29.5 Struggles That All INTPs Face

Updated on July 31, 2016
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Andrea loves to write about the zodiac, Myers Briggs, and texting. She is an expert on romance and relationships. She also has two cats.

For those of you who are not equipped with knowledge on what is an INTP, it is from Myers Briggs personality testing. The INTP means the personality is predominantly introverted, intuitive (pattern seeking and metaphors), thinking (rational over socially-emotional reasoning), and perceiving (more laid back than "J" types.

The INTP is one of the most magical personalities in all of personality land. If you are an INTP, you already damn well know that. The INTP is the thinker, or the logician. They're generally considered the smartest types (at least academically, or in a standardized way). Other super smart personalities would be the INTJ, INFJ, ENTP, ENTJ.

The INTP struggles are real. For those of you who are going to read this list, I hope it entertains you. I've done a poor job if not.

Struggles of the INTP

1. What struggles? The INTP is benefited from a primary introverted thinking function, then extroverted intuition, third introverted sensing, and way down in the gutter -- extroverted feeling. INTP is a mastermind, and probably their biggest thorn in the side is their emotions. Many INTP personalities have great hearts, the finest actually. But since they don't rationalize as much in the emotional department -- they can easily be had. They can be emotionally manipulated and quite confused by it.

2. Sometimes their emotions are not developed well and they can be too cutting, too quick. INTP is not void of a heart by any means. In fact, for having their feeling score at the bottom, they're actually far more advanced there than other personalities that have the feeling score as their fourth quality. I think the extroverted intuition is what saves them, and since they are so smart they can be carried by the winds of intellectual conversation on humanity.

3. Stubborn. They really don't understand how they couldn't be right. More so, they're pretty annoyed that someone would tell them they're wrong, and then they have to take forever for the other person to finally get why they were right in the first place. This causes an INTP to become sometimes aggressively stubborn.

4. INTP is aloof. Genius, but aloof. They may struggle to keep things tidy -- better yet, they may drift with the wind with an excellent idea and forget whatever it was they were previously following -- look a biker is going down the highway in a chicken suit!

5. They're all about the facts. More facts and more facts. This can be intimidating and hard for others to understand. Partly because others are unable to retain so many facts -- but also many are unequipped to carry a conversation with an INTP for too long.

6. INTP can be reckless troublemakers. They see where the weak point of the law is, and they're too excited by something else -- that they must just end up shooting themselves in the foot.

7. Too many thoughts to be able to untangle. This can lead to therapy or drugs. INTP does not need drugs.

8. Sometimes they have a hard time finding someone who can relate to them. ESFJ are all more dominate qualities, so an INTP is rare.

9. Sometimes when they find someone that truly does understand them -- they squeeze them, and smother them, and then are devastated when that person is no longer in the picture.... for whatever reason.

10. Sometimes they get too focused on the facts to see other features. This can be difficult with writing, let's say, if they focus too much on the grammar and forget to be creative in their story. They can totally be creative, but it can also overwhelm them because it will cause too many thoughts.

11. INTP can become too distracted with competition to see the bigger picture. If they really have a flame put in their belly, they'll want to win -- whether argument, fencing, or freaking you out.

12. INTP is pretty random and pretty weird. If not embraced properly in a community, they'll go way down into some pretty funky stuff. They don't really care what others think, and sometimes another personality is good at helping direct the INTP, so it doesn't fall off into the brinks of insanity.

13. INTP can harbor bitterness for idiots. They really dislike (if not hate) idiots. This can immediately turn them off from some people. This can immediately turn them off from certain groups if they collectively show idiot-ness, even though the school of thought behind it may be sound, it could be ruined by idiots.

14. At times, self doubt and extreme belief that they are really stupid. Have you ever heard of models who are insecure about their looks? This is how brainiacs tend to be. They need validation of their minds. They see all too well the flaws, and they're concerned they're actually a hack masquerading as a genius.

15. Blunt and sometimes impatient. They've already figured it out and can't figure out why you're in such a slow, boring mode.

16. A pure, bubbly heart is in an INTP -- and that can sometimes be a blind spot for them. A pure, bubbly INTP is a good thing, but it can lead to forgetting something.

17. An INTP can be so wrapped up in their own world, that if not careful they can forget the world of others.

18. They hold on dearly to people, which is a great quality -- but sometimes they may be holding on when someone has moved on.

19. Anger. Sometimes INTP has bouts of anger, partly because of idiots. It usually cools down quickly, but they need some philosophical reframing when they get hot. They have this problem partly because of the emotional side sometimes not being developed enough, and then when they are put into a situation where there rational cards are not to be used -- they can have fits of less desirable emotion.

20. INTP needs to be encouraged to be emotional. INTP needs to be included because they're one of the most helpful people in the room.

21. INTP is indispensable. This means that sometimes the world asks too much of them for too many things. An INTP needs to remember to SLEEP and eat.

22. Body problems. An ISTP tends to be athletic and an ace at present spacial places. The INTP, however, can spend so much times in their head that they neglect their health, their weight, or crash into things.

23. INTP can lean too much into their laziness like a crutch. This can lead to an undesirable amount of apathy.

24. Sometimes their interests and facts get the worst of them. INTP can talk themselves into thinking they can argue their selves right into anything, but that's an immature outlook that leads to you think smoking won't kill you, or that you don't need to study, or that the dress really is white and gold.

25. If left alone in a cave for several years, the INTP will have created their own world, language, handcrafted items. It can be difficult to get into the world of an INTP because of how well they can make a world around them. They'll be stubborn about that world, and need help in how to include others into it.

26. Explosive enthusiasm. Again, it's the underdeveloped, bubbly feelings. Explosive enthusiasm may be too much for some, or really confuse them.

27. The INTP needs to be loved and included and can be lonely without realizing, accepting, or seeking help.

28. INTP may have serious problems being real in therapy because they see it as a conversation where they can make themselves look good. It takes some knife slicing to get an INTP to be honest about where they are struggling, and really get to the chaos of it.

29. Have you seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? Both Ryan and Colin are INTPs. They can improv to the moon and back and be the entire show -- but it may be difficult to get them to stop once the wheels are in motion.

29.5 They don't just see facts in a logical way -- they need to be able to make them malleable so they can really understand them. This may be hard for others to understand, like why end this on a decimal number?

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        Nel 6 days ago

        ...holy shit. I feel attacked.

        (Lmao in a good way, don't worry)

        especially the part about idiots. Oh my god I an SO glad someone else gets it (even though saying that makes me seem like a highly condescending person, there's only so much 'interaction with morons' one can deal with each day).

        and the snark in your article. Love that. It's a welcome change to read article with *some* personality.

        Not sure if I missed it, but did you mention anything about how INTP people may feel like they need to prove themselves to others? I honestly feel like that's one of the main reasons for stress/anxiety, because what if my arguments aren't good enough?

        We may be brilliant in our own, unique, ways, but I'm pretty sure we also focus to much on the 'what if' -s, and that pulls us away from the goal. Too many possible outcomes.

        TL;DR - great article, thanks for sharing, love the tone and that you recognised thoughts that we even sometimes don't wanna admit we have.

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        Hildebrand57843 7 weeks ago

        Sorry, but as an INTP, this article is far from accurate. You basically took every single stereotype of an INTP and tried to make an article about it. It's absolutely tiring to see every article say we're geniuses and everyone else is an idiot, it's not logical at all and it's just egotistical thinking not INTP thinking. We're not as emotional and needy as you describe. We don't hold on to people, we push them away. We are not enthusiastic.

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        sarah scheltens 8 weeks ago

        thank you for this. it has always helped me when i read these cuz then i know that i am not alone and this is normal.

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        Andrea Lawrence 4 months ago from Chicago

        Oh. You bring up some good points. INTP is a rare personality, and since it is complex, I think a lot of people misunderstand it. Or they make it sound too monochromatic. Which INTP is anything but monochromatic. I've met a few recently which has helped me to better write about the INTP

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        AthenaCole 5 months ago

        I love how well-rounded this article is. It gets pretty annoying when an article goes too far off on this "robotic" idea of what an INTP is, as if INTPs can't understand things that are just normal for humans in general. I may not agree or value them on the same level, but I do understand.

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        Ray Kamalkhani 5 months ago

        Very interesting article to read more than once or twice!

        However, as an INTP-T; I strongly suggest that INTP is not necessarily a personality type but rather a series of certain traits. That said, I'm going to speak of my own experience and difficulties with INTP.

        Few years ago, I had reached a point in my life that I had come to believe that I must have been insane, mad or somehow mentally retarded.

        After years of therapy and so on, at last, at age 34, I was shockingly identified as exceptionally-profoundly gifted, and that was the last thing that I would have ever expected to hear since I had been previously misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, OCD and Asperger syndrome. Therefore, I somehow believe that a great number of INTPs may be on the extreme curve of the IQ and these people are very few in numbers, and difficult to identify due to their strong visual spatial thinking combined with face reading abilities , and early awareness of themselves being different have encouraged these individuals to conceal their extreme abilities and superior ways of thinking to fit in.

        Most of INTP traits are in accordance with an extreme IQ of over 160 which are very few papers and research done on this group of people because of their rarity.

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        Alex 5 months ago

        This explains so much I wished other people would care enough to read it and try to understand our personality type but as we are rare onc I guess they just prefer easy way and go for the types they used to due to beeing more common... I was always well different... In so many ways and now I finally start to feel normal like I am actually not crazy nor I am going mad... I did mulitiple tests and got INTJ but did not feel like it was quite fully me then I got INTP and BOOM this felt like a match - this article is beyond accurate

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        Ricky Mathews 8 months ago

        Thank you for this. I'm one of the ones that needs therapy because too much shit in my head haha wooo

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        Isha 8 months ago

        The article was pretty relatable and very witty! I love witty people and consider myself as 1! I love Physics and space-time theories and logic...hello from a fellow INTP! I'm 14 and Ironman(fe-male...get it?)

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        intpautisticrh- 9 months ago

        Think I need to lie down.

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        Andrea Lawrence 10 months ago from Chicago

        I am quite thrilled by your comment. I find it is important for each personality to look at their least developed function (which is Fe in this case) and learn to develop it. Without proper training, it will be a thorn in the side no matter what. You will fall to your highest level of preparation, so open yourself emotionally, nurture it, and don't be afraid of what might come out. The great thing is as you strengthen your emotion, you'll strengthen your highest card -- your Ti. I tend to be around INTP types, and I must say when the emotional texture clicks for them, they become the most impressive, wonderful people on the planet. Ti alone doesn't make an INTP impressive, it's the incredibly difficult balancing act and mastering it.

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        Pothead 10 months ago

        Very well written article. I could relate to everything you've stated. The only thing I don't understand is why so many (even some INTPs themselves) think that INTPs are always extremly rational in relationships or friendships. A well developed, healthy INTP may not struggle much with leaving unhealthy boundaries or are overly sensitive to people they're close to. But INTPs with bad developed Fe and/or big issues with lonelyness or depression will find them themself in a irrational Fe grip. Ti will try to fight this but the unhealthy developed Fe is like a hurricane: Messing around with INTPs logical thinking, making it extremely subjective and emotionally (thus irrational) because Ti is always trying to give rational thoughts, but Fe grabs those thoughts and paints them with all kind of emotions. Some INTPs (like I did) may even experience a Fe-Ti-Ne loop: Ti tries to make sense out of a event, bad developed grabs Ti's thoughts and then Ne kicks in, providing the INTP with worst-case scenarios (Ne works with the emotionally painted thoughts of Ti because of Fe and creates a storm of possibilities, mostly bad ones because Fe usually kicks in when under any kind of stress. That's at least my experience of being under the grip of interferior as an INTP. Normally I'm very logical, matter-of-fact minded and even pretty cold and impersonal. But big emotional impact makes me feel helpless, because my own reasoning isn't enough to control those annoying emotions I mostly bottle up and ignore.

        Sorry for the long text. My Ne rambled, lol.

        Also sorry for any grammar mistakes, I'm not a native english speaker.

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 10 months ago from Chicago

        I love the INTP folk. I am glad you are on this planet. Some of my greatest friends are in the INTP family.

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        Morrigan 10 months ago

        Through MBTI, I'm accepting myself for being a misanthropic hermit who's fixated with science, geometry and the occult. Never fitted in, don't know how to, don't want to either.

        I'm at the extreme end of INTP spectrum however, Ti/Ne pretty much maxxed.

        Don't meet too many people like me. However I don't go out much, and neither would they.

        Thanks for this article. It's brilliantly accurate.

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        Eunsoo Cho 10 months ago

        Thank you. It really helps me clear up what I've been feeling and thinking for the past twenty years.

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        Andrea Lawrence 11 months ago from Chicago

        It appears things are overall... pretty good.

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        Nessie 11 months ago

        Um..sorry but are you even an INTP? A few of your points were quite out of the place. For one, INTPs are actually pretty damn insecure and they don't have this ''I don't get how I can be wrong'' vibe unless the person who tells them they're wrong, says so without any logical evidence, in which case OF COURSE the INTP will be defensive. Second of all, I don't know about ANY INTP who would smother their partner. Smothering is for the touchy feely pressuring and overly feeling types. We don't smother anyone. It's more of the opposite that happens. We're a bit too aloof in relationships and partners often regard us as indifferent. You may enjoy writing about MBTI types but if you're not an INTP you can't be correct in your speculations just based on various ''info'' here and there. Other than that your article is pretty good.

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        Elvira S. 11 months ago

        Thanks for insights into myself. (I actually came on the cusp of an INTJ, but this write-up sounds more like me that the INTJ: Michelle Obama I am not)

        I thought my problem was having a female brain: too many connections of everything to everything. Before I get to the end of a thought a hundred more take my attention in hundred different directions... or maybe adult attention deficit disorder, except I don't lack ability to focus. Good that you say INTPs don't need drugs, because I thought maybe something could damp me down and make me think in straight line with beginning and end and also want to live like ... well, normal people.

        Funny you wrote about a cave, because I am living in a cave (practically, though one with internet, because there is so much to read out there, like THIS HERE!) and created a whole world, two actually with people plants, animals, technologies, philosophies, different ways of governing with gods and AIs (which are not homicidal, why the f* would they be? huh, where is logic to that?) I mean I am writing a novel and loving it but it will probably never be finished, because it changes too fast! Before I finish a chapter, the rest is all changed and for the better, so have to redo bits and pieces and as I do it, I realize if I change this one more thing it will make even more sense... and so it goes. It's a great way for me to live, but family and friends worry and try to make me leave my cave. "Can't be like that, have to be social." I am social! With the characters I created.

        I don't think people I hang with (under duress a bit) are idiots, but they are boring (unless they let me talk, and then after a few minutes their eyes glaze over and they tell me "Wow. You are smart!" No, I don't think so. I could be smarter. Wish I were!)

        The thing about needing to be loved though... Well, when I finally figured out and fully accepted that I am not lovable my life got much better. (p.s. I am nearing 60 so it's not that I just have not yet met a right person)

      • SerenityHalo profile image

        Andrea Lawrence 11 months ago from Chicago

        Glad you enjoyed it! You probably have a better mental advantage than the average bear around you. Most INTP have superpower like brains.

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        Yves 12 months ago

        My brother is a Myers-Briggs expert due to his work. He told me that INTP's are very good at "banishing people from the kingdom;" (that's as aloof as you can get. Ha!) that they focus on "the big picture," and that they are the "most misunderstood" of the all the MB personalities. I am an INTP. I think he is right, and so are you----except I'm no genius. But I do care about facts, facts, facts. And I'm always right. Lol.

        Great piece you've written here. Very funny and witty. Loved it!

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        Mitch Monroe 13 months ago

        I worked under 8 assistant principals this past 8 years and they were unbearably incompetent arrogant aggressive mean small minded and jealous belonging in the middle of the 8th floor psyche ward at Grady Hosp. in ATL

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        Andrea Lawrence 14 months ago from Chicago

        Was there anything that stood out really strong when you took the test? One particular letter?

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        Liestales 14 months ago

        I don't really sure if i am INTP, but most of them I can find it relate. I took the MBIT, but I felt like I could select to be anything. There was no perfectly suit me, all of them suit me in a way or some situation, so I think i kinda selected to be INTP...

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        Andrea Lawrence 15 months ago from Chicago

        I think there is a right amount of apathy in life. ;)

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        Amy 15 months ago

        There's an undesirable amount of apathy?

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        Andrea Lawrence 17 months ago from Chicago

        1. Try new things. Stimulate the brain. Try going to new places, try new hobbies, even if it doesn't seem to exactly fit your ultimate goals. Stepping away from what you truly want and trying other avenues may help.

        2. Have a just do it attitude. Sometimes we look too much at the challenge at hand, and just need to do it rather than stare at the challenges ahead.

        3. Don't beat yourself up if you are having a lack of energy. We all have these times and they are important for growing. Read as much as you can. Invest in a library to grow yourself.

        4. Go on a vacation to somewhere you have never experienced.

        5. Try taking classes in something you have never learned.

        INTP pep is important to your overall wellness. The lows can be really low. Sometimes you need breaks to look at your emotions and do some emotional healing. Try listening to music, writing poetry, even watching television that helps provoke emotional awareness.

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        Yess 17 months ago

        "INTP can lean too much into their laziness like a crutch. This can lead to an undesirable amount of apathy."

        I am currently struggling to have any motivation to do work. Do you have any advice how I can stop being lazy and start doing important things?

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        Andrea Lawrence 19 months ago from Chicago

        Hmmm. Perhaps some proofreading is in order by yours truly.

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        INTPer 19 months ago

        This could have been better if you had had someone edit it; I didn't totally understand parts. :P

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        Andrea Lawrence 20 months ago from Chicago


        Dealing with the opposite of one's self is always a burden. Fortunately, your shadow is an idiot. That's a compliment, in a way. But they need your help dearly so they don't bunk everything for the world. But there are so, so many idiots. Don't get lost with them for too long.

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        JMoney 20 months ago

        Lol. The parts about INTP's being intolerant of "idiots" is spot on. I am an INTP and I deal with this on a daily basis. And yes, I really do hate idiots, though I really try not to. But yeah, I can't stand to be around them or having to deal with them.

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        arif ramlee 22 months ago

        this is accurate. and i am struggling right now

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        Julie K Henderson 2 years ago

        Bravo. You nailed this subject with impressive wit and perception. Voted up. By the way, are you an INTP?