personalityhacker.com_INTP

In Gifts Differing, Isabel Briggs Myers called INTPs “the most intellectually profound of all the types.”

INTPs are candid, ingenious, and oftentimes rebellious. They are committed to autonomy, freedom, and independence. They are more likely than any other type to study foreign languages, and like to challenge traditions and social assumptions. INTPs make up only 3.3% of the world’s population and male INTPs outnumber females 3 to 1.

Albert Einstein was most likely an INTP, as are Bill Gates and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos). Possible fictional INTPs are Sherlock Holmes, Bertram Gilfoyle of Silicon Valley, and Lisbeth Salander from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. All these people have a unique way of looking at the world and I can’t help but admire their withering intellects.

In a recent survey of INTPs we asked four questions:

  • What are the top 3 challenges you face as an INTP?
  • What 3 things do you wish others knew about you as an INTP?
  • What 3 books/movies/courses/events have most impacted your life?
  • What do you wish you could have told your 15 year old self
?

Over 140 INTPs opened up and shared their world with us. In this article, I would like to focus on the last of the four survey questions – What do you wish you could have told your 15 year old self
?

Many of the answers shared some common themes. So, I have broken them all down to 5 items INTPs wish they had known when they were 15 years old, in order of frequency.

#1 Don’t Worry About What Others Think

15% of INTPs wish they could tell their younger selves to stop obsessing about what others think. This is a surprising statistic when we consider the stereotypical INTP seems more concerned with logic and data than social niceties. However, it gives us an interesting insight into the sensitive nature of the INTP.

Direct Quotes:

  • “Do not be scared about showing yourself to the world. Stop thinking about what others think and do what you want to do. You are beautiful and smart do not let your insecurities tell you otherwise.”
  • “Don’t listen to the haters and trust your intuition/”gut.”
  • “Don’t give two sh*ts what other people think of you. I know deep down you care, but you can’t let it affect your decisions in life. Be true to yourself and what you want in life.”
  • “Stop worrying about what others think about you. Be honest with how you feel and think. Stop wearing a social mask and be real with people. Stop stalking others on Facebook and have a hobby! Get out there and have a life. Try EVERYTHING.”
  • “Create. Keep creating. Make quick and dirty prototypes. Never be afraid to show your work. Those are signs of scarcity. There is no need to cover things up. Be proud of what you do because you always try to put the best quality out there. Notice the things you love in life. Whether it’s actions/items/people, etc. bring more of those things into your life and play into them.”
  • “Do not give a damn about what other people think. It’s none of your business and you can’t control it. Are you living for yourself or living for others and letting them control the limited time you have on this planet?”
  • “Stick with what interests you most. Other people’s opinions matter but eventually it is your life that you are living. If you do what you enjoy most, you are going to be great at it.”

#2 Do More, Think Less

Sometimes it can be hard for INTPs to get out of their heads and into the real world.  However, this is their fastest path to growth. INTPs may be introverted, but their auxiliary cognitive function is extraverted (Extraverted Intuition). All the idea generating in the world doesn’t do any good until it can be tested, refined, and explored by observing emergent properties. This is how INTPs bring their genius to the benefit of everyone.

14% of INTPs wish they had spent more time exploring during their youth and less time hiding.

Direct Quotes:

  • “It’s nice to get good grades every now and then, but you need to learn there’s more to life than studying. Go out there, get some adventure… do something! Stop worrying the world is against you, or you have to be something of great importance. You are you.  It is okay to make a mistake.”  
  • “There is nothing wrong with you. If you want to make friends in college, you need to socialize more.”
  • “The educational system is inadequate, delve deeper into self education. Begin learning other languages now, it will pay dividends.  Learn to see value in experiences over things. Begin your own path – you need not wait.”
  • “It’s okay to have multiple interests; don’t feel like you have to have your life all planned out at 18. You should also definitely take a year off after high school to backpack through Europe and ‘find yourself”.”
  • “Don’t go to uni straight up after high school. Go and travel.”
  • “Stop being so hard on yourself. Life is long and the prime directive is to experience what you can while you are here.”
  • “Enjoy high school a bit more. You only need 60% of all your subjects to get into university, so stop studying for those distinctions and live a little. Also Oblivion and Dragon Age are great games, play them. And start watching Naruto and Bleach right now. Plus you should join that dance studio so you can actually have fun at your matric dance in a few years and you’ll lose some weight too fatty! Seriously though, go make some friends and party while you can.”

#3 Don’t Be Scared To Be Yourself

A common thread throughout all the Intuitive surveys is the reminder that we are different and that is not only okay, it is awesome.

13% of INTPs would tell their 15 year old selves to just be themselves.

Direct Quotes:

  • “Follow your curiosity. Don’t worry about trying to be like other people– it isn’t going to happen. Just be the best version of you. Give yourself a lot of room to make decisions because you’re good at seeing possibilities, and you will need to explore a lot of them before settling on anything. Enjoy the process of living– beginnings and endings are short and usually kind of anticlimactic, but you can find all kinds of fun in between.”
  • “You’re not wrong. You’re just different, and that’s okay.”
  • “You’re weird but that’s okay. Believe in yourself. Please stop procrastinating.”
  • “Stop trying so hard to be like other people or meet the expectations for normal high schoolers. Just be who you are, regardless of who understands you, finds you attractive, wants you around… you are a wonderful person. ”
  • “Don’t try to conform to what others do or think. There is nothing wrong with you!”
  • “Be true to yourself. Pursue your dreams. Don’t let idiots derail them or try to tell you what to believe or how to think/feel.”

#4 Never Stop Learning

The INTPs dominant cognitive function is Introverted Thinking (Accuracy). This is a Decision-Making function that gathers data in order to sort out fact from fiction. Honest and concise thinking is the highest priority to an INTP. Data must be gathered to assure the INTP is reaching the most accurate conclusions possible. So, it should be no surprise to us that 10% of INTPs want to make sure their younger selves never stop learning.

Direct Quotes:

  • “Study about your personality. Find interesting things to research instead of playing video games all the time. Learn to program.”
  • “Trust your instincts over authoritative figures. Don’t be afraid to not follow the crowd. Ruffle some feathers. Make more of an effort to keep up with old friends. Seek knowledge and always challenge your views.”
  • Math is NOT hard, you’re just not being taught well. It can actually be pretty fun when you’re encouraged to be creative because it isn’t all about memorizing formulas. I promise. Start with Geometry and explore from there. The same thing goes for science. Learn to “code.” It’s a computer thing. Buuuuut… before all of that, don’t be afraid to audition for performing arts school. You’ll get in.”
  • “There is no end to the search. The maze keeps expanding. Find peace in the beliefs and understanding you choose to accept as foundational. Always pick the red pill!”
  • Being smart and curious does not mean you have to be a college professor (it’s sort of the family business). For me the subject matter comes and goes; what’s consistent is the process of clarifying and problem-solving. That’s my “thing”. (I have spent most of my life trying to find my “thing” – medicine? chemistry? economics? – and I’m now trying to reconcile myself to the idea that for me that’s the wrong question.) Being curious can get me into trouble, but I wouldn’t want to be any other way. Imagine the horror of running out of books to read!”

#5 You Are Complete

In exploring INTPs, I read that they have one of the lowest levels of coping resources of all the types (except for maybe ISTPs). This may explain another sobering statistic – INTPs are the most frequent type among college students committing alcohol and drug policy violations. Perhaps this is the reason why 9% of INTPs wish they could tell their younger selves that they are not flawed. Another 5% would like to remind their adolescent selves that they are not broken.

Direct Quotes:

  • “There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. You’re perfect just the way you are.”
  • “You are not broken. INTPs are rare and have that “little bit of crazy” kind of genius. Put on your comfy but mismatched pants and shirt and go learn things.”
  • “Practice self acceptance. Relax.”
  • “Be patient. Life is long and things happen at their own pace. You are already complete the way you are. There is nothing missing. It’s okay to feel awkward and uncomfortable. That’s how growth feels.”
  • “Don’t measure your own worth by any social standards whatsoever. Find out what your talents are. Don’t question whether your rational talents are of less value than the empathic or social talents of others. They’re not. Being less emotional or warm-hearted doesn’t make you a worse person. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.”

Never Stop Being Honest

The gift INTPs bring to our world is their radical honesty. Unbiased, unemotional, data-driven honesty. It is the rubric by which we as a society see through the BS and focus on the facts. Its laser precision cuts through the social detritus and reminds us to pull our heads out of our asses. This is why I love INTPs…even when their truth is painful.

  • 7% of INTPs wish they had been more honest with themselves and others.
  • 6% of INTPs want their younger selves to realize that the future is worth waiting for.
  • 4% of INTPs wish they could have accepted the fact that it is impossible to change the world.
  • Another 4% want their younger selves to realize that friendship is about quality not quantity.
  • And 3% think they should have shared their work more with the people in their lives.

We would love to hear more about the advice INTPs would give to their teenage selves. Please share them in the comments below.

 

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Showing 39 comments
  • Rachel
    Reply

    I was especially interested by this quote:

    “Being smart and curious does not mean you have to be a college professor (it’s sort of the family business). For me the subject matter comes and goes; what’s consistent is the process of clarifying and problem-solving. That’s my “thing”. (I have spent most of my life trying to find my “thing” – medicine? chemistry? economics? – and I’m now trying to reconcile myself to the idea that for me that’s the wrong question.) Being curious can get me into trouble, but I wouldn’t want to be any other way. Imagine the horror of running out of books to read!”

    That’s pretty much what I’m going through right now, as a young adult figuring out what I want to do with my life, trying to find my “thing”. I have assumed from when I was really young that being a professor was pretty much the ideal job. I somewhat randomly picked Computer Science as my field of study, although as in the quote, there were so many options (Linguistics? Music? Chemistry? Astronomy? etc. etc.). But I’ve been surprised at how quickly I’ve been getting bored of my chosen “thing”. Turns out, the subject matter comes and goes for me too; it really is the wrong question to figure out my “thing”. So I’ve got that far, but… I have no idea what the “right” question actually is. All I really, really want to do with my life is read everything and study everything, forever. Unfortunately, you can’t really live off doing that…

    So, anyone have any advice on that? A lot of people would say to suck up my boredom, stick with a job that works and keeps me alive. But maybe other INTPs would be a little more sympathetic.

    Does the original writer of that survey question ever read the comments? What did you discover is the “right” question?

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      I think the point is that you are never going to find that ONE thing. INTPs are too curious to ever want to specialize for long.

      I definitely wouldn’t recommend settling into a soul destroying job just because you have been told to suck it up.

      Why does it have to be one choice for all time anyway? Why can’t you pursue whatever is interesting to you now with the knowledge that you have the freedom to move on to other challenges once this one becomes boring?

      Maybe the question should be, “What is your ‘thing’ today?” Tomorrow may be totally different.

      • Anesthetize
        Reply

        This is so right. I have had people tell me this for as long as I can remember “Suck it up, it’s a job, it’s money.” I am never satisfied with ceasing to learn. People always look at me funny when I tell them I am 33 and in school…. AGAIN. That’s just it though, my “thing” changes so often, I want to learn about everything, and sometimes I get mid way through and go “Na this is boring after all…. NEXT.” I don’t think I’ll ever just settle in to one thing, and for a lot of my life that was something I would beat myself up over. I would always consider myself “not established” or “behind in life.” It took a while to get to a point where it was okay to be the kind of person who wants to soak in everything and just ride the tide of life and knowledge.

        • zazuge
          Reply

          I’m also INTP according to the many tests and self-assessements i did the past years i was obsessed with MBTI.
          I remember in Uni, i fallen ina depression bc i coudn’t get to do comp science (back then 2000 here in my country, comp sci was a small branch and only the best scoring could do it)
          i was told “study electronics”, but that coudn’t make it, i had a comp since 1994 and bc of it my interests switched from astronomy to comp-sci, later after dropping out, I studied it in private school
          the irony is that i didn’t find a job worth of what i got (master degree in databases and datawharehouses), and even being a freelance programmer, i coudn’t make a satisfactory carrier out of it, i changed job and field of interest again, now I’m into alter-energy, and my 1st intention was to run my own business, but i sucked at starting business, but what I’m doing now, is learning, by building my own standalone system, and now I’m interested in low-energy heating/cooling, biogas and bio-fuel out of fresh water algae.
          i noticed that I’m interested in many distinct fields, astronomy, cosmology, physics, QM, (specially interested in informational physics), philosophy, psychology, and even religion
          all of that is because I’m curious about the truth, i’m rather a person who live to learn than learn to live.
          and i should really learn to live, cause i need that to live to learn more haha.

      • Austin
        Reply

        From a personal growth standpoint I think this is spot on. From a professional growth standpoint this is suicide. Trust me on this. I am an INTP that is working as a security guard because I took this path. It is killing me.

        • Charis Branson
          Reply

          So, what would you have done differently Austin?

    • Virgílio
      Reply

      I know exactly what you mean. I was trying to find out what I should try on college, physics or computer science? Some times I had Headaches when thinking about it. But I suddenly realized I could do both. I tried computer Science at college but still studying about physics in books and internet. This series Cosmos was a very good place to start on, because it talks about science in general, but mainly about physics. In college I’m finishing the computer science study and next year I’m going to start a game development college.

      I think the question you should ask yourself is, what I want to learn and what I want to work with? I think taking this two question separated is the key to know what’s next. Keep these in mind and you will soon find it out.

      • Rachel
        Reply

        Yes, I did a combined Computer Science and Music program in university for this very reason.

        Cosmos looks interesting, and I believe it’s on Netflix. I’ll try it out, thanks! Physics, especially the astro-physics side of things, ahs always fascinated me. Ever since I was really young I’d do exactly what you mentioned, and study physics on my own by getting books from the library.

        I’ll definitely keep thinking about this problem. Not that I can really help it, haha. Things tend to stick and run around in my mind all the time until I’ve solved them.

        • Virgílio
          Reply

          I’m glad I could help. I didn’t know Cosmos was on Netflix, I was watching on Natgeo, going to Netflix right now, thanks.

    • Anthony
      Reply

      I think the right “question” to be asked is not what subjects or field to work on, but what cognitive skills you enjoy and find energizing when executed.

      I like to engage in problem solving, the more important, the more bigger than life the problem is, the better it feels for me and actually solving it by applying my knowledge then I would feel proud that my theories are good and useful and well I can maybe publish them someday. But also equally importantly, people need to be related to these problems and by solving them, I can hopefully be recognized and gain a place among people(soothing and making a place for the inferior Fe?). At the same time, I like to just being led by my imagination, curiosity and excitement about the potential of things-I really like collecting information about an upcoming online game update, about an up coming big video game, about the future of humanity, of us colonizing Mars and the solar system and so on.

      I actually don’t really know how to put them all together into a career or lifestyle, maybe become a writer or entrepreneur, but just embrace this fluid trait of yours as it’s a valuable skill on itself. Anyway, I just hope my babbling can give another perspective into looking at this problem and have some feedback hopefully 🙂

      • Rachel
        Reply

        This was helpful, Anthony. Thanks. I don’t know how to put them all together into a career/lifestyle either, sigh. But now’s the time to figure it out. I’ll put my interest in problem solving into solving this problem.

    • Mohamed
      Reply

      Hi Rachel,

      I just found out about a week ago I was an INTP (actually much earlier, but I just got to read about it extensively one week back – talk about procrastination HA!). I Haven’t stopped giggling ever since cause it just explains EVERYTHING about my life and who I am. I used to think I had a lot of weird things/behaviors/ways of thinking, but the fact that others experience them and it’s part of who we are is just….awesome! Anyways, I believe in the law of attraction and have actually used it to manifest a lot of things at work. As a fellow INTP, you’re naturally very curious and excellent in problem solving. I would recommend that you pursue EVERYTHING that interests you, as the way you’ll grow as a person will be very remarkable. Any field that requires strong analytical/problem solving skills and sees your creativity and innovation as beneficial skills would do.

      Personally, I just want to get the financial freedom so I can break free from all social, time and effort restrictions and focus on learning and sharing my knowledge with the rest of the world. I’ll be using my problem solving skills to come up with an invention very soon to do that. So, eventually, you can really be anything you put your mind into. I’d recommend you read jack canfield’s book “how to get from where you are to where you want to be” and Napoleon Hill’s “think and grow rich”. I could go on for days on what needs to be done to reach to a purpose (many many purposes for us INTPs actually) and would be happy to share knowledge on my experience if you have specific questions.

      • Mohamed
        Reply

        Also, in my opinion, Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” is a must-read for all introverts.

    • Shehab
      Reply

      it was my problem, continually trying to prove to people that i’m not a kid.. Don’t mistake me for what I appear..

      I’m thriving to find the right career.. And the right way to prove my self.. I hope

  • Anthony
    Reply

    “4% of INTPs wish they could have accepted the fact that it is impossible to change the world.”?

    Nah, I don’t believe we can’t.

    That hit me as it’s the exact opposite of my vibe. Anyway, to break it down logically, I think it’s a choice of a perception that can help you with your well being. If you live in the past, you better not expecting you can change the world or you gonna be quite miserable. Since there are quite some tools here in modern times like the internet, e.g. what this website is trying to do, believing that you can make a change helps to give the additional push for you to find those routes to actually do it.

    Idk, maybe they are right to tell their 15 years old self to not expect much to reserve energy before the time comes, but I hope their now-self can adjust to the changing situation.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      I’m right there with you. Even if it’s quixotic, I’m all about the hallucination that we can absolutely change the world. I don’t think we can stop ourselves, it’s just a matter of being conscientious about it.

      -A-

      • Rachel
        Reply

        I agree. And isn’t the world too complicated to figure out if we’ve actually changed it or not? I could influence my friend who influences her children, who then end up changing the world in a big way.

        It’s a good idea to have a sense of realism, and not expect the world to change just because YOU decided it should. But at the same time, I don’t think there’s any way to say that it’s impossible. Realize this, and choose the perception that you can, and because of this, it IS more likely that you can.

        • Rachel
          Reply

          To clarify, I didn’t mean it’s always too complicated to figure out if we’ve changed the world or not. Obviously that’s false. Many people have definitively changed the world in some way. I meant we can change small and subtle things, and who’s to say that they didn’t end up changing things in the long run. A bit like the butterfly effect, except for the things we have control over, like influencing people.

  • Rae
    Reply

    Spend less time trying to prove you’re right. You’re usually right, but sometimes you’re not, and being right isn’t the objective of every conversation, anyway (so I’m told). It’s tempting to pretend to be an expert on a subject you’ve only dipped your toe into because you can just lead people through a verbal maze with all kinds of logic booby traps to make it seem like you know what you’re talking about. It’s painfully obvious to most people, though, and it discredits the words that come out of your mouth. The fear of looking stupid also gives you an excuse to avoid interaction with people in general.

    It’s almost always better to start your sentences with “My understanding of this topic is…” or “From my perspective…”. It turns arguments into conversations which gives you an opportunity to learn new things. You don’t have to worry about being “found out” if you’re up front about yourself to begin with.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks Rae! I think that is great advice for all Ti users. In listening to the recent ENTP podcast, I noticed Antonia said she had the same tendency to want to sound like an authority on everything.

  • ryan
    Reply

    This is great advice–how do I transmit this back to my younger self?

  • Mark
    Reply

    40y old and only now finding out the difference in personality compared to the majority of people I’ve encountered over the years, is actually explained in 4 letters, INTP!

    Always blew my head, how i could chew through something new and complex but at the same time mentally lock down on something that appears simple and logical to others.

    I wish a teacher had pointed INTP out to me, I know I had the brains to do it, and could put the effort in for a little bit, being successful, but than lost interest and messed up, a real slacker.

    It has hold me back and I never reached my potential through education, in my working career though, I have been able to develop my strengths and put them to use.

    Sad to say, I always expected some sort of mental issue, got so occupied in my head with the things I had to do, in such a degree that in reality, actually nothing happened.

    Like cleaning the house, taking out the trash, or pretty much all routine chores on my mind for a week(s), chewing over, till I finally get the energy burst and do it, some of those thing will take not more than a minute to actual do.

    It’s nice to find out this all is a “explainable” personality type, I recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the INTP description, but this all was kind of vague to me before, I could not put my finger on it.

    This will help me going forward, “exploit” my strengths and some needed “diy” on my weaknesses 😉

    Thanks for the info…

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Mark! It’s never to late to start on the journey of self discovery. 🙂

  • Lucian
    Reply

    This shed a lot of light onto why I have thought I became mentally stagnant. I have not been doing much exploration at all and using my “10 year old” Si as an excuse to stay in the safety of my own home telling myself I could get away with taking online college courses and getting at home jobs so that the only time I will actually have to leave my home is for the bare necessities. I see now that it is a huge mistake. I have been wondering for a long time now(since I was 16, now 19)what I should actually be doing, and that my friends are specialists in all sorts of fields and have great mastery over their chosen skill/talent and started to think something was wrong with me because what I was doing didn’t have much use to them(probably Inferior Fe stirring up anxiety within). When in actuality I should have been getting out and exploring my options by being in contact with the physical world. I let my Si dictate and stifle too much of my life to the point where I was okay with the sameness it provided me with in everything I did and I think I got myself into an Ti-Si loop of which I may currently still be haunted by. Either way, disregarding my rambling I suppose I just meant to say “thank you”? For finally clarifying what I had struggled daily to wrap my mind around.

  • faiza daude
    Reply

    What I would have love to say to my “teenager self” is:
    -there’s nothing wrong about being a lil bit weird. You will realize that being different is something to be proud of.
    -so your friends doesn’t get you? Nor your family? Don’t worry about it.. stop trying to make them happy by changing or pretending the way you think.
    -it’s confusing to have your feeling so mixed up that you can’t even get what you are feeling? You are not broken. Stop listening to your friends when they say you are cold or that you are a freak.

    And the list goes on. It’s hard being an INTP as a men, imagine being a girl. I had serious problem growing up. Have a sis that has no problems getting new friends. But I had hard time trying to start a convo with a strange person. My feeling where a chaos (still is). Wanted something so bad, once I had it I lost the interest.
    But now, I’m proud of being the way I am. I have few friends, that somehow understands me. Most of them are INTJ. And most important of all: I really don’t care what other might say, think about me.

    • Melvin
      Reply

      I’m now 59 and discovered M-B typology in my twenties. When I read the individual letter definitions I assumed I was an ISTJ because I thought that was what I was supposed to be. I was shocked to discover I am an INTP, but there was no mistaking it. The life-changing part of that discovery was that it is OK to be an INTP.

  • Lindsay
    Reply

    I am actually 15 currently. I honestly have no idea what my outlook on myself would be if my INTJ dad didn’t introduce to me what an introvert was a few years back. Growing up on understanding where you come from definitely has a positive influence. I just discovered these personality types about a week ago where I figured out that I’m an INTP. At least I now understand my problems with emotions 🙂 and proud of it (if that makes any sense).

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Lindsay! It makes a lot of sense. Finding out why you are the way you are is so empowering. It makes you feel excited to realize the things you thought were wrong are actually gifts you bring to the world. You should be proud! 🙂

  • anon
    Reply

    i like your honesty

  • anon
    Reply

    To my 15 year old self

    *Embrace your weirdness. Others may have already embraced it in you; they arw just waiting for you to experience its awesomeness.

    *Just because you’re an introvert does not make you a loner or anti-social.

    *Express your appreciation more on your friends.

    *You are not here to fix the world.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Thanks for your personalized additions, Anon!

  • Keith
    Reply

    You guys just CHANGED MY LIFE! Thank you for this page, I always thought there was something wrong with me. SELF ACCEPTANCE IS KEY to being a FULLY EQUIPPED INTP!

  • Rey
    Reply

    Note to my former self:

    Don’t worry about your “typical Asian” parents who want you to be someone you are not. They believe in stability, and you believe in creativity; they believe in following the norm, you were never the norm; they want you to be like them, but you were never like them to begin with. Don’t be pressured into given up your love of learning anything and everything to satisfy them briefly. Be yourself, they will come to accept who you are.

    Don’t feel the need to be “accepted” because you will start hate life, become depressed and even try to kill yourself. It is not your fault that they think you are “weird” or even make fun of you; they are the ones who are wrong.

    Believe that you are special and trust your gut. Believe in who you really are. There is no need to feel shame or to be depressed about what others think. Be you. Do what you love, cherish each experience and learn from them. Trust that you will make it one day even if it takes you a few tries. Keep working on being you, one day, they will understand who you are and love you for who you are.

    Do what you love. Go explore the world. Don’t stay in your hometown just to satisfy them, explore the world and share that with those who truly know you and love you for who you are. Never give in and never give up and the world that I know now will be much happier and much more rewarding.

  • jeanette
    Reply

    Since I always excelled in math and science, I assumed that was the logical path to take. Nearly 20 years after graduating high school, a couple career paths later, I’m sitting at the PC at 12:30 am looking at personality websites (and I have to be up in less than seven hours for a job that I am not altogether enthusiastic about). I guess I could tell myself, yeah, recognize what you’re good at, but also look at what makes you happy because eight+ hours a day, 40+ years, is a long time. For me, I think, the salary is not a big deciding factor. For me, a dream job is doing something I enjoy, can be comfortable with, and find somewhat interesting, not so oriented around outside success. Don’t do what you “should”, do what you “like.” We need to feel independent and engaged more so than others. At least in my case, I do, and I am going after another career change at the moment. I thought by age 36, I’d have this settled by now. If only I could be 18 again… 🙂

  • Soothseeker
    Reply

    What I’d tell my 15 yo self: Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it doesn’t make you weak or needy. Don’t worry about losing your independence. Let other’s care for you and love you; try to reciprocate. You’ll have your whole adult life to be independent. You are beautiful, kind, and smart so stop focusing on your flaws and just have as much fun with life as you can. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin means learning to be comfortable in your surroundings as well. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Follow your passions and stop worrying about glory or riches. They will come to you no matter what you do, but mostly if you follow your passions. Put off college and go backpacking through Europe after you graduate. Look into teaching English as a 2nd language to get you there. Or take that scary step of working on a cargo ship at sea for 3 months. Scary steps aren’t so scary once you take them, so take them often. Quit getting caught up in boys. They may feel like the most important things at the time, but really you’re the most important thing always so act like it and don’t take any shit!

  • Willy Boy
    Reply

    If you want a great INTP job, become a lawyer! I really love tax law! (before your eyes glaze over, consider the following:) Lots of analysis and the material keeps changing. Client issues are almost always unique in some way and the laws that apply many and various. (just for fun go watch the movie “Good Will Hunting,” particularly the clip where he is defending himself for an assault charge).
    Law school gets a bit challenging for we INTPs but if you break down your classes and organize the info before the prof does, the material is kinda basic and straightforward. To cure boredom, you change classes every semester!
    I took a bunch of tax classes because tax law is almost “economy proof” (the world will always have tax lawyers! :)) and once you know the rules, they are fun to stretch and bend in exciting and imaginative ways. Great Fun!!!
    I worked as an intern for a state tax authority AND IT WAS A PERFECT INTP PLAYGROUND! The whole office is really quiet. I could leave when I wanted for lunch and come back when I wanted (so long as it wasn’t 4+ hours). No clock, no check in, no suit and tie unless I needed tomato with an outside client or professional. And, Glory be to Jesus, scads of analysis and applications to be thought through and written up! It was almost a little bit of heaven!
    I’m about to apply there for a real job (interns don’t get paid, but I have since graduated law school) and found out I can work 4/10s (4 days per week at 10 hours per day)! That means a 3 day weekend, EVERY WEEKEND, when I can explore other things I love to do!
    Besides all that, lawyers get paid well too. I seriously can’t think of a better job to have!
    If you are an INTP, you should really look into this. The schooling is a bit long, but, hey, its a profession (you get a Doctorate) and it really pays off for what you put into it!

  • Willy Boy
    Reply

    If you want a great INTP job, become a lawyer! I really love tax law! (before your eyes glaze over, consider the following:) Lots of analysis and the material keeps changing. Client issues are almost always unique in some way and the laws that apply many and various. (just for fun go watch the movie “Good Will Hunting,” particularly the clip where he is defending himself for an assault charge).
    Law school gets a bit challenging for we INTPs but if you break down your classes and organize the info before the prof does, the material is kinda basic and straightforward. To cure boredom, you change classes every semester!
    I took a bunch of tax classes because tax law is almost “economy proof” (the world will always have tax lawyers! :)) and once you know the rules, they are fun to stretch and bend in exciting and imaginative ways. Great Fun!!!
    I worked as an intern for a state tax authority AND IT WAS A PERFECT INTP PLAYGROUND! The whole office is really quiet. I could leave when I wanted for lunch and come back when I wanted (so long as it wasn’t 4+ hours). No clock, no check in, no suit and tie unless I needed to meet with an outside client or professional. And, Glory be to Jesus, scads of analysis and applications to be thought through and written up! It was almost a little bit of heaven!
    I’m about to apply there for a real job (interns don’t get paid, but I have since graduated law school) and found out I can work 4/10s (4 days per week at 10 hours per day)! That means a 3 day weekend, EVERY WEEKEND, when I can explore other things I love to do!
    Besides all that, lawyers get paid well too. I seriously can’t think of a better job to have!
    If you are an INTP, you should really look into this. The schooling is a bit long, but, hey, its a profession (you get a Doctorate) and it really pays off for what you put into it!

  • Jay
    Reply

    I knew my type since my late 20’s (after taking the test in a leadership course)and I’m now in my 50’s. I am extreme on the I, N, and T ranges, and moderately P. So the stereotypes and generalizations apply very well to me. Being aware of these types of personality models has been very useful to me, as a way to understand the behavior of others that would otherwise not make sense. Personality Hacker does have a very accurate portrayal of INTP.

    What I would tell my 15 yr old self? That guy was hopelessly clueless! One thing would be to understand early that what people say they want and what they really want are often not the same. Don’t be so quick to offer solutions to the stated problems, because there is often a lot of hidden stuff going on, and you may “other” yourself if you are not careful to understand hidden agendas.

    That goes for almost all relationships, including romantic, work-place, and family.

    Realize that the messy human relationships are often more important than actual measurable performance metrics. Maybe you will get lucky and find a career that really does reward innovation and problem-solving, but you would be smart to invest a great deal of effort into developing human networks and socializing, as uncomfortable as that may feel. View it as another system to figure out!

    Cut way back on providing commentary and critiques of everything. Try to remember to thank those who do things for you, and praise behavior that you want to continue. Don’t assume that it’s obvious that you appreciate it. Most of the other types need to see expressions of appreciation.

    As for love? Can’t help too much there…I would say, try to resist being drawn to the crazy ones. I know it’s intriguing to have interesting puzzles to solve, but after you figure it out and start getting bored, things get interesting in a bad way.

  • Wrain
    Reply

    If I could go back I don’t know that anything I said would make much of a difference. I could tell myself all day long that Failure is not the end of the your life but until I failed spectacularly in college, and survived it, I didn’t believe it. I would rather go back and talk to my 21 year old self and tell me to take that acting job in New York. Who cares if it didn’t pan out the risk would be worth the experience. It’s the one thing in my life I truly regret not doing.

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