Who We Are First and Second

Now that we know our MBTI type (if you don’t know yet, please take this type test and remember your letters), we can explore further how our personality unfolds; how we interact, why we react the way we do.

The P or J at the end of our type combined with the E or I at the beginning tells us whether we use the second or the third letter as our primary personality function.  Clear as pea soup, right?

Ok, let’s unravel the mystery.  Find your letters below:

If you have E and P in your type, you use your second letter foremost in an extroverted way and your third letter secondarily in an introverted way:

  • ESFP – extroverted sensory (Se), introverted feeling (Fi)
  • ESTP – extroverted sensory (Se), introverted thinking (Ti)
  • ENFP – extroverted intuitive (Ne), introverted feeling (Fi)
  • ENTP – extroverted intuitive (Ne), introverted thinking (Ti)

If you have E and J in your type, you use your third letter foremost in an extroverted way and your second letter secondarily in an introverted way:

  • ESFJ – extroverted feeling (Fe), introverted sensing (Si)
  • ESTJ – extroverted thinking (Te), introverted sensing (Si)
  • ENFJ – extroverted feeling (Fe), introverted intuition (Ni)
  • ENTJ – extroverted thinking (Te), introverted intuition (Ni)

If you have I and J in your type, you use your second letter foremost in an introverted way and your third letter secondarily in an extroverted way:

  • ISFJ – introverted sensing (Si), extroverted feeling (Fe)
  • ISTJ – introverted sensing (Si), extroverted thinking (Te)
  • INFJ – introverted intuitive (Ni), extroverted feeling (Fe)
  • INTJ – introverted intuitive (Ni), extroverted thinking (Te)

If you have I and P in your type, you use your third letter foremost in an introverted way and your second letter secondarily in an extroverted way:

  • ISFP – introverted feeling (Fi), extroverted sensing (Se)
  • ISTP – introverted thinking (Ti), extroverted sensing (Se)
  • INFP – introverted feeling (Fi), extroverted intuition (Ne)
  • INTP – introverted thinking (Ti), extroverted intuition (Ne)

So, how does this tidbit of info relate to everyday life?

Below is a brief explanation of each of the four letters (S,N,F,T) and how each works as an Introverted or Extroverted preference.  Find your letters:

  • Sensing (S):

Extroverted (Se-Right Brain): Comes into play when events are changing so rapidly that linear analysis is impossible.  We respond immediately on the basis of visual and tactile information, guided by what we’ve done before.  Our actions change immediately and directly in concert with our surface perceptions.  Ex: Moving a ball down court to find the hoop, driving and adjusting to changing sights and sounds.

Famous persons: Tommy Lee Jones (ESTP) & Elizabeth Taylor (ESFP)

Introverted (Si-Left Brain):  Gives us the will to accumulate information- names, dates, numbers, statistics, references, etc – related to the things that matter to us.  These are very selective facts depending on what appeals to us as an individual: a historian remembers dates and names, a hairdresser remembers names of hair color and styles.  Immediate conditions have no stable meaning – just an influx of data impinging on the senses.  Ex: They go to great lengths to gather and share information in something they believe in.  Their attention is consumed and they’re concerned with every detail, unable to finish projects until perfect.

Famous persons: Dwight from The Office (ISTJ) &  Ed McMahon (ISFJ)

  • Intuitive (N):

Extroverted (Ne-Right Brain):  Focused on the future.  Whole patterns are recognized rather than the individual details – options that don’t exist yet can be envisioned.  Often a future is conjured up in the brain before everything in the present is known.  This can lead to incorrect conclusions.  It’s an all-at-once experience like recognizing a piece of music. Ex: When we see the features of a person’s face, we unify the parts as an integrated pattern and hence recognition.

Famous persons: Tom Hanks (ENTP) & Steven Spielberg (ENFP)

Introverted (Ni-Left Brain): This perception is used to contend with ambiguities of meaning and perception; a situation can be interpreted in more than one way.  Feel no need to declare one option better than other, rather they solve problems by shifting perspective and redefining the situation.  Ex: The internet is a reflection of how they think: information moving in all directions – one click of the mouse and your entire perspective shifts.

Famous persons: Arnold Schwarzenegger (INTJ) & Richard Geer (INFJ)

  • Feeling (F):

Extroverted (Fe-Left Brain): This is conceptual and analytical.  It encourages us to make rational choices to measure our options for relationship against an external standard of behaviors; how relationships are “supposed” to be conducted and what responsibilities they entail.  Ex: If an acquaintance describes a car wreck they were in we display sympathy but generally no further action.  But, for a good friend, we consider a way to help them – offer to drive them around if their car is out of commission.

Famous persons: Ronald Reagan (ENFJ) & Donald Duck (ESFJ)

Introverted (Fi-Right Brain): We reason in terms of fundamental human values, whose meaning and importance are conditioned by our own experience.  It encourages a personal relationship to an evolving pattern, a will to gauge the situation by an experiential ideal.  Ex:  While cooking, no recipe or measurements are used.  We adjust constantly during the cooking process to produce the result we desire as it fits in patterns of past cooking experiences (me and my forte).

Famous persons: Elvis Presley (ISFP) & Princess Diana (INFP)

  • Thinking (T):

Extroverted (Te-Left Brain):  This preference harmonizes us with general ideas about reality, so most of the standards of order we use are collectively determined.  We “know” letters go from A to Z, a day has 24 hours, etc.  It is an impersonal way to notice the qualities that objects have in common.  Ex: A child bangs on a loud toy.  The logic of the relationship is being established: banging = noise.

Famous persons: George W. Bush (ESTJ) & Richard Nixon (ENTJ)

Introverted (Ti-Right Brain):  This is not conceptual or linear.  It causes us to reason experientially rather than analytically.  We are engaged by conditions here and now, and we’re adjusting to them in light of their impact on our goal.  Ex: Packing up leftovers in the kitchen, we can eyeball and pick out the correct size of Tupperware.  No measuring, just do it.

Famous persons: Tom Cruise (ISTP) & Charles Darwin (INTP)

One thought on “Who We Are First and Second

  1. This could be one of the most authoritative post I ever encountered today, I’m talking about this piece of your article “… you have I and P in your type, you use your third letter foremost in an introverted way and …” this is it, you just smashed it down pal.

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