Everything I Always Wanted to Say About MBTI

*sips black coffee*

Greetings, comrades.

So, MBTI, amiright?  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the world’s best-known personality sorting system.  MBTI holds great sway over the wild lands of the Internet, is earnestly preached by corporate managers in their beige-painted boardrooms, annnnnnnnd … kind of gets an eye-roll from everybody else.  In my experience, anyway.  Either because it’s “not scientific,” because it “puts people in a box,” because it “stifles individuality,” because it “fosters excuses instead of Real Personal Growth,” or just because “who cares?”


Ahem.  😉

A post on MBTI is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while–months, in fact.  Please allow me to disclaim, I’m absolutely not here to shove the system in your faces or insist you all become obsessed fanatics (like moi).  Not everyone is into this stuff!  That’s okay!  But I am here to make a case for the real-time usefulness of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, when employed properly.  And the thing is, I don’t think the Internet MBTI community has always done a great job employing the system properly … or, worse, explaining it properly.

Before we go any further: everything I’m about to tell you, I learned over the years from this wise human bean and her amazing blog.  I’m only gonna scratch the surface, but she goes wayyyy in-depth, with detailed profiles and tons & tons of fictional examples of each type.  Go forth and browse.  Get lost in the black hole of knowledge.  Ya won’t regret it.

Now, let’s get down to the basics.  Most of y’all are familiar with the four-letter system of MBTI, yes?  Somebody is either E or I (extrovert vs. introvert), S or N (sensor vs. intuitive), T or F (thinker vs. feeler), and J or P (judger vs. perceiver).  I’m INFP, my mom is INTJ, one of my brothers is ESTJ, and on and on.  The problem is … there are sixteen different typesSixteen letter combinations.  That’s a lot to keep track of, isn’t it??  Furthermore, the letter system makes for some pretty easy stereotyping (J types are invariably straight-laced and driven, while P types are irresponsible butterflies, etc.)  We’ll get more into the stereotypes later … What I want to say NOW is, there’s a better way to do MBTI than relying on the letters: and that’s cognitive function theory.

I shall elaborate.

Cognitive Function Theory: Quick ‘N Dirty Version

Myers-Briggs categorizes people based on a) how they process information, and b) how they make decisions.  MBTI postulates that everybody uses some combination of the following cognitive functions: sensing, intuition, feeling, and thinking.  Which makes sense, right?  Everybody interacts with their sensory environment, everybody engages with their imagination, everyone has their own brand of feelings, and everybody uses some brand of logic.  Sensing, intuition, feeling, and thinking.  Furthermore: for each of these functions, there’s an introverted version and an extroverted version.

In total, that gives us eight cognitive functions:

  • Introverted Sensing (Si)
  • Extroverted Sensing (Se)
  • Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  • Extroverted Intuition (Ne)

[those four, S/N, are known as the perceiving functions, the “processing information” ones.]

  • Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  • Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Extroverted Thinking (Te)

[these guys, T/F, are called the judging functions, the “making decisions” ones.]

It’s kind of a “pick a combo” situation: everyone uses either Si or Se, either Ni or Ne, either Ti or Te, and either Fi or Fe.  And here’s the punchline: Of those eight, the function you use THE MOST determines your personality type.

Accurately figuring your MBTI type, then, is a matter of figuring out which function you relate to the most.

I shall elaborate further.  Here’s a (super quick ‘n dirty, again) description of what each function looks like in practice.

beach picture

Introverted Sensing (Si).  Are you “the expert” in your chosen field of interest?  Are you the one who knows alllllllllllll the parts to a jet engine or allllllllllll the elves of the Silmarillion?  Are you able to process and remember lots of details, without really breaking a sweat?  Do you rely on your “data bank” of past experiences to help you navigate present challenges?  Would those who know you describe you as steady, methodical, practical, and (sometimes, but not always) traditional?  Then you’re probably ISFJ or ISTJ.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ESFJ or ESTJ.

Extroverted Sensing (Se).  Are you always first in line for new, exciting experiences?  Do you jump in while others hang back in panic?  Are you a bit of an adrenaline junkie?  Were you bored out of your skull after the first week of social distancing??  Do you live in the moment, rather than dwelling on the past or future?  Would those who know you describe you as adventurous, hands-on, good under pressure, but often impulsive?  Then you’re probably ESFP or ESTP.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ISFP or ISTP.

Introverted Intuition (Ni).  Are you a big-picture thinker?  Does envisioning the future feel easy, natural, while the past holds little interest?  Do family and friends groan at your sometimes pessimistic, but usually accurate, predictions?  Do you take time to make up your mind, but once you’ve settled on a conclusion, it’s rock-solid?  Do you think and talk in symbols which others struggle to understand?  Would those who know you describe you as single-minded, determined, aloof, and even “head in the clouds”?  Then you’re probably INFJ or INTJ.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ENFJ or ENTJ.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne).  Are you hungry for new ideas?  Are you excited by potential, possibility, and change?  Are you always hoping for the best, only to be disappointed by the worst?  Got a reputation for “trying on” new hobbies, philosophies, or crusades the way other folks try on shoes?  Frustrated when your passion for change is met with indifference?  Would those who know you describe you as enthusiastic, quick-thinking, idealistic, and sometimes fickle?  Then you’re probably ENFP or ENTP.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be INFP or INTP.

Introverted Feeling (Fi).  Are you swimming in an ocean of feelings, which you struggle to communicate to others?  Do you keep an inner code of personal, subjective values to guide you through life?  Are you chill, easygoing, quiet, until those values are violated?  Tolerant of others’ choices, as long as no one interferes with yours?  Would those who know you describe you as empathetic, soft-hearted, passionate, often moody?  Then you’re probably ISFP or INFP.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ESFP or ENFP.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe).  Are you a people person?  A chatterbox?  A networker?  Are you the unofficial “team leader” among your family or friends, the one others rely on to articulate what “we” believe and what “we” should do?  Do you feel strongest when your team agrees with you, and do you struggle to assert your own feelings/needs independent from theirs?  Would those who know you describe you as warm, caring, protective, and maybe just a little bossy?  Then you’re probably ESFJ or ENFJ.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ISFJ or INFJ.

Introverted Thinking (Ti).  Are you an analyst at heart?  Do you examine the world with a critical eye, checking it against your inner logic to see if it “makes sense”?  Are you annoyed when it (frequently) doesn’t?  Do you tinker with things, systems, ideas, even people, with an eye to improvement?  Do fellow humans confuse you with their pesky abundance of emotions and lack of logic?  Would those who know you describe you as thoughtful, skeptical, detached, and a stickler for precision?  Then you’re probably ISTP or INTP.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ESTP or ENTP.

Extroverted Thinking (Te).  Are you the one in charge, the one with a plan?  Are you bored organizing your house for the umpteenth time, and do you want quarantine to end so you can go back to organizing the entire world???  Do you base your decisions on facts, not feelings, and are you baffled when others see that as “cold” or “heartless”?  Do you need hard evidence before you’ll act?  Do you measure success by concrete results?  Would those who know you call you efficient, reliable, cool-headed, and definitely a little bossy?  Then you’re probably ESTJ or ENTJ.  Meanwhile, if you relate to some of this, but don’t think it’s your top function, you could be ISTJ or INTJ.

cognitive functions

So … that was cognitive function theory, y’all.  *wipes brow*

Reading through the above profiles, you may have noticed a discrepancy between the type an online quiz assigned you, and the function you actually related to the most.  That’s completely okay.  We’ll be getting into that next.  Saddle your horses, cowboys, for a stimulating discussion of Misleading MBTI Stereotypes™.


The biggest MBTI sorting site on the Internet is 16Personalities.com.  It’s the first Google search result, so it’s where everyone goes when first puzzling out their type.  Here, you can fill out a questionnaire and have them tell you which of the 16 options fits you.  They also have in-depth profiles for each type; which, for the most part, are pretty fair, balanced, and accurate.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for their quiz.

The 16Personalities questionnaire slants against E types, S types, and P types, which FORM A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF THE ACTUAL TYPE DISTRIBUTION, AHEM. Basically, from what I’ve seen over the years, the quiz is weighted to give anyone who says they need alone time an “I,” anyone who shows creativity or intelligence an “N,” and anyone with even a dollop of self-discipline a “J.”  In other words, they’re handing out INxJ typings like candy!!!  Completely disregarding the fact that a) even extroverts need alone time, it’s called being human; b) even sensors can be smart, creative, and curious, it’s called being human; and c) even P types can be every bit as hard-working and persistent as their J counterparts, provided they find a project they’re passionate about.  I’m an INFP who graduated from college with a 3.98 GPA and finished my master’s degree in two years.  I have self-discipline for dayyyyyys, fellas.

The upshot of all this?  There are a suspiciously large number of self-identifying INFJs and INTJs populating the Web.  I say “suspiciously large,” because in reality, the INxJ type only comprises about 1-2% of society.  I shouldn’t be running into them on every street corner or every Tumblr post–yet, somehow, I am.  *peers over spectacles*

Although I can’t type every single friend and acquaintance with total certainty:  I CAN tell you, the only person I know who unquestionably displays all the hallmarks of an INxJ in everyday speech, conversation, and behavior, is my mom.  She’s the one with the single-minded focus; the effortless pattern recognition; the terrifyingly accurate predictions; the withdrawn, distant social presence; the complete lack of sentimentality about the past.  That is what dominant Ni looks like.  Sounds pretty unusual, huh??  Well, it should.  Because I’m not sure I know anyone else who can match that.  Me, I absolutely can’t!  And yet!!!  I managed to mistype as INFJ for years, when an open-minded study of the cognitive functions should have made it obvious I’m a classic INFP.  I have all of Fi’s “these are My Feelings, I don’t care if you agree,” plus Ne’s “gimme the Shiny New Ideas, I wuvs them.”

But … well, to be honest, I wasn’t studying the cognitive functions with an open mind.  Instead, I was clinging to the label 16Personalities had assigned me, because I wanted to be the Cool Kid with the world’s rarest type.

Nor am I alone in this.

You see, because it’s the rarest type, and because so many folks are convinced they share it, the INFJ personality has taken on this strange mystique, this Aura, which further complicates matters.  I’ve seen typing blogs which earnestly attempt to prove that any idealistic, sensitive, good-hearted individual (whether real or fictional) must be INFJ.  That’s the type profile, in a lot of people’s minds: “selfless-sensitive-misunderstood-genuis-unicorn.”  #apologies to Tony Stark

red sunset

Couple rules of thumb, real quick.

  • “Highly sensitive and over idealistic” generally points not to INFJ, but xNFP.
  • Ne + Fi, not Ni + Fe, gives you the “big dreams & big feelings constantly crushed by reality” vibe.
  • Self-identifying as “tragically misunderstood” actually isn’t an MBTI thing, but an Enneagram thing (type 4, if you’re curious–we’ll dig into Enneagram in a later post).

So what does a real INFJ look like?

They’re not gonna be especially sensitive or particularly emo, first off.  When they do focus on emotions, it’ll be Fe’s “group welfare and group harmony” thing, rather than Fi’s “THIS IS HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW.”  But their feeling function comes second.  Their first function–their first love–is, quite simply, Ni.  Pondering and plotting and planning the biggest of all big-picture futures.  Weighing, analyzing, and assessing from the shadows.  That is introverted intuition.  That is Ni.

Forget the broody poet archetype.  If we’re doing archetypes, this is more like the quiet mastermind archetype, for either good or evil.  For all you Potterheads out there, this is the Albus Dumbledore archetype.

Raising an innocent kid as a “pig for slaughter,” for the sake of saving the school and the wider community?  Plotting Harry’s death for years and years and yearssssss, with all the patient foresight of a spider at the center of its web?  Sure, it’s morally repugnant from any sort of individual rights standpoint: but still, it lines up perfectly with Ni + Fe.  INFJs aren’t automatically good or pure or spotless, friends.  Every type has its temptations.  Every side has its dark side.  For these guys, Dumbledore is their dark side.

(see also: probably: Adolf Hitler)


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can be extremely useful for self-analysis and self-improvement, but only if you shed the stereotypes, shed preconceived ideas about which type is morally superior, and take a honest look at the strengths–and weaknesses–of your own cognitive functioning.  Stop saying, “but I don’t wanna be a boring SJ,” “I don’t wanna be a flaky NP,” and all the rest of it.  Si types are freakin’ SUPERHEROES, and Ne can rock self-discipline and persistence every bit as well as the next guy.  No. type. is. better. than. the. others.

To drive home my point, here’s a (humorous) look at the good and bad sides of my own type, the INFP.


You see?  I’m just like everybody else.  I have things I excel at, and things I kinda suck at.  I’m free-spirited, caring, authentic, good at encouraging others to be their best selves.  I’m hopeful (most of the time) and eager to hear new perspectives (pretty much all the time).  And yet: I can be indecisive.  I can be fooled by the promise of change which never comes.  I can get stuck in a rut, trap myself doing “the same things I’ve always done.”  Sometimes, I build castles in my head, but never get around to making them a reality where it counts.  And under heavy stress, I’m a freakin’ hyperfocused workaholic MONSTER.

Which is … okay.

I’m cool with being who I am.  Sure, there are rough edges, and I’m diligently working on sanding those down over time; but all of it–this whole beautiful mess we call my personality–is fundamentally OKAY.

I don’t need to change my type to be special.  I’m already special.  So are you.

Just the way you are.

Chat with me, pineapples!

What do you think your type is?

Was this post helpful at all (I hope)?







61 thoughts on “Everything I Always Wanted to Say About MBTI

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  1. So I was typed in college by a professor to set an example for other students and I actually found out years later that I typed incredibly wrong. I typed as my alter ego per se, my defense mechanism personality, and had no idea for years.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I typed the person I needed to be to protect myself at the time 😂 I typed INTJ. When come to find out, after years and much deliberation, I’m actually ISFJ. Fun times.


  2. I loved this. Also, I didn’t realize you’d figured out you were an INFP! I’m wondering now if my (one) INFJ friend is actually an INFJ. I’ve known her in real life for a long while, and we’re pretty tight, but it’s hard for me to tell if she is or not. *taps chin* I don’t know. I’m gonna ask her some of the questions for Ni.

    I do know I’m ISTP, but no one believes me … lol. I mean the heck do I care, but at the same time, it’s annoying how people in my fam are always like, “IF you’re ISTP …” I guess it doesn’t matter too much. 16Personalities was where I started, too! And it always gave me either INTJ or ISTJ, usually ISTJ. My parents are ISFJ and ESFJ, though, and my sister and brother who I’m probably closest to are ESTJ and ISTJ, so I feel like I do react a bit based on what they want rather than what I’d naturally do …

    Anyways, all rants aside, I totally thought I was INTJ for a couple years, but I am way too … not. I’m just the opposite from intuitive/Ni/etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! xD Yup, I only figured out that I was INFP not INFJ about a year ago … and it took a while for me to be like, “Hey, this would make an interesting blog post!” But yep, I absolutely do not use Fe, or Ni, but especially not Fe. That “we” mentality, that teamwork thing, that’s just not my jam.

      Ughhhhh, that’s annoying that no-one believes you!! I’m sorry!! But yeah, the 16Personalities quiz ABSOLUTELY CANNOT BE TRUSTED, so if you’ve studied the cognitive functions and determined that yeah, I use Ti + Se instead of Si + Te–then you should 100% trust your gut over the quiz results.

      (Also, you love Gone With the Wind, don’t you? Am I remembering that right?? Because that’s a veryyyyy STP book. Scarlett and Rhett are both ESTPs.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right, I can definitely see that “we” mentality in my friend who is an INFJ. 😛 She wants everyone to be a part of it and all, and I’m just over here like, “Can it literally be none of those people because it’s gonna be so much better without a thousand and one participants?”

        Yes! I think my sister wants to think of me as like ISFJ or something, but I mean … I know I’m not anything with a feeler type? Like noooo to Si and Fe. 😛

        YES! I’ve always wondered about Scarlett because she can be a little inconsistent at times (I think it also helps that the movie character and book character may have slight differences? I don’t know!), but Rhett is such an ESTP, and it’s great. I’m always relating to him. 😛 And Scarlett … eh. I like to think I wouldn’t be so dumb and naive, but I might be. I don’t know.


      2. Hmmmm … maybe? She’s very much a generalist in some areas, but then she gets really obsessed with one or two things and is stuck on them for a bit, but she has the most random banks of knowledge and is willing to debate the most random things that to me are just plain stupid (I’m like, “Sure … but no one cares.”) – yet I debate them anyway because *ahem* I just do. She does feel very Ni to me as I read it – “Do you think and talk in symbols which others struggle to understand? Would those who know you describe you as single-minded, determined, aloof, and even “head in the clouds”?” That’s very her. Like 100%.

        Ah, yes, that makes sense. Honestly, I feel like she’s just so immature that the good ESTP stuff legit doesn’t come out. 😛


      3. Interesting, interesting! Ahahaha, I wish I could meet you both IRL and then give you my own two cents about her type …

        Right!!! Immaturity / maturity is something that must always be taken into account when typing characters, cuz the healthy version and the unhealthy version don’t look exactly the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wouldn’t that be fun!? I’m not good at doing it with people I’ve just met because … I’m not paying attention, lol. 😛

        Yup, definitely … I tend to forget that because you’ll see one way a type is described, but that’s not how that particular person with that type acts because of experiences and how healthy they are, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Scarlett is a 3w4 and trust me, the 4 wing makes a LOT of difference against Rhett’s 7w8. I never saw her as naive, except in her 4ish attachment to Ashley. She was in love with a ghost that did not exist — the 4ish tendency to reject what she has (Rhett) in favor of something she feels denied (Ashley).

        Melanie is an ISFJ, though IMO, she and Ashley are both 9s. Passive and forgiving.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooohhh it’s been a while since I thought about MBTI! Myers-Briggs is very interesting, although sometimes I get rather sick of thinking/hearing about it (there’s only so much introspection I can take at a time. :P). But this brings back all those hours my friend spent once upon a time initiating me into the mysteries of the types and the cognitive functions…good times, good times. 🙂
    I LOVE YOUR QUICK N DIRTY DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FUNCTIONS. XD Seriously though, they’re really good descriptions. At least they make sense to me. And they made me finally realize why people so often think I’m INTJ!! Even though I’m definitely ISTJ!! Because my primary function is DEFINITELY Si and auxiliary Te, yep, and tertiary Fi, yep yep, and I don’t even have Ni? But I do act like I do quite often. I mean, I act like that person you described under Ni, even though it’s really just a surface thing.
    Anyway. That was cool to realize.
    To be honest, I don’t understand how MBTI makes much sense without thinking about the functions? I mean, I never GOT it till I understood them. It felt arbitrary and shallow. Also when people say things like “I’m either ISTJ or ISTP,” I’m just, ???? Those are TOTALLY different??? I’m an ISTJ and I’m NOTHING like an ISTP. That P/J changes everything, lol!!
    Also, SO MUCH YES that all the types are special and have their strengths and weaknesses. Even the types we admire and traditionally think of as the cool ones have really serious flaws. They’re not the ideal versions of them that we think of from fiction and stuff. They don’t have the same flaws that I do, but they definitely have flaws. And yeah the stereotypes…:/ I remember, when I was younger, sometimes feeling rather sad that I was an ISTJ, not a very creative type, when….I’m a writer/poet/musician??? (A writer/poet/musician who is extremely analytical/by-the-book in every other aspect of her life and super literal and aggressively remembers facts that no one else does and rarely makes decisions based on emotions and is pursuing a degree in STEM….but STILL. XD)
    Anyway, this is rather long and rambly and so I apologize if it made no sense. I loved this, though! MBTI is fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, yay!!! I’m so glad I was able to sum things up in a way that makes sense! And YUP, people can confuse Si with Ni, ISxJ with INxJ, cuz they’re both quiet and observant and insightful … but Si is grounded in real-world details, while Ni is way more abstract and “head in the clouds” on the inside.

      THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYINNNNNNNN. Agh. Preach, sister!! Without understanding the functions, MBTI is just a bunch of vague stereotypes, where people think “P vs J” is just a one-letter difference …. NOPE, it’s actually a sign that you use entirely different cognitive functions and a completely different way of looking at the world!!!

      Ummmm. If anybody ever tells you again that ISTJ is “not a creative type,” just remind them that J.R.R. Tolkien himself was the most ISTJ ever to ISTJ. 😉 And he created one of the most enduring fantasy universes in the history of literature. But he did it by being grounded and sensory-oriented and detail-oriented.

      No, no, it made total sense! I love your comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. High five, fellow NFP. Nice write up about the functions. 🙂

    Online tests mistyped me INTJ, then INFJ, then people out there typed me SFJ coz I’m nice and finish stuff and as we all know, P’s can’t finish anything coz — butterfly!!! sunlight!!! chocolate chips!! …. where was I? Oh yeah. Took me forever and a day to find ENFP but nothing else fits. Me and Jo March just gonna hang out in the kewl corner for awhile and ponder the utter worthlessness that Ne-dom is for dealing with Real Life and All That Crap, but the utter awesomeness it is for, you know, writing books. Lots and lots of books. Tons of books. Hundreds of books. Coz nothing matters except writing books. Ya feel me? 😉

    In my whole life, I think I’ve known three NFJs. Two ENFJs and one INFJ. The latter really ticked me off when Hannibal’s first trailers came on TV and all she said was, “That’s gonna be queer bait.” Me, the happy little Ne fluttered around her head and said, “Nah, give it a chance. Don’t dismiss it offhand.” “Nope,” she said. “It’s gonna suck and ruin the Hannibal Lecter books.” 3 years of my life later and sure enough, the last season did just that.

    I always hated it when she was right. 😛

    My dad is some sort of N and Fe user, so possibly NFJ. He’s also always right and it ticks me off. Maybe because I’m right 50/50. It’d be 70/30 but I’m too idealistic and always look for the Bright Side. *grumble, grumble, kick a garbage can lid, sulk*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *high five for my NFP pal* Thanks!

      YUP. ALL the books. Tons and tons and TONS of books. And y’know what, if you and me and Jo March don’t do it, who will? 😉

      I knowwwwwwwwww. My INTJ mom is always right, too. Eerily, ridiculously right. Usually about the hidden doom that no-one else expects.. 😉 And on my dark, 4ish days, I agree with her–while on my sunny, Ne-ish days, I’m like “MOOOOM, why can’t we all just TRUST PEOPLE for once????”

      And … then she’s right. Again. Dangit, Mom. But I’d be lost without her, and that’s the truth. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Less talented people will do it, that’s who. 😉

        Sometimes it’s doom predictions, sometimes it’s… different. Like predicting who’s gonna win the election, and what will happen after that in the country, etc. Which… it’s good someone cares about that enough to ‘see’ forward. I just … hope for the best. LOL

        Liked by 1 person


    I’m an ISTJ over here, but 16personalities typed me as XNTJ for all of my life. It will still type me as that if I take it right now. Granted… my parents are ENTJ and ENFP, and they’ve always been some of my biggest role models, so I’ve kinda “learned intuitive-ism” (I know you can’t actually learn it but as an Si dom I like patterns and will sometimes adopt other peoples’ patterns into my behavior) Also, ’cause Mom is an Ne dom, and she’s homeschooled me all my life, I’ve got a stronger Ne than the stereotypical ISTJ. (Speaking of stereotypes… I hate them so darn much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh and I actually know about six INFJs. Three of them I’m 100% sure are INFJs (though one of the guys likes to force himself not to be an Fe user. *facepalm* It’s complicated). The other three I know, at least one of them is most likely INFJ. The other two are probably. I’m not sure why I know so many INFJs but, like, I don’t mind? Because INFJs are some of my favourite types to be around?


    2. YOU’RE WELCOME I enjoyed doing it 😀

      16Personalities, why you do this to us??? But yup!! Just because you’re ISTJ, doesn’t mean you don’t use intuition & imagination! Ne is one of your functions, after all! It’s at the bottom of your stack, but it can still be strengthened with practice, as you say. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–Tolkien himself, the OG of fantasy authors, was a solid ISTJ.

      Lol!! Well, they are rather nice to be around, at that 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Quite an interesting post! I am an ENFP FOR SURE. I typed as an INFP for years, but apparently my inclination to withdraw to my solitary projects is actually a SYMPTOM of extraversion, not a symptom of introversion. I bore easily by enforced small talk and tend to avoid it. I see reading as an extraverted activity if I can slow down long enough to get into it. BECAUSE I AM CONVERSING WITH THE AUTHOR AND THE CHARACTERS even if in body I am alone. I withdraw to private pursuits because MUST BE CREATIVE; however, I have a REALLY hard time sticking to them if anyone interesting is at all accessible outside my door. So it’s a heavy load I carry on my back and haul around with me — the desire to create and the desire to chatter with loved ones. Almost all of my private pursuits have to do with SHARING AND TALKING but usually in written form.

    Example, blogging and social media. I literally had to delete all of it in order to complete anything tangible to prove I have lived (such as writing). Because I love social media and talking to people. And with Covid 19, you’d think I’d be writing. NOPE I AM ON SOCIAL MEDIA SPYING ON EVERYONE AND WISHING TO BE A PART OF THINGS ‘TIS A CURSE I TELL YOU. All this desire to extrovert warring with my as strong desire to focus and create and express, warring with my lighting fast rotating interest in several projects. It leaves me weeping and quivering, I tell you! x

    (I didn’t know you are an INFP.)

    (I am interested in Enneagram. I believe I’m a 4w3.)

    (I love Anne Shirley. As I recall, you do not. Therefore we shake hands and I bow devotedly.)

    (Do you love Jane Eyre? Whose an interesting INFP character? Anne SHirley is usually typed as INFP online. Please. She’s an ENFP.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree, you’re an ENFP!!! Overflowing to the brim with words & ideas, just like Dickens 😀 Yepppppp. Ne-doms, like ENFPs, seek mental stimulation in the form of new ideas, but they tend to avoid any social interaction or experience which they know will not bring them new ideas. Thus, they may LOOK like stereotypical introverts–but they still lead with Ne. 😉

      Haha! I didn’t know I was INFP, either, until about a year ago! It should’ve been obvious, I’m a mass of Fi and “I feel how I feel and I won’t back down or change my opinions for nobody,” buuuuuuut … c’est la vie. At least I know now, eh?

      Enneagram is suuper cool! I’m 4w5! I’ll be writing a post about it soon.

      Awwwww. Yeah. In my Immature Youth (heh), I used to be really irritated with Anne Shirley, because of all the social pressure to like/be inspired by her & by the Green Gables books: but now I can calmly say, “she doesn’t appeal to me on a personal level, but I still respect her.” And she is absolutely ENFP. Again, overflowing with all. the. words.

      Jane Eyre is a really interesting character. I’ve never been able to read the book because my Fi just puts up a massive wall of N O P E (mostly in reaction to Rochester lol), but still, I think Jane herself is super cool, and I’m glad to claim her as a fellow INFP!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha! I’m so excited Dickens in a fellow enfp (I say it like the word – as in, it rhymes with nymph). HE IS A MAN OF WORDS INDEED. I am also startled to discover Twain may be an enfp (according to some) as I find him most untidily verbose indeed. 😛

        The other day, in the middle of a moment of most estimable silence, I looked up to find my mother staring at me aghast. She said YOU HAVE BEEN SHARING YOUR EVERY RANDOM THOUGHT FOR FORTY-FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT AND LOVE YOU THOUGH I DO YOU MUST STOP CHATTERING. I genuinely thought I’d been quietly thinking. 😆

        Probably not obvious online.

        ROCHESTER SHINES MY SHOES. He is totally ridiculous but I do like reading him as he amuses me. I never know what he’ll say and that is quite original. xo


      2. I am waiting with a magnanimous air for you to calmly add, “you don’t appeal to me on a personal level, but I still respect you.” 😎 😛


  7. I love this! The first time I took the test I got ESTJ and reading about it I didn’t think that it fit at all. A few months later I took it again and got INFP, which is absolutely perfect! I am such an INFP, it’s crazy. Pretty much everything you said, I do. Yep, I am ssssssoooooo indecisive. XD Anyway, I’ve had people explain the cognitive function of each one before but never got it until this. It makes so much sense now! Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, I still don’t know what type I am but your post was helpful! I’m going to read through the descriptions again sometime and see if I come out with anything. Unfortunately I identified with some aspect in nearly every function description… Self-analysis is hard for me.
    I do know that I’m an Enneagram 4, though, and that it’s not related to my MBTI at all (:

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just popping in to ask a somewhat-random question: I always type online as INFP (occasionally INFJ or ENFP, and once I randomly got ISTJ but I’m pretty sure that’s not me), but I know by this point not to trust the 16personalities quiz (and related ones). However I think I fit a lot of the INFP stereotypes which leads me to think that, despite my desperate desire to NOT be INFP (not sure why), I am one. Maybe?

        So. What do I do when I think I might actually be the type I got on 16personalities but I don’t want to be that type? What about when your post makes me think I’m Si, Ne, Fi, Te but another one (mbtifiction) makes me think I’m Ti, Fi, Se, Ne (and the order of those has absolutely no significance. Also, it’s quite possible that those combinations aren’t possible. Don’t mind me, I have no clue what I’m doing)

        I am very confused at this stage and wondering HOW LONG TILL I GET THIS?

        Any help is appreciated but please don’t feel like you have to solve my problems for me XD I’ll manage even if I never discover my type. (I think.)


      2. Hello again, friend!

        First, let me take a moment to assure you that:

        – I love answering MBTI questions
        – It’s okay to take a long time to figure out your type
        – It’s also okay to never figure out your type, or to just use Enneagram, or to conclude personality typing doesn’t work for you at all (it’s very useful for me, personally, but I am not everyone)

        With that being said! I think you told me earlier you’re Enneagram 4, and the 4 is type that’s often (though not always) INFP or ISFP. So you definitely could be INFP. The best way to know if you’re INFP is if you feel like you’re using a lot of Fi, and some Ne (Fi being strong, private emotions plus an independent moral compass, and Ne being a sense of wonder, optimism, and potential that gets excited by new ideas).

        As for the functions themselves: You’re right, they go in pairs. Fi and Te are together, which means if you use one, you’re also using the other. You could have a lot of Te and only a little bit of Fi (that’s a xxTJ type) or a lot of Fi and a teeny bit of Te (that’s an xxFP type).

        Fe and Ti are together, same way. xxFJ types use tons of Fe and a little bit of Ti.
        xxTP types are tons of Ti and a tiny bit of Fe. Si and Ne go together (xxSJs use a lot of Si, xxNPs use a lot of Ne). Finally, Se and Ni go together (xxSPs have a lot of Se, xxNJs have a lot of Ni).

        I would say, if you relate to Enneagram 4 and you relate to the overall INFP descriptions, you definitely might be INFP? I have a lot of fun identifying as INFP, I find it hilarious & also rather awesome, for what it’s worth–but don’t stress about it, for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is the most helpful description of cognitive function theory I’ve ever read. XD Bravo!

    And I 100% agree about the “typing everyone INFJ” problem! I used to be typed as an INFJ on like EVERY SITE, but after I looked deeper into it, I realized I was an INFP. *sighs* Gotta love those online tests. XD

    Excellent post! (And that description of INFPs is both hysterical and wayyyy too accurate. :D)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. YES. AMEN. *APPLAUSE* I am OBSESSED with MBTI. It’s bad. XD But I get sooo tired of people knocking it off as garbage or that it puts us in boxes or it’s harmful blah blah blah. Actually, it can be SO. HELPFUL. I’ve had friends better their marriages because of type indicators! And it’s helped me understand myself and my loved ones soooo much better. It just helps us all understand how we each think and respond to things, which then helps us be more patient and understanding with each other, and ourselves! I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.

    Everything you said here was so spot on and your descriptions of the cognitive functions was sooo clear and easy to follow!

    I was just laughing and nodding along to all your thoughts of INFJs and INTJs. I can spot them a mile away because my mom is like your most stereotypical INFJ ever and my best friend of 20 years is SUCH an INTJ it’s just hilarious. SO YEAH. Basically the two people I’m closest to are those types and I feel like I know more about those types than any other because of that. They’re just so FASCINATING. I love ’em! I always joke that my mom is psychic. And my bestie has some of that too. Seriously, their intuition is scary.

    But yeeeeah. I, too, find it super suspicious just how many INFJs there seem to be. I do think the 16personalities quiz is very INFJ happy. I don’t even know. ALTHOUGH INFJs do tend to be super creative souls, and thrive on people EVEN THOUGH they…want to be alone. SO being on the internet is kind of a happy medium for them I think. And they often end up being writers and things, so it maaay make sense that we spot a lot of INFJs in our writing circles and around the internet in general. But still. It’s suspicious.

    I’m an ENFJ myself, which means, yes, people is my THING and I just want to form close relationships and make sure everyone is okay and understand everyone around me. Sooo it’s no wonder I get all nerdy about this psychological stuff. XD I love it so, so much!

    And I can go on and on buuut I’ll spare you my over-obsessive ramblings. *grins* But seriously, I LOVED THIS POST!!! Thank you so much for sharing! (Also FYI, INFPs are some of my favorites EVER. You guys rock!)


    1. Yessssss!! I get that not everybody is gonna be as obsessed with personality typing as I am–but like, peeps, don’t trash it! Don’t tell me it’s not useful FOR ME or for MY LIFE. Cuz it has been!!! Knowing my sister’s real type (ISFP) and my real type (INFP) has helped me sooooo much with seeing what we have in common, the ways our weakness rub each other the wrong way, and just plain being patient with each other. Good, good stuff.

      INxJ intuition is SUPER SUPER SCARY. Mmhhhmmmm.

      Haha!! See, I can get behind the idea that there are a *few* more INxJs on the internet than average, because it’s a natural habitat for introverted intuitives … and yet I also see A Lot Of People who Clearly Use Fi/Ne (my INFP pals) yet who Are In Denial About It. *headdesks slightly* xD #still suspicious

      Ahaha!! Yes!! You are an ENFJ–I was SURE as soon as I met you at Realm Makers you were an EFJ of some sort!! I love your big heart for others <333

      Thank youuuuuu *beams* You guys rock, too!!!


  11. Sorry, my top takeaway, is “good, you have a problem with Dumbledore too!” (That would be a good discussion) Oops

    Anyway I always come back to personality tests, Hogwarts houses, Divergent Factions (best thing to come out of that series, I’m Candid, then I’d like to think Erudite).

    I enjoy Myers-Briggs mildly, usually for humor and for typing people in books. I love the concept of personality types, I dislike the unscientific and unrealistic rigidity of the framework (i.e. that everyone is one of these types, that there are “rare” types . . . yes, why are there an overabundance of “rare” types on the internet?, that certain personality traits must ONLY go with other personality types). If it works for one person, fine, but its when people start forcing other people into buckets . . . oh, no. I’ve taken multiple myers-briggs tests (usually but not only the 16 personalities). I usually get ISTP, but I’ve gotten ISTJ and INTP as well, and I think I was possible borderline ISFP last time, oh and always a T, that is my highest percentage. I don’t think I fit any introvert or extrovert profile, I think there is a continuum. Also, the feelings thing. So, I get the robot types because my feelings towards people aren’t, well, nice. But oh, I have feelings. Anyway, I think I just come back to myers briggs over and over to drive myself nuts. I tried to look into cognitive functions, but again that if you have this you can’t have that. I came up with one extrovert function and 3 introvert ones when reading the descriptions on a website.

    I was also getting frustrated with the enneagram, but actually, if I look at that as percentages (what percentage I am of the types) because it’s based on motivations, I do think that is helpful.

    Then there is the demoralizing big-5 test for which I got low on everything except almost 100% paranoid.

    Honestly, the most accurate framework for me was Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies. This shows how a person deals with inner and out expectations. Upholders respect both. Obligers obey others but can’t follow their own expectations. Rebels, you guessed it, don’t follow either (moi which I already knew), and Questioners listened to themselves, not others.


    1. It also probably doesn’t help that I don’t WANT to get certain types (anything E or ISTJ for example) and at least currently I do want (ISTP, INTP or INTJ based of course on stereotypes). . .


    2. HAHAHAHAAAA. Yes, indeed, I do. I have a problem with Dumbledore, too. xD

      I mean, look, when Snape himself is calling you out on your transgressions and you have nothing to say for yourself in response … ya know ya done messed up. “Raising him as a pig for slaughter??” *pregnant silence*


      1. Crap. Didn’t mean to post that comment yet. I still had a looooooot more to say. 😉

        Sure, Myers-Briggs definitely doesn’t work for everyone. That’s okay! In my own experience, though, it is a useful and constructive exercise to at least ATTEMPT to square others’ behavior with one of these eight main functions. “Okay, do they seem to be Si … or Fi … or Te …” When I do that, I can usually find a pretty good match with one of the sixteen types. And that, in turn, gives me a more solid framework for interacting with the person, knowing what to say and what not to say. Where they’re coming from, and how their perspective may differ from my own.

        I don’t think of it so much as putting people in a box, as rather, getting a window into their mind, deciphering some of their actions. You know?

        Huh, the Four Tendencies … never heard of those, but it sounds intriguing! I ought to look it up!


      2. I can’t seem to respond to your last comment, but that is what I’m answering. Yeah, I do feel like knowing someone’s type or thinking in general lines (usually the F/T difference maybe sometimes the P/J difference) has helped me understand the sometimes seeming talking in circles or inability to agree. I’m learning to agree to disagree . . . and avoid those who won’t (stubborn J’s maybe?) or I’ll go insane. I’ll have to review your explanation of cognitive functions because those confuse me, but I think they confuse me because of the spelling/letters/notation.


  12. I have taken this test SO many times and I always get INFJ. Always. I don’t have ALLLL the stereotypical traits but I have researched enough to know that IT IS ME. I AM INFJ. But I agree with you about there being WAY too many of those out there xD

    INFPs are my favorite beans so OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE AMAZING xD And this post is fantastic and I love it and AMAZING ❤


  13. Ok, so YES!! So excited about this post! 😀 (Have to say I’m currently just getting into the Enneagram more so I’m a little rusty on the MBTI but I still appreciate these things.)

    For starters though, BLACK coffee?! Eeekk. 😛

    I’ve DEFINITELY noticed that INFJs seem to be all over the place and I’m like… whaaat? I thought you guys were supposed to be rare. ;P

    I’m an ENFJ. 🙂 99.9% sure of that one. Always chatty, almost too enthusiastic, been known for bossing people around (with good intentions of course – these people ain’t gonna get it done for themselves, obviously!), I’m ALWAYS connecting with people, and it took me a Very Long Time before I had my own convictions and opinions instead of just going along with what everyone else closest to me was doing. Oddly enough, almost ALL the people I know/am friends with are complete opposites to me haha.



    1. Haha!!! Don’t worry, I actually don’t drink coffee AT ALL, much less black coffee–but sometimes I like to Pretend for the sake of Le Aesthetic. 😉

      Loooooooooool. Yup. INFJs are indeed rare, and most of the INFJs one meets are in fact mistyped ISFJs, INFPs, and ENFPs.

      I absolutely agree that you’re ENFJ! I’ve known you a long time and YUP, you are definitely Fe dominant. I love how friendly and easy to talk to you are! ❤



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