This isn’t one of those ‘viral’ tests though – it’s legit

I know, I know – most of the time you see those ‘personalty’ tests on Facebook or whatever, and it’s a load of bullhonkey – “How much are you like [insert “famous star that Facebook has managed to discover that you like the most” here]?! OMG YOU HAVE TO TAKE THIS TEST!”  but this one was actually from a reputable source – and I took it because I was instructed to by a financial management class my wonderful wife and I are taking through our church. I’ve taken plenty of tests in the past, including the Meyers Briggs official one, and I always end up with the same results:


Why the “F” in parenthesis? Well, my feeling-thinking score almost always breaks even, and it’s hard for the test to really determine the result – and there are parts of both profiles that I definitely resonate with. I do tend to consider myself more on the thinking part than the feelings part – it’s almost as if I can access just a little bit of the feelings, sometimes, but when I do, it’s in an incredibly uncontrolled fashion, kind of like Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk.

I’m digressing.

Most of the tests do a… mediocre… job at best at describing the actual ramifications of the results – they are all like “Oh, here you go, you’re part of this percentage of the population, here’s a couple of things you might be like, have a nice day.”  But not this one, no this free one, over at They walk you through a section by section, deep root breakdown of your personality.  What makes you tick.  What makes you not tick. What makes you tick faster until you explode like Tio Salamanca’s bell-bomb from the sheer volume of stress or frustration you may be experiencing at a particular time.

Tio Salamanca


So, what did I discover that’s inspired me to write about it?

The one thing that really holds INTPs back is their restless and pervasive fear of failure. INTP personalities are so prone to reassessing their own thoughts and theories, worrying that they’ve missed some critical piece of the puzzle, that they can stagnate, lost in an intangible world where their thoughts are never truly applied. Overcoming this self-doubt stands as the greatest challenge INTPs are likely to face, but the intellectual gifts – big and small – bestowed on the world when they do makes it worth the fight.

That’s just one of many absolutely, incredibly, creepily uncanny statements that the service graced me with upon completion of the test.  Here’s another:

INTP personalities prefer to work alone, but at the same time they despise “grunt-work”. Their focus on conceiving new and exciting ideas and ignoring the details of execution means that INTPs need someone alongside to keep things in order and actually put into practice their often unrefined ideas. Such a condition can’t be forced on INTPs, but a few logically phrased criticisms (certainly not emotional appeals or pep talks about working as part of a team) and clever management can make it happen.

Scrum sucks

Is it any wonder that the very idea of SCRUM fills me with dread?

There is a reason that I like to have as many diverse projects going on as possible

The more diversity I have in my workload, the more it seems to me that I have ‘fresh new problems’ to solve.  I realize now, looking back, that I built this methodology as a coping mechanism for dealing with a world that is filled with goal-oriented business-types. Even if the problems aren’t new, really, so long as i have some way to provide a temporary distraction, it very much leads to me being able to go back to the first with somewhat renewed enthusiasm.

INTP personality types tend to be absent minded and messy – and that’s certainly true for me – I’d much rather be problem solving (even if it’s ‘fooling myself into problem solving’ as mentioned above), making new things, or exploring new ideas and abstract concepts than doing something mundane like cleaning or eating, and while it may seem like I’m rude or inconsiderate or being short with someone – it’s really simply that I am completely engaged in my own little world – lost in thought, and every distraction could be the one that ruins the whole construct.

I have absolutely no tolerance for the mundane

None.  I used to be a systems administrator. for 12 years. To this day, I have no idea how i managed it, because 99% of the time, every day was the exact. Same. Thing. Day in, day out – sit at computer, make sure systems are running, answer the same help desk questions, over and over and over and over.  If this sounds like fun to you – or at least, something tolerable, then you may be an ENFJ.  I have it on good authority (the Internet) that INTPs are supposed to actually be good at Sysadmin – so perhaps it was just the particular job i had. I do know that I was excellent at coming up with ideas but all I really wanted to do was find the next problem and solve it too – not resolve the first.

The Internet

Source: Wikimedia Commons

IDK, the internet has a trustworthy face.

I cannot abide small talk

Many of the usual motivations for making friends – emotional support, social validation, shared routine – simply don’t apply to INTPs. More likely, these concepts are met with disdain, as people with the INTP personality type prize intellectual depth above all else.

If you want to talk about the weather, that’s fine, but I’ve no interest.  Please don’t be offended if I ignore you, because I will be.

And finally, corporate America has no place for INTPs

INTPs are solitary, eccentric, and independent – none of which is listed as desirable for corporate positions, which are usually designed for very different personality types.

Many big name CEOs are INTP – Bill Gates for example – and I believe there’s a reason for that.  The lower corporate mentality has no patience for people who are unable to work within strict timelines, hate bone-crushingly normal routines (9-to-5, amirite?), fail miserably at basic water-cooler talk, and cannot explain their thought processes to superiors.  And that’s why many INTPs work for themselves, or in highly creative, rare positions in companies that understand that it’s not always about the paper pushers.

What personality type are you?  If you’ve any interest in learning more, be sure to check out 16personalities! It’s free!

Oh – and here’s the full write up for INTP, if you’re interested: INTP Personality