Podcast – Episode 0085 – INTP Personality Type Advice

Download Episode Here right click link and select “Save Link As…”

In this episode Joel and Antonia dive deep into the needs and challenges of the INTP personality type.

In this podcast on the INTP personality type you’ll find:

INTP – Accuracy/Exploration in Genius system

INTPs have a crucial role that they play in our society. That task may seem a little thankless, which helps us understand some of the challenges they face.

Deep down inside, INTPs care more than they let on.

Car Model

The Driver for INTP is Introverted Thinking (Ti), which we have nicknamed “Accuracy.

What makes analytical sense? Decision-making process.

Driver = Flow State = the most rewarding thing you can do.

Ti works the best when it is without social obligation.

The opposite of Ti is Fe “Harmony.” Fe is about connecting and social interaction.

INTPs in the survey revealed their greatest challenge was in connecting with other people.

Copilot – Ne “Exploration” – is pattern recognition. Interaction with the environment without being attached to any outcome. A zoomed out process that allows you to explore your terrain.

Podcast Introverted Intuition vs Extraverted Intuition

When Ti and Ne are combined it is a fascinating combo of zooming in (Ti – surgical approach to data) and zoomed out (Ne – an overall view of patterns).

Together, these cognitive functions create radically new ideas.

Creating patterns and frameworks and architecting new maps and models requires them to be a bit destructive – like Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction.

Ti works the best when removed from the social bias component.

Emotional connection influences info.

INTPs often show up saying things that other people don’t want to hear, which is their gift to the world.

They are the great destroyer of outdated paradigms or untruths.

INTPs will always look for the strictest vetting process in their chosen field.

We are such social creatures we don’t appreciate it when people call us on our BS/Belief Systems.

We make extraordinary technical strides when we overturn the social norm.

INTPs break things down to their fundamental nature and depersonalize them.

Sometimes frameworks only get so far, and they get stuck because they run out of new frameworks for ideas.

The copilot process for INTPs is Extraverted Intuition, which we have nicknamed “Exploration.”

Exploration gives INTPs access to bigger frameworks and increases their territory, so they have more structures to hang fresh data on.

It is imperative for INTPs to grow their Exploration process.

The alternative is to stick with what you already know. If you don’t take in more territory, your framework may be radically off because you are missing a vital piece of info that’s just outside your existing territory.

Exploration allows INTPs to go out and experience things. Travel is essential to INTPs.

Going outside their comfort zone is imperative. All growth happens outside the comfort zone.

Sometimes we graft our identity to old pieces of info and INTPs overturn the things with which we identify.

But the INTP must first go through the uncomfortable terrain of change and challenge before they can do it for others.

INTPs need to be students of experience, life, and interaction.

The Survey revealed the INTPs struggle with a lack of motivation.

The INTPs that have the greatest motivation have decided they are going to bring their gifts to the world.

The more somebody rests on their laurels and holds back the more they feel a lack of inspiration and motivation.

The 10-year-old process is Introverted Sensing, which we have nicknamed “Memory.”.

Memory often means doing the thing that is known and comfortable. Finding a familiar context and staying there perpetually.

Frameworks don’t expand with Si. So, INTPs double down on Ti and continue to clean slice concepts and data until things become absurd. Without the input from Ne, they keep dividing until there’s nothing left.

Emotion is the seat of motivation, which is an INTPs blind spot. If INTPs double down on their thinking process, they avoid the emotions that will get them motivated.

Emotion is about finding the meaning behind things.

Exploration helps expand frameworks of mind and increase the narratives with which INTPs work.

Why does the data matter?

Ne gives meaning to the data. Without meaning, there is no motivation.

To see the narratives of our lives we need to zoom out.

Get outside yourself and explore beyond your comfort zone.

INTPs can have belief systems.

INTPs love absurd humor. Monty Python. Sketch comedy.

Even falling in love is nothing but a narrative.

INTPS who do the best are the ones who connect with other people through contribution.

INTPs can appear cynical because society doesn’t always honor their gift of radical honesty.

The natural state of an INTP is to be childlike and approach life with wonder and curiosity. Then they get the message that they are unacceptable which leads to cynicism.

Nobody can sustain a feeling of brokenness indefinitely. They either become depressed or resentful.

“You are not broken.”

“You are okay.”

We are seeing more and more media acknowledging the role of geeks and people who influence our technological world.

We see their contribution, but they are harder to reconcile in our day to day life.

We love truth. It reverberates through our spinal cord.

Society is getting ready for entering into a space of radical honesty, but it still means pushing people outside their comfort zones.

Modern technology is forcing us into a state of transparency; most technology is invented by INTPs.

The more INTPs show up as doing their job of being radically honest, the more we will head toward transparency as a society.

In the past, honesty brought death.

We can’t have real harmony without radical honesty, and we can’t have radical honesty without the need to connect with others.

The 3-year-old process is Extraverted Feeling (Fe), which we have nicknamed “Harmony.”

Healthy INTPs can become almost worshiped. They show up with so much credibility. They haven’t rejected Fe, they made it part of their aspiration and decided to use it to make others happy. Their intent is positive.

Podcast How To Love Yourself

Agape – Principled love. We are all in this together.

INTP men/women at the top of their game have many admirers.

Sometimes by solving problems for themselves, an INTP can find a way to solve for a larger demographic.

Female INTPs feel isolated because most women are Fe dominant, and men are usually looking for women to behave a certain way.  

Spend more time in your copilot and understand why you struggle to fit in. Then go and find the context that will appreciate you for your gifts.

INTP women are polarizing. Birds of paradise. Not everyone’s going to love you, but some will and they are looking for you.

Pay for the privilege of finding your tribe. Conventions, Seminars, Cons, etc.

Online communities. Reddit.



To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Subscribe with iTunes
Non iTunes Link
Download The Android App
Subscribe on Soundcloud
Subscribe with Stitcher

If you like the podcast and want to help us out in return, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes immensely! We would be eternally grateful!

Want to learn more?

Discover Your Personal Genius


We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…

Recommended Posts
Showing 97 comments
  • Axel

    This was a pretty negative take on INTP. Even though I agree with a lot of type description provided after I took the test, I don’t agree with the comments provided by the speakers that INTPs are socially awkward or that people hate hanging out with INTPs. INTPs can develop social skills and be very conscious of not stepping on other peoples toes… Like not share opinion or advice unless they know that the person on the other side of the table is ready for it. It is true that its very beneficial for this type to avoid living completely in their heads and go out in the world and keep reconstructing their mental frameworks based on real world data.

  • Adam

    The podcast was amazing I just have an important question . as an INTP I want to know who is the best personality type for me to hang out with? Female and male

  • Gary Davidson

    I always identify as an INTJ when doing personality tests but what you were saying within this podcast about INFP really resonates with me as it is exactly what I have done, I have become disillusioned about “reality” and over the years have delved into philosophy, deconstructed political platforms without the emotional or social implications to refine my own opinions, to the point I wrote my own manifesto to create a system that (to my mind) satiates all parties, then after realising that, that’s a mountain I am not willing to climb, and in the long run is pointless, due to humanities proclivity to pendulum, I got back into the occult and have spent years deconstructing religious and mythological narratives in order to find the ultimate truths hidden within all of them, as is said “the first sip of the natural sciences will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the bottle god awaits”

  • Aerin

    My INTP female experience is wildly different because I was Fe-trained by an ESFJ mother and an ENFJ sister with a heavy Fe Latin, Catholic culture. I learned tact pretty darn early. Fe friendships also resulted in understanding that we’re all fundamentally similar. Yes, I am the Shiva of the personality types, but I do not come across as one because I genuinely appreciate people’s thoughts and feelings, coming to them with that childlike sense of wonder mentioned in the pod. At its core, it’s just a cheerful Ne approach with a quietly kind Fe manner, but it takes a long time to develop without the right influencers or motivation. By the way, do not believe all INTP ladies want admirers lining up to be with them. This inveterate introvert would certainly rather have a lined up set of books!

    • Letitia

      As an INTP female I have no problem talking to people when the approach me but I find it difficult when I have to approach them. I understand and can engage with them easily but I struggle to connect with them. Also I feel extremely drained when talking to people because no one ever listens to me. I also love psychology, I want to learn the cognitive functions and use this to help kids understand themselves and parents understand their kids. I believe if people understand themselves and how they think then it brings them one step closer to reaching their full potential without much of the struggle.

  • Dom

    Hi! I’m a fellow INTP that struggles (at times, and at this time) immensely with Self-Discipline and/or Motivation, or the lack thereof.

    Can somebody who has already found a solution to the issue push me into the right direction? I feel like I’m at the end of my wits and stuck in Ti from all the thinking I did to pull me out of the slump.


  • Erin

    I don’t know if Antonia or Joel will see this, but if so I have a question for a PHQ podcast!

    I’m a 26 year old female INTP, the only child of an INFJ mother. I want to improve our relationship, but I’m so bad at connecting with people and understanding their emotions! With her personality type, sometimes it feels like we will never understand each other. Joel and Antonia have mentioned they both have INFJ mothers, and I would especially love to hear what Antonia, as an ENTP, has to say. How can we communicate better? And how can I get over how broken she made me feel as a child?

    More background if it helps:
    I know I hurt her a lot growing up, wielding that ‘dull sword’ of underdeveloped Ti (which I’ve since sharpened quite well in my opinion!), but I don’t think she realizes how much she hurt me. She wanted me to conform to my peers in every way possible, which I believe she did out of love, wanting me to avoid the painful emotions of being a ‘social reject’. But in reality, she just made me feel so intrinsically broken. Now, as an adult learning to fully own my personality, I have been trying to open up and calmly share my thoughts/feelings with her, but she either gets overemotional or lashes out at me. She really does make me feel like I’m going to be alone forever because of who I am, which is literally my biggest fear. How can we ever have a healthy mother/daughter relationship? I need help!

    • Aerin

      INTP female with ESFJ mom here. There is emotional history with our mothers that is probably best left unpacked with a neutral third party present, not alone. My mom and I ended up going to therapy since we tended to resort to habitual defensive reactions. If counseling is not an option, even for you alone, limit the frequency of interactions with her and learn to restrict conversations to topics where your personalities will not clash. My mother and I connect on subjects we both care about.

      We need relationships where we are loved and respected. It’s wonderful when our mothers are among them, but sometimes, for reasons outside our control, that cannot be the case.

      Given their context and personality, everyone’s behavior makes sense, including your mom’s. This also means that you make sense and the people who say otherwise, who claim you’re broken, do not have the curiosity or taken the time to understand your context and your personality. Find the people who want to. Long distance relationships are not quite as effective in resolving your fears and satisfying your needs as friends in close proximity, but years ago I found some solace in the INTP forum on facebook. You might find it in similar forums, too, if offline venues are out of reach.

    • Richard


      I feel that I am going through similar situation with my mother at this time. She has, over the past 5 years, been systematically sabotaging her own health and mental state to the point where she was completely dependent on others to survive. In doing so she has forced me, and all of those who care about her, to essentially abandon any prospect of a life independent of her influence. But that feeling cannot be sustained indefinitely and after literally a lifetime of abuse and neglect by her and others, I finally broke down and allowed myself to feel all the trauma and insecurities I’ve suppressed since I was a child. I think that act of emotional release is what gave her motivation to address her own trauma, but I would not say that I am ready to forgive her for what she has done to me. So I wouldn’t recommend following anyone’s advice on how to approach your parent.

      As for advice,
      I have been getting weekly, medically based, therapeutic massages for myself and it is quite literally the best thing I have ever done. I think the process of developing a channel of communication with a stranger who wants to help you based on your needs is essential to building trust in ourselves and others. Also, for me the process of massage is like a guided meditation. Bringing total awareness of my body: how it responds to motion and touch, how constricted my breathing normally is, and little time I spend completely in it. That combined with taking long walks in nature by myself has allowed me to isolate all the negative influences around me (including and especially my own mind!) and feel connected to something so much larger than myself. I finally have moments where I feel connected to life and feel joy in the uncertainty of it all. The universe now feels so much more complex and beautiful than I had ever previously imagined and I hope you get to experience this as well.

      If you’d like more material. The article at this site is what crystallized things for me.

      As an aside, this is the first internet post I’ve made in 27 years on this planet! So hooray for progress. 🙂

  • Denis Matei

    Loved this podcast, I resonated enormously with the improv class INTP, I’m 23 and recently started doing research in socializing and talking to women. It is a painful process but extremely rewarding.

    • tally bah

      I think it was a very useful POD with some important insights. Particularly the ‘Shiva’ metaphor. I always think of it in terms of the fire metaphor: fire (the Choleric element) is necessary for change. In fire, nothing stays the same. When the house is rotten at its core, it needs to be ‘burned down’ so that a new house can be built upon it.

      The same works with theories. Theories are based on Truth, and Truth is like fire, people don’t like to hear the truth. However, truth is the fire necessary to break apart bad and unhealthy belief systems so that new, fresh and positive belief systems can be built upon the ashy remains of the old ones. Too much truth is too much fire and it can burn down more than necessary. It can burn or hurt belief systems that are partially true. One should use fire, but in the right way and the right amount of doses. Truth in the right amount of doses, communicated in a way that it leads to the best response from the listener – that’s the challenge – that’s using Ti dominantly with small portions of Fe integrated into it – that’s what I aim for (subconsciously).

  • Wayne

    Does Ti make it hard to “draw” out the actual framework in the mind? It is abstractly linked or drawed in the mind? Or is this a Ni thing?

  • SRQTom

    As an INTP I found the description of part of my thought process as “depersonalizing everything” both informative and interesting. I don’t think of it myself as depersonalizing everything, but then again I don’t have the emotional attachments to my belief system in the way most other types do. I not only want to know the logic behind something [logic in the sense of how everything is working together], I NEED to know the logic behind something, otherwise I have no idea what to do in a particular situation. Unfortunately the only way I can do this is by breaking [or smashing] it down into its individual components and removing any emotional bias towards it.

    For example, In the past I’ve had people give me the growth advice of “noting things that need doing,” but when I tried to do this I came up with absolutely nothing. When I discussed this with someone they told me that the person who gave you this advice is probably expecting you to be able to walk into a room and see what needs to be done, or what needs to happen, and do it. But unless I know how a particular room is supposed to be functioning [the logic of it] I have no idea what needs to be done. Is it a living room? A dining room? Is there an event happening in this room? If so what type of event? These all have different functions and thus need different things and different set ups.

    What I don’t think people realize though is that we’re [and with “we” here I am referring to healthy INTPs] not smashing their belief system because we hate it [or them] or something. We’re smashing it because we want to find the weak points and strengthen them; we want to know how it works so that we can make it better, more stable, and able to stand up to all the attacks that life and people are going to throw at it.

    On the feeling like we’re broken part…I actually had this same opinion of myself growing up [I’m 31 now]; I just felt like I was broken. Everyone else seemed able to connect with other people and make friends and all that, but for some reason I couldn’t. I really wish I would have known about MBTI back then. It would have not only explained a lot, but also would have shown me what to do and how to grow.

    Thanks for this podcast, it was much appreciated.

  • Craig

    I finally listened to this podcast, it is really good. As an INTP, the accuracy/exploration front seat passenger analogy helped for me to understand why I enjoy travel so much, and enjoy many other activities, all of which are outside of my comfort zone. As a stereotypical genius and geek, I have experienced all the struggles you discuss. Understanding my struggles in the light of a personality trait and not as byproduct of other traits, helps me explicitly address my shortcomings, and understand why some approaches work while others do not. Thanks also for motivating me to enter another discomfort zone – finding my tribe. Triple Nine Society helped a little, but that addressed just a small part of my whole. Thanks Antonia and Joel.

  • Ellen

    The part about INTP offerings being rejected by others really resonated with me. You made this INTP female cry. #GettingInTouchWithMyInner3YearOld

    Also, the part about being looked at like an odd duck *really* resonated with me. I remember loving _The Ugly Duckling as a child_. You helped me understand why.

  • Daryl

    WOW, this website is incredible! It’s really helping me understand myself more and validating many of my thoughts and observations about myself and the way I see world as an INTP. I am fascinated by your knowledge and incite of personalities and behavior. I can’t wait to explore more of how I can improve myself in areas that I am having difficulties with. Thank you for this website, for your open honest approach and the opportunity for me to participate.

  • Thomas

    Hey guys, INTP here 🙂
    Thank you for the podcast 🙂

    I have (for now) just one thing to ask/criticize: 😀 (Nitpicking incoming 😀 )
    Could you please move the crosshair of the podcast/video a few pixels to the right or the brain a few pixels to the left 😀
    It’s very distracting 😀

  • Susie

    I already knew I was not broken. Try telling that to the adults in my life at the time, especially the ENTP!

  • Joy

    “The 13-year-old process is Extraverted Feeling (Fe)” <– 3 year old

  • Mona Mede

    Thank you for emailing me this podcast.

    I can share my story 🙂 that would be fun!
    As a child I rarley spoke and I had bad situation at home with my parents fighting all the time about money so I was spending as much time outside as possible taking all evening classes, biking and listining others girls about guys 😛 I had no interests in guys but I wanted to hear others stories (I think now that I learned from it).

    At schoole my favourite subject was phychology course, math, sport and painting and I took it all in my extra time. I had no idea what I would like to do after collage so I moved to UK for a year as a child care, then I come back and I’ve started IT University when I also took a place in student exchange in Germany.

    I had multiple jobs optoelectronic laboratory assitant, IT tester and programmer, interior designer, project manager, and so on… Now I am creating my own application about better communication for other people.

    I recently doubt that I am INTP as I don’t really feel that I have social issues. I always feel a bit weird but my interpretation was rather that I am simply special :P. At some point in college I took approach that I am build with my experience/memories and even if those experiences were bad or I didnt liked them, I won’t be the same person without them.
    After this podcast I may still believe that I am INTP after you introduced 2 milioners that are charming and still INTP.

    At the moment I already survived time when I badly wanted to be extravert and I found some goodies with being an introwert.
    I was also in the posision when I wanted to help other so they found me as a close friend but that was only one sided relation – at some point when I was board with that person problems I wasn’t interested to meet that person any more what feels really bad. I just like this eyes when I see something clicked and life perception of this person will not be the same for the next 5 min or I hope longer.

    I am kind of good looking 29years old girl which is able to change own behaviour/approach by just understanding system, and now I can do it with others 😛 so I feel more like INFJ since 2 weeks.

    If I would recommend something to others INTPs it would be book “Refuse to choose” which I found while I was looking for my true passion. I like approach of Eva and I am happier since I read it. My every project is much easier now I love journaling:)

    There are many more advises that I can give from my experience like listen to Joel and Antonia and try it in life, but this comment would be too long to read. Maybe it’s already. Cheers!

    • Shreya

      Thanks for emailing the podcast. It has helped me to understand my personality type and risk&rewards related to it.

  • India

    I thought this whole personality test thing was helpful already, but I think this could be my favorite find since I’ve been digging through the INTP resources. This podcast was so tremendously helpful in describing the way I’ve always functioned and how to better deal with my behaviors and those around me. Also explains why I find absurd humor so funny, but you guys put words to what I never could quite convey. You both are so incredibly articulate and intelligent and I can’t thank you enough for all of your help! Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      India. That’s actually our Daughter’s first name. Thanks for the feedback and comment.

  • Will

    You guys mentioned my biggest issue in life until now. I’m 24, but I remember that when I was 16-17 I went through that whole nihilist phase, and it was very difficult. It messed up alot of things I had going on in my life at the time…relationship and my grades tanked so I messed up a good few of my exams. I’m not even sure what picked me back up. There were several other issues that you guys mentioned that were spot on. Glad that a resource like this exists

  • Helen

    Hi, INTP female here. One thing that’s always bothered me is what the intp profiles say in the career section. I constantly see sites saying that engineering or the maths or computer technical jobs are perfect for the intp. But I feel like they’re missing out on a huge part of the intp personality that would make those jobs tough. And that’s the np part. I have a very hard time making myself focus on the day to day, rote, mindless drudgery that math involves. I remember struggling to focus in school because nothing was interesting and the things we were learning seemed pointless in the scheme of things. Math was especially a pain because I just could not see the point in learning it beyond the basics when I knew I would never go into a math based career. However, that didn’t mean I couldn’t pick it up quickly. I did better on the homework because I could take my time to fully integrate and work through problems to understand them. I could also teach the concepts to my friends incredibly well- to the point where they would get B’s and A’s on the tests and I would get C’s. The worst was when I was in my lab classes. It was almost impossible for me to follow these research steps and write down all the numbers that had no benefit to me. It wasn’t like we were performing groundbreaking experiments to learn something never before known. We were doing mindless, annoying, repetitive research. I ended up using my brain power to find ways to efficiently do the experiments with as little actual work involved as I could. Half the numbers were made up and I spent class wondering when I could get back to doing something mentally stimulating.

    So I guess what I was saying is this: how can engineering and the other jobs usually listed for an intp actually be the best career path when repetitive busy work is the bane of our existence?

    And what would the actual best type of career be for an intp who can’t stand repetitive busy work, and who doesn’t take orders well/ balks at authority?

    • Tara

      I’m also an INTP female and you pretty much just described my entire school life. I also think those things about the “career” suggestions on INTP sites. Of course, I wish someone had adequately explained to me when I was much younger how completely fascinating theoretical physics can be so I didn’t completely miss out on learning all of the fundamentals and make it harder for myself to learn about it as an adult, but yes. I definitely second this post.

  • Zach

    I have never felt such an urge to make a long and insightful comment about a podcast. Naturally, I listen to podcasts about whatever “new thing” I’m trying to learn at the time, but never really engage. I’d just like to start by saying thank you for such a deep dive into the INTP personality!

    I was originally typed as an INFJ, and although I could heavily relate to the intuitive part, I had this nagging sense of doubt. I finally figured out I was an INTP when my whole life basically stopped until I figured out what my personality was, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I am fairly confident in my INTP status now, and would like to share a few thoughts that I have about the INTP personality.

    The thing that I resonated most in this episode was Antonia’s analysis of what happy/successful INTPs are like.

    I guess the best way to explain is through my brief life story as a 20 year old (if anyone even cares haha):

    I grew up in a household that valued family, and with a mom that pushed me out of my comfort zone every chance she got. I was forced to play team sports my entire child life, and although I was athletic, I did not like them most of the time! I never felt like people respected me, so I made it my mission throughout all of high school to get a college golf scholarship. I ended up getting a full scholarship, and temporarily enjoyed that sense of respect I got from my peers, but that’s not what this insight is about.

    I then spent the first two years of college in a mild-moderate depression. During this period, I was not putting much effort into my long distance relationship, my golf, or my social life. I was basically watching Netflix and doing school work on the side. This past year, I told myself that no matter what happens, I’m going to work my butt off in EVERY aspect of my life, regardless of how uncomfortable I am doing so. Most of my “discomfort” actually comes from playing competitive golf.

    And when I say “discomfort,” I’m talking more about that feeling where your stomach is flipped upside down, your entire body is almost paralyzed, and all you want to do is go to your room and be alone forever.

    Basically, golf stresses me out. A LOT.

    But here is what I have noticed, which rings true with what Antonia mentioned:

    The periods of my life where I have jumped out of my comfort zone have been the most satisfying times in my life. I’ve felt so much motivation every morning to get up and work on getting better as a person.

    That being said, I’m only 20, and I’ve got a long way to go… I’d be lying if I said I had everything under control right now.

    To be honest, right now, my life feels like a 1000 piece puzzle, and I haven’t even finished the border yet 🙁

  • Jayme

    Thank you so much for this! I finished this podcast in tears. I look back over my life and am remembering the times where I didn’t fit, where I stood out as odd and even as a teenager I was especially quick to call out and challenge and question teachers and authority. I have always been referred to as weird, book-smart, bitchy, cold, intimidating, shy, and awkward. I never could relate well to other girls and still have problems now as woman and and felt like they were ridiculous. I have had people tell me I have unusual wisdom for my age and a spark for life. I see the relationships I had and still have that thrived and I was and am the most comfortable in the ones that embrace my awkwardness, find it endearing and push me out of my shell, push me to be more social and proud of my accomplishments and skills and that I need to show more of myself to the world. I definitely have the latent emotion and have that box of hurt in my brain that has never really been opened or understood until now. I feel like my data grid has been realigned and things fit where are supposed to go and everything now makes sense. I am not broken. I am not made to fit into the social norm and I am not wrong for having no desire to do so. I am necessary and needed and desired in society. I will own my awkwardness instead of trying to stifle it. I will share my thoughts and not worry about how they will be received. I will encourage my drive to explore and to learn and experience EVERYTHING. Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Lisa

    I enjoyed listening to the podcast, thanks for creating it.

    I would like to mention that for me, as an INTP, a deep dive into learing about someting new and interesting to me supplies a major dose of motivation and happiness. I suspect this is true for other INTPs as well. It probably isn’t obvious on the outside, to others, but it feels wonderful on the inside.

  • Ramya

    Thank you so much for emphasizing on INTP women. I am an INTP female and I am having this major existential crisis and I am really trying to improve my social skills. I am exactly in that phase where only my Accuracy function is highly active. This podcast really helped me realize that. Its definitely something hard to deal with but I am all the more excited now :).

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the comment, Ramya! Make sure you are getting out and exercising your Copilot, too. 🙂

  • Angie

    Oh my goodness! Firstly thank you thank you thank you for discussing INTP women!! It was so validating to hear another human being totally “get” my experience, AND have/give practical, competent advice. Secondly, it’s a very interesting and useful concept you gave to sort of solve the issue of connecting with others successfully and move beyond that “wholesale rejection” I’m super excited to begin applying that. Just, just gratitude and respect. You guys have hit the nail on the head. Thank you for what you do!!!

    • Charis Branson

      Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Angie! We love it when we can help others become the best version of themselves.

  • Ry

    Hi Guys,

    I would like to suggest, if you guys could upload this to youtube or soundcloud, it will have a room for buffering and it will be easy to rewind/fast forward. It was a challenge on absorbing this podcast coz it’s cutting every 3 seconds. I was excited on listening to it, but need to postpone it for the future.

    Admiring, your naming convention on how you present the functions, It was an expansion as well as simplification in catching the essence each individuality type.

    Looking forward on listening your podcast soon.

    All the best,

    Ry – INTP

  • Catarina

    Hi, thank you so much for your podcasts!! They are great, honestly!

    I’m commenting to make a podcast suggestion. What about trauma? PTSD? How can this affect your personal growth?
    I have actually suffered from C-PTSD for more than 14 years, till I finally faced the fears and trauma, and though I still have scars from it, I was only able to truly grow after I worked on my traumas. It felt like if I changed identities during the process (from victim to a more reality based identity) and like if before I was detached from myself, like if I was a no-person.
    Is this common to all personality types?
    Thank you in advance for your answer!

    • mentsh

      Oh yes…a podcast about the effects of PTSD/ abuse/ enmeshment/ dysfunctional families, specifically on INTPs, would be very helpful. Or more specifically, a podcast giving some advice for how an INTP might recover from that mess.

      I think that, as an INTP, I was especially susceptible to mirroring the behaviors of the adults in my life as a child. And it was confusing to constantly try to behave in ways that weren’t natural for me…playing the games, having to read people’s emotional states in order to preempt emotional abuse, holding myself to standards of appearance and harmony that I had to work so very hard at, and never feeling the “connection” and satisfaction of met needs, because my needs are so different from those of other people.

      So now the discovery process of who I really am as an INTP is chaotic and disruptive…made even more difficult by lack of knowledge and experience for how to create authentic bonds with people in order to have a support system through all of this.

      It’s like…take a latent truth-seeker, and set them loose inside an enmeshed, codependent family, and let’s watch the fireworks.

      I think that what they said in this podcast about doing what is helpful for me…finding the answers that address my problems…and from that, I’ll have hard-earned wisdom and insight to share with others later…is the key to eventually finding a place of recovery. It helps to keep hope alive during this time while I feel like such a burden and “trouble-maker” for other people.

    • Eve

      I also had an abusive childhood and I’ve always thought my obsessive need to find the truth and make others aware of it was due to the circumstances of my past-no one knew what was happening to me because my abuser was so manipulative and I was not allowed to have any feelings or thoughts that contradicted hers, so now things like propaganda and inaccuracy really bother me. I also have not always tested as an intp. I was an enfp, then an entp and am only just now considering myself intp because of this podcast. I was always close in the e and I so it’s probably not a big difference, but I’m wondering if some traumatic experiences can make people more likely to end up intp or if maybe when I was younger my narcissistic abuser kind of trained me to be an enfp because that’s what she was and she did everything she could to make me believe we were the same.

      Also I wanted to mention that roller derby is a good place to find lots of women who are not harmony driven:). And I’m wondering if anyone has examples of careers that are good for people who like exploring many different fields in an in depth way. In other words, what do the happy intps that you know do for a living? I hate that I have to pick one field of study if I want to do in depth research.

      • Elise Faryna

        I am an INTP woman and my career as a environmental scientist is deeply rewarding. It involves complex problems that you need to use all of your talents to solve. Some of the main tasks include developing a conceptual site model, undstanding all regulatory requirements, researching the contaminant of concern, reviewing potential remediation methods, and overseeing the work in the field. You are doing your little part to “save the world” and it is greatly satisfying!

    • JM

      It would be great to hear a podcast that addressed Myers-Briggs typology and trauma.

      I realize that these comments were made months ago, however, since neither Antonia and Joel have responded I thought I’d address the issue. I am both an INTJ and a trauma survivor. I have worked in a peer support capacity with other trauma survivors. I have also done professional course work on trauma studies. I know quite a bit about the subject as well as Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram.

      Here’s a brief response:

      Catarina’s description is quite typical of most survivors of childhood trauma insofar as those with CPTSD are challenged to stay present because of the nature of flashbacks and dissociation. This means an individual is spending a lot of energy living in ‘survivor mode’ (either FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE, SUBMIT). Those were really the only options as a traumatized child, and to the extent one continues to relive those experiences, one continues to live in survival mode. Dissociation is a flight response that a child will naturally fall back on as a means of surviving what could be a life threatening situation. A child growing up in an abusive or dangerous childhood environment will also tend to SUBMIT (i.e. comply with the wishes of one’s parents in order to receive love and support). “Mirroring the behaviors of the adults in my life as a child” as Mentsh describes below is part of the submit response of the child. We are often conditioned to mirror the behavior of our parents (I think Antonia talks about this is one of the podcasts). This kind of behavior, while it can be useful as an effective survival strategy, does not facilitate healthy childhood development. And we tend to carry these behaviors forward into our adult lives.

      Back to Catarina’s specific comments: “It felt like I changed identities during the process”. This is a common experience among people who have done trauma therapy work. This is because as a person integrates childhood parts of themselves (as they work through trauma) they are less fearful, more emotional regulated and more present. The individual no longer needs to stay in survival mode or necessarily identifies as being a survivor. One’s perception of self shifts as a space opens (expands within oneself) to explore various aspects of one’s being. The trauma survivor is no longer tethered or limited in action and thought to the trauma. Feeling “detached from [one’s self] is something I experienced as feeling like a ghost moving through life. I think this is very much connected to the concept of soul death or soul murder that occurs as a result of the disintegrating aspects of the trauma experience itself. Trauma survivors often feel alienated and cut off not only from others but themselves. Trauma recovery becomes an invitation to become reacquainted with one’s lost soul.

      These experiences are unique to those with complex trauma histories. It’s not something that is common to all personality types in general. No personality type is immune from the effects of childhood trauma however. Also, not everyone that experiences the after effects of childhood trauma develop CPTSD. Sometimes this stuff flies under the radar of the unconscious (i.e. – we are not always fully aware as adults that we were traumatized or the full extent in which childhood abuse effected our subsequent development). Regardless of its manifestations, these experiences deserve to be honored and talked about. Part of the challenge that we in the CPTSD community experience is that others do not want to see. People are often uncomfortable with the topic of childhood sexual abuse (much more common and prevalent in our society than what people want to admit). There is far too little understanding among those in the general population. Too much silence on the topic.

      I could discuss by theories of how this is all related to enneagram and Myers-Briggs typology, but this is not my website. I am developing a greater appreciation and enthusiasm for the work that Antonia and Joel are doing here at Personality Hacker. I think there is a lot of potential to reach the trauma survivor audience. I hope they take it up as a topic of exploration. Those in trauma recovery are often challenged with identity issues. While I believe everyone can benefit from this kind of personal development work, the difference it can make for someone who has experienced deep wounding can be life affirming and result in a transformational shift of consciousness.

      Thank you Antonia and Joel. You’re inspiring me to take up this topic and start working on my blog again. Important stuff!

  • Trevor

    Hey, guys, I really enjoyed your podcast. I just thought I’d throw in my two cents. I’m an INTP so I understand everything you guys are talking about. However the way I may be slightly different is due to the fact that I have synesthesia (the color of music; the taste of words etc.); and it’s played a major, major roll in my life. For example: I’m really poetic, and extremely imaginative. The synesthesia may have me replying heavily on my intuition. So, yeah… Just thought I’d say something.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Trevor for giving insight into your personal experience. I’m sure that synesthesia has produced a very unique life for you so far.

  • Marv

    Wow! Powerful stuff…this was a much needed deep and poignant sermon to my life the helped me feel understood, spoke truth to my life and inspired me to carry out my “gift to the world”. Thank you!

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thank you Marv for listening and commenting. Help us spread the word to others.

  • Craig

    Just dawned on me how my best friend an ENFP seems to encourage my growth the best. What better way to improve your Ne than lock wits, humour with ENTPs and ENFPs whose Ne is what they excel in, being their pilot. I really feel a great comedic connection with these guys, whilst they generate breadth of ideas, INTPs narrow it back down too it’s funniest form.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      I think ENFPs are the shit myself. But maybe I spend too much time in front of the mirror… 🙂

  • Foday

    Starting from 19:01 when Joel started talking about INTP mind being constructed into framework and hanging pieces of data onto the framework, what came to mind was when I created my own governing principles, rules to govern my behavior but most importantly the principles where there so I could have a deeper understanding of myself.

    My governing principles, the framework of it is a circle with three verticle lines. One is in the center which represents intelligence, one on the right edge of the circle represent body and one on the left edge of the circle represent soul and there are 5 lines dividing the circle as well, I won’t go into what they mean.
    In the circle I attached data, like for example “self control” is at the center of the circle.

    I have explored and tested the framework but now I am realizing the importance of getting my needs met, not being the “nice guy.”
    I placed “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” in the center of the circle and I have a journal and in it I write all my adventures and thoughts.

    My “governing principles” are all subjective since it was made specifically for me, but “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” is objective since it was made for everybody.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Foday for the comment.

      Very interesting mental model.

      I too use a lot of mental images to categorize ideas, beliefs, understanding etc. For me, as an ENFP, they seem to be impressions of hunches and feelings that my Authenticity works with. Sometimes they graft onto each other in my mind’s eye.

      For example I have a mental picture of time and how my mind “sees” time. I see a ribbon (almost like a film strip) that extends up to the right for the future and down to the left for my past. It is a flexible ribbon that can be bent in my mind and I can float to any place on the timeline I want. But the farther I get away from the present moment – the more fuzzy the details get. (That’s just one mental image I use for information management).

      I’m guessing that for an INTP like yourself it’s much more digital in how you picture things. No fuzzy edges or grafted info – but much cleaner and clear edges between pieces of data.

      Is that how you picture it?

      • Foday

        Well Joel the mental image is a circle with 3 vertical lines and 5 horizontal lines going across the circle. Abstract words like “spirit” “serenity” “choice” and other words are attached to the lines in an organize and structured way.

        I like to think the circle as a compass and the lines representing a grid on a map, so I am using a compass to explore these abstract words on a map. The abstract words or governing principles meant a lot to me when I choice them.

        The way I picture things are more in the form of abstract imagery which is defined as a language that portrays sensations or experiences that have no physical parallel such as ideas, concept or emotions.

        The circle, grids and words are all abstract imagery, a concrete version of the circle is a compass, & the concrete version of the grid is a map. The abstract words are very personal and have my own personal meaning attached to it. For me there is nothing that is digital on my abstract images.

        Your mental image may make sense if it is in the shape of a clock because of “perception of time.” In your enfp podcast you talked about slowing things down so the person can get a sense of their authentic self. The authentic self can be the ribbon you described.
        It’s about slowing the hands of time, pointing at the ribbon, so you will get a better and more accurate reading of your authentic self.

        For kids everything takes forever because their brains are growing and processing new information so their perception (mind’s eye) of time is slow. Life is too short for adults because their brains are processing information that has already been processed. Adults do the same thing over and over again so their perception of time is faster compared to a child.

        Trying new food or new things may slow things down but jumping on new opportunities may not because “jumping on new opportunities” is the same mental process.

        You Joel (an enfp) have a clock, a ribbon and mental processes; I on the other hand have a compass, a grid map and abstract images or abstract words.

  • Ryios

    The biggest challenge I have as an INTP is translating my thoughts into words. I think conceptually, in an almost abstract way. Sometimes I am not thinking in words. This is most true when I am writing computer code. I can structure and entire computer program in my head in abstract concepts and images without using any words. Then I’ll start translating that to code in the IDE (Like Visual Studio) and a colleague will ask me to explain a part of it..

    And then I stumble, because I know what I am writing, I understand it, but suddenly I have to give words to everything and it trips me up. For this reason I often come off as clueless or slow (in the mind) and people write me off.. When in actuality, it’s more like I wrote a book in Japanese and they want me to explain it to them in English.

    To top that off, I don’t keep my thoughts in sequential order… I might think out the design for the end of a routine before I think out the design for the start of it, and every piece I’m thinking about is all over the place. So not only do I have to translate my thoughts to words, but I have to get them out in the right order. Because when writing code, the order I write it in doesn’t matter, so long as when it’s done everything is in order. In short, I skip around. I Write Function D before C Then A, then B… I liken it to building a house’s roof before the house. If you can get the roof on the house after it’s built, does it matter what order you did it in?

    • red panda

      Hi Ryios,
      You have exactly described my struggle. I have immense trouble explaining my thoughts to others and only recently I realized that it’s because I, like you, don’t think in words, but more abstractly. My thoughts are usually in the form of images, processes, patterns, or even intuitive feelings. I can have complex ideas or processes worked out in my mind but as soon as someone asks me to explain to them, I end up coming across as confused or incompetent. I would agree that this is probably one of -if not- my biggest struggles as an INTP.
      Thanks for sharing! I find it reassuring to know someone else out there has a similar experience.

    • Foday

      Ryios what language do u code in?

    • Rachel

      Yep. This. I’m a programmer too, and this is very much how I work. Fortunately the one other programmer that I work with right now has a very similar brain to me, and seems to be able to pick up what I’m saying with very little description. But in the past, or talking to anyone else at work or most other people on a different topic, I’ve had a lot more difficulty.

      For most topics I’m interested in (not just programming), it’s like there’s a very clear and detailed (but abstract) map in my head, with no particular beginning or end. So in trying to explain my thoughts to other people, I have to figure out where to start and where to end and where to zoom in and where to give a general picture and which areas are going to seem completely unnecessary to them (even though, since it’s all connected, it all seems important to me). With all this, my explanations end up just being a big jumble a lot of the time.

      I think sometimes this lack of ability to explain one’s thoughts can sound like how Antonia and Joel describe INTJ’s Introverted Intuition, but there are key differences, I think. I haven’t quite pinned down those differences yet, so I want to think about it a bit more before trying to explain.

      • red panda

        Hi Rachel,
        For a few years I have been on the fence about going back to school to study computer science. One of my fears was that my abstract thinking might be a problem in this field; however after reading your post and Ryios’ post I get the sense that this thinking style is actually beneficial in this field, at least in programming. And this explains why programming is often listed as a suitable INTP career option.
        I decided to stop wondering and just go for it. Yesterday I spoke with an academic adviser and made plans to start classes this spring.
        Reading yours and Ryios’ posts has in a small way helped confirm that I am finally heading in the right direction.

        • Rachel

          Wow, that’s really cool! I hope you enjoy it. Personally, I love it. It’s a great mix of problem solving, creation & creativity, and systems. And yes, it does seem quite abstract to me. You’re still building things, as in other forms of engineering, but nothing is grounded in real, concrete things and if you don’t like the way something works, make up your own way! Unlike engineering, coding isn’t fixed to the physical laws of the universe*, instead the whole thing is pretty much an abstract concept people have made up.

          Although despite this, I am actually thinking of going back to school myself. I think it’s less the job itself and more that I have enough mastery over it that I’m a bit bored now. My coding job is still the best one I’ve ever had, though, and if I HAD to stay at a job forever, it would probably be a coding job.

          So I don’t know your circumstances, but my inclination is still to say, “Go for it!” At any rate, you can get pretty decent pay if you’re a decent programmer, and if you really don’t like it for some reason, you should be able to pay off student debts in not too long (with some good money management). Plus everybody needs programs these days– it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a job.

          *Obviously it is at the deepest, electrical level. But most programmers don’t have to deal with that.

      • Tara

        I’m not a coder, but Rachel said: “For most topics I’m interested in (not just programming), it’s like there’s a very clear and detailed (but abstract) map in my head, with no particular beginning or end. So in trying to explain my thoughts to other people, I have to figure out where to start and where to end and where to zoom in and where to give a general picture and which areas are going to seem completely unnecessary to them (even though, since it’s all connected, it all seems important to me). With all this, my explanations end up just being a big jumble a lot of the time.”

        Yes. This. Definitely this. All the time. And then you come up with a way to explain it to someone using maybe a metaphor that you thought was a brilliant way to relate it into words and then everyone in the room just kind of stares at you like you’re an idiot. So you think maybe they’re not getting it and try something else and end up rambling on until they either get it or get bored and walk away….

  • Lucy

    I’m a 19 year old intp and I really wish I listened to this year’s ago as it would prevent a lot of the damage with being called a freak and weird in high school. This podcast helped me get a better insight to my own head, thanks.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Lucy for listening and commenting. Hope we see you around the Personality Hacker community.

  • Caitlyn


    I very much enjoyed this podcast. I always devour the more granular podcasts and blogs on the intuitive types, and especially introverts who are intuitive. I’ve typed out as an INTJ/Perspectives, and as a female it felt like coming up for fresh air when I suddenly had a lot of literature telling me I wasn’t weird or broken or anything like that. Delving into the functions and recognizing standards being set by majorities (even in the subconscious realm) has given me quite the extensive tool box of how to navigate the world. I have two female INTP friends and since I’ve bombarded them with all of this content, I know they’ve experienced the same kind of relief I had. I’ll definitely be passing this on to them, in addition to listening to it multiple times myself.

    Thanks again,

    • Joel Mark Witt

      WOW! Two INTP female friends… What kind of social circles do you run in that create that as an emergent?

      Thanks for introducing us to your friends. Let’s hope they dig it as much as you did.

  • Elsaka

    hello, I examined alot of your content and I find it truly useful. However, I noticed that you fundamentally tackle the Inferior function as the major obstacle of a personality, although this is accurate but it’s slightly lacking. The reason is that the 4th (inferior)function is subconsciously an ‘aspiration’, meaning that even though it is ‘childish’ its user still aspires to mature it in his/her life. That’s why many types try to improve their inferior ( aspirational)  function to gain a sense of personal growth. On the the other hand, a greater issue inhibiting personal growth is the 5th function of a personality type (or opposing persona), for example, it is the Te and Fe in INTP and INFP respectively. In contrary to the aspirational function, it is often overlooked as an area for personal growth, which can be negative. People often detest this function, for example, INTPs hate dealing with Te; executing plans, organisational skills, accomplishing goals or even interacting with Te systems ( Authority, school ect,). Similarly in INFPs, Fe seems unauthentic to them, which can be troublesome because we live in a Fe majority.In conclusion, I think that the 5th function is an important persuit for self development. However, Its hard to grow it as we detest it  strongly (unlike our Inferior functions). I hope you understood my opinion and I wish you would be able to make podcast about that topic, I will also be looking forward for your feedback,Thanks.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Elsaka for the comment.

      The only thing I would disagree with is the idea that we as people detest our fifth position. I would argue that it is our inferior (4th position) that we are more likely to detest.

      BTW – We don’t encourage people to develop their inferior for growth but rather their co-pilot (auxiliary) function. We believe that holds the best leverage.

      For me, as an ENFP, my fifth function (according to the model you’re using above) would be Ni (our name is “Perspectives”).

      I’ve actually used Ni (and other people who have Ni) as inspiration & help for my growth.

      Sometimes Ni slightly frustrates my Ne (“Exploration”) process because it is slow and feels so linear. And yet – it helps round an introverted version of the very thing I value most in my stack… my intuition.

      I could actually see a case made that after you develop your co-pilot function (for me that’s Fi / “Authenticity” – for INTPs that’s Ne / “Exploration”) one could benefit greatly from focusing on growing their 5th position.

      I also see a case made for the fifth function helping compensate for the inferior. In my case – when I’m stuck in Si/”Memory” I tend to think I’ll never get unstuck. Ni/”Perspectives” can actually give me some perspective when I’m unable to get into my Ne.

      If I’m stuck in Si – I’m in an introverted attitude anyway – so why not rely on Ni for help when there?

      Take an INTP in a bad state…

      You are in Fe/”Harmony” when emotions grip you. Wouldn’t Te/”effectiveness” help you get clarity while “in the grip” of your inferior?”

      Te is a thinking process (which you are already familiar with since you are Ti dominant) and it matches both the attitude and an external organizational structure of the function (Fe) that is giving you the trouble.

      So in conclusion – and as of the time of this writing – I see the fifth position as a help – especially when stuck in the inferior process.

      I would caution one to not skip development of the co-pilot in favor of the fifth function – which we can all be tempted to do.

      Again – that’s my first thinking around this. After letting this sit in my own subconscious I might have better clarity in my articulation.

      • Helen

        Interesting discussion.

        I’m with Elaska in that I really dislike Te as an INTP. Fe on the other hand I quite like although I’m not good at it and it can make me very uncomfortable. With Fe it’s more fear than hate though. Te I can actually do – but doing any significant amount of it makes me lose the will to live. From your comments this doesn’t seem to run true for everybody. I am curious as to whether this is generally true for INTPs.

        On a side note, it seems to me that society (or at least western society) favours 3 of the cognitive functions – Fe, Te and Si. This seems to pervade most aspects of society and I’m wondering if this stems from the educational system. Outputs from the other cognitive functions seem to be appreciated, but not the process behind them.
        Throughout my life I have found that my answer (generally correct) will not be listened to or appreciated until I have translated it through Te. So getting the right answer at school didn’t count until I could demonstrate the process of getting there (which I often didn’t know). I wonder if that’s where my unhappiness about using Te comes from?

  • Jonathan

    . I brought home this podcast conversation to my ISTP wife and she seemed to relate to any of the topics regarding leading with accuracy. I took away from the talk that accuracy drivers are often in their heads too much and need to step out of the comfort zone and into the “real” work of exploration (or sensation).
    I think maybe the greatest challenge is coaxing accuracy drivers out of that inner world. Besides the sheer thrill of personal development, what other reward could be implicated as possible if they were to venture?

    Immediately after, I also listened to the phq on athletic pressure with had a lot of accuracy talk so it was helpful tying in two different talks together.
    I’m guessing harmony would come alive. Friends!

    Thanks for the podcast.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Jonathan. Cool that your wife liked the podcast. We will be releasing specific content around the ISTP personality sometime in late Dec 2015. So stay tuned.

  • Benooit

    Such a great and enlighting podcast. I’ve been struggling with being INTP. I just have to help other people but at the same time I am hanging out with the same people for the whole time to the point they are happy with their lives and I would need someone who i might help.
    My biggest personal problem is, that I never had any certainty about relationships with people, which is caused by so many terrible memories. This led me to the point that I dont believe in them (Actually I am afraid of them because it helps me and at the same time my fear makes me more introverted person and I change my behavior dramatically). I can hang out with few male friends, but the inspiring things for me as a male are just women. I just want to make people happy, but the result were that every female friend was hoping for a relationship.
    There was a girl who wasn’t interested in me but I had to do every possible thing to attract her. I’ve made so many appearance changes in me, to the point we were in relationship. It lasted only 4 months.
    I’m just stuck now because I have to meet new people who might be interested in speding time with me, but at the same time I’ve experienced so many painful things. I don’t know if I am capable of dealing with emotions. I negate being happy and overthink every sad moment to the point where I can find a logic in this because I cannot describe feelings in a logic way. It’s too overwhelming.
    I’m sorry for the terrible english, but I guess It’s the first time when I just had the feeling to express my thoughts in the internet because Your podcast was so empowering.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Hang in there Benooit.

      The podcast was probably empowering because we gave you a framework to hang some of your challenges on.

      As you continue to grow your co-pilot of “Exploration” you will continue expanding these frameworks in your mind. Some of these people patterns you are currently struggling with will begin to make more sense.

      Also – don’t be afraid to use your talent for logic and metrics to create frameworks around emotions too. Classify/categorize emotions that show up and put metrics/ratings against them. Experiment by treating emotions like you would any other piece of data. And let us know how that works for you as an INTP.

  • Soumil Dutta

    First of all I must say that it is a wonderful podcast particularly because almost everywhere I listen that INTPs don’t care. People think I am cool with everything and I don’t care but you pointed out the most hidden truth about us that yeah we do care about why people say what they say about us….it is common for us to be labelled weird, etc.But yeah as far as I am concerned I do not get offended by things which most people might get offended by, making people think I don’t care and sometimes we do just act like we don’t care which I guess would be a common human behaviour.

    Well I am an INTP and i am 18 and I must say that there are some problems you are mentioning common to INTPs which was not really a major problem for me like social situations ( i can’t say about my future though) though they were a bit awkward but there is just one thing we need to understand is the importance of connecting because i am sure all INTPs would make excuses to themselves telling how pointless it is and this is the major step towards this problem. Having an ESFP father I got this concept easily into my head and after being depressed for about two years, since last year I am highly motivated and am willing to make changes to the world so thanks for making me feel that I am doing it right. So I thank you because now I learned that my behaviour patterns are close to a healthy INTP.
    And I see that everybody wanna talk to us but we get overwhelmed pretty easily but I find a drawback to that. Yeah they idolize our brain, they would always come to me for advice but that is that , as you said they talk to me a lot but don’t let me connect to them in a deeper level.

    Anyways thinking about characters like Sherlock or even Dumbledore makes me feel like that there are some people born to contribute for the greater good of the world and I would happily take that part.

    I think I have built a strong basic foundation for my source of inspiration and created an environment which keeps my motivation high like being surrounded by books and like-minded friends. I guess a motivation which took two years to build does not get diminished easily. Well it hasn’t for now

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Soumil for the comment.

      You are 18 and have a lot of cool stuff you’ll be learning in the next few years. Happy to have you a part of the Personality Hacker community so we can share in your adventures.

      Try this thought exercise… What do you think your 25 year old self would tell you if they could come back in time and talk with you?

  • Carol

    Like Cherylece, I also felt like some of my biggest fears were confirmed. I am also a female INTP and have always found it very difficult to make female friends. I have a happy marriage and have had several good male friends, although many times those friendships are thwarted or at least restrained because it is difficult for so many people to accept mixed-gender friendships. I often feel like I have to pretend to be someone I am not and that I am constantly either holding my tongue or evaluating any statement I want to make because so often it turns out badly. This is an exhausting ‘inaccurate’ representation of me and has led me many times to simply conclude that I’m not good at ‘people’. Unfortunately, it’s the social sciences and religious practices that draw me; fields that seem to require Harmony and nearly reject Accuracy.

    I love what you said about radical honesty being necessary for a truly authentic relationship, and I can understand how frightening that can be and that not everyone is up for that kind of intensity. I just wish I could find the ones that are instead of having to be someone else.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Carol for the comment.

      So I’m married to Antonia (ENTP). She uses Accuracy as her co-pilot. I have a very love/hate relationship with it.

      As a feeler (ENFP) I am sometimes taken back by how direct Antonia will be with me. She will speak truth and I’ll keep pressing to see “what is REALLY going on under the surface.”

      And I’ve come to realize that she is speaking exactly what she means.

      I can’t tell you what a relief this has been (once I rested into her direct meanings) that I don’t have to second guess her motives or meaning.

      Obviously this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some people like semi-codependent relationships where there are games being played and hidden meanings.

      And yet – you can use your Accuracy process – start speaking truth – and the people that are supposed to be in your world will align with you and stick around (or be attracted). You will repel the game players and codependents. But who wants them around anyway?

      Just my 2 cents. Let me know what you think.


      • Rachel

        Haha, yes, I have exactly this with one of my roommates right now. She is always seeing hidden motives underneath what people are saying, and she’s often amazingly accurate (I thiiiiink she’s an ENFJ using Harmony/Perspectives to read people). Except with me, because the vast majority of the time, what I say is exactly what I’m meaning, and nothing more.

        I’m also in the process of some relationship growth with a good friend of mine. We are discovering that there are things I say that for years she has been assuming had hidden, subtle meanings. But they really, really didn’t. I’m not a blunt or harsh person by any means*, but I don’t think I’m even capable of being a “game player”, let alone enjoying it.

        *I really like how you and Antonia clarify the difference between someone who uses radical honesty and someone who says “I’m just telling it like it is!” There really is a difference there.

    • Molly Irene

      As far as other female relationships go, I definitely get that. There are places we congregate, but like Antonia mentioned when she talked about going to conferences, they can take some finding. In my case, I spent a year getting a MA at a Great Books College where the entire methodology is to read difficult but influential old books, then sit around a table with 15 other people, ask an opening question, and follow it through the text for an hour and a half. It’s such an NTP structure. The program itself was great fun, but the best thing ended up being a whole network of people I didn’t otherwise know how to find. I keep coming back because we have a church here that’s about half students from that program, and scientists from the National Laboratory. They’re the best. Like the family in A Wrinkle in Time, with mystical scientific sorts.

      I guess where I’m going with that, is that Accuracy/Exploration people (including women) do exist and find each other in religious contexts (and I would imagine social sciences as well, in the corners that try to be more scientific), if you find the little pockets and subcultures that encourage them. I suspect many of the best theologians were Accuracy/Exploration; I’ve been reading the Byzantine theologians, and am convinced they often were. Why else write treatises on things like the precise meaning of “hypostatic union?” Of course, there were people involved in political maneuvering as well, exiling their Accuracy using theologians for some impolitic applications of radical honesty.

      • Joan

        Hi Molly,

        Late reply, but I just felt the need to respond as an INTP, a female and a lover of theology. I agree with everything you said and we are out there if you know where to look! The program you were involved in sounded like so much fun. I’m a big fan of the Puritans with Jonathan Edwards being a favourite. I’ve often felt that I was born into the wrong era just because the minds I love reading most have been gone for 300 years. There is something about feeling your mind stretch and click when trying to comprehend the writings of men who were on another level. Just one of the best feelings in the world – how very INTP of me.

  • Cherylece

    I just listened to your INTP podcast and I am teetering between a wonderful sense of relief and an overwhelming sense of despair. After listening to your podcasts over the past year, I gradually determined that I am definitely an INTP. I am 56 years old and I have felt like an imposter my entire life and never knew why. A few months ago I ran across a MBTI that I took as a 23-year-old graduate student that typed me as an ISFJ! I then realized that–as a result of trying to fulfill expectations of others–my 10-year-old was driving, with my 3-year-old in the co-pilot seat. I recently retired from a 25-year career as a school psychologist which appeared to be a success outwardly, but which left me with no sense of personal fulfillment, I believe, because the profession valued Memory and Harmony. So although I appeared successful, I was not using my driver or co-pilot and I felt drained and inauthentic. For the past 2 years I have been working as the secretary at my church and I feel as if I am dying inside. This job requires me to use Harmony and Memory primarily. Accuracy and Exploration are not valued. So, today when I heard you talk about the unique contribution of INTPs, it made me feel validated and gave me hope that if I could find the right fit for me, that I could make a difference, and that my life would not be in vain. But I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know exactly what I want from you…I guess I just wonder if you can share anything that would be helpful for someone who tried to live their entire life from their inferior cognitive processes…Even though I now know my strengths, it is so hard to restructure my life…hence my current state of teetering between relief and despair. Thank you both for what you are doing!!!

    • Joel Mark Witt


      Don’t despair. I’m struggling with wasted time myself. I know I can’t get it back.

      BUT – I can take control of my life from this moment forward. It’s going to suck because I’ll have to work harder than if I’d been on the right track for the past 15 years.

      And yet – I get one ride on this planet. It could end tomorrow. It could end 20 years from now. I don’t know.

      And I’m going to make the most of today. And if I wake up again tomorrow – I’m going to make the most of that too.

      What do you love? If you could live a life right now that you desire – what would it be?

      You are right. When you get that answer (you already know it unconsciously) you will most likely have to restructure your life.

      It will be hard. You will lose friends over it. People will tell you that you are wrong or stupid or foolish. Who cares?

      Trust yourself. Trust your inner knowledge. You’ve spent a lifetime building up skills and tools and understanding. If you can push past the hard work – the resources are in you to do whatever you want.

      Keep us up to speed on the changes you make and the growth you go after. I want the Personality Hacker community to get excited with you.


  • Zurina

    Thank you so much for thepodcast. You have no idea how this highlighted a lot of things for me.

    The idea of how female INTPs can overcome their unique challenges in communication by learning how certain acts/behaviours can induce more favorable responses is spot on. This had been a problem for me during highschool; I couldn’t relate with other girls easily. The strong urge to stay in a clique of sisterhood, for example, baffled me before I learnt the why/how this particular social activity is do important to some. This learning process helped me to slowly adapt to what once foreign to me as long as I’m willing to put myself into the circle.

    I can relate with the cheerful, child-like attitude as Joel described earlier in the podcast. For me, this attitude only appears when I feel comfortable with the people I’m surrounded with at the moment and I’m free to share my ideas with willing listeners. It’s a startling side for others who aren’t used to seeing me with my guards dropped. I’m not sure if I did became others’ darling or anything, but it seems that people are more receptive when this attitude surfaces.

    That said, dropping off my guard to allow this cheery side rising would mean I’d be more receptive to emotional pain when facing critisim. It’s logical for some INTPs preferred to show cynicism, because they wanted to nullify the potential pain. We don’t often have the best method on handling intense emotions, thus it’s easier for us to avoid confronting the potential rejections when we share accuracy function to others. The underappreciated feeling can be overwhelming.

    On Exploration/Ne function for INTPs, I wonder if this can be a potential for any INTPs to be polymaths? I know, from reading the various forums on the Internet, that INTPs tend to have a wide range of interests for themselves that often most came off with above average competencies. Theoretically, if the INTP found the right motivation and enough discipline- being a polymath won’tbe a far-fatched reality.

    I have a hunch that most modern and well-known religious studies scholars are likely to be INTPs. I know it’s strange since INTPs are more likely to subscribe with agnostic/atheistic views, but I think INTPs are the ones who would understand better of the concepts and nuances in religions. Besides, who would do better than INTPs on breaking to the masses of followers that they may have been doing some wrongs in worshipping all this while? They’re more willing to question than to just mindlessly follow, so what looks radical by the common followers may seems necessary (? I’m running out of words to describe this) to INTPs.

    • Joel Mark Witt


      You make a lot of good comments.

      As far as Polymaths…I think INTPs are very equipped for this type of lifestyle. Combine a deep sense of wonder/Exploration with that Accuracy process (all about precision/mastery) and you have the ingredients for a Polymath.

      From my perspective, the real INTP challenge is in motivation and self-discipline.

  • ryan

    I like Antonia’s comments regarding society being ready for accuracy. My theory regarding personality types is that intuitives, in general, and INTPs, in particular, exist as catalysts to draw society’s attention to truth and alternative possibilities.

    I think you can look back at various points in human history and see supposed INTP philosophers, scientists, politicians, artists and thinkers showing up at critical times, whether it be a Lincoln, Einstein, or Sanders.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Just watch out. Accuracy people also tend to get themselves killed. 🙂

      • Evan

        > “Accuracy people also tend to get themselves killed”

        I think subconsciously, this is one of the reasons I am so deeply concerned about the rise and legitimization of Trump(ism). I’m by no means a public intellectual but, now that he’s elected, I feel like my odds of going to a gulag just increased perhaps 5-fold. I wonder how/if other personality types feel this shift.

  • Nicole

    Great podcast!
    I have another podcast suggestion- often as introverts (I am INTP) we are often coached on how we can adapt to the world. Is it possible to unpack how extroverts can adapt to introverts? How can specific types relate to one another (How does an ENFJ relate to an INTJ for example)? I guess in other words, how can we help the world adapt to us so that there is a win-win situation for everyone?
    As an INTP this podcast was extremely helpful and uplifting for me. Thank you to you both for taking the time to think about and analyze this.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Thanks Nicole for the request (and kind words).

      Not sure extraverts will resonate with how they can “adapt” for a problem they don’t have.

      What’s in it for extraverts to adapt?

      I’m not being silly or a jerk. I just know that people are motivated mainly for selfish reasons. You would have to show extraverts WHY they should adapt. Give them a sense of what they could gain from it.

      I do think helping extraverts have more sympathy and attention for introverts could help.

      I’d love to hear any ideas or inner wisdom you have around this.

      • Nicole

        That’s an interesting thought Joel,
        …And as an introvert I ask myself the same questions when I feel “forced” to adapt in a way that I internally do not benefit from (as a simple example- small talk at parties leaves me feeling empty and at least to date has not led to any long term, beneficial relationships, so…what’s the point?)
        I would say the benefit for extroverts would be the same as for introverts, yet reversed- to open yourself to a person or world different from yours in order to grow your least developed functions. Of course, if you’re an extrovert who isn’t interested in doing that, then I suppose you’d have no reason since the world is already designed for you, and there are tons of people available for you to relate to and interact with comfortably (which is not the case for many introverts, in particular the INTP). I feel though that many introverts sense this which could very well be a reason why we sometimes can resist adapting to an extroverted world- we feel like we end up loosing a part of myself within most of our interactions, while you’re left intact and energized by most your interactions. This of course isn’t the most mature way to think about it, but we’re human too (contrary to popular belief, lol)and sometimes you just can’t help but feel this way. It’s terribly one-sided and what we get from extroverts is generally a “tough luck, life’s not fair” response. Why is what introverts have to offer not viewed as something to be valued? As an extrovert, why wouldn’t you want to adapt to all types? Why should introverts find value in extroverts, all while not feeling valued by extroverts? It’s almost like being in an unhealthy relationship, where only one person is blending, changing, adapting to the other, while that person is not valuing or feeling like the other has anything to offer them…and you’re stuck in that relationship with absolutely no other options.

      • Tara

        I have to agree with Nicole on this one. Saying “not sure extraverts will resonate with how they can “adapt” for a problem they don’t have” is incredibly frustrating and can easily be flipped – as an introvert I don’t really resonate with adapting to a problem I don’t have either. Being an introvert is not a problem we need to fix or find strategies to cope with or adapt for. As you and Antonia are both extroverts this might not be something that’s really easy for you to understand (not trying to be silly or a jerk) but the constant bombardment of being told we need to “get out of our shells” by pretty much the whole world in order to be “normal” is something imposed on us by extroverts and sometimes on ourselves when we seek to discover why we are “broken” or “not like everyone else.” But a turtle would die without its shell. So what’s in it for extraverts to adapt? What’s really in it for introverts to adapt other than making extroverts feel less uncomfortable around us? It’s not our responsibility to make you feel better or more comfortable but somehow that’s become our lot whether we are consciously choosing it or submitting to the pressures of the world. Being an introvert in a primarily extroverted world is not a problem introverts should feel the need to overcome. If all types need both introverted and extroverted functions to be healthy, well rounded individuals, why wouldn’t an extrovert want to strengthen this part of them and their understanding and acceptance of introverts especially if introverts are expected to do the same for extroverts for the benefits of “getting out and meeting new people” and other benefits that only actually sound like real benefits to extroverts? They would gain from it exactly the same thing introverts gain from adapting to extroverts.

  • Foday

    Finally a podcast about INTP…thank you.

    I am a male INTP and I want to address a specific part about the podcast that talks about INTP males developing their function and becoming likeable, the cool guy or more specifically charming.
    Now being charming is great if you are in the business world or you are an entrepreneur or if you want to make friends or be approachable but being charming does not get you laid. Maybe it might get some INTP ladies laid but not males.

    As an INTP male you have to get in touch with your “sexuality” be comfortable with touching a girl, understanding what physical flirtation is and understanding your style of flirting and being aware of what type of girls you are talking to at that time. This is an area where your analytical skills will be useful, read girls you meet like House, an old tv show, reads people.

    Dr. Jeffery Hall wrote the book called the 5 flirting style read it and look up a podcast called “How to talk to girls by trippadvice” listen to “episode 49 Jon Sinn on your personal dating profile” and try to figure out what your dating profile is.

    I am a gentleman and a charmer which means I need feedback from girls so I can know if she is comfortable and as a charmer I am playful, always flirting even though I have no intention of hooking up with the girl and the types of girls I am always talking to are the quiet types the ones that are not my type because they don’t give me feedbacks even though they may like me which is very frustrating, so the best way to hook up with those type of girls is to be a seducer which is another type.

    I am going to stop here because I don’t want to write a book, if you have any questions about what I am talking about post it.

    • Antonia Dodge

      I would totally agree – being charming won’t get you laid as a dude. It will get your foot in the door, however, and then it’s up to the individual to figure out the next step using strategies like you mentioned (thanks for the reference, btw).

      I cut my internet marketing teeth learning from Eben Pagan and so watched/read a ton of David DeAngelo stuff. Even though I’m a woman I could see how much skill was represented in what he was teaching, especially when he graduated to his “Man Transformation” content. People have to get comfortable being social, and people have to get comfortable with their sexuality. They can be worked on separately or at the same time. I think working on them at the same time is optimal.

      Thanks for the comment!


      • ryan

        Many of my successes with the opposite sex (don’t misread the “many” to mean I’ve been a regular Don Juan marking notches in my bed post) have seemed to happen almost by accident. Whether the fact that I’m fairly comfortable with my sexuality had any positive effect is uncertain, but I’d say that my odd wit and sense of humor, as well as somewhat detached aloofness have somehow worked to my advantage in the past.

        • Foday

          I am curious, what type of girls did you attract with your detached aloofness and odd wit?

          Did they make the first move and if so how, what did they do exactly?

      • Foday

        U welcome

        I really want to drive home the idea of not being the “nice guy” which most INTP males tend to fall into.
        There is a book called “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert A. Glover, guys read it whenever you get the chance. I just don’t want the guys to be taken advantage of or used and manipulated from what they TRULLY want.

        For me seduction is the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the iceberg that can’t be seen is charm (in a manner of speaking) and you are right it does help you get your foot in the door. Right now in my development I am realizing charm is not enough and I am working on that “tip of the iceberg”.

    • Sarah

      Men who flirt with women without actually having any feelings for them tends to give them a bad reputation. I’ve seen this happen before. Healthy women will avoid a man exhibiting this behavior. It’s kind of a “if he won’t commit to me I won’t commit to him” kind of thing. If your only desire in a relationship is to get laid, you’ll attract the kind of girl who also just wants to get laid. Nothing more. That or you’ll attract women who are so insecure they think they have to give you sex to make you love them. If you want to attract the kind of woman who will help you grow as a person, your main objective should not be sex.

  • allyse

    I enjoyed listening to this and flipping the information on it’s head and relating it to myself as an ENFJ. Interesting. I have several people I know who are INTPs I heard a lot of them in this podcast not all but a lot. I’m sharing with them. Thanks.

    • Joel Mark Witt

      Awesome that you are sharing this with them. This is the way we will grow this community… one person at a time. Thanks for taking the lead Allyse.

  • Emma

    Great podcast, thank-you so much. I’m not an INTP but have several INTP friends, and it breaks my heart to see how often they are labeled or chastised as “broken”, when they have so many gifts and talents to offer.

    One person I consistantly go to as an INTP role model is Abraham Lincoln. He’s a great example of how this driver process of accuracy, Ti, can be used to get to the underlying principle of a matter clouded by emotional information, and communicate that matter (Fe) to affect positive change.

    He was well known as “honest Abe” for this habit of being straightforward, cutting through the fluff to get to the heart, which according to accounts, initially put people off. However, his childlike, at times awkward, and likeable personality (he told lots of stories and had a great sense of humor) made people extremeley fond of him. Steven Spielberg’s movie and Daniel Day Lewis’s interpretation of Lincoln portrays him as an INTP personality, and I think is a good example of what tremendous insight people of this personality type, when developed, have to bring to the table.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt