INTJ vs INTP- How Can You Tell Them Apart?


If you love the MBTI types, you will agree with me that the INTJ vs INTP debate is one of the most popular things you are going to see out there. If you are also caught in the middle of these two types, it might be hard to pick a side.

When it comes to deciding if you are an INTJ or INTP, the problem usually lies with the last function. Perhaps you got a near equal standing with the judging and perceiving function also known as J and P.

So, I’m going to help you decide if you are an INTJ or an INTP. So, if you want to know about these personality types, you should keep reading.

INTJ vs INTP- Their Cognitive Stack

A quick look at their cognitive functions will help you understand something very important. While they might look the same on the outside, they actually don’t share any of their major cognitive functions.

This means that the way an INTP or INTJ sees and perceives information is completely different.

For INTJ, their cognitive functions are Introverted Intuition (Ni), Extroverted Thinking (Te), Introverted Feeling (Fi), and Extroverted Sensing (Se).

The INTP leads with introverted thinking (Ti), Extroverted Intuition (Ne), Introverted Sensing (Si), and Extroverted Feeling (Fe).

To understand how this works, we shall compare each of these cognitive functions side by side.


What Does Your Cognitive Stack Mean?

Ni vs Ti

For the INTJ, they lead with Ni. This is their most preferred method of taking in information and processing it.

The Ni function allows them to see all the patterns and dots that make the information unique. It also allows them to see the connection between other information and the new information they are processing.

All this happens in what some might be considered to be a flash for the INTJ.

The INTP focuses on Ti as their preferred method of dealing with information. So, when they first receive information, they tend to process and think deeply about the information.

The INTP is on a constant search for truth. This means they are also likely to do a lot of research on the new information they have received.

Once this is completed, they will then be able to fully understand this new theory.

Te vs Ne

The extraverted thinking (Te) allows the INTJ to arrange their thoughts and information that has been processed by the Ni. This means that when INTJ starts talking, their ideas and speech patterns are arranged incredibly.

You should have absolutely no problems understanding the INTJ.

INTP uses extroverted intuition (Ne) as its secondary function. This means that they can thus express those ideas that have been thoroughly filtered by the Ti.

When this happens, the INTP can express ideas and thoughts that are well thought out. These thoughts are often correct and are communicated in a really direct manner.

Si and Fi

After processing their thoughts and presenting the best ways to solve any problems through the Ni and the Te, the INTJ will then use their introverted feeling (Fi) to analyze those solutions.

While INTJ often places a higher emphasis on thinking and logic, they also have well-established morals. This means that they will often look for ways to make their reasoning match these morals or codes of conduct.

If they don’t, INTJs might not go along with these solutions. However, in extreme situations, the INTJ will always place logic above morals.

The INTP uses extroverted sensing (Si). Once they have processed and express these thoughts and ideas, the INTP will keep these ideas somewhere.

This is where the Si comes into play. They have a collection of all the ideas and thoughts they have ever researched. When push comes to shove, they will unleash this information in a precise manner without having to go through the earlier steps.

Fe and Se

Extroverted sensing (Se) is the last and least preferred function of the INTJ. This is used to observe their surroundings or take in certain ideas or details. The INTJ does not like using this function and will only use it when they feel it is necessary.

The INTP uses Fi as its fourth function. This is often used when they have to be emotionally there for their friends and loved ones. The INTP is a super introvert. This means that the possibility of this happening often terrifies the INTP.

This function is one that they will like to avoid.


INTJ vs INTP- Relationship and Love


INTJ in Love

The INTJ is a very independent type. This independence does not disappear even when they are in a relationship. However, the INTJ is going to be very supportive of their partners.

Surprisingly, the intuitive types are the most likely to be hopelessly in love in the MBTI typology. This means that INTJ will often have idealistic expectations of their partners.

They naturally want partners that are street smart and very thoughtful. The INTP is at their core a thinking type. This means that their communication style would direct and honest.

This can be a bit too much for feeler types such as the ISFJ. For the INTJ, the most compatible types for them will be the ENTP and the ENFP. However, I would point out that any two persons can make a relationship.

The MBTI should only be used as a starting point.

The INTJ is also certain to face some struggles. INTJs are often clueless in relationships and might approach them as a problem. This can easily cause trouble in the relationship. The INTJ can also be described as insensitive and harsh by other feelers.

INTP in Love

The process in which the INTP approaches dating is very similar to the INTJ. For the INTP, they want someone as independent as they are.

Most INTPs are also sapiosexuals in nature. This means they want to fall in love with your intelligence. If you are thinking of making an INTP love you, then you should aim to have intellectual conversations with them.

This doesn’t mean that other traits are not attractive to INTPs. It simply means that this is one of the common traits among them all.

The most compatible types for the INTP is the ENTJ or the ESTJ. However, any two mature people can make things work.

INTJ vs INTP- Population Count

When it comes to population count, both personality types are pretty rare. The INTJ has a population of about 4 percent of the world’s population. This makes them one of the rarest personality types.

This also applies to the INTP. They make up 5 percent of the world’s population. This puts them just slightly behind the INTJ. The rarest MBTI personality type is the INFJ.

INTJ vs INTP- Enneagram Types

According to Thought Catalog, the INTJ is more likely to be an enneagram type 5 than any other type. This is followed by type 3 and type 8. This definitely rhymes with their need to connect the dots and patterns. It also shows just how isolated and withdrawn the INTJ can be from others.

On the other hand, the INTP is also more likely to be an enneagram type 5 than any other type. However, this is where the similarity ends between the INTP and the INTJ.

The next most likely enneagram types are type 9 and type 4. The overwhelming preference for type 5 also shows how much of a researcher an INTP can be.

INTP vs INTJ- In the workplace


The INTJ has high standards for the work they do. However, they want to do it on their own terms. This often means that they want as much freedom as possible to hit high creativity levels. Therefore, the INTJ will do best at a workplace that is not limiting. You can also bring out the best in them with flexible working hours.

If there is one thing that you can count on, it’s the reliability of the INTJ. If they are to work under someone, they will want their boss to take charge and provide them with some clear directions. Once given clear directions, the INTJ will be able to function better.

Some of the careers or professions that will suit the INTJ perfectly include

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Financial advisor
  • CEO
  • Entrepreneur
  • Logistician


If you ask the INTP, they will tell you that they love to work alone. However, the INTP might benefit from working with someone close to them.

However, the INTP prefers to work in an environment where they are not micromanaged. They want to be able to express their creativity and take their research to the next level.

To get the best out of the INTP, it might be advisable to give them roles where they can use their creative minds. These roles should be analytic and exciting. If there is something that does not suit the INTP, it is having to do a mundane job.

They need all the freedom that they can get.

Some of the careers that will be best for the INTP include;

  • Financial Analysts
  • Historian
  • Computer programmer
  • Software developer
  • Mathematician
  • Auditor
  • Lawyer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Poet
  • Accountant

INTP vs INTJ- Childhood

The INTJ child will often be one step ahead in academics and thinking. They are quite imaginative and will develop a very rational mind every on. While the brilliance of the INTJ child is without question, they might be slow to form great interaction with other kids.

You can expect your INTJ child to have few friends and have problems fitting in. The INTJ is also an introvert at their core. So, don’t expect a noisy child. You will need to give your child a lot of space.

However, be gentle and firm. Make sure they grow up feeling loved.

On the other hand, the INTP is a curious child. They will be interested in how the world ticks and the purpose of life. So, don’t be surprised if your INTP child has some questions about religion and morals early on.

The INTP child might find it a bit easier to fit in. However, they will also have a small group of close friends. Your INTP child will also face some struggles in schools. They will feel that the usual methods of class and school are a bit boring.

If teachers can learn to incorporate exciting activities into their classes, this will keep the INTP happy and ready to learn.

INTP vs INTJ- the Battle of Intellectuals

Who really is the smartest MBTI of all time? This question has led to a lot of debates in the MBTI world. It depends on what you are looking out for. The INTP is probably the most intelligent when it comes to IQ tests.

However, when it comes to practical knowledge and application, the INTJ comes out on top. The ENTP takes the top spot for being the type that is street-smart of the intuitive types.

While this is true, it doesn’t mean that every INTJ or INTP is smart. This only takes into account the smartest of the personality types. So, any type can be smart as the others. Furthermore, the MBTI is not a foundation for considering intelligence in humans.

Related- INTJ vs INFJ- How Can You Tell Them Apart?

INTJ vs INTP- Organization

This is yet another way to differentiate between these two types. The INTP is more spontaneous than the INTJ.

This means that the INTJ is going to have a firm grip on organization and planning. The INTP, on the other hand, is bound to struggle.

However, with enough practice and self-development, the INTP should be able to make progress in this area. It’s going to take some work though.

INTJ vs INTP- Dealing with a Breakup

The INTJ is a problem solver by default. Thus, when they are facing heartbreak, they are more likely to treat it as a problem that needs to be solved. The INTJ will analyze the problem from all angles trying to find why it happened and what caused it.

They will often choose to hide their feelings behind jokes and closely veiled comments. However, the INTJ feels heartbreak deeply.

The INTP, on the other hand, will strive to look for activities to keep themselves busy. Whether it’s learning about a new country or just playing a game, they will focus their mind on reading or other hobbies.


So, what do you think? Are you an INTJ or an INTP? No matter what you are, these are two really amazing types. You can achieve great things by prioritizing your strengths.

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  1. Hello,
    I used to be a 5w6 INTJ-T, and later shifted to 5w6 INTJ-A and then 5w4 INTP-A. Today, I did both tests again (5w4/6 INTJ-A) and found out about your amazing website!
    However despite the clear and straightforward explanations, I’m still unable to find the correct enneagram and MBTI. Reading about your article to tell INTJ INTP apart, I use in equal amount Ni and Ti then Te then Si then Se and Fe.
    Any ideas on how to settle this down ?
    Type 1 and type 8 enneagrams were both as high as 5 while also being an unhealthy type 5 (psychotic disorder). I’m also as much interested to biology and medical studies as I am to languages and linguistics.

    Thank you so much in advance for your response and your wonderful blog!

    • Hello Robin,

      I believe you’re an INTJ 5w6 from the info you’ve given me. You use Ti because you’re a type 5. So, that explains why you feel it’s Ti, Ni. It’s actually Ni, Te. Your type 5 enhances your Ti. Your Si seems stronger because your wing is type 6. This makes you more cautious. Your cautiousness is based on your past experiences, which in the MBTI world is your Si. However, you really are Ni, Te, Fi, and Se.


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