPs are disappointed, they tend to become negative about everything around them. Trying to develop more objectivity toward their projects will help keep INFPs less vulnerable to both criticism and disappointment...
When INFPs don't express their negative opinions about ideas or plans, others can be mislead into thinking they agree with them. INFPs need to develop more assertiveness, and can benefit from learning how to offer honest criticism of others when needed.

From "As an INFP, career satisfaction means doing work that:"

Is in harmony with my own personal values and beliefs...
Is dont with other creative and caring individuals in a cooperative environment free from tension and interpersonal strive...
Allows me to help others grow and develop and realize their full potential...
Involves understanding people and discovering what makes them tick; allows me to develop deep one-to-one relationships with others
[end quotes.]

*Is, practically speaking, nearly impossible. I think a lot of the troubles I have when it comes to letting myself feel things is that I really dislike/am kind of terrified of how out of control emotions are. I mean, seriously, how do people deal with that? How do you let yourself feel things when you don't know what they might end up being or what will happen or where it will take you? And you can't even predict it, because emotions don't make sense. Whose stupid idea was THAT?

**Story of my life. This is the main reason I don't rock climb.

***Thanks, Sara!


  1. I ended up being an INTP also. However, depending on my mood my scoring changes as most of my responses ended up being "either this or that... but right now I feel THISTHISTHIS" when the other thing would really be just as likely for me to say on an average day. If that makes sense.

  2. I love that we have the same personality type on here. But yeah I usually waffle a LOT when taking the actual test. I just skipped it this time and said, "I or E? I'm introverted. Intuitive or sensing? *read descriptions* Intuitive." etc. Then checked the few I was torn between to see what description fit me best.