The Myers-Briggs personality types were created by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It was introduced during World War 2 to help women find the best war-time jobs. The ones that suited their personality type. It builds on the previous work of Carl Jung and makes it more practical.
To identify your Myers-Briggs personality type, you would complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) test under the supervision of a qualified MBTI practitioner. There are also free tests available on the internet.
When you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, you’ll understand why you like and dislike certain things. It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses and why you naturally get along with some people, but not others. It can also help you understand the types of careers that you would be great at and enjoy the most.
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There are 4 preferences that underlie the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. Each of the 16 personality types is a different combination of these 4 preferences. Each preference has 2 options. These are indicated by a single letter. So the combination of 4 preferences, each with 2 options, add up to 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types.
As you learn about these preferences, I want you to realize that you are not totally one or the other. We do both. In the same way as you prefer using your right-hand, you can still use your left-hand.
Introversion (I) v Extroversion (E)
This is about where you direct your energy.
Introverted people are often quieter and enjoy time alone and meaningful one-on-one conversations. They direct their energy inwards towards ideas, information, explanations or beliefs. They like to understand concepts and ideas and are often deep thinkers. They feel recharged after spending some time alone.
Extroverted people enjoy company and being the centre of attention. They are lively and sociable. They direct their energy outwards towards people, things and situations. Their focus is on the external or outside world. They feel energized after spending time with other people.
Sensing (S) v Intuition (N)
This is about how we perceive and observe the world.
Sensing is about obtaining information from your 5 senses. Sensing people like to deal with facts and what they know to be true. They want to see specific evidence, data and numbers that back up an idea. They like getting hands-on experience.
Intuitive people are more interested in ideas, patterns, meanings and concepts. If you like to look beyond the 5 senses, delve into the unknown, or anticipate things that aren’t obvious, then you are more on the intuition side. This includes a preference to visualize or imagine the future.
Intuition uses the letter “N”, as “I” was already taken for Introversion.
Thinking (T) v Feeling (F)
This is about how you make decisions based on the information gathered from sensing and intuition.
If you lean more towards thinking, you’ll base your decisions on logic and whether it makes sense. You’ll ask questions such as “will this work?”, “is this true?” or “does this make sense?” You’ll be more analytical and detached.
Feeling can include making decisions based on emotions. But it goes beyond that. It includes the value you give something. Do you perceive it as good, bad, right or wrong?
You’ll make decisions based more on something feeling good, or on what you like doing, or because you feel it will benefit other people. It’s also making decisions based on what you believe is important.
Judgement (J) and Perception (P)
This is about how people deal with external events and the outside world.
It’s about the need for structure or planning versus going with the flow. It can also influence decision-making and how you handle information.
You lean towards judgement when you prefer your life to be planned, organized and structured. You’ll look to others before deciding. They want to know what other people think, before deciding themselves.
When taking in information, they feel that less is more. They don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed with a wide variety of information.
If you prefer to go with the flow, be flexible, spontaneous and deal with things as they arise, then you lean more towards perception. Your day will be less structured and planned. They can seem disorganised, but are often enjoying life and having fun!
Decisions are made primarily with an inward focus. They will question what is the right decision for them and rarely involve others.
When it comes to information, more is better. They want lots of it and will rarely feel overwhelmed when dealing with lots of information.
The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
When you do a Myers-Briggs test, your result will be one of 16 Myers-Briggs personality types based on the 4 preferences outlined above.
Each personality type consists of a combination of 4 letters that represent their preferred choice from each of the 4 preferences.
The Inspector (ISTJ)
These people are serious, formal, ethical and traditional. They are loyal, dependable, realistic and responsible. When life is chaotic, they feel unsettled.
These people work steadily and consistently. They decide logically what needs to be done and work persistently towards it. Ignoring distractions is easy as they maintain a continuous focus on their important tasks.
Following rules, laws and traditions is paramount to inspectors. They value ethics highly. They have no desire to reinvent the wheel or try a novel and unusual approach to solving a problem.
They can be judgemental, insensitive and have a tendency to blame others.
This is the third most common personality type overall, representing 11.6% of the population. It is the most common Myers-Briggs personality type for men at 16.4%. For women, it’s 6.9%
Famous people with the Inspector (ISTJ) personality type include:
- Henry Ford
- Queen Elizabeth
- George H.W. Bush
- Robert De Niro
The Crafter (ISTP)
Freedom, new experiences, lots of variety and taking action are very important to the crafter Myers-Briggs personality type.
These people are thrill-seekers! They love adrenalin sports, hobbies and even careers. They relish independence and the freedom to work at their own pace and on their terms. They don’t like routine and can be afraid of commitment.
In a crisis, the ISTP keeps a cool head and thinks objectively. They often ignore their own feelings until they become overwhelming. The Crafter is self-confident and easy-going.
They represent 5.4% of the population. It’s much more common for men at 8.5%. For women, it’s 2.3%
Famous people with the Crafter (ISTP) personality type include:
- Tom Cruise
- Michael Jordan
- Bruce Lee
The Protector (ISFJ)
The Protector is reserved, reliable, practical, warm-hearted and responsible. They like structure and order and are introverted observers that focus on the needs of other people.
These people are excellent at empathizing with others and understanding their feelings and emotions. However, they often keep their own feelings inside, so not to burden others with their problems.
They prefer to learn by doing and appreciate new ideas that can solve a specific problem. They don’t like abstract concepts.
The Protector takes longer to adapt to change. They want lots of time to think before making a big life change.
This is the most common of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing 13.8% of the total population. It’s also the most common for women at 19.4%. For men, it’s 8.1%.
Famous people with the Protector (ISFJ) personality type include:
- Mother Teresa
- Prince Charles
- Tiger Woods
The Artist (ISFP)
People with this Myers-Briggs personality type are kind, friendly, sensitive, quiet, peaceful and easy-going. They accept people as they are.
Being introverted, they are likely to have fewer friends, but the friendships are more meaningful.
They find it easy to focus on the present and not regret the past or worry about the future. They value practical “hands-on” learning and dislike abstract concepts, unless they can see a practical use for them.
The Artist holds their beliefs and values in high regard. They are very aware of their environment and other people. They have a strong need for personal space and dislike conflicts and arguments.
This is the fourth most common of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing 8.8% of the total population. For women, it’s 9.9% and for men, it’s lower at 7.6%.
Famous people with the Artist (ISFP) personality type include:
- David Beckham
- Michael Jackson
- Brad Pitt
The Advocate (INFJ)
The Advocate is creative, idealistic, has high moral standards and is focussed on the future. They are deep thinkers, often contemplating the meaning of life. However, they can turn this into action and help make the world a better place.
These people are gentle, caring and reserved. They are very sensitive to the feelings of other people. They enjoy helping others and making strong and meaningful connections and friendships. However, they need their own space too.
The Advocate has deeply held beliefs and values that guide them to bring positive and lasting change. They also act decisively to get what they want or do what’s right.
These people can be overly sensitive, stubborn, and have very high and perhaps unrealistic expectations. They also dislike conflicts, arguments and confrontation.
This is the rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing only 1.5% of the total population. It’s 1.6% for women and 1.2% for men.
Famous people with the Advocate (INFJ) personality type include:
- Martin Luther King
- Peter Gabriel
The Mediator (INFP)
Mediators have a strong sense of purpose. They want to use their talents, skills and abilities to help others and make the world a better place. Understanding themselves and how they fit into the world is important for this Myers-Briggs personality type.
The Mediator is most interested in the big picture and gets bored with the details. High values drive them and influence their decisions. These people are introverted, quiet and reserved. They prefer a few close friends to large social gatherings.
Other positive aspects of this personality type include creativity, being able to work well alone and being sensitive to other people’s feelings. They can take things personally and be too idealistic.
4.4% of the total population have this personality type with 4.6% being women, and 4.1% being men.
Famous people with the Mediator (INFP) personality type include:
- Princess Diana
- William Shakespeare
- Bob Marley
- Chris Martin
The Architect (INTJ)
Also known as the “Strategist”, people with this Myers-Briggs personality type are analytical and logical. They make decisions based on objective information, rather than emotions or intuition.
They are self-confident, hard-working and deal well with criticism, seeing it more as feedback. These people like to plan things out in advance and prefer life to be controlled and orderly.
Like the Mediator, the Architect is creative and likes the big picture, and enjoys working alone. They are also good listeners. These people enjoy theoretical and abstract concepts.
The downsides of this personality type are perfectionism, being judgemental, and sometimes coming across as insensitive.
At 2.1% of the total population, this is one of the rarer Myers-Briggs personality types. It’s more common in men at 3.3%. For women, it’s the joint lowest with ENTJ at 0.9%.
Famous people with the Architect (INTJ) personality type include:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Isaac Newton
- Mark Zuckerberg
The Thinker (INTP)
As the name suggests, this Myers-Briggs personality type enjoys thinking about how things work and finding solutions to problems. They are abstract thinkers and are more focussed on their internal thoughts and less on the external world.
They are quiet, independent, analytical and flexible. Although they are abstract thinkers, they prefer to use logic and objective information when making decisions.
Thinkers are flexible and good at “out of the box” thinking. They don’t like too much structure or planning.
These people are quiet, enjoy time alone and have a few close friends. They are more likely to break the rules or experience moments of self-doubt. Thinkers can be insensitive too.
INTP’s are less common, only representing 3.3% of the total population. They are more common in men at 4.8%. For women, it’s 1.7%.
Famous people with the Thinker (INTP) personality type include:
- Albert Einstein
- Charles Darwin
- Abraham Lincoln
The Persuader (ESTP)
These people are sociable, outgoing, gregarious, funny and have a wide circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
As the name suggests, they are highly persuasive and influential. They are action takers and use objective information rather than feelings when making decisions. They are also extremely observant and pick up on details that other people never notice. These people are adaptable, flexible and resourceful.
The Persuader does not like abstract theories or concepts. Instead preferring practical and straight-forward information that they can think about rationally and act on immediately.
These people live in the present. They don’t plan things too much, instead preferring to improvise, react in the moment and keep their options open. They can be impulsive and do things they later regret. The Persuader is competitive and can get bored easily.
Around 4.3% of the population have this Myers-Briggs personality type. It’s more common in men at 5.6%. For women, it’s 3%.
Famous people with the Thinker (ESTP) personality type include:
- Donald Trump
- Jack Nicholson
The Director (ESTJ)
The Director is your natural leader. They are self-confident, have strong convictions and like to take charge and put plans into action.
You can rely on the Director to be reliable, stable, committed and honest. They are logical, practical and predictable. These people follow the rules and like things to go smoothly.
With other people, the Director is assertive, frank and will openly share their opinions. This can come across as harsh or overly critical to some people, especially if they don’t live up to the Directors high standards. They value tradition, rules, laws and security.
However, the Director can be bossy, argumentative and insensitive. Their need to follow rules and procedures can make them inflexible at times.
This is the fifth most common Myers-Briggs personality type, representing 8.7% of the total population. It’s much more common in men at 11.2%. For women, it’s 6.3%.
Famous people with the Director (ESTJ) personality type include:
- Michelle Obama
- Frank Sinatra
The Performer (ESFP)
The Performer is outgoing, optimistic, gregarious, spontaneous, fun-loving and enjoys being the centre of attention.
They are very resourceful, practical and learn through direct “hands-on” experience, especially if that learning involves other people too. They struggle with theoretical concepts and traditional classroom learning.
The Performer likes to live in the present and do what feels good right now. They often fail to think about the consequences of their actions on their health and their life in the longer-term.
These people enjoy new experiences and are on the lookout for a new adventure. They will rush into new situations and figure them out as they go along. Not surprisingly, they dislike routine and can get bored easily.
Performers are fantastic with people. They are warm, easy-going, sympathetic and understanding when interacting with other people. They are also very perceptive. The Performer can sense what another person is feeling and respond accordingly.
Around 8.5% of the total population have this personality type. It’s more common in women at 10.1%. For men, it’s 6.9%.
Famous people with the Performer (ESFP) personality type include:
- Elvis Presley
- Richard Branson
- Marilyn Monroe
The Caregiver (ESFJ)
As the name suggests, the Caregiver derives great pleasure from helping others and looking after them. They are very sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. They help, support and encourage other people to be at their best.
Caregivers are outgoing, gregarious, loyal, warm-hearted and kind. Their natural desire to help others, means that other people are often drawn to the Caregiver.
However, they also have a need for approval. They want their kind and giving ways to be noticed and appreciated by other people. There is an inner need to be liked by others. This makes the Caregiver very sensitive to unkindness, indifference, or when their kind gestures go unnoticed.
The Caregiver will often find it hard to notice or believe anything that is negative about the people close to them. They will tend to gloss over or accept their bad points.
Organising, planning and scheduling helps the Caregiver feel more in control. This also makes them very dependable.
This is the second most common personality type overall, representing 12.3% of the total population. It’s much more common in women at 16.9%. For men, it’s 7.5%.
Famous people with the Caregiver (ESFJ) personality type include:
- Andrew Carnegie
- Elton John
- Whitney Houston
- Mariah Carey
The Champion (ENFP)
Enthusiasm, charisma, energy, creativity and charm are key characteristics of this Myers-Briggs personality type. They are also independent and like to have the freedom to innovate.
Excellent people and communication skills are the hallmark of the Champion. They are genuinely interested and care about others. They like to understand how others feel. These people are warm, emphatic and caring.
The charisma, charm, creativity and people skills of Champions, make them great leaders. They also like to dream up new ideas and focus on the future.
The Champion does not like routines and can get bored easily if work is uninspiring. They can be disorganised and will often procrastinate on important tasks.
These people are fun, spontaneous and flexible. They like to keep their options open and are very adaptable to changing circumstances.
8.1% of the total population have this personality type. It’s more common in women at 9.7%. For men, it’s 6.4%.
Famous people with the Champion (ENFP) personality type include:
- Charles Dickens
- Robin Williams
- Walt Disney
- Bruce Springstein
The Giver (ENFJ)
The Giver is highly extroverted and likely to have the best people skills of all the Myers-Briggs personality types. These people are warm, affectionate, supportive, sensitive, outgoing and loyal.
They can forge friendships with all the other 15 Myers-Briggs personality types, even the most introverted ones.
These people can sense what others are feeling and change their behavior accordingly. They have a strong desire to help others be the best they can be.
The Giver thoroughly enjoys spending time with other people. They love to encourage others and get immense personal satisfaction from helping others.
However, their desire to help others, means that they sometimes neglect their own needs. They can be too hard on themselves as well. This might include blaming themselves when things go wrong, or not giving themselves a pat on the back when everything is going well.
Their fantastic people skills can help gain agreements, consensus and decisions between diverse groups of people. This makes them outstanding leaders. Also, their enthusiasm and ability to motivate and inspire others is very helpful in leadership roles. They are also very organized.
Whilst the Giver loves being with people, they do need some time alone to assimilate and organize their own thoughts.
The Giver can be overly sensitive, indecisive and sometimes requires the approval of others to help them feel good.
This personality type is less common, only representing 2.5% of the total population. It’s 3.3% for women and 1.6% for men.
Famous people with the Giver (ENFJ) personality type include:
- Barack Obama
The Debator (ENTP)
The Debator loves interacting with a wide variety of people and is a brilliant conversationalist. These people enjoy debating. For them, it helps them explore and understand, by discovering other people’s beliefs, opinions and points of view. They may sometimes play devil’s advocate to help others view things from a different angle or perspective.
The Debator is clever, intelligent, innovative and loves generating ideas and theories. However, they are not so good at putting these ideas into action. They often start projects, but don’t finish them.
They tend to be focussed on the future and prefer the big picture to specific details.
The Debator is fairly laid-back and easy going. They are curious about the world and want to understand it. These people are continually taking in new ideas and information and will quickly arrive at conclusions. They value knowledge and find it easy to understand new information.
The Debator finds it hard to make decisions. They prefer to wait and see what happens.
They can be argumentative and don’t like to be controlled. The Debator dislikes routines and schedules. They can also be unfocussed and insensitive.
This personality type represents 3.2% of the total population. It’s 4% for men and 2.4% for women.
Famous people with the Debator (ENTP) personality type include:
- Thomas Edison
- Tom Hanks
- John Cleese
- Frank Zappa
The Commander (ENTJ)
The last Myers-Briggs personality type is the Commander.
The Commander is very organized. They thrive on having a plan, schedule or course of action. This gives them a sense of control, certainty and predictability.
These people are assertive, confident, self-assured and have strong communication skills. They enjoy spending time with other people.
The Commander is good at making decisions that are based on logic and objective information. They are also great at identifying and solving problems.
Their focus is on the future, and they connect better with abstract and theoretical information.
The Commander can be stubborn, outspoken or impatient. They may also be aggressive and intolerant too.
This is the second rarest of all the Myers-Briggs personality types, representing just 1.8% of the total population. It’s also the joint lowest for women at 0.9%. It’s much more common in men at 4%.
Famous people with the Commander (ENTJ) personality type include:
- Margaret Thatcher
- Bill Gates
- Steve Jobs
- George Clooney
Which one am I?
My Myers-Briggs Personality type is ESTJ or “The Director”. I’m practical, realistic and enjoy organizing projects and people to make things happen. I like to create systems to do things efficiently, and I remember the important details. I like to follow rules, procedures, rather than reinvent the wheel. I enjoy working with other people and making things happen.
When I completed the Truity Type Finder Myers-Briggs personality test, these were my results for each of the preferences:
|Introversion (I) – 45%||Extroversion (E) – 55%|
|Sensing (S) – 51%||Intuition (N) – 49%|
|Thinking (T) – 54%||Feeling (F) – 46%|
|Perceiving (P) – 24%||Judging (J) – 76%|
So except for Perceiving v Judging, I’m fairly middle of the road for the other preferences, especially Sensing v Intuition which is almost neck and neck. This makes me very close to the ENTJ or “The Commander” personality type too.
Which one are you?
If you already know, then share this in the comments below. If you don’t, click the link below to complete the free Truity TypeFinder personality test and find out.
I looked at a few different free Myers-Briggs tests, and this was the best one. It has 100 questions and will take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Remember to share your personality type in the comments below after completing it.
The Myers-Briggs personality types are very well known and popular. However, they have been criticized for not being reliable or entirely accurate. The results can also depend on who created the personality test. Some are better than others.
However, it is a fascinating way to discover more about who you are and your strengths and weaknesses. It can help you choose jobs, careers, hobbies, friends and relationships that align with your personality type.
Finally, your personality type is not set in stone. It can change over time as your beliefs and values develop. Life experience also has a huge part to play in how your personality evolves over time.
If you don’t like aspects of your Myers-Briggs personality type, then you can use the articles, videos and other resources on this website to help change your personality.