Type Contrast: INTJ vs. INTP
How can you tell them apart?
For starters, they have zero functions in common. None. They don’t see the world with the same objective functions, they don’t interpret the world with the same subjective functions, and they have two totally different kinds of logic.
The INTP uses Ti-Ne-Si-Fe. Because the INTP uses introverted thinking as its dominant function, it is a judging type.
Ti is subjective logic unbound by facts. It looks beyond the facts to greater truths and sees no need to assert the facts or be limited by them. Facts are obvious so why talk about them? Ti is intensely private; it doesn’t share its thought process with anyone or think out loud, and it trusts itself to be objective and rational. Ti is naturally resistant to instruction manuals because it trusts itself to figure out a logical method on its own (plus, maybe the instruction manual’s method isn’t as logical as the method Ti can manufacture! Maybe it has extra steps!).
Ne is observation of one’s surroundings, leading to the growth of new ideas and connections. Ne notices and forms patterns between seemingly disconnected pieces of information in the immediate environment. Ne objectively observes subtle indicators between two people and figures out their motivations (they used to date; that person is in love with that other person; this person is faking his emotions). Ne is an outward function in the sense that it both shows externally (Ne loves to verbally share its ideas and get others’ input on them) and gathers its information from the external world. Ne never stops adding information, building connections, and considering new possibilities. It doesn’t exclude anything it encounters.
Si personalizes experiences and grants them meaning, based on their significance in that moment. It files things away in its memory to be accessed when dealing with new information. Si compares new experiences, ideas, and information, to its own past behavior and experiences. It “stores” memories, impressions, and data that can help Ne build an expansive knowledge base on a particular subject. Si says, “The ice cream truck comes around at this time every day, and my favorite popsicle is $1.50,” so that when the ice cream truck comes around today, Si is ready and waiting on the corner with exact change. If the ice cream truck is late, or the price is different, Si is caught off guard and Ne kicks in to theorize on what happened to alter this established pattern.
Fe is objectivity and moral beliefs based on one’s environment. It insists on seeing everyone’s point of view, in placating everyone, and in seeking compromises in order to maintain harmony. It will sacrifice self to avoid emotional conflict, but also as a function focused outward, will be evident in behavior, expressions of emotion (quickness to anger, the inability to totally mask one’s reactions), and moral objections to the actions of others. Fe needs external validation to feel it is doing what is right.
The INTP: Ti seeks to establish logical meaning to what it encounters, and trusts itself to do it without external validation. It gathers its information through Ne, which observes its surroundings by searching for ideas and connections. Ne sees what is evident under the surface (but not always noticed by others) and accurately determines the truth from it. Ne then compares what it is seeing to stored information, previous encounters and experiences with these situations/people/places with Si. Finally, Fe kicks in and establishes impartiality but also the desire for affirmation from others.
The INTJ uses Ni-Te-Fi-Se. Because the INTJ uses introverted intuition as its dominant function, it is a perceiving type.
Ni forms a subjective function that sees beyond what is obvious and interprets it according to personal goals. Ni is able to focus on one idea, from many different perspectives, until it comes up with a single idea. Because it is so private, it doesn’t share the process of brainstorming or gradual exclusion of ideas with anyone else, just the results. Ni invents new things out of nothingness; it sees what isn’t there and what it can become. It imagines a goal then works backward to figure out what it can do in the immediate future to accomplish its vision. Ni is able to look beyond what is evident to the truth of a person or situation. It can predict future events and movements, and strives for a strong personal vision.
Te is impartial observation and accumulation of the facts of one’s surroundings. Te is most comfortable with agreed-upon logic / a consensus of rationality among knowledgeable persons. It requires “facts” be supported by proof, because what can’t be proven, either through experimentation or obviousness in environment, can’t be a fact. Because Te is externally-based, it seeks external logic (from the environment, from books, from studies, etc) and also expresses itself externally – it thinks aloud as it tries to work around logical problems.
Fi is an internalized value system based on one’s personal convictions. It remains wholly unaffected by the emotions of the people in its environment, because it is disconnected from all but itself. Fi observes situations and behaviors and judges them according to how it feels about them. Because it values its own morals so highly, Fi absolutely refuses to compromise on issues it feels strongly about. It has no need of external validation on its emotions, but instead processes emotions privately and deals with them itself. Fi doesn’t like to show emotion to others.
Se is impartial observation of the environment seeking physical stimulation. Se searches for sensory pleasures and delights in beauty. It pays attention to how its five senses are impacted (sight, smell, taste, touch, hear) and seeks physical gratification for those senses. It looks for opportunities in its immediate environment to take action.
The INTJ: takes all that it encounters and tries to fit it in to its internal vision or impart personal meaning to it, and trusts its own ideas (Ni). It takes action on its internal vision through Te, by observing the facts of a situation and seeking to solve problems through logical means. Te weighs everything it encounters through how it feels about it (Fi), and finally, once Ni has finished processing its idea and eliminating unnecessary external factors, Se seeks for an opportunity to leap into action.
How to tell them apart: INTP’s Ti-Fe makes them logical but animated and eager to please; INTJ’s Te-Fi makes them logical but private in their emotions. INTPs sometimes focus on and talk about the past, comparing it to the present (Si); INTJs focus on the future and seek opportunities to take action (Se). INTPs talk about their ideas, not their thoughts (Ne); INTJs talk about their thoughts, not their ideas (Te). INTP’s mirror the behavior and morals of their environment (Fe); INTJ’s remain consistent to their personal ethics (Fi). INTP’s can focus on one thing for awhile, but then move on to other ideas (Ne); INTJ’s can maintain a focus on one thing indefinitely, despite encountering other ideas (Ni).