INTP vs INTJ: How To Tell Them Apart

When it comes to INTP vs INTJ personality types, there hardly seems to be any differences between the two. However nothing could be further from the truth. These two types are naturally introverted & both intuitive thinkers, but surprisingly they don’t share any similarities in regards to their functions.

First of all, the INTP belongs to the Alpha Quadra which includes the ENTP, ESFJ, & ISFJ. On the other hand, the INTJ is part of the Gamma Quadra along with the ENTJ, ESFP, & ISFP. Essentially every type in the quadra share the same functions but in different order.

If you’re having trouble typing yourself or are unsure of someone you know being an INTP vs INTJ, stay tuned. By the end of this article you will be an expert in spotting one (a rare find!), you’ll know what they like & dislike, and know if they’re even compatible with each other.

intp vs intj personality types, glasses

Cognitive Functions Comparison

Let’s begin our analysis of these two personality types by comparing apples to apples via their cognitive functions. Cognitive functions are the basic building blocks of personality typing and ware what make up the 4 letter personality type. These functions include things like how we observe the outer world & make our decisions.

There is also an order & attitude to each function, starting with the hero function, parent function, child function, and inferior function. In some cases they are referred to as the dominant function, auxiliary function, tertiary function, and the aspirational function respectively.

So how do these two types compare in this regard? Here’s the function stacks for both:

INTPs: Ti Hero, Ne Parent, Si Child, Fe Aspirational

INTJs: Ni Hero, Te Parent, Fi Child, Se Aspirational

As you can see, none of the functions are shared between the two personality types. Below we’ll do in-depth comparison on how their function differ and come off to others.

Introverted Thinking vs Extroverted Thinking

One commonality of both INTP & INTJs is they are thinking types. They are both great at problem solving, process oriented, value facts above all else. They go about this in totally different ways however.

INTPs have Introverted Thinking as their primary function and can outthink just about anyone when it comes to depth of information & building logical structures.

INTPs tend to also be masters of logic in the Boolean sense, assigning true or false attributes to every part of a process, argument, or idea. The biggest defining characteristic, is that this function is also tied directly to their identity and therefore take their logical opinions very seriously. This is due partly because the solutions they come up with for a complex problem is wholly their own.

INTJs prefer to outsource the thinking to others however. They have Extroverted Thinking parent which heavily favors things like statistical data, external sources such as authority figures, and the thought structures of well-studied Ti users.

INTJs tend to be faster at scrubbing through data & coming to a conclusion at the expense of a more shallow or not as well structured argument. Finally, their thinking is not tied to their identity, and so being wrong occasionally is not as big of a deal; they simply move past inaccuracies & find the answer which has the highest probability of being true.

As a simplified comparison, Ti is all about logical accuracy & depth, while Te is all about statistical reasoning & breadth. A Ti user like the INTP will come up with their own unique solution which makes them more likely to be thought leaders. In contrast, an extraverted thinking user will absorb multiple Ti inputs from various sources in order to form a consensus, or “best practice” and find what is most likely to be true.

Extroverted Intuition vs Introverted Intuition

The second major & often overlooked characteristic of these two types is they’re both intuitive, which make them future focused, conceptual, and theoretical.

The INTP personality type has Extroverted Intuition parent which makes them keenly aware of tropes, memes, archetypes, and other forms of categorical thinking. They’re able to see connections & the universality in all things.

Extraverted intuition is also known to be a very go-with-the-flow function and so an INTP can have difficulty in choosing a life path or just choosing anything in general. This is partly because they are in a constant flow of ideas & are able to see all sorts of possibilities.

INTJs however, have Introverted Intuition hero which relates to their own personal understanding of the world. This function makes them goal oriented, capable of extreme focus, and overall big picture thinkers.

A stark contrast between the INTJs and INTPs, is that the Ni hero is extremely desirous & always knows what it wants. Making a choice is natural & they’re aware that there is always a new choice to be made in the future.

To sum it up, Ne parent is about prescience, warning of potential dangers & outcomes, and offering choices. The Ni hero is all about freedom of choice, having a vision, & exerting its will upon the world to produce its desired outcomes.

Introverted Sensing vs Extroverted Sensing

One major difference between these two is how they perceive the external world iva the senses.

INTPs have Introverted Sensing, which is primarily concerned with the experience they are receiving, and especially past experiences they’ve had. This function of Si is also concerned with traditional, a sense of duty, loyalty, and it’s own comfort.

The introverted sensing child or “Si” of the INTP allows them to be disciplined, organized, & take care of themselves when it’s healthy. When unhealthy, they can get stuck in their inner world or comfort zone & over-indulge in overeating or playing it safe.

The INTJ on the other hand, has Extroverted Sensing inferior, which is more outwardly focused & less concerned with its own experience or past memories. This extraverted sensing is more about fast reflexes, maneuverability, understanding of physics on a practical level, and performance (although INTJs tend to have performance anxiety).

This Se function of the INTJ gives them insight on what others are doing, what looks good, and what provides a good experience for others. This can help them in the realm of playing sports, having mechanical awareness, fashion, and yes, even video games.

Overall, Si is the Past & Se is the Now. They are the tortoise & the hare respectively. One is not necessarily better than the other but they serve different purposes & are expressed on opposite ends.

two watches, extraverted sensing, Si Se Watches, Ti Te, external world, personality type, extraverted thinking

Extroverted Feeling vs Introverted Feeling

INTJs and INTPs are not always able to solve problems using their thinking functions however. In this case, they must rely on their feeling decider functions of Fe & Fi.

The INTP has Extroverted Feeling as their inferior function which gives them the ability to read other peoples emotions & be empathetic. They are very sensitive with this function & when pushed to use it can become uncharacteristically emotional in order to preserve group harmony.

This Fe function also allows them to have an edge in social situations by being relatable & making others feel better. Still this extraverted feeling function is low on the stack & so the INTP may still struggle with social interactions or only be able to handle them in short bursts.

The Introverted Feeling function of the INTJ however, is only concerned with itself & its own feelings about things. These feelings or emotions stem from their values & go much deeper than simply being happy or sad about a situation. And because this is an internal function, it’s very personal & tied to their identity much like the Ti of the INTP.

Another way to look at Fi is being conscientious. INTJ must feel good about what they do & who they are, and so almost always choose to follow guidance from their moral compass, Fi. At the very least, input from their Fi is considered & to be a bad person in their own eyes would be something they could hardly live with.

Overall, the Fe of an INTP is all about being a caring person & developing a sense of empathy for others. The INTJ however, is more concerned with developing their own personal values, liked & dislikes, and achieving high standards that make them feel good about themselves.

INTJ vs INTP visual typing personality types

Visual Typing An INTP vs INTJ

Due to the low sensory functions of these two types, they’re not ones to revel in the spotlight or be the most fashionable. Heck, they’re hardly ever outside their house to begin with.

First and foremost, we see a lot of these types looking a bit nerdy & having glasses (but not always!). We will go as far as to say that INTJs typically prefer square glasses & INTPs like round glasses but that’s really far out!

Anyways, the INTP will tend to dress for comfort primarily & you might be able to find them at a library or off in a nook reading about their favorite topics. They lack of Se and it can show as a disregard for their appearance in general though, this includes mismatched clothes, messy hair, and bumping or dropping things.

The INTJ is more aware of their appearance but still might settle for simple dress such as jeans & a t-shirt or be overly perfectionistic in how they look. Both of these types are likely to be alone, but more so the INTJ. If you do talk to one, you might even notice that the INTJ is extra awkward or prone to faux pas as they lack the social awareness of Fe.

If you’re looking for any of these types, you’ll likely just find them online but they also might be active in local D&D groups, board game parlors, or at comic book & video game stores.

INTP or INTJ, INTJ or INTP, visual personality typing

How Do I Tell If I Am An INTP or INTJ?

Going back to the functions, if you’re an INTP, you will rather form your own opinion on a matter. If you’re an INTJ, you will be okay with taking a consensus approach or using statistics to find the right answer.

Another point is that the INTP will have a much harder time choosing anything. The INTJ will not hesitate as much when it comes to deciding what they want to wear or what they want to do next.

Next up, an INTP is typically much more clumsy & prefers comfort in all things. An INTJ is more likely to want to move around, play a sport, or exercise their reflexes such as in video games.

When it comes to emotion, the INTP is much more socially aware (although sometimes awkward). The INTJ however, has Fe blindspot, so faux pas will be common & go right over their head!

For reference, here are TWO INTPs. Notice how they talk on a conceptual level & respond using Ti logic. In this case, not much Fi or Fe:

Are These Two Personality Types Compatible?

Friendship

INTPs and INTJs can be close friends & there is hardly ever a dull moment. Both types might have difficulty fitting in with the the rest of the world but together they can simply click. You could say these are two peas in a pod or Yin & Yang and are highly compatible.

Business

With both types being natural problem solvers, they can make a great team when it comes to business dealings. Both INTP & INTJ are geared towards creating systems that focus on efficiency & ingenuity. The result could be a highly profitable money machine that runs with minimal inputs & provides a ton of value to a large market.

Romantic

These two personality types are what’s known as a silver pair which is the 2nd highest compatibility there is. They are able to find everything they need in each other due to them having opposite functions all across the board. The INTP needs direction, a sense of being desired, and the INTJ can provide that. On the other hand, the INTJ required absolute trust & loyalty, which the INTP aspires to provide.

Overall this relationship is based on respect as it’s fairly balanced. The Ti hero is kept in check by the Te parent, the Ni hero is checked by the Ne parent, and likewise for the bottom two functions. Everyone’s cognitive needs & wants are fulfilled.

INTPs and INTJs compatibility , friendship, business, romantic, problem solving, same way

INTP vs INTJ Frequently Asked Questions

Is INTJ or INTP more emotional?

Emotions are not the strong-suit of either of these two types, however the INTJs feeling function (Fi Child) is higher in their stack than that of the Fe inferior of the INTP personality type.

The INTJs whether aware of it or not, rely much more on their Fi as a decision making function. These decisions are often based on their own personal values & conscientiousness (moral compass). However because it’s an introverted function, it might not be apparent to others unless the INTJ expresses their private emotion.

On the other hand, I can see how how others might be inclined to think that the INTP is more emotional. Their Fe is after all, an extroverted function that’s based on caring & catering to the value of others. They are much more expressive, reactive, and in many cases sensitive to the emotions of others around them.

Can an INTP look like an INTJ?

These two types are frequently confused by appearance, but INTJs are typically more concerned with looks. In some cases, an INTJ may be overly dressed or perfectionistic due to being fearful about how they come off to others. This stems from their Extroverted Sensing sensing.

The INTP however has Introverted Sensing child & are therefore much more concerned with comfort than style. Finally, INTPs have Se blindspot, so unless someone instructs them explicitly on how to dress, they won’t have all that much concern. Anime T-shirt & fedora anyone?

What can an INTP be mistaken for?

INTPs can sometimes be mistaken for INFPs which share the similar life struggles. They also both lead with introverted identity functions (Ti vs Fi), have extroverted intuition parent, and both have introverted sensing child.

Visually they might look & come off as edgy or very individualistic, but in order to determine which is which, you need to be able to discern between introverted thinking logic & introverted feeling values.

Which MBTI is most emotionally smart?

The MBTI personality types that are the most emotionally smart are those with Introverted Feeling or Extroverted Feeling as a parent function. This includes INFJs, ENFPs, ISFJs, & ESFPs.

For example the ENFP will have strong development in their own values through Fi parent, but also have Fe as a critic function which will grants awareness in that area. Essentially they are able to utilize Fi (personal morals) without going overboard, all while being mindful of group harmony & ethics (Fe).

What personality is opposite of INTP?

There are two personalities that are opposite of the INTP in different ways. The ESFJ shares the same functions are the INTP, however they are flipped. So instead of Ti, Ne, Si, Fe – It’s Fe, Si, Ne, Ti.

100% opposites though, is the ENTJ, which don’t share any of the functions but has functions in the same order. So the INTP is Ti, Ne, Si, Fe – and the ENTJ is Te, Ni, Se, Fi

Despite being opposites, they are the most compatible as they are basically Yin & Yang.

What personality is most similar to INTJ?

The ENTJ personality type is the most similar to the INTJ. They are both part of the Gamma Quadra which also includes ESFPs & ISFPs, meaning they all share the same functions but in a different order.

The ENTJ in particular though can be seen as a more extroverted version of the INTJ. Overall, both of them are intuitive thinkers with a draw towards systems, processes, and strategy, especially in the realm of business.

INTJ Function Stack: Ni, Te, Fi, Se
ENTJ Function Stack: Te, Ni, Se, Fi

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