What Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Really Means
Unlike most personality tests you see on the internet, this test will help you find your biggest strengths and weaknesses and give you insight into your goals, career, relationships, and so much more.
The most famous personality test in the world
Even if you don’t know the name, chances are you’ve heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). The Myers Briggs personality types are often seen abbreviated in a string of four random-seeming letters on LinkedIn, school applications, social media, resumes, and even dating websites. But unlike those silly-but-fun “pick your favorite ice cream and we’ll tell you your personality” quizzes, this one purports to be built on actual science. Based on the theory of psychological types described by psychologist C. G. Jung, it aims to show that even though we may all think we are special snowflakes, a lot of our behavior is quite predictable due to how we prefer to use our perception and judgment.
Using your answers, the test ranks you on four different scales: Extraversion(E)/introversion(I), sensing(S)/intuition(N), thinking(T)/feeling(F), judging(J)/perceiving(P). It then categorizes you into one of 16 personality types—kind of like the Harry Potter sorting hat times one thousand. And while it’s just fun to take these types of tests, this one can actually help you in your life, says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, a psychologist, personality theory expert, and certified MBTI consultant in Malibu, California.
“I really feel this can help everyone; the test helps you identify your strengths and weakness, which can help you in choosing a career, building a relationship, finding fulfilling hobbies, and relating to others,” she explains.
Below, we give you an overview of each type, along with some expert advice to help you make the most of your innate strengths and work with your weaknesses. We are using their Myers Briggs personality types’ names, rather than just the MBTI letter classifications, as they are more descriptive.
The Inspector (ISTJ)
If you’re this Myers-Briggs personality type, you are traditional, hardworking, quiet, dependable, and practical, making you very reliable. This means you work well in authority positions or law enforcement, Bash says. “Others often find you calming as they know exactly what to expect from you,” she explains. However, you are often mistaken for being too serious or standoff-ish and you need to be careful not to be harsh in your judgments of others, she adds. For more fun, check out what your dreams say about your personality.
The Counselor (INFJ)
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
You prioritize ideas, relationships, and material possessions which gives you insight into others and makes you organized and decisive. You have firm values and never waver in your opinions. “Helping others see things in a different way is one of your strengths and a lot of these types end up as performers or public speakers,” Bash says. Be careful to stay grounded in reality though as this Myers-Briggs personality type is prone to overpromising, she cautions. P.S. Did you know this is the rarest of all the Myers Briggs personality types?
The Mastermind (INTJ)
You are an idea factory and are great at seeing patterns in complicated situations and keeping a long-term perspective. “These people gravitate to tech jobs as they’re great at detail-oriented projects,” Bash says. However, you’re also very skeptical, independent, and have very high standards for yourself and others which can make maintaining real relationships difficult, if you’re not careful to keep these in check, she says. Find out the habits that reveal a lot about your personality.
The Giver (ENFJ)
Warm, compassionate, and empathetic, you are the person everyone turns to in their time of need and because you can see the good in everyone, you’ll help in any way you can. “A major overlooked strength of this group is that you are good at delivering difficult messages,” Bash says, adding these people are often found in roles that involve working with people, ranging from counseling to diplomacy. But be careful to not let your idealism distract you from the present and remember to make time to take care of yourself too, she adds.
The Craftsman (ISTP)
Observant, patient, flexible, and tolerant, you are the ultimate problem-solver, finding logical and efficient solutions to tricky issues. “I joke that these people make the perfect spies,” Bash says. However, because you mainly keep your thoughts to yourself, others may see you as unpredictable, secretive, or having a hidden agenda, so you need to work on being consistent and transparent with others, she adds. Here’s how to use your Myers Briggs test and other tricks to stand out at work.
The Provider (ESFJ)
Cooperative, loyal, and observant, you feel best when everyone around you is working in harmony so you will do everything you can to help groups work together smoothly. “These people are usually the ‘popular kids’ in every situation—the ones who seem to know everyone,” Bash says. Use your power to connect people for good by working in fundraising or charities, she says. “But be careful to be sincere and genuine so you don’t come across as shallow,” she says.
The Idealist (INFP)
You have a strong moral compass and it’s very important to you to live a life in harmony with your values. You’re curious, idealistic, and love helping others. “I find a lot of writers in this group due to their desire to share their thoughts and values,” Bash says. But it’s important not to simply be an observer but to act, she adds. For a different perspective, check out the main personality types and how they work together.
The Performer (ESFP)
Paging all hedonists! You love people (of all types!), food, travel, and everything fun this world has to offer. You are considered the life of the party. Because you’re so comfortable being the center of attention, you’re a mesmerizing performer and have a gift for making people feel loved and welcome, Bash says. “It’s easy for this type to get so caught up in performing that they forget to listen to others. You need to learn how to share the spotlight,” she adds.
The Champion (ENFP)
You’re very creative, verbal, and love communicating with others. Add that to your competitive drive and you have the power to be a real force for good. “You’re a natural leader and are good at motivating others,” Bash says. Just make sure to tone down that competitive urge in relationships—this type can sometimes be overwhelming with their enthusiasm and energy, she adds. Want more self-insight into yourself and others beyond you Myers Briggs personality types? Find out what your handwriting says about your personality.