Self-Help for INTP (in 15 Steps)
1) There is nothing to figure out. In the belted singing words of Elsa from the movie “Frozen”: “Let it Go.” Let go of the compulsion for Ti closure. The itch for Ti curiosity to “figure it out” is the equivalent of a dog wanting to follow a scent endlessly (when it would be more practical for him to simply wait for dinner). Ti can never be shut off, but to give into the compulsion to always follow it is not rational.
2) Feelings cannot be synthesized through the nuances of Ti framework. Stop overanalyzing it.
3) What others think of you cannot be synthesized through the nuances of Ti framework (i.e., feelings of positivity from even a roomful of people can never be fully digested, thus never entirely processed), and on the contrary a roomful of negativity is not ideal to be processed anyway. INTPs cannot process this because emotions can’t be broken down into articulated building blocks (INTPs derive emotional benefit from this successive process - such as understanding the principles behind a math problem, or any problem, with each essential building block).
With emotions it is like repeatedly hitting a brick wall since the articulate-able building blocks generally don’t exist, and the Ti compulsion wants to keep trying, as opposed to realizing its pointlessness and walking away.
Accept being oblivious in this regard and move on. If you must know: stop overanalyzing, inquire directly and move on. The most legitimate and important opinion is: your own opinion of you. Cultivate a good one.
4) Get a mindmate (this can occur in a friend, a kindred spirit sort of friend, a family member, a teacher, a mentor, or a significant other); otherwise, avoid people who drain you & find comfort in books or music. Try to accumulate more than one mindmate, if possible and if not so overwhelming. This is primarily how you connect with people. If you can’t find one, books or music (or other information-processing/outlet activities) may be your only friends (though not ideal on their own - for mindmates, information is complementary to their connection).
5) Whenever it is possible to feel and be vulnerable in a safe environment, make every effort to take advantage of this. On the contrary when not in a safe environment, make every effort to guard/protect/hide your vulnerability. Denying your own vulnerability is going to increase the possibility of that vulnerability taking on a mind of its own, where you least expect it (and where you may not be in control). INTPs are able to feel more directly via: music, mindmates, information they are passionate about, genuine empathy, etc. But when not in a safe environment, guarding your vulnerability is not the same as denying it: it is a realistic effort to protect it (and a necessary thing for INTPs to do much of the time, or they would not be able to function).
6) Get acquainted with your sexuality. (Note: sexuality doesn’t mean sex). It’s an inherent part of your identity, the way it is altogether just the same for a 5-year-old girl in a ballerina tutu or a 5-year-old boy playing with toy trucks (varies for everyone).
I equate this with a chemistry analogy: periodic table elements NaCl is sodium chloride, or table salt for consumption. Upon separation (Na & Cl), these elements are entirely non-edible & possibly lethal if consumed such as: a highly reactive metal or element used in an atomic bomb (in other words, same elements, but entirely different contexts means entirely different uses).
Sometimes society misunderstands sexuality to be more all-or-none (so Ti risks becoming altogether repelled without articulated understanding), but it is important to be connected to one of the most over-arching essences of what makes you human.
To avoid offending anyone I will add that: this may or may not only apply to me in my own personal nerd-struggles (with my Ti/Fe dichotomy).
7) Fe closure is not necessary to the level that you take it. Like Ti, recognize that you can “Let It Go”.
8) Implement a simple, coherent, and foolproof Te system (i.e. a single calendar & whiteboard, or likely better is to come up with your own) to enforce obligated productivity on TiNe (productivity doesn’t exist in our function stack), but don’t overload yourself with excess, regimented, structure (Ti can never be stamped out, and it is its own structure. An overload of Te will clash with Ti, and your Ti will get ‘louder’. And even if it is possible to shut up your Ti, it wouldn’t be healthy as this is an essential part of who you are).
9) Impose a Te mentality on necessary tasks. Compartmentalization of the task itself is key (such as remaining in a library or office when it is required to study or work on something). Research shows that multi-tasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%.
Discipline is like a muscle (which exists in the form of plasticity in the brain) that simply needs to be exercised in order to be strengthened. In perspective, discipline is simply prioritizing your wants and needs so they serve you more effectively, and in practice it is neuron-strengthening. Think of Te as your daily dose of vegetables, and Ti as all of the delicious stuff that comes after (steak, dessert, etc). Don’t eat your vegetables and dessert at the same time, because then you won’t want to eat your vegetables. Eat your vegetables first, and just think: you’ll feel better (your Ti will then have a more substantial and objective framework with which to happily thrive on! As opposed to endless ruminating over the different possibilities that exist within the cracks in your bedroom ceiling, or worse: paranoia of what others think of you, ugh).
10) Seek out information-based settings, in order to reward your Ti.
11) Small steps are ideal, for building pathways between neurons when it comes to change. Ti is detail-oriented, and thus prone to being overwhelmed - sometimes leading to paralysis. Be gentle.
12) Recognize that what motivates you is atypical to societal norms. You are not necessarily motivated by socializing, image, money, food, or even comfort (these could be fear-based motivations, however). What motivates you (in a desire-based sense) in terms of your utter passion, is simply curiosity at its essence. Recognize this!
13) Recognize that Ti/Fe transition is like two magnets nearing each other. The transition from separated to connected is all-or-none, hardly smooth. But over time, you can improve the muscle-strength and coordination in your fingers from separating & unseparating the magnets, thus creating increased smoothness in transition over time.
14) Make decisions using as many of your faculties as possible. Thinking, feeling, experience, experience of others, calculated risks, intuition, etc. are all important when it comes to making decisions. The synthesized result of all of these combined (which varies from situation to situation) is ideal. It is not possible to be a perfectly logical Ti robot who is programmed to make perfect decisions. Mistakes are always going inevitable, but they are good because you learn from them. You are still human, but a human with robotically-inclined tendencies (and even robots make mistakes).
15) Utilize Si as a framework of principles you adhere to, and ultimately trust your perceptions above all else. The best way for an INTP to be confident, is to stick to their Ti without wavering while outside of their head - essentially while living outside of Ti. Simultaneously, the best way for an INTP to be open-minded, is to be willing to synthesize new data when they are away from the happenings in the world, immersed in Ti either alone or with trusted others. In this way, INTP can be both confident and able to beneficially learn from being wrong (as opposed to over-confidently stubborn even when wrong, or on the contrary: unsure of anything even while right). INTP thinking framework is almost exactly parallel to a computer - new info must be updated, processed, and conceptually congruent with existing data. If not allowed to “sleep on it” or any other sort of brief retreat into Ti, the INTP is only limited to being over-confident even when wrong or under-confident even when right.
Ti is a large part of what defines INTP, so naturally it can either be a source of confidence (strength) or uncertainty (vulnerability).