The 16 Personality Types: Why Knowing Your Type Matters

There are 16 personality types that humans exhibit. Through our interactions, they create the social dynamics of the world we live in. We engage in all kinds of relationships in our daily life: from interacting with family members and co-workers, to being with our good friends and casual acquaintances, to the exchanges we have with complete strangers.

Whether these relationships are long-lasting or fleeting, how they develop has a lot to do with the personalities of the people involved.

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We’ll take an in-depth look at how knowing your personality type benefits you. But before we begin, it is good to understand what we mean by “personality”. We will follow this definition with a breakdown of the 16 personality types as suggested by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test.


Personality is unique to the individual and represents a composite of all the characteristics that each person possesses. One way of thinking about personality is that it grows from these characteristics to become something greater than the sum of its parts. That entity (your personality) is what makes you distinct. So, in reality, there are as many personality types as there are people. Packing them into 16 personality types, however, makes the broad concept of personality much easier to investigate and understand.

The idea is expertly set forth in the American Psychological Association’s definition of personality and how it is studied:

Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is the understanding of individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is to understand how the various parts of a person come together as a whole.

Theory behind the 16 personality types

The mother-daughter team of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers created MBTI based on their review of the work of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who is considered the father of analytical psychology. Jung often used characters or archetypes to describe personalities. Consequently, individual MBTI scores are sometimes referred to as generic characters, such as ‘The Architect’ and ‘The Inspirer’.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to ascertain personality type consists of 4 pairs of factors that influence personality.

Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I)

Sensation (S) – Intuition (N)

Thought (T) – Feeling (F)

Perception (P) – Judgment (J)

Extroversion applies to a person who is more objective, action-oriented, who enjoys frequent contact with others and who grows primarily from interpersonal interactions. Introversion, on the other hand, applies to a person who is more subjective. He might be known as a thinker. He may enjoy meaningful contact with others, but he grows mostly through time alone.

Sensation (sometimes referred to as sensing) applies to people who like to rely heavily on the use of their physical senses. They prefer facts and details they have witnessed firsthand. Intuition, on the other hand, is used for people who prefer abstract information. They seek out patterns and theories to aid their understanding and are much more likely to trust a gut feeling about something.

Individuals who are more inclined to the thinking function like to stand back and judge situations based on the facts and rules that apply. For those who lean more towards the feeling function, decision making often involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and considering how the outcome of their decision will affect everyone involved.

Perception talks about how people prefer to collect, interpret and understand information about the world around them. Judgment refers to how people make decisions once they have perceived information using their sensation and intuition functions.

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The 16 personality types of MBTI

ISTJ – Introverted, Sensitive, Thinking and Judging

People with the ISTJ personality type present themselves to others as calm and quiet, formal and fair, serious and somewhat intimidating. They are often described as “the inspector” and “the logistician” who have an eye for detail, prefer to do things according to the rules and can be counted on to fulfill whatever task they are assigned. Tradition and hard work mean a lot to ISTJs and they have a strong sense of responsibility in all spheres of their life. They take the time to consider all aspects before forming an opinion. Consequently, their conclusions are generally well thought out.

ISTP – Introverted, Sensitive, Thinking and Perceptive

People with the ISTP personality type are often described as difficult to read. On the one hand, they are quiet, reserved and introspective. But when a problem or crisis arises, they take action and often take the initiative in problem solving to find a quick and effective solution. Once the solution has been reached, they again blend into the shadows. ISTPs are drawn to finding out how and why things work (cause and effect). Their problem-solving skills and the fact that they tend to be good with their hands often make them compare to the “The craftsman”, “The mechanic” and “The craftsman” font types.

ESTJ – Outgoing, Sensitive, Thinking and Judging

These hardworking traditionalists love to get things done right away. They have little patience in wasting time on pleasantries and may be somewhat naïve about the feelings of others. Characteristics of ESTJs include being logical and realistic, dedicated and honest, and responsible and efficient. Other people are very likely to see and appreciate how good ESTJs are at organizing people in the most effective ways to achieve goals. Consequently, they are considered “The Executive” and “The Supervisor”. ESTJs have a propensity to remember milestones, such as birthdays and anniversaries. They usually have a large network of contacts.

ESTP – Extroverted, Sensitive, Thinking and Perceptive

Often seen as “The Dynamo” and “The Entrepreneur”, those with the ESTP personality type can also be regarded as enterprising people. It may appear that they are constantly on the move and can think on the fly – quickly analyzing people and situations before acting on their conclusions. Being the life of the party comes naturally for ESTPs who like to take center stage. They love to live in the moment and are typically athletic and spontaneous, with a tendency to engage in extreme feats for the excitement and attention they bring.

ISFJ – Introverted, Sensitive, Sentimental and Judging

ISFJs can generally appear to others as shy and reserved. However, they are also people-centered individuals who give their all for whatever cause, group, or system they are a part of. They are often identified as “The Nurturer” and “The Keeper” within a group. They take the achievement of the group’s goals seriously and prefer when others in the group also feel and act that way. As another dimension of their personality, ISFJs are naturally good at remembering names and faces, which is in line with the fact that they tend to be methodical when gathering information.

ISFP – Introverted, Sensitive, Sense and Perception

It is unlikely to find someone with the ISFP personality type to step forward and take the lead in any situation. They are, however, widely regarded as quiet, reliable and trustworthy friends who willingly offer support to friends in need. The initial perception that an ISFP is introverted tends to fade among those who have the opportunity to know them very well – but they are very few. ISFPs are spontaneous and love to live in the here and now. This, coupled with their strong aesthetic sense and penchant for the arts, causes individuals with the ISPF personality type to often be labeled “the artist” and “the composer”.

ESFJ – Outgoing, Sensitive, Sentimental and Judging

Like ‘The Caregiver’ and ‘The Provider’, ESFJs are dedicated and take their responsibilities enthusiastically. They are warm and outgoing individuals who tend to be in tune with the emotions and needs of others. They will do anything to meet these needs. Individuals identified with the ESFJ personality are also acutely aware of how others view them. They are well organized and are known for researching all the necessary facts before drawing any conclusions. They are also known for their ability to devise effective strategies.

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ESFP – Outgoing, Sensitive, Sentimental and Perceptive

Performer and entertainer are the labels most commonly assigned to ESFPs. They are lively, popular, and bask in all the attention they get. ESFPs appreciate being able to embark on a new adventure and have exciting new experiences. They have a hands-on, down-to-earth approach to life. If they are not fully focused, they are easily distracted from becoming overly indulgent. Freely devoting time and energy to encouraging others and dedicating oneself to family and friends comes naturally to these outgoing individuals. ESFPs display a high aesthetic sense with a keen appreciation for style and fashion.

INTJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinker and Judge

INTJs are often seen as intelligent, quiet and reserved. They are good leaders when required, but thrive perfectly without much interpersonal contact. Their intuitive and thinking ways make INTJs independent thinkers with strong personal opinions. INTJs typically possess an interrogative nature and good problem solving skills when complex concepts are involved. However, they tend to ignore basic approaches and are more drawn to convoluted solutions to problems. Their pronounced analytical skills often earn them the titles of “Architect”, “Scientist” and “Master of Mind”.

INTP – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceptive

INTPs are logical and rational thinkers who take great pride in their intellectual abilities. They are driven to explore and build knowledge. In the company of others, they can appear reserved, impersonal, and lost in their thoughts. When the topic is of interest to them, however, INTPs get very excited and animated. Seen as “The Logician” and “The Thinker”, INTPs love models, design and finding common threads within complex theories or concepts. They are neither leaders nor followers, but instead prefer to figure things out for themselves and find their way.

ENTJ – Outgoing, Intuitive, Thinker and Judge

Most frequently referred to as “The Commander” and “The Executive”, individuals who display the ENTJ personality type often appear larger than life to those around them. They are strategic leaders, capable of organizing others and delegating tasks to make changes and achieve goals. Those surrounding ENTJs readily appreciate their ‘take charge’ attitude, as it is generally followed by tangible results. Getting the job done quickly and efficiently is their primary goal. In doing this, ENTJs will tend to show little consideration for the subtleties of interpersonal relationships, such as thanking and congratulating others.

ENTP – Outgoing, intuitive, thinking and perceptive

Fighting for what they believe in is one of the unmistakable characteristics of ENTPs. They are not afraid to question the status quo and voraciously present arguments to support their point of view. They are also curious and innovative, with an intrinsic motivation to solve problems by challenging themselves and others. For all these reasons, ENTPs are known as “The Debator”, “The Visionary” and “The Advocate”. They are a mix of skepticism and optimism while being open minded about all the possibilities that exist. ENTPs develop ideas and enthusiastically pass them on to others.

INFJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Sensitive and Judging

The advocate, “the protector” and “the counselor” are common descriptions used for individuals who refer to themselves as INFJs in the results of the MBTI 16 personality quiz. INFJs are thoughtful motivators who focus on the effort to realize their vision. of harmony for humanity. Even if they are reserved, they are good supportive listeners. INFJs are identified as sensitive to the emotions of others, with the ability to read people and situations very well. Their genuine warmth and depth of care are very evident to those close to them. As they move away from the limelight, INFJs work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly.

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INFP – Introverted, Intuitive, Sense and Perception

Individuals with the INFP personality type are imaginative idealists with a knack for finding creative solutions to problems. Normally quiet and sensitive, INFPs care about their values ​​and will become energetic and agitated to support them. They are often described as idealistic perfectionists, inclined to think that their solutions are good in everyone. They are sincere in the care they show for others, and those around them can easily sense this. INFPs tend to set very high goals and can be relentlessly hard on themselves for not achieving them. They are considered “the mediator”, “the healer” and the “idealist” among us.

ENFJ – Outgoing, intuitive, sensitive and judgmental

The Teacher, the Protagonist, and the Giver are the most common descriptions associated with these natural leaders who thrive on inspiring others. ENFJs are people-focused, typically with highly developed interpersonal skills. They are self-confident and charismatic, which causes others to be attracted to them and turn to them for advice and direction. ENFJs can become too worried and involved in the problems of others. They need free time alone, but there is a danger that this time is spent harshly judging themselves and thinking they should do more.

ENFP – Extroverted, Intuitive, Sensitive and Perceptive

Individuals who are identified as ENFP among the 16 personality types are usually seen as “The Champion”, “The Camper” and “The Inspirer”. They are project oriented and bring a wide range of well-developed skills and talents to any group they are a part of. ENFPs are genuinely warm. They have an innate appreciation for the value interpersonal relationships bring to an individual’s growth. These free-spirited people bring positive energy to the party with their charming and easy-to-manage personalities. ENFPs also possess a natural curiosity and are always looking for a deeper meaning in the complexity of life.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses

Regardless of which of the 16 personality quiz results apply to you, it’s important that you identify and understand yourself. MBTI is an exercise in self-knowledge. You can use it to better understand your potential strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you will be able to better channel your energies in the right directions for personal development. You will know when and where you give the best of yourself and which areas you need to focus on to improve.

At work, as well as in other areas of your life, you will be able to better identify situations where your strengths can have a positive impact. Likewise, you will easily recognize when a task offers an opportunity to reinforce one or more of your weaknesses, or is simply out of reach.

Become aware of what you like and what you don’t like

Your preferences for certain situations or ways of doing things may lie in your personality type. You may experience intense irritation when you see the unsqueezed tube of toothpaste from bottom to top. Maybe you like the exhilaration after completing a cryptic crossword puzzle. Your personality type could explain these feelings. Knowing your personality type can also help you better identify and manage your stressors. It allows you to understand why you react to some situations the way you do. Likewise, you will be more aware of why you are attracted to certain things and certain types of people. This knowledge can greatly influence different areas of your life, such as the choice of your career path.

Be more able to choose a satisfying career path

Your job can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of your life. This isn’t the case with many people, however, as they seem stuck in professions that aren’t suited to their personality. They don’t get any sense of fulfillment because of this mismatch. Knowing your personality type, your strengths, your weaknesses, and what you like and dislike can inform any decision. Or, if you are already in a career you enjoy, you will be better equipped to choose from the professional development opportunities that arise.

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You can hone your decision-making skills

When learning the 16 personality types, one of the biggest surprises can be the realization that there are inherently different mechanisms behind how people make decisions. Decision making is a big part of who we are. Determine the paths we take and help shape our lives. Knowing how (often unconsciously) you make decisions can help you make more balanced decisions. This is especially important when these decisions lead to life-changing consequences. These could include changing jobs, moving to a new city or country, introducing intimacy into a relationship, marriage, and having children.

Appreciate the diversity of personalities

Regardless of your personality type, as you get to know him better, you will truly begin to appreciate that not everyone is like you. The diversity of the 16 personality types generates much of the energy found in group environments. While there is always the possibility of conflicts arising from interpersonal differences, there is also the opportunity for each to shine based on the characteristics of their personality and the different skills they bring to the group. When you are aware of your personality type and how it differs from that of others, you appreciate more the positive contribution that each can make to the dynamics of the group.

Gain a better understanding of other people

When you delve into the facets of your personality type, it is almost certain that you will also learn a lot about others. Those insightful “Aha!” that you experience about yourself and why you work that way will be accompanied by a similar sudden clarity about the actions of others. You may end up developing quite a bit of tolerance for personalities that will normally rub you the wrong way.

Become aware of how to improve your relationships

The wonderful thing about personalities is that even when we classify them into 16 personality types, no two are ever alike. This makes interactions within relationships interesting. Sometimes, personality differences and similarities can result naturally and effortlessly in the strong bonds of lasting and fulfilling relationships. On other occasions, however, they require more work from the people involved. By knowing your personality type, you will be better able to make an effort to consciously strengthen the relationship. It could mean toning down your naturally bubbly ways or being willing to step out of your shell a little more than you normally would.

You can actively search for people you are compatible with

It is never easy to identify what triggers the understanding between two people. Compatibility can occur between people who are very similar, as well as between people who are very dissimilar. You will never be 100% sure who you will be comfortable with. But if you are armed with the knowledge of your own personality traits, you will be able to better identify the traits of others that might go well with yours. An advantage of taking a professionally administered MBTI personality test is that you are often given this type of advice at the end of the test.

You get better at conflict resolution

Most often, conflicts arise from different perspectives of people. This can lead to a feeling of intimidation. Awareness of your personality type helps you understand how you operate in conflict situations and how people typically react to your actions. You will then be able to consciously choose the answers that will ease the tensions in the situation.

Over the years, some have questioned the scientific or psychological merit of MBTI. But you need to know that while psychological theories and pictures may have a life of their own, the methods psychologists use to treat patients are supported by verified academic research. If you have questions about personality, you may want to consult with a mental health professional licensed by an online platform such as Serenis. Online therapy has been repeatedly shown to offer the same results as in-person care for most conditions.

If you contact an authorized Serenis online therapist, you will be able to conveniently schedule therapy sessions and attend them from the comfort of your home. Your therapist will be able to address any concerns you have about your personality and, if you wish, he will help you get to know yourself better.

Understanding the 16 personality types can be thought of as a stepping stone to understanding yourself and building a better you. Reading articles like this can be of great help in the initial discovery of the diversity of personalities and in appreciating how intricate, similar and very different each can be. You should seek professional assistance, however, if you wish to accurately identify the personality type that applies to you and receive guidance on how to best use your personality strengths and overcome its weaknesses.