Get an in-depth look at what each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types needs emotionally in a partner. #MBTI #Personality #INFJ

How You Want to be Emotionally Supported By Your Partner, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

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Estimated reading time: 23 minutes


Emotional intimacy is important to ENFPs. They want to feel like they can be themselves around their partner and share anything with them. They need their partners to be interested in who they are as a person, not just what they do, how they look, or other superficial aspects. Authenticity is crucial. They can tell right away if someone is being fake with them, and this makes them cringe and pull away.

For ENFPs, being able to be open about their feelings without having them dissected and critiqued is important. There may be times when they seek out advice or input about their feelings, but they’ll ask for it if they’re ready. Otherwise, they just need someone to listen to them and confirm that their feelings are valid and they are heard. It takes a great deal of trust for ENFPs to share their inner selves with someone, so if you’re on the receiving end of this, know that it’s a huge deal.

ENFPs need a balance of shared feelings and independent time where they can think about things on their own. They can get caught up in other people’s emotions, so sometimes they need to step away and get some alone time in order to get a break and recharge.

They also need someone who challenges them mentally and enjoys debating or discussing ideas together. They have a unique way of looking at the world, so being able to discuss it with someone who will listen and not dismiss their views is crucial. Someone who tries to tell an ENFP what they should think or feel isn’t going to last long as a partner.

Read This Next: 24 Signs That You’re an ENFP – The Visionary Personality Type


ENTPs may seem like the quintessential thick-skinned debaters, but they actually can be very sensitive underneath their tough exterior. They enjoy compassionate, warm people who can empathize with them and help them get in touch with their more tender-hearted side. They crave emotional intimacy and want to feel like there is openness between them and their partner. Saying what they feel and hearing their partner’s thoughts and feelings without reserve matters to them.

Things like passive-aggressiveness, silent treatment, or sulking because of a disagreement don’t work for ENTPs. They’d rather have all the feelings and disagreements out on the table and work through them directly rather than dealing with mysterious mixed messages they have to decipher. They aren’t mind readers and they get annoyed with people who expect them to be.

Sometimes ENTPs think their feelings are obvious when they actually aren’t as clear. They may seem like they don’t care about something or someone when really they just aren’t as emotionally demonstrative as other personality types can be. Many ENTPs have told me that they think they’ve expressed their emotions clearly, but their partner is still in the dark. If you’re confused about how an ENTP feels, just ask! They will usually be open to expressing it if there’s any confusion.

Like ENFPs, ENTPs also need support for their curiosity and intuition. They like having someone who appreciates their unique way of looking at the world and can share their joy in exploring possibilities and new insights.

Read This Next: The Flirting Style of the ENTP Personality Type


INFPs are emotionally profound people, but they don’t necessarily blurt out their feelings to anyone who comes along. If you’re someone the INFP has entrusted with their emotions, then they’ll hold you very dear and expect the same type of emotional intimacy from you. They want to be able to share their feelings and know that they won’t be judged or criticized for them. When they express themselves, try not to critique, dissect, or rationalize their feelings. Simply let them know that you hear them, and, if possible, relate in any relevant way.

Psychologist Carl Rogers put it well when he said, “When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good!”

Try to keep that quote in mind when you’re dealing with INFPs.

These types also need people who support their dreams and help them see the possibilities of life. Simply exploring ideas, possibilities, and adventures can give them a sense of optimism and joy. Don’t worry about whether every possibility is realistic or doable “right now,” just travel the road of exploration together. Imagine what it would be like to go somewhere new together, or fantasize about future opportunities together. If you can get an INFP to invite you into their rich inner world of daydreams and wonder then never take it for granted or belittle what you see there.

Lastly, INFPs are deeply in touch with their values and it’s important to them that you share similar ones. They aim to bring out the good in people, so they want someone compassionate, empathetic, open-minded, loving, and accepting of others’ differences.

Read This Next: 12 Fictional Characters You’ll Relate to if You’re an INFP


INTPs are usually very private people and don’t express themselves or their feelings easily. If you’re someone they’ve let into their inner world, however, then they want you to know how much your relationship means to them. If they express their feelings take them seriously. Even if they seem awkward or uncomfortable with their emotions, try to appreciate what they’re sharing. If you can manage this, INTPs will love you all the more for it. It probably took a lot of courage for them to express themselves in this way!

Like ENTPs, INTPs need someone who can appreciate their deeply logical and analytical minds. They value someone who analyzes and plays with ideas in their mind. If you’re getting frustrated with the fact that they’re not talking enough then try to show an interest in something they’re figuring out. Ask questions. Be open-minded. Affirm their intellect, creativity, or skill in some way! This can make them light up because they’ve often spent a great deal of time working on their theories and projects.

Since INTPs are very independent, sometimes people mistake this for being cold or aloof. But, surprisingly to some, this is hardly the case. If you’ve earned their love then they enjoy being able to express their warmer and more sentimental with you! Having a partner who encourages this side of them (and matches it) is extremely satisfying for them. Little gestures to show you care are also important; try writing a love letter to your INTP, or reflect on your favorite memories together. Create little romantic routines to share with them repeatedly! The more you show them affirmation and emotional support (as well as patience when they’re struggling to express their feelings) the close you’ll become.

Read This Next: The Flirting Style of the INTP Personality Type


Gregarious and affirming, ENFJs appreciate a partner who shows gratitude for who they are and who is willing to be there for them. They want someone that will support, understand, and appreciate their people-focused nature rather than telling them things like “you talk too much” or “you care too much.” They value a partner who brings fun and lightheartedness into their life or at least is willing to join them for the ride!

Emotional support is something everyone needs in a partner, but particularly ENFJs. Talking out their feelings is a way that ENFJs process them. They may explain their feelings or various situations repeatedly to look for patterns, meanings, or some kind of logical solution. When they’re doing this, be patient. Don’t interrupt them, sigh, or otherwise belittle their experience. Ask them if they’d like help sorting out their feelings, and be a gentle and encouraging sounding board. They often appreciate someone who can give them constructive input and feedback. The key is not to be condescending about it.

When ENFJs are feeling down, they need to know you’re there to help pick them back up again. Try being an active listener by paraphrasing what you hear them say and repeating it back to them. Tell them you believe in them and their abilities. Affirm the positive things they’ve done recently, and encourage them with a picture of a better future. If it’s appropriate, give them a heartfelt compliment that relates to something specific they did that struck you as intelligent, competent, or kind.

Laughter is another important way to support ENFJs. Try to find the humor in what’s happening (or after an event, if it’s appropriate) and share a few laughs with them. These types often have a surprisingly irreverent sense of humor that you may not expect!


Like their fellow judgers, ENTJs appreciate someone who is clear and direct about how they feel. However, unlike Feeling-Judgers, they are less likely to discuss their feelings with people. In fact, many times ENTJs consider their feelings irrelevant and they may not even realize that certain underlying emotions are driving particular behaviors. They may say they’re not emotional when they are showing very clear emotions; they just haven’t processed them yet. Understanding this quality can help you be patient with them and open to discovering new ways of communicating together.

Finding out what matters to an ENTJ is crucial in making the relationship work. Do something that aligns with their values, whether that be helping out at a volunteer event or cleaning up polluted parks (I’m sure you can find some ideas!). Spend time learning about what motivates and inspires them, and how you can be a part of that process in some small way. These types don’t like shallow people who lack conviction. They want to see that you have a drive for something beyond yourself.

ENTJs need support in their careers and goals. Productivity and success are usually high priorities of theirs. If you notice they seem particularly excited about a project at work, ask them what it is and why they find it so interesting! If you offer to help, that’s even better!

When things don’t go their way ENTJs may find themselves frustrated and even angry with the situation. Instead of getting defensive or trying to control everything that’s happening, be open about how you’re feeling. Let them know that it’s safe to express their feelings because you’re not going to judge them or hold it against them. When they have a chance to feel, process, and share those emotions with you, they can gain perspective on what happened and come up with solutions for how to move forward. If you’re looking for some ways to help an ENTJ who is over-stressed you can find them in my article: What ENTJs Do When They’re Stressed.


A gentle sense of understanding is something that all INFJs crave in a relationship. A patient, considerate nature goes a long way in earning their trust. As much as they want this understanding from a partner, they also need to see that their partner treats others with respect and kindness. Stand up for what you believe in and help others whenever possible. Don’t give them the impression that you’re gentle and kind and then bark out orders to a service worker, for example.

INFJs are frequently misunderstood by others. It might be tough for them to explain the ideas that keep running through their heads or the logic behind their decisions in words. It does not imply that they do not have solid reasons for what they do; it’s just difficult to communicate their thoughts and reasoning in a linear format. As dominant intuitives, their minds are filled with symbols, images, and pictures that are sometimes mysterious and random. When they try to explain themselves, they need to take lots of pauses to organize their thoughts. Someone who doesn’t rush them through their process helps them to feel less flustered and more understood and confident.

To form a genuine bond with an INFJ, be sure to show them where your heart lies. Tell them about your passions, dreams, and the causes that stir your heart. Do volunteer projects together, make bags of essentials to hand out to homeless people, or find other random acts of kindness to fill your time. Sensitive and gentle, INFJs often get emotional support and reassurance by knowing you care about making the world a better place, in ways small or large.

Read This Next: The Flirting Style of the INFJ Personality Type


For the INTJ, the volume of your love isn’t as important as the weight of your love. Actions speak louder than words. If you want to have a more intimate relationship with them, don’t just say it – show them! Help them with a work project, learn about something they’re interested in, or stick by them when they’re having a bad day and they’re not at their best.

A quiet sense of understanding goes a long way as well. Being quiet with them and enjoying a simple activity can be a meaningful way to bond. When you disagree with them, make sure to address the points they’ve made instead of getting caught up in your emotions or the conclusions you came to. Respectfully present your own arguments and allow them time to consider your perspective instead of walking away or hurling accusations. Introverts need time to process feedback before they can respond; they’re not the types of people who will immediately have a retort at the ready (and sometimes this is a very good thing).

Conviction matters to INTJs. Emotionally supporting them often means validating what matters to them and respecting their right to make decisions that feel right on a conscience-level. They will not always make the decision you desire, but as long as they stand by it and can explain why they made that decision, it is critical to support their decisions if at all possible. Don’t be scared to defend your beliefs (even if it means opposing them!) Make a point of demonstrating perseverance and a strong sense of right and wrong.

Read This Next: The Flirting Style of the INTJ Personality Type


ESFPs need a partner who appreciates the fun, humor, and liveliness they bring to the relationship. If you don’t know how to take a joke, make a joke, or see the silliness in everyday life, ESFPs will struggle to feel like they can be themselves without fear of judgment. Be relaxed, casual, and bring a sense of fun and adventure to the relationship!

When it comes to emotions, if an ESFP opens up to you during a stressful period, don’t try to give a lot of advice or critique what theyr’e saying. Fight the urge to offer solutions or “fix” their problems. It’s important to be supportive even if you disagree with them. Don’t shut down what they are feeling by trying to provide a quick fix or glossing over their emotions completely. If you do strongly disagree with their perspective or feel you have constructive advice to offer, wait until they’ve calmed down. Let them know you’re there to talk when they need support, and if your advice might be helpful, offer it in a gentle and respectful way.

If you have a disagreement with an ESFP, make sure you are not acting entitled or superior towards them. They may feel disrespected if they believe you don’t value their state of mind, feelings, or opinion at the time. Be relaxed but firm in your resolve. Explain the feelings behind your disagreement and why it matters to you. For example, imagine your ESFP partner wants to drop your kids off with her parents so she can get some time to do her own things. You, on the other hand, rarely get to see the kids and don’t want this to happen. Instead of being insulted, state your reasoning clearly. You could say something like, “I know you need a break, but I feel like the kids deserve special time with me and I rarely get to see them when I come home from work. I know we can find a middle ground where we can provide our parents with visits, you can get some time away, and I can still build a solid relationship with each kid. If you need a break, I’m happy to watch the kids while you go spend a weekend with your friends! Does this work?”


For ESTPs, freedom is a core need in life. As with all couples, the meaning of this freedom will vary (for many ESTPs it means freedom to take on new challenges or have time for adventure). Emotionally, getting support for this need is crucial. It often boils down to respect. ESTPs need a partner who respects their choices and their natural tendency to be spontaneous, take (healthy) risks, and try new things.

You have the right to confront an ESTP if they’re becoming too competitive or self-centered and it’s interfering with your relationship. The pleasure that an ESTP gets from sharing wonderful events and experiences with his or her spouse is immeasurable. They really don’t want you to be unhappy. When it comes to conflict, they prefer you bring up a problem immediately rather than stew on it or become passive-aggressive. It’s critical to be honest, upfront, and give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t start assigning motives or laying blame without hearing their side of the story.

Hugs, snuggles, and intimacy are important to ESTPs. These types view the world in a physical manner; what they can touch, taste, and feel physically. As a result, they are more likely to express their love through tactile contact. Giving lots of loving caresses and not shying away from PDAs can help them feel supported and cherished in the relationship.


ISFPs place great importance on authenticity and honesty. They value an artistic and creative, somewhat bohemian way of life and feel stifled in a high-pressure or rigid setting. They crave a partner who will join them for the exploration and beauty of life, wherever it happens to take them. A sense of fun, wonder, and curiosity are essential qualities in a partner.

Feeling controlled or judged is a major turn-off to ISFPs. They need a partner who is accepting of differences in thought and lifestyle and someone curious, rather than judgmental, about differences. If there is an area where you and your ISFP partner disagree, try to explore that area without manipulation or pressure. This means leaving conclusions for later after the two of you have had time to think things through.

ISFPs tend to dislike conflict in any form. They don’t want a relationship where they feel they have to hide their true self or give up expressing themselves because of an argument with their partner. Give them room to make up their own mind about things, and don’t assume that if they haven’t verbalized something they haven’t thought it through. Unsolicited advice or lectures tend to get under their skin. If you notice a problem that requires advice, be sure to ask them first if they’re interested and then state your views in a non-patronizing tone.

Empathy is one of the most important traits that ISFPs look for in a partner. If your partner is experiencing some kind of emotional pain try to see things from their perspective. This doesn’t mean you have to share their feelings but it does mean that you respect them and recognize that their feelings are real and worth hearing out without judgment. Saying “I hear you,” “That makes sense,” or “I’m here for you” can mean the world to them.


For ISTPs, the most important thing is to have a partner who values their autonomy and has their own independent interests as well. The last thing they want is a partner who is clingy and lacks their own sense of self. They respect strength of character and someone who can keep up with them intellectually. It can be a major turn-on to an ISTP when a partner can debate them on an intellectual subject and hold their ground without getting offended.

Warmth and emotional support are important to every personality type, and ISTPs are no different. Even though they may come across as somewhat mysterious or stoic, they still cherish a warm smile, empathetic exchanges, and plenty of hugs and kisses. They like to feel accepted and validated, especially when they are struggling to verbalize their feelings. ISTPs can feel shy when it comes to emotional matters and need a partner who is patient, understanding, and willing to take the time to discover what lies beneath their reserved exterior.

A sense of humor is also important for any partner of an ISTP. They want to be with someone who can take a joke and see the silliness in everyday situations. They typically have a relaxed, casual way of approaching life and will tire of a partner who is overly concerned with appearances and formality. Cracking a perfectly timed joke can be just the thing to win them over!


ESFJs will go the extra mile for their partners, and they want to be with someone who would do the same. Show you care by paying attention to their needs and the little things that make them smile. For example, leave them a sweet loving note along with their favorite candy before you head to work. They will love the gesture and it will show them that you are attentive to their desires.

Be there for them during both happy and sad moments—and yes, this includes consoling them if they are upset. ESFJs need to talk out their feelings to process them. Hearing their feelings out loud helps them to organize and refine them. If you wonder why they keep verbalizing the same experience or emotions repeatedly, just be aware that this “cycle” is their way of sorting out which feelings don’t make sense and which might be founded in something pertinent. Being a listening ear, offering a warm hug, and being patient throughout this process is essential. If you think they need some advice, ask gently if they’d like any feedback. Many Feeling-Judging types enjoy getting feedback on their experiences and emotions as long as it’s done humbly and with genuine kindness.

Traditional romantic gestures mean a lot to ESFJs. Sending a love letter, buying them flowers, holding hands, and dinner by candlelight can light up their world for a moment. And unexpected gestures can also make a huge impact. They might love a surprise picnic in the park or even a spontaneous romantic movie date. ESFJs can be a bit sentimental, so even a simple gesture like leaving them a note with the lyrics to their favorite song scrolled across it might make them melt.


Loyalty is incredibly important to ESTJs. This type needs to know that they are with someone who has their best interests at heart and will stick by them through the hard times. Proving that you’re more than a “fair-weather” partner can be extremely comforting to them. You can show this by being a compassionate shoulder to lean on when they need your support, or by sticking up for them in conflict situations. If you see them out shoveling the snow on a winter day, join them. Simply do things to prove that you are their partner and helpmate, not a bystander who needs to be waited on.

While on the outside ESTJs can seem very direct and tough, they have a softer, more sentimental side underneath. Be gentle with them and show them plenty of kindness. They respond best to a partner who is respectful, reliable, and trustworthy. When they feel secure in their relationship, ESTJs are caring individuals who will be there during both happy and sad times. They’ll enjoy collecting romantic moments with you and reminiscing about cute or funny things you’ve done together in the past.

Understanding an ESTJs motives is crucial. If you want things to work out, it’s critical to be tolerant with them. They’ll try to come up with practical answers and guidance when you communicate your feelings to them. Their focus will be on “fixing” the problem. If this is something that frustrates you, politely tell them that you just want to vent and get their support at this time. Try not to accuse them of being insensitive; because that would be inaccurate and hurtful. They are typically very sensitive to their partner’s needs, which is exactly why they want to help by offering constructive input that you can actually use in a meaningful way.


Gentle consideration and empathy are the way to an ISFJs heart. They need someone who values their generosity and takes care of them without being overbearing. When they see that you have a kind and selfless nature, such as offering your seat on the bus or opening doors for others, it makes them melt. Winning them over means being kind to people outside your sphere as well as to them. They are always looking for hints of their partner’s character; signs that might mean danger or signs that might mean security and kindness.

If you feel the need to critique an ISFJ, be sure to do it gently. They work very hard to take care of their loved ones, and often take it very hard when they are criticized. Be sure to acknowledge their talents and what you appreciate about them regularly; if they feel constantly critiqued or evaluted they will shy away from the relationship or become overwhelmed by negative or self-defeating thoughts.

ISFJs are introverts, so even though they are friendly and warm, they need plenty of time alone. Don’t be afraid to take on your own hobbies and interests at times. In fact, it might even help them to have an excuse to get time to themselves and recharge. Just make sure to come back together at the end of every night for a loving exchange of words or affection. They enjoy texts that say “Good night, I love you” or simple bedtime routines like watching a favorite TV show together or reading a chapter from a book.

ISFJs are routine-oriented people and often have many little activities and hobbies that bring them joy. Pay attention to these things and try to honor them throughout the relationship. If they always like to wind down before bed with some quiet reading time, don’t blast loud metal music while they’re trying to read! You can also show you’re paying attention by buying a book by their favorite author or writing a little note with a lyric from one of their favorite songs on it.

Read This Next: The Flirting Style of the ISFJ Personality Type


Even though ISTJs are quiet and serious, they have a very sentimental side that greatly appreciates thoughtful gestures. If you want to impress them, remember things that make them smile. These can be inexpensive things like their favorite kind of tea or coffee in the morning. They could be more romantic things like making a playlist of songs that remind you of them (like the song you listened to on your first date). Or it could mean doing something practical to help them. Shoveling the snow on a winter day or watching the kids so they can have some time alone (if this applies) can mean a great deal.

If there is one thing you should not do to win the favor of an ISTJ, it’s overwhelm them with explosive and erratic emotions. Calm and reserved, ISTJs feel anxious when the people around them are unpredictable and volatile. If they sense that you are easily angered or offended, it will be difficult for them to voice their thoughts and feelings. They need a calm person who is reasonable and patient with their cautious temperament.

ISTJs are very conscientious of how they affect others. They pay attention to what their partner’s like or don’t like and try to accommodate them. As an example, my father-in-law (an ISTJ) once noticed I was having trouble finding cookie sheets in my kitchen. That afternoon he went to the store and bought me new ones and placed them quietly on the kitchen counter. These thoughtful simple gestures shouldn’t go unnoticed. Give them warm hugs, show gratitude, and look for little ways you can also show your consideration of them.

When it comes to emotional expression, realize that ISTJs tend to keep their feelings under wraps. They are often very curious listeners but don’t expect them to always share their feelings. This reserved temperament can be pretty frustrating for types who share their feelings openly! You might feel like you’re unloading your feelings all the time and not getting any reciprocation. ISTJs tend to feel like a listening ear or practical efforts to meet your needs are signs enough of their love. You can trust an ISTJ to be your rock, but be clear if you want more verbal signs of emotional support. Give them time to process their thoughts and feelings before expressing them and try not to get impatient with them.

Read This Next: 21 Hobbies That ISTJs Love

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you have any input for other readers? 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 FacebookInstagram, or Twitter!

Get an in-depth look at what each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types needs emotionally in a partner. #MBTI #Personality #INFJ
Get an in-depth look at what each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types needs emotionally in a partner. #MBTI #Personality #INFJ

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