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During the extensive amount of time I've been perusing these forums I've encountered a plethora of threads in which people have explained that they used to be INTJ's and are now INTP's. Based what I've read on the MBTI description it seems like there's a large chasm between the cognitive processing of the two types. I also happened to be wondering why this change occurs because I used to be an INTJ as well and..well, things definitely feel different. For example, I'm not as competitive, aggressive, or opinionated and I don't get upset if I can't complete something I consider important anymore, I don't really feel as anxious if things aren't organized, now it just kind of "grinds my gears" a little.

I have a few questions, why do some INTJ's become INTP's? why is it more rare for someone to go from INTP to INTJ?

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Changing types is impossible. What you are seeing is not actual INTX who changed to INTY, but people who have either changed their self typing entirely, or believe that MBTI is founded on type descriptions and behavioral characteristics instead of cognitive function preferences. Behavior can change, function preference cannot.

You are correct that INTP and INTJ have different cognitive preferences. INTJ are dominant Jungian Perceivers (Ni dom), and INTP are dominant Jungian Judgers (Ti dom), and the orientations of their preferred functions are inverted throughout the stack. In plain English, this means they focus on different qualities of something at different times and to different extents - regardless of how the behavioral characteristics manifest.

It is actually common for INTJ to believe they are INTP because they may not be "organized" or "assertive" as the type descriptions imply. Same is true for INTP who are "rigid" or don't miss their doctor's appointments and what not. The overall behaviors of both types can overlap in their usual quietness, attention to ration, and preference to look beyond what is physically immediate or remembered, but the means by which their informational processing takes place is very different.


The way to tell the difference between an INTJ and an INTP is by focusing on their precedent motive in dialogue. INTJ speak from the point of their own vision and want a response that allows them to see more deeply into their own ideas, INTP speak from the point of their own assessment and want a response that allows them to further assess their own logic.
 

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Changing types is impossible. What you are seeing is not actual INTX who changed to INTY, but people who have either changed their self typing entirely, or believe that MBTI is founded on type descriptions and behavioral characteristics instead of cognitive function preferences. Behavior can change, function preference cannot.

You are correct that INTP and INTJ have different cognitive preferences. INTJ are dominant Jungian Perceivers (Ni dom), and INTP are dominant Jungian Judgers (Ti dom), and the orientations of their preferred functions are inverted throughout the stack. In plain English, this means they focus on different qualities of something at different times and to different extents - regardless of how the behavioral characteristics manifest.

It is actually common for INTJ to believe they are INTP because they may not be "organized" or "assertive" as the type descriptions imply. Same is true for INTP who are "rigid" or don't miss their doctor's appointments and what not. The overall behaviors of both types can overlap in their usual quietness, attention to ration, and preference to look beyond what is physically immediate or remembered, but the means by which their informational processing takes place is very different.


The way to tell the difference between an INTJ and an INTP is by focusing on their precedent motive in dialogue. INTJ speak from the point of their own vision and want a response that allows them to see more deeply into their own ideas, INTP speak from the point of their own assessment and want a response that allows them to further assess their own logic.
what if one is borderline J?
 

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what if one is borderline J?
That moniker is irrelevant. You are J or P because of the cognitive functions you prefer, as follows:


  • Judgers prefer Te or Fe (Judging functions - "Je") as dominant or auxiliary
  • Perceivers prefer Se or Ne (Perceiving functions - "Pe") as dominant or auxiliary
  • No type prefers Je and Pe as dominant and auxiliary

The extent to which your answers to questions on an MBTI test reflect either preference clearly (100/0%) or unclearly (51/49%) can make it look as if you are "borderline" or "strong" in one dichotomy. But MBTI is driven by functions, not letters.

Again you can be "borderline J" if you had, say, an INTJ who was sometimes disorganized or lost things, etc. They are still fully an INTJ, not "almost an INTP," though if they prefer Ni and Te.
 

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Also as you get older don't peoples functions start to level out more? As is the weaker functions become more prominent & used. If that happens then perhaps the Fi becoming stronger may affect how you perceive the world & this might cause less aggression/competitiveness etc. (well maybe more depending on what type of outlook has occurred). Is this plausible? Or am I way off?
 

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On other MBTI test results, I was repeatedly categorised as an INTJ with no preference over Judging and Perceiving. Meaning, I had hit the INTX jackpot. After then, I tried to study and research more on MBTI and the functions involved and then I finally decided that INTJ was the one that really fits my personality.

In your early span of life, you develop these functions one by one until you reached the levels you just realise that you are comfortable with. For example, as a school-aged kid, I was an IN-J. By early teens I come off more as an INFJ, but I was still not really that settled down in my preferred function. And although, I acted more like an INFJ (or more like a totally confused INTJ), I wasn't really that comfortable with it. After few more years of experimenting and tempering, I later just became an INTJ. But then with these types, you can't help it, you can't really "change" it... it just grows and unfolds on you.
 

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Also as you get older don't peoples functions start to level out more? As is the weaker functions become more prominent & used. If that happens then perhaps the Fi becoming stronger may affect how you perceive the world & this might cause less aggression/competitiveness etc. (well maybe more depending on what type of outlook has occurred). Is this plausible? Or am I way off?
Developing tert and inferior does influence how you interact with the world and so on. For instance an ESTP may become less impulsive as his Ti develops or more diplomatic with stronger Fe, but he can never become an ESTJ regardless of how many schedules he plans or "to do" lists he makes.

People who get on the "I used to be an INTP but now I'm an INTJ" annoy the crap out of me because what they think they're saying is "I got better at following schedules and planning etc." What they are really sayings is that:

I used to be Ti - Ne - Si - Fe, but now I'm Ni - Te - Fi - Se. So not only did they apparently go from being a judging dominant to a perceiving dominant, they switched their entire cognitive function hierarchy.
 

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I have always tested INTJ, but with the J being about 51/49. I wondered for a long time whether I might be INTP, but like the previous posters said -- digging into the actual cognive stack made it clear. Specifically, I took a few cognitive function tests and payed close attention to the tert and inferior functions because they're so different between INTJ and INTP. That made it clear to me. I also read somewhere that since Ni is primarly a perceiving funciton, a lot of INTJs might think they're perceivers and thus INTP. That's part of what made it so confusing to me until I learned more about cognitive functions.
 
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