Some personality types are known for being extremely rebellious and independent, while others are more respectful of conventions and social norms. Today we’re taking a look at which types are most likely to seem like non-conformists, and which types are more likely to fit in with a group.
Table of contents
- What Does Rebellious Even Mean?
- Where is the Data for this Article From?
- Ranking the 16 Myers and Briggs Types from Most to Least Rebellious
- #1 – The ENTP
- #2 – The ENFP
- #3 – The INTP
- #4 – The ISTP
- #5 – The INFP
- #6 – The INTJ
- #7 – The ESTP
- #8 – The ENTJ
- #9 – The ISFP
- #10 – The ESFP
- #11 – The INFJ
- #12 – The ENFJ
- #13 – The ESTJ
- #14 – The ISFJ
- #15 – The ISTJ
- #16 – The ESFJ
- What Are Your Thoughts?
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
What Does Rebellious Even Mean?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “If someone is rebellious, they are difficult to control and do not behave in the way that is expected.”
Dictionary.com states that rebellion means, “resistance or defiance of any authority, control, or tradition.”
Where is the Data for this Article From?
These rankings are based on my own research and experiences as an MBTI® practitioner, as well as research based on case studies conducted in 1997 from “The Relationship Between MBTI® and Measures of Personality and Performance in Management Groups,” by J.W. Fleenor. The MBTI® Manual also has data related to the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types and their results on the CPI™ tool. This tool, The California Psychological Inventory Assessment, measures individuals on many different categories like Sociability, Self-acceptance, Independence, Self-control, Communality, and more. One of the things it measures is rebelliousness, dislike of conforming, and the propensity to have unconventional views. That is one of the sources where the data for this article is taken from. You can find out more by scrolling down to the sources section of this article.
Disclaimer: While this article may show trends (certain types tend to be more rebellious than others) it is by no means a prescription. Some types may experience particular situations that make them more or less rebellious, regardless of what type they are.
Ranking the 16 Myers and Briggs Types from Most to Least Rebellious
#1 – The ENTP
People who fit the ENTP personality type resist traditions and conformity, opting instead to experiment and look at situations from new angles. While some types try to stick within the established rules, ENTPs are always trying to look beyond them to see if there are any other more evolved ways of thinking. They enjoy playing with unconventional ideas, innovating, and testing information to see if it stands up against logical scrutiny. Rules and traditions are made to be questioned, and ENTPs enjoy playing devil’s advocate to any authority who tries to push their agenda on them. These types have mastered the art of debate and feel a flourish of gratification when they can win an argument against someone of a higher rank.
#2 – The ENFP
People who match the ENFP personality type are flexible and drawn to original and novel ideas and theories. Like their ENTP type-siblings, they enjoy innovating, experimenting, and questioning. Their vivid imagination allows them to think outside the bounds of tradition and question rules and societal norms. While they tend to be warm and engaging, they are more rebellious than many people realize. Their minds naturally question everything and they rather enjoy being non-conformist, different, and unconventional.
#3 – The INTP
According to a 1994 case study on personality and expressed values, NTPs scored higher than any other types on self-oriented individualism. INTPs care more about following after the truth and seeking out the answers to their questions than they care about obeying rules or “fitting in.” These types naturally generate questions, alternatives, and innovative ways of thinking. Because of this, they tend to appear rebellious or skeptical of authorities who insist in doing things “by the book.” INTPs are likely to shy away from people who don’t question things or who accept rules at face value.
#4 – The ISTP
ISTPs are naturally skeptical of societal constructs and social norms that are enforced on others. These types prefer to go it alone and forge their own way in life. According to a study on type and the CPI™ inventory (MBTI® Manual, pg. 354) ISTPs were often skeptical about others’ intentions. They also ranked as insisting on being themselves even if it caused friction. The beauty of the ISTP mindset is that because they aren’t easily drawn in by others’ charms and persuasions, they are able to see facts in a fairly unbiased way. They pride themselves on being realists, and their thinking side helps them to weigh lots of disparate information at a time to determine what’s true. While they are often rebellious, ISTPs can use this rebelliousness to discover truths that other types miss.
#5 – The INFP
INFPs may not seem like the cold, gruff rebels that you find in movies or novels. But these types are individualists all the way. In fact, according to a study in the MBTI® Manual, INFPs were one of the types most likely to see themselves as different, non-conventional, and non-conforming (MBTI® Manual, pg. 354). This makes sense when we understand how INFPs think. They naturally question social norms and traditions in order to be authentic and find out what is really true and right for them as a person. They’re often the types to speak out against injustice even if it makes them less popular. For the Introverted Feeling type, adherence to individual values will nearly always trump going along with the group.
Read This Next: Understanding INFP Rage
#6 – The INTJ
INTJs are driven to trailblaze new paths and discover new possibilities for the future. They are uninterested in sticking to tradition or maintaining social norms, which can make them seem rebellious. While they like structure and order, they are skeptical of authorities and enjoy being the leaders of their own lives. They aren’t afraid to play devil’s advocate or question authorities who don’t back up their claims with facts or sound logic. Rank means little to an INTJ, but vision and strategic capability mean everything. According to the MBTI® Manual, INTJs were simultaneously responsible and serious about their duties and obligations while insisting on being themselves even if it caused friction (MBTI® Manual, pg. 354).
Read This Next: 24 Signs That You’re an INTJ, the Strategist Personality Type
#7 – The ESTP
ESTPs know how to play well with others for the most part, but they don’t have an innate respect for authority in most cases. They know what authorities want to hear, but they’re more individualistic than many people realize. They often find bureaucratic rules and traditions to be silly and pointless. Doing their best work often means having freedom and being able to make shortcuts in order to make things more efficient. As a result, they have little patience for oversights, constraints, or being “managed.” They can play nicely until someone tightens the reigns on them a little too hard, and then they will lash out or undermine the authority in order to free themselves.
#8 – The ENTJ
Dominant and independent, ENTJs don’t want to take orders from anyone but themselves. While they may understand the logic for rank and bureaucracy, they tend to stay in middle-management positions for only so long before they’re ready to be in charge. These types like to run the show and will rebel against micro-managing or rules based on social niceties or superstitions. ENTJs don’t mind toying with new ideas, questioning traditions, or venturing out on their own even if it means going against the norm.
#9 – The ISFP
People who identify with the ISFP personality type are often sympathetic rebels. Unlike the gruff, brusque rebels of television shows, ISFPs are more likely to quietly rebel against authority. As introverted feeling types, ISFPs don’t care so much about getting group approval as they care about approving of themselves and having conviction in what they do. Doing what’s right on an individual level matters more to them than fitting in with the group. This can mean standing up to a bully in order to protect a misfit, protesting against corruption even if one’s own family doesn’t support the protest, or simply wearing a style that one’s own cultural group frowns upon. ISFPs need to be free to be themselves, and this can make them true rebels at heart.
#10 – The ESFP
Outgoing and free-spirited, people who identify with the ESFP type don’t like to be managed or controlled by others. While they have a strong drive to do well in life, they hate strict rules and regulations and will quickly change careers, relationships, or locations if they feel that they are being micro-managed or limited. ESFPs believe in sticking to their truth about what they believe is right for them and can seem rebellious and intense to people who are trying to control them or make them fit into a traditional mold.
#11 – The INFJ
INFJs know how to be warm and tactful, but they have an independent streak that can make them seem more rebellious than people would expect. In fact, according to the MBTI® Manual, INFJs score higher on Achievement via Independence than most other types. This means that they crave freedom and have no problem taking individual initiative. As introverted intuitives, INFJs feel an intense pull to follow their vision, even if it leads them down paths that are non-conformist or shocking to others. At the same time, these types crave harmonious relationships, so they often feel a push and pull between wanting to please others and wanting to follow their own unique path.
Read This Next: 24 Signs You’re an INFJ, the Mystic Personality Type
#12 – The ENFJ
ENFJs are visionaries in every sense of the word. And while they exude warmth and friendliness, they’re not afraid to speak out for their vision, even if it ruffles a few feathers. That said, they often spend a considerable amount of time crafting their words to make the highest impact and influence people towards their goals. These types want to make a good impression and they like to please others, but not at the expense of their values or their dreams.
#13 – The ESTJ
ESTJs aren’t exactly rebellious most of the time. In fact, according to the MBTI® Manual, these types rank higher than most other types on being conventional, fitting in, and working well within a structured, conservative setting (MBTI® Manual, pgs. 354 & 355). That said, if forced to work within an inefficient system, ESTJs don’t mind speaking up and pointing out discrepancies. They aren’t so fixated on authority that they’ll take orders from someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. ESTJs are opinionated and they enjoy speaking their mind. Responsibility, good leadership, and logical thinking are key things they require in an authority. If the world is being run by someone who they see as illogical and incompetent, ESTJs will indeed rebel against that authority and go against the rules they see as infringing on their freedoms.
#14 – The ISFJ
ISFJs don’t exude a rebellious nature in most cases, but they have their own private rebellious fantasies. Many ISFJs I’ve spoken with have stated that although they tend to be rule-followers, they have often imagined themselves taking down irritating authorities with highly crafted, well-thought-out arguments. The shower seemed to be an ideal place for them to play out these rebellious scenarios and perfect their words. As introverted sensing types, ISFJs enjoy having their lives as comfortable and stable as possible and if someone is charge in wreaking havoc on that part of their lives they can become sarcastic and insubordinate as a way to defend themselves.
#15 – The ISTJ
When it comes to ISTJs, all the data points in favor of them not being particularly rebellious. According to the MBTI® Manual, ISTJs ranked highly on conforming to rules, seldom getting in trouble, suppressing hostile feelings, and appreciating convention and well-organized, predictable situations. That said, many ISTJs I’ve known in person have considered themselves rebels of a sort. While they may obey most rules, they are particular about their personal freedoms and their personal space. I know quite a few ISTJs, for example, who rebel against rules that infringe upon their personal beliefs, religious or otherwise. They may strike up a cause or protest in support of their values. While these types like a calm, tranquil life, my own experiences show that everyone does have an element of rebellion given the right circumstances.
#16 – The ESFJ
ESFJs crave a life filled with harmony and predictability. These types thrive on a steady routine and a peaceful, structured existence. Practical and friendly, they see the basis for most rules and will abide by most as long as they don’t violate a personal value. For example, I know one ESFJ who is an avid homeschooler and she’s made it very clear to me that if homeschooling ever became illegal she’d still do it regardless. When it comes to issues of right or wrong, almost everyone will break some rules to live in accordance with their ethics. That said, ESFJs tend to avoid conflict, and, according to the MBTI® Manual, they score high on Socialization. This means that, in comparison to the other Myers-Briggs personality types, they are conscientious, well-organized, easily conform to rules, and seldom get into trouble.
The MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Instrument. Third Edition
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree with my rankings? Disagree? Share your thoughts with other readers 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 INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!