Have you ever wondered how your personality type impacts your ability to make decisions and process information? When it comes to your reasoning powers, your personality type has a big influence!
As you’re going throughout your day you will rely primarily on two or three different patterns of thinking. There might be moments where another pattern presents itself, but for the most part, you’ll find yourself processing things in one of two ways. Today’s article will take a look at how your type specifically reasons, strategizes, and processes information.
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The Extraverted Intuitive (NP) Personality Types (Scroll Down to See the Rest!)
We’re going to start by taking a look at the innovative NP personality types. ENFPs, ENTPs, INFPs, and INTPs all use a mental process called Extraverted Intuition, or “Ne” for short.
A Look At “Ne”
Ne is all about inferring relationships and finding connections. NP personality types notice threads of meaning that branch out across relationships, events, and objects. They extrapolate all the possibilities of what could be in the future. When they enter an empty room, they don’t see an empty room; they see their favorite pictures hanging on the wall, their favorite books laid out on desks, friends gathered for conversation. They don’t see what “is” they see what “may” be. Their mind is on a constant quest for inferences, meanings, hypotheses, and abstract possibilities or epiphanies.
Walt Disney, an ENP personality type, captured this process well when he said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” For the NP personality type, curiosity and novelty will always be a driving factor. Because of this, they are less likely to pursue tried-and-true methods and more likely to pursue innovative, progressive measures.
ENFPs and INFPs
NFPs pair Ne with Fi (Introverted Feeling). To outside observers, these types might seem open-minded, energetic, and overflowing with ideas. But on the inside, NFPs have deeply-held inner values. They want their ideas to support themselves and others. They check that proposed plans will honor their own and other people’s individual, non-negotiable, ethics and desires. They ask themselves, “Does this respect my needs?” “Is this decision in line with what is important to me in life?” “Am I being true to myself?”
NFPs have a gut sense of right and wrong and a strong sense of individuality. They hate the idea of being steered by outward forces; by societal constructs and rules. Labels irritate them and assumptions about their motives frustrate them. They have a sense of right and wrong, and a sense of direction, that is all their own. While they want to see other individuals happy, they must stay true to what they believe is right for them. They do not want to go with the flow and they enjoy being different. While they crave harmony, it’s more important for them to stay true to their individual purpose in life.
Related: 7 Ways That INFPs Make an Impact
ENTPs and INTPs
ENTPs and INTPs pair Ne with Ti (Introverted Thinking). To outside observers, NTPs seem analytical, open-minded, and imaginative. Their ideas take on unusual and original forms and they are often sought for their innovative way of solving problems. For NTPs, making decisions is less about staying true to one’s self and one’s values and more about understanding how things work, having the most accurate data, and using precise logic. The independent logic of these types often leads them to form unpopular conclusions. They care less about socially-acceptable ways of thinking or “rules” and care more about incorporating all the logically connected data into one truth or conclusion. They are mentally sifting through information on a constant basis, discarding what doesn’t make sense, and purging worthless or inaccurate data from their mind. In this process, they may discard many standard guidelines and societal beliefs because the logic behind them isn’t “clean.”
John Locke, an INTP, captured the curiosity of the Introverted Thinking type when he said, “To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.” NTPs want to analyze and take apart all the information that is presented to them. They are curious about everything and are typically slow to make snap-judgments or hasty decisions. But unlike the NFPs, their aim isn’t to be true their values (desires, ethics, morals) but to be true to their logical principles (truth, fairness, and accuracy).
The Introverted Intuitive (NJ) Personality Types
Now let’s move on to the Intuitive-Judging (NJ) personality types. INTJs, INFJs, ENTJs and ENFJs all highly-value a mental process called Introverted Intuition, or “Ni” for short.
A Look at “Ni”
Ni is all about discovering underlying meanings, systems, and patterns. Ni users want to envision what will happen someday and how things will play out in the future. They are drawn to the abstract world – things that are intangible, theoretical, and symbolic. They don’t focus on what exists or what is, they look behind the scenes trying to decode the background processes at work. “What else is going on here?” “What am I not seeing?” “What’s the ultimate meaning of this?” “How does this impact the future?” These are questions that dance through the NJ mind. Sudden insights and predictions tend to appear to them as they piece together patterns and connections. When they make decisions, they consider the long-term implications and whether or not the decision will open up new possibilities or levels of understanding. Repeating things, simplifying, and focusing on nitty-gritty details are all things that bore NJs.
Dante Alighieri, an INFJ, captures the NJ perspective well when he said, “Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.” For Intuitive-Judgers, the fascinating and important things in life are abstract, intangible and symbolic – what exists is far less interesting or significant to them.
INFJs and ENFJs
INFJs and ENFJs pair their use of Ni with another mental process called Extraverted Feeling, or “Fe” for short.
To outside observers, INFJs and ENFJs tend to exude warmth and understanding. They care about making people comfortable, meeting their needs, and reading their emotions. They often get a sense of the emotional impact things will have on others and how to transform the emotional “atmosphere” of the room they are in. They exude sympathy when someone is suffering and can easily express enthusiasm when someone is excited. They are very aware of which mannerisms, words, and expressions will put other people in the desired emotional state. They often use self-deprecating humor to connect with people and open up authentic communication. In decisions, NFJs are always going to prioritize the needs of “the group.” They will be evaluating how people will be impacted, the emotional dynamics at play for others, and whether everyone’s values are being honored.
Martin Luther King Jr., an ENFJ, expressed the mindset of Fe with Ni well when he said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
INTJs and ENTJs
INTJs and ENTJs pair their use of Ni with Extraverted Thinking, or “Te” for short.
To outside observers, INTJs and ENTJs exude a sense of order, reasonableness, and vision. Being logically consistent and fair is of vital importance to them. They realize that in order to achieve their ideas for the future they need to create processes that are effective and methodical. They rapidly notice flaws, and can quickly make corrections to systems that are running inefficiently. Direct and frank in their speech, these types can intimidate people by the value they place on truth over tact. Making people feel good is far less important to them then reaching an objective and making a system run more effectively for the group. NTJs are decisive and goal-oriented, keeping their eye on the vision they have before them. When they make decisions they use logical rationale and attempt to be unbiased and unaffected by emotions that might cloud their judgment. When they are working through a decision, they look at their priorities, the possible consequences of the decision, and the laws, rules, and steps involved in making it happen.
John Adams, a rumored INTJ, expressed the view of Extraverted Thinking well when he said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
The Extraverted Sensing (SP) Personality Types
Individuals with a sensing-perceiving personality type all value a mental process called Extraverted Sensation, or “Se” for short.
A Look at “Se”
Se users are focused on experiencing and being aware of everything that’s happening in the present moment. These types are highly observant of their surroundings and can react quickly to surprise events or changes. Highly realistic, SPs pride themselves on facing the facts and responding to crises with level-headedness and readiness. SPs can “read” the atmosphere and the people around them and as such are excellent negotiators and storytellers, quickly adapting and responding to the cues of others. These types are the most focused on what’s relevant now, what is needed now. They care less about hypothesizing and envisioning, and more about being ready for whatever comes their way in the present moment. They tend to come across as grounded, adaptable, easy-going, and quick-witted. Their attentiveness to detail and ability to think quickly on their feet makes them sources of strength for many.
ESFPs and ISFPs
ISFPs and ESFPs pair their use of Se with another mental process called Introverted Feeling, or “Fi” for short. These types, while highly realistic and pragmatic, are also driven to pursue their individual callings. They seek inner harmony and authenticity, embracing their own individuality and that of others. They have a sense of when something is right or wrong, good or bad, and they need to feel “right” about something in order to move forward. Their attitude about what is right and wrong may be very different from that of the rest of society. Rather than accepting societal constructs, traditions, or viewpoints that have been passed down for generations, SFPs have to wrestle with darkness and light to find out what they truly believe. They don’t need to have their goals or values affirmed by society – they may not even verbally share their inner system of values because they believe that each individual is entitled to their own path in life. Often they believe in standing up for other individuals – underdogs, outliers, and misunderstood people. They take good care of people one-on-one and are less concerned with group values.
Kate Bush, a rumored ISFP, described the Introverted Feeling mindset well when she said, “Peoples preconceptions of me don’t concern me. I am who I am… People’s conceptions of what I am – in a way that’s their problem and not mine.”
ESTPs and ISTPs
ESTPs and ISTPs pair their use of Se with a unique mental process called Introverted Thinking, or “Ti” for short. STPs are deeply analytical and focused on being accurate in their views. They are concerned with clarifying their ideas, rooting out bad data, and having a deep, thorough knowledge of how everything is connected. They focus on clarity and precision and often seem to be searching for the most specific, appropriate word to use to complete a sentence. Since STPs are so grounded in the outer world and so driven by experiences, many of their interests are technical, mechanical, or recreational. They may spend hours researching computer parts, learning how to play an instrument, or perfecting a new business idea. In many cases, they apply their logic to the real world. They put their thoughts to the test in sportsmanship, building, entrepreneurship, emergency relief, or even fighting.
In decisions, STPs believe that they should stay impersonal, unbiased, and objective. They want to make decisions that align with their inner framework of principles and truths. They are constantly refining this framework with more information and more knowledge. Because STPs tend to process many of their thoughts internally, they can surprise others when they finally do voice their conclusions. To the outside observer, it can seem like the STP has spontaneously and suddenly blurted out a decision without analyzing it. This is rarely the case. Unlike TJ personality types, STPs do a lot of their mental work silently and without a lot of expressions. They rarely “talk out” their ideas, and instead only voice their conclusions after they’ve worked out all the components of the decision inwardly.
Miyamoto Musashi, a rumored ISTP, captured the STP way of thinking well when he said, “A man cannot understand the art he is studying if he only looks for the end result without taking the time to delve deeply into the reasoning of the study.”
The Introverted Sensing (SJ) Personality Types
Individuals with a Sensing-Judging preference have proficiency with a mental process called Introverted Sensing, or “Si” for short.
A Look at “Si”
Si is an information-gathering process that focuses on comparing and contrasting the present moment with past experiences. It is focused on memories, patterns, and learning through real-world experience. Si-users experience a high level of internal body awareness and are often the first to notice when a food has gone past the expiration date or they are beginning to develop physical symptoms of an illness. Because of their physical awareness, they often strive to create comfortable surroundings in their homes and value health and consistency a great deal. For the SJ type, each moment is overlayed by “filters” of similar past experiences. This allows SJs to quickly notice when a pattern is changing, when a situation is unusual, or when something has changed. They are often the first to notice when someone has re-organized a room, and they quickly notice unusual changes in body language. This attention to detail can make it easy for them to de-code underlying motives and feelings in other people. SJs enjoy repeating favorite traditions and experiences, combining their vivid memories of the past with the present and future – thereby making a beautiful moment live on and maintain personal significance.
Roger Scruton, a rumored ISFJ, captures the Introverted Sensing perspective (albeit in a political sense) well: “Whatever our religion and our private convictions, we are the collective inheritors of things both excellent and rare, and political life, for us, ought to have one overriding goal, which is to hold fast to those things, in order to pass them on to our children.”
ISFJs and ESFJs
ISFJs and ESFJs pair their use of Si with another mental process called Extraverted Feeling, or “Fe” for short. Fe is focused on creating and maintaining harmony in the environment. SFJs believe in taking care of the people around them and are actively concerned with the needs, desires, and values of others. They are constantly evaluating the “mood of the room” and can quickly find ways to make others feel comfortable. Sometimes they can work so hard to create external harmony that they cause internal conflict within themselves. It can be difficult for them to meet their own needs when they are so busy attending to the needs and desires of their families or friends. Nurturing others, providing stability, and being able to empathize is something that comes naturally to healthy SFJs.
James Comey, a rumored ISFJ, captures the Extraverted Feeling mindset well: “Whenever I speak to young people, I suggest they do something that might seem a little odd: Close your eyes, I say. Sit there, and imagine you are at the end of your life. From that vantage point, the smoke of striving for recognition and wealth is cleared. Houses, cars, awards on the wall? Who cares? You are about to die. Who do you want to have been? I tell them that I hope some of them decide to have been people who used their abilities to help those who needed it – the weak, the struggling, the frightened, the bullied. Standing for something. Making a difference. That is true wealth.”
ISTJs and ESTJs
ISTJs and ESTJs combine their use of Si with a mental process called Extraverted Thinking, or “Te” for short. Te is focused on developing structure and organization in the outer world. It applies objective logic to every situation and looks for guiding principles and rules that can make things more effective. STJs are very goal-oriented and methodical in what they do – they are typically skilled at breaking down large tasks into easy, sequential steps. Creating order, spotting (and correcting) errors, and instituting rules and contingency plans are things that they do well. When they make decisions they try to step outside of their personal feelings to view things objectively and without bias. They are firm believers in fairness and justice and hate it when people allow their emotional whims to get in the way of logic and truth. That said, they are also guided by a sense of loyalty to their values, families, and communities.
Michelle Obama, a rumored ESTJ, captured this mindset well when she said, “What we need right now is leadership; we need people with judgment; we need decent people, people with common sense, people with strong family values.” For the STJ having a level-headed outlook on life and a steady, responsible way of reasoning is essential.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any insights or experiences to share? Let us know in the comments!
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