Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who is widely considered to be the father of existentialism. His work explores the human condition, and he had a lot to say about the different ways that people experience life and what is ultimately meaningful. I’ve personally found his insights to be spot-on and deeply inspiring so I was really excited to put this post together for all the personality types.
Which Kierkegaard quote will resonate with you the most? Find out and then let me know if you agree with me in the comments!
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
The Søren Kierkegaard Quote You’ll Relate to, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!” – Søren Kierkegaard
ENFPs crave a sense of possibility and potential in every moment life has to offer them. Rather than settling for a predictable, routine life, they have an urge to imagine a future beyond the ordinary. This sense of possibility draws them down many different paths in life and can make it difficult for them to sit still for very long. To chase after their ideals, to dream, to create, to imagine – these are the quests of the ENFP life.
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“It is perhaps the misfortune of my life that I am interested in far too much but not decisively in any one thing; all my interests are not subordinated in one but stand on an equal footing.” – Søren Kierkegaard
ENTPs are known for their endless curiosity and love of knowledge. They are quick-thinking, imaginative, and always exploring new possibilities. Because they have their hands in so many different projects and ideas, they may at times feel scattered or like they are never able to focus on one thing. Kierkegaard’s quote speaks to this feeling of being interested in everything but not being able to commit to any one thing.
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“Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
For INFPs, the importance of life is in discovering its true purpose. And one can’t do that without living authentically and being true to one’s self. Shallow distractions and materialistic pursuits may be entertaining for a moment, but INFPs are often drawn towards deeper things. They often wonder how others can go through life pulled by dozens of fleeting distractions, trying to be something they’re not, when ultimately there needs to be a more profound sense of meaning to feel whole.
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“Therefore do not deceive yourself! Of all deceivers fear most yourself!”
INTPs get to the root of their beliefs and principles in order to understand truth from all angles. Others may try to deceive themselves or believe their own hype, but for the INTP everything believed in must be rigorously examined. They know how easy it is to choose easy belief over the struggle of deep analysis. In this way, Kierkegaard’s quote speaks to the INTPs need for self-honesty and intellectual integrity.
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“Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle.”
ENFJs are known for their warmth, compassion, and for always seeing the potential in others. They strive never to give up on people and work to bring out the best in them. This quote from Kierkegaard speaks to the ENFJ‘s boundless hope and faith in humanity. They believe that love can thaw even the coldest of hearts and they notice nuances about people and their innate potential that gives them an unquenchable passion for humanity’s best qualities.
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”
Envisioning a possibility and creating the strategy to achieve one’s dream is something that drives the ENTJ personality type. They seek to overcome challenging obstacles in pursuit of a vision that will get them closer to their truest potential. They know that going after any big goal will take effort, courage, and endurance, but to them the risk is worth it.
“The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.”
For the INFJ, life is about going after one’s vision with purpose and patience. Life is about finding a cause, a meaning, an ideal, and giving everything to chase after it. Every action must align with this drive towards understanding the overarching meaning of life. To the INFJ, truth is not just a cold, concrete fact but something that must be experienced and felt in order to be fully understood. For the INFJ understanding the self isn’t just about understanding feelings and emotions, it’s about finding a profound symbolic vision that can propel them into a life of conviction and purpose.
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“Where am I? Who am I?
How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director?
I want to see him.”
A lot of people talk about INTJs and their knack for strategy and effectiveness. But beneath their no-nonsense exterior is a contemplative visionary who wonders about the grand dance of life itself. Why are we here? Where are we going? What is the deeper meaning behind everything that happens in the world? To the INTJ these are not idle questions but a drive to understand the essence of life itself. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to the INTJs unending curiosity about existence and their need to find answers to complex questions.
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“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
ESFPs believe in embracing the moment and grasping all the beauty in the present. Rather than getting bogged down in all the ‘What if’s’ or ‘What could have been’s’ they harness all the experiences life has to offer right now in any circumstance. To the ESFP, life is not meant to be a puzzle to be deliberated over but an adventure to be lived fully. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their positive outlook on life and their grasp on the real, tangible qualities that can be experienced at any moment.
“The only intelligent tactical response to life’s horror is to laugh defiantly at it”
ESTPs are known for their quick wit and sharp humor. They often use humor as a way to deal with the harsher realities of life. But beneath their joking exterior is a deep understanding of just how difficult life can be. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to the ESTP’s ability to see the darkness in the world but also their refusal to be defined by it. Instead they choose to laugh in the face of adversity and find humor in even the darkest of situations.
“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”
Authenticity is a core need of the ISFP personality type. They know that repressing, pretending, and faking it will only lead to a life of emptiness and despair. To the ISFP, being true to oneself is the only way to find contentment and meaning in life. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their need for self-expression and their belief that living any other way is simply not an option.
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“When I was young, I forgot how to laugh in the cave of Trophonius; when I was older, I opened my eyes and beheld reality, at which I began to laugh, and since then, I have not stopped laughing. I saw that the meaning of life was to secure a livelihood, and that its goal was to attain a high position; that love’s rich dream was marriage with an heiress; that friendship’s blessing was help in financial difficulties; that wisdom was what the majority assumed it to be; that enthusiasm consisted in making a speech; that it was courage to risk the loss of ten dollars; that kindness consisted in saying, “You are welcome,” at the dinner table; that piety consisted in going to communion once a year. This I saw, and I laughed.”
ISTPs are realists and skeptics at heart, and this Kierkegaard quotes casts a tragic yet comedic light on how empty and vapid so many people’s life goals are. To the ISTP, so much of what we prize, hope for, and admire is nothing more than an empty charade. They see through the facade and laugh at the absurdity of it all.
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“When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.”
Forging bonds with people is the ceaseless desire of the ESFJ personality type. These types cast a watchful eye on all their relationships, looking for needs that can be met or intimate connections that can make life more profound and meaningful. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their belief that love is the most powerful force in the world and that it has the ability to change everything for the better.
“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.”
ESTJs are known for their single-minded determination and their ability to work hard even when the going gets tough. They understand that in order to reach the top, one must first start at the bottom. In order to reach joy, one must often persist in the midst of hardship. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their understanding of the human condition and their belief that success is only attainable through hard work and perseverance.
“Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.”
ISFJs believe in grasping the beautiful moments in life fully. While some people rush from experience to experience, ISFJs want life to slow down so they can let every detail in an experience soak into their consciousness. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their need for simplicity and beauty in a world that can often be superficial, overwhelming, and distracting.
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“Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection”
ISTJs are cautious and planful decision makers. They are capable of taking great strides in progress, but they have to map out all the details first and come up with a sequential plan. Consulting their experience and the lessons from history they hope to avoid impulsive mistakes and reckless risks. This Kierkegaard quote speaks to their need for reflection and contemplation before taking any actions, no matter how big or small.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy these quotes and agree with the one selected for your personality type? Let me and other readers 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!