HERE’S HOW TO FIND OUT YOUR MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE—AND WHAT IT MEANS
No two people are wired the same. Maybe your S.O. needs to hash out every. single. detail. of an argument, while you just want to go for a walk to clear your head. Or your bestie loves to drag you along as she flits from one networking event to the next—but you’d much rather binge-watch Glow from the comfort of your couch. And is your sister always the first to try the new boutique fitness studio opening in her neighborhood, while you stick to your trusty SoulCycle?
In the 1940s, mother-daughter team Isabel Briggs-Myers and Katharine Briggs worked to create a system to explain these differences in the ways people think, feel, and behave. Based on the theory of “psychological types” proposed by the psychologist Carl Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)was first published in 1962. Then, with his 1978 book Please Understand Me, psychologist David Keirsey helped popularize and expand upon the framework. Today, millions of people have taken the test to determine their type.
There are actually distinct patterns in the way people use their perceptions and judgments to process information.
Personality might seem completely random and unique—and in some ways, it is. The way you operate is informed by your life experiences, beliefs, relationships, and more. But the theory behind personality typing is that there are actually distinct patterns in the ways people use their perceptions and judgments to process information. And by learning about the four dimensions that impact personality, you can become more understanding, avoid conflict, and recognize other people’s strengths—as well as your own.
Keep reading to learn more about what goes into your Myers-Briggs personality type—and maybe discover what yours is.
To determine your Myers-Briggs type, you need to check in with four different aspects of your personality. Do you get your energy from being around other people, or do you prefer to recharge alone? Do you make your decisions with your head or with your heart?
Weigh the options listed below to decide which one sounds more like you. Think both could work? That’s totally normal. Every person’s preference can be found on a spectrum, so just choose the letter you identify with most.
(One quick caveat: The Myers-Briggs organization recommends using the official MBTI instrument or working with a certified MBTI practitioner for your full assessment. So play along here, but for fun only.)
Introverted vs. Extroverted
Introverted (I): You tend to feel overwhelmed after socializing at length, and need some alone time to recharge (whether that be with a rejuvenating bathroom ritual, sweat sesh, or just saying “om”). You probably have a few good, close friends.
Extroverted (E): You get your energy by being around others, whether that’s at a large party or by grabbing matcha with a friend. You tend to feel listless after being alone for long periods of time.
Intuitive vs. Sensing
Intuitive (N): You are an abstract thinker with an eye on the bigger picture. You love to play with ideas and theories, enjoy talking about possibilities and potential, and always think three steps ahead.
Sensing (S): Concerned with the here and now, you have your feet firmly planted on the ground. You take information at face value and tend to be very detail-oriented. You like concrete facts and information that’s immediately useful.
Thinking vs. Feeling
Thinking (T): You are rational. In your world, decisions are best made using logic and reason after considering the issue from an objective viewpoint. You consider underlying principles and constant truths to determine the right course of action.
Feeling (F): You are relational. You make decisions with your heart, using emotion and concern for others. You think about the best decision from a subjective viewpoint and consider how the decision will impact the people involved.
Judging vs. Perceiving
Judging (J): You operate best when you tie up loose ends. You’d rather make a decision or create a plan than fly by the seat of your pants. This makes you appear decisive, focused, and quick to act on new information (people might call you a go-getter).
Perceiving (P): Planning isn’t exactly your forte—you’ll never be the one to make a vacay agenda for your squad. You operate best when you leave your options open and would rather see how things play out than make a decision before you have all the necessary information. You appear adaptable, laid-back, and spontaneous.
Got your answers? Now mash them together to create your type. For example, if you’re introverted, sensing, feeling, and perceiving, your Myers-Briggs type is an ISFP. Scroll down to find the description or your type below and learn more about how you move through the world.
Every Myers-Briggs personality type has strengths and weaknesses—but you probably already know your strengths. They’re the skills and areas that you lean into most often and with ease. But what about your Achilles’ heel—do you know yours?
If not, no worries—it’s tougher to be aware of your weaknesses than strengths. In fact, many aren’t made aware of their flaws until they’re literally succumbing to them. And sometimes, you might struggle to accept certain areas of your life or certain traits you have. But seeing our vulnerabilities is the best path toward growth, so you can’t be afraid to acknowledge and work through—even if it’s scary. (Don’t know what your type is? Read this first!) Below, gain insight into what the hardest thing is for you to accept, based on your Myers-Briggs type, and then learn to grow from it.
Everyone has weaknesses—here’s the hardest thing for you to accept, based on your Myers-Briggs personality type.
ISFJ: Perfect behavior doesn’t mean a perfect relationship
You work hard to follow the rules and keep others happy. If only that were all it took to have great relationships with friends, family and partners, right? Sometimes though, you value peace too much and honesty too little. Speaking up and sharing your innermost beliefs can feel uncomfortable, but it’s the only way people can learn who you really are, after all.
ESFJ: You can’t hurry love
Though you just want to love, you skew impatient about the search, making dating tough. You’re always trying to fit square, triangle, and pentagon-shaped pegs into round holes. You’re at your best when relaxed, around friends, and taking charge of life with activities they enjoy. That’s also, ironically, when you’ll probably meet a promising S.O.
ISTJ: Responsibility only takes you so far
You’re the most responsible kid in every classroom, the most diligent employee in every office, and the strongest pillar in every family. However, too much self-sacrifice can force you to repress real dreams and desires you have for yourself, which will ultimately leave you a little bit empty. Focus on at least one major goal at any given time; you deserve it.
ESTJ: Sometimes, you don’t know best
You give orders and execute the plans expertly, but you rarely stop to ask for advice. Plus, you don’t love unsolicited feedback. But the better you can get at accepting help and considering others’ opinions, the better leader you will become. Although you think you know best most of the time, ignoring others’ thoughts will expose the times when that’s simply not the case.
ESFP: Some mistakes can’t be undone
You, ESFP, struggle with an impulsive streak, even though you’re frequently able to charm your way out of mistakes. But your impulsiveness is not always innocent fun; you bite back hard sometimes after getting hurt, causing more pain than you know how to rectify. This is where humbling yourself and admitting wrongdoing can go a long way. Apologizing isn’t one of your natural gifts, so practice and self-awareness are key.
ISTP: People won’t always tell you what’s up
All you want is the truth, but the world isn’t as straightforward as you are. Sometimes people are dodgy or have secret malicious intent, but other times, they just can’t find the right words or know how to express what they mean. Don’t always assume what you see is what you get. Ask questions when behaviors and words don’t match.
ESTP: There are some things you must plan for
Living in the moment is your MO and you believe you can figure out anything on the fly; the past is the past, and the future is fuzzy, right? You tell yourself this, but deep down know that not planning for your future destinations leaves you vulnerable to never going anywhere at all. Take time to think about your goals, and don’t be afraid to share them; emote your frustrations and fears better to others who can provide you with honest feedback.
ISFP: Vulnerability is a requirement for functioning relationships
You have a huge heart but reserve emotion for your creative products, be it art, writing, or other hobbies. Honest, clear vulnerability—like telling your partner, “I love you” or revealing something that’s hurt you in the past—can often feel crippling, but it’s actually a superpower and the key to becoming closer to those you love. The right people will embrace your story; practicing trust can be terrifying and freeing, all at the same time.
ENFP: You can’t control people
As a charming extrovert with an affinity for people who are hurting or misunderstood, you always work to see the best in people, and strive to improve your relationships. Occasionally these good intentions lead to manipulation and order-giving when you don’t get an immediate desired reaction. Remember, you can’t control people. You can only state what you see and let them make their own choices. Meddling and manipulation will make you feel guilty in the aftermath.
INFP: Not everything is an attack
Highly sensitive to criticism about how you live your life, you sometimes seem quirky or different to others. You wouldn’t change your value system for anyone, but a lifetime of feeling misunderstood can take its toll, leading you to see judgment where it may not exist. Remember, your friends know and love you, and not every comment will be delivered with finesse. Let some minor things go. Life is easier that way.
ENFJ: You can’t read every situation or know every answer
You’re gifted with both the ability to read people’s emotions, and you have an innate sense of what’s going on in any given situation. And because you’re right so often, you sometimes overanalyze a situation, making yourself feel anxious looking for something an answer that might not exist. Accepting the unknown is one of your biggest challenges, and learning to live in the gray area will be one of your biggest triumphs.
INFJ: Even the best-laid plans are sometimes thwarted
You love making plans, and you’re brilliant at it. But plans are so easily thwarted when the variables are constantly in flux. Learning to, say, take spontaneous adventures that sound more fun that your original ideas or move for an unexpected job opportunity is the best way to supplement your long-term goals. Sometimes shifting your sails can actually get you to a better destination, faster.
INTJ: The world is full of unpredictable outcomes
Believing you know the likely outcome of almost any event—and make decisions accordingly—puts you at risk for missing out on some amazing chance occurrences, even if the odds are low. Overthinking can stop you from building great relationships (that often fail) or taking a new job (in an industry that is uncertain) even if you really want to give it a try. Don’t get in your own way. Likely outcomes rely on others; your personal outcome in any given situation relies mostly on you.
INTP: People do make emotional decisions
You thrive on logical decision-making and have trouble understanding why anyone would take another approach. You take particular issue with those who put the feelings of others ahead of the end goal, and sometimes you get bothered if you’re slowing down to accommodate emotional decisions. But relationships and friendships are built on them, and acknowledging emotional impact instead of fighting them will ultimately get you where you want to go—and quicker.
ENTP: If you never commit long-term, you never make deep impacts
Not only are you a great conversationalist and a social butterfly, but you also have an array of interests. Choosing one path to commit to—whether it be a relationship or a career—is the hardest struggle you face. But if you don’t settle into just a few core decisions, you’ll never make deep and lasting impacts in relationships or a given field. Try drafting some specific plans as your goal this year; you will reach them.
ENTJ: You’re not superhuman
You want to make the world run smoother, have substantial relationships, and see growth in your personal life. But you often bite off more than you can chew and prioritize working longer hours over making stronger bonds. You make promises you don’t keep and end up disappointing others. Remember that you don’t get more than 24 hours in a day, and you can’t do everything. You have to be selective about who you invest in and make sure you’re putting forth the necessary time to be solid in your loved ones’ lives.