Share on Facebook

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.

Happy diverse people together in the parkRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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. 

Portrait Of Young African Male Security Guard Standing Arms CrossedAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

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.

Businessman Delivering Presentation At ConferenceMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

The Counselor (INFJ)

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?

Young Woman Working And Programming On Computer In Office. Beautiful Female Programmer Working Looking At Monitor, Typing Data Code In Company Office. High Quality Image.puhhha/Shutterstock

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

A cheerful black coupleRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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.

Young woman worker in the carpenter workroom.Halfpoint/Shutterstock

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.

Group of friends enjoying outdoor party in home garden. Millennials  enjoying summer meal at restaurant.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

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.

Young handsome caucasian businessman  in trendy suit writing information on financial papers for banking on laptop computer, serious confident male doing paperwork remotely indoors in coffee shop GaudiLab/Shutterstock

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.

Lovely young couple playing guitar in the roomGoran Bogicevic/Shutterstock

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.

Smiling woman in sportswear sitting on steps outdoors after a run. Female athlete taking break after running workout.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

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.

Portrait of a senior man sitting on a log near lake and looking away. Mature man sitting alone on lake.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

The Doer (ESTP)

Leap first, look later is your motto. You want to take action immediately and find ruminating over theories or explanations boring. Because you have a lot of common sense and are fun, you don’t have any problems getting others on board with your plans. “My biggest concern with this group is their impulsivity and lack of foresight,” Bash says. “They’re also more prone to addictive behaviors.”

African american business man in carPH888/Shutterstock

The Supervisor (ESTJ)

When it comes to leadership abilities, you’ve got them in spades: You’re organized, logical, efficient, decisive, and practical. “Because you’re also good at being discrete, you’ll rise quickly within management,” Bash says. Your only downside? “This group can be rigid and harshly judgmental which can turn others away from you, even if you’re technically correct,” she adds. Don’t miss what your favorite food says about your personality

Breast augmentation, enlargement, enhancement. Surgeon and his assistant performing cosmetic surgery in hospital operating room. In mask wearing during medical procedurePRO Stock Professional/Shutterstock

The Commander (ENTJ)

Many of the Myers Briggs personality types are have similar traits, like commanders and supervisors. However, where supervisors may get bogged down in the details, you’re a natural leader with an eye towards the future, helping you organize and implement long-term plans. You also enjoy learning new things and sharing that knowledge with others. “You’re very good at keeping a cool head in high-pressure situations, many in this group thrive as doctors or in the military,” Bash says. Don’t let your logical side cut you off from your emotions, though, and make a conscious effort to empathize with others, she says.

Young attractive female blogger in glasses for eye protection sharing news with followers via smartphone application.Gorgeous hipster girl strolling at urban setting with gadget during leisure timeGaudiLab/Shutterstock

The Thinker (INTP)

You are a world unto yourself, finding your own thoughts much more tantalizing than interacting with others. Thinkers love theories and explanations and while you may appear quiet it’s often because you’re working through a complex idea. Because you can sustain focused attention for a long time, you can succeed in many career paths others can’t because they lack the patience, Bash says. However, this trait taken too far can turn you into a workaholic so make sure you’re devoting your intellect to a balanced variety of things, she adds. Find out what your birth date reveals about your personality.

Executive african american woman shaking hands with welcoming smile JonoErasmus88/Shutterstock

The Nurturer (ISFJ)

Committed, friendly, responsible, and conscientious, you are a natural gatherer. You often know just the right thing to say to people and you thrive in an orderly, peaceful environment and will work hard for that goal. Many Nurturers end up as politicians, diplomats, and religious leaders due to their interest in people, Bash says. “You must remember, though, that not everyone is as well-intended as you are and others can manipulate you if you’re not careful,” she cautions. 

Young woman photographer looking at the printed photos with old 6x6 frame camera sitting in the cafe with loft design interiorRossHelen/Shutterstock

The Visionary (ENTP)

Visionaries can be the most temperamental of the Myers Briggs personality types—in the right environment you are creative and quick-thinking but in situations that require a lot of repetition you become bored easily and may seem checked out. Variety and stimulation are the keys to making the most of your gifts, Bash says. “Often times these people are brilliant but they may get so caught up in their projects they become isolated from others,” she explains. “Forming romantic relationships can be especially tricky thanks to their propensity to get bored quickly.” Here’s what your favorite flower says about your personality, too. 

Young Female Looking For Some Vegetables At Market Placezeljkodan/Shutterstock

The Composer (ISFP)

Go along to get along may well be the motto for this group. Composers dislike conflict and like to work on their own time frame, in their own way. “You are great at staying present in the moment and you often finding meaning and beauty in small, daily things—your friends find you fun and inspiring,” Bash says. Just be careful not to get so caught up in the present that you fail to plan for your future. This group may also struggle to maintain long-term relationships, she adds. Next, read on to find out what your birth order reveals about you.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She has appeared in television news segments for CBS, FOX, and NBC.