Chris from HR Buoy posted something I thought was really cool, Hello. My Name Is Chris And I Am An ENTJ. Mike from The Human Race Horses posted his a few years ago too.

Their transparency and disclosure is surely a sign of their comfort with who they are. But then, they are both "E" types, meaning they like to spend time in the outer world of people and things (Extraversion), versus the inner world of ideas and images (Introversion).

Uhhh.... like me.

Last week there was a Twitter conversation floating around with @animal, @CincyRecruiter about introverts. Jennifer suggested we wrangle a Recruiting Animal Show away from Michael to debunk some common introvert myths. We haven't heard from him yet (Hellooooo) so in the meantime I'm going to pick up the conversation here.

This isn't the first time I am publicly revealing my personality type but this is first time I am providing the window to who I am, how I think, why I respond the way I do, why I have challenges with time --> why I very often feel others "don't get me" but I read them as easily as a Snapple fact.

Keirsey defines the INTP personality type as Rational Architect and the rarest of the 16 MBTI classifications. Statistics say that perhaps 1% of the population is INTP and the very vast majority are male. Interestingly, I personally know only one other INTP woman. She was the first hire I ever recruited through Twitter.

I have always said I would retire early and I have a plan to do that by age 55. I found that INTP is one of the 3 "retire early" types and that is very comforting and reaffirming to me that there is supporting evidence I will achieve that. Word to the wise, "I" types take the top 3 retire early spots... I guess extroverts have a hard time giving it up.

When I say retire I don't mean vegetate I mean live a different lifestyle. Perhaps it will be that Special Agent commune I keep talking about.

Dr. David Keirsey himself, along with C.G. Jung (I love rebels), william Harvey and our predecessors, Socrates, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, James Madison, Tomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin were all INTP's or Rational Architects. So, while I don't presently have a lot of company here on Earth, I belong to a tribe of amazing change agents. I'm a particular fan of Einstein and Darwin.

A concise simplified description from the Meyers & Briggs Foundation of the INTP personality is:

Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.

I have spent significant time reading all the various interpretations and appreciate Keirsey's analysis the most. Taken from the Keirsey analysis I find the following to be most relevant to me:

  • For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained - and re-designed.
  • They tend to see distinctions and inconsistencies instantaneously, and can detect contradictions no matter when or where they were made. It is difficult for an Architect to listen to nonsense, even in a casual conversation, without pointing out the speaker's error. And in any serious discussion or debate Architects are devastating, their skill in framing arguments giving them an enormous advantage. Architects regard all discussions as a search for understanding, and believe their function is to eliminate inconsistencies, which can make communication with them an uncomfortable experience for many.
  • Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them. Architects are interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them.
  • Architects prize intelligence, and with their grand desire to grasp the structure of the universe, they can seem arrogant and may show impatience with others who have less ability, or who are less driven.

One common kind of quirky INTP detail I frequently deal with internally is not liking to get involved with minutia or even realizing my own ideas. I often have a great idea and mentally bring it to fruition. Because it was finished in my mind successfully I feel like I reached the objective and I'm super satisfied. I can be just as satisfied with mental accomplishments as physical ones and view them as equally important. Usually I'm perfectly fine with it. I guess it's a good thing I am motivated by other things besides money (hey, it doesn't hurt but it isn't my primary motivator) because so far I haven't sold any of my ideas..

It also means I spend a lot of time alone, very still and quiet and just working in my head. I can't remember ever being bored. The down side here is I'm often unaware of time passing by and my house doesn't get clean, laundry doesn't get washed and grocery shopping doesn't get done, often enough. Though I feel like I accomplish a lot it's not apparent to others. I think it can make me appear "lazy" but I don't feel that I am. Quite to the contrary, I feel like I work 24/7 including in my dreams sometimes.

It's a good thing I like what I do... Actually on the physical plane I do get quite a bit accomplished. If you check out my about page you'll see some of the things I'm up to that aren't just in my head.

Do you know what your MBTI personality type is? Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

You still with me here?


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