“It is always good to know, if only in passing, charming human beings. It refreshes one like flowers and woods and clear brooks.” – George Eliot
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) divides personality into 16 distinct types, based on Carl Jung‘s theory of psychological type. We all exhibit different “preferences” for ways of being and interacting with others in the world. The idea behind personality type is that characteristics that appear random or without a distinctive pattern make sense when we consider these behaviors through the lens of personality.
Most people are not “always” one way or the other. We tend to act in different ways depending upon the specific situation and people. This is highly adaptive and enables us to alter our behaviors to fit different social contexts. For example, someone who might identify as being highly extroverted may exhibit more introverted tendencies by taking great pleasure in spending their down time alone. However, it they are primarily “energized” by time spent with other people, they would likely fall closer to the extroverted side of the “E-I” continuum.
Extroverted individuals tend to derive their energy from being actively involved in events and activities with social interaction. They tend to enjoy moving into action and energizing other people around them. Many extroverts have a tendency to enjoy “talking through” their problems/thoughts/feelings with another person, as opposed to processing internally.
Extroverted / Sensing / Thinking / Perceiving – (5.6% of males, 3.0% of females)
ESTP’s are outgoing “straight shooters” who like to take a practical approach to problem solving that will produce immediate results. They are skilled at picking up on little clues about others’ personalities and feelings, which contributes to their strong social skills. They tend to be bored by abstract theories and prefer taking energetic action towards solving problems. ESTP’s are spontaneous, focused on the present moment, and tend to learn best through doing.
Extroverted / Sensing / Feeling / Perceiving – (6.9% of males, 10.1% of females)
ESFP’s live in a world of possibilities, loving people and new experiences. They tend to be outgoing, accepting, and friendly, frequently finding themselves in the role of peacemaker. ESFP’s are spontaneous, optimistic, and view the world as a stage. They love working together with other people to make things happen. They tend to struggle with negative possibilities, and may become overwhelmed by negative thoughts when under stress. They love life and their bonds with other people.
Extroverted / Intuitive / Feeling / Perceiving – (6.4% of males, 9.7% of females)
ENFP’s are warm enthusiastic people, who are typically bright and full of potential. They are imaginative and see life as being full of possibilities. They tend to have a broad range of interests and do well at the things that interest them. ENFP’s quickly see connections between events and information, and are able to move forward with confidence based on what they see. When maladaptive, an ENFP has the capacity to be manipulative and use their “gift of gab” in negative ways.
Extroverted / Intuitive / Thinking / Perceiving – (4.0% of males, 2.4% of females)
ENTP’s are “idea people” who are able to intuitively understand people and situations with ease. They tend to be quick, alert, and outspoken. They are more interested in generating ideas and possibilities than specific plans of actions. ENTP’s are fluent conversationalists who tend to enjoy lively “sparring” with others. They are good at reading people and tend to be bored by routine. ENTP’s tend to be upbeat visionaries who value knowledge, understanding, and possibilities.
Extroverted / Sensing / Thinking / Judging – (11.2% of males, 6.3% of females)
ESTJ’s live in the present, honor traditions and laws, and have a clear set of standards and beliefs. They are realistic, matter-of-fact, and practical in nature. They are “take-charge” people who tend have a clear vision of how things should be; they easily step into leadership roles. ESTJ’s excel at organizing projects and people to get things done and take care of routine details. They put a lot of effort into all that they do, valuing security and social order. When stressed, they may feel isolated from others.
Extroverted / Sensing / Feeling / Judging – (7.5% of males, 16.9% of females)
ESFJ’s love people and take a warm interest in others. They have a strong desire to be liked and for things to be pleasant, which lends them to being supportive of others. ESFJ’s tend to be gifted at making others feel good about themselves. They are conscientious, warm-hearted, and cooperative. They define their values externally (i.e., based on the people around them and their community, as opposed to internally), with a clear set of what those values are. They enjoy being appreciated and making contributions.
Extroverted / Intuitive / Feeling / Judging – (1.6% of males, 3.3% of females)
ENFJ’s live in the world of “people possibilities” and have excellent people skills. They are empathetic, warm, and responsible. They tend to be quite externally focused and often neglect to spend time alone (when they have a tendency to turn to dark thoughts). They are able to see the potential in everyone, and are interested in helping others reach their potential. They may feel lonely when around people, because they tend to now show all of themselves. They are loyal, responsive to praise and criticism.
Extroverted / Intuitive / Thinking / Judging – (2.7% of males, 0.9% of females)
ENTJ’s are straightforward, decisive, and readily step into leadership roles. They live in a world of possibilities and view difficulties as challenges to be overcome. They are career-focused and look for ways to turn problems into solutions. ENTJ’s enjoy long-term planning and goal-setting. They tend to be knowledgeable, well-informed and may be forceful in the style that the present their ideas. Although not naturally tuned into others’ feelings, they often have strong sentimental streaks.
If you felt that you identified as an extrovert in my recent post, Understanding the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which specific extroverted type stood out to you the most? For some, a brief description of their Myers-Briggs type is a bit of an “a-ha!” moment.
For others, they may identify with features of multiple types. It is important to remember that no one type is “better” or “worse” than any other. Each type has specific strengths and weaknesses; they are simply different.
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If you are interested in taking the official MBTI personality assessment, you may take it at MBTI Complete for $59.95. For an unofficial version of the Jung Typology Test, you may take it for free at HumanMetrics.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.myersbriggs.org/
Featured image: Metallica at Rock Werchter 2009 by crsan / CC BY 2.0