Have you ever noticed that something you thought wasn’t a big deal annoyed your INTP friend? Or maybe you, as an INTP, have realized that you find certain things that don’t seem to bother other people incredibly irritating?
The Myers-Briggs® personality types are a tool for talking about how peoples’ minds work. They describe the mental processes that we use most comfortably, and these “functions” come together in unique ways for each personality type. Because of the special way our brains operate, each type has different things that they typically find annoying.
Of course, even if a group of people share a personality type there will still be plenty of individual differences between them. Some INTPs might, for example, see social norms as a necessary evil rather than something that really annoys them. In general, though, most INTPs are going to find the 10 things on this list extremely irritating.
1) Beliefs That Don’t Make Sense
INTPs have a deeply rooted desire for things to make sense to them. If they have to spend much time around people who hold beliefs that the INTP thinks are nonsensical it’s going to quickly become annoying. An INTP’s favorite mental function is called Introverted Thinking, and they spend most of their lives honing it to sort new information by what does and doesn’t make sense within their framework for how the world works. While they may delight in pointing out an idea’s logical errors, they’ll still be annoyed by people stubbornly clinging to beliefs that make no logical sense.
2) Rules That Don’t Make Sense
I imagine INTPs are the sort of people who, as children, asked “Why?” often enough to exasperate every adult they knew. Even as adults, INTPs want to know the reason behind rules, traditions, and social expectations. And if there is no reason (or if the reason is something like, “we’ve just always done it this way”) then don’t expect INTPs to be happy about being told they need to follow those rules. INTPs are often labeled nonconformists and rule breakers, but if the rules don’t make sense then they probably won’t see why that’s supposed to be a bad thing.
3) Pointless Social Norms
By now you’re probably starting to notice a theme. If there isn’t a clear, logical point to something then there’s a good chance it’s going to annoy the INTP. Certain social norms like small talk and artificially polite interactions just don’t make sense. Why waste time with small talk when there are so many more important things to talk about? Or why bother couching your ideas in polite terms when it’s so much easier to be blunt and straightforward? It’s irritating for INTPs to waste time on pointless social norms.
4) Pulling Rank
In general, INTPs don’t automatically respect authority. If you want an INTP’s respect, then you need to prove that you’re someone worth listening to. To quote Psychologist David Kiersey, INTPs “will listen to amateurs if their ideas are useful, and will ignore the experts if theirs are not. Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them.” Trying to throw around your credentials or insist that you’re in charge is a good way to irritate INTPs or make them laugh at you (or both).
5) Not Getting Alone Time
Everyone needs a certain amount of along time, especially introverted personality types. INTPs tend to be among the introverts who are especially annoyed by not getting enough time to themselves. Lots of social demands quickly build up to an annoying level. On top of that, not getting enough alone time drains an INTP’s “introvert batteries” (so to speak) and the fatigue tends to make them more easily annoyed than usual.
6) Pressure To Discuss Their Feelings
Since INTPs lead with the Introverted Thinking function, they’re much less comfortable with the opposite of that — Extroverted Feeling. Your Thinking/Feeling preference doesn’t describe whether or not you experience emotion, but it does effect how you process your emotions and the criteria you use for decision making. INTPs don’t have an easy time processing their feelings externally and/or with other people. They also have a difficult time trusting their emotions as a basis for making any decision. Pressure to discuss their feelings before they’re ready is a sure way to annoy them.
7) Choosing Politeness Over Truth
Extroverted Feeling — a function INTPs do not use comfortably — is the mental process that tells us it’s a good idea to maintain social harmony. That’s the side of our personalities that prompts us to fit-in with the people around us and be polite even if it means fudging the truth a little. INTPs do not prioritize this function. It makes no sense to them that someone would choose politeness over truth. They are often seen as excessively bunt/direct or even rude, but from their perspective they’re not the ones who are a problem. It’s the people who smother the truth in social niceties who are annoying.
8) Making Decisions Quickly
Much like we talked about with INFJs, INTPs are the sort of people who need time to process decisions. They’re likely to get annoyed if you push them to make up their minds about something on short notice. They may also be annoyed if other people make snap decisions. This is especially true if you’re talking about complex issues that the INTP thinks should require more time and care to figure out your position on the matter.
9) Telling Them To Be Different
INTPs tend to be fiercely independent people who hate being told they “should” act in a different way than they do. In some ways, this point goes along with INTPs finding pointless social norms annoying. Being told to smile more, or be more “feminine/masculine,” or choose a more ambitious career, or “fake it till you make” it is the sort of thing that grates on an INTP’s nerves. It irritates them when someone tells them to be a different sort of person than they are.
10) Needing To Work With Everyday Details
Like other Intuitive types, INTPs are big-picture thinkers. They can handle detailed, sensory tasks of course, (we all need those skills to function in day-to-day life) but that’s not their strong suit. Anything mundane, routine, and focused on sensory details is not what INTPs enjoy dealing with. Filling out forms with redundant questions or being stuck in a job that requires minute attention to organization are things that are sure to irritate the typical INTP.
What are the things that annoy you most as an INTP? Let us know in the comments!
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