MBTI? Huh? Give me a clue!

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.                    —  Henry David Thoreau

We each are unique (some out there are really unique).  But with a little observation, it is easy to see that everyone we know has similarities to someone else we know.  If we keep on looking and looking, eventually all these characteristics can be put under specific headings, and then we can label distinct patterns.  This is how MBTI and many other philosophies have been born and raised.

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) breaks down human nature in four configurations:

  1. Artisans
  2. Guardians
  3. Idealists
  4. Rationals

Inside each of these are four sub categories; hence 16 basic types.

Each and every one of us fits somewhere in these types.  They are defined by four sets of letters:

  1. E = Extrovert (expressive)             or       I = Introvert (reserved)
  2. S = Sensory (observant)                  or       N = Intuitive (introspective)
  3. T = Thinking (tough-minded)        or       F = Feeling (friendly)
  4. J = Judging (schedules)                   or       P = Perceptive (probing)

Still got sand in your eyes?  Well…, each individual is defined by one letter of each of the 1-4 choices.  So once you know your letters (Look in the post from March 28th – there is a link to a Type test; please take this, remember your set of letters and place them in the poll in that post), find them in the following list – the description should resemble you:

ARTISANS (each of these have an S and a P in its letters):

ESTP – The Promoter ~ 4% of population – Always demanding new activities and new challenges. Bold, daring, ever-optimistic, risk-takers, exhilarated by living on the edge. The very best trouble-spot administrators and negotiators, outstanding entrepreneurs, able to swing deals and kick-start enterprises in a way no other type can.

ISTP – The Crafter ~ 5% of population – True masters of tool work, but they consider it play.  Love action, know instinctively that activities are more enjoyable, and more effective if done impulsively. Subject to no schedules or standards but their own.  Seek fun and games on impulse, thrive on excitement, fearless in their play, biggest risk-takers.

ESFP – The Performer ~ 8.5% of population – Full of warmth, good humor, skills in music, comedy, drama. Exciting, full of fun, bringing pleasure to all. “All the world’s a stage.” Born entertainers, center of attention, aren’t comfortable being alone. Smooth, talkative, and witty.  Like to live in the fast lane, latest fashions. Lively, uninhibited, life of the party.

ISFP – The Composer ~ 9% of population – In tune with senses, art, innate knowledge of color, tone, texture, aroma, flavor. Impulsive, all here and now, create just to create. Lose themselves in action. Kindness unmatched by all the other types, sensitive to the suffering of others, remarkable way with young children, animals, nature seems to welcome them.

GUARDIANS (each of these have an S and a J in its letters):

ESTJ – The Supervisor ~ 9% of population – Make schedules, agendas, inventories, prefer tried and true ways. Feet firmly on the ground. No problem evaluating others.  Very hard-working. Respect authority figures. Model students, responsible. Traditional relationships and ceremonies, friendly, a bit formal in their manners, easy to get to know.

ISTJ – The Inspector ~ 12% of population – Superdependable, persevering and dutiful, quietly see to rules followed, laws respected, standards upheld. Patient with their work and procedures within an institution, dedication can go unnoticed and unappreciated. Involved in community service organizations, hold dear their family ceremonies- shy if too public.

ESFJ – The Provider ~ 12% of population – Most sociable of Guardians, nurturers of social institutions. Cooperative, skilled in maintaining teamwork, details of furnishing goods and services. Chairpersons, masters of ceremonies, public speaking. Outstanding hosts, knowing everyone by name, aware of all. Love to entertain, talk, share memories.

ISFJ – The Protector ~ 14% of population – Safety and security of loved ones, loyalty, responsibility. Time-honored products, procedures rather than change to new. Value tradition, both in culture and in family. Stability of social ranking. Assist the downtrodden, disability and neediness in others. Shy, warm-hearted, sympathetic, gives happily.

IDEALISTS (each of these have an N and an F in its letters):

ENFJ – The Teacher ~ 2.5% of population – Call forth learner’s potentials. Create fascinating learning activities, belief in students. Look for best in students, people highest priority. Warmly outgoing, expressive, good with language. Do not hesitate to speak out. Bubbling with enthusiasm, passionate, dramatic flourish, charismatic public speakers.

INFJ – The Counselor ~ 1.5% of population – Welfare of others, interacting and nurturing others’ personal development. Can do solitude, but work well with others, provided not superficial. Kind, positive, great listeners.  Not visible leaders, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes. Private, rich, complicated inner life, vivid imaginations.

ENFP – The Champion ~ 8% of population – Intense emotional experiences, great passion for novelty. Drama, outgoing, tell tales of  extraordinary experience. Tireless talkers in hope of revealing truth or motivating. Boundless enthusiasm, vivacious, individualistic, authenticity, intuitive powers, probing observers of people. Warm, full of energy.

INFP – The Healer ~ 4.5% of population – Appear calm, serene or distant, but not inside. Deep personal caring for a few special persons or causes. Long to heal, bring wholeness, or health. Idealistic, ethical, honorable, extraordinary sacrifices. Private, rare, fanciful, dreamy. Adaptable, new ideas, patient with complications, but impatient with routine.

RATIONALS (each of these have an N and a T in its letters):

ENTJ – The Fieldmarshal ~ 2% of population – Skills in organizing, engineering. Lead others, take command of groups. Structure, direction, harness people in the field, achieve distant goals. Establish plans, policy, goals, visualize where the organization is going, and they seem able to communicate that vision to others.

INTJ – The Mastermind ~ 2% of population – Contingency planning, complex operations, alternatives for difficulties, anticipate every possibility. Private, highly capable but reluctant leaders, thoroughgoing pragmatists. Efficient, not bound by established rules, authority does not impress – only ideas that make sense. Maximum efficiency.

ENTP – The Inventor ~ 3% of population – Innovative, entrepreneurial, better way, new projects, enterprises, pragmatic, fresh, new approaches to their work and play. Intensely curious. Lively circle of friends, easy-going, seldom critical or carping. Engaging conversationalists, debate skills. Non-conformists, quickly grasping the politics of situation.

INTP – The Architect ~ 3% of population – All is to be analyzed, understood, explained, re-designed. Grasp fundamental principles, natural laws, precise in thought and speech. Detect contradictions, frame arguments, must understand all. Ruthless pragmatists, insatiably curious, efficient means. Authority does not impress them. All must make sense.


Recognize yourself?  It’s kind of amazing.  And all of this is just a nibble from a table full of decadent desserts .  To read a more detailed description of yourself go to this site.  Click on your letters, and have a helping of yourself.

Please post a comment – Tell me what type you tested as.  Did you utter “Ah-ha!” when you read the descriptions or just end up scratching your head?!

PS:  My husband was an INTP (that’s a whole novel by itself).  I’m an ISFP.  My 26 year old son is as ISTP as a being can be, and my sweet 25 year old daughter is an INFP.  All introverts, all probers, all different, all fun.

7 thoughts on “MBTI? Huh? Give me a clue!

  1. I am an INFP, though I definitely straddle the line between preferring introversion and preferring extroversion (I need to spend time alone, but I also need generous helpings of social time too). As a career counselor, I frequently administer this assessment to clients and they always find it enlightening — whether it validates their unexpressed feelings about themselves or opens up new possibilities.

    It’s always interesting to see the relief when I explain that “introvert” doesn’t necessarily mean antisocial or painfully shy, only that you need regular time alone to re-energize. I worked with a very charismatic professional speaker who was an I — when he was onstage, he was brilliant, but he needed to decompress afterward. Similarly, some clients think “feeling” is a negative — that it means you’re flaky, overemotional, or a wimp, which is definitely not the case.

  2. I finally retook the test and I’m ENFJ – the longer description makes a lot of sense! I’ve always realized I’m basically an extrovert, but I strongly value my alone time. I’m a reader, a writer, and like to just plain hang out by myself. But the truth is, I’m more energized when I’m around others – especially if I am in a role where I can help.
    I’ve had problems with these types of tests in the past because I feel like I could fit both answers. But with this one I came across very few questions where I wished there was an option for “sometimes.” This is a great test, and I really enjoy your blog. Definitely bookmark material!

  3. As an Artisan ESFP (just learned) – I will seek further counsel from my granddaughter who knows everything. I’m indebted to Debi for this illumination. I’ll forge ahead with Wild Turkey at my side and know that soon, all things will become clear and Mysti, Elaine & Debi will become shared inheritors of my writing legacy… Tales of Possum Run. C

    1. Charlie,

      We are kin – I’m an ISFP, so we have much in common. You devil, you!

      I’ve found that Wild Turkey makes all knowledge easier to swallow.

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