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The 16 Personality Types: Which One Are You?

Updated on October 20, 2012

Did you know that your personality can be broken down into a type? Yes. Of all the many varied distinctions that make you who you are there is 1 of 16 identifiable types that you fit into. Though we all may wish that our personalities were different at times, it is important to know that there is no ideal personality type. There are strengths and weaknesses with each of the 16 types and understanding your personality type can go a long way in helping you to understand yourself.

There are 8 indicators used to define the 16 personality types, with each type containing 4 traits. These are:

  • Extroversion Vs. Introversion
  • Intuitive Vs. Sensing
  • Feeling Vs. Thinking
  • Perception Vs. Judging

For example, an ESFJ personality is extroverted, sensing, feeling and judging while a INTP personality is introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceptive.

The 4 Temperaments

In addition, personality types can be defined in terms of the 4 temperaments. These are:

  • Performers
  • Guardians
  • Intellectuals
  • Idealists

We are each born with a certain temperament, but the habits that form as we grow and develop are what define our character. Temperament is, therefore, more of a predisposition than a guarantee. Each of the 16 personalities fit into one of the four temperaments.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how the 16 personalities are categorized, let’s take a look at each separately. The following is a brief description of each. For more detailed information check out my profile page here.

The Performers - Strong Sensing (S) and Perception (P)

ESTP – The Doer

Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception – The doer is friendly, highly adaptable, and very action oriented. They live in the here-and-now and tend to prefer immediate results. This often makes them impatient with long explanations. The doer is usually good with people. They are loyal to their friends, but not generally respectful of rules and laws if they interfere with getting things done.

ESFP - The Performer

Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception – Fun-loving and people oriented, the performer knows how to enjoy themselves. They live for the moment, love new experiences and naturally make things more fun those around them. The performer is likely to be the center of attention in most social situations. They are not interested in theory and analysis.

ISFP – The Artist

Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perception. Quite and serious, yet sensitive and kind, the artist does not like conflict. They are loyal and faithful with aesthetic appreciation for beauty. They tend to be open-minded with no interest in leading or controlling others. They are creative with a great appreciation for the present moment.

ISTP – The Mechanic

Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception (ISTP). These quiet and reserved individuals tend to be fascinated by how things work. They are mechanically inclined risk takers who live in the moment. Extreme sports are usually a talent or interest. The mechanic is not overly concerned with respecting the rules or the law if there is something that they want done.

Intellectuals – Strong Intuitive (N) and Thinking (T)

ENTP – The Visionary

Extroversion, Intuitive, Thinking, Perception - Intellectually quick, creative, and resourceful, the visionary is good at a wide range of things. They typically enjoy debating and get very excited regarding new ideas and projects. They are generally assertive, outspoken, and have a keen ability to apply logic and understand concepts in order to find solutions. The visionary can be high stimulating company and they enjoy people in return.

ENTJ – The Executive

Extroversion, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgment – Driven to lead, the executive understands the most complex organizational problems. They are intelligent, create sound solutions to problems, and often excel at public speaking. They value competence and knowledge with little patience for inefficiency.

INTJ – The Scientist

Introversion, Intuitive, Thinking, Judgment – The scientist is analytical, determined, and independent. They value knowledge and competence. They are thinkers who are driven to find meaning in their visions. They tend to set very high performance standards for themselves as well as others and are natural born leaders.

INTP - The Thinker

Introversion, Intuitive, Thinking, Perception – The thinker can be original and creative but they are also very logical in their approach to life. They become excited regarding different ideas and theories. They are driven to turn theories into clear understanding. They can be quiet and reserved which oftentimes make the hard to get to know. They have no interest in leading or following others and are more individualistic.

Which Personality Type Are You?

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Guardians – Strong Sensing (S) and Judgment (J)

ESTJ - The Guardian

Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment – The guardian is organized and practical. They are typically athletic, but not always. Guardians are not interested in theory or abstraction. Instead, they have a clear vision of how things should be and they work towards that vision. They are loyal, hardworking, and enjoy being in charge. They value peaceful living, security, and are generally good citizens.

ESFJ – The Caregiver

Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment - The caregiver often puts the needs of others above their own. They are warm-hearted and popular with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. They often need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves and they value tradition and security.

ISTJ – The Duty Fulfiller

Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment (ISTJ). These individuals tend to be well-organized, hardworking goal-setters. They are quiet, serious and interested in secure, peaceful living.

ISFJ - The Nurturer

Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment. The nurturer is highly dependable, puts the needs of others ahead of their own, and value security and traditions. They are typically quiet, conscientious, and kind. They are perceptive when it comes to the feelings of others and are interested in serving others.

Idealists – Strong Intuitive (N) and Feeling (F)

ENFP - The Inspirer

Extroversion, Intuitive, Feeling, Perception – The inspirer is often enthusiastic, very idealistic, and highly creative. There people skills are exceptional and they live life according to their inner values. The inspirer is excited about new ideas but they are usually not too interested in the details. They tend to be open-minded with a range of interests and abilities.

ENFJ – The Giver

Extroversion, Intuitive, Feeling, Judgment – The giver is someone who usually dislikes being alone. They are sensitive and popular, with outstanding people skills. They are concerned about the feelings of others and see everything from the human angle. The giver is not fond of impersonal analysis. They are effective group leaders and can manage people issues very well.

INFJ - The Protector

Introversion, Intuitive, feeling, judgment - The protector is extremely intuitive about people and concerned for their feelings. They tend to stick to things until they are complete. Their value systems are strictly adhered too and well-developed. They want to do the right thing, yet they are quietly forceful and sensitive.

INFP - The Idealist

Introversion, Intuitive, Feeling, Perception – This personality type is quite, reflective, and idealistic. They have a well-developed value system and are interested in serving mankind. Primarily, these individuals are laid back. If a strongly held value is threatened, however, the idealist will defend their position. They are mentally quick, able to see the possibilities and usually quite talented writers. Idealist are typically interested in understanding and helping people.

Knowing about the 16 personality types will provide you with a greater understanding of yourself as well as how you interact with others. It can also provide you with some insight on how others respond to you. Do you see yourself in one of the above personality descriptions? Check out my profile for more information on each personality type.


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    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Wow what an interesting topic and very well explained. I enjoyed reading this immensely and will share with my followers. Voted up, interesting, awesome, and useful! I am a- ENFJ – The Giver. My husband fits the INFJ - The Protector description.