INTps desire to be immune to threats and to have no need to fight for existence. They're usually cautious when making decisions, and will err on the side of risk avoidance. Personal security and comfort are paramount but what this means and how it is achieved can vary greatly because INTps have very unique belief systems. They usually prefer to work ad hoc without specific plans but with clear focus on the objectives. They have impeccable timing and are superb at understanding their current situations, and reacting immediately and effectively. However, timeliness, completeness and quality, when meeting the demands of others, are not always priorities. They are highly interactive, tenacious, punctual, vigilant and productive when they deem it absolutely necessary to further their own agendas.
INTps have zealots' faith in what they have accepted as truths, whether these be in science, business, politics, religion or just day-to-day living. In reality, they place more emphasis on the connections among facts than the actual facts themselves. Many of these connections are self-evident but many more are only obvious within their own minds, which doesn't make them invalid; on the contrary, INTps are highly perceptive of logical relationships and consequences of various actions. However, their ideas can often be too theoretical or complicated for implementation or explanation so they will often have trouble putting these thoughts into words and selling them. Hence,they will also have difficulty pressuring or persuading anyone to do anything.
INTps are input oriented and spend inordinate amounts of time refining vast databases that are used to compare, judge and especially criticize everything and everybody - including themselves. They can make a career out of learning and are usually awash in various theories. They do not blindly accept information or what others say; they have to convince themselves that the logic is solid. During most discussions, they try to take control so as to present, verify and or protect their own interests. They love to get confirmation of their beliefs, and usually see people who oppose their views as threats. However, INTps love intimacy, playfulness and joke telling, and they really appreciate satire or humour that is on the edge of propriety. They can be really casual and lay-back; however, they all seem to develop strong anti-establishment views, and like delivering their objections with irony.
INTps frequently have difficulty rationalizing information on their own so they try to maintain a circle of confreres that can assist them with putting it all into perspective. When consulting, they can become like inquisitors that are seeking a specific confession or acknowledgement. They think best when brain storming by engaging people and trying to steer the conversation toward that for which they're looking; however, they usually assume defensive stances. A standard ploy would be to say something like: “I think this; what do you think about what I said?”, as if to challenge someone to knock it down. The INTp would then defend fervently against any dissenting views but if the dissenters stand firm and logically present a solid case, INTp acceptance can be immediate. However, if an argument shows any weakness, it'll be discounted before the dissenter has finished speaking and a dismissive reply already sent - usually before INTps realize the potential fallout of their retorts. They're often too focused on themselves and the issue, and not on the sensitivities of others in the fray.
They're great one-on-one debaters and even better critics. They often appear intransigent and obstinate - unwavering in their convictions. In the heat of argument, they have keen eyes for trends and linkages, and especially contradictions in or omissions of evidence. INTps easily detect the nuances of behaviour, and can often logically predict the resultant reactions or next moves, and quickly react to counter any perceived threat. Although not always the most tactful, they do carefully choose tactical positions that keep them a little ahead of the game and their opponents off-balance so as to better defend their own positions. INTps quickly lose interest in people who do not bring anything useful to the table or cannot defend themselves; if they recognized that they themselves were being useless, the feeling of impotence would be overwhelmingly depressing for them. Others can find these seemingly combative, competitive and or dismissive postures rather off-putting or irritating.
Their emotional states usually depend on how they fit in with or are treated by others. When slighted and sometimes in argument, INTps can become very passionate and so hot-tempered that everyone wonders what just happened, including themselves. Emotions are often so poorly controlled that they can swing from exuberance to frustration to depression in seconds. In their search for inner tranquillity, they are too easily thrown off by no-win situations, antagonism, affronts, or boisterous and invasive personalities. In high spirits, they themselves can be exuberant, aggressive, obsessive and or intrusive although they frown upon these characteristics in others. Under stress, they can easily spout vitriol, fly-off-the-handle and make over-the-top demands; they will then try to retreat or isolate themselves until their vengeful half has withdrawn and their acerbic remarks abate. Self images are hugely important to INTps so they can easily embarrass themselves when they realize that they've been too pedantic, sarcastic, impatient, self-righteous or, worst of all, wrong.
INTps usually restrain themselves and maintain outward appearances depending on what they believe are their targeted social circles or audiences. They are most comfortable with a casual and oftentimes unkempt or cluttered appearance but when the social expectations are coiffed or formal, they will show their best. If the expectation were for a sculpted body, they would work intensely to produce just that even though they're not that physically oriented. They are quite observant and astute so will find that which puts them in what they believe is the best light. With unfamiliar topics or environments, they usually appear hesitant and uncomfortable; on their home turf, they can be territorial, opinionated and preachy.
Even outside formal learning institutions, INTps tend to be rather academic and philosophical, specializing in focused areas rather than having broad interests. They can vividly recount what they have learned but often describe things in painful detail or in such a complex fashion that they lose their audiences. The idealistic scholar, the professor or the sage are apt descriptions for many INTp and this type of label seems to please them; they like being thought of as intellectuals regardless of their statuses in society. They like opportunities to exercise the mind so they try many new things, and novelty items intrigue them, but few can hold their interest for very long. They will resent being told that they're naive, avoiding issues, burying their heads in the sand or procrastinating.
They are usually good with finances and can live on little; they will exhaustively research options and try to control expenditures so as to maximize personal long-term gain. They seem to concentrate more on shortcomings and flaws than on potential or positives because to them, it's the negatives that get people into trouble. When prospects or conquests appear assured, the INTp does not hesitate and can sometimes appear unusually bold in action – strike while the iron is hot. INTps seek personal well-being through exhaustive preparedness, knowledge and experience. They're superb at risk detection and avoidance so they can operate successfully even under chaotic conditions, but they can sometimes lose the ground that they have achieved through inappropriate, heat-of-the-moment behaviour.