How to deal with an INTP

How to deal with an INTP

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This is a discussion on How to deal with an INTP within the INTP Articles forums, part of the INTP Forum - The Thinkers category; There was a list on some INTP group about rules of interaction with INTPs. The first eleven points were from ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    How to deal with an INTP

    There was a list on some INTP group about rules of interaction with INTPs. The first eleven points were from the OP, I added the corollary to 2, and the rest was suggested by myself and various others. (Also, we really aren't as bitter as this post might make us sound. Think of it as an insight into the INTP mind.) Discuss.

    Rules to adhere to when with us:

    1) Respect our competence. But remember, we need empathy, not worship or excessive admiration, so don't idealize us, because you have to ...

    2) ... accept that no matter how smart you think you think we are, we don't have all the answers and therefore need help in things that strike as common sense to you (socializing, expressing our emotions), but don't pressure us, or worse, patronize us. Because once you become patronizing, its goodbye.

    Corollary to (2): If you have a well thought-out counterargument to our thoughts, don't be afraid to present it. As mentioned, we make mistakes too, and we don't take challenges personally; it's just another part of the process in reaching The Truth.

    second corollary to number (2) Do not be offended when we present a counter argument to something you've said. It's not that we think you're incompetent, it's just we want to reach The Truth.

    3) Don't try to lead us or expect us to lead you. We scoff at such things. Instead we want equals.

    4) When you don't know something, first research, THEN ask. Nothing annoys us more than people who are too intellectually lazy to try obtain information that is easily available.

    5) Respect our personal space.

    6) If you're a man, stop trying to be macho and if you're a woman, stop playing dumb. We're not impressed by such behavior. Instead think out of the box and act in ways that defy what have been taught to you as a man or a woman.

    7) Be creative.

    8) Be idealistic. Stop accepting the world as it is now and saying it is the truth. It isn't. Much of life is a social construction, based on systems of power that oppress one group or another. Things can always be more efficient and more just. Contribute your ideas on how to achieve this.

    9) Politics and tradition? Rule that out of your dictionary.

    10) Stop saying we are cold, or heartless. Its not we don't have emotions, its just that we put them aside in our quest to be impartial. And through this so-called impartiality, we INTPs - the healthy ones anyway - want to make the world into a better place. Our kindness is not rooted in sentimentality, but elaborate and carefully thought-out designs.

    Corollary to (10): Don't expect appeals to our emotion to work.

    Second corollary to number (10) And don't expect us to assemble a persuasive argument based on emotion.

    11) Stop using excessive exclamation marks - except when REALLY necessary - and start reading. You ask how come we are so smart? We aren't smart. We're just very intellectually motivated.

    12) Be clear and concise in your speech. Verbal accuracy and precision isn't semantic, it's necessary. Also, repetition is generally more nuisance than articulation.

    13) Respect our eccentricity, as well as those of others. It's a good thing that we have our quirks, and it's most likely a point of quiet pride for a number of INTPs.

    14) Be ready to think of more than just a narrow range of topics. INTP interests literally span the universe. In fact, each individual INTP's interests most likely literally span the universe. We aren't interested in just a handful of things, we want to understand the UNIVERSE.

    15) Understand that our humor is a little unconventional. Some (?) of us have slightly "twisted" humor, and we love sarcasm.

    corollary to number (15) And it's not that we don't love your joke it's just that we're laughing on the inside.

    16) Stating the obvious is not appreciated.

    17) Don't take us too personally. Chances are, even when we are being critical, we aren't actually trying to offend you so much as point out some sort of flaw in your logic or thinking patterns and giving you the opportunity to correct it. We'll only move on to treating you like an idiot when you have clearly proven that you deserve to be treated as such.

    18) For the love g-d, please try to think quickly. INTPs love to make intuitive leaps - leap with us! There's nothing more fun than take a current topic and relate it to the past, postulate about its future (realistic or absurd), make joking references to it by virtue of pop culture references or random word play, linking it to personal experiences (one's own or others') and established theories, etc etc. Or make YOUR OWN theories ;p

    19) A blank face doesn't imply depression. We smile when there's something to smile about, so don't lecture about how we'll live longer if we smile more.

    20) Thinking with logic is always appreciated and it doesn't take much effort. If you think we are amazingly gifted for solving problems it isn't because we are unusually smart, it's only because we think.

    21) We don't believe in dogmas or that "things are the way they are because that's how they are, so accept it". We don't accept things, if you want us to accept or understand something, then explain it.

    22) Silence doesn't mean I'm bored, not interested or not paying attention to what you are saying. Silence means we are actually interested, in deep thought and analysing what you are saying.

    23) No, we don't seek knowledge to manipulate people or rule the world; we are not megalomaniacs. We seek knowledge because we are naturally curious and want to understand everything.

    24)Sometimes isolation and relaxing in silence while reading a book or just watching the nature and analise the beauty, the perfection of it all and how it works, is one of our favorite ways to have fun and it doesn't mean we are bored or that we don't like you. So don't disturb us thinking you are doing us a favor: it is actually annoying

    25) We value accuracy and precision -- please, when talking to us, try to make sure whatever you are stating is factually and/or grammatically correct. We will try to correct you if whatever you are stating is not as accurate as it could be. And please understand, we are not trying to offend you or trying to be pricks -- we just want to stop people from being misconstrued. Also, punctuation is not just for English majors. Please keep that in mind.

    26) As smart and as intellectualy motivated as we may be, we still make mistakes. Contrary to general opinion, being corrected while we are wrong is always appreciated, so don't be scared of pointing out our mistakes: we'll actually thank you.

    27) Encourage us. We tend to hold ourselves to extremely high personal standards, whether or not we let the rest of the world in on them, and it helps to have other people recognize what we are striving for. Though, do keep in mind that if you are encouraging just for the sake of encouragement and not because we are actually succeeding, we'll recognize it and hear it as empty.

    28) Don't think we're lazy and unmotivated just because your motivation speeches didn't get us moving with the rest of the crowd. INTPs choose their passions carefully, and the words of the most on-fire speaker will go under intense scrutiny before we decide whether or not to take their side. That said, should we decide to take up said cause, idea, or job, we will do so both realistically and very thoroughly.
    alexis, bluefaerie, Perseus and 144 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    INTP - The Thinkers

    accuracy = 90%

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    Which ones would you remove/modify?

  4. #4
    INTP - The Thinkers

    okay rereading/ trying to glance through it, I now put a 99% accuracy rating on this. And the 1% is just writing style.

    But I can never put a 100% rating on it and if you are the right type you'll know what I mean or have a clue. (me interesting sounds)

  5. #5
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    How come I don't get to have my manual for people to be my slave too?

    ie. exactly like i want them to be.
    enchanting, HeadInClouds84 and JenovaProject thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by StarryNights View Post
    How come I don't get to have my manual for people to be my slave too?

    ie. exactly like i want them to be.
    Because you haven't made your ideal slave to write it yet.
    Wasp and JenovaProject thanked this post.

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by Dysthymania View Post
    INFP's would love this in general; it wouldn't even be "how to deal"; it would come subconsciously. I bold it for emphasis. Sure you aren't an INFP? Just kidding.
    As I stated, this was the aggregate of several INTPs suggestions. Furthermore, I suspect that several points on this list do not apply exclusively to INTPs.

    On the other hand, some have suspected that I'm less of a T than assumed, myself included. Anyway, this would be part of the reason INTPs and INFPs often go well together.

    NF might think slowly but longer over time; just don't dismiss us for being a little dry. Have patience with us and we'll be patient with you. We'll either feel for it or not; if you get what I mean.
    I also think a little slowly. shano can tell you, I'm quite sluggish during the RPG sessions we have. Anyway, I doubt there are many INTPs who dismiss INFPs for being slow. If there are, I haven't heard them.

    NF's I figure out usually say whatever is on their mind; sometimes it isn't logical and factual. Sometimes we ask sort of stupid questions because we feel like it.
    Hm, noted. I think the idea is just to have intellectual initiative, and this might tie into the point about stating the obvious. This isn't as annoying to me as to some, but it does surprise me, particularly when it's on the Internet (given that information is very easily available). Of course, it does make the class easier to convert to your own little following, when you gain a reputation as being a genius. "Oh, I'll just go with what she said, she's smart, she knows everything." Heee.

    Now when students refuse to read the textbook, then ask how I know all the stuff I know, sorry. *facepalm*
    I got a lot of that in my pre-collegiate years.

    If this is going to work out for NF's; you've got to be a little more accessible for us. Otherwise we might get highly sensitive and afraid of criticize.
    Understood. Nonetheless, most of us while writing this were keeping in mind the usual chameleon facade some of us keep up in order to accommodate others. I, personally, wasn't too happy about people bothering me about my introversion. Many of these points were about the things that social interaction forces us to do, though it is contrary to our nature.

    I think NF don't think that you're cold and heartless (actually; I think that depends on the person); but it's just that we'll react with our feelings first when we first detect it. If you NT's could be more humble nature in your nature of speech (or write / type); we might get to hold of our emotions quicker than usual.
    See, I don't understand how our speech is taken as arrogant. A lot of the offenses I have caused are offenses I would have avoided if I knew that and understood why they would be taken that way. I don't try to come across as arrogant, but how can I fix that if I don't even understand the source of this perception?

    We'll try as best as we can; but our passion for writing or telling stories might be aesthetically in nature and that can involve strange but intentional nature of speech / writing; just as your NT's humor would be.
    This one is perhaps not as accurate as the others. A number of INTPs use idiosyncratic speech. Perseus is one obvious example. I've occasionally used strange constructions or figures of speech.

    Sometimes NF's might not be aware that a specific is obvious; or we might use obviousness sarcastically if we're in a bad mood. Sorry.
    For me, what is obvious is the opposite of what others would consider obvious. Turns of abstract theory can be quite obvious to me, while others are oblivious. I am oblivious to social norms, while they are apparent to others. This one could do with a clarification of what is meant by "the obvious." Since I was the one who wrote this, I understand what this is about, but on second thought, I need to characterize it better. Anyway, given my understanding of what's obvious, it causes a great deal of miscommunication for me. It got me into trouble with some of my projects in which I was told to bring the project down to a simpler, easier-to-understand level, when I thought it was perfectly clear, some of it bordering on obvious.

    Also a good point to make; I think it's important that especially heavy feelers get to know this I have over time actually. But it is also important that when you are being critical to sensitive types; regardless if you don't criticize us personally; that you try to word it in a sensitive manner.
    I suspect I was an INFP as a child. I remember how verbally brutal my ESTJ mother sometimes was. With those memories, I do try to word things as gently as possible while sacrificing as little effectiveness as possible. The choice between gentleness and effectiveness is sometimes a false dichotomy.

    Sorry if this post were a little judgmental; just trying to criticize it from a sort of NF view. The idea of course.
    Not at all. It will help me understand a few things about NFs views, while clarifying what I think is typical of INTPs. (Any INTPs who disagree are free to say so, of course.)
    Kysinor thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Good list (although it's rife with spelling errors). I think it even applies somewhat to the INTJ.
    I think some of the "leave me alone" points should be taken lightly. Sometimes being a loner gets old.
    myexplodingcat and L thanked this post.

  9. #9
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMetallic View Post
    Good list (although it's rife with spelling errors). I think it even applies somewhat to the INTJ.
    I think some of the "leave me alone" points should be taken lightly. Sometimes being a loner gets old.
    A few members have English as their second language. As mentioned, some of it does not apply exclusively to INTPs.

    True. The points I made about introversion were in response to zealous extroverts, but you're right.

  10. #10

    For INTPs, just slowly warm up to them. Take it a step at a time. Don't go too mushy all of a sudden, and everything will flow from there...based on my personal experience really.
    alexis, Nightriser and BeBe thanked this post.

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