Have a Cup of Tea with Four INTPs

I NTPs are the obsessively logical and creative folks of the Myers Briggs personality assessment. Read this post to have a virtual tea party with four INTPs — myself and three friends — and read our answers to ten questions about our lives as INTPs.


Brew yourself a cup of tea and pull up a fifth chair at our table. Let’s get introduced!

Ebony H-G

Hi everyone! My name is Ebony Hagans-Greene, and I’m an old soul with new-age flair. My favorite color is indigo, my favorite planet is mercury, and my personality is just as nuanced and mercurial as those two things put together. I pride myself on my eccentricity, and do feel that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Colton

Hey everyone! I’m Colton and I’m currently studying Instructional Design and Technology at UNCW. I was an English teacher before that and I recently returned to the good ol’ USA from teaching in South Korea. Although music, books, and games are probably my favorite pastimes, I’m also surprisingly partial to sunlight and the outdoors. You will most likely find me in the secluded corners of the library, at the local used bookstore, or happily consuming caffeine wherever it is sold.

UPDATE: A few weeks after writing this, Colton realized that he was actually an ENTP. You may take this into consideration when reading his responses.

Bella

Hello! I’m Bella. I’m the oldest of 4 kids, and my family used to live in a converted motorcoach traveling the country full-time, but we just bought a house and now we live in Washington. Currently however, I am living in North Carolina, because I am Hannah’s family’s hired help. :) I like drinking tea, of course, and reading, drawing, pinteresting, and I really love cats. I have a love-hate relationship with writing. I’m probably the only INTP who doesn’t care a whole lot for computery stuff.

Hananiah

Hello! I’m Hananiah Wilson. This is my blog. I’m a geek, graphic and web designer, and lover of overthinking everything. This results in my writing spanning topics from software tutorials to the meaning of life. When not attached to a computer, you will find me attached to a book, plotting my future sci-fi novels, watching British television, and attempting epic ninja-kicks during soccer games.


Now that we’re introduced, get comfy, take a sip of your own cup of tea, and settle back to hear the four INTPs answer ten questions.

What type of tea are you drinking?

EBONY: This is where I want to say something clever, like “I’m sipping on the tea of JUSTICE!!!!!!!!!,” but really it’s just vanilla-chai.

COLTON: I cheated! It’s coffee. But if it were, it would definitely be mint green tea.

ISABELLA: Earl Grey… it’s my favorite.

HANANIAH: The combination of me being both lazy and lacking cooking skills means that I put random piles of loose leaf herbs into my tea. This results in unholy combinations such as ginger, peppermint, lemon, and orange peel in a single cup of unsweetened tea. These flavors should never be paired, but I don’t care and drink it anyway.

What does being an INTP mean to you?

EBONY: To me, being an INTP means having no bounds to your curiosity. We’re always open to learning, taking in new information, and trying to present a perspective encompassing all sides. Life is a puzzle — we’re just trying to put all of the pieces together.

COLTON: Only the center of my entire personal identity! Just kidding. Knowing my personality type has helped me to more accurately identify my strengths, weaknesses, and preferences, but it doesn’t define who I am.

ISABELLA: Eh, *shrugs* I dunno. I guess it means that I’m not really heartless, I’m just an INTP, and now I can tell people that and they can appreciate all the logic packed into that statement.

HANANIAH: I attribute these aspects of my personality to being an INTP: never being able to turn my mind off, fluctuating from laziness to extreme obsession in a short span of time, mentally analyzing everything around me, and being more cynical and hard-edged than people would expect.

What would you say to someone who just learned they were an INTP?

EBONY: Welcome to the club! To your left, you’ll see light refreshments, and — oh? Oh no, don’t worry about the seemingly angry discussion happening in the center of the room — we’re just hashing out ideas.

COLTON: Did you just research everything there is to know about being INTP? Double check your sources? Consider confirmation bias? Take multiple Myers Briggs tests and compare the results? If so, congratulations! You’re most likely an INTP.

ISABELLA: I would probably get really excited that they were also an INTP, and then… probably talk about INTP things with them.

HANANIAH: Observing silently from the back is a great social strategy. Being smart is cool to the people that matter. Expect to become obsessed with things that don’t matter to most people (such as Myers Briggs).

If you could have a different personality type, what would it be?

EBONY: I wonder what it’s like to be an ESFJ sometimes…I would try it out for a day.

COLTON: ENTJ. I feel like ENTJs naturally act in ways that are difficult and take a lot of effort for INTPs.

ISABELLA: I’m not sure… I’m kind of liking this whole INTP thing…

HANANIAH: INTJ, because they get things done. After considering doing a personal experiment to see if I could change myself into acting more like an INTJ, I decided that I would rather be an INTP since we have more fun. Embrace the crazy.

Do you think it’s ever possible to think too much about something?

EBONY: Most certainly! One of my greatest challenges is getting out of my own head. Since I tend to second-guess myself, I have to make a conscious effort to go with my “first mind” — it’s usually the right one!

COLTON: Oh, for sure. I often get ridiculously obsessed with something and I sort of hyper focus into it. I forget to eat and time just sort of flows by. This can be super frustrating to anyone who tries to interact with me because I’m just in nonresponsive screen saver mode for the outside world.

ISABELLA: Well… it depends on what sort of thinking you’re doing. If you’re just mulling something over, like what life would be like if the sky was green instead of blue, then no. You could never think too much about stuff like that.

But if you’re trying to decide about whether to get chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or if you’d rather just have apple pie instead, then yeah. You’re thinking too much about it. (Of course, I haven’t figured out how to not think too much where ice cream vs. pie {or any decision, really} is concerned, but I’m at least aware of the fact that I’m thinking about it too much.)

HANANIAH: Prepare yourself for the results of my overthinking about the question if it’s possible to think too much about something. Here we go:

People have told me I overthink things many, many times. I, on the other hand, think that it is not possible to truly think too much about something. Until we know every single possible thing about something, there is opportunity to discover something new about it. Since it’s impossible to know every facet of anything, you can usually throw more brain power at it to discover something new.

I would not say that you should think about something longer than it’s worth, though. Becoming paralyzed and unable to make decisions because of overthinking is not something I would recommend. Analysis paralysis is a real threat to INTPs.

What are your five favorite books?

EBONY:

COLTON:

ISABELLA: Maybe a better question to ask would be “What are five of your favorite books?” And in that case:

(Yes, I like children’s literature… don’t judge…)

HANANIAH: Many of my favorite books are series, so this list of five books is actually twenty.

  • Pride and Prejudice — This book is not boring, whatever this modern generation says. It’s full of wit and social satire and is brilliant.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia — Wonderful fantasy books. I’ve read each of the seven books at least seven times each. The Horse and His Boy is my favorite.
  • Harry Potter — I like the Harry Potter series because it’s fun and imaginative with very lovable minor characters.
  • Three Men in a Boat — A 19th century satire on life and ridiculous people. Although it was published in 1889, the jokes are still hilarious. It’s the funniest book I’ve ever read.
  • Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit — LOTR is the classic epic fantasy. The Hobbit is a lighter, more fun story, and is also a wonderful book.

What is your current obsession?

EBONY: It’s kind of out-of-left-field, but I’ve been really delving into the works of Donald Glover recently. He’s an interesting guy, and his work (acting, rapping, singing, producing, directing, etc.) is fantastic. Waiting for his next album to drop!

COLTON: I’m currently pretty obsessed with finding the perfect backpack and the perfect items to put in my backpack. I think about backpacks and the features of backpacks far too frequently to be considered normal. Check out carryology.com if you have a similar affliction.

ISABELLA: Treehouses, and wishing I could live in an imaginary fictional world.

HANANIAH: Steampunk. It’s Victorian science fiction, two of my favorite things (see my list of favorite books above), and it’s awesome.

What is your biggest quirk?

EBONY: I laugh after everything. I’ve laughed after nearly every sentence I’ve typed thus far — though I’m sure everyone in my computer lab thinks I’m totally fine and not strange at all.

COLTON: Sometimes when I’m listening to someone talk, I’ll tilt my head to the left and stare at them with my eyes open kind of wide. People call it my alien face.

ISABELLA: I spill things, and accidentally break things, and I trip over myself, and walk into the poles, and I’m basically just a clutz. (Does that count as a quirk?) Also, I have a habit of saying “That’s nice dear” when I really could care less, and also “but you’re cute!” whenever someone’s argument is flawed and cuteness is really the only thing they have going for them.

HANANIAH: I’m a quiet, soft-spoken, and generally happy person, so people are surprised when they learn I listen to metal (of the symphonic, non-dark variety). You can often find me speeding (literally) down the road with my windows down playing loud metal. I was doing this today during a fast song with a bit of roaring and forgot to turn down my music at a stoplight. The person next to me rolled their passenger window up and rolled the opposite window down. They distinctly made their point.

How do you approach life?

EBONY: Very carefully.

COLTON: I’m usually super methodical about my choices and I often wish I could be a bit more freespritied. Even with my constant analysis, life usually blindsides me like a 300 pound linebacker.

ISABELLA: Uhhh… I’m not exactly sure… I guess kind of like “well, I guess whatever happens happens, and if it doesn’t happen, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

HANANIAH: I wrote these questions since this INTP interview post was my idea, so you’d think I’d be able to answer them. But this is a tough one… In regards to the “meaning of life,” I believe that God created the world and I live for Jesus. For my individual part in the world, I try not to take what I do too seriously. I’m not even a grain of sand in the vastness of human existence. I think that’s cool, and I love to think about how the universe works, from science to the structure of society. I try to discover as much as I can about the meaning of everything.

If you could live anywhere, doing anything, what would it be?

EBONY: I’d love to live in France for a while. I took French all throughout high-school, and plan to take it next semester, so I’d like to put it to good use. Plus, French food!!!!!!!!!!

COLTON: In my ideal future l’d work at the International Space Academy, located in earth’s orbit, as an astronaut instructor.

ISABELLA: In a tree house in Norway or Germany or something with a bunch of cats, and lots of tea, and bread, and I’d read books all day, and draw and paint, and all that fun stuff, and support myself by selling my drawings and paintings and fun stuff on Etsy.

HANANIAH: I would live by myself or with one other person in a rustic house in the mountains. There would be a large library and a beautiful mountain view. The climate would be cool year around. I would be close enough to society to enjoy its benefits without having to be in it often. I would be a published author of speculative fiction. I’d be by myself in nature making new things all day.


Everyone has finished their cup of tea, and the INTPs make silent exits to continue reading books and pondering things. They wish you a good day and thank you for listening to their thoughts.

This post was written by Hananiah Wilson, an INTP, software designer, and bibliophile. Find her at her website and blog:
www.byhananiah.com