There’s a lot of talk in the type community about which Myers-Briggs® personality type is lazier than all the rest! Some people believe that Perceivers (types with a “P” in their type code) are the laziest, because they don’t like rigid structures and a highly planned-out lifestyle. Others say that Feelers are laziest, because they “allow their feelings to carry them every which way.” But the truth is much more nuanced than that. Every single personality type is bound to be lazy about some things, while quite productive about other things. Today we’re going to explore some of the things that each type is laziest about. Let’s begin!
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Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
The Laziness of Each Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
Mentally energetic and creative, ENFPs move through life with a buzz of curiosity and excitement. Their enthusiasm, insight, and free-thinking nature can make them ingenious in the business world and innovative in any field that demands imagination. When it comes to laziness, ENFPs don’t typically look like slackers. But they tend to put off mundane, detailed tasks that have to do with upkeep and cautious preparation.
Many ENFPs struggle to do things like:
- Clean out the refrigerator when the food inside gets old
- Organize and pay their taxes meticulously
- Prepare for proverbial “rainy days”
- Show up on time for meetings or events that seem dull and uninspiring
- Stay on task during a project instead of getting distracted by another opportunity
- Return books to the library on time
- Pack everything they might possibly need ahead of a road trip
- Get their dental appointment done every six months
ENFPs typically become better at handling the upkeep and dull aspects of life as they hit their 30s and beyond. The more they work on attending to their bodily health, reflecting on lessons from their past, and considering their values and what will matter to them in the long run, the more they will overcome these challenges.
Innovative and skeptical, ENTPs enjoy having their hands in many different experiments and projects. Their curiosity, imagination, and skill with troubleshooting can make them just the types you need in a crisis. When it comes to laziness, their troubles tend to revolve around the smaller physical details of life. They wind up in crisis when they put off mundane tasks for so long that they blow up into major catastrophes as a result.
Many ENTPs struggle to do things like:
- Clean the stove regularly
- Wash, dry, and put away the laundry right away
- Replace dead smoke alarms promptly
- Talk to a significant other about a vulnerable but important issue
- File paperwork quickly and in an organized way
- Do nitty-gritty, detailed cleaning tasks on a regular basis (like dusting off ceiling fan blades)
- Stay on task with a project when it gets into the detailed phase instead of getting distracted with a “better” opportunity
ENTPs typically become better at handling the upkeep and dull aspects of life as they hit their 30s and beyond. The more they work on attending to their bodily health, reflecting on lessons from their past, and considering the personal logic of sticking with tasks when they get dull, the more they will overcome these challenges.
Idealistic and driven by a personal set of ethics, INFPs are the quiet dreamers of the personality community. They are in touch with their beliefs and values and strive to live a life that they feel good about in their heart at the end of the day. Their imagination, creativity, and conscientious nature make them excel as counselors, artists, or even humanitarian workers. When it comes to laziness, it ntends to show up when they are so focused on their dreams and ideals that they lose touch with the more mundane but essential aspects of life.
Many INFPs struggle to do things like:
- Check facts from multiple sources that might contradict a cause that’s important to them
- Stay on task during a project when an emotional or personal crisis is happening
- Hold people accountable even when they have excuses for why they failed to do something
- Finish a project they start, even when new and exciting alternatives present themselves
- Bring up a disagreement with someone directly, instead of mulling it over or putting it off to avoid a conflict
- Study for a school project and finish it in a methodical, steady way ahead of deadline
INFPs typically become better at handling these aspects of life as they hit their 30s and beyond.
Read this next: What Each Myers-Briggs Type Loves About INFPs
INTPs are driven to understand the key principles of life in a precise and thorough way. Their curiosity drives them to investigate, question, and refine their understanding of the world. They enjoy using multiple reasoning methods to objectively analyze problems, deduce, define, categorize, name, and navigate. Framing a problem from multiple angles and seeing various leverage points is something they excel at. While their penchant for clarity and accuracy is impressive, they can become lazy about some of the more physical or emotional aspects of life.
Many INTPs struggle to do things like:
- Actively listen when someone is confiding to them about a personal problem
- Give positive affirmations to people they care about
- Engage in chit-chat that could lead to deeper, more quality connections
- Attend to their own personal feelings and emotions
- Make their bed every morning
- Follow a to-do list precisely and on time
- Throw away old food in the refrigerator when it’s past the due date
- Stop investigating a subject of interest when something practical needs to be done
INTPs typically become better at handling the Sensing-Feeling aspects of life as they hit their 30s and beyond. The more they work on attending to their bodily health, sticking with a task even when it’s dull, or understanding their own and others’ emotions, the more they will grow in these areas.
Read this next: 21 Hobbies That INTPs Love
ENFJs tend to be productive, goal-focused, and energetic. They live with a long-term vision of what is possible and what they want to achieve in life. At the same time, they can appear lazy when it comes to the nitty-gritty investigative research that needs to be done for certain parts of life.
Many ENFJs struggle to do things like:
- Confront someone about a technical or competence failure
- Check facts that go against a belief or cause that’s personally important to them
- Ask for help for one of their own personal needs
- Do nitty-gritty, impersonal tasks like filing, untangling Christmas lights, or fixing a computer problem
- Read through a manual about how to use an object (like a vacuum, dishwasher, or car manual)
ENFJs typically grow into the Sensing-Thinking areas of life as they get into their 30s and start to mature and develop experience with their non-preferred functions.
Efficient and resourceful, ENTJs are probably the last types that you’d think of when you hear the word “lazy.” That said, everyone has blind spots and mental areas that they avoid focusing on. While ENTJs may indeed be task-focused and productive when it comes to practical matters, they can put off or avoid tasks that involve emotional labor and introspection.
Many ENTJs struggle to do things like:
- Reach out and affirm people emotionally
- Keep up with doctor check-ups or nitty-gritty physical upkeep
- Actively listen to people who are struggling with their lives
- Assess the human impact and emotional needs of others involved in their endeavors
- Ask for physical and/or emotional help
- Take leisure time with friends and family
Visionary and imaginative, INFJs have a unique ability to sense others’ inner potential. They are always looking for ways to improve and they thrive best when they can explore the future and anticipate possibilities. Where INFJs get lazy is with the practical realities of day-to-day life. Dealing with immediate practical demands can seem like a hassle that gets in the way of their penchant for ideating and analyzing.
Many INFJs struggle to do things like:
- Respond rapidly to an incoming bit of information (the phone ringing, a ball being thrown their way, etc,.)
- Make time for leisure, social activities
- Establish traditions or routines
- Communicate their abstract vision clearly and promptly
- Critique someone’s competency when it needs to be done
- Troubleshoot a complex technical problem relating to an object (like fixing a computer problem or repairing a household appliance)
- Prioritize physical upkeep (regular well checks, dental exams, etc)
Read this next: 7 Signs That an INFJ is Secretly Unhappy with Their Life
Insightful and complex, INTJs
are gifted at foreseeing the potential in the world around them. They have a unique inner vision of how things could be someday, and often have the stamina and aptitude to make their dreams a reality. They are always looking for ways to improve, and so they may balk at the idea of being “lazy.” That said, there are certain parts of their lives that they can procrastinate or put off embracing which can give the appearance of laziness to other personality types.
Many INTJs struggle to do things like:
- Respond rapidly to incoming stimuli (like the phone ringing, someone cracking a joke, etc)
- Relax leisurely without a plan or agenda
- Respect and follow the conventional way of doing things
- Express emotions and vulnerable feelings in an important relationship
- Affirm the positive qualities of the people around them
- Prioritize physical upkeep; well-checks, dental exams, and other self-care
- Engage in chit-chat that could lead to deeper, more quality connections
Read this next: 26 Memes any INTJ will Relate to
Energetic and fun-loving, ESFPs are alert to their surroundings and quick to act in emergency situations. One wouldn’t immediately think “lazy” when they see these types. Their high energy and active lifestyle makes them appear to be always on the go. Yet where these types get “lazy” is with tasks that require long-term planning or a focus on intangible ideas. ESFPs like focusing on the present and get frustrated when they have to predict or do mundane tasks that only have a distant future reward.
Many ESFPs struggle to do things like:
- Map out their long-term goals
- Set aside money in savings or an IRA for their future
- Make a will or set up life insurance
- Stick with a boring project (like filing taxes or solving a computer problem)
- Slow down and think through the consequences when an exciting opportunity presents itself
- Talk about abstract or theoretical subjects
ESTPs are go-getters who value concrete, bottom-line results. They know how to think quickly on their feet and bring a sense of fun to any task, no matter how mundane. Practical and sharp-minded, they look for ways to make a visible impact in the world. These types aren’t slouches, but they can get lazy when it comes to tasks that have no visible immediate result. They tend to dislike hypothesizing about the future, and can get impatient with tasks that require sustained effort for a distant reward.
Many ESTPs struggle to do things like:
- Make a 10-year plan
- Organize life insurance policies or methodically put money in savings
- Think of the risks cautiously when an exciting or thrilling opportunity presents itself
- Project about future possibilities or plans
- Finish a task that requires sustained, long-term effort without incremental rewards or visible benefits
- Reflect on their own inner feelings and motivations
- Have heart-to-heart discussions in order to form deep connections with others
Living with conviction and purpose is the desire of the ISFP personality type. These types evaluate what’s important to them on a core level and strive to live in accordance with those deeply personal internalized values. When it comes to laziness, these types tend to put off or avoid tasks that require them to detach from their deeply passionate feeling side. As sensors, they also tend to feel uncomfortable hypothesizing about future scenarios or brainstorming.
Many ISFPs struggle to do things like:
- Come up with an efficient, sequential plan to complete a project in a timely manner
- Work through a project or task when they feel emotionally overwhelmed
- Work when their environment is gloomy, disorganized, or messy
- Continue on a project when it lacks personal meaning or significance
- Do their best work when they have to be surrounded by people a lot
- Confront their partners about an issue right away
- Brainstorm or entertain alternatives and arguments that oppose a cause or value
As with all personality types, ISFPs can transcend these issues. As they grow and mature and experience a variety of life’s challenges, they may become more skilled at the areas above.
Investigative and pragmatic, ISTPs thrive when they can find ways to optimize the world around them. Whether they’re an artist or an auto mechanic, they have a skill at understanding tools and mastering their craft in unique and precise ways. Where ISTPs can get lazy is with personal relationships and emotional connections. These types enjoy understanding how the things in the world work, but they can get baffled and overwhelmed by the plethora of human emotions out there.
Many ISTPs struggle to do things like:
- Affirm others emotionally on a regular basis
- Make chit-chat and small talk in order to forge deeper connections with others
- Introspect about their own feelings and values to find out what’s meaningful to them
- Work with sustained effort on a project that only has a distant, long-term benefit
- Brainstorm and generate theoretical possibilities
- Hypothesize and make predictions with confidence
Warm and pragmatic, ESFJs combine friendliness and a down-to-earth, steady nature. These types don’t typically seem lazy because they are usually busy taking care of other people. But they can put off tasks that require a lot of impersonal analysis and troubleshooting. The world of the ESFJ is typically directed towards people, therefore tasks that have no immediate human impact tend to seem overwhelming to them.
Many ESFJs struggle to do things like:
- Read a technical manual in order to troubleshoot a problem
- Give criticism about someone’s work performance
- Entertain arguments or hypotheses that lie in opposition to their causes or beliefs
- Prioritize the relative long-term importance of their tasks
- Determine causal links between different events in their environment
ESTJs strive to tackle the problems of life in an efficient and timely manner. These strong personalities ground themselves in a down-to-earth, practical headspace. They take life as it comes and are objective even when faced with difficult decisions and chaotic surroundings. While these certainly aren’t the types you would immediately deem “lazy,” there are certain areas of their lives that tend to collect weeds and cobwebs as they focus on other things. As Sensor-Thinker types, anything in the area of Intuition-Feeling can be ignored, put off, or dismissed as “unimportant.”
Many ESTJs struggle to do things like:
- Give positive affirmations regularly to the people they care about
- Make time for quiet introspection about one’s own values and the meaning of one’s own life
- Get in touch with their emotions and the underlying causes of those emotions
- Actively listen to someone express their emotions and feelings
- Hypothesize about a new, innovative way to accomplish a task
- Contemplate the abstract areas of life
Patient and gentle, ISFJ personality types strive to live a tranquil yet meaningful existence. These types seek to be comfortable and secure by working steadily, relying on proven facts, and creating a consistent routine for themselves. They are usually very dependable and consistent, but as Sensing-Feeling types they can put off tasks that require them to do a lot of Intuiting-Thinking (although thinking can provide relief when it’s relied on in a low-pressure, creative way).
Many ISFJs struggle to do things like:
- Experiment with new ways to accomplish tasks
- Take risks or try things that don’t have very specific instructions
- Imagine the long-term potential of something
- Extrapolate alternatives or brainstorm possibilities
- Critique someone’s job performance
- Troubleshoot a complex technical problem (like a computer error or a programming issue)
Patient and cautious, ISTJs believe in accomplishing their goals in a methodical, timely manner. These types are extremely detail-oriented and meticulous, valued for their ability to stay attentive and focused and finish tasks without getting distracted. Laziness tends to not be an issue for them at work, but as Sensing-Thinking types they can struggle to prioritize tasks that involve a lot of Intuitive-Feeling capabilities.
Many ISTJs struggle to do things like:
- Brainstorm new possibilities and ideas
- Sense the hidden potential of something
- Try things in new, unconventional ways
- Emotionally affirm the people close to them on a regular basis
- Enjoy spontaneous leisure activities or surprises
- Express their feelings or vulnerabilities to others
What Are Your Thoughts?
As you can see, we all have certain areas of our life that we can get lazy about. But at the same time, with growth, maturity, and practice, we can learn to be more practiced in these areas. The more we’re aware of our weaknesses, the more we can learn to transcend those weaknesses.
Do you have any thoughts or insights you’d like to share? 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 INTJ – Understanding the Strategist, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!