INTP vs. INTJ: 6 Differences Between These Personality Types

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INTP and INTJ personalities are extremely rare in the United States, forming just a tiny percentage of the population. Although these two personality types have so much in common, the key differences in their fourth preference pairing give them very different behaviors.

So, whether you know an INTP or an INTJ, or are one yourself, let’s examine INTP vs. INTJ differences more closely.

What Is the INTP Personality Type?

The INTP personality type is known as the Logician. Their key characteristics are:

Introverted

The first preference indicates where people tend to direct and receive their energy. Introverts prefer to channel their energy inward toward ideas, information, and beliefs.

Introverts prefer doing things alone or with just one or two people they know and trust. Introverts usually think and plan before they act or speak and sometimes like the idea of something better than the thing itself.

INtuiting

The second psychological preference indicates the way a person prefers to receive information. An intuiting person pays more attention to information patterns, impressions, and underlying meaning.

They learn by thinking things through and exploring the implications of new information. They mentally explore symbols, theories, and abstractions and remember ideas and concepts better than factual details.

Thinking

The third preference indicates the way a person prefers to make decisions. A thinking person makes decisions based on facts and data, striving for objectivity.

They try to reach decisions that are universally applicable and useful all the time in every similar situation. They look for fundamental truths, underlying principles, and consistent practices without personal influence.

Perceiving

The final preference indicator refers to how a person deals with the outside world. A perceiving person prefers to remain flexible and spontaneous, allowing events to unfold around them.

They want to understand, adapt, and interact with the world rather than structure and control it. Therefore, they are casual about their activities, keep planning to a minimum, and keep their options open.

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INTJ tends to be single-minded, plans toward a specific goal, and works methodically to achieve it. They are not easily distracted or dissuaded.

Collectively, these characteristics make the Logician quiet, reserved, and analytical. The INTP is a great abstract thinker with a logical and objective mind. They think about the big picture rather than the little details.

They have open, flexible thinking, which often leads to highly creative problem-solving, and dislike excessive structure and planning. An INTP is quiet, reserved, and difficult to get to know. They are highly independent but loyal and affectionate with the few people who are close to them.

What Is the INTJ Personality Type?

The INTJ personality type is known as the Architect. Their key characteristics are:

Introverted

The first preference indicates where people tend to direct and receive their energy. Introverts prefer to channel their energy inward toward ideas, information, and beliefs.

Introverts prefer doing things alone or with just one or two people they know and trust. Introverts usually think and plan before they act or speak and sometimes like the idea of something better than the thing itself.

INtuiting

The second psychological preference indicates the way a person prefers to receive information. An intuiting person pays more attention to information patterns, impressions, and underlying meaning.

They learn by thinking things through and exploring the implications of new information. They mentally explore symbols, theories, and abstractions and remember ideas and concepts better than factual details.

Thinking

The third preference indicates the way a person prefers to make decisions. A thinking person makes decisions based on facts and data, striving for objectivity.

They try to reach decisions that are universally applicable and useful all the time in every similar situation. They look for fundamental truths, underlying principles, and consistent practices without personal influence.

Judging

The final preference indicator refers to how a person deals with the outside world. For example, a person with a judging personality prefers a structured life, concrete plans, and firm decisions.

They make step-by-step plans, keep to-do lists and schedules, and exercise control over their lives and time.

These preferences make the INTJ highly independent, confident, and analytical. They emphasize facts and logic, prioritize information over emotion, and prefer structure and order but make their own rules.

An INTJ is innovative and creative, known for being a perfectionist who is seldom satisfied with the status quo. They are often critical and blunt and would rather be correct than popular, which limits their social success.

What Do INTP and INTJ Personalities Have in Common?

Despite being different in behavior, these two personality types have much in common. Here are the most significant characteristics shared by INTP and INTJ personalities: 

1. Quiet and Reserved

As introverts, INTP and INTJ personalities do not usually seek out big crowds and highly social activities. Instead, they tend to be quiet and keep to themselves, preferring to do things alone or with only one or two close friends, and they can be challenging to get to know.

2. Thoughtful and Analytical

Both INTP and INTJ personality types are highly thoughtful. Not only are they deeply interested in ideas, which can lead to creative and original thoughts, but they are also highly analytical and logical. In addition, these types are very interested in concepts, abstractions, and underlying meanings.

3. Difficulty Expressing Feelings

INTP and INTJ personality types do not have very strong social skills and are more comfortable with thoughts and ideas. This can make it very hard for these personalities to express their emotions.

As a result, they often remain quiet instead of sharing their feelings or expressing themselves in a way that seems short and sometimes rude.

Famous INTPs that are great examples include Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, and Marie Curie. Some of the most famous INTJs include Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla, and Arthur Ashe.

6 Key Differences Between the INTP and INTJ Personality

Although these personality types are extremely similar, there are six important differences between an INTP and an INTJ personality type. Here are the biggest differences to be aware of:

1. Personality Type Frequency

INTP: 3-5% overall. INTJ: 2-4% overall

Both personality types are pretty rare among Americans, but the INTJ personality is the rarest personality type among women, with just 1-3% of women possessing these characteristics.

2. Unfocused vs. Structured

Unfocused: INTP. The INTP personality prefers to keep things open, flexible, and unplanned. This can often allow them to get distracted and lose focus or delay decision-making to the point of crisis.

Their preference to go with the flow can interfere with their ability to make and keep long-term plans and goals.

Structured: INTJ. An INTJ is more orderly and methodical, preferring to live a structured and controlled life. They make lists and schedules and follow through on their plans. They tend to dislike ambiguity, uncertainty, and spontaneity.

3. Self-Doubt vs. Arrogance

Self-doubt: INTP. The high level of introspection and analysis can cause self-doubt in the INTP. They are aware of their own failings and shortcomings and prone to overthinking their failures and weaknesses. Their difficulties with follow-through can undermine their self-confidence.

Arrogance: INTJ. An INTJ is a highly confident personality type who has tremendous faith in their thoughts and beliefs, even when others don’t agree with them.

Unfortunately, this self-confidence, along with their poor social skills, often comes across as arrogance. In fact, it often is arrogant, and some people rightly feel that the INTJ is being condescending to them.

4. Easygoing vs. Exacting

Easygoing: INTP. A preference for openness and flexibility makes the INTP more easygoing. They enjoy spontaneity, want to experience life rather than control it, and have a relaxed and open attitude toward events. 

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INTP personality prefers to keep things open, flexible, and unplanned. This can often allow them to get distracted and lose focus or delay decision-making to the point of crisis.

Exacting: INTJ. The INTJ personality tends toward perfectionism and expects activities to have a specific, desired outcome. Therefore, they can be inflexible and dislike unstructured, spontaneous activities.

5. Absent-Minded vs. Single-Minded

Absent-minded: INTP. The INTP is easily interested in new thoughts and ideas and can find them deeply absorbing until a new idea comes along. They are curious and eager to learn and can find themselves moving in multiple directions at once.

Single-minded: INTJ. The INTJ tends to be single-minded, plans toward a specific goal, and works methodically to achieve it. They are not easily distracted or dissuaded.

6. Present-Focused vs. Future-Focused

Present-focused: INTP. The INTP is interested in experiencing life in the present moment, which goes along with their flexible, open attitude. Science shows that present focus may interfere with life achievements but increases personal satisfaction.

Future-focused: INTJ. The INTJ is future-focused, looking forward to specific goals and milestones. This increases their measurable achievements in life and satisfies their perfectionist impulses, but it doesn’t always improve personal well-being and enjoyment.

INTP and INTJ personalities are logical and analytical, with a tendency to keep their thoughts to themselves. They have bright, curious, agile minds but struggle to form relationships that allow them to share their feelings with others.

However, the methodical, structured, ambitious INTJ can come across very differently than the more flexible, mellow, good-natured INTP.

Final Thoughts on INTP and INTJ Personalities

INTP and INTJ personality types are extremely rare in the United States. The US has a culture that values and rewards extroverted personality types, which can make introverted types feel uncomfortable and misunderstood.

For the confident, independent, arrogant INTJ, the ability to dismiss what others think and go your own way comes more naturally than for the INTP, who seeks out experiences rather than outcomes, and lacks as much confidence.

Whatever personality type you have, it’s a great idea to learn more about Myers-Briggs and the 16 personality types to help you better understand and communicate with the people around you. Check out our beginner's guide here, and improve all of your relationships today.

Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.

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