ISTP vs INTJ (6 notable differences)

In this blog, we will discuss the differences between the ISTP and INTJ personalities. We will define INTJ and ISTP personalities and outline their characteristics. 

What are the differences between the ISTP and INTJ personalities?

The following are the main differences between the ISTP and the INTJ:

  • INTJs are Intuitive while ISTPs are Sensors
  • INTJs are Judging while ISTPs are Perceivers
  • INTJs are ‘Strategists’ while ISTPs are ‘Mechanics’
  • INTJs value structure and order while ISTPs are impulsive
  • INTJs are more grounded than ISTPs
  • ISTPs accept change better than INTJs

INTJs are Intuitive while ISTPs are Sensors

One of the differences between ISTPs and INTJs is that the ISTP is a Sensor while the INTJ is Intuitive. 

This difference greatly influences the way these two personalities perceive their worlds in terms of time and space and how they decide.

To this effect, the ISTP dominantly uses the Introverted Sensing (Si) function which drives them to be more focused on the information they receive from their five sense modalities and their present. 

ISTPs, therefore, pay more attention to provable facts and the everyday happenings in their lives and not necessarily outside of that. 

In contrast, INTJs are Intuitive which drives them to be future-oriented, creative, and explorative thinkers. INTJs unlike ISTPs focus on the big picture and look at information as a whole searching for underlying meanings and patterns. 

INTJs are more focused on the trends and happenings everywhere and not just in their lives. They can keep up with current affairs in areas of personal interest such as politics, fashion, food, or science.

INTJs are Judging while ISTPs are Perceivers

The INTJ has the Judging function while the ISTP has the Perceiving function. This brings about many fundamental differences.

For starters, Perceivers prefer to be open and perceptive rather than deciding. This is usually in the form of openness to ideas or being more in tune with their senses. 

This makes the ISTP accommodating of the views of others and more accepting of others. They are explorative people always searching for excitement and fun.

In contrast, Judges emphasize processing the information they receive and reaching decisions and judgments on that information quickly. 

The Judging function makes the INTJ opinionated and closed to the ideas and views of other people. They seek comfort in stability and consistency.

INTJs are ‘Strategists’ while ISTPs are ‘Mechanics’

The INTJ is also known as the ‘strategist’ because they are intellectual powerhouses that can process and understand complex theories and information. 

They are gifted in the area of planning, organizing, managing, and coordinating activities from behind the scenes as others follow their orders.

In contrast, the ISTP is known as the ‘mechanic’ because they have a more hands-on approach to life and work. They are equally an intellectual powerhouse who use their intellect to solve problems.

They are people who are gifted with arts and crafts, working with their hands and carrying out projects rather than being in the background like the INTJ.  

INTJs and ISTPs have different lifestyles

The ISTP and INTJ have opposite lifestyles. To begin with, the INTJ values structure and creates routines for tasks they need to do every day. 

The ISTP has a more relaxed approach and with no structure or system in place. They figure things out as they go along and rarely plan out how they will use their time.

The INTJ is very focused on ensuring their environment is clean and household chores are done every day. However, ISTPs couldn’t care less about chores.

ISTPs are more likely to mess up the house than clean it because they don’t like to keep things neat and orderly.

INTJs are more grounded than ISTPs

INTJs are generally more grounded and stable than the ISTP is often flighty and impulsive. 

The INTJs value rules and laws and are very compliant with them. They follow protocols and respect people in authority.

In contrast, the ISTP sees rules and laws as inhibitors to their independence or autonomy. They dislike authority and are considered to be rebels of sorts.

They prefer to do things in their way regardless of rules and protocol.

ISTPs accept change better than INTJs

Change is an inevitable part of everyday life and every person must deal with it in one way or another. The INTJ is the type of individual that does not like change. 

They are not easily adaptable and usually resist any form of change to any aspect of their life. This is because is they are very routine-oriented. Their lives are made up of a collection of well thought up and meticulously organized routines. 

Any changes to the way they think, do things or, how they live whether beneficial or offers improvements are seen as disruptions. They may feel inconvenienced and annoyed by change.

In contrast, the ISTP is a very open-minded individual who is adaptable and accommodating of change. They are not routine-oriented and prefer to take each day as it comes. 

When presented with a potential change, the ISTP will take time to consider if it is worth trying and if they find that it is beneficial they will adapt with little or resistance.

The INTJ personality

The INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging) is one of the 16 personality types identified by a personality assessment called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Sometimes referred to as the “Architect,” or the “Strategist,” people with INTJ personalities are highly analytical, creative, and logical.

The ISTP personality

ISTP stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving and it is a personality type on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. 

Such an individual gets energized by spending time alone (Introverted), is mainly drawn to facts, evidence, and details over theories and beliefs (Sensing). 

The ISTP makes decisions by methods of critical analysis and logical reasoning (Thinking) and is impulsive.

Additionally, the ISTP is adaptable rather than planned and routine-oriented (Perceiving).

The characteristics of the INTJ personality

The following are the characteristics of the INTJ:

  • INTJs are dominantly introverted and so they need to spend time alone to recharge
  • They dislike teamwork and prefer to work alone as they feel that others are incompetent
  • They focus on theories over concrete details
  • They are logical and objective individuals who make very practical decisions with no biases
  • They are not emotional or sensitive to the needs of others and their own 
  • They are planners and strategists
  • They usually have high expectations of everyone and themselves
  • They are good listeners 
  • They are open to constructive criticism and they do not take it to heart but grow and improve from it
  • They are very self-confident people who have great faith in their abilities and potential
  • They are hard-working people who rarely slack off or procrastinate
  • They are not social people and find little pleasure in social events or long conversations about nothing in particular
  • They are explorative of knowledge
  • They are creative 
  • They are self-motivated

The characteristics of the ISTP personality

The following are the characteristics of the ISTP:

  • ISTPs like to take things apart and see the way they work and build them again
  • They’re good at logical analysis, solving practical problems and concerns especially in emergencies
  • They are graced with a strong ability of reasoning and can understand complex theories and issues
  • ISTPs have a daring spirit and embrace challenges and are attracted to adrenaline spiking activities
  • ISTPs are prone to becoming bored and uninterested very quickly if they keep doing the same thing.
  • ISTPs are introverts so they spend a lot of time alone and don’t enjoy social activities and being in crowds.


In this blog, we discussed the differences between the ISTP and INTJ personalities. We defined INTJ and ISTP personalities and outlined their characteristics. 

The following are the main differences between the ISTP and the INTJ:

  • INTJs are Intuitive while ISTPs are Sensors
  • INTJs are Judging while ISTPs are Perceivers
  • INTJs are Strategists while ISTPs are Mechanics
  • INTJs value structure and order while ISTPs are impulsive
  • INTJs are more grounded than ISTPs
  • ISTPs accept better than INTJs

Thank you for reading this blog. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions: ISTP vs. INTJ

Who Should an ISTP marry?

The ISTP’s natural partner is the ESTJ. ISTP’s dominant function of introverted thinking is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by extraverted thinking.

Are ISTPs cool?

Yes, ISTPs are considered to be the coolest. They have a calm and collected disposition, but they also have a spontaneous side which people like and makes them cool and fun.

Are ISTPs dominant?

No, ISTPs usually mind their own business and have no interest in controlling others as they are usually preoccupied with their business.

Can I be both INTJ and INTP?

No, you cannot be two different personalities at the same time. Though the INTJ and INTP are very similar they are not the same.

Who should INTJs marry?

The INTJ’s natural partner is the ENFP or the ENTP. INTJ’s dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted

What are INTJs attracted to?

INTJs are attracted to people who can share their interests with them and get into truly interesting conversations about these passions.


Hatfield G, (1995), ‘Remaking the Science of Mind: Psychology as Natural Science’, Inventing Human Science. University of California Press; Berkeley, CA, USA. PDF

Lewin K, (1935), A Dynamic Theory of Personality, McGraw-Hill; New York, NY, USA. PDF

Rajagopalan & Guruswami, (2015), “Relationship between Personality Traits and the Psychological Biases of Retail Investors – An Empirical Study”, Vidyasagar University Journal of Commerce, Vol. 20. PDF

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