6 Reasons Why INTP Personality Type Is One of the Quirkiest and Most Misunderstood

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intp personality type

INTP personality type is rare and special. People of this type are probably some of the quirkiest and most socially awkward individuals you could ever meet.

INTP is one of the Myers-Briggs types, a popular classification of personality types. It is based on one main principle: do you prefer one trait over another?

  • Introversion/I or Extraversion/E
  • Intuition/N or Sensing/S
  • Thinking/T or Feeling/F
  • Perception/P or Judgment/J

Many great thinkers with extraordinary minds and eccentric personalities were INTPs, with Albert Einstein being the most outstanding example of this personality type in its pure form.

So what makes INTPs be the way they are? Here are 6 reasons INTP personality type is one of the quirkiest and most misunderstood:

1. The romantic side of relationships doesn’t make much sense to INTPs

We INTPs are great analysts, so we are able to “see” through people. It’s not uncommon for us to give advice to our friends or predict the outcome of a relationship just by analyzing people’s personalities and behavioral patterns.

Yet, some other aspects of human relationships are simply beyond our understanding. Thus, the lovey-dovey side of a relationship is incomprehensible for us as we value things like respect, understanding and deep communication in the first place. So flowers, gifts, cute names and promises of eternal love don’t really make sense to us. An INTP can completely seriously say something like: “It’s not possible that he could fell in love with you so soon. Don’t fool yourself, love at first sight exists only in the movies!”

2. INTPs don’t get what social relations are about

Similarly, we are unable to understand how social relations work. We seek deep connection with other people and crave for meaningful conversations, so we see no point in maintaining relations with someone based only on the social necessity. It just doesn’t make sense to us why we should ask a neighbor how he or she is doing and how their weekend was, if we have nothing in common except for living in the same street.

Our way of thinking is simple: Why would I talk to someone if we don’t have anything interesting to discuss? It would be a waste of time. No need to say that this kind of behavior may be mistaken for disrespect and arrogance. But the truth is that we don’t hate or disrespect other people – we just don’t like having pointless, superficial conversations.

3. We physically can’t stand small talk

For the reasons described above, we don’t simply hate small talk – I would say, we are physically unable to participate in it. Our brain seems to have a switch button which automatically sets our mind into ignore mode when someone talks about insignificant stuff. So when we hear conversations about food, clothes, homemaking, etc, we just slip into our inner realm of thought, paying no attention to what is being discussed. At the same time, when someone is trying to have a small talk with us, asking something like “What did you eat for dinner?” or “How was your weekend?” we give a one- or two-word-answer and change the subject. This is another reason why a person with an INTP personality type may seem weird and even rude to others.

4. We are really scatterbrained and detached from reality

INTP personality type has a strong inclination towards deep thought. We love to reflect on the essence of being, life after death, nature of reality and other thought-provoking things. That’s why we can often be found immersed in our thoughts and detached from the reality. For this reason, we tend to be scatterbrained – to those around us, it may seem that we just live inside our head and are not conscious of what is going on around us. It’s especially evident when we are too captivated by an idea or a project. We just keep thinking it over all day long, losing the sense of time, forgetting to eat, and putting on clothes inside out.

5. We are ridiculously impractical

INTPs are true masters of theoretical, abstract thought. This, in turn, results in the fact that we are ridiculously impractical. INTPs can come up with the most brilliant ideas and incredibly complex theories; yet, we are useless when it comes to facing the mundane challenges of life. Sometimes, a simple task like going to a public office for some paperwork or buying a washing machine can make us feel completely helpless. We INTPs lack practical thinking, that’s why we rarely become good entrepreneurs.

6. INTP personality type is allergic to rules and obligations

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

– Albert Einstein

INTP is a true example of a chaotic creative mind. We are disorganized, messy and hate the rules. We perceive them as a limitation of our creative energy and freedom of thought. We value independence and freedom most of all, so there is no way we can work under control and be an effective member of a team. So INTPs rarely choose public service or office jobs as a career path. For the same reason, people with INTP personality type may have a difficult time at school even if they may be some of the most brilliant students in the class.

Are you an INTP? Do you relate to the traits described in the article? Share your opinion with us.

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Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

Copyright © 2017 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.


  1. Nigel Archer February 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I am most certainly an INTP and can relate to all the comments about INTP except that I am practical as well as able to think theoretically.

    • Anna LeMind February 17, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      If you are both practical and capable of theoretical thought, then you must be in the middle on the Intuition/N or Sensing/S scale. For example, you could be 55% or 60% Intuitive.

    • Keisar Betancourt February 17, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      I just knew someone would claim to be a godly INTP with no down-side. What’s your problem then, if it’s not that practical awkwardness, since nobody is pewrfect? I’d imagine if you’re practical then you wouldn’t have any social problems either because, as INTPs are one of five MBTI types with a much higher correlation with high IQ, you’d be able to work out the social stuff easily enough since you’re not getting your head caught in the castle in the clouds.

  2. Keisar Betancourt February 17, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I concur with all of that, some points more than others.

    As for point 4. Coming from another INTP, i think y’all will like this: https://plus.google.com/+KeisarBetancourt/posts/Xve4yZHA24S

  3. Surya February 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Few more triats loyal,Honesty,speaks what’s in there mind every it is harsh

  4. Satya February 18, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I don’t understand how this post justifies the author’s theory that INTPs are rare or special.

    The first, second and third points are shared by all NT types, the third being even more strong in INTJs.

    Fourth and fifth points are shared by NxP types, and can hardly be considered quirky.

    The sixth is just a flaw.

    There are quite a few things that set INTPs apart from the rest, but almost all of them are subjective, and can’t be generalized to all INTPs, the same as every other personality type.
    You can tell that the article is written by someone who is an INTP just by reading the points.

  5. Kerry Edwards February 19, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply

    I am an introverted Artist that has all these traits. I do not fit in anywhere but that’s fine. It’s just nice to know there is
    a name for what’s going on with me. When I was young I was ridiculed for not being like everyone else, it was tough. I felt something was wrong with me. Now I feel special

    • Anna July 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      INFP! XD

  6. binomialhope April 3, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Looks like I’m one of its kind. I can’t talk to people just for the sake of talking and working in a team is very hard for me, though I may work in a small team with fully known persons.

  7. Jojo April 30, 2017 at 5:21 am - Reply

    How many here are women? The INTP is the rarest personality type… but of those only a very small percentage are female. I’ve personally found that men feel compeyitive/challenged by me. It’s not very enjoyable. They find me intimidating

    • Poptropican September 1, 2017 at 7:10 am - Reply

      INTP isn’t the rarest saddly. The rarest is the INTJ. About 2 percent of the women’s population is INTP while only 1 percent of the women’s population is INTJ. It might not seem a lot, but look at this way: 1/50 women are INTP while 1/100 women are INTJ

    • Anna LeMind September 1, 2017 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Jojo, please check my recent article about INTP females:


  8. Don June 23, 2017 at 12:23 am - Reply

    100% true for me

  9. Jas July 11, 2017 at 5:29 am - Reply

    I agree with most of this, although I’m pretty skeptical about these posts when it’s written by someone who clearly is an intp. Realizing that human connections are one of the key ways to achieve happiness and fulfillment, and most humans like or even need small talk, I try to get over myself and do the small talk. Y’know, social skills and stuff. They’re called skills for a reason.

  10. rebwar October 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    tnx 4 text….nothing else just every body I repeat EVERY BODY keep calm and love INTPs!!

  11. Luna November 6, 2017 at 10:33 am - Reply

    There are you point out that don’t exactly match other INTP descriptions out there. We’re supposed to be deeply romantic, in an almost childlike way due to inferior Fe, and I am although I’ve definitely talked to other INTPs who claim they’re not. As for point 4, finding ways to make things in a faster, easier way is our thing so I expect many INTPs to be perfectly capable and actually quite good at solving everyday problems, that is if they feel like it, which as we know, may not be the case frequently.

  12. elle November 14, 2017 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Hi… I’m an INTP student, and i currently have some problems in school. so i would like you to elaborate on INTP having trouble in school and how to deal with such problems. thank you

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