The Myers-Briggs Typology System
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Main Index of Topics (click on one to go to that section)

What is the Myers-Briggs System?

What is MY Myers-Briggs Type? - Learn this second

What are MY Preferred Cognitive Processes? - Learn this third (more advanced)

Then go to:

Descriptions of the 16 Myers-Briggs Types

How Can The Myers-Briggs System Help Me?

Myers-Briggs Types in Relationships

Relationship Compatibility Between The Types

Career Satisfaction For Each Type


Index of Myers-Briggs Types (click on a type)



What is the Myers-Briggs System?  [back to the top]


The Myers-Briggs system is a personality system developed by a mother and daughter team, Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, to help us better understand our innate personality differences.  It is an adaptation of the psychological typology of the famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung.  Everyone is one and only one of the 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types in this system.  That is because it is based on brain functioning.  Although I wholeheartedly agree that we DO grow and change over time (and Myers-Briggs theory supports this too), our fundamental Myers-Briggs type does NOT change.  There are no "better than" or "worse than" types.  Each type has natural strengths and weaknesses.


There are three terms that you will need to become familiar with in this system if you want to understand it better.  They are:  (1) Preference, (2) Type, and (3) Temperament.  The system is based on the idea that people are born with preferences.  The word preference simply refers to the ways in which we naturally "prefer" to do certain things.




Myers-Briggs lists four pairs of opposite preferences.  For example, extraversion and introversion are opposite preferences.  Within each pair, we favor one side over the other, and we tend to use that one most of the time because it comes more easily to us.  The 4 pairs of opposite preferences are:


(1)  Extraverting (E) versus Introverting (I)

        Where we prefer to focus our attention and what energizes us

(2)  Sensing (S) versus iNtuiting (N)

        How we prefer to take in information

(3)  Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F)

        How we evaluate information and make decisions

(4)  Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P)

        What lifestyle we prefer


Click on List of Keywords for Each Preference if you want to understand what each of these preferences means.




Within each pair of opposite preferences a person leans toward one or the other, as already mentioned.  Taking one preference from each pair will form a 4 letter code that represents a person's Myers-Briggs type.  I am an INFJ in the Myers-Briggs system because I have a preference for Introverting (I), iNtuiting (N), Feeling (F) and Judging (J).  Notice that the capitalized word in each pair is the letter used in the code.  E or I is always the first letter in the code, S or N is always the second, T or F is always the third, and J or P is always the fourth.  All together there are 16 different types.  In this system the combination of individual preferences is greater that the sum of its parts.  The preferences interact in different ways and in varying degrees to make each person unique.



What is MY Myers-Briggs Type?  [back to the top]


There are many different instruments for assessing human personality nowadays but the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used psychological instrument in the world.  If you haven't already done so, I strongly urge you to determine your Myers-Briggs Temperament before determining your Myers-Briggs type because knowing your temperament will help you to verify and understand your Myers-Briggs Type better.


As well as my own Myers-Briggs Type Test, the following Myers-Briggs Preference Questionnaire was created by Jonathan Niednagel (website: and appeared in the May, 1998 edition of Tennis magazine.  It may further assist you in determining your type if you are not already clear.




Directions:  This 20 question questionnaire is designed to help you see who you really are.  Keep in mind that self-evaluating questionnaires cannot be considered foolproof.  Even when test-takers answer as honestly as possible, there are numerous reasons why they often score contrary to their true type.


Taking this questionnaire is only one step in the process to determine your true Myers-Briggs type.  Consider your questionnaire results with objectivity and caution.  After taking the Myers-Briggs Preference Questionnaire look at Table 1 and Table 2 below to help you further determine your actual type.  Then read descriptions of the different temperaments and types you think you might be.


In the following questions you must make one of two choices: a or b.  Set aside some time for yourself without interruptions.  Perhaps, in some cases, you will feel like choosing both a and b.  Even if you agree with both answers, check the one with which you agree more.


To yield an accurate description of yourself, it is imperative that you answer the questionnaire honestly.  Answer as you really are, not as the person you would like to be.


As much as possible, try to make choices outside the context of your job.  In other words, questionnaire results can be altered if you interpret too many questions with your job in mind.  The fact that we have certain job responsibilities and strong interests should not be used to cloud the results.  Therefore, try to think of situations in which you are more free to be yourself.


There are no right or wrong answers.  Just be honest with yourself as you read and make choices. 

For each of the following 20 groupings of phrases and word pairs, choose the letter (a. or b.) that you think most accurately describes you.  Record your answers on the score sheet directly below question 20 (notice that the questions on the score sheet run horizontally along the row before going down).  Print out the score sheet by selecting it with your mouse and then choosing the "Selection" radio button in the print range to print; or simply copy it onto a piece of paper.  See my example score sheet if you have questions.

1.    a. expend energy, enjoy groups

       b. conserve energy, enjoy one-on-one


2.    a. interpret matters literally, rely on common sense

       b. look for meaning and possibilities, rely on foresight


3.    a. logical, thinking, questioning

       b. empathetic, feeling, accommodating


4.    a. organized, orderly

       b. flexible, adaptable


5.    a. more outgoing, think out loud

    b. more reserved, think to yourself


6.    a. practical, realistic, experiential

       b. imaginative, innovative, theoretical


7.    a. candid, straight forward, frank

       b. tactful, kind, encouraging


8.    a. plan, schedule

       b. unplanned, spontaneous


9.    a. seek many tasks, public activities, interaction with others

       b. seek more private, solitary activities with quiet to concentrate


10.   a. standard, usual, conventional

        b. different, novel, unique


11.    a. firm, tend to criticize, hold the line

         b. gentle, tend to appreciate, conciliate


12.    a. regulated, structured

         b. easygoing, “live” and “let live”


13.    a. external, communicative, express yourself

         b. internal, reticent, keep to yourself


14.    a. consider immediate issues, focus on the here-and-now

         b. look to the future, global perspective, “big picture”


15.    a. tough-minded, just

         b. tender-hearted, merciful


16.    a. preparation, plan ahead

         b. go with the flow, adapt as you go


17.    a. active, initiate

         b. reflective, deliberate


18.    a. facts, things, seeing “what is”

         b. ideas, dreams, seeing “what could be,” philosophical


19.    a. matter of fact, issue-oriented, principled

         b. sensitive, people-oriented, compassionate


20.    a. control, govern

         b. latitude, freedom


Myers-Briggs Preference Questionnaire Score Sheet

  a. b.   a. b.   a. b.   a. b.
1.     2.     3.     4.    
5.     6.     7.     8.    
9.     10.     11.     12.    
13.     14.     15.     16.    
17.     18.     19.     20.    
Total     Total     Total     Total    



Example Myers-Briggs Preference Questionnaire Score Sheet

  a. b.   a. b.   a. b.   a. b.
1. x   2.   x 3. x   4. x  
5. x   6. x   7. x   8.   x
9. x   10.   x 11. x   12. x  
13. x   14. x   15.   x 16. x  
17.   x 18.   x 19. x   20. x  
Total 4 1 Total 2 3 Total 4 1 Total 4 1


This person scored as an ENTJ.  Now he/she could look at the following two tables, read an ENTJ description and determine his/her temperament to further confirm or negate his/her type.  If you score closely between two preferences, consider reading other type descriptions also.  In the example above, this person should consider reading a description of ESTJ also since he/she scored so closely between S and N.  Since an ENTJ is of the Knowledge Seeker (NT) Temperament and an ESTJ is of the Duty Seeker (SJ) Temperament, reading each of these temperament descriptions should make it clear whether he/she is an ENTJ or ESTJ.


Table 1 - List of Keywords for Each Preference (compare words in 1st column to words in 2nd column)

Extraverts (E)


outgoing, gregarious, expansive

many social relationships

expressive, congenial


mixer, mingler at parties

when studying, finds a place near other people

lonely if alone often

easily begins new relationships

discusses everything with everyone

loves to be in midst of things

works ideas out with others' input


enjoys being the center of attention

the outer world


reality = immediate environment

easy to read

seek interaction

enjoy groups

act or speak first, then think

expend energy

focus outwardly


like variety and action

think out loud

enjoy discussing

Introverts (I)


reserved, attention on rich inner life

a few deep, personal relationships

reflective, quiet observer


one-on-one conversations

when studying, finds a place where others won't intrude

savors and seeks time alone

gets to know people more slowly

shares personal life with intimates

loves to close his/her office door

works ideas out internally


resists being the center of attention

the world of ideas


reality = ideas and understanding

more difficult to read

like to be alone

enjoy one-on-one

think first, then speak or act

conserve energy

focus inwardly


like to focus on one thing at a time

think to themselves

enjoy reflecting

Sensors (S)


energy focused on what is

actuality, reality

focus on the present

realistic, straightforward and practical

pay attention to specifics

facts, examples, evidence


detailed information

likes new ideas with practical applications

interacts with events when they happen

seeks enjoyment


very aware of all sorts of sense impressions

pleasure lovers, consumers

often contented


seeks to possess

dislikes sacrificing present pleasure for future goals

turns living in the present into an art

strong appreciation of comfort, luxury, beauty, pleasure

refines existing skills

are pragmatic

trust their past experience

tend to want things as they are

Intuitives (N)


energy focused on what could be

possibility, potential

focus on the future

conceptual, imaginative and inspired

focus on the big picture

insights, ideas, inferences, hunches


analogies, metaphors, abstract information

a love for new ideas

anticipation of future events

seeks inspiration

in the clouds

especially aware of sense impressions that relate to ideas

inventors, initiators

often restless


seeks future expansion

will sacrifice present pleasure to bring in new possibilities

turns building for the future into an art

strong appreciation of initiative, entrepreneurship

learns new skills

are speculative

trust their imagination and hunches

tend to want to try something new

Thinkers (T)


objective, convinced by logic


logical, cool



compare, emphasize




laws, rules, policy




brief and businesslike



contrast, separate

are firm-minded

analyze the problem

are direct

value competence

decide with their head

value justice

can be seen as insensitive

are good at critiquing

usually don't take things personally

Feelers (F)


subjective, convinced by values

caring, compassionate, tender

passionate, warm







extenuating circumstances




friendly, has difficulty remaining businesslike


cherish, adore, nourish, sympathize

include, relate

are gentle-hearted

sympathize with your problem

are tactful

value relationships

decide with their heart

value harmony, mercy

can be seen as overemotional

are good at appreciating

usually take things personally

Judgers (J)


comfortable after decisions made

sets fixed goals and concentrate on achieving them

decided, ordered, seek closure

enjoys having projects framed by definite deadlines

work now, enjoy if there is time



loves to reach completion, finish projects

goal-oriented, wants to get the job done

prefers knowing what they're getting into ahead of time

steady, sustained effort


protect themselves from unplanned experiences


make the right decisions, do the right thing

as students, carry out an orderly, systematic study plan

sometimes accused of being too rigid

should be, must be, definitely, absolutely

definite, clear-cut, final

Perceivers (P)


comfortable leaving options open

goals are more open-ended, subject to change

flexible, curious, seek openness

feels that deadlines should be adjustable

enjoy now, work later


vague, indeterminate, amorphous, easy going

loves to begin new projects

process-oriented, how will the task be accomplished?

very adaptable to changing situations

on-and-off effort

puts off decisions

depend on their ability to handle unplanned experiences


have as many experiences as possible, miss nothing

as students, may put off studying until the last minute

sometimes accused of being too indecisive

could be, might be, perhaps, maybe

tentative, experimental, exploratory, provisional



Table 2 - Further Descriptions of the Type Preferences

The Way You Get Energized



Extraverting vs. Introverting

Extraverted Types (E)


- The after thinkers. Cannot understand life until they have lived it.


- Attitude relaxed and confident. They expect the waters to prove shallow, and plunge readily into new and untried experiences.


- Minds outwardly directed, interest and attention following objective happenings, primarily those of the immediate environment. Their real world therefore is the outer world of people and things.



- The civilizing genius, the people of action and practical achievement, who go from doing to considering back to doing.


- Conduct in essential matters is always governed by objective conditions.


- Spend themselves lavishly upon external claims and conditions which to them constitute life.



- Understandable and accessible, often sociable, more at home in the world of people and things than in the world of ideas.


- Expansive and less impassioned, they unload their emotions as they go along.


- Typical weakness lies in a tendency toward intellectual superficiality, very conspicuous in extreme types.


- Health and wholesomeness depend upon a reasonable development of balancing introversion.



Sigmund Freud

Charles Darwin

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Introverted Types (I)


- The fore thinkers. Cannot live life until they understand it.


- Attitude reserved and questioning. They expect the waters to prove deep, and pause to take soundings in the new and untried.


- Minds inwardly directed, frequently unaware of the objective environment, interest and attention being engrossed by inner events. Their real world therefore is the inner world of ideas and understanding.


- The cultural genius, the people of ideas and abstract invention, who go from considering to doing and back to considering.


- Conduct in essential matters is always governed by subjective values.


- Defend themselves as far as possible against external claims and conditions in favor of the inner life.


- Subtle and impenetrable, often taciturn and shy, more at home in the world of ideas than in the world of people and things.


- Intense and passionate, they bottle up their emotions and guard them as high explosives.


- Typical weakness lies in a tendency toward impracticality, very conspicuous in extreme types.



- Health and wholesomeness depend upon a reasonable development of balancing extraversion.



Carl Jung

Albert Einstein

Abraham Lincoln

Jimmy Carter

The Way You Gather and Access Information 


Sensing vs. Intuiting

Sensing Types (S)


- Face life observantly, craving enjoyment.


- Admit to consciousness every sense impression and are intensely aware of the external environment; they are observant at the expense of imagination.


- Are by nature pleasure lovers and consumers, loving life as it is and having a great capacity for enjoyment; they are in general contented.



- Desiring chiefly to possess and enjoy, and being very observant, they are imitative, wanting to have what other people have and to do what other people do, and are very dependent upon their physical surroundings.


- Dislike intensely any and every occupation that requires the suppression of sensing, and are most reluctant to sacrifice present enjoyment to future gain or good.


- Prefer the art of living in the present to the satisfactions of enterprise and achievement.



- Contribute to the public welfare by their support of every form of enjoyment and recreation, and every variety of comfort, luxury, and beauty.



- Are always in danger of being frivolous, unless balance is attained through development of a judging process.

Intuitive Types (N)


- Face life expectantly, craving inspiration.


- Admit fully to consciousness only the sense impressions related to the current inspiration; they are imaginative at the expense of observation.



- Are by nature initiators, inventors, and promoters; having no taste for life as it is, and small capacity for living as it is, and small capacity for living in and enjoying the present, they are generally restless.


- Desiring chiefly opportunities and possibilities, and being very imaginative, they are inventive and original, quite indifferent to what other people have and do, and are very independent of their physical surroundings.


- Dislike intensely any and every occupation that necessitates sustained concentration on sensing, and are willing to sacrifice the present to a large extent since they neither live in it nor particularly enjoy it.


- Prefer the joy of enterprise and achievement and pay little or no attention to the art of living in the present.


- Contribute to the public welfare by their inventiveness, initiative, enterprise, and powers of inspired leadership in every direction of human interest.


- Are always in danger of being fickle, changeable, and lacking in persistence, unless balance is attained through development of a judging process.

The Way You Evaluate and Make Decisions


Thinking vs. Feeling

Thinking Types (T)


- Value logic above sentiment.


- Are usually impersonal, being interested in things more than in human relationships.


- If forced to choose between truthfulness and tactfulness, will usually be truthful.


- Are stronger in executive ability than in the social arts.


- Are likely to question the conclusions of other people on principle -- believing them probably wrong.


- Naturally brief and businesslike, they often seem to lack friendliness and sociability without knowing or intending it.


- Are usually able to organize facts and ideas into a logical sequence that states the subject, makes the necessary points, comes to a conclusion, and stops there without repetition.



- Suppress, undervalue, and ignore feeling that is incompatible with the thinking judgments.


- Contribute to the welfare of society by the intellectual criticism of its habits, customs, and beliefs, by the exposure of wrongs, solution of problems, and the support of science and research for the enlargement of human knowl­edge and understanding.


- Are found more often among men than women and when married to a feeling type, naturally become guardian of the spouse's neglected and unreliable thinking.

Feeling Types (F)


- Value sentiment above logic.


- Are usually personal, being interested in people more than in things.


- If forced to choose between tactfulness and truthfulness, will usually be tactful.


- Are stronger in the social arts than in executive ability.


- Are likely to agree with those around them, thinking as other people think, believing them probably right.


- Naturally friendly, whether sociable or not, they find it difficult to be brief and businesslike.



- Usually find it hard to know where to start a statement or in what order to present what they have to say. May therefore ramble and repeat themselves, with more detail than a thinker wants or thinks necessary.


- Suppress, undervalue, and ignore thinking that is offensive to the feeling judgments.


- Contribute to the welfare of society by their loyal support of good works and those movements, generally regarded as good by the community, which they feel correctly about and so can serve effectively.



- Are found more often among women than men and, when married to a thinking type, frequently become guardian of the spouse's neglected and harassed feelings.

The Way You Orient Your Lifestyle


Judging vs. Perceiving

Judging Types (J)


- Are more decisive than curious.


- Live according to plans, standards, and customs not easily or lightly set aside, to which the situation of the moment must, if possible, be made to conform.


- Make a very definite choice among life's possibilities, but may not appreciate or utilize unplanned, unexpected, and incidental happenings.


- Being rational, they depend on reasoned judgments, their own or borrowed from someone else, to protect them from unnecessary undesirable experiences.


- Like to have matters settled and decided as promptly as possible, so that they will know what is going to happen and can plan for it and be prepared for it.


- Think or feel that they know what other people ought to do about almost everything, and are not averse to telling them.


- Take real pleasure in getting something finished, out of the way, and off their minds.


- Are inclined to regard the perceptive types as aimless drifters.


- Aim to be right.


- Are self-regimented, purposeful, and exacting.

Perceiving Types (P)


- Are more curious than decisive.


- Live according to the situation of the moment and adjust themselves easily to the accidental and the unexpected.



- Are frequently masterful in their handling of the unplanned, unexpected, and incidental, but may not make an effective choice among life's possibilities.


- Being empirical, they depend on their readiness for anything and everything to bring them a constant flow of new experience -- much more than they can digest or use.


- Like to keep decisions open as long as possible before doing anything irrevocable, because they don't know nearly enough about it yet.



- Know what other people are doing, and are interested to see how it comes out.



- Take great pleasure in starting something new, until the newness wears off.


- Are inclined to regard the judging types as only half alive.


- Aim to miss nothing.


- Are flexible, adaptable, and tolerant.



What are MY Preferred Cognitive Processes?  [back to the top]


Brief Descriptions of the 8 Cognitive Processes


Name of Cognitive Process

The 4 Information Gathering Processes

Descriptions of the innate gifts of each process

Myers-Briggs Types with this process dominant

extraverted Sensing (Se)

Experiencing and noticing the physical world using the five senses

- Experiencing

- Doing

- Observing and Responding

- Adapting and Varying

- Present oriented


- Current perceptions vividly capturing attention

- Paying attention to what stands out and is impactful (using the 5 senses)

- Becoming aware of rich sensory details

- Noticing what's happening right "now" as it changes

- Scanning the current situation for relevant information

- Energy going to more, new and preferably exciting sensory stimulation

- Focusing on possibilities for immediate action

- Talking about things to do, actions to take

- Asking for specific details to perceive the pattern

- Reading minimal nonverbal cues

- Seeking aesthetic delight and pleasure in experiences

- Attention turning outward to more sensory input

- Living an experience in the moment



introverted Sensing (Si)

Recalling past experiences and remembering detailed data

- Recalling

- Linking

- Comparing and Contrasting

- Noticing Match and Mismatch

- Past oriented


- Current perceptions eliciting stored impressions and memories in the brain

- Paying attention to similarities and differences

- Becoming aware of differences from what was

- Noticing discrepancies

- Scanning memory bank for related information

- Energy staying with the recalled image

- Focusing on past successes or failures

- Talking about past experiences

- Asking for history or prior experience

- Reading lessons from the past

- Seeking to avoid mistakes made before

- Attention turning inward to images of past impressions

- Re-living an experience in your mind



extraverted iNtuiting (Ne)

Inferring relationships, noticing threads of meaning, and scanning for what could be

- Inferring

- Hypothesizing

- Seeing Potentials

- Wondering and Brainstorming

- Emergent oriented


- Current perceptions sparking alternatives

- Paying attention to relationships and connections

- Becoming aware of patterns, implications, and meanings

- Noticing meta-communications and what is not said

- Scanning the current situation for what might be possible

- Energy going to interactions to generate more possibilities

- Focusing on multiple aspects of the whole context

- Talking about possibilities, new ideas, meanings

- Asking, "Have you thought about...?"

- Reading the meanings of a situation

- Seeking more possibilities, ideas, options

- Attention turning outward to more relationships and meanings

- Interpreting an experience



introverted iNtuiting (Ni)

Foreseeing implications, conceptualizing, and having images of the future or profound meaning

- Foreseeing

- Conceptualizing

- Understanding Complex Patterns

- Synthesizing and Symbolizing

- Future oriented


- Current perceptions sparking insights into complex situations

- Paying attention to future implications

- Becoming aware of universal meanings and symbols

- Noticing whole patterns or systems

- Scanning internal images for insights

- Energy staying with the vision

- Focusing on depth of understanding

- Talking about the future and the meaning

- Asking, "What is the goal?"

- Reading the future and the potential in others

- Seeking innovative ideas or universal symbols

- Attention turning inward to images forming of the future

- Imagining and anticipating an experience




The 4 Information Evaluating Processes

Descriptions of the innate gifts of each process


extraverted Thinking (Te)

Organizing, segmenting, sorting, and applying logic and criteria

- Being organized

- Coordinating and Sequencing

- Segmenting

- Checking Against Criteria

- Particular to What's Here & Now


- Talking about the steps to get things done

- Asking Socratic questions to clarify logic or make a point

- Evaluating priorities in reaching a goal

- Deciding about sequence, hierarchy, schedule

- Determining the required resources to achieve a goal

- Being guided by organizing principles and criteria

- Convincing with logical arguments

- Noticing the component parts and what's missing

- Focusing on cause and effect

- Looking for logic

- Searching for efficient organization

- Seeking to establish order and efficiency

- Organizing an experience



introverted Thinking (Ti)

Analyzing, categorizing, and figuring out how something works

- Principles

- Categorizing and Classifying

- Analyzing

- Checking Consistency

- Universal oriented


- Talking about how things match a model or blueprint

- Asking what is wrong, how something's not working

- Evaluating accuracy and internal consistency

- Deciding what kind of object something is

- Determining the defining characteristics

- Being guided by the reasons things work

- Convincing with clear, precise definitions

- Noticing inconsistencies and imprecision

- Focusing on thorough analysis, seeing all the angles

- Looking for concise, clear explanations

- Searching for a "leverage point" to fix things

- Seeking to solve problems

- Analyzing and critiquing an experience



extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Considering other people and responding to them

- Being considerate

- Adjusting and Accommodating

- Affirming

- Checking Appropriateness

- Particular to What's Here & Now


- Talking about personal details

- Asking questions to find out what others need

- Evaluating appropriateness

- Deciding about what is friendly, nice, mean

- Determining what others want

- Being guided by creating harmony within any group

- Convincing with self-disclosure and warmth

- Noticing what's important to others

- Focusing on consideration of others

- Looking for unexpressed wants and needs of others

- Searching for connection with and affirmation from others

- Seeking to establish rapport and stay in touch with others

- Relating through an experience



introverted Feeling (Fi)

Evaluating importance and maintaining congruence

- Personal Values

- Harmonizing and Clarifying

- Reconciling

- Checking Congruency

- Universal oriented


- Talking about likes, dislikes, and what's important

- Asking, "Is it worth standing up for?"

- Evaluating priorities according to values

- Deciding about what is important

- Determining the essence of what's important

- Being guided by strong convictions

- Convincing with rightness/wrongness or goodness/badness

- Noticing incongruities and phoniness

- Focusing on authenticity, living out values

- Looking for intrinsic values, something worth believing in

- Searching for people, ideas, or actions worth promoting

- Seeking to establish loyalty and commitment

- Valuing an experience




Here is an example to illustrate how all eight cognitive functions are used in daily life.


A Trip To The Grocery Store To Prepare For A Dinner Party


You go to the grocery store in the morning with a clear Introverted Intuitive sense of the dinner you will serve, an internal picture of the party that guides your shopping.  You draw on Extraverted Sensing to carefully observe the quality and freshness of the vegetables and fruits.  Introverted Sensing provides you with accurate, stored information about the likes and dislikes of your guests.  You notice some exotic fruits you have never seen before and Extraverted Intuition suddenly suggests buying them to add more variety and taste to the fruit bowl for dessert.  However, Extraverted Feeling guides your decision not to buy them because you definitely want your guests to enjoy the fruit bowl and you don't know if everyone will like the exotic fruits.  Introverted Feeling leads you to forego buying the Gala apples you wanted because they are not organic and you are totally committed to supporting organic farmers only.  Extraverted Thinking enters as you assess the logical consequences of including mashed potatoes for dinner which require a time consuming and labor-intensive process of peeling, cutting, cooking and mashing.  You draw on Introverted Thinking to mentally structure the rest of your day and consider how that will influence your dinner preparation.


From the Cognitive Processes Matrix below we can see that two of the information gathering processes involve Sensing (Se, Si) and two involve iNtuiting (Ne, Ni).  Two of the evaluating processes involve Thinking (Te, Ti), and two involve Feeling (Fe, Fi).  Thus the eight cognitive processes.  Keywords for each process are also included.


The Cognitive Processes Matrix



e – Outer World

Here and Now

i – Inner World

Past, Future, Universal



Ways of gathering


S - Sensing

Se Extraverted Sensing


- Experiencing

- Doing

- Observing and Responding

- Adapting and Varying

- Present oriented

Si Introverted Sensing


- Recalling

- Linking

- Comparing and Contrasting

- Noticing Match and Mismatch

- Past oriented

N - iNtuiting

NeExtraverted iNtuiting


- Inferring

- Hypothesizing

- Seeing Potentials

- Wondering and Brainstorming

- Emergent oriented

NiIntroverted iNtuiting


- Foreseeing

- Conceptualizing

- Understanding Complex Patterns

- Synthesizing and Symbolizing

- Future oriented



Ways of evaluating


T - Thinking

TeExtraverted Thinking


- Being organized

- Coordinating and Sequencing

- Segmenting

- Checking Against Criteria

- Particular to What's Here & Now

TiIntroverted Thinking


- Principles

- Categorizing and Classifying

- Analyzing

- Checking Consistency

- Universal oriented

F - Feeling

FeExtraverted Feeling


- Being considerate

- Adjusting and Accommodating

- Affirming

- Checking Appropriateness

- Particular to What's Here & Now

FiIntroverted Feeling


- Values

- Harmonizing and Clarifying

- Reconciling

- Checking Congruency

- Universal oriented


Just like with handedness, each Myers-Briggs type has an innate preference for one of the four Perceptive processes (Se, Si, Ne, Ni) and one of the four Judging processes (Te, Ti, Fe, Fi).  In the table below, notice that if the dominant function is extraverted then the auxiliary function is introverted.  In the table below, notice that if the dominant function is introverted then the auxiliary function is extraverted.  I said earlier that a type's dominant function and auxiliary function provide the necessary balance between gathering information and evaluating it.  Now you can see from the table below that the dominant function and auxiliary function provide the necessary balance between introversion and extraversion also.


The Dominant and Auxiliary Functions for Each Myers-Briggs Type

Myers-Briggs Type

Dominant Function

Auxiliary Function


extraverted Sensing (Se)

introverted Thinking (Ti)


extraverted Sensing (Se)

introverted Feeling (Fi)


introverted Sensing (Si)

extraverted Thinking (Te)


introverted Sensing (Si)

extraverted Feeling (Fe)


extraverted iNtuiting (Ne)

introverted Thinking (Ti)


extraverted iNtuiting (Ne)

introverted Feeling (Fi)


introverted iNtuiting (Ni

extraverted Thinking (Te)


introverted iNtuiting (Ni)

extraverted Feeling (Fe)


extraverted Thinking (Te)

introverted Sensing (Si)


extraverted Thinking (Te)

introverted iNtuiting (Ni)


introverted Thinking (Ti)

extraverted Sensing (Se)


introverted Thinking (Ti)

extraverted iNtuiting (Ne)


extraverted Feeling (Fe)

introverted Sensing (Si)


extraverted Feeling (Fe)

introverted iNtuiting (Ni)


introverted Feeling (Fi)

extraverted Sensing (Se)


introverted Feeling (Fi)

extraverted iNtuiting (Ne)

Now that you have a basic understanding of the Myers-Briggs temperaments, the eight cognitive functions and know the dominant and auxiliary function for each Myers-Briggs type, you can describe each Myers-Briggs type in more depth by simply blending all of these meanings together!  Example descriptions of each type follow.


Dominant extraverted Sensing



Their dominant extraverted Sensing leads ESTPs to quickly recognize the realities of the moment.  The auxiliary introverted Thinking uses that data to arrive at expedient solutions.  It is this combination that produces the resourceful, troubleshooting strength of the ESTP.  However, at times they can become so involved in stimulating experiences and actions that they ignore their internal evaluating mechanism. They may then forget analysis, evaluation, and commitments in order to live in the moment.

Their dominant extraverted Sensing leads ESFPs to generate stimulating and fun activities for people around them.  They plunge into action with enthusiasm, energizing people to work as a team.  Their auxiliary introverted Feeling makes them responsive to the needs of others, guides their decisions, and creates a warm and caring style in their interactions.  At times, however, new people and experiences so engage ESFPs dominant extraverted Sensing that they put aside their internal valuing process and ignore prior commitments.


Dominant introverted Sensing



Their auxiliary extraverted Thinking leads ISTJs to structure and organize their outer life, to rationalize their world along logical principles, to seek closure and clarity.  When change is demanded, however, they can suddenly appear unreasonable, refusing to apply their thinking logic because their dominant introverted Sensing does not yet have enough data.  In spite of their urge to fulfill responsibilities and organize systems, they will resist until their dominant Sensing has sufficient realistic, specific information.  Once convinced, however, ISTJs can implement changes and take responsibility for them.

Their auxiliary extraverted Feeling leads ISFJs to express a gentle kindness toward others.  ISFJs work devotedly to structure the environment to create harmony.  Their dominant introverted Sensing contains complete details about people and directs their service to others into practical channels.  However, if their inner store of sensing data includes information about how particular situations should be handled or what certain people need, ISFJs can suddenly become stubborn and reluctant to consider alternatives, insisting that they know how something should be done.


Dominant extraverted iNtuition



Their dominant extraverted Intuition leads ENTPs to quickly gain insight into the meanings and connections of what is going on around them.  They use the logical principles of their auxiliary introverted Thinking to evaluate, prioritize, and implement these insights with resourcefulness.  However, they can sometimes get so entranced by a new idea that they fail to apply their critiquing ability, which leads them to go from one exciting possibility to another without committing to and following through on any of them.

Their dominant extraverted Intuition provides ENFPs with unusual insight into exciting possibilities in the people and the world around them.  They use their auxiliary introverted Feeling to evaluate these insights in terms of their values and, in combination with their Intuitive enthusiasm, to inspire others to implement these possibilities.  At times, however, they get caught up in an intriguing new person or idea, suspending their judgment and their priorities.  They may then overextend themselves and not give enough time and energy to the people and things important to them, or their inner commitments.


Dominant introverted iNtuition



Their auxiliary extraverted Thinking leads INTJs to structure their external lives to provide rational order.  They use their Thinking to communicate ideas logically and clearly.  Logic is not the final judge, however.  If someone's analysis or ideas do not fit with the INTJs internal intuitive pattern and insights (their dominant introverted Intuition), INTJs will reject them, regardless of how clear and logical they seem to be.  INTJs will then stubbornly cling to what they know is right.

Their auxiliary extraverted Feeling leads INFJs to focus on values and loyalty to others.  INFJs work to structure environments to take account of the needs of others and provide ways for people to realize their goals.  However, if something proposed by others does not fit with their inner vision (their dominant introverted Intuition) they will usually reject it forcefully, even when it is suggested by someone important to them and seems to others to exemplify INFJs values.  They put intense effort into bringing the external world in line with their inner vision.


Dominant extraverted Thinking



Their dominant extraverted Thinking leads ESTJs to focus on developing and implementing plans that will achieve clear goals as efficiently as possible.  They are assisted by their auxiliary introverted Sensing, which stores a wealth of practical information about how things operate in the real world.  If the data get in the way of completing their tasks, however, they will put the data aside in favor of a structure that makes sense within their Thinking logic.  ESTJs may then ignore new or contradictory information that challenges the external structures they have put into place.

Their dominant extraverted Thinking leads ENTJs to focus on creating logical systems in the world to achieve long-term goals. They are assisted in this by their auxiliary introverted Intuition, which leads them to explore ideas and possibilities and to notice interesting patterns.  ENTJs love the stimulation of talking and debating ideas, gathering insights that they can apply to the real world.  However, their drive to structure their external environment through logical analysis is so strong that they will find ingenious ways to bring perception into line with their logical system.


Dominant introverted Thinking



Their auxiliary extraverted Sensing leads ISTPs to be observant and tolerant.  Others find them egalitarian and easy-going.  When they perceive that something is not logical and efficient, however, they may suddenly express their dominant introverted Thinking.  Others then realize that the ISTP has been categorizing, analyzing, and critiquing what is going on.  Their dominant Thinking will also sometimes lead them to choose and censor which sensing data they will notice and to organize the data to support their conclusions.

Their auxiliary extraverted Intuition leads INTPs to effectively take in information, process it, and communicate ideas.  When an intuition about something important is not logical and reasonable within their internal systems, however, INTPs will generally discount their intuition and go with the logical analysis of their dominant introverted Thinking.  These systems of understanding may also influence the information INTPs pay attention to and the way they take in new information.


Dominant extraverted Feeling



Their dominant extraverted Feeling leads ESFJs to focus on establishing cooperation and goodwill in their environment.  They use their auxiliary introverted Sensing to solicit and store detailed information about people and to support others in practical ways.  Though they have access to a wealth of specific information, no fact is as important to them as how others are feeling and whether their environment is harmonious.  As a result, they can sometimes seem blind to unpleasant facts, especially regarding people close to them.

Their dominant extraverted Feeling leads ENFJs to design and implement ways for people to reach their full potential.  They facilitate and encourage development and growth in others.  ENFJs use their auxiliary introverted Intuition to "read" people and quickly assess the needs and possibilities of others.  Their focus on cooperation, compatibility, and encouragement, however, can sometimes lead them to ignore signs of conflict and undesirable behavior of people close to them.


Dominant introverted Feeling



Their auxiliary extraverted Sensing leads ISFPs to be finely attuned to their external environment, noticing people and the natural world around them.  They are flexible, adaptable, and sympathetic.  However, their most important quality is an internal core of values by which they evaluate everything.  These values typically focus on supporting people and on practical care for the natural environment.  If their core values are violated, they can firmly extravert this inner core, refusing to adapt or flexibly go along with actions they find wrong.

Their auxiliary extraverted Intuition leads them to be curious about people and ideas, excited about possibilities they see for improving the world.  They love to explore new ways of understanding how human beings work.  Inside, however, INFPs have a "filter" – a coherent value system through which they evaluate ideas, people, and actions.  They commit themselves intensely to people and ideas they believe in and oppose anything that violates their values.  INFPs focus on creating congruence between their inner values and outer lives.



Descriptions of the 16 Myers-Briggs Types


Index of Myers-Briggs Types (click on a type)





Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging

Estimated to be between 7 and 10 percent of the American population


TemperamentDuty Seeker (SJ)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Sensing (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Thinking (your supporting gift/talent)


Planner/ Inspector.  Theme is planning and monitoring, ensuring predictable quality.

Thorough, systematic, and careful.

See discrepancies, omissions and pitfalls.

Talents lie in administrating and regulating.

Dependable, realistic, and sensible.

Want to conserve the resources of the organization, group, family, or culture and persevere toward that goal.

Thrive on planning ahead and being prepared.

Like helping others through their roles as parent, supervisor, teammate, and community volunteer.

ISTJs are responsible, reliable, hardworking people whose word is their bond.  Literal, precise, and no nonsense, they say what they mean and mean what they say.  Led by dominant Introverted Sensing, ISTJs are especially attuned to the specifics and details of life.  They are careful and accurate about facts, and plan and go about their work in a thoughtful, meticulous fashion.  Extremely conscientious people, ISTJs have a strong work ethic and always choose to get their tasks done before they take the time to relax.  ISTJs also have excellent memories for details, and can usually recall with impressive clarity seemingly unimportant events that occurred many years in the past.  Quiet and serious, ISTJs are often happiest when they are left alone to work at their own pace, without interruption or unsolicited input from others.  They know what they have to do and how to do it, and seldom need close, if any, supervision.

Even when they are relaxing, ISTJs are productive, and often enjoy using their hands to do crafts like woodworking, restoring antique cars, pottery, needlepoint, and so on.  Many also enjoy reading and being a part of nature by hiking, fishing, or camping.

ISTJs are happiest and most productive doing things in familiar ways in familiar surroundings, and they can become uncomfortable and anxious when faced with a new challenge without being given proper guidance as to how it should be done.  Because their least developed function is Extraverted Intuition, they are naturally distrustful of new, untested ways of doing things, especially those with which they have had no firsthand experience.  Although they pride themselves on their efficiency, they can resist efforts to improve existing practices if they don't immediately see the practical benefit in doing so.  And because they are not global thinkers who naturally think about the big picture and future implications, their skepticism can impede real and needed progress.

Logical and objective, ISTJs are impersonal decision makers, who may at times seem unsympathetic or uncaring.  But they make decisions by weighing the pros and cons, and then decide based upon what makes the most sense, given the situation.  They are not likely to be significantly influenced by how people will feel about, or be affected by, their decisions.  And while they like to be helpful, they are usually comfortable making the tough calls, and don't become preoccupied with how they will be viewed by others.  While appeals based solely on emotion may fall on deaf (or at least hard-of-hearing!) ears, ISTJs are eminently fair.

Usually possessing great powers of concentration, ISTJs are not easily diverted or distracted from the task at hand, which they approach in a systematic, step-by-step fashion.  However, while their single-minded determination is one of their greatest assets, it can also make them stubborn and unyielding, and incapable of necessary flexibility when they are unexpectedly forced to change their plans or act spontaneously.  Likewise, they are very conservative by nature, and are sometimes reluctant to take even reasonable risks.  Usually, as they amass a great number of experiences, they become more willing to try new things.


How to get along with ISTJs


Provide them with plenty of accurate facts and concrete documentation to support your position or idea.

Stress the practical application of the idea and, if possible, specifically what it will accomplish, how it is to be implemented, where it has worked before, and with what results.

Present your proposal in a sequential manner, one idea at a time.  Lay out all the necessary steps and, if possible, provide a realistic schedule for accomplishing your goals.

Give them plenty of time to think about ideas, especially new or unusual ones, before discussing them or expecting them to respond.  When possible, submit all proposals in writing first, and be explicit about when you need to get their reaction or input.

Don't ask them to brainstorm possibilities or to discuss things they haven't had adequate time to quietly and thoughtfully consider in advance.

Simplify the message; boil it down to its basic components and try to avoid long, complicated, or tangential explanations.

Make logic-based arguments, rather than personally based ones.


Tips for ISTJs


Try not to overwhelm others with minute details; rather, attend to the overall meaning suggested by the details.

Be open to possibilities and embrace change.

Learn to negotiate and try to see things from other perspectives.

Make it a rule to say "I love you" at least once a week.

Avoid being overly cautious and rigid in your thinking.  Be open to seeing that there isn't just one right way of doing things.

Avoid having conversations that can only end in win-lose propositions.

Do something impulsive now and then.  Be spontaneous and goof off once in a while.

Share your humorous thoughts more often.

Pay attention to your own and others' emotions; develop the habit of putting words to the feelings you have.

Listen for data about the needs and feelings of others.

Make an extra effort to express appreciation to others, even for the small things they do.

Take time for relaxation and play.  Don't forget to use your allocated vacation time.


Hallmarks of an ISTJ


























Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

Estimated to be between 7 and 10 percent of the American population


TemperamentDuty Seeker (SJ)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Sensing (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Feeling (your supporting gift/talent)


Protector/ Supporter.  Theme is protecting and caretaking, making sure those in their charge are safe from harm.

Talents lie in making sure everything is taken care of so others can succeed and accomplish their goals.

Desiring to serve individual needs, often work long hours.

Quietly friendly, respectful, unassuming.

Thrive on serving quietly without fanfare.

Devoted to doing whatever is necessary to ensure shelter and safety, warning about pitfalls and dangers and supporting along the way.

ISFJs have a strong need to belong, and the organizations or groups they choose are lucky to attract these thoughtful, hardworking, and devoted people.  As dominant Introverted Sensors, ISFJs focus all their energy on the problem or issue that is before them at the moment.  They are painstakingly accurate when working with facts, attentive to details, and methodical in applying both qualities in their work.  ISFJs like gathering, analyzing, and applying data for some useful purpose, and documenting the results.  They generally have excellent memories, and are especially good at remembering dates and events that pertain to people.  Consequently, they often fill the role of unofficial family or office historian.

Quiet and reserved, ISFJs are loyal and devoted family members, friends, and coworkers who take their responsibilities toward others very seriously.  Sensitive and sympathetic, they are good listeners, eager to help people in real and practical ways, which they do best by drawing on their own personal experience.  Because ISFJs don't like confrontation and are uncomfortable when people are unhappy with them or people close to them, they usually try hard to accommodate others and to avoid arguments.  They are also often reluctant supervisors or managers, who disdain disciplining or evaluating subordinates, and may suffer great anxiety if they have to fire someone.

Because ISFJs' least developed function is Extraverted Intuition, they may have difficulty imagining possibilities or scenarios that don't yet exist.  In problem solving, they are much more comfortable applying knowledge gained through direct experience than trying a new approach.  ISFJs are so rooted in the present, and so trust the lessons of the past, that when they look to the future and its many unknowns, it is often with apprehension and a sense of dread.  ISFJs may also have trouble appreciating the interconnectedness of things, since they naturally pay attention to the specifics, rather than to the big picture.

Because ISFJs are such nice, accommodating, and generous people, they run the risk of being taken advantage of.  In fact, they often have trouble asserting themselves, and most avoid potential confrontational situations whenever possible.  While they are warm and helpful, ISFJs are also very private, and are comfortable sharing their personal thoughts and feelings with very few people.  In fact, they may consider information disclosed about them to others without their permission a serious invasion of their privacy -- even if the disclosure involves information that is innocuous and not very personal.  For relaxation, ISFJs often prefer activities that engage their senses, such as cooking, gardening, painting, or making things with their hands.  While they may occasionally enjoy the company of a close friend or two, they are comfortable spending much of their time alone.  ISFJs tend not to like surprises, and are most at ease when they are in familiar surroundings, enjoying, uninterrupted, the things they have planned to do.  But when it comes to holidays or other special events, ISFJs will plan them carefully and thoughtfully, and then participate with great gusto!

How to get along with ISFJs


Be specific; announce the topic you are addressing at the start of a conversation.

Be explicit:  let them know exactly what you expect and want, preferably providing detailed instructions as opposed to vague guidelines.

Respect their privacy.  Do not pry into their personal affairs or share information about them, even if it seems unimportant, without their permission.

Be polite, considerate, and nice.  If possible, keep your energy and voice level down, and don't interrupt them when they are speaking.  Apologize quickly and sincerely if you hurt their feelings.

Don't rush them.  Give them plenty of time to consider ideas, especially new ones.  If you ask their opinion, wait patiently for them to give it; don't finish their sentences for them.

Honor all your commitments to them.  Be vigilant about meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises, being on time for dates and appointments, and generally doing what you say you will do.


Tips for ISFJs


Beware of rescuing irresponsible, needy people.  Get help in ending inappropriate relationships and situations.

Talk to yourself in nurturing and caring ways.  Pat yourself on the back.  Don't wait for someone else to tell you that you did well.

Honor your need for time alone.  Schedule time for fun and personally satisfying activities.

Allow room for mistakes.

Talk about your needs, desires, and problems with a trusted friend or counselor.  Let others help you for a change.

Take time to discover your direction, purpose, and goals.  Make choices based on your inner values rather than on external authorities.

Remember that there is no one right way to live.  What counts is that you are satisfied.

Beware of excessive worrying.  Don't spend too much time focusing on worst-case scenarios.

Avoid taking on extra work.  Learn to say NO!

Get mad once in a while if you need to.  Unleash pent-up resentment through writing, talking, or hitting pillows.  You may feel guilty but you may also find it refreshing.

Do not underestimate yourself and your accomplishments.  Talk about them.


Hallmarks of an ISFJ


Super Dependable









Service Minded














Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging

Estimated to be between 1 and 2 percent of the American population


TemperamentIdeal Seeker (NF)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Intuition (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Feeling (your supporting gift/talent)


Foreseer/Developer.  The theme is foresight.

Use their insights to deal with complexity in issues and people, often with a strong sense of "knowing" before others know themselves.

Talents lie in developing and guiding people: trust their inspirations and visions, using them to help others.

Thrive on helping others resolve deep personal and ethical dilemmas.

Private and complex, they bring a quiet enthusiasm and industry to projects that are part of their vision.

Two words that best describe most INFJs are integrity and originality.  Their dominant Introverted Intuition provides them with vision and creativity both of which they find great satisfaction using in the service of others.  They are usually excellent listeners, patient and supportive.  Extremely perceptive and empathetic, they are especially gifted at thinking up new and better ways to help people get their needs met, and are usually eager to provide whatever support is necessary.

Typically gentle, and soft-spoken, INFJs do not like to call attention to themselves, and often are content to work behind the scenes.  Thoughtful, caring, and sensitive, INFJs will usually go the extra mile to maintain harmonious relationships.  But they can also be fiercely independent -- willing to subject themselves to skepticism or criticism in order to make their vision, which is driven by their strong values, a reality.  They are so honest and earnest, they exude integrity, which causes people to immediately trust and respect them.  For this reason, they often make inspiring leaders.

Because INFJs' least developed function is Extraverted Sensing, they may fail to take into account realities that might prevent their ideas or vision from working on a practical level.  Preferring to focus on the big picture, they sometimes miss essential details or choose to ignore important facts that are not congruent with their ideas.  Because they believe so deeply in the correctness of their position, they can be judgmental and dismissive of competing views.

INFJ's single-mindedness can become a liability if they are not flexible enough to modify their plans once they have embarked on a course of action ....... much like a person driving down a highway making great time but who, unfortunately, turns out to be going in the wrong direction!  INFJs' perfectionism can also result in a tendency to be stubborn and unyielding.  They usually find sharing their vision with someone they trust helps them see the flaws and gain a more realistic perspective.

INFJs are decisive, organized, and great planners.  Combined with their single-mindedness and sometimes fierce determination, they are often extremely productive.  They like to set goals, and can work tirelessly to achieve them.  But sometimes, in their haste to come to a conclusion, they run the risk of missing out on experiencing the process.  And they can become so preoccupied with achieving the goal that they lack the ability to act spontaneously.

Since INFJs are run by their values and deeply held convictions, they tend to take things personally, and may have their feelings hurt when no hurt was intended.  And, unfortunately, their sensitivity can cause them to become defensive and write off a person or an idea.  They may need a gentle reminder from a friend not to take themselves so seriously that they lose the ability to enjoy some of life's lighter, yet most pleasurable, moments.


How to get along with INFJs


Give them plenty of time to consider your idea or proposal in-depth before expecting feedback or discussion.

Present the idea in terms of your vision -- the big picture, and how it may fit into their larger personal or organizational goals, rather than focusing on the specifics and details.

Discuss the benefits it will have on people -- especially how it will positively affect them in the future as well as in the present.

Especially with regard to problem solving, solicit their ideas, appeal to their creativity, and talk about possibilities.

Be patient with what might be long, complicated explanations; don't hesitate to take your time carefully considering their proposals -- they like to do the same.

If relevant, provide information regarding the timing of the implementation of the plan; be sure to meet all agreed-upon deadlines, and honor your commitments.


Tips for INFJs


Respect your need for time alone to dream, fantasize, explore theories, read, and create.

Share your ideas, visions, feelings, and inner richness with the people you are close to.

Try to be direct in your communication.  Don't silently withdraw as a way of setting limits; this can leave others feeling hurt and confused.

Try to give affection when others need it, not only when you feel the inspiration.

Be realistic about how much acceptance you can reasonably expect from others.  Realize that rejection of your thoughts and ideas is not a rejection of you.

Avoid overdosing on self-analysis.  Express your feelings through writing, art, or talking.  Then move on.

See your moods as transitory.  Know that they will change.

Avoid wasting time over mundane details and routines just to be organized.  Decide what is important and what to set aside.

Refrain from trying to order and control life.  Let the universe do its thing.

Slow down the pace of life.  Be aware of overextending yourself.

Try to embrace the imperfection and mundanity of the world; accept things as they are, rather than trying to make everything over according to your ideal.

Find friends who understand your insightful point of view and encourage you to be yourself.


Hallmarks of an INFJ










Deep Thinkers
















Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging

Estimated to be between 1 and 2 percent of the American population


TemperamentKnowledge Seeker (NT)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Intuition (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Thinking (your supporting gift/talent)


Conceptualizer/ Director.  Theme is strategizing, envisioning, and masterminding.

Talents lie in defining goals, creating detailed plans, and outlining contingencies.

Devise strategy, give structure, establish complex plans to reach distant goals dictated by a strong vision of what is needed in the long run.

Thrive on putting theories to work and are open to any and all ideas that can be integrated into the complex systems they seek to understand.

Drive themselves hard to master what is needed to make progress toward goals.

INTJs are global thinkers with original minds.  Their dominant Introverted Intuition enables them to clearly see connections, and to understand the long-range implications of current actions and events.  Ingenious and innovative, INTJs have a unique talent for looking at almost anything and seeing how it can be improved.  This is true of the smallest product or service or can involve envisioning how best to restructure and refine whole organizational systems. But, by far, their favorite subject for improvement is themselves.  INTJs are on a constant quest to increase their knowledge and, by extension, their overall competence.

Creative and imaginative, INTJs are both intellectually curious and daring, even as they may be physically hesitant to try new things.  Able to quickly grasp and analyze complex issues, INTJs are excellent strategic problem solvers, with highly developed critical thinking skills that allow them to perform incisive analyses.  Constantly seeking new intellectual challenges, they set very high standards for themselves, and usually reach or exceed them.

However, because their least developed function is Extraverted Sensing, INTJs sometimes have difficulty operating in the real world.  They tend to spend so much of their time and energy in the inner world of ideas and perceptions that they may be completely unaware of, or unconcerned with, the details of their physical surroundings.  This can result in small consequences -- such as bumping into the furniture or wearing mismatched socks -- or large ones, such as failing to realistically assess the feasibility of a project because they are unaware of the cost of necessary resources.  And sometimes, because they tend to be abstract and theoretical, they have trouble communicating clearly with people who are not as technically oriented, or being patient as they try to find common ground.

And because INTJs are most comfortable operating from an intellectual level, they are sometimes unaware of the emotional reactions or states of others.  They may act in ways that are insensitive and neglectful of those close to them, and may need to be reminded to take time to appreciate and actively nurture those relationships.  Perfectionists who set very high standards both for themselves and others, INTJs can be condescending and/or patronizing to those who fail to live up to their expectations, and parsimonious with their praise for those who do.

Given their powers of concentration, INTJs often prefer to work alone, or with a small group of equally competent colleagues.  They are especially reticent to take the time and energy to explain themselves or their work to others they perceive to be less competent.  Because they are so private, they are very difficult to get to know.  They especially do not like to share their ideas or work until they feel it is perfect.  Hard workers capable of persevering against great odds, INTJs have enviable focus and determination, and will not be deterred from reaching their goals.  Their single-mindedness may come with a price, however, since it may result in their being stubborn and inflexible.  And INTJs may have particular difficulty making transitions from one project to another.  Usually, all it takes is an even more fascinating challenge to recapture their attention.

How to get along with INTJs


Submit new ideas and/or proposals in writing, and give them plenty of time to think about them before discussing.  Preview new experiences ahead of time.

Place careful attention to the strategy necessary for implementing your ideas.  Remember that INTJs place a very high value on competence.

Don't expect effusive appreciation or lavish praise for a job well done.  INTJs often consider both unnecessary, meaningless, and therefore, insulting.

Resist the temptation to finish their sentences.  Even if they seem to be rambling and you think you know where they are heading, it is far better to let them get there on their own.

Remember to make your case based on logic -- not personal preferences or extenuating circumstances.

Remember they are most concerned with the big picture and how the idea fits in with their larger mission.

Don't take criticism personally.


Tips for INTJs


Solicit input from others and be open to having your ideas challenged.

 Avoid being self-righteous and defensive.  Don't reject others' views outright just because they are different from yours.

Pay attention to physical symptoms of stress before they get to the crisis stage.  Recognize your limitations and slow down your pace.

Show appreciation to others based on merit, not just on your standards of perfection.  Don't demand of others the same intensity you demand of yourself.

If you want to improve your relationships with others, beware of being aloof, demanding, or insensitive with criticism.

In a negative situation, be willing to take responsibility for your part.

Learn to be flexible.  Be willing to give in on less important points and details with others.

Consider working for yourself.  Many INTJ's are too independent to work for others or in the corporate world and are good at creating something new.

Make time for artistic pursuits or creative hobbies that have no immediate purpose or application.

Let go of trying to control everything in life.


Hallmarks of an INTJ




Systems Minded






















Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 4 and 7 percent of the American population


TemperamentAction Seeker (SP)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Thinking (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Sensing (your supporting gift/talent)


Analyzer/ Operator.  Theme is action-driven problem solving.

Talents lie in operating all kinds of tools and instruments and using frameworks for solving problems.

Keen observers of the environment, they are a storehouse of data and facts relevant to analyzing and solving problems.

Thrive on challenging situations and having the freedom to craft clever solutions and do whatever it takes to fix things and make them work.

Take pride in their skill and virtuosity, which they seem to effortlessly acquire.

Independent, self-contained, and often aloof, ISTPs are the ultimate pragmatists.  They are supremely cool and objective about all things, even-tempered and unflappable.  In times of crisis or high anxiety, they are able to focus on the demands of the moment and apply their dominant Introverted Thinking to solving problems with skill and dispatch.  They are at their best responding to challenges that arise spontaneously, preferring to get busy and skip a lot of discussion or preplanning.  Once they "put out the fire," they have little energy for the follow through and little need to reap praise.

Resourceful and adaptable, ISTPs seem to possess an innate understanding of how anything works -- from toasters to computers.  They are especially effective when they combine their keen powers of observation with their talent for logical analysis to solve problems.  But since people rarely act with the same logical predictability that things do, ISTPs are generally less skilled or effective dealing with interpersonal conflicts.  The inherent inconsistency and irrationality of human beings is both so confusing and frustrating to ISTPs that they will frequently just walk away from a personal conflict rather than be left feeling helpless and inept.  Very private about personal matters, they rarely share their innermost feelings or fears, even with people they know well and trust.

Realistic and extremely practical, ISTPs are people of action and self-direction.  They like to work alone or alongside other skilled and capable people, figuring things out for themselves without outside help or input.  Although they seek fun and action in both their work and personal lives, ISTPs really feel the most alive when they are doing something independent, risky, or even dangerous.  So strong is the allure of the adrenaline rush that they often seek occupations which place them in harm's way.  And even those ISTPs whose jobs involve great risk, such as firefighters, police officers, or pilots, often seek additional thrills in their choice of recreational activities by racing cars, riding motorcycles, or skiing expert slopes.

Direct, honest, and down-to-earth, ISTPs tend to be literal and explicit and find pretentious


How to get along with ISTPs


Respect their privacy, give them plenty of space, and don't push yourself on them; avoid attempting intimacy unless they initiate or clearly desire it.

Be pragmatic; make sure suggestions or requests are well thought out, realistic, practical, and workable.

Appeal to their need for action; whenever possible, take advantage of their ability to stay calm, think clearly, and respond quickly in a crisis or emergency.

Try not to overschedule their time or limit their ability to act spontaneously by imposing too many rules or too much structure.  Be explicit about the requirements you need or responsibilities you expect them to fulfill.

Avoid making appeals based on emotion; rather, make sure there is a logical rationale for suggestions and proposals.

Listen carefully when they do share personal information.  Most ISTPs will say something only once, and if you miss it, they may still assume you heard them and not repeat it.


Tips for ISTPs


Take a break from immediate results by thinking about long-range goals and what you want for the future.

Learn to consider that another's point of view has possibilities that you haven't thought of.

Realize that people do things differently and that there are many ways of structuring life.  Expand beyond black-and-white thinking.

Mention points where you agree with another person before bringing up the places where you disagree.

Point out the good things about others, not just the things to correct.  When due, give an appreciative word of praise.

Act on you affectionate impulses once in a while, letting others know they are important to you.

Make time for your significant relationships.

Learn ways to express your feelings and to achieve greater openness in communication.  Share your insights more openly.


Hallmarks of an ISTP


























Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 5 and 7 percent of the American population


TemperamentAction Seeker (SP)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Feeling (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Sensing (your supporting gift/talent)


Composer/Producer.  Theme is composing, using whatever is at hand to get a harmonious, aesthetic result.

Talents lie in combining, varying, and improvising, frequently in the arts but also in business and elsewhere.

With their senses keenly tuned in they become totally absorbed in the action of the moment, finding just what fits the situation or the composition.

Thrive on having the freedom to vary what they do until they get just the right effect.

Take action to help others demonstrate values.

Kind and sensitive to the suffering of others.

Gentle, sensitive, and compassionate, ISFPs are the most unassuming and down-to-earth of all types.  Typically people of few words, they demonstrate their commitment and loyalty to their friends, families, and the few causes that are near to their hearts with actions, rather than words.  Modest and reserved, under the surface these dominant Introverted Feelers nevertheless feel all things personally.  ISFPs are deeply affected by the pain, unhappiness, or misfortune of others, but hide their vulnerability behind a veneer of detachment, appearing cool and removed.  It can take a long time to really get to know an ISFP, for they are intensely private people, and highly selective about whom they take into their confidence.  Only trusted friends are privy to their deepest thoughts and feelings.

ISFPs are so sensitive, they tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders.  Observant and curious, they are quick to notice what other people need.  Since they want so much to help others, they can become overly involved.  And because their least developed function is Extraverted Thinking, they often lose their objectivity in the process.  Since they tend to be unassertive, they don't readily speak up in their own defense, and are sometimes taken advantage of by others who are less considerate and more assertive.  In their desire to maintain harmony and please others, they also may be less than forthcoming about their true feelings of resentment, holding on to their hurt feelings and resentment for longer than is healthy for them.  Some ISFPs are vulnerable to fast-talking, charismatic but unscrupulous people because they are so inherently trusting.  It never occurs to them to look for anything but the best in others.  Developing a bit of healthy skepticism will protect them from being disappointed by others.

Patient and flexible, ISFPs are especially tolerant and accepting of life.  They rarely criticize the actions or beliefs of other people.  They tend to follow the path of least resistance, accommodating and responding to change rather than trying to control or resist it.  Focused and concerned with living life to the fullest in the present moment, they find beauty and joy in simple pleasures.  Because they value an inner balance for themselves, they like to keep their lives as uncomplicated as possible, and rarely place a higher importance on their work than on their family or personal lives.  And because they dislike preplanning, they sometimes find themselves taken by surprise by unpleasant situations that could have been avoided.  Similarly, because they don't naturally or easily imagine what might be coming down the road, they may become pessimistic and discouraged when it looks as though they have no options.  Along with their relaxed and easygoing style often comes great difficulty getting and staying organized.  Trying to manage complicated or long-range projects can leave them feeling overwhelmed.  They are usually much happier working quietly, behind the scenes, doing their best as part of a caring team.


How to get along with ISFPs


Respect their privacy; don't push them into doing things, especially in public, before they are comfortable.

Don't be loud, overbearing, or argumentative; avoid confrontations at all costs.  Speak quietly, privately, and gently.

Be specific and explicit.  If possible, refer to instances in their personal experience in which similar ideas or suggestions were successfully implemented.

Appeal to their sensitivity and desire to help people.  Stress the practicality of your idea or proposal, and show how it will benefit others in a concrete way.

Give them plenty of time to react to proposals or suggestions, especially new ones.

Solicit their opinions and avoid trying to control them; don't misinterpret their compliant, cooperative nature as agreement with, or enthusiasm for, you plan or suggestion.

Make it fun.  Incorporate social and other downtime to break the project into manageable pieces.


Tips for ISFPs


Become more assertive about things that are important to you.

Express your opinions and feelings.  Avoid "I don't know" or "Whatever you want" answers.

If you are unfulfilled in your work, find a job that expresses your ideals.  Ask for help sorting out career options and priorities and then take action.

Express your affection in words some of the time.

Develop objectivity and a healthy skepticism toward people in order to recognize those who don't have your best interests at heart.

Become aware of when you use activities as diversions to escape from pain and conflict.

Avoid the tendency to leave projects unfinished and goals unmet when there are too many demands on you.  Remember your own priorities and go after them.

Break jobs down into manageable pieces.  Use your short-term planning skills to get things done and acknowledge yourself when you meet each goal.

Pay more attention to time, especially when being prompt affects those you care about.

Be as gentle with yourself as you are with others.  Beware of self-critical thoughts.

Appreciate and value your accomplishments and all you give to others.  The world needs your gifts.


Hallmarks of an ISFP


























Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 3 and 4 percent of the American population


TemperamentIdeal Seeker (NF)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Feeling (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Intuition (your supporting gift/talent)


Harmonizer/ Clarifier.  Theme is advocacy and integrity.

Talents lie in helping people clarify issues, values, and identity.

Support anything that allows the unfolding of the person.

Encourage growth and development with quiet enthusiasm.

Loyal advocates and champions, caring deeply about their causes and a few special people.

Interested in contemplating life's mysteries, virtues, and vices in their search for wholeness.

Thrive on healing conflicts, within and between, and taking people to the center of themselves.

INFPs are on a lifelong quest for meaning and inner harmony.  Their dominant function is Introverted Feeling, so they are driven by their deeply felt personal values, and are passionately committed to make sure their beliefs and actions are congruent.  Their need for authenticity and personal integrity is so strong, they simply can't do something they don't believe in their heart is right.  Sensitive and caring, INFPs have great empathy for people, and can be extremely nurturing and comforting to those they feel close to.  However, because they are so selective about what and whom they allow to enter their private world, they may appear rather cool, aloof, and even uncaring to people who don't t know them well.  It can take a long time to really get to know an INFP.

Because INFPs' least developed function is Extraverted Thinking, and because they feel things so deeply, they have difficulty stepping back and considering things objectively.  Since they take almost everything personally, they frequently get their feelings hurt quite easily.  Even remarks that are not intended to be critical can cause them pain.  And comments or actions that unintentionally offend INFPs' values are often experienced as a personal affront.  Rather than confront the offender, INFPs are more likely to keep their feelings to themselves, allowing the resentment to fester.  And they are often reluctant even to discuss the matter later, so sometimes INFPs will simply drop people from their lives, rather than make the effort to work it out.  Ironically, because INFPs tend to idealize relationships, they are often disappointed when someone does not live up to their expectations.

Creative and imaginative, INFPs have a great curiosity about the world, and often have a passionate and lifelong love of the arts.  They especially appreciate new and unusual forms of self-expression.  Not bound by convention or traditional ways of doing things, INFPs do not follow the pack, and, in fact, often feel a little out of sync with the rest of the world.  Open-minded, and adaptable in small things, they are usually supportive and tolerant of others with alternative lifestyles, as long as their behavior or customs don't have a personal impact on INFPs, or cause them to compromise their values.  In those cases, the INFP can become rigid and unforgiving.

INFPs' primary focus is inward, and many have highly developed and deeply meaningful spiritual components to their lives.  Sometimes their preoccupation with self-awareness can keep them from noticing or participating in some of the more pedestrian activities of the outside world.  While they naturally imagine possibilities and consider how things are related to one another, they don't tend to be especially realistic or practical.  They may find the more mundane, day-to-day activities of life unfulfilling and may have to work hard to stay on top of them.  INFPs often enjoy spending large periods of time alone, in quiet reflection, reading, or writing.  They are happiest when they can totally immerse themselves in interesting and personally meaningful projects. 


How to get along with INFPs


INFPs are very sensitive to criticism and view everything personally.  However, they may never come out and tell you that you've hurt their feelings.  If in doubt, stay away from or tread lightly with topics you think they may be sensitive about.

Be very careful not to dismiss, discount, or make light of things they consider important.  If you do, you run the risk of damaging your relationship permanently, since INFPs may hold grudges longer than other types.

If possible, find out how you idea, suggestion, or proposal fits in with one of their passions, and try to link the two, or point out commonalities.

Give them plenty of time to consider your ideas.  Be prepared to discuss the impact they will have on others, including the future implications.

If relevant, convey your sincere belief in the value of what you are proposing.  If you are not genuine, it will be obvious to them, and they will immediately, and perhaps permanently, reject your idea or proposal.

Respect their style of decision making, which usually requires time and privacy to mull ideas over, consider alternatives all along the way, change plans as new information is discovered, perhaps even start all over if the central mission or concept is corrupted by too much external influence.

Remember that INFPs are process people.  Build time for revision, modification, and reflection into any schedule.


Tips for INFPs


Avoid spending too much time considering possibilities and options instead of acting on them.

Find a way to give external expression to your ideals.  Share your values, visions, and emotions with those close to you.

Take a risk by putting yourself and your work out in the world.

Avoid focusing on other people's needs at the expense of your own.  This is important in order to conserve your energy and maintain your focus.

Learn to set boundaries, to say no, and to offer honest criticism when needed.

Avoid procrastinating and try to stick to deadlines.  Make lists of your priorities to remind you of what's most important.

Follow through with your commitments.  Beware of perfectionism which can sometimes delay you from completing tasks.

Ask others for help instead of always relying on your own resources.

When you have a problem, ask a friend to just listen to you and not give advice while you talk it through.

Find people you trust to help you identify and let go of your unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.

When conflicts arise, voice your objections; if bottled up they will explode uncontrollably later.

Offer advice and consolation to others.  You have special gifts in this area but often are reluctant to express yourself.

Honor your values and make choices based on them even if it seems like the rest of the world does not understand them.


Hallmarks of an INFP



























Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 3 and 4 percent of the American population


TemperamentKnowledge Seeker (NT)


Dominant FunctionIntroverted Thinking (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionExtraverted Intuition (your supporting gift/talent)


Designer/ Theorizer.  Theme is designing and configuring.

Talents lie in grasping the underlying principles of something and defining its essential qualities.

Seek to define precisely and bring coherence to systems based on the pattern of organization that is naturally there.

Easily notice inconsistencies.

Enjoy elegant theories and models for their own sake and for use in technical and human problems.

Interested in theorizing, analyzing, and learning.

Thrive on exploring, understanding, and explaining how the world works.

As dominant Introverted Thinkers, INTPs are intensely logical, analytical people.  They are at their best turning concepts, ideas, and problems over in their minds.  Like the tumblers inside a lock rotating until they find the correct combination, INTPs search for the perfect solution or approach.  Detached, intellectual, and complex people, INTPs are constantly on the lookout for increasingly difficult creative challenges.

Independent, skeptical, and often brilliant, INTPs are innately self-assured people.  They possess an inner confidence that they can tackle any problem by logically working their way through it.  In a crisis, they are generally unflappable, remaining amazingly calm and unperturbed, even when they are up against seemingly insurmountable odds.  They are fascinated with power and are rarely intimidated by anyone or anything.

But INTPs are also easily bored with simple issues, and tend to pay little attention to mundane facts or details.  They are especially intolerant of redundancy, in thought or discussion, and may simply ignore those things they see as trivial.  This tendency can also give them a rather arrogant attitude, especially when they tune out people who may still be struggling to understand something the INTP has already figured out.  Since Extraverted Feeling is their least developed function, they are less generally aware of, and often out of touch with, the needs, and especially the feelings, of others.  So while they are usually patient with people who are genuinely eager and quick to learn, they may be demanding and condescending with those who need more hand-holding.

Creative and often ingenious, INTPs see possibilities where others do not.  They have a global perspective and are quick to find subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.  Intellectual risk takers, they are usually very curious and eager to learn new things, in an effort to become more competent.  While they are especially capable at almost anything they deem worth the effort, they are often not nearly as competent in the area of interpersonal relationships, closing off those who love them from their most private reactions and feelings.  And often, they are not even aware of their own or others' feelings about important issues.  They do not understand that other people need more reassurance than they do, since they view their commitments as self-evident.

Because INTPs often spend so much time in the world of ideas, they can become so complicated and removed that it is difficult for them to communicate simply and effectively with other people.  And since they rarely focus their impressive powers of concentration on the details, they may miss important realities that could make their ideas more workable.  INTPs absorb new information with incredible speed, and can synthesize it almost immediately.  They are good at seeing flaws in ideas and generating innovative solutions.  But because they are really energized by the creative process and working out the problems, they often have more energy for starting projects than they do for finishing them.  Although they usually resist it, when they occasionally allow others to help them implement their vision, the results can be impressive.


How to get along with INTPs


Be prepared to consider as many options as possible, and anticipate that decisions which have been made may change as new information becomes available.

Challenge their creative problem-solving skills.  INTPs seldom encounter a problem that they cannot solve.  The trickier the issue, the more they will enjoy it, and the more energized they will become.

Give INTPs adequate time to "noodle" ideas around before expecting them to act on them.

If possible, spare them the boredom of working out the details.  Instead, let them focus on the creative, more challenging aspects of a problem or situation.

Let them know that you respect their competence and expertise.

Respect their privacy and don't probe for information about their personal lives unless they are willing to share.  Even close friends are wise to let the INTP initiate personal discussions.


Tips for INTPs


Be sensitive to others' desires and needs.  Learn about what matters personally to those you care about.

Beware of being overly critical, condescending, or so focused on what you are saying that you ignore others' lack of interest.

Learn to simplify what you write or say so that others will be able to understand you.

Express appreciation and acknowledgement for others' accomplishments and talents.  Give praise even for the little things.

Don't put off making decisions just because there is one flaw in your plan.  Move plans out of the conceptual stage and take action.

Learn to be more self-revealing and experiment with communicating how you feel inside.

Speak up in group discussions even though a thought or idea may seem obvious to you.

Avoid responding defensively when your logic or ideas are challenged.

Beware of being so busy observing and figuring out life that you may forget to participate in life itself.


Hallmarks of an INTP










Precise in Thought

Precise in Language







Quick Thinkers


Deep Thinkers

Problem Solving





Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 6 and 8 percent of the American population


TemperamentAction Seeker (SP)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Sensing (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Thinking (your supporting gift/talent)


Promoter/ Executor.  Theme is promoting.

Talents lie in persuading others and expediting to make things happen.

Have an engaging, winning style that others are drawn to.

Adept at picking up on minimal nonverbal cues.

Anticipate the actions and reactions of others and thus win their confidence.

Like the excitement and challenge of negotiating, selling, making deals, arbitrating, and in general, achieving the impossible.

Thrive on action and the freedom to use all resources at hand to reach desired outcomes.

For ESTPs, life is full of one fun-packed adventure after another.  Active, curious, and playful, these dominant Extraverted Sensors notice everything around them and are active participants in every aspect of their physical life.  Responsive and adaptable, ESTPs act first, rarely thinking through the consequences -- especially any long-term implications of how their actions may affect other people.  Realistic, yet impulsive, they immediately seize upon any exciting opportunity that presents itself.  Superobservant, ESTPs are indiscriminate about the sensory impressions they notice, as they constantly scan the environment and people around them.  They learn best when they are physically engaged in the process, talking through what they are doing, and commenting on the many details they see, feel, and hear.

Full of energy, ESTPs love all kinds of surprises, and willingly join in whatever is going on around them, as long as it doesn't get too involved, complicated, or intense.  Because their least developed function is Introverted Intuition, when conversations get too serious or discussions too theoretical, or when things are overly planned, they grow bored and restless.  To try and lighten up the mood, they may act silly or treat issues with too much superficiality.  Most ESTPs love the outdoors and are avid sports fans.  Of all of the sixteen types, ESTPs are perhaps the most naturally athletic and coordinated, learning physical skills and tricks almost effortlessly.  They typically have a host of interests and hobbies, which they are ready to plunge into at a moment's notice.  This is good because they often have trouble sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Happiest when they are totally immersed at all times in the action of the moment, ESTPs are usually good at immediate problem solving, bringing logic and objectivity to their analysis.  They are often quite pragmatic, and are poised to change directions quickly if they think there is a better or more expedient approach.  As ESTPs age, most grow increasingly more conservative in their attitudes and political leanings, but they usually maintain a "forever young" attitude about themselves and their own lifestyles.

Friendly, talkative, and energetic, ESTPs love to laugh and joke around, and are naturally flirtatious.  Easygoing and casual, they tend to know a lot of people and are popular, since they are so much fun to be around.  The life of the party, they are also often the first to try physical feats of daring or risk.  They can sometimes give the erroneous impression that they are more emotionally invested in an idea or a relationship than they really are.  And they may have to work hard to overcome their tendency to move on to greener pastures once things become too familiar or predictable.  ESTPs are often so eager for the next physical thrill or experience, they sometimes neglect to follow through on the projects they've already started and can wind up disappointing or letting people down who are counting on them.  When they put their minds to something, however, they are usually able to pull it off with skill and style, even if it is at the last moment!


How to get along with ESTPs


Engage them in the process; expect and prepare for a vigorous, challenging, and even good-naturedly confrontational give-and-take.

Lighten up!  Make the conversation or presentation fun; don't misconstrue their casual, easygoing style and perhaps good-natured ribbing or comments as a lack of interest or support for your project.

Base your reasoning and argument on the pragmatic outcome you desire, emphasizing practical benefits; avoid appeals based on emotion.

Keep it simple.  Present ideas in a straightforward way; avoid long, complicated, involved explanations or rationales.  Use plenty of specific and sensory examples and action words to convey your meaning and intention.

When possible, give them more than one option to consider and the opportunity to modify the plan.

If appropriate, appeal to their willingness to take calculated risks.


Tips for ESTPs


If you want to gain the respect of others at work, be mindful of the standard ways of doing things.

In order to gain more acceptance for your projects, develop a plan of action rather than always relying on improvisation.

Resist the urge to deal only with the immediate exciting problems instead of the less exciting but important tasks.

Beware of overwhelming others with your assertiveness and bluntness.  Save some of your outrageous behavior for when you're with your outrageous friends.

Try to be generous with the personal things that show you care.

Remember to say "I love you" and give encouragement and praise.

Avoid getting so involved in your projects and adventures that you forget about your friends and loved ones.

Look beyond material pleasures to other things of more lasting value.

Consider how your actions impact yourself and others.  Worry a little!

Keep in mind that excitement, surprise, and variety are not always comforting for types who prefer more stability, consistency, and predictability.

Learn to recognize and appreciate people's differences and to consider others in decision-making.

Take the time to reflect on your experiences in order to see which ones are valuable, rewarding, and satisfying to you.


Hallmarks of an ESTP








Fun Loving




Activity Oriented









Quick Witted




Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 8 and 10 percent of the American population


TemperamentAction Seeker (SP)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Sensing (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Feeling (your supporting gift/talent)


Motivator/ Presenter.  Theme is performance.

Warm, charming, and witty.

Want to impact and help others, to evoke their enjoyment, and to stimulate them to act.

Want to make a difference and do something meaningful.

Often masterful at showmanship, entertaining, motivating, and presenting.

Thrive on social interaction, joyful living, and the challenge of the unknown.

Like helping people get what they want and need, facilitating them to get results.

ESFPs are natural performers who delight in surprising and entertaining people.  Warm, outgoing, and friendly, they are usually vivacious and talkative.  They know a lot of people and, as long as the people are nice, they seem to like everyone equally well.  Animated and fun loving, ESFPs prefer to be at the center of the action, surrounded by other easygoing, optimistic, and considerate people, laughing, talking, or sharing a common interest or activity.  Enthusiastic and high spirited, social and spontaneous, ESFPs can find it hard to settle down and finish their work because they are so easily distracted.

Down-to-earth and practical people, ESFPs are so focused on whatever they are doing at the moment, they can sometimes be ambushed by their least developed function, Introverted Intuition, since they do not naturally anticipate future events, or consider the effect their current choices may have on the future.  Due to their dominant Extraverted Sensing, ESFPs are realistic and literal, they appreciate the simple pleasures of life and tend to notice beauty everywhere.  ESFPs like to fill their homes, offices, and cars with objects from nature or sensory delights like soft fabrics, bright colors, and sweet smells.  They take pride in their appearance and often spend time and energy keeping themselves fit and attractive.  Their busy social lives and many active, physical interests and hobbies fill every free moment, and they are often rushing breathlessly from one experience to another.  Since they live completely in the present moment, and do not like to plan ahead, they may find themselves overextended.  And because they hate to miss out on anything, they leave so many options open that they may have real trouble making decisions, or focusing on only one project at a time.  Often running late or forgetting appointments in the flurry of their busy lives, ESFPs feel very guilty when they unintentionally let people down.

Generous and eager to please, ESFPs are loyal friends and great companions.  They are curious people, who accept life as it is, and rarely come to things with preconceived notions or agendas.  Unpretentious and matter-of-fact, they also are very sensitive to other people's feelings, and tend to take criticism and rejection very personally.  While they are generally open and expressive, they do tend to keep their most private feelings to themselves, and are selective about whom they share them with.  Since they find conflict and tension between people uncomfortable, they will rarely initiate a confrontation, and simply avoid overbearing and insensitive people.  Eager to help others, they are most satisfied when they can make a tangible contribution, and are most gratified to see and hear that their efforts have made a real difference to someone in need.

Sympathetic and compassionate, they may be disappointed by people when they refuse to see anything but the most positive attributes of others.  They may even become overly involved in other people's problems and have a hard time breaking free of unhealthy relationships.  Since they rarely apply objective analysis to their decision making, instead relying solely on their personal feelings and values, they run the risk of becoming confused or being taken advantage of.  Finding a balance between deciding with the head or the heart can be a lifelong, but worthwhile, challenge for many ESFPs.


How to get along with ESFPs


Be direct and straightforward; do not present ideas in terms of complicated theories, concepts, or hypothetical situations.  Stick with what is real and realistic.

Be friendly, relaxed, and casual, since ESFPs tend not to respond well to uptight people; be attentive to their physical needs and comforts.

Make your pitch based on the practical ways your idea or proposal will benefit others; appeal to their common sense.

Respect their privacy; don't misread their gregariousness as a desire to reveal intimate details or feelings.

Describe sequentially the way projects are to be completed, and be very clear about what is expected.

Be polite and complimentary.  Show your appreciation for their efforts.  If you have any criticism, make sure to point out something positive and tangible first.

Respond immediately to their requests.  Don't ask them to wait too long or postpone activities into the future, if possible.  These action-oriented people live for today.

Surprise them.  Whenever appropriate, make a party or a game out of everyday chores or activities.


Tips for ESFPs


Do not ignore troubling situations in hope that they will go away.  Realize that positive thinking won't solve every problem.  Allow negative feelings to emerge and get into the "dirt" when necessary.

Avoid making snap decisions in crises that you may later regret.

Be careful of getting so involved in all your activities that you forget about your responsibilities.

Resist the urge to drop what you've started when a more interesting situation arises. 

Take time to digest and reflect on your experiences instead of just accumulating new ones.

Beware of becoming overly focused on material things for happiness.

Keep in mind that variety and excitement are not what all types crave.  Don't tell people they're party poopers just because they're not like you.

Take care of your health.  Avoid overextending, overindulging, and excess stimulation.  Avoid taking on so much at once that you end up feeling scattered, frazzled, and overextended.

Don't forget to spend time alone just to check in with yourself; listen to your inner voice.

Become aware of your own values and goals in order to gain clarity about the larger meaning of your life.


Hallmarks of an ESFP


























Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 6 and 7 percent of the American population


TemperamentIdeal Seeker (NF)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Intuition (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Feeling (your supporting gift/talent)


Discoverer/ Advocate.  The theme is inspiration, both of themselves and others.

Talents lie in grasping profound significance, revealing truths, and motivating others.

Very perceptive of others' hidden motives and purposes.

Interested in everything about individuals and their stories as long as they are genuine.

Contagious enthusiasm for "causes" that further good and develop latent potential and the same zeal for disclosing dishonesty and inauthenticity.

Frequently moved to enthusiastically communicate their "message."

ENFPs are driven by possibilities.  Because their dominant function is Extraverted Intuition, they are compelled to see beyond the present or obvious and to understand things, especially people.  They have an almost insatiable curiosity, which they usually apply to a wide spectrum of interests.  Enthusiastic, friendly, and energetic, ENFPs are generally fun-loving people, even as they seek to find meaning in all they do.

Unconventional and occasionally irreverent, ENFPs are seldom impressed by authority or rules. To the contrary!  They pride themselves on their uniqueness and originality, and are talented at solving problems and overcoming obstacles, including finding creative ways to bend rules they consider unnecessary.  One of ENFPs' greatest gifts is their belief that nothing is impossible!  Brainstorming possibilities, and bouncing ideas off other creative people, is one of their favorite pastimes.

Because ENFPs' least developed function is Introverted Sensing, they are often inattentive to details.  They frequently are searching for some lost object, and tasks like proofreading that require them to focus all their attention on a single activity -- especially for long periods of time -- can be extremely draining.  While ENFPs are usually capable of generating a torrent of new ideas, they can lack the realistic judgment to determine if any of them are practical and workable.  And because they are driven by the idea, rather than by the reality, they can become easily bored and neglect to follow through on details once a project has moved past the fun and energizing inspiration stage.

ENFPs are usually well-connected people, counting among their legion of friends and associates people from many different walks of life.  Because they hate to "close doors," they tend to maintain friendships for many years.  They are enthusiastic and effective catalysts who derive great satisfaction from drawing on their huge network to put people together for their mutual benefit.  Perceptive, insightful, and empathetic, they are often gifted at understanding others' motivations.  And they are usually good talkers, capable of persuading people of the merits of their positions.

Because ENFPs enjoy keeping their options open, and not being tied down, they may experience great difficulty making decisions -- especially important ones, which can result in a tendency toward procrastination.  ENFPs generally don't work well alone, and can be easily distracted and diverted from the task at hand (especially if it is not something they are excited about).  Because they are so sensitive, they tend to take things personally and avoid situations that involve interpersonal conflict.  They may avoid confronting issues or people when it would really be in their best interest to do so.

Warm, caring, and concerned, ENFPs have strong personal values upon which they base most decisions, especially important ones.  They are deeply committed to their many friends, and are usually eager and willing to help a friend at a moment's notice.  While usually cheerful, ENFPs can become withdrawn and moody when they become frightened or overwhelmed.  In the throes of their gloomier side, their usual perceptiveness can become badly flawed, and they may misjudge others' intentions and motives and generally feel pessimistic and alone.  Being reassured by those they care about usually helps restore their natural optimism.


How to get along with ENFPs


Be prepared to discuss many topics and answer a lot of questions.

Don't overwhelm them with details, especially those concerning projects or ideas they are not already heavily invested in.

Challenge their creativity.  ENFPs love nothing better than seeing possibilities and generating unique, helpful solutions.

Present them with lots of options.  If at all possible, don't limit their choices or restrict their ability to come up with alternatives.  Never point out why their ideas won't work.

Appeal to their enormous sense of the possible, especially with regard to getting what they want or helping others achieve something that is important to them.

Respect their personal privacy.  Don't ask them to share their feelings publicly.  While they like to be appreciated for their contributions, they are often embarrassed when praised publicly.

Keep presentations interesting and the pace moving.  The more you involve them, the more invested they will become.  Make chores and required tasks fun.

Don't be too formal or structured, or overwhelm them with too many rules or procedures.  If at all possible, encourage (or at least tolerate) their desire to act spontaneously.


Tips for ENFPs


Avoid squandering your energy by going in too many directions.  Be clear about what you want to devote your time and energy to.

Know and accept your limitations.  Avoid the tendency of over- committing yourself and then feeling stressed and fragmented.

Once you decide on a course of action don't give up on it for some new idea or Option that comes along.  Persevere through the duller routines of life.

Don't let impromptu socializing or other distractions take you away from less exciting but nonetheless important tasks.

Take your time settling doom.  Wait until you're older to make final relationship and career choices.

Make commitments that are realistic.

Practice breaking large projects into component parts and take all the necessary steps to make them happen.

When starting a project, pay attention to what will actually be required.  Factor in the details and facts in order to estimate how long an activity will take.  Leave extra time, "just in case."

Consider working for yourself since you can be individualistic and rebellious.

Avoid rushing into new relationships.  Take your time getting to know people.

Consider how others will be affected by what you say before you blurt out your feelings.

Avoid offering "helpful" insights when not asked.  Check to see if others want your advice and opinions.


Hallmarks of an ENFP


























Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving

Estimated to be between 4 and 6 percent of the American population


TemperamentKnowledge Seeker (NT)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Intuition (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Thinking (your supporting gift/talent)


Explorer/ Inventor.  Theme is inventing.

Find ingenious solutions to people and technical problems.

Talents lie in developing ideas into functional and innovative applications that are the first of their kind.

Thrive on finding new ways to use theories to make systems more efficient and people better off.

Hunger for new projects.

Have faith in their ability to instantly come up with new approaches that will work.

Engineers of human relationships and systems as well as in the more scientific and technological domains.

ENTPs usually make a great impression, and often have a natural gift for getting people excited about their ideas.  Charming, outgoing, and friendly, they are extremely perceptive and skillful at communicating with all kinds of people.  As dominant Extraverted Intuitives, they possess the ability to see the big picture and anticipate trends, a willingness to take reasonable risks, and enormous confidence.  Their enthusiasm is so infectious, and their negotiating skills so accomplished, they are often able to persuade others to join them in their always innovative, and often successful, ventures.

But ENTPs can sabotage their best inspirations by neglecting their least developed function, which is Introverted Sensing.  Many of their best ideas never come to fruition because they do not pay close attention to important details, grow bored after the initial, creative phase of the project has been completed, or tend to ignore the important follow-through on the many commitments they make.  For many ENTPs, it is definitely the thrill of the chase, rather than having obtained the prize, that is most exciting, energizing, and satisfying.

Although they are Thinkers, ENTPs like to please people and have a strong need to be liked.  Comfortable occupying center stage, they enjoy demonstrating their cleverness and sophisticated language skills -- which usually include an impressive vocabulary and penchant for puns.  Eager to entertain their many friends and acquaintances, they are often funny, witty, and engaging storytellers.  ENTPs are also superb negotiators who know how to use their strategic thinking skills to get what they want.  Despite their outward charm and facility with people, they are ultimately pragmatic decision makers, capable of analyzing situations objectively, weighing the pros and cons dispassionately, and making decisions that are politically expedient.

But because they are so personable, engaging, and apparently sincere, ENTPs may disappoint or even alienate their friends and supporters when they fail to follow through on their commitments or when they talk a better game than they actually play.  People find this behavior inconsistent, confusing, and misleading, and can come to mistrust the ENTP.

ENTPs are very flexible and adaptable, and able to turn on a dime and go in the opposite direction if the situation calls for it.  Neither particularly liberal or conservative by nature, ENTPs are aware of the rules of the game, and masters at bending them to suit their purposes.  Curious and open-minded, they are extremely process oriented, preferring to continue collecting data and keeping their options open as long as possible.  But because they so dislike closing off options, many ENTPs have difficulty making decisions or sticking with choices already made.  For ENTPs who have this problem, there can be some serious consequences.  They run the risk of becoming chronic procrastinators, squandering their inspiration, and never reaching their true potential.  And they may develop a reputation for being indecisive and untrustworthy.  Fortunately, most ENTPs who have these tendencies are smart enough to recognize their destructive potential, learn from their mistakes, and change their behavior.  And, usually, when they focus even a bit of their considerable talents, they reap great rewards.


How to get along with ENTPs


Be prepared to talk about your idea and especially to answer a myriad of questions that may occur to the ENTP spontaneously.

Emphasize the way your idea/proposal/suggestion is new and different.  The more innovative, the more appealing it will be to the ENTP.

Don't overwhelm them with details.  It's the big picture that is important to them.  They have innate confidence that if the idea is good, the bugs can be worked out later.

Be flexible and solicit their suggestions.  They will likely see ways of improving the idea and may want to put their own thumbprint on it as well.  Be prepared for the possibility they will want to share any credit derived from the project's success.

If feasible, always present them with several different options to consider, rather than just one.

Don't force them to make decisions before they are ready.  However, you may well have to nudge them into ultimately making a decision, and lobby convincingly for letting some decisions stand once made, since their natural inclination might be to revisit it repeatedly as new information becomes available.


Tips for ENTPs


Avoid squandering your energies on too many projects.  Try to pick those that have the most potential value and focus on them.

Estimate the time you think a project will take, and whatever that is, double it.

Try to ally yourself with someone who enjoys the follow-through phase of a project.

When presenting an idea, prepare in advance rather than just relying on improvisation.  This can help you gain more support for your projects.

Remember that your endless ideas can be tiring to others.  Keep some of them to yourself.

Learn to work within the system or arrange things to become self-employed so you can thrive on the autonomy you crave.

Avoid overextending yourself, partying too much, or overindulging to the point of saturation.  Make time for activities that can help release stress and excess energy wisely.

Remember that arguing, debating, and matching wits can be fun for some people, but it will wear others out.

Avoid interrupting others and learn the benefits of listening.

Be accountable.  Take deadlines seriously.  Respect others' time and need for planning.

Slow down and pay attention to the simple facts and joys of everyday life all around you.  Create times when there's nothing you have to do.

Learn to accept your emotional pain and negative feelings.  They are natural parts of life.


Hallmarks of an ENTP


























Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging

Estimated to be between 12 and 15 percent of the American population


TemperamentDuty Seeker (SJ)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Thinking (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Sensing (your supporting gift/talent)


Implementor/ Supervisor.  Theme is supervising, with an eye to the traditions and regulations of the group.

Responsible, hardworking, and efficient.

Interested in ensuring that standards are met, resources conserved, and consequences delivered.

Talents lie in bringing order, structure, and completion.

Want to keep order so the organization, group, family, or culture will be preserved.

Thrive on organizing and following through with commitments and teaching others how to be successful.

ESTJs are the consummate project managers.  Regardless of the nature of the task to be accomplished or whether they do it as part of their job or for fun, these dominant Extraverted Thinkers are most talented at realistically sizing up a situation, setting goals, determining available resources, and organizing and supervising the personnel to make sure the job gets done correctly, always in the most efficient manner.  Logical and analytical, ESTJs are natural leaders and quick decision makers.  Their serious, no-nonsense approach to life inspires confidence and trust from the people they work and live with.  Respected for their objectivity and fairness, ESTJs live by a code that includes working hard and behaving honorably and ethically. They are seldom accused of playing favorites or acting capriciously.  Thoroughly committed to the organizations they belong to, they are willing to take on difficult assignments and make the tough decisions for the good of the organization. 

Because ESTJs' least developed function is Introverted Feeling, they may inadvertently act insensitively at times.  But when they do, it is because they are not very tuned in to the emotional side of people, and, consequently, they may not consider how people feel about an issue particularly relevant to the decision-making process.  Although they are often outgoing and friendly, ESTJs are highly competitive, have a strong need to be in control, and are also strong willed and very verbal.  Therefore, by the sheer power of their personality, they may easily intimidate less assertive people.

Often drawn to work environments that are highly structured, ESTJs are most comfortable when everyone knows the ground rules, and where there are established operating procedures and clear expectations. They are loyal team players who are more interested in maintaining than challenging the status quo.  They respect authority and expect others to do the same.  Practical and realistic, ESTJs consider it important to be accurate with facts and to pay close attention to details.  ESTJs are particularly good at maintaining existing systems and using resources wisely.

Traditional and often conservative, ESTJs have little interest in or enthusiasm for experimental, creative, or new approaches.  Instead, they prefer to stick with familiar and tested ways of doing things.  Nor do they adapt well or easily to change.  As a result, they can be forceful and effective opponents, constantly challenging the necessity of change.  They are rarely convinced by anything other than hard facts and logical reasoning.

Because they are so focused on the present, they may fail to appreciate how current actions may affect the future.  And they are not particularly good at anticipating future needs or forecasting future trends.  Because they tend to make quick decisions, they sometimes rush to judgment before they have carefully and thoroughly considered all their options.  And once they have made up their minds, they are difficult to convince otherwise.  When they slow down and take the extra time to listen patiently to suggestions, they may find the added perspective helps them make better choices, for themselves and others.


How to get along with ESTJs


Be assertive; you may have to push to get your point across.  Don't worry about hurting their feelings; ESTJs take few things personally.  They'll respect you more if you don't back down from you position.

Try not to be put off by their frankness or even bluntness -- they probably do not mean what they say personally, so try not to take it that way.

Don't expect to score points with personal appeals.  Be objective and base your argument or reasoning on the realistic, logical consequences of the action, rather than on its personal importance to you or others.

Appeal to their sense of fairness and justice.  Don't make frequent exceptions to the rule.

Be prepared to discuss your ideas when you present them.  They are action-oriented people and don't like taking too much time for reflection.

Appeal to their need to get the job done.

Come directly to your point or request.  Be explicit, organized, and honest.  Try numbering your points for clarity.  Do not try to skirt around issues.


Tips for ESTJs


Listen to the other person's point of view.

Work at negotiating solutions that are win-win.

Value and acknowledge the efforts of others.

Make it a rule to mention what is well done, not merely what needs correcting.

Surround yourself with people who respect your direct approach and are not intimidated by you.

Beware of driving others as hard as you drive yourself.

Set realistic limits for yourself and others and learn what "good enough" means.

Refrain from telling others what they should and shouldn't do. Do not assume that you know what's best.

Expand your sense of self to include more than what you do or produce.

Become aware of your hurt and fear, not just your anger.

Learn ways to control your temper and to restrain yourself when you are about to react impatiently.  Leave the room or the house until you cool down.

Learn to let go of control and to relax.  Take a vacation and leave all your work at home.

Hallmarks of an ESTJ

















Hard Working









Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging

Estimated to be between 11 and 14 percent of the American population


TemperamentDuty Seeker (SJ)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Feeling (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Sensing (your supporting gift/talent)


Facilitator/ Caretaker.  Theme is providing, ensuring that physical needs are met.

Talents lie in supporting others and supplying them with what they need.

Genuinely concerned about the welfare of others, making sure they are comfortable and involved.

Use their sociability to nurture established institutions.

Warm, considerate, thoughtful, friendly.

Want to please and maintain harmonious relationships.

Thrive on helping others and bringing people together.

The saying "A friend in need is a friend indeed" could well have been inspired by an ESFJ, because ESFJs are often the first to volunteer their assistance.  Friendly, outgoing, and sympathetic, these dominant Extraverted Feelers are extremely sensitive, have a very strong need to please and an equally strong need to be liked and appreciated by others.  Generous and loyal, ESFJs tend to be very traditional people who value their family and friends above all else.  They give freely of themselves, often committing large amounts of time to work in programs sponsored by charity, community, or religious organizations that serve their communities.  Conscientious and hardworking, ESFJs usually have a well-defined code of behavior -- based upon the value system to which they subscribe -- and wish others would as well.  But sometimes it is not enough for them to be good people; they often feel compelled to try and instill their values in others.

Because ESFJs' least developed function is Introverted Thinking, they are often unable to evaluate situations fairly and objectively.  ESFJs are so sensitive, and take things so personally, they rarely see the logic in an argument or reason, and they may not consider objectivity a particularly admirable quality.  They tend to personalize everything and have such a relatively thin skin that they are prone to having their feelings hurt easily and often.  ESFJs who feel they have been wronged, especially if something they value has been maligned, may take drastic actions, such as ending the relationship with the person who offended them -- even if it has been a long­standing friendship.  But, more often, ESFJs get into trouble by becoming overly involved and assuming too much responsibility for the feelings of others.  In their effort to be good friends, they sometimes run the risk of actually making themselves sick by overburdening themselves with others' problems.

ESFJs are down-to-earth, realistic, and practical people.  To many of them, life is a serious business.  Therefore, responsibilities and obligations come before relaxation and fun.  Although they are not humorless, they may have a hard time taking a joke or being teased -- especially if it is about them or something they care deeply about.  Many ESFJs especially enjoy their physical possessions, are conscientious about maintaining them, and are very careful to keep their things neat and tidy.  In their spare time, many ESFJs like to engage in physical activities -- walking, biking, or playing sports.  They also often enjoy working with their hands and doing crafts.

Usually very organized and productive, ESFJs are most comfortable following a familiar routine.  And they often have difficulty shifting gears and doing things in new or different ways.  This can apply equally to little things like taking an unfamiliar road on a car trip, and to big things like changing jobs or moving to a new town.  In either case, they do not happily embrace change.  ESFJs also tend to see the world in absolute terms; things are either good or bad, right or wrong.  Fortunately, most ESFJs have plenty of balance to avoid this temptation, for if they don't, they run the risk of becoming opinionated and judgmental.


How to get along with ESFJs


Respect their feelings!  Don't try to talk them out of feeling a certain way, even if you don't share their view.  Never accuse them of being irrational.

Always mention points of agreement before offering criticism.  ESFJs tend to take things personally and are less likely to be able to hear you clearly if they are offended.

Be aware they are run by their values; be careful not to propose an idea or course of action or behave in a way that may offend their personal value system.

Genuinely and explicitly express to them your appreciation when they do something that helps or benefits you; let them know they are valued for their contributions and cooperation.

Most ESFJs enjoy talking; be prepared to listen and to contribute.

Be clear and precise.  Outline steps in an accurate sequence.

Try to adhere to agreed-upon plans.  If they must be changed, appeal to the ESFJs strong desire to help and please others.


Tips for ESFJs


Try not to avoid conflict by becoming accommodating or ingratiating, or by sweeping problems under the rug.

Focus on what you want to do rather than on what you should do.  Being selfish is not always a sin.

Avoid the tendency to jump in and try to fix a situation as fast as possible.  Conflict and difficulties are not necessarily bad -- they can help everyone grow and change.

Slow down your pace.  Free up time for reflection and for the activities that might ground and focus you, such as crafts, needlework, or woodwork.

Notice the difference between your real feelings and the ones you put on because they seem like appropriate ones to have.

Be brief and businesslike when it is called for.

Avoid any occupation where your friendly, happy, outgoing nature will not be appreciated.

Ask others if they want your help or advice before offering it.

Avoid being manipulative in order to get what you want. Learn to be more direct. It's okay to ask for what you need.

Avoid blaming and guilt-tripping others when your expectations are not met or when you feel taken for granted.

Learn to trust yourself rather than always seeking answers from outside authorities.


Hallmarks of an ESFJ


























Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging

Estimated to be between 3 and 5 percent of the American population


TemperamentIdeal Seeker (NF)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Feeling (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Intuition (your supporting gift/talent)


Envisioner/ Mentor.  The ENFJ theme is mentoring.

Lead people to achieve their potential and become more of who they are.

Talents lie in empathizing with profound interpersonal insight and in influencing others to learn, grow, and develop.

Lead using their exceptional communication skills, enthusiasm, and warmth to gain cooperation toward meeting the ideals they hold for the individual or the organization.

Catalysts who draw out the best in others.

Thrive on empathic connections.

Frequently called on to help others with personal problems.

To ENFJs, maintaining harmony in relationships is a lifelong goal as well as a natural, accomplished skill.  Their dominant Extraverted Feeling enables them to understand people's feelings and drives them to try to make them happy.  Warm, compassionate, and friendly, ENFJs are so tuned in to others that they can often anticipate their needs -- especially emotional ones.  And they are excellent at helping people solve personal problems in creative ways.

Articulate, vivacious, and enthusiastic, ENFJs are often excellent public speakers who possess an innate sense of what their audience wants.  Blessed with a rare gift for making personal connections, ENFJs are skillful communicators, both one-on-one and with groups.  They are tactful and diplomatic, and pride themselves on being able to make people feel good.  They go to great lengths to avoid offending others or hurting their feelings.

Because ENFJs' least developed function is Introverted Thinking, they often suffer a serious lack of objectivity.  They may be overly sensitive and take things personally that were not intended to be taken that way.  They may also experience difficulty making decisions that are logical, because they find it hard to know whether a particular behavior or action is fair, or to trust themselves to make a just and impartial ruling.  In an effort to please and impress others, they often take on more than they can comfortably manage, and sometimes end up feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated.

Because ENFJs are prone to idealize relationships, they can be deeply disappointed when people they believe in let them down.  And because it is often more important for them to satisfy others' needs than their own, they run the risk of trading off honesty for harmony.

Most ENFJs are highly productive and organized people who run on high energy.  Any social interaction further increases the energy level of these engaging conversationalists.  They are often capable of juggling several thoughts and/or projects at the same time, giving each the necessary attention that it deserves.  And they are happiest when they have a plan and can work cooperatively with others to realize their goals.  They are most satisfied when they are helping others find ways to reach their full potential.  Aware of and concerned with global issues, ENFJs usually have strong, value-based opinions that they generally feel free to share.

But sometimes ENFJs are in such a hurry to make a decision or complete a task that they can foreclose options prematurely.  As a result, they can fail to consider important information, as well as miss experiencing the process as fully as they might.  In their desire to get the job done as quickly as possible, and according to the way they feel it should be done, ENFJs can become inflexible and incapable of adapting or acting spontaneously, even when the situation calls for it.  Once reassured about their worth and the value of their unique contribution, they can usually take a step back and regain their sense of balance.


How to get along with ENFJs


Let them know verbally how much you appreciate them and their contributions.  With ENFJs, words often speak louder than actions.

If you need to offer criticism, make sure to point out any areas of agreement first.  Alert them to incoming criticism and ask them to receive it in the spirit in which it is given.

Never discount, dismiss, or make light of their personal feelings about an issue, even if you don't feel there is a rational or logical basis for them to feel that way.  Never try to talk them out of how they feel.  Listen, rather than try to fix their problem.

Avoid confrontation whenever possible.  Try to cooperate and find middle ground.

Make sure to follow through on commitments you make to them.  Don't change plans unless it is absolutely necessary.  And if it is, give them plenty of time to adjust to the changes and to shift gears.

When pitching an idea or proposal, make sure you have fully considered how the action will affect others, and emphasize all positive aspects.

Use their first name and maintain eye contact.  Be patient with their sometimes long and tangential story-telling style.


Tips for ENFJs


Stop trying to do it all.  Some things can wait and others don't need to happen at all.

Try to reduce stress by appreciating and acknowledging your present level of success and achievement.

Learn to relax.

Pay attention to which activities and projects are most satisfying to you, and then try to focus on those.

Beware of idealizing people and being overly loyal.

Try to be less dependent on external affirmation and learn what you value instead of what others value.

Learn to face conflicts.  Although you have a strong need for harmony, don't avoid dealing with difficulty.

Look out for excessive responsiveness to other people's needs and demands.  Realize that you can't be everything to everyone.

Learn to ask for the same support that you give to others.

Be watchful of your tendency for smooth talk and flattery.  It can sound phony and be smothering if overdone or misunderstood.

Learn to take advice, not just give it.

Avoid coming to decisions prematurely.  Consider more than one option before acting.

Become aware of the difference between your real feelings and the feelings you put on because they seem more appropriate.


Hallmarks of an ENFJ

























Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging

Estimated to be between 3 and 5 percent of the American population


TemperamentKnowledge Seeker (NT)


Dominant FunctionExtraverted Thinking (your greatest gift/talent)

Auxiliary FunctionIntroverted Intuition (your supporting gift/talent)


Strategist/ Mobilizer.  Theme is directing and mobilizing.

Talents lie in developing policy, establishing plans, coordinating and sequencing events, and implementing strategy.

Excel at directing others in reaching the goals dictated by their strong vision of the organization.

Thrive on marshaling forces to get plans into action.

Natural organization builders and almost always find themselves taking charge in ineffective situations.

They enjoy creating efficiently structured systems and setting priorities to achieve goals.

ENTJs are natural leaders, whose competence and strength inspires confidence and respect in others.  Their dominant Extraverted Thinking enables them to analyze problems logically and objectively, weighing the pros and cons of an issue, and then make efficient, sensible, and often tough decisions.  ENTJs value honesty and directness; they get right to the point and don't beat around the bush.

However, because their least developed function is Introverted Feeling, ENTJs can be unaware of the impact their actions have on others.  In fact, many ENTJs are rather removed from the world of emotions, so they may behave in ways that are insensitive to the needs or feelings of other people.  While this is not intentional, they can be brusque, critical, and appear arrogant when they become impatient with people who may not grasp an issue as quickly as they do, or who take an opposing position.  ENTJs also have the propensity to be overbearing and bossy, and may intimidate others into supporting their positions.  And because they are often in a hurry to get things done and move ahead, they may fail to acknowledge or express their appreciation when others have helped them or done a good job.

Talented strategic planners, ENTJs are capable of both seeing the big picture and anticipating how current actions may affect future decisions.  Creative and often innovative, ENTJs have great courage when it comes to making bold, sweeping changes, especially with respect to complex problems or issues.  Not easily intimidated, they engender confidence in others and often have a commanding and even awe-inspiring presence.  Great lovers of learning, ENTJs are always looking for ways to improve themselves and increase their expertise and power.

Typically friendly, outgoing, and energetic, ENTJs like to be where the action is, and are good at juggling several projects at the same time.  They are often very articulate, think quickly on their feet, and can make very effective public speakers.  ENTJs are usually not the least bit shy about sharing their ideas or expressing their strong opinions -- which may pertain to any number of subjects.  But because they are so eager to get one project completed and move on to the next, ENTJs may not spend enough time reflecting and thoughtfully considering the immediate and practical consequences of their actions.  And they may be surprised to learn that their good ideas are not as enthusiastically accepted as they expected them to be.

ENTJs are often very career driven.  Organized and productive, they like to work hard and eagerly take on difficult challenges -- often the more complex the better.  And as a result of their competence an