INTP – The Logician

albert einstein

Intp. That’s my personality type. The “Logician.”

It means that logic is my go-to for decision making. So when there is a group debate, and everybody is getting along fine and dandy by tossing around their feel-good ideas, I’m the asshole that puts someone down for bringing up a concept that has no actual foundation. For instance, when I attended my second writing group ever last week, and the group leader asked if we sought to include underlying moral principles in our stories, I opened my trap and explained that she was referencing theme, which is at the heart of every story, and is the driving motive behind every work of fiction that’s ever been written. While plot may be what a story is about on the surface, theme is the reason you tell it – you want your readers to experience and understand your worldview. It’s the reason you write, whether you understand theme or not.

Anyway, INTPs make up 5% of the population. We are fiercely independent, care little for social status or merits, and spend our lives consumed by life’s most profound philosophical problems.

The ‘T’ in INTP stands for thinking, as opposed to feeling. This is a problem; my method of communication is flawed. Maybe not flawed, but not typical. It’s not a good way to be for a writer, because readers come to stories to be emotionally moved, not to watch a protagonist take action based on logical deductions. Nonfiction writing is more natural for INTPs.

I don’t know; this has bothered me all week. To top it all off, I took the test again and answered with responses that were opposite to how I actually think and interact with the world around me. The result listed me as the most popular personality type, one who is wired to follow plans, do things the standard way, and generally find the simple path to success. I don’t know, I’m really distraught to discover just how bizarre my thinking is. It can be argued that it is a gift, because some of our greatest philosophers and scientists were INTPs, but personally I find it annoying. I guess the simplest way to explain it would be to say, I’ve discovered that the ways I find most comforting, the thinking that I find most rational, and the social dynamic that I strive to live by, is the polar opposite to the ‘right way’ of doing things. If I ever want to fit in and be less of a freak, I must engage in a behavior that is directly opposed to my instincts.

Do you understand how infuriating that is? It’s as if I’m an alien who’s human in appearance. Every move that feels appropriate to me is going to appear unconventional to others, and every ‘correct’ move is going to seem unattractive to myself. Should I just start doing the opposite of whatever my instincts tell me to do??

I don’t know. Don’t mean to rant, but honestly it wasn’t an accident, so the logical answer is ‘yes I did mean to rant.’

Take the test here if you want to discover more about your own personality type. As discouraged as I am, I promise you that taking it will be a rewarding experience.

  • Thomas M. Watt