ISTJ VS INTP: 6 Differences for These Personality Types

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You must dig deeper to find their differences when comparing ISTJ vs. INTP personality types.

Introverts, by nature, these types keep to themselves, not allowing everyone to see them fully. In this article, you’ll see all the key differences to distinguish between the two types.

What Is the ISTJ Personality Type?

Also known as the “Inspector,” the ISTJ personality type is introverted, sensing, thinking, and judging. These personality traits make reserved logisticians who look at life rationally and always plan ahead.

Some of the main strengths of ISTJs include the following:

  • Determination
  • Honesty
  • Reliability
  • Integrity

On the other hand, their main weaknesses are:

  • Insensitivity
  • Rigidness
  • Stubbornness
  • Self-criticism

What Is the INTP Personality Type?

INTPs are appropriately nicknamed “logicians.” They’re Introverted, Intuitive, thinking, and perspective. INTPs are free thinkers who aren’t afraid to do things their way and experiment with different life paths.

INTPs have many strengths, such as:

  • Open-mindedness
  • Originality
  • Curiosity
  • Objectivity

As far as weaknesses go, the most notable ones are:

  • Impatience
  • Perfectionism
  • Disconnection
  • Dissatisfaction

What Do ISTJ and INTP Personalities Have in Common?

ISTJ and INTP personality types have a lot in common. First of all, they’re both introverted types, meaning they prefer one-on-one interactions and small groups of people over parties or large gatherings. They’ll either withdraw from loud conversations or be highly uncomfortable with them.

Occasional solitude is necessary for people of both types, as it allows them to recharge for future social gatherings. Alone time also allows their minds to ponder the many ideas they hold.

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ISTJ personality type tend to be traditionalists who value family more than most other aspects of life.

Another similarity between the ISTJ and INTP types is that they’re great listeners. Their Thinking nature lets them listen actively and fully understand the ideas of others. However, this is primarily true when discussing rational matters, as neither type is comfortable with emotions or their expression.

ISTJs and INTPs approach problems quite similarly. Both types have a highly analytical method of solving them. They’ll look at the issue from all angles to make the best decision for the situation. As a result, you can rely on both types to make informed, calculated choices.

6 Key Differences Between the ISTJ and INTP Personality

Despite their similarities, ISTJs and INTPs are pretty different. Here are some of the main distinctions between them.

1. ISTJs Are Stricter

It’s easy to recognize a judging type like ISTJ's strong sense of right and wrong. This is why so many world leaders fall under this type. Their analytical mind, strong beliefs, and values make them quite strict and decisive.

ISTJs tend to believe that people who don’t follow their way of doing things are bending the rules or going down the path of least resistance. They’re a classic example of “my way or the high way” thinking.

In contrast, INTPs are far more flexible regarding their personal and professional lives. They have a solid moral compass and values but don’t hesitate to rethink the norm and approach things from a fresh perspective. That’s why INTPs are often inventors and innovators.

Whether this craving for novelty is good or bad is open for debate. On the one hand, it allows INTPs to be visionaries and challenge the norms that hold back our society. But at the same time, they might get quickly bored by the practical work necessary to implement the changes they want to see.

2. INTPs Are More Independent

People with the ISTJ personality type tend to be traditionalists who value family more than most other aspects of life. Despite their apparent emotional detachment, they care about having a community in their personal and professional lives.

Of course, the community should be smaller, as we’ve already established that most introverted types aren’t comfortable in large groups.

You can see this trait in the way ISTJs follow instructions. They believe there’s only one right way to do something, so they stick to it. ISTJs have no trouble following instructions as long as they’re clear and in line with their standards.

INTPs usually don’t like structures and rules. They prefer to do things their own way instead of falling in line. This is especially true if the instructions are highly detailed, which INTPs find too limiting.

Their Thinking mind is excellent at analyzing problems, but the Prospective part of them wants to find its own solutions to them.

This is why INTPs usually prefer to work independently over being a part of any team. Besides the discomfort of being around too many people, this need for individuality makes them below-average team players.

But then again, people with this personality want to work independently anyway, and they can achieve outstanding things if left alone with their curious minds.

3. INTPs Are Less Common

A sizeable part of the general population falls under the ISTJ type. According to estimates, this personality type makes up around 11.6% of the U.S. population. Around 70% are men, although there’s not much difference in the personality traits between the genders.

Even though many leaders are ISTJs, you can find this type in many jobs of all levels. ISTJs thrive in any job where rules must be followed to a T or involve planning or organization. Some of the leading career paths of this personality type are:

  • Criminal justice
  • General law
  • Architecture
  • Property management
  • Risk management

Unlike ISTJs, INTPs are rare, comprising only 3.3% of the U.S. population. The gender distribution is quite balanced – 54% men vs. 46% women.

INTP’s unique blend of logic and curiosity makes people with this personality type suitable for many jobs, particularly those that require innovative systems and solutions. INTPs usually excel in careers like:

  • Web development
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Astronomy
  • Anthropology

Of course, more goes into choosing a career than essential personality traits and predispositions. There’s a lot more nuance to this, so think of these examples as general directions rather than strict rules.

4. ISTJs and INTPs Look for Different Things in Relationships

Neither ISTJs nor INTPs enjoy dating or one-night stands. Instead, both types crave deep connections, even though it may seem like this isn’t the case due to their emotional restraint. Still, the two personality types have vastly different relationship goals.

ISTJs often look for more conservative, quiet relationships. They’re deeply committed to their partner and expect the same in return. ISTJs aren’t needy, so pleasing them isn’t hard – all they want is someone who will be there for them and whom they can trust.

INTPs need a partner who will share their passion for novelty and grow with them. One of their worst fears is being stuck, so they won’t last long with a partner who stagnates or prevents them from evolving. That being said, INTPs are fiercely loyal and willing to support their partner in any endeavor.

If a conflict with an ISTJ arises, it will most likely be due to their stringent standards and emotional withdrawnness. ISTJs don’t like confrontation but don’t back away from it, especially if their values are challenged.

INTPs, on the other hand, are more likely to shut down in the face of conflict. Alternatively, they might offer logical surface-level solutions to deeper emotional issues, which can worsen the conflict.

5. ISTJs Focus on the Past or Present, While INTPs Are Future-Oriented

ISTJs are all about tradition and how the previously-set rules apply to the present. This makes them excellent at solving issues as they arise.

ISTJs rely on their former experience and knowledge to solve problems quickly and efficiently. People with this personality type are efficient and rarely daydream.

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INTPs usually prefer to work independently over being a part of any team.

INTPs don’t like getting bogged down in the current issues or practical applications of ideas. They spend most of their time conceptualizing new solutions. It’s important to mention that their thoughts and opinions aren’t abstract. Instead, ITNPs are constantly seeking new, tangible ways to improve on something.

Getting stuck in the past can be quite a stressor for INTPs, as can following existing processes. Creativity is at the core of everything they do, mainly driven by the idea of a better tomorrow.

6. INTPs Are More Prone to Self-Doubt

ISTJs draw much of their confidence from familiarity, routine, and structure. Once they learn a process, they practice its execution to perfection. As a result, they’re usually quite confident in their abilities to solve a problem.

Plus, they make most of their decisions on data and logic, which makes it easier to arrive at the right ones.

INTPs rely on quantitative data, but their constant pursuit of innovation involves more risk-taking than an ISTJ’s everyday work. As a result, INTPs don’t have such a strict comfort zone as INTPs. While stepping outside the familiar is undoubtedly good, it involves more trial and error.

Since INTPs care a lot about their work, they might lose confidence if their endeavors don’t go according to plan. Because of their introverted nature, INTPs might have trouble expressing these negative feelings, which makes it harder to overcome them.

Final Thoughts on the ISTJ and INTP Personalities

As you can see, there are many essential differences between the ISTJ and INTP personality types. For example, the former craves routine and comfort, while the latter prioritizes creative thinking and freedom.

Understanding these types and their differences is crucial to approaching ISTJ vs. INTP people the right way. Both are introverted, so it can be pretty hard to crack their tough shell and connect with people with these personality types on a deeper level.

Do you fall into either of these types? If not, which type are you? To find yours, you can take the Myers-Briggs personality test to learn more about yourself.

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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