Personality Type Crisis: Am I an INFJ or INTP?

Five years ago, I took the Briggs and Myerson personality test inside the book, Do What You Are. At the time, I tested as an INTJ (Introspective, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging).

Recently, a cute little Facebook quiz asked the question again, only this time I scored differently. I was disappointed to not be an INTJ. I actually wanted to be a specific type, mostly for the exclusivity.

Truth be told, I’m not so logical that I don’t frequently live by intuition and feelings. If anything, I’m always a confusing blend of logic, emotion, and intuition.

After the Facebook quiz, I went online and looked at the traits and characteristics of various personality types, and I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities – INFJ or INTP. According to one source, these two types belong to different groups: Intellectuals and Visionaries.

Intellectuals (NT) – ENTJ – Chief – ENTP – Originator – INTJ – Strategist – INTP – Engineer

Visionaries (NF) – ENFJ – Mentor – ENFP – Advocate – INFJ – Confidant – INFP – Dreamer

Oddly enough, I don’t feel like either an Engineer or a Confidant, but more like a Strategist or a Dreamer. Sheesh. Whatever. Let’s take a look at some of the primary INFJ traits and see how I score:

INFJs generally have the following traits:

  • Intuitively understand people and situations? Yes
  • Idealistic? Yes
  • Highly principled? Yes
  • Complex and deep? Yes
  • Natural leaders? Yes but mostly w/family
  • Sensitive and compassionate towards people? 50/50
  • Service-oriented? Yes but mostly w/family
  • Future-oriented? Yes
  • Value deep, authentic relationships? Yes
  • Reserved about expressing their true selves? 50/50
  • Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision? Yes
  • Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything? Yes
  • Creative and visionary? Yes
  • Intense and tightly-wound? 50/50
  • Can work logically and rationally – use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it? Uncertain

Seems pretty definitive. Let’s see how I do with the traits of an INTP:

INTPs generally have the following traits:

  • Love theory and abstract ideas? Yes
  • Truth Seekers – they want to understand things by analyzing underlying principles and structures? Yes
  • Value knowledge and competence above all else? No. Not necessarily
  • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves? 50/50
  • Independent and original, possibly eccentric? 50/50
  • Work best alone, and value autonomy? Yes
  • Have no desire to lead or follow? No
  • Dislike mundane detail? Yes
  • Not particularly interested in the practical application of their work? Yes
  • Creative and insightful? Yes
  • Future-oriented? Yes
  • Usually brilliant and ingenious? Debatable
  • Trust their own insights and opinions above others? Yes
  • Live primarily inside their own minds, and may appear to be detached and uninvolved with other people? 50/50

The Final Tally

So there you have it. I have no clue. I know I’m definitely not an INTJ or an INFP based on the descriptions, but INFJ and INTP seem to overlap for me. Given the need to choose, I’d say I feel most solidarity towards INFJ, because there are elements described that feel more true or more core to me than those of any other type.

Turns Out I’m Neither

Since I first wrote this post, I’ve consistently tested as an INFP. Here’s the breakdown… INFPs generally have the following traits:

  • Strong value systems? Yes
  • Warmly interested in people? Yes
  • Service-oriented, usually putting the needs of others above their own? As a parent, definitely. Otherwise, nah.
  • Loyal and devoted to people and causes? Yes
  • Future-oriented? Yes
  • Growth-oriented; always want to be growing in a positive direction? Yes
  • Creative and inspirational? Yes
  • Flexible and laid-back, unless a ruling principle is violated? Yes
  • Sensitive and complex? Yes
  • Dislike dealing with details and routine work? Yes
  • Original and individualistic – “out of the mainstream”? Definitely
  • Excellent written communication skills? Yes
  • Prefer to work alone, and may have problems working on teams? No
  • Want to be seen and appreciated for who they are? Yes

What about you?

Are you definitively one type, or like me where you could be several? Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


INFJ Careers
INTP Careers


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