INTP Personality Type Secret

JOEL MARK WITT: Hi. Welcome to Personality Hacker. My name is Joel Mark Witt.

ANTONIA DODGE: I’m Antonia Dodge.

JOEL MARK WITT: Today we’re talking about the Myers-Briggs personality type INTP, or in our Genius System, Accuracy/Exploration.

ANTONIA DODGE: We have talked about INTP personality types more granular in other content, but what we’re going to do today is we’re going to riff on the topic of INTPs, give some of our insights, maybe some of the things that we’ve noticed about them, and talk about some of the ways that they can develop their personality type to become the best version of themselves and to become a gift to the world.

The reason why it’s so interesting to talk about INTPs in that way is, I think a lot of INTPs have an attitude about what they’re going to give to the world. I think they actually really do want to make an impact. I think they really do, but one of the issues they face is that, just statistically, they have the highest IQs of anybody, and so there’s this feeling about INTPs that they are legitimately smarter than other people in the ways that society traditionally thinks about intelligence, like in analytic intelligence and that sort of thing.

So there’s an idea of how smart they are, and then at the same time, they are profoundly misunderstood. In fact, I think a lot of them think that they have autism, or Asperger’s, or some other … or they’ve been given titles, like they have ADD. I think that’s not exactly what’s going on with this type. They feel like society will not accept them; but, at the same time, in the weird way, celebrates their intelligence. So they don’t really know where they stand.

JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah. We have a friend who is a mom of a child who I believe is an INTP, after meeting him. She is worried. She thinks he might have autism. She thinks he might be broken. I think this is something a lot of INTPs deal with, is the people in your life have a tendency to think there’s something wrong with you because you think fundamentally different, and you show it to the world in this way. People are like, “There’s something wrong with you. What’s wrong? You’re broken. You’ve got to get fixed.”

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah. I know of an INTP kid whose parent took them to a psychiatrist and said, “Fix this kid, because he’s broken.” Not that all INTP kids are going to face this … There’s a percentage, though, that ends up getting this bad rap. I’m fairly certain it’s because they lead with a process called accuracy. Accuracy is a thinking process in the Myers-Briggs system. The cognitive function is technically called Introverted Thinking. The accuracy process is all about seeing information and data as truth, separated from any emotional component, meaning “We want to know what the data says,” like “Give me the information,” separated from what we want to think that that information says or any emotional attachment we have to the information.

Because they’re so focused on information that removes the human emotional component … When I say “emotional component,” not necessarily removes the human. Humanity is part of information, so you don’t remove humanity. You just remove the emotional biases. Because they’re so focused on that, when people show up, wanting to interject emotional and social biases, it’s very frustrating to the accuracy person, and they will oftentimes go, “Well, that’s stupid.”

Let’s just give a non-abstract example of this. I always think of it in terms of the 7-year-old that goes to school, and the teacher says something is true, and the 7-year-old accuracy person has done their own research already and knows it to not be true. So they correct the teacher, and the teacher tells them to shut up, or diminishes them, or says that that’s not respectful. Here’s the little 7-year-old accuracy person going, “But I know this to be true. I know you’re wrong,” and they focus on the data, and they don’t care who’s the person who’s the teacher and who’s the student. All that is important is whether or not the information is correct or accurate.
So, because they have so many of these experiences from the time that they’re really little, all growing up, there’s this sense that it’s them against the world. Like, the whole world just wants to regurgitate this information that may or may not be true and doesn’t really want to put true thought into it, and anytime you state what accuracy is, or truth, then all of a sudden everybody dogpiles you. It really feels like the INTP doesn’t have a place in the world.

JOEL MARK WITT: Yeah. The INTP shows up with this ability, this genius ability, to be able to clean slice information. I’ve been in conversation with INTPs before, and you’ll be talking about a subject, and they get very nuanced on exactly what we’re talking about. If anything’s distracting from the issue, they can say, “Well, that’s not … This is what we’re talking about here. We can deal with that in a moment, but this is what we’re talking about here.” They’ve got a great knack for being able to focus in on data, and stay on-topic, and really get granular with that data, to the point where it’s very usable. It shows up as a genius for them.
A lot of INTPs are scientists, and great thinkers, great mathematicians. They show up in the world with the ability to manage mass amounts of data very quickly. So it’s a brilliant, a brilliant function that they lead with, this accuracy function.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah, but if they’re not developed, unfortunately what ends up happening is they end up getting further and further away from relationships and other people. They end up cloistering themselves in their homes, or they just don’t want to have to deal with the “real world,” the world that they feel perpetually rejects them. So, in order to become the best versions of themselves, and become mathematicians, or people who have extraordinary things to give to the world … In order to do that, they have to develop that co-pilot process of exploration more and more. Exploration is all about trying new things. To an INTP, putting themselves out there and trying new things can be scary, because they haven’t always gotten the best feedback; but, the more they do that, the more they’re willing to put themselves out there and experience the world through travel, through foods, through picking up new hobbies … You went to a class … an improv class.

JOEL MARK WITT: I took an improv class. Yeah. An INTP was in the class, and he was purposely trying to grow his secondary process, his co-pilot. He was getting into improv and all these new experiences. He was actually going and meeting women and he was doing all this stuff that he had never tried before. He was 22, I think. You could see the glow in his eyes at the growth he was doing, and he was a really cool guy. I loved the fact that he wanted to grow like that. It was really neat.

ANTONIA DODGE: Yeah. People who’ve really developed the exploration process usually get higher and higher charisma. Charisma oftentimes comes with exploration, because exploration people are so free and fun and willing to try new things. They’re wild, and crazy, et cetera. So the more an INTP can get into that exploration process, the bigger the world gets, the more information that they can add to their already extensive data collection, they understand new concepts in reality as opposed to just in the abstract, and also they increase their charisma. So their interactions with the world … The feedback they get is better and better. Really, the key to the whole operation for them is to develop that co-pilot process.

If you are an INTP, and you’re interested in getting more tips and tricks on how to become the best version of your type and, again, to bring amazing things to the world, we recommend going to our website, personalityhacker.com, and to the tab that says “Take the Test.” It’ll send you through the genius style assessment. If you’ve already gone through that, and you’ve discovered that you are an INTP, or an accuracy exploration type in the genius style assessment, we want you to give serious consideration to getting the premium content, because there’s some incredible information in there on how to become the best version of yourself and to become a gift to the world, which you may or may not care about. I do, because I think you’re amazing, and I want you to bring your incredible concepts to the rest of us and be a true gift.

JOEL MARK WITT: So you think INTPs are amazing, which I agree with you.

ANTONIA DODGE: I do. I actually love INTPs.

JOEL MARK WITT: What’s a secret about INTPs that most people wouldn’t realize?

ANTONIA DODGE: What is a secret about INTPs that most people wouldn’t realize?

JOEL MARK WITT: … or even INTPs wouldn’t realize about themselves, but most people do realize secrets about themselves.

ANTONIA DODGE: Oh, I think INTPs know this. INTPs are surprisingly interested in their reputation. Their reputation is actually very important to them. So, even though they’re very egalitarian when it comes to information and data … Like, if the janitor has a great idea, then we celebrate the janitor.

JOEL MARK WITT: It doesn’t matter …

ANTONIA DODGE: It doesn’t matter that they’re a janitor. There is something about their reputation that is very important to them. They want to be well-regarded and they want to be respected. One of the reasons why it’s so painful to them to get rejected is that their reputation is important. They want people to know that they have something to offer, and I think they hide that away from other people and they hide that away from themselves, because they don’t want to have to acknowledge that they don’t have the reputation they desire, but it’s actually very important to them.

That makes sense, because you want to be well-regarded for your work. That desire to have a good reputation is part of the aspiration of them bringing their concepts, which are inside of them, to the world. It’s part of their DNA makeup that gives them that extra oompf or impetus to not just conceptualize all this data inside of themselves, but actually package it and give it to the world so that the world will give them positive feedback.

JOEL MARK WITT: Cool. Well, thank you for joining us on this quick riff on the INTP personality type, or the Accuracy/Exploration in the Genius System.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Carol
    Reply

    I love what you’ve said about reputation, though maybe not that particular choice of word (or it that me ‘nuancing’?) – it’s validation of our own conclusions and ideas. So many times, like your story of the seven-year-old, we’ve come up with something only to be greeted with ‘you think you’re so smart’, like we’re sharing our ideas to try to make others look bad. We (I?) really aren’t looking for ego-boosting praise, just for someone to value what we can produce. We want to be seen as being as reliable and unbiased as the data we try to analyse. I for one have no problem with someone challenging my ideas, so long as they aren’t challenging me personally. Once I have formulated a hypothesis, I love sharing it to see if anyone else comes up with the same conclusion or can provide new data for me to incorporate. Even that challenge validates the idea in the first place. The worst response you can give us is to say ‘you’re just wrong’ and walk away.

  • JM
    Reply

    I concur with you Carol. I think ITP’s do struggle with the need for acceptance and validation – INTPs perhaps more so because our exploer co-pilot meets astonishment one moment and repulsion the next. Our Driver (Ti) just want’s to ignore the baby crying for harmony (Fe). Perhaps in the way it can so easily ignore sensation (Se) and dismiss inconsistent or illogical authenticity (Fi). But harmony is a hunger.

  • JM
    Reply

    Moreover, Carol. To engage our ideas, even to challenge or oppose them on sound grounds of logic or fact is to acknowledge and even value the contribution. I find it quite belittling when others simply ignore or dismiss my ideas or suggestions, without even addressing the reasoning behind them.

  • Naomi
    Reply

    Spot on with the reputation aspect.

    What makes this a painful secret is that, showing up with Accuracy in a Harmony- or Effectiveness- driven environment, and shining a light on information that people have some emotional connection with, that may actually be holding us back as a group or even that person as an individual, I do know that I will end up being disliked for essentially being myself.

    In other words, as INTPs we want to be respected for our analytical gifts, but showing up as the person who picks apart others’ beliefs and ideas makes people dislike us (and especially dislike women, since this is so anti-stereotypical), and most people do not respect people they don’t like.

    The weirdest part of all this is that I do not feel at all compelled by the core of my being to be generally liked. So I end up in this place of feeling irrational that I both want to be liked (because it is entailed, for most people, in respect) but don’t “honestly” want to be liked.

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