INTP vs. INTJ: What Are the Differences?
by Lisa Sparrow
This difference between INTPs vs INTJs can be hard to spot at first, but while they’re both go-getters, INTPs are driven by their curiosity, while INTJs are after a challenge and a chance to use their rational thinking skills.
Key personality differences explained
INTP - The Architect
An INTP personality type is introverted, intuitive, thinking, and prospecting. Constantly thinking and contemplating, Architects are quiet on the outside but go go go on the inside. Cerebral and introspective, INTPs love to tackle mysteries and use their intellect to solve problems through logic and fact. Introversion is a core personality type for Architects and they can feel especially drained after a night of socializing unless they’re engaged in conversation that feeds their curiosity and intellect.
This rare personality is also extremely curious, they love to analyse and are extremely open to new ideas, people and challenges.
INTJ - The Mastermind
An INTJ personality type is introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging. This rare personality type is extremely intelligent, confident, and analytical. Masterminds value reason, research, and rationality, and love to put their energy into solving puzzles. INTJs excel in areas they enjoy; they know how to get a job done and will put the work in to succeed.
Independent and forthright, Masterminds can come across as a little prickly or insensitive. INTJs don’t have a great appreciation for social niceties or emotions that they consider unreasonable. Because of this, they can come across as rude and even combative, especially when arguing their point.
Extremely analytical, one of INTPs greatest strengths is their ability to look at research and data and pick out patterns and solutions. These original thinkers can come up with creative and out-of-the box ideas that others would likely miss. Feelings and bias tend not to be an issue for INTPs; these individuals are truth-seekers and above all want to find answers. You won’t find a Architect being led astray with misinformation – INTPs do the research and get to the truth of everything.
Masterminds instead find strength in their rationality. While Architects analyze data to solve problems, Masterminds can use their rational thinking skills to invent creative solutions. INTJs also tend to be well-informed individuals who aren’t satisfied with simply a hunch.
INTJs are also extremely independent and self-motivated, skills that often set them up to succeed in life. Masterminds will do the work to reach their goals and won’t let obstacles stand in their way. INTJs are also very curious people, meaning that these dedicated individuals can apply their skills to a wide range of projects and activities.
INTPs’ passion for finding answers to the big questions can lead them to have hyper tunnel vision, blocking them off from the rest of the world. As a result of this, INTPs tend to lose themselves in their work and thoughts and become rather disconnected from everything else happening around them.
Architects can also be quite insensitive to the feelings and emotions of others, especially if they think that those feelings are illogical. They’re likely to dismiss or even be outright rude about traditions or social niceties that they deem unimportant or silly.
Masterminds can struggle with ego and arrogance. While their self-confidence and rational thinking is often a strength, it can mean that INTJs can be blinded to help from others. Their determination can also result in Masterminds being overly critical and even sometimes combative with others if they fail to meet their expectations.
INTJs can also struggle with emotions and find feelings expressed by others a frustrating experience as they tend not to understand more emotionally driven personalities.
INTPs will do well in roles where they can use their intellect, curiosity and really stretch out their analytical skills. Finding the right job isn’t easy for Architects, their freethinking nature means that hierarchical positions where they have to rely on others to get their work done can be especially frustrating to INTPs. Jobs in mathematics, analytics and research tend to be the best fit for INTPs, allowing them to solve big mysteries, explore their trains of thought and satisfy their curiosity.
In the right role, Architects will deliver high-standard work thanks to their perfectionist streak. Office politics is of no interest to this personality and you won't find them scrambling to impress their boss.
For INTJs, challenge is the key rather than curiosity. Masterminds do best in roles where they get to problem solve and love to hone their skills in meaningful and challenging work. INTJs lean towards independence, so are more likely to seek out freelance or solo projects. While Masterminds will be successful in almost any career, they’ll really shine in roles where they can strategize, solve problems and be creative.
The rational thinking skills of Masterminds is an asset in their work, but it can hold them back with professional socializing. Office small talk does not come naturally to these types and the early days of their career before they get respect and challenging work can be hard going for INTJs.
While independent and often in their head, when INTPs find the right person they often evolve into playful partners who love to grow and learn alongside their loved ones. Architects need someone who can challenge them, someone who they see as an equal. But this can be quite a high standard to meet, especially when naturally introverted INTPs tend to struggle to put themselves out there for fear of rejection.
INTJs can struggle to understand the nuance and intricacies of romance. Masterminds don’t like or value anything without purpose, so can be dismissive of the frivolous and sometimes confusing rituals of dating. But once they mature and start to understand romance, INTJs often fall into deep and meaningful relationships. Don’t expect any big romantic gestures from this personality type though, Masterminds need to be a bit creative to find ways to show their affection for their partner, in a way that makes sense to them.
The bottom line
INTP and INTJ personality types do share a lot of similarities, but when it comes down to it, these intelligent types differ in their resolve and their drive. For Architects, creativity and curiosity is key, as these personalities seek intrigue but can be easily distracted by a new shiny project. Masterminds, on the other hand, love a challenge and can be dogmatic in reaching their goals. Slightly more prickly, INTJs are also logic-driven but more rational in their approach to projects.