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

9 thoughts on “INTP – The Logician

  1. Hi Thomas. It’s been years since I’ve taken that test and the results now are quite different than before, yet not accurate. I’m not surprised. I have a lot of the qualities of the spontaneous, social, spotlight loving “Entertainer” I was tagged as, and yet I am also a strong introvert; I need LOTS of time to myself to re-charge and re-order my priorities and goals. I’d say the test missed the mark for me. As an example, I do love to sing, but I’d rather do it OUT of the spotlight; I prefer recording in a studio to performing on stage. I thoroughly enjoy talking to people when I’m in a social situation, but given a choice about how to spend my time and you’ll find me with my nose in a book.

    All that to say that I DON’T think you need to adjust who you are. Be yourself. Your readers and fellow writers will come to know and appreciate you for your unique style. The fact that your “type” is relatively rare is a good thing. How many people do you know who really speak their minds? Don’t you wish there were more like you? I do. I find it refreshing to meet people who are not afraid to disagree with something I’ve said, and I sure as heck value it when someone is critiquing my work.

    Be well. Be YOU.

  2. I am an INTP who writes fiction. We should start a club. We’ll give swift, honest feedback and struggle with writing long drawn out emotional scenes. “Yes, I know you’ve already written dialogue about how that person feels, but I think you need some description too.” Gak! When we are critically acclaimed they will comment on our unique perspective, different from 95% of the rest of the stuff out there.

    You are who you are. Make the most of it.

    Off to go read more of your stuff and decide if I really want you in my club.

    • Haha. Don’t be angry when you realize I include very little description. The reader wants action and dialogue? They’re going to get a full serving!

      I’d be happy to join your club, in fact, that is exactly what I am looking for. Are you working but on any side projects right now? Would love to get some feedback from you on my current wip.

  3. Pingback: Master Update – 9/2 | Thomas M. Watt
  4. Well consider this…you could have been an ARSE so I reckon being an INTP is not so bad after all. It’s all about perception.
    My result came back as an ENTP, or a Debater, which is basically the same as yours…I just talk more…

    • Haha, that’s awesome! I’m envious of you – ENTP’s are similar to me, but they actually express their logical discoveries rather than dwell them back into obscurity.

      • Just remember not everyone wants to listen to all my logical discoveries, which I tend to share too often…

        Sometimes I just need to learn how to shut the fuck up.

      • Haha well said, that’s how I feel on a daily basis. I enjoy listening to unique perspectives and discoveries however, and so do many people that I know.

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