i am an INTP. i am interested in the thought process of our type. so i am using myself as my own test subject. here are my thoughts. your thoughts are welcomed.
i just received this private message: recently someone on the intp subreddit called your writing pretentious. I read through your archive and enjoyed and identified with a lot of it. I still haven’t decided if I agree with them as I see how a few of the things you talk about can be seen as pretentious or arrogant. Im wondering how much of it is controversial but true and how much is an emotionally satisfying rationalization. i guess i’m trying to gauge your level of self awareness before following your blog.
to which my response would be. i care very little about what other people think or feel about my words. if they view them as pretentious or arrogant then so be it. i care not. as stated on the home page of my blog these are MY thoughts not those of anyone else. i have never asked for people to agree with me nor do i care if they do. we all think and feel how we do based on our own opinions. and so when you read my blog you are reading how i view things. again…how…I view things. there is no emotional satisfying rationalization as i do not require that. i am old enough to be comfortable with myself and am well aware of who i am that i do not look to public view for some sort of confirmation of my thoughts. this is how i am. and if someone sees that as being arrogant…oh well. dont read what i put out. however the person that sent this to me gains my respect by vocalizing their words to me. but i cannot and wont ever make apologies for who i am and how i think. no one should for that matter.
so i have just finished talking about how i relate and do not relate with my INFP and INTJ friends. these three friends of mine are the closest in type to me considering that they all are only one letter off…and yet what a difference that makes in how we interact and how i interact with the three of them on different levels. again i would say that had i an ENTP then my collection would be complete. perhaps that position will be filled one day.
not to diminish the relationships that i have with the last two types. but it can be said that the ISTP and me (INTP) have more in common mentally and we communicate in nearly the same way with one another. there are some differences that arise in our lives, but since we both seek a mental and intellectual friendship without any strings attached, it works out very well. not to say that i would prefer that type of friendship with every friend that i have. but for the ISTP and i…this works out very well. and as i describe this relationship…it is going to be…abnormal. however. that is precisely how we like it. lets begin.
firstly my ISTP is of the fairer sex. she and i have known each other the longest out of my three type friends. and that does not mean that she has an advantage over the others because of that…its just a fact. she and i became friends and grew close. which led to everyone around us speculating that we were drawing close in a romantic way. when we received wind of these rumors…the idea was so preposterous we laughed almost in shock over it. and then after the laughter…we felt disgusted at the idea. the thought had literally never crossed our minds. and then we went on our merry way.
im going to describe her differently from the other two. i could start off talking about her introversion compared with mine. but its safe to say that it is nearly the same. with the exception that she is married…and her recharge from society includes being at home with her husband and dog. and again a process that needs about a day to take place and then shes good to go for a while. like myself. and like me she is constantly mistaken for an extrovert. people are distracted….and by purpose….with our extrovert masks. slipping in and out of society and introverting our true thoughts and feelings…wearing a mask for whatever situation we find ourselves in with the intent of discovering new information and data or just to simply make it through the evening.
now lets analyze how we operate. and i use this word with purpose as we both operate with robotic precision…though again, behind our human faces. after all. INTPs and ISTPs are very similar in this way. when breaking down our types along side one another she and i are both Introverted Thinkers. both of these are our dominate cognitive functions. INTPs and ISTPS are the only one of the types with Introverted Thinking as their Dominate. this is clearly evident in our friendship as this is really and truly how we became friends in the first place. and it can be said that in those early moments we most likely had never until then encountered another person with this Dominate trait. when we are together and locked in an in depth conversation we tend to forget about others that are around us. and this even means that we forget that others are even a part of the same conversation. to us we are the only ones speaking as we are connecting almost on a telepathic level. and then when another person adds their comments we…and i almost hate to admit it….humor them to a degree and take what they are saying as a kindness to them…but secretly we both nearly disregard whatever it was that they added as we have both either…thought of the same idea hours ago or both know that whatever was said was irrelevant to the deeper conversation that is taking place below the surface that the outsider is not even aware is happening. the ISTP and i peel away layers and layers of thought and care little about how long we take to do it. there have been times where we were socializing in group settings…dinners…parties what have you…and we become dead locked in an examination of a topic….soon we come out of our trance and realize that everyone else has left or are on the verge of leaving and we were unaware despite their attempts to alert us.
in comparison the INFP and the INTJ utilize Extroverted Thinking. for the INFP Extroverted Thinking is her Inferior Function…and for the INTJ it is his Auxiliary Function. this type of Thinking is great for jumping from topic to topic and analyzing multiple broader subjects. so usually when i find myself conversing with the two of them we jump from topic to topic and analyze maybe half way down into a topic before branching off into something else. yet with the ISTP„, as we are both Introverted Thinkers… we will spend the entire night talking about one subject until we have scrapped the bottom and there is nothing left about it to be said. in doing this we take each little microscopic detail…look at it under a light and a magnifying glass…know it completely and then do the same until is fully understood to our liking. i think this is why we get lost in conversation and it takes us so long to talk about one thing. i cannot relate the amount of times people have entered a room and said…”you two are STILL talking??” to which we usually ignore them. partly because we werent even aware of their presence in the first place. she and i communicate non-verbally quiet often. i will touch on this later but our last functions are Extrovert Feeling. notice that people with this function have significant facial expressions that determine either how they feel or think on something. for us since it is our last function…though the expressions be slight we have the ability to read each other very well and so we use this as a means to communicate…even with slight movements of the eyes.
after our dominate functions the ISTP and i differ. she being an Extrovert Sensor and me using Extroverted Intuition. a staple of an Extrovert Sensor is that they will take the time to be good at things like sports. and these aspects of our types are what sets the major differences in the two of us. now because im Extroverted Intuition this means that after my Introverted Thinking…which has the craving for exploring a topic till its dead and in the ground…i do enjoy scattered multiple ideas and topics especially abstract and unknown or even developing new ones. which allow me to hang with the INFP and INTJ. this also seems to effect the ISTP and my likes and dislikes. and this makes her and my relationship even that more interesting. we have nothing in common in that area. nothing at all. i cannot honestly think of one thing that she and i can do together for fun that we both enjoy. she loves the beach…i would rather be in the mountains. she loves sports and is very good at them…ISTPs are known for being professionals at sports. this is why sometimes in pictures they are depicted as ninjas. i could not care less about sports but i love backpacking and rock climbing. something that allows me physical exercise but fuels my idealistic and adventurous spirit. and she is not interested in the least concerning camping or exploration. but we do meet in the middle at running. in fact that was something that we at one time did together and was probably the ONLY thing that we ever had in common as far as activities.
we both like to read but we read completely different things. shes into real life…true crime…factual realistic novels and mysteries. im into sci-fi and fantasy. we come together however in psychological thrillers and anything that touches on the study of someones mind. she hates going to the movies and i love it. her words are…”why would i want to go sit in a room with you for two hours and waist the time that we could be talking about something?” and thats not just with me thats with people in general. i can remember twice she and i went to movies that she actually wanted to see. they both however had main characters that she related with and i think for her seeing them was mainly part of a psychological study…at least thats most likely how she justified it in her head. while i can sit in a theater with a friend and watch a great film and have that connection with someone next to me as we are both having this experience together.
now not to put myself on a pedestal but this is in fact…..just a…well a fact. i will bow down to her intelligence and give her the credit to see things in a way that i do not. but i have noticed that i have the capacity for grasping more abstract thoughts and ideas in a way that she cannot. i think this is most likely why she comes to me often for advice and counsel. and for the most part i dont have to say much other than…”yes that is how i would view this as well.” almost to get rid of her self doubt. and then at times offering my point of view and adding in that last piece that she was missing. a piece that is floating around aimlessly. which is an area that she has little ability to work in. me on the other hand…well of course we know that INTPs are more than equipped to work in that regard.
lastly we come together and are similar in our last function of Extroverted Feeling. it kinda makes me laugh when i look at a graph and see that poor little F at the bottom and its so small compared to the other functions. i will say….and i am not being sexist…but it is true that women are more emotional than men. even in the Feeling world an F man is less emotional….for the most part. we cant say always. this being said she and i deal with our emotions in nearly the same way. and yet she is slightly more feeling than me. both of us are not swayed by someones sad story. in fact sometimes when someone comes to us with a sad tale of absolute woe, she might look over at me and roll her eyes. to which i… half smirk. we arent being mean…but we both have such control and instant understanding of our feelings and where they belong and we are aware of that in the other…its amusing for us to be with each other and know that we both are thinking the same thing. we both care little for titles or social norms. to know us you wouldnt think that…but we both agree that it can be exhausting to do the normal things….simple things like small talk or greetings and goodbyes. we live a large distance away now and so this seems to fit our friendship style even better. i cannot explain how refreshing it is to have a friend that will call and just instantly start talking about whats on their mind or the reason for the call without having to share in the small talk or the opening lines of “hello how are you?” and then when we are finished saying a real quick. “ok bye” click. and then we go about our business. we certainly are friends of the minds. the mental friendship that we have is one that i value very highly. its interesting to think that we dont even view one another as male and female or that our ages are separated by a large gap or that there is a great distance in our locations (after she moved away). the mental friendship that we have makes all of those other “social norms” irrelevant. by her i think that i can almost understand what it must be like to have an INTP friend. and yet still….maybe not. but its close.
i suppose i am done with this study on the three types that are close to mine and just so happen to be my friends. interesting how they are all three so different from one another. and yet they all connect to me in ways that are important and relevant to my own type. what makes it even more interesting for me is that all three of them do not fall into the socially normal group of age, gender and location specifications of what a man of my age would normally be drawn to for friends. though i do have friends that are closer to my age and of the same gender and are a little more….normal….i know that i do not connect with them as i do these three. and i wonder that about other INTPs. do you seek out people for friends based on these qualification? or do you have friendships with people that you value that are not what you would call “typical” friend partners? i would be interested to know.
if you are just now seeing this post then you must know that this is the second of three parts. i am making a study of the three friends that i have that are the closest in personality types to myself. me being an INTP and them being an iStp…inFp and an intJ. if only i had an Entp them my collection would be complete. alas i do not…for now. my last post was comparing how i relate with my INFP and how i see our similarities and differences. now im going to do the same with the INTJ.
the INTJ and me.
its interesting how going from an F friend to a T friend really causes you to shift nearly entirely the way that you interact with them. observing the INFP and the INTJ interact with each other is also interesting as their conversation style is different from mine with both of them. its completely fascinating how humans interact with one another, and personality types is a tool that i utilize to understand that behavior even better. well lets analyze the basics.
the INTJ and i are both introverts. again…like the INFP he and i have similar and different connection to being an introvert. first we both need to be cut off from people in order to recharge ourselves after prolonged social interactions. where we differ is that, again…i am more extreme in the sense that i must be completely and utterly alone. and again really only for a short amount of time for me to recharge myself. for him it varies but in a small degree. his solitude is that he must be in a place where people are not directly engaging him. the stipulations for this however means that he can be in public places but not in a close space like a coffee shop but in an open area like a park. i have wondered but not said to him…that perhaps the physical closeness of people in his “physical comfort zone” is the rule for this. yet he has also stated that in his recharge phase he is perfectly fine being in the presence of a friend or family member, maybe even in the same room, as long as they are not engaging one another. so if he were at home recharging his batteries he would rather either be alone…or to be in the presence of someone that does not “bother” him in some way. that “bothering” him can be anything from someone attempting to engage him in conversation that he is not interested in or simply being in the vicinity making unwanted noise. on rare occasions however when he is feeling drained on top of just being in a foul mood he reverts to my form of introversion, and must cut himself off completely. again though..this is rare.
with the INFP i can relate to her via our auxiliary and tertiary functions. the interesting thing about INTJs and INTPs…is that we have NO functions in common…and yet we arrive at similar conclusions and i have found this to be true with my INTJ. i do have to say that he is a milder J than most INTJs that i have met. some that i have encountered have that stereotypical INTJ way about them as if they are far superior to everyone around them. it can be said that not all of them are that way. not saying that my INTJ isnt at times arrogant and overly sure about certain things. for the most part i think that how he interacts with me is different from how he does with people that he is more familiar with..such as his family. when i observe him with his family his TJ really takes over and that complete unrelatability with his and their emotions is so evident that its just text book. its so textbook that it makes me laugh…internally of course. he and i have had numerous discussions about people and the one piece of data that he almost always…nearly every time…fails to take into account is… their emotions. there are times where he sees things in black and white. so i have made it my job to introduce him to the colors of people. understanding that, in order to achieve a full understanding of someone that you must take into consideration their emotions as part of the equation. tracing that can lead you to understand motives behind behavior. he almost always spear heads a situation directly to an answer using his ironclad thoughts. sometimes moving quickly over smaller details and labeling them as irrelevant or missing them all together. and then when he and i talk about it together i manage to get him to see those smaller things and realize their importance to the big picture. whenever i bring something out such as this in order to explain why something happened or could happen based on each little piece and why its important to the conclusion…he wags his index finger in the air and says “Right.” as if to agree with me and then adding that into his head as a piece he had failed to notice.
our conversations are different from the INFPs and mine in the sense that she allows me to explore human emotion so that i can better understand it for future reference and for myself. conversations and discussions with him however are laced with his TJ thoughts being said openly and straight forward and my TP thoughts mixing in and adding some color to his black and white. visually i see his thoughts as an armored knight attempting to make it to his destination in the quickest way possible. and then my thoughts as a robed scholar in bare feet taking him the long way around through a forest or a winding path and then arriving at the same goal, but showing him things that he otherwise would have overlooked. at the end he might be annoyed that it took so long…but he cant deny that he was enlightened along the way.
communicating with him one on one is different from one on one with the INFP. as i said before i have learned to reign in my bluntness with her. and not to keep a part of myself private from her as if i dont think she can handle that. yet i hold some blunt statements back from her because it isnt her way and i speak in a manner that allows her to understand my thoughts, explaining the background behind the bluntness. with the TJ however its different. and in fact sometimes i have caught myself being MORE blunt than i would typically be. the INTJ has no problem with just plainly saying…”their just stupid!”…. now. while i might think that someone is indeed….stupid….i for the most part think it…and then wonder: why are they being stupid? and then start a process to understand why and at the end remove the “stupid” label and replace it with an answer backing up their actions. and yet i find that when he and i are talking about people i am more apt to label then as he does. or verbalize my initial judgments about someone before i have gathered all the data to cushion those judgments. to which he replies…”how very J of you.” touche INTJ….touche.
one interesting thing that the INTJ does…which i cant decide if this is a J quality only or not. i have never seen a P do this but i have seen nearly every FJ or TJ that i know do it at some point. but the INTJ does it so much that its almost a staple for him…if he knows it or not, i do not know. in retelling events or conversations that he has had…he nearly always misreads tones or facial expressions. and by misread i mean that he usually puts a negative spin on things that in actuality do not. or he might read a message from someone and read it wrongly. example. he read a message that i had sent to someone and we were talking about it. when he said my words back to me as he was reenacting what i said…he said it with a very hateful and sarcastic tone as if that is how i meant it. which i of course did not and do not say things to people in the manner that he relayed it back to me. it was almost as if he took my words and then put a J spin on them. i think he is becoming aware of it though now that i think about it, because sometimes he will be relating something to me and repeat something someone said in his J sarcastic voice…then go back and say…”well maybe they didnt say it like that.” then why say it that way to start with? again i am not certain if this is strictly a J quality but most of the ones that i know do this. so thats all the data that i have to go on in that regard.
i think other types misread our typed messages (at least for me as an INTP) and words and forget that when we say something, its almost always even toned and with a neutral voice. if we are overly sarcastic and harsh sounding…its because we are making a joke. we view everything and everyone as something to understand…void of biased opinion. and there it is. thats the core of our differences. we both want to understand people and things. we want that knowledge. he likes to put labels on things. and i like to take them apart and see whats making it move. then ill hand it to him… and let him put a label on it. by the time hes done that…ive found something new. i suggest you find you an INTJ. mess with their heads. its a lot of fun. and surprisingly easy.
its been a good long while since i last threw my thoughts about a topic out in type. and so now i will do that. ive been thinking a lot lately about how we relate to different types. i do not know any other INTPs in real life. obviously this blog has allowed me to interact with INTPs from around the globe, but still…yet to meet one in person. however i do have three friends that are all just one letter different from me and i find that i can relate to all three of them but in different ways and yet still not fully getting to the level of complete understanding that i might be able to achieve with a fellow Introvert Intuitive Thinking Perceiver. so im going to show how i have been able to relate and not relate with the three of them. sadly i do not know even an Entp. so these three are the closest ones that i have to my own type. im going to start off with the INFP since she is a feeler and i would later like to compare the ISTP and the INTJ on some level.
this blog will be in 3 parts. since talking about all three would make this a long read. so hopefully you all stay tuned and read the next two posts.
the INFP and me…INTP.
ive known a couple of INFPs over my life but i think that she and i have became closer friends than the rest. and partly because she is interested in many of the things that i am as well. so there is a strong pull in our friendship to things that we have in common. i think that really this was the foundation for her and i becoming friends.
things that we have in common as far as types:
first since we are both Introverts we share very similar views on social situations. we both have agreed that while we would rather be at home reading a book or watching a movie…that we have the ability to put on that extrovert mask and be a host…or interact at a party or other social gatherings. and we both agree that at the end of such gatherings that our energies are diminished to such a level that we need time alone to restock those reserves. however we are both so well mastered playing the extrovert that when people find out that we are introverts they are either shocked or think we are lying. common misconception but thats alright.
now here is where we are different in our introvertness. after i have had large amounts of socialization and have worn my energy down to empty. i have to be completely and utterly alone from everything to re-energize. that even means from outside noises and sounds. its distracting to me mentally and i cant regain what i lost if i dont. it takes about a day for that process to be completed and then im good to go for a while longer. she on the other hand only needs to be left alone and not approached directly. meaning that she can find alone time in a public places like a coffee house or a park. she can go there and read or listen to music and even people watch. to her that is alone time. she and i talked about that and i explained that even in that situation that my mind would be drawing in information and data and i would be distracted so much by people around me that its nearly the same as if i were directly interacting with them. and thats really just my brain constantly pulling automatically information from anything that moves around me. so for me to feel alone…i have to actually be alone.
now since INTPs and INFPs share the same auxiliary and tertiary functions…we have much in common when it comes to drawing in information and then applying it in some way. these being Extroverted Intuition and Introverted Sensing. this gives her and i common ground when it comes to analyzing and discussing a situation or problem. however even then we both notice things that the other might miss and i think that allows us to take counsel with one another giving a larger picture to us both as we both see things the same, but then pick up aspects that the other does not. since i will always start off viewing things from a clean logical point of view she will in turn be looking at the same thing that i am…holding it in the same light and drawing information in the same way. but her feeling side grabs things that i do not. and so does my logical side that her feeling side does not. in effect i have discovered that when she and i put our heads together to look something over in detail…we come to such a complete and accurate conclusion that its surprising to think that it was done with a F and a T collaborating.
the interesting thing to our discussions is that we both have moments where our conversation darts around sometimes into meaningless babble about something that is completely unrelated. our J friends find this confusing and they have a hard time keeping up at times as we bounce around from topic to topic. and yet we always come back to the main point as she or i will remind the other about the point that we were trying to make. i have to admit that conversing with another NP is always fun and something that i look forward to as you never know what you will end up talking about and then drawing the lines between it all to make it come to a conclusion is great fun.
now the main difference obviously is the F and T. we have gotten used to one another by this point but i think still there are several times when we can not fully grasp the others meaning behind certain thoughts because of this difference. she obviously views things from her heart and her emotions come first when looking at a situation. i have learned…weather she is aware or not…to use certain words and tones in my voice when speaking to her so that she is not offended or take what i am saying in the wrong way. although i generally have to do this too with my INTJ friend. the only one that gets my humor and tones and way of speaking completely out of the three is my ISTP friend. but thats for later. with the INFP i am still very blunt and to the point. but i think i hold back part of that to a degree more so with her than the other two. not because shes soft and emotional. but because its not part of her language. i pull in my matter of a fact tone because i think that in not doing so that my points and thoughts would be misunderstood and she would become distracted by my plainness and not hearing what i was trying to say.
however she does have a great capacity for logical complex thought and can utilize that thought herself, even though its not her first tool for thought. in the end she can do it when the time calls for it. and i find that i have less to say when she comes to that conclusion on her own. in fact ive noticed that our conversations get brought to an end sooner when she reaches that point and is drawing logical thought on her own without me adding to it. maybe its because in my own mind i see that she has reached the goal so to speak and there is no more for me to do aside from sit back and listen to her thoughts.
in the end however i am glad that i have an INFP on board. the INTJ her and i are together often and its nice to have her there to balance out the T in the room. and yet still able to put aside her own feelings when it calls for it and look at things from a nonjudgmental logical point of view.
if you dont have an INFP. then i suggest that you get one.
next ill be talking about the INTJ.
I wanted to answer this question publicly because this is something that I…and I am sure other people with the T preference are usually misunderstood by other with an F preference. And again these are my thoughts and how I connect to being an INTP as an individual. I cannot speak for all INTPs in the world.
To clarify first of all there is no “fear” or “revulsion” to expressing emotion. I am afraid to tell you that you are really over thinking it. And the answer is really quite simple. But before that I have to flip this around and understand yourself. I have an INFP friend and she has come a long way in trying to understand how my emotions operate. You see…for you and others like you, your emotions guide you. They are your main compass in life. My INFJ friend struggles with the idea that I do not allow my emotions to guide me in the manner they do him. And so from this lack of understanding F types therefore assume that we FEAR emotions. “Are you afraid to express yourself emotionally? Are you worried that you might get hurt? Why do emotions disgust you so much?” All of these statements are false. I do not fear them…they do not disgust me. And I do not think of my emotions harming me in some way if I decide to let someone else see them.
The cold fact is however. That to me. They are irrelevant. Emotions do have their part to play in my life. I HAVE emotions. Yes indeed I do. When and where I decide they are to be used outside of my own body is for my choosing if the situation calls for it. Now I am different from an INTJ who decides that ALL situations must have emotions removed in order for there to be a completely sound conclusion. My INTJ friend is this way. But as an INTP I am an empath. I have the uncanny ability to feel YOUR emotions if I need to understand your point of view. And so in a situation where more than one person is involved it is completely logical to take into account ALL points of view and ALL the small details in order to arrive at a complete and logical outcome. This at times calls that emotions be taken into part of the equation. Data in effect is EVERYTHING that can be taken in and understood and then translated into an answer. And that includes emotions.
So where some T types might view emotions as the way you just described. I can assure you that I do not…as an INTP. Again ME as an INTP…not us all. I use them just as I would use any other tool. We understand emotions quite well. Just as you as an INFP have the ability to understand logical thought and yet your are not afraid of it…or your do not turn your nose up to it. So is the same for us and emotions. Here is a picture that makes light of that subject and it makes me smile whenever I see. Not sure if I answered your question. But hope I shed some light into our world.