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Everyone has a distinct personality type. Some people are extroverts who love organizing events while others are introverts who prefer solitude so they can create an amazing work of art.
You may have wondered why you think and act the way you do, and why you differ in thoughts, motivations, and actions to friends, family, and colleagues.
In this 16 personality types guide, you will learn about the different personalities and you can even take our free AI-Powered personality test that uses smart artificial intelligence to accurately determine your personality type.
The Benefits of Knowing Your Personality Type
Finding out what type of personality you have provides you with valuable insights into your psychology as well as other benefits that will improve your way of life and relationships. It helps you:
- Make sense of your thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Discover your unique giftings and talents
- Learn about which personality traits affect job performance
- Make an informed decision about the right career or study choice
- Help you prepare for a job interview
- Improve your organizational skills
- Build stronger relationships
The Definition of Personality
Before we unpack the 16 different personalities, let’s explore the word “personality”. The word personality is originally derived from the Latin word for persona, which in the ancient theatrical world referred to the mask that was worn by an actor and used to portray a character’s specific personality traits such as happy, sad, impatient, shy, fearful, curious, and helpful
The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides a deeper insight into the meaning of personality. Personality is defined as ‘a characteristic way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Personality embraces moods, attitudes, and opinions, and is most clearly expressed in interactions with other people.’
The Myers and Briggs 16 Personality Types
During the 1940s and 1950s, Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs first developed the MBTI Type Indicator which was originally based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality archetypes. The MBTI Type Indicator is designed to help explain the differences in the way people act, feel, and ‘use their perception and judgment.’
According to Myers and Briggs, people can be identified as having one of 16 different personality types. Each personality type is indicated by a four-letter code.
- Introvert stands for I
- Extrovert stands for E
- Thinking stands for T
- Feeling stands for F
- Sensing stands for S
- Intuition stands for N
- Judging stands for J
- Perceiving stands for P
These eight letters are then grouped into 4 personality categories.
- Introversion/Extraversion: How you expend energy
- Sensing/Intuition: How you receive information
- Thinking/Feeling: How you make decisions
- Judging/Perceiving: How you see the world
Combining these letters will lead you to your personality type. For example, if your four preferences are Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Judging (J), your personality type is ISFJ.
MBTI 16 Personality Types Guide
Introducing the introvert personality types
The Inspector – ISTJ (introvert, sensing, thinking, judging)
People that have the ISTJ personality tend to be practical, dependable, efficient, logical, and incredibly loyal.
ISTJs are organized in every area of their life, they are detail-orientated, and like to follow established traditions, rules, and procedures. An ISTJ personality type is dedicated to producing quality work and will keep working on a challenging task until it is completed.
As an introvert, the ISTJ personality prefers to spend time alone or with small groups of close friends and family. They can be reserved with people they don’t know very well and can be seen as being insensitive to other people’s feelings, but once they form an attachment to a specific person, they are empathetic and very supportive.
The Crafter – ISTP (introvert, sensing, thinking, perceiving)
The Crafter is realistic, practical, observant, self-confident, calm, easy-going, and adventurous.
People with this personality type like to learn new things and keep busy and while they prefer to work alone, they are happy working with a friend or loved one. ISTPs are naturally curious and like taking things apart to see how they work. As a friend, they are stable and highly adaptable, and you can rely on them in a crisis.
This type of personality is fiercely independent and values their freedom so it can be difficult for them to respect the boundaries that others may lay down for them.
As a task-orientated personality, an ISTP may not be well attuned to the feelings of others, and they can be a bit insensitive.
The Protector – ISFJ (introvert, sensing, feeling, judging)
The Protector is a loyal, kind, observant, dependable, supportive, and practical personality.
A person with the ISFJ personality trait enjoys structure and has a keen eye for details. Dedicated people-pleasers, ISFJs often exceed expectations and can go above and beyond what they are asked to do. They are sensitive to the feelings of other people, so they make good listeners.
ISFJs can struggle in sharing their feelings and tend to bottle their feelings up which can cause them to harbor negative thoughts about people. As they are dedicated to helping others, they tend to sacrifice their own needs to make people happy, which makes it easier for more dominant personalities to take advantage of them.
The Artist – ISFP (introvert, sensing, feeling, perceiving)
Well-named, the Artist is imaginative, curious, intuitive, spontaneous, and passionate.
Their artistic soul makes them well attuned to sensory information like visual imagery, sights, smells, and sound, which leads them to emphasize aesthetics and they have a great appreciation of the fine arts.
Although the ISFP is described as reserved, especially around people they don’t know, they are kind, caring, considerate, and show their concern for others through action rather than feelings. ISFPs expend energy when they interact with others, so they will often need time alone to get re-energized. While they enjoy connecting with others, the ISFP is overly sensitive to criticism and prefers to steer clear of conflict and arguments.
The Advocate – INFJ (introvert, intuitive, feeling, judging)
The Advocate is one of the rarest MBTI personality types and makes up 1.5% of all people which is due to their personality contradictions.
INFJs are introverts but they can form lasting, meaningful connections with others. While they are compassionate and enjoy helping people, they will need time alone to recharge their energy. As well as being emotional, they can also be logical and analytical. They are highly creative, organized, and passionate about their beliefs. They don’t just dream about changing the world, they go out and make it happen.
This type of personality can be overly sensitive to criticism and tend to have high expectations of others. They can also be stubborn and respond harshly when someone questions their beliefs.
The Mediator – INFP (introvert, intuitive, feeling, perceiving)
People who have the INFP personality tend to be idealistic, optimistic, and creative, and they like to look for meaning in their lives.
Like the INFJ personality, the INFP has a strong desire to make the world a better place, and they want to use their skills and talents to best serve humanity. Their main strength is that they work well on their own and are calm in the middle of a crisis. A joy to be around, an INFP personality likes to focus on the good in everyone, and they don’t get discouraged easily. Although they are quiet and reserved, they make loyal friends.
Socializing can drain an INFPs energy, so this type of person likes to spend time alone to recharge. INFPs focus on the big picture which means they can miss the small details. They tend to make decisions based on feelings rather than logic and they can take things personally.
The Architect – INTJ (introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging)
INTJs are bold, smart, disciplined, confident, highly analytical, logical, and consistently diligent workers.
People with this personality type like to follow their path in life and are not worried about other people’s opinions. Being in control is important to the INTJ personality so they need to work, and produce their best work when left to work on their own.
Because of their intelligence and self-confidence, INTJs can be seen as being arrogant and thinking that they are superior to others. As they place a greater emphasis on logic and objective information, they can come across as judgemental and insensitive.
The Thinker – INTP (introvert, intuitive, thinking, perceiving)
People who have an INTP personality type are often described as quiet, thoughtful, analytical, intelligent, and creative. loyal and affectionate.
INTPs enjoy spending time alone, thinking about theoretical concepts, and how things work, and they excel at producing solutions to problems. They value intellect over emotion and base their decision-making on objective information rather than subjective feelings. Although INTPs may not have a wide social circle, they are loyal and affectionate with people who share the same interests.
INTPs like to keep their options open and feel limited by structure and planning. This type of person is reserved, which can cause people to see them as being aloof and insensitive.
Meet the extroverts
The Persuader – ESTP (extrovert, sensing, thinking, perceiving)
Outgoing, gregarious, energetic, witty, influential, and persuasive, the persuader is always the life of the party.
ESTPs have strong people skills, enjoy spending time with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, tap into people’s feelings, and they pick up on details that other people don’t notice. People love to be around this type of personality as an ESTP is down-to-earth and full of energy. They are extremely adaptable and resourceful and make decisions quickly. While they are practical, they also like to improvise and keep their options open.
As ESTPs like to improvise and keep their options open, they can be seen as being overly impulsive and risk-takers. Their tendency to make decisions quickly may lead them to say or do things they regret. As they like to be the center of attention, ESTPs can get bored easily when someone else has the limelight.
The Director – ESTJ (extravert, sensing, thinking, judging)
If you need someone to take the lead at work or to organize a social event, an ESTJ-type person will keep everyone organized, and make sure the event runs smoothly.
People who have ESTJ characteristics have strong leadership skills and are confident, practical, diligent, and dependable. ESTJs like adhering to traditions, and rules, and maintaining stability. They know what they want, put their plans into action, and achieve their goals.
ESTJs are very honest when giving their opinions, which can make them seem overly critical and bossy. Their driven nature and strong convictions can make them appear aggressive and overbearing, especially when people don’t live up to their high expectations, and they are not very good at expressing their feelings.
The Performer – ESFP (extravert, sensing, feeling, perceiving)
A person who has the ESFP personality type is outgoing, spontaneous, fun, entertaining, warm, kind, and optimistic.
You may not see them reading a book as they prefer to spend time with people, especially in a group setting. They like to motivate others and keep everyone happy, which makes them popular and well-liked by others.
ESFPs live in the moment, are impulsive, and tend to rush ahead with enthusiasm instead of thinking of future consequences. They dislike routines and crave adventure, and they like to keep their options open in case something better comes along. As the ESFP personality focuses on the external world, they can be uncomfortable sharing their feelings.
The Caregiver – ESFJ (extravert, sensing, feeling, judging)
People that have the ESFJ personality type tend to be outgoing, gregarious, caring, loyal, and organized, and they build strong, long-lasting friendships.
ESFJs are people-orientated, so they like to encourage others to reach their potential. They like to focus on the good in people and will often put the needs of others above their own.
While this personality type is organized, practical, and open to new ideas, they dislike change and can feel insecure when placed in an uncertain situation. ESFJs tend to make quick decisions based on their emotions and can be quick to share their thoughts and feelings, which can make them come across as shallow, and they avoid relationships that might involve conflict.
The Champion – ENFP (extravert, intuitive, feeling, perceiving)
Charismatic, zealous, enthusiastic, caring, and creative, the champion personality is a people-person and has the potential to be a great leader.
ENFPs have excellent communication and people skills; they excel at generating new ideas and adapt to changing circumstances easily. Due to their intuitiveness, they are empathetic, can tune into people’s feelings, and are dedicated to building strong relationships.
One trait that sets the ENFP apart from other extroverts is that although they draw their energy from socializing, they need to spend time alone to pause and reflect. ENFPs tend to place value on feelings rather than logic. While their spontaneity is contagious, their desire to take risks can be stressful for others. They have a desire for continual approval and can get bored easily.
The Giver – ENFJ (extravert, intuitive, feeling, judging)
The Giver personality is often described as one of the strongest people-orientated personality types. They are warm, caring, supportive, versatile, make friends easily, and have excellent communication and people-building skills.
People also gravitate to a person that displays the ENFJ traits because they have a strong value system, and are organized, persuasive, motivating, and inspiring. Unselfish and self-sacrificing, an ENFJ is dedicated to helping others reach their potential.
ENFJ personalities are so devoted to helping people, that they can sometimes neglect their own needs. When things go wrong, they can lack confidence in their abilities, and blame themselves. Like the ENFP, the ENFJ personality needs approval from others and can be overly sensitive to criticism.
The Debater – ENTP (extravert, intuitive, thinking, perceiving)
Well named the Debater, the ENTP personality is a master conversationalist who loves to engage in a hearty debate with a wide range of people on varied topics.
Due to their thirst for knowledge, ENTP personalities are open-minded and naturally curious about the world around them, and they can understand complex information, ideas, and concepts quickly. They value logic and objectivity and are not prone to making decisions based on feelings or emotions.
As ENTPs desire to be in the debating hot seat, they can be misunderstood and seen as argumentative and insensitive. They desire freedom, dislike routines, keep to a schedule, and do not like being controlled.
The Commander – ENTJ (extravert, intuitive, thinking, judging)
The ENTJ personality is a natural leader. People follow this type of person because they are charismatic, assertive, confident, logical, and well-organized.
ENTJs are not deterred by insurmountable obstacles. They are quick to identify problems and can work out a smart plan to solve them. Challenges are valuable tools that an ENTJ person can use to bring them greater success. They enjoy spending time with people, communicating well, and helping others feel confident about their future.
Due to their driven nature, ENTJs can be perceived as aggressive and ruthless when they are pursuing a goal. They may not mean to be cruel, but they tend to hide their emotions as they see it as a sign of weakness, and they can struggle to understand other more sensitive/introverted personality types.
Now that you have learned about the different personality types from these 16 personality types guides, you will have gained a better understanding of yourself and others.
But this is just the start of your journey to self-discovery. If you are not sure which is your personality type, you can take our free AI-powered personality test and find out your unique personality type.