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I’m an INTP woman. We’re hard to find and we’re hard to be around. I get it, it’s ok, I don’t blame you or take it personally.

It’s not only anecdotal: someone wrote a paper about how difficult and undesirable INTP women are. And when I was in grad school, a fellow student wrote a paper about me and what my “presence in class” felt like (it was a psych program). My response: oh. ok.

When I was single, I would sometimes spend entire weekends alone without seeing anyone for 64 sweet hours and I loved it. That’s what I remember as the good old single days. Being alone. I hide. I avoid people, sometimes even the ones I really love. I know that it’s hard, maybe next to impossible, for people to know just how difficult it is for me to be around people. And the more social the person, I’ve realized, the harder it is for that person to understand.

The best thing ever to happen – and I am so lucky for this – was that I met and then married an INTP man. I don’t hide from him, I don’t want to be alone when I’m around him. And he’s probably the only one who would understand me when I say that being around him is as easy/refreshing/recharging/comfortable as being alone. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt that anyone has understood what all is going on here, how hard some of this stuff is for me, why I am consistently misunderstood; and probably the best thing: he can tolerate how fucking annoying I can be.

Because I get stuck on things that don’t make sense to me and I cannot let them go (I made my own mother cry once, like two months ago, doing this). Social customs and pleasantries seem pointless to me and I can’t handle them. I hate social events. I make everything more complicated than it is and I am not a good communicator because of this. I make different assumptions than most people do which creates misunderstandings and yet I never seem to learn that not everyone makes these same assumptions. I ask questions that sound stupid to people who don’t realize I’m a few steps ahead of the conversation and skipping the obvious. My first impressions are terrible (my long-term impressions tend to be better but there’s a bit of a selection bias there).

I’m making it out to be worse than it is by describing the worst of it. It’s fine, I’m normal, I can pass. I am capable and happy. Life is fantastic. But I’ll always feel like an alien in this world. That feeling never goes away.

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Image credit: JP King

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9 thoughts on “INTP

  1. Hi! I’m glad to have found another INTP mom. I always like reading other INTPs’ writing. I also felt like an alien for most of my life, until I discovered Myers-Briggs. Now I feel like I am the only normal person in a world full of aliens.

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  2. Hello, I myself have just been lumped into the INTP type according to my psychologist. One main thing I realized and ACCEPTED was that my life exists primarily in the mind. Completely discontent with working for almost a decade in the “conventional” world, I am seeking other INTPs (female esp.) and curious to see what career choices they have made.

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    • There’s a great book you should check out called “Do What You Are”. It’s all about how to choose a career based on your Myers-Briggs type and how to work with your strengths and weaknesses in any career. It has a chapter for each type, and lists the jobs that they are most likely to enjoy. I’ve worked in science research (which is one of the recommended fields for INTPs) and science teaching (which is more challenging).

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  3. Even though science has been listed as a common interest among intps, I personally have disliked it. I feel like I just don’t like any job, and spend most of my time in my head, wandering and moving from one imagination to another.

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  4. Hi! I’m happy to hear from both of you and curious to see what your lives have been like as INTP women.

    INTP Mom: now that I think about it, it does feel like I toggle between feeling like an alien in this world and feeling like everyone is an alien but me. That has got to be one of the hallmarks of this type! It’s such a specific, identifiable feeling. I’m curious about the book you mentioned and what it says about INTPs, who tend to lose interest in topics after some degree of mastery.

    Missoliviaaa: I’m curious about what sort of work you did in the “conventional” world and what you would consider unconventional. What are your interests?

    Incidentally, I was also in a science field before I left my job. But I realized at a certain point that I’d never be fulfilled by a career, no matter what it was, and considered my work to be a job that supported independent pursuit of hobbies and interests. That worked very well for me, aside from the occasional feelings of emptiness and angst surrounding the work I was doing.

    However, being a stay-at-home mom has felt more right to me than anything I’ve ever done. And having this blog as an outlet has rounded out any feelings of isolation (which I rarely feel anyway) or idleness associated with this life.

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    • I apologize for the delayed comment, but to answer your question, I majored in Biological Sciences in college, switched to Economics, and have been working in inventory management for apparel companies. Very data oriented, routine work. My interests nowadays has been spirituality, esoterics, philosophy, and wanting to pretty much escape and live life abroad in peaceful non-modern Turkey. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I have this yearning to just start my entire life over. This is only the icing on the cake… ;)

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  5. I’m curious what it is you like about being a SAHM. I never thought I would meet an INTP who enjoyed it! Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my daughter and it’s fulfilling, but I don’t find this “job” particularly enjoyable. Most of my time is spent on mindless housework and toddler tantrum negotiations, which is draining and doesn’t engage most parts of my brain.

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  6. HI EVERYONE! So glad to have found this blog, i’m 19, female, currently studying Applied Human Nutrition in University but I don’t want to become a dietitian and have already applied for transfer. Please hear me out and give some help.

    I am an INTP; I love to write, I love to be alone, I love space, the moon, stars, air, clouds, I also love science. I want to become a pilot and have applied to transfer to aviation, because I have always always loved being in the air, near the clouds, being free, I also love to travel. My plan is to become a pilot, and write when i travel to another place. However I am also passionate in the science of nutrition, I love knowing how eating different foods can affect your performance and how to fix yourself without taking medicines by just eating the right kinds of foods. I am therefore struggling to decide to either stay in my current Nutrition program (I’m in first year), or to just switch to aviation.

    I have read the above posts and agreed that I won’t be satisfied in any profession for too long of a period of time – I tend to change a lot and was never stable growing up. I agree that I should get a job that enables me to develop my hobbies. Do you all INTPs think it would be a good idea to transfer? I love that school way more than I love my current one. The only doubt I have is that, as you all may know, I doubt my own decisions a lot. I question my ability to perform well in areas that i’ve never laid a finger on. I’m honestly quite afraid of having to learn about all the engines and aerodynamics in flight school in order to become a pilot, i’m frankly quite poor at math although I could force myself to do it. That being said I’ve never really tried, and since I’m still quite young, I think being crazy and trying out new things now would be a good idea….?

    Please reply to this, I don’t have a lot of time left to make the decision!

    Jada

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