Do you ever think that people judge you for something that’s an inherent part of your personality? Do you ever feel like people misunderstand you so greatly that they misjudge you for characteristics you don’t even have? Different types tend to be judged for different reasons, and while there are so many different ways people are judged that we can’t always narrow it down to just one thing, there do tend to be common things each type is prematurely judged for. Let’s take a look…
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What People Judge You For Based on Your Myers-Briggs®
The ISTJ – Not Trying New Things
ISTJs lead with a process called Introverted Sensing (Si). Si is a perceiving function and typologists have found that Si-users like routine and knowing what to expect. The more they repeat the same process favorably, the more they like to incorporate that process into their routine. Many ISTJs like the same meals over again, the same schedules, and they like going to the same familiar places. This doesn’t mean they can’t ever be adventurous or try novel things, in fact many of them go through spurts of time where they do attempt new or unusual things. They can also be innovative but are very cautious and meticulous about their innovations. Even so, to outsiders, ISTJs often look like people who should “shake things up” and try new and different meals, activities, and routines.
Related: Getting to Know the ISTJ
The ISFJ – Worrying Too Much
ISFJs like to know what to expect and they tend to fear uncertainty and the unknown. They like to order their lives in such a way that risks are avoided and the people in their lives are carefully tended to. They dislike uncertainties, abstractions, and not knowing what the future will hold. They can be very protective about the people in their lives, especially their families, and can worry about many negative possibilities and risks that they might be exposed to. They tend to be judged for being “over-protective” or too worried about risks and uncertainties. People on the outside might give them a hard time and tell them to “loosen up” more and to “enjoy today because tomorrow has enough trouble of its own”. Unfortunately, these kinds of empty lines only work to further frustrate the ISFJ instead of helping them.
The ESTJ – Being too Bossy
ESTJs lead with a process called Extraverted Thinking (Te). Te-dominant individuals easily see errors that need correcting and naturally delegate to get jobs done and tasks completed on time. They are natural leaders and supervisors, and while this is a very good thing, it can give them a reputation for being bossy or controlling. They see what needs to be fixed, what needs to be done, and they usually have no problem telling other people how to get those things done or doing it themselves. Neuroscience expert Dario Nardi said of Te-dominant individuals, that they “are less excited about the minutia of implementing goals and prefer to direct others to do so.” They don’t mean to be bossy or come across as controlling, but they are driven by task completion and goal achievement. They see it as their duty to make sure that goals are completed and everyone’s lending a hand to get the job done.
The ESFJ – Caring Too Much About What Other People Think
ESFJs lead with a judging function called Extraverted Feeling (Fe). Fe users tend to be warm, accomodating, and friendly. However, they also tend to look outside themselves for corresponding feelings of morale and acceptance from others. They are very sensitive to praise and criticism, and, as Isabel Briggs-Myers says in Gifts Differing, they are “anxious to conform to all legitimate expectations”. Now, this doesn’t mean they have no values of their own (they certainly do), but they do tend to care a lot about making sure that other people are happy with them. Their need for harmony and acceptance can seem silly to thinking types, who value pure logic over other people’s expectations, and introverted feeling types, who sort out their own emotions and care less what other people think. Other types have to understand that the need for acceptance to be expressed is just as vital to the ESFJ as the need for logic is for the dominant thinking type. There’s nothing wrong with this need, it’s just a part of how they are wired.
Related: 10 Stress-Busting Tips for ESFJs
The ISTP – Being Lazy or Unmotivated
ISTPs like to see all the pieces of a puzzle before making a decision. If they’re in a crisis they can act quickly thanks to auxiliary Se. However, when it comes to deciding on a job, whether or not to get married, or when to complete homework, they prefer to mull over information and get all the facts before deciding. When people judge ISTPs as “lazy” it’s usually because A) The ISTP doesn’t feel they have enough information to move forward or B) They’ve found a “shortcut” for completing a task that doesn’t line up with bureaucratic rules. If the ISTP is actually bored with a project they’re given they will generally find the fastest way possible to accomplish it. This may bug other types who favor procedure and routine over efficiency. This disregard for the “way it’s always been done” can lead to judgments about the ISTP being lazy instead of following the rules.
The ISFP – Being Overly Sensitive
ISFPs lead with a process called Introverted Feeling (Fi). As a result, they tend to hold their emotions close to the chest. They are very private about their feelings, but even so, they are often deeply moved by insensitivity and harsh words. The injustices of the world can seem oppressive and overwhelming to them. As very private individuals they’d prefer to keep their emotions more internalized, but when they are moved on the inside, it often shows in the form of tears or melancholy on the outside. According to psychologist Paul D. Tieger, ISFPs are “highly sensitive and loving…they feel everything personally and deeply.” This sensitivity makes them passionate about the welfare of troubled and struggling people (or animals), but it can often be misconstrued or misunderstood. People might tell ISFPs to “shake it off” or look on the bright side, without realizing that it’s not quite that simple.
Related: ISFPs, INFPs and Empathic Mirroring
The ESTP – Not Taking Life Seriously
ESTPs are skilled at taking advantage of current opportunities and realities. By taking action and being free to be spontaneous they learn to think quickly and sum up risks at the spur-of-the-moment. At the same time, they tend to dislike routine, sitting still, and making long-term decisions. They like to keep their options open and become stressed when they have to make decisions that might tie them down or limit their prospects. Parents, teachers, or partners who see their easy charm and impulsive lifestyle might judge them for not buckling down and making commitments or deciding. They might feel that it’s “immature” to go from one experience to another and not develop a consistent routine. Mature ESTPs are responsible, capable, and fearless, but they probably aren’t the types who want to sit in an office for the rest of their lives. They need the chance to experiment, go on adventures, and try new things. Tying them down will only cause resentment and frustration.
The ESFP – Seeking Too Much Attention
ESFPs are often called “The Entertainers” and it’s not hard to see why. They enjoy making people laugh, smile, and come alive. They have a natural enthusiasm and charisma that draws people in. The problem is certain people will not be as impressed by this as others. Some individuals find themselves jealous of the charm and outgoing good-humor of the ESFP and may feel that it’s over-the-top or shallow. They may feel that the ESFP’s humor and natural entertaining style is actually a need for constant attention and admiration. While some ESFPs do really crave attention, many of them just enjoy making people happy. They see opportunities for fun and excitement everywhere and don’t want anyone to miss out.
P.S. I’ve known several ESFPs who are actually on the quiet side and who prefer to be in the background over being “entertainers”. So, as always, not every single one of these rules will apply.
The INTP – Being Too Insensitive
INTPs favor objective honesty and this comes through clearly in their speech. They may unwittingly offend other people because they don’t realize that their delivery seems overly direct and detached. This can be a major source of frustration for INTPs because they actually do care about the people in their lives more than most people realize. They are often caught off guard when people call them insensitive because they are rarely mean-spirited and would rather avoid conflict or hurting other people’s feelings if they could. They appreciate objective honesty in others, so they have a hard time understanding why other people wouldn’t feel the same. I’ve heard many INTPs say that when they care about someone they tell them the truth. So if an INTP you love is being a little “too” honest with you, just remember that “sugarcoating” is probably not a sign they respect you.
Related: The Childhood Struggles of INTPs
The INFP – Being too Unrealistic
INFPs are intensely imaginative and passionate individuals. They have high ideals that they strive to live up to and bring into reality. Unfortunately, many people just don’t “get” the INFP way of thinking and they find their ideals to be unrealistic and impractical. They make it their mission to bring them down to earth and “help” them focus on the concrete realities of daily life. While unhealthy INFPs can venture so far into a world of the imagination that they lose touch with their own realistic needs, most healthy INFPs have a good balance of imagination and determination. What other people might see as a “pipe dream” many INFPs are able to accomplish if they believe in themselves. They need people who have faith in them, will encourage them, and will also (kindly) remind them to take care of themselves and their practical needs. INFPs are natural dreamers and without their passion and imagination, we wouldn’t have people like William Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Hans Christian Andersen, or A.A. Milne (all rumored INFPs).
The ENTP – Arguing Too Much
ENTPs naturally see about a thousand alternate angles to any statement or rule. They are determined to explore every perspective (Ne) and find an idea’s core truth (Ti). This can be frustrating for friends and family members who don’t share the ENTP’s natural love of debate. They may feel that the ENTP is arguing just for the sake of it, and while that may sometimes be the case, it’s not usually. Most ENTPs just have to make sure a statement stands up to scrutiny, and they can find an exhausting number of ways to scrutinize something. It can frustrate ENTPs when they unintentionally offend people they care about by arguing against something that’s personal to someone else. They may feel misunderstood or that their efforts to discover the truth are being stifled. Especially as children, many ENTPs are told to do as their told and follow authority without question. This can be a very difficult experience for young ENTPs as they essentially have to shut down a major part of who they are to get by.
Related: 10 Surprising Truths About ENTPs
The ENFP – Avoiding Stability and Security
ENFPs are naturally adventurous and innovative. They don’t like doing things “by the book” and will usually turn down a risk-free lifestyle in favor of new experiences and challenges. They are the quintessential “idea people” and they must follow their inspiration in order to have a fulfilled life. Other types may see their ever-shifting ventures and feel that they are “flighty” or “irresponsible”. They may be chided for turning down a good, secure job or a secure, long-term relationship. It’s important for people to remember that ENFPs are naturally going to chase their dreams and visions and they will become bored and depressed in the same routine, structured life year after year. This isn’t to say that ENFPs can’t commit; in fact, when they find a career or person they love they tend to be very loyal. Even so, they will always need some form of adventure and experimentation in their life, and they will find ways to get it or they will be very unhappy people.
The INTJ – Being Cold and Calculating
INTJs are intensely strategic and visionary. They favor logic and rational thought over their own emotions and feelings, and will usually be confused by people who do the opposite. They consider the big picture and have little patience for extraneous details and feelings that might get in the way. People often misinterpret their direct speech and shrewd nature with meanness or snobbery, but what they need to realize is that INTJs are honest and direct with the people they care about. They would consider it an insult to have messages “sugarcoated” for them so they refuse to do this to others. They favor bold honesty and are put off by social niceties that get in the way of the truth.
Related: Getting to Know the INTJ
The INFJ – Being “Stuck in Their Heads”
INFJs tend to be consumed with an inner vision for their lives. Carl Jung says of Ni, the INFJ’s dominant function, that it “moves from image to image, chasing after every possibility in the teeming womb of the unconscious”. INFJs find themselves pre-occupied by existential questions, forecasts, symbolic apprehensions, or insights that lead them. They can become so wrapped up in understanding how to make sense of their intuitions or how to understand them more fully that they lose sight of the outside world. Carl Jung said of the Ni-user that “The extravert would say: “Reality does not exist for him, he gives himself up to fruitless fantasies.” This is exactly the kind of judgment that many people can make against INFJs; that they are so focused on their ideas, dreams, and visions that they lose sight of what’s happening around them and the practical needs of the day. It’s important to remember that INFJs are known for their vision and insight and this ability shouldn’t be stifled, but at the same time they need to remember to use their auxiliary support process, Extraverted Feeling (Fe) to engage with the outer world and find balance.
Want a comprehensive guide to the INFJ personality type? Check out my eBook, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic.
The ENTJ – Being Superior and Arrogant
ENTJs are usually extremely driven, competitive, and confident individuals. They have a natural leadership style and bold determination that can make them intimidating to many people. They know what they want, they have an eye for the future, and they want to get there as quickly as possible. They can become impatient with emotions, extraneous details, and people who contradict their plans. Their natural confidence and drive can seem domineering and superior to others, especially people who are more soft-spoken and gentle in their delivery. It’s important to remember that confidence and superiority are not the same things. Many ENTJs are confident but truly don’t consider themselves superior to anyone else. They are usually open to hearing other people’s views as long as they aren’t clouded by emotions or filled with details that get in the way of the overall big picture or point.
The ENFJ – Trying Too Hard
ENFJs are known for their enthusiasm, empathy, and outgoing nature. They crave harmony in their environment and like to make people happy and feel welcome and understood. Healthy ENFJs are usually good listeners, inspirational teachers, and loyal friends. They tend to be very generous with their time, and they will usually drop just about anything if someone needs to talk or needs their help. They can become so absorbed in the needs and emotions of the people around them that they can lose sight of their own needs. People who don’t share this tendency can see the ENFJ as “trying too hard” or too concerned with what other people think. I’ve talked to countless ENFJs who were misjudged as being “phony”, “fake”, or “too bubbly”. Usually, these kinds of judgments come from people who don’t have Extraverted Feeling (Fe) in their function stack and don’t realize that there’s nothing fake about it, it’s just the way ENFJs are wired. They try to show the real, authentic parts of themselves that are needed for the occasion and will often put their own needs and desires aside for the needs and desires of the people they care about.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever been judged because of something that comes naturally to your personality type? Do you have any advice for others of your type? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer, and The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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