So much has been written about whether opposites attract or difference is the key but in real life it is all about understanding the differences, accommodating and managing them. This section will help you see where the potential for conflict exists between personality types and help you manage it.
Logical, detached and detailed, ISTJs use their experience and store of knowledge, to plan and will work quietly and steadily behind the scenes towards conclusion. The ISTJ has a strong sense of duty, loyalty and tradition and once they are clear on what’s expected, they will work in a methodical way to complete. Risk averse they prefer the known, and prefer facts to concepts.
The INTP is deep, private, difficult to know and extremely independent. They focus on things that interest them most putting off completing tasks until the last minute as the routine bores them. INTPs love logic and an indicator of being an INTP is obsession with logical correctness. An INTP will struggle with emotion, great at reading situations but less good at reading people.
There is no perfect type and in the same way there are no perfect matches. We can all learn to adapt and modify our behaviour if we choose and this section is therefore not designed to suggest particular specific matches but to demonstrate areas of similarity and difference so that a true understanding can happen and thus reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
Being around them
Because of their intense focus ISTJs may be seen as slightly detached, cold and impersonal, possibly even as uncaring. This is not deliberate but it can alienate those trying to get close or get to know them.
The INTP is very independent, deep and private yet can at times seem totally outspoken because of their directness of communication and economy of words speaking only when there is something to say.
Dealing with emotions
Detached and factual ISTJs often find it difficult to deal with emotions as they see this as irrational and when others display emotions they have to translate the emotion into factual language that they can understand.
INTPs find emotion difficult as they are at heart logical, analytical and objective with no time for anything they see as 'fanciful.' They will not be motivated by someone saying, 'please,' or by emotional pleading.
Openness and sharing feelings
Deep and private ISTJs will tend to keep their feelings to themselves and until they have the measure of people will be unlikely to proactively share their feelings. Too much interaction sucks their energies.
The INTP will find it difficult to share their feelings, although they will be blunt and outspoken regarding their thoughts. In moments of single-minded concentration, the INTP will appear aloof and detached.
Drivers and values
ISTJs like people to stick to agreements and commitments and may not understand that this is human nature, not human deficiency as they themselves take such commitments incredibly seriously.
Sceptical and difficult to know the INTP is wary of close emotional involvement as emotions tends to be slightly outside their own life-space and if someone gets too close too soon they close down.
Building stronger relationships
Learn what ISTJs are like in a relationship. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
Get along better with an INTP. Understanding the differences between two types is a really great starting point for getting along. For practical guidance on building strong relationships take our practical tutorial.
Some people seek harmony, some see conflict as simply robust discussions, some people are emotional, some more factual. So there is no right or wrong about this and what we are trying to do is help two different people each understand how the other might deal with conflict and what it will mean for the relationship.
Initial response to conflict situations
ISTJs prefer to keep themselves to themselves and so in conflict situations they will struggle with overt conflict, ie with someone who wants to engage verbally. They are fine with more formal conflict.
Rational argument, logic and intellectual theory are the routes to the ‘heart’ of the INTP who will have no problem taking the hard decision, as long as it is the 'right' decision, one based on logic and evidence.
Issues they'll fight on
ISTJs have a strong sense of right and wrong and this tends to be around what has been agreed. They believe if you have said you’ll do something then it is akin to a contract and you should fulfil that.
INTPs are relatively easy-going until something violates a principle. Then they can become outspoken, inflexible and unreasonable, switching from reserved to actually enjoying the heated drama.
Conflict style / communication
Formal processes such as writing letters of complaint or going through the proper channels plays to ISTJ strengths. They are measured and formal and so will be very factual and non-emotional.
Blunt and to the point, the INTP will rarely let emotions get in the way and will use logic and data to make their point. Those who are more emotional may find them at such times a little cold and harsh.
How they feel after
It is all about right and wrong. ISTJs do not like conflict if it involves emotion, as they prefer to see things far more factually and in a binary way. For them it will be about did it play out fairly and as agreed?
As they are more deep and private the INTP will happily debate, using all their intellectual and logical abilities, before withdrawing back to their own world, not hard feelings, no feelings at all, it was a chat.
Dealing with conflict
Some types dislike and avoid conflict, whereas others use it to solve problems and get things done. Understand how an ISTJ deals with conflict in our practical tutorial.
We all bring something different to the team and we all agree that difference and balance are good things. However when someone is different from us we might not understand them so well so in this section we allow you to compare the differences at work, how these might manifest themselves and how best to manage them.
Contribution to the team
ISTJs bring a strong sense of planning, agreeing objectives and working steadily towards closure. They have a strong eye for detail and can therefore protect the team from going off in a wrong direction.
Although quiet the INTP will come to the fore at analysing problems and evaluating ideas using their superb judgement and serious, unemotional nature to ensure the team makes balanced decisions.
ISTJs will be great at ensuring everyone is clear on what is expected, everyone knows what the plan is and their part in it and ensuring that the plan is enacted, so more task- than people-focused.
INTPs need those around them to be proactive and not keep coming to them with questions. They like arguments and actions to be well thought through and will excel at ensuring this is the case.
Best managed by clear tasks, ISTJs need plenty of time to fully understand what is expected then let them get on, working with consistent steady energy towards completion, not micro managed.
The INTP will not fit snugly into a typical structure. They value independence, of thought and action and they need their space: to think, to be free from other people to work in short bursts of energy.
Attention to detail / focus
ISTJs have and incredible eye for detail, focus and a desire to drive for closure. They will want to slowly assimilate information and be sure of their facts before moving forward and this will be as per the plan.
The INTP does not like too much detail, preferring a broad-brush stroke approach. The simple, the obvious bores them and anything they see as trivial or unimportant will be pushed away.
ISTJs are more factual than creative and their value is exactly that: ensuring that was has been agreed is delivered exactly as agreed and translating everything into a plan that is clear and can be delivered.
If it holds their interest the high critical thinking ability of the INTP and their shrewd judgements means they can analyse and distil even the most complex problems and cut to the core of what needs to be done.
Getting the best and motivating
Find out how to get the best out of an ISTJ and what motivates them in our practical tutorial. Are they more motivated by the task at hand, or by the people around them?
Get the best out an INTP and learn the way to motivate them. Are they more motivated by people, or by the task at hand? Find out more in our practical tutorial.