INTP vs. INFJ: What Are the Differences?
by Lisa Sparrow
The difference between INTPs and INFJs comes down to what gets them out of bed in the morning. INTPs are driven by logic, problem-solving, and creativity, while INFJs find meaning in helping others and acting out on their values and humanity. Passion is felt strongly by both but can lead to single-mindedness in an INTP and burnout or sensitivity in an INFJ.
Key personality differences explained
INTP - The Logician
An INTP personality type is introverted, intuitive, thinking, and prospecting. These intelligent, curious personality types have buzzing minds and are almost always thinking, debating, and analyzing in their heads. While their minds may constantly be on the go, Logicians are typically quite introverted and will feel drained after socializing. Because of this they’re often thought of by others as reserved, independent types.
Logicians are at their best when solving problems and satisfying their curiosity. You’ll often find them working in interesting roles where they can tackle the mysteries of the universe.
INFJ - The Advocate
Advocates have a personality dominated by introversion, intuitiveness, feeling, and judgment. While INFJs share some similarities with INTPs, they’re very different people. Advocates are incredibly deep and thoughtful people who have a strong sense of their ideals. They’ll stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to speak up when they need to.
Typically quiet and soft-spoken, INFJs differ a lot from the fast-paced minds of logicians. Advocates prefer to keep the peace and ensure that they and the people around them are calm.
As their name would suggest, Logicians are extremely logical people that like to analyze everything, and this is one of their great strengths. INTP types flourish when they are solving problems and are able to use their analytical Sherlock-like minds. INTPs aren’t just logic-based, however, they also have great imaginations and are capable of strong creative thinking.
Curiosity is a huge driver for INTPs and as such, it can be a huge strength for them. INTPs curiosity can lead them to dive headfirst into projects, hobbies, and roles, allowing them to keep an open mind to new ideas, people, and ways.
While INTPs draw their passion from curiosity, INFJs’ strengths lie in their sense of compassion. Advocates are especially altruistic and will do their best to ensure that they impact the lives of others in a positive way. INFJs also have very creative minds, and while they can be quiet, they have vivid imaginations and can come up with creative solutions to problems.
While INTPs search for problems that they can solve, INFJs put their principals first. Advocates have a strong sense of their beliefs and can be especially passionate when talking about something they believe in. Even the harshest critics can be won over by an advocate.
INTPs passion for things they find curious can also be their weakness. Because they tend to throw themselves into trains of thought, it can leave them disconnected from the rest of the world. With problem-solving and rationality being incredibly important to Logicians, they can come across as slightly insensitive when it comes to values that are less important to them like emotion or etiquette.
Passion is no problem when it comes to topics that INTPs are curious about, but this passion can lead to a perfectionist and impatient streak. If problems aren’t solved perfectly or quickly, Logicians can lose interest or be dismissive of others helping them.
INFJs can struggle with perfectionism, while they’re passionate about subjects they believe in, they can focus too hard on minor flaws in their determination to do their best for their passion. This perfectionism can also lead to burnout. INFJs need to make sure they take time in their lives for themselves and keep a healthy work/life balance.
Opening up can be a challenge for Advocates who like to solve their own problems and think that opening up can be a burden to others. While they’re always there for people, they can be a little distant with their own emotions and risk putting up a wall, stopping friends from really getting to know them.
INTPs tend to work best in unique roles that allow them to make the most of their curiosity and creativity. While it can be hard for logicians to find their perfect role, when they do they tend to excel. You might find Logicians thriving in areas such as philosophy, science, or engineering where they are able to pioneer new ideas and solve big questions.
Rather than curiosity being their driving force, Advocates do best in careers that align with their principles and personal values. Advocates will prefer roles that allow them to live their values and know that they’re doing work that will help others.
Money isn’t a focus for INFJs, connection and meaning is their driving force. You’ll often find Advocates working in counselling, healthcare, social work, or spiritual positions.
Logicians can be creative and fun partners. While they can lean towards independence when it comes to their problem-solving, they thrive with partners who share their values, challenge them, and want to learn and grow alongside them. These high standards can mean that INTPs may struggle to find their perfect match. They can also struggle when it comes to relationship conflict and tend to shut down arguments with logic rather than listening to feelings and emotions.
On the other hand, for INFJs, understanding the emotions and feelings of their loved ones is never a struggle. Romance is serious business for INFJs and they will settle for nothing less than their dream match. Choosy at times, when they do find a partner they won't take them for granted.
INFJs are passionate, expressive and romantic partners; they know how to show their love and tend to foster committed and meaningful relationships.
The bottom line
Logicians and Advocates differ mainly in their core values. While Logicians find meaning in solving analytic problems, Advocates are spurred on by connecting and helping others. Passion and connection are felt strongly by both, but for different reasons.