How to Tell if You’re an INFP vs. INTP

INFP vs INTP blog cover

If you’re reading this post, there’s a high chance that you’re trying to work out if you’re an INFP vs. INTP personality type. These two types are often confused because they share many of the same characteristics. Both types are cerebral, adaptable, and creative. They are deep thinkers who have a natural ability to think outside the box.

But there are also some core differences between how these types think and experience the world. In this post, we explore these core differences. If you’re unclear about your type, we hope this helps you.

So here are five differences between the INFP vs. INTP personality types:

1. Dealing with emotions.

INFPs and INTPs deal with feelings in very different ways. For starters, INFPs tend to be more comfortable dealing with the irrational nature of emotions than INTPs.

INFPs are exceptionally aware of their feelings in a very intricate way. They are constantly processing their emotions, and, as a result, they can sometimes seem like they’re in their own world. INFPs are arguably the personality type that is most in touch with their emotions.

Despite this, they can appear aloof and unemotional. While others usually view them as calm, they feel intensely passionate on the inside. Even when an INFP is incredibly excited about something, it can be hard to tell that’s the case.

INFPs are easily moved and tend to cry more often than a lot of other personality types. They don’t like to cry in front of other people, though, and will wait until they’re alone if possible.

On the other hand, INTPs can find it harder to understand both other people’s emotions and their own. This is because they are so logical. While INTPs do have feelings, they often try to rationalize their emotions.

Introvert writing

This is because they can find it hard to accept anything that doesn’t have a logical explanation. Seeing as emotions often don’t have an entirely rational origin, INTPs can find them confusing or even overwhelming.

INTPs are most comfortable when dealing with facts and linear reasoning. They like to get to the bottom of why things are a certain way. In order to accept something, they like to have evidence, but this just isn’t possible when it comes to emotions. The same goes for INTPs dealing with the emotions of other people for similar reasons. 

2. Making decisions.

INFPs and INTPs focus on different criteria when making decisions. When deciding on the right path, INFPs prioritize emotions, while INTPs place more of an emphasis on logic.

INFPs have a deep need to stay true to themselves, and they aren’t particularly concerned about what others think of them.

When making decisions, INFPs ask: “How do I feel about this?” As an INFP myself, I actively rebelled against peer pressure when I was a teenager and made it very clear that I would only do what I felt was right.

INFPs are driven by a need to remain authentic, and they often make decisions based on what feels right. Ultimately, they are always looking to create harmony within themselves.

INTPs use inductive logic to make decisions. This means they start at the theory, then go to the facts, and then return to the theory. Essentially, INTPs use facts to prove their theories.

Over their lifetimes, they build up an internal web of knowledge about how the world works. In fact, they can find it hard to accept information that conflicts with their framework of knowledge.

When making decisions, INTPs ask: “Does this make sense to me?” INTPs can take longer to make decisions because each choice they make must be in alignment with their internal model. Sometimes, it takes them time to work out where a new concept fits into their internal framework.

3. Sociability.

As introverts, INFPs and INTPs need a lot of alone time. Both types are independent, but INFPs are usually more sociable.

Despite being introverts, INFPs are people-oriented. They have a strong need for deep connections, and it’s highly unlikely that an INFP will feel fulfilled without them. This need for connection motivates INFPs to be more sociable than INTPs. However, they tend to avoid large groups and prefer one-on-one interactions or small gatherings of close friends.

Ultimately, INFPs are a paradox of wanting to connect with people but also finding social interactions exhausting. Finding that balance is essential for the well-being of INFPs.

INTPs, on the other hand, are content with fewer close relationships and usually spend less time socializing. They are independent and self-sufficient, and they’re perfectly happy spending time alone.

In fact, they often pride themselves on their ability to be self-sufficient. In addition, INTPs are more skeptical than INFPs and can be wary of other people having ulterior motives. This means that they tend to be guarded and can struggle to open up to others.

Introvert bookcase

4. Communication style.

INTPs and INFPs can both need time to collect their thoughts. However, INTPs are more direct in the way they communicate, while INFPs think about how their words will impact others.  

INFPs are warm in the way they communicate. It’s common for people of this type to ask a lot of questions because they are deeply curious about people, and they are incredible listeners.

Plus, they are more likely to be expressive and emotional in their communication style. They may use anecdotes and personal stories to help explain their points, whereas INTPs are more likely to use facts.

Both types are private about their feelings, but INFPs are more likely to be open about them. In addition, INFPs choose their words carefully and often want to get across how they feel about something.

INFPs have very strong morals, and they filter what they say through a lens of whether their words are in alignment with their values. INTPs communicate in a more direct manner. Despite being reserved, INTPs love to debate topics because it helps them clarify their opinions and thoughts. In fact, they may even argue with themselves in their mind.

They have an open-ended communication style and often actively seek out other people’s opinions. This means that although they can be blunt in some situations, they are generally less set on a specific answer.

INTPs often play devil’s advocate just for the fun of it. In general, INTPs appear more detached when communicating compared to INFPs.

5. Showing love.

INFPs and INTPs take different approaches with regard to how they show love. In general, INFPs are more open about showing someone they care.

INFPs are always looking for ways to support their loved ones and show them they care. They feel happiest when the people they care about are fulfilled, and they are highly empathetic.

As a result, INFPs make a conscious effort to let people close to them know that they are loved. They often do this in many ways, depending on what they think that person needs at that specific time. Ultimately, you won’t be left wondering whether an INFP cares about you or not. They will make it known.

INTPs, on the other hand, aren’t as naturally inclined to show their love and care in such overt ways. For INTPs, actions speak louder than words, and they often express their love through thoughtful gestures.

This doesn’t mean that INTPs don’t care about their loved ones, it’s just that they tend to express it in less obvious ways. However, they can come across as cold at times, and this tends to be unintentional.

INTPs are naturally so logical and efficient that they sometimes forget to show their softer side, especially if they are feeling tired or stressed.

INFP vs. INTP frequently asked questions

So now we have explained the key differences between the INFP vs. INTP personality types. Even for those who have explored personality types in depth, it can still be hard to tell the difference between these two types.

Let’s now look at some frequently asked questions about each personality to help make it clearer for you.

Are INFPs vs. INTPs more creative?

INTPs and INFPs are both highly imaginative. However, their creativity often manifests in slightly different ways.  

For starters, INFPs are usually more in touch with their feelings and emotions, which can give them a greater understanding of the human condition. They are also often gifted with strong storytelling abilities and tend to have a greater need for self-expression.

INTPs often pair their creativity with their highly analytical and logical nature. This can help them to see problems from innovative perspectives and come up with novel solutions. They are the kind of people who invent the next digital currency. 

In the end, both INTPs and INFPs have the potential to be highly creative individuals. It’s just that their creativity thrives in different situations.

Do INFPs and INTPs have a similar energy?

INFPs and INTPs are both introverts, intuitives, and perceivers, so it’s no surprise that they have a lot in common. Both types keep themselves to themselves, yet it’s clear that they have a lot going on in their heads.

INFPs and INTPs are deep thinkers and are both focused on their inner worlds. However, INFPs are more focused on their internal emotions, and for INTPs, it’s their internal thoughts. As a result, INFPs are more emotional, and while they are both private, INFPs tend to have more distinctive facial expressions.

INFPs also come across as softer than INTPs. While they aren’t outgoing and bubbly, they usually give off a receptive and kind energy.

INTPs tend to be more matter-of-fact. They can come across as more detached and logical compared to INFPs. Plus, they are more likely to say what they’re thinking.  

Are INFPs vs. INTPs more introverted?

Both INTPs and INFPs are introverts, but they tend to be at different ends of the introversion scale. In general, INTPs are more introverted.

INFPs have more of an innate tendency to come out of their introverted bubble because they are more people-oriented. For INFPs, their loved ones play a significant role in their life, and they strive to make them happy. In addition, they are just innately interested in human psychology.

INTPs often prefer to stay in exploring a new topic of interest or playing games. As a result, they tend to spend less time with people because they feel extremely fulfilled spending time by themselves learning more about new, interesting topics.  

Ultimately, the fact that INFPs are more people-oriented means they tend to spend more time interacting with the outer world than INTPs.

Final thoughts on INFP vs. INTP differences

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our individual INFP and INTP posts, which delve deeper into each personality type. Last but not least, you might also like our post about INTP vs. ENTP differences.

“Matching people using personality types is such a simple and powerful concept. So Syncd helped us find love, even in this difficult time. You’ve really changed our lives. In fact, we’re now married! Thank you.”

– Ben (INFJ) about Indy (ENFJ)

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