How to deal with an INTP

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.

2) i) 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, it’s goodbye.

ii) 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. 

iii) 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) i) Stop saying we are cold, or heartless. It’s not that we don’t have emotions, it’s 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.

ii) Don’t expect appeals to our emotion to work. 

iii) 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) i) Understand that our humor is a little unconventional. Some (?) of us have slightly “twisted” humor, and we love sarcasm.

ii) 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 of 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.

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.