Do you ever wonder how other people get through their day when their needs are so different from yours? Perhaps you’re someone who craves a routine, security, and a quiet life and you’re baffled by people who like a lot of noise, excitement, and spontaneity. Each of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types has unique core needs that are influenced by their mental preferences. Understanding the needs of the people around you can help you to have more harmonious relationships because you’re not inadvertently stepping on those needs. Let’s get started exploring what those needs are!
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Table of contents
- The Core Needs of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
- What ENFPs Need in Life
- What ENTPs Need in Life
- What INFPs Need in Life
- What INTPs Need in Life
- What ENFJs Need in Life
- What ENTJs Need in Life
- What INFJs Need in Life
- What INTJs Need in Life
- What ESFPs Need in Life
- What ESTPs Need in Life
- What ISFPs Need in Life
- What ISTPs Need in Life
- What ESFJs Need in Life
- What ESTJs Need in Life
- What ISFJs Need in Life
- What ISTJs Need in Life
Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
The Core Needs of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
What ENFPs Need in Life
You need the freedom to dream, hypothesize, extrapolate, and argue. If you don’t have a plane ticket in your hand, you at least want the idea of one to look forward to. You need self-help books, inspiration boards, affirmation, and deep, meaningful conversations. For you, freedom, authenticity, and connection are all things that drive you. Without it you feel bored, trapped, and maybe even dissociated. You need to be allowed to defy convention, explore ideas and places that have never been explored before, and dive deep into books and poetry till the dawn arrives.
Summing It Up. What ENFPs Need:
- Freedom to explore alternatives and possibilities
- Unstructured, unscheduled time
- Time to contemplate life’s mysteries
- Intimacy and deep conversation in relationships
- Variety of experiences and philosophies to explore
- Independence over your own life-decisions
- Patience in dealing with mundane healthy rituals that can improve well-being and quality of life.
Read This Next: The Unique Intelligence of ENFPs, ENTPs, INFPs and INTPs
What ENTPs Need in Life
You need the freedom to invent, change, solve, and explore. Sure, your room has a bunch of half-finished projects scattered everywhere, but you like it that way. You like knowing there are endless new beginnings to experience and new alternatives to try out. Your core needs are focused on knowledge, competence, and discovery. For you, conversation, events, and experiences that reveal new possibilities make your life feel meaningful. The freedom to challenge convention, tradition, and limits is what drives you. The hope of exploring new ideas, philosophies, and solutions keeps you going.
Summing It Up. What ENTPs Need:
- Freedom to explore unconventional ideas and possibilities
- Unstructured free time
- Books, classes, and conversations that satisfy a thirst for knowledge
- Opportunities to question, argue and hypothesize
- Ability to experience a variety of cultures, places, ideas, and philosophies
- Determination to deal with important details and health requirements that can feel boring or mundane
What INFPs Need in Life
Curious and creative, you need the freedom to ask the hard questions so many other types shy away from. “What is important? Why is this important? What matters? Why do we have these limits?” These are the questions that you want to discover the answers to. You need the freedom to create, daydream, imagine, and make a difference. More than anything, you need to feel that you aren’t “caged in” to a description or label that limits you or falsely defines you. You’ll keep revealing what your truth is in small, creative ways, pushing the walls further and further away from you till you have the freedom to be your true self and change the world!
Summing It up. What INFPs Need:
- Honest but kind answers to tough, deep questions
- Supplies, books, and tools to develop creativity
- Alone time to imagine and daydream
- Affirmation for their values, feelings, and ambitions
- Exposure to a variety of cultures, experiences, philosophies, and ideas
- Emotional sensitivity and warmth
- Willpower to create actionable plans so that their ideas can be realized.
Read This Next: What it Means to be an INFP Personality Type
What INTPs Need in Life
You want to master a thorough understanding of the world and how it works. You want to theorize, design, configure, and solve. Elegant models and theories give you a thrill of enjoyment and satisfaction, and you want to be part of not only understanding those but improving upon them. You want the freedom to explore alternatives, understand what’s true, and explain how the world works. Sometimes this means questioning an authority figure. At other times it means diving into your books till the sun comes up the next morning. You need to feed your curiosity and tease your intellectual mind with new ideas and complexities.
Summing It Up. What INTPs Need:
- The freedom to find unconventional solutions to problems.
- Alone time to study, experiment, and think
- A variety of tasks and novel ideas to explore
- People who will listen to your theories without rushing you
- Books, games, and conversations that stimulate your creative thinking
- A flexible schedule with room for creativity
- Patience in dealing with varieties of people who give precedence to values over logic
Read This Next: 3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About the INTP
What ENFJs Need in Life
You seek a life of meaning and significance, one that is filled with warm connections and authentic friendships. You need deep, intimate conversations with a wide variety of people. You crave the freedom to imagine a better world and the space to forecast how to achieve it. You thrive on empathic connections with others and find meaning in philosophy, art, music, and books that furnish your imagination with lush possibilities. You need harmonious atmospheres, teamwork, creative possibilities, and the independence to organize your own schedule.
Summing It Up. What ENFJs Need:
- Opportunities to interact with a variety of people.
- Conflict-free, harmonious environments.
- The ability to collaborate with others to achieve goals.
- Books, music, and stories to furnish the imagination.
- Affirmation for what you do to help others.
- Respect for your values.
- Deep, authentic conversation with a free-exchange of emotions and perspectives.
- Patience, space and time to consider possibilities and perspectives before making decisions too quickly.
Read This Next: 7 Ways That ENFJs Make an Impact
What ENTJs Need in Life
As a strategic visionary, you need an organized, productive life where you can achieve long-range goals. You crave a life of significance and purpose, one where you can control your schedule and arrange people and objects to reach your goals. You are energized by stimulating interactions with a wide variety of people, and you enjoy challenging people’s beliefs and rules. You enjoy the freedom to question, debate, and, in essence, get closer to understanding the world around you. While you are an independent person, you also are drawn to people and the variety of perspectives they offer. Deep discussions about the meaning of life and other profound subjects give you a strong sense of satisfaction. A life that is filled with meaning, challenge, mastery, and productivity is the one you crave.
Summing It Up. What ENTJs Need:
- As much independence and control over your own schedule as possible.
- Freedom to innovate, question, and try things in new ways.
- A sense of competence and mastery over what you’re doing.
- Exposure to a wide variety of philosophies, people, experiences, and ideas.
- The ability to put theories to work and integrate new ideas into plans.
- Up-front, direct conversation and authenticity from people.
- Opportunities to debate, challenge, and argue.
What INFJs Need in Life
Complex and insightful, you need a life that furnishes your imagination and the stillness to contemplate life’s mysteries. You seek meaning and depth in your relationships – you want to form empathic connections with others and share thoughts, visions, and emotions freely. You also need solitude and peace in order to think clearly and develop your clearest insights. A life of creativity, purpose, and compassion is what drives you. When you’re able to pursue your vision while inspiring and helping the people around you, that’s what gives you a profound sense of satisfaction. Living a life free from conflict, noise, and shallow distractions help you to be your best self.
Summing It Up. What INFJs Need:
- Conflict-free, harmonious environments.
- Intimate, authentic friendships and relationships.
- Books, music, and supplies that encourage your creativity.
- Alone time every day to process your thoughts and imagine.
- Respect for your visions and predictions.
- Validation for your feelings and insights.
- Independence to organize and achieve your far-reaching goals.
- The willpower to take action rather than getting too lost in imaginings or “analysis-paralysis.”
Read This Next: A Look Inside the INFJ Mind
What INTJs Need in Life
Strategic and visionary, you want the freedom to organize and implement your ideas. You often need surroundings that are still and peaceful so that you can think, envision, and put together your plans without distractions. You love a complex challenge and enjoy opportunities to think outside-the-box and find novel solutions to long-standing problems. Most of all, you want mastery and control over your own life. You need the ability to come up with original ideas and move all the pieces around in order to make those ideas become a reality. You also want exposure to new information, authority over your own schedule, and a constant progression towards your goals.
Summing It Up. What INTJs Need:
- A sense of competence and mastery over your subjects of interest.
- Plenty of time alone to think and process information.
- An organized, structured life that you have considerable authority over.
- Opportunities to debate, challenge and exercise your mind.
- Respect for your insights and predictions.
- Independence and autonomy.
- Opportunities to learn, whether it’s through taking a class, reading, or listening to podcasts.
- Willpower to take action rather than getting lost in possible predictions or endless analysis.
Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the INTJ Personality Type
What ESFPs Need in Life
Exuberant and adventurous, you’re someone who needs the freedom to be spontaneous and active. You want to be able to “Seize the day!” when the opportunity arises – sometimes just for fun, and sometimes for the good of the people around you. You need to be able to trust your impulses, make an impact, and engage physically with the world. You learn best by doing, so you constantly want to build upon your experiences with new ventures and opportunities. You also crave authentic friendships filled with depth and understanding. It’s important to you to support and be supported, to laugh and to make others laugh, to show people the beauty and opportunity in each moment.
Summing It Up. What ESFPs Need:
- A variety of experiences and real-world activities.
- The freedom to take action, risks, and trust impulses.
- Authentic, meaningful friendships and exposure to a variety of people.
- Opportunities to help others in practical, hands-on ways.
- Affirmation for your values, feelings, and efforts.
- Frequent social contact and interactions.
- Willpower to consider the long-term implications of decisions before “jumping right in.”
What ESTPs Need in Life
Energetic and resourceful, you’re someone who is skilled at pulling conflicting factions together and solving problems in make-or-break situations. You need a life filled with variety, new experiences, and challenges. You’re a risk-taker who thrives on negotiating, making deals, testing yourself, and achieving the “impossible.” You rarely let rules or standard procedures get in the way of solutions or your objectives, and you thrive when you can use all available resources to get the desired outcome. For you, an active life filled with new places, experiences, and opportunities for advancement and independence drives you. You just need to remember to slow down sometimes and consider the long-term ramifications of your decisions so that you can fine-tune your energy.
Summing It Up. What ESTPs Need:
- Opportunities to take risks and prove competence (starting a business, solving a problem, negotiating, extreme sports).
- Exposure to a variety of new experiences, cultures, and people.
- Straightforward, honest, direct communication with people.
- Freedom to be spontaneous and adapt to the needs of the moment.
- Ability to question, gather information, and search for truth.
- Opportunities to jump right into the action and see immediate results through helping people.
What ISFPs Need in Life
You’re someone who prizes the independence to follow your own unique course in life. You want your own space, the flexibility to set your own schedule, and the space to search for your true purpose. Life is a process of discovery for you. You want to discover what matters, what’s important, and what your authentic pathway is. Though you are faithful in fulfilling obligations to the people that matter to you, you crave a lot of alone time and freedom to find your pathway. You thrive when you can experiment with textures, materials, and resources in your environment to create something unique and beautiful. Whether you do that through creating music, art, food, or a perfect garden – you want to compose something that stands out and expresses your inner self.
Summing It Up. What ISFPs Need:
- Freedom to pursue your own calling, even if it is unconventional.
- Flexibility and freedom from rigid, black-and-white rules.
- Creative tools and resources to experiment with.
- Affirmation for deeply-held values and emotions.
- Opportunities to help people in real-world, immediate ways. The ability to make a difference.
- Plenty of alone time to think, tinker, and re-energize.
- Support from realistic, practical, and conscientious individuals.
Read This Next: What it Means to be an ISFP Personality Type
What ISTPs Need in Life
You thrive on figuring out how things work and troubleshooting problems as they arise. You have a deep, analytical mind and a penchant for action and risk-taking. You want the freedom to trust your impulses, explore the world around you, and adapt to the needs of the moment. You crave a life that is free from needless bureaucracy; one where you can navigate your own course and create your own schedule. Handling challenges as they come and crafting clever solutions is something you excel at and enjoy doing. Working hands-on with your environment helps you to understand how things work and gives you a great sense of satisfaction.
Summing It Up. What ISTPs Need:
- Hands-on, immersive opportunities to work with things in the environment.
- Plenty of alone time to tinker, build, and re-energize.
- Freedom to create your own schedule, and solve things without needless rules.
- Actionable opportunities to take smart risks and trust your impulses.
- A variety of tasks, experiences, and objects to explore.
- Friends and supportive family members who trust their competence and abilities.
- Patience when dealing with people of opposing preferences (Feelers, Intuitives, Judgers).
Read This Next: 10 Things You Should Never Say to an ISTP
What ESFJs Need in Life
Warm and engaging, you’re someone who strives to take care of people and preserve positive traditions. You need to know that you are living responsibly and that you have created a life of stability, security, and meaning. You want to know that your life is positively impacting the people around you and that people can depend on you. You value teamwork, cooperation, unity, and harmony. You notice all kinds of details that other types overlook in your effort to create an atmosphere that is balanced and healthy for everyone – not just yourself. You need people who appreciate your efforts, validate you emotionally, and can be depended upon.
Summing It Up. What ESFJs Need:
- A sense of community, family or group membership.
- Warm, empathetic relationships with a variety of people.
- Opportunities to improve the lives of others in tangible ways.
- Practical, realistic people to count on.
- A sense of order, structure, and purpose in the day.
- The ability to share feelings and opinions freely.
- Affirmation for your efforts to help others.
What ESTJs Need in Life
Productive and organized, you’re someone who thrives when you can achieve goals and make things happen. You need a strong sense of purpose and a wide-breadth of dependable facts and truths that you can trust without reservation. You need to know that the people around you are competent and dependable. You want the freedom to organize and arrange objects, people, and situations so that goals can be achieved in the most efficient way possible. You want all these things not just so you can climb the corporate ladder or gain something for yourself, but so that you can get people’s needs met effectively. You believe that by organizing and structuring the world around you, everything will run more smoothly not just for yourself, but for everyone you care about.
Summing It Up. What ESTJs Need:
- Competent, dependable people who you can trust.
- The freedom to organize and have a sense of control over your surroundings.
- Practical, realistic individuals to achieve objectives with.
- A clear knowledge of the facts and rules you can trust.
- Stability, security, and a dependable routine.
- Opportunities to interact with a variety of people.
- The ability to debate and challenge faulty logic or inefficient systems.
What ISFJs Need in Life
Dependable and considerate, you’re someone who values a life filled with meaningful traditions and quality friendships. Creating a life filled with positive routines, deep friendships, and comfortable surroundings gives you a sense of peace and purpose. You’re a realistic, practical person and prize people who are also down-to-earth. At the same time, you enjoy quiet periods of time to imagine, read, and reflect on the meaningful areas of your life. You want your life to have a real-world impact on the causes or people you love. You achieve this by balancing quiet, secluded time with rolling up your sleeves and volunteering, hosting, and reaching out to people who need it.
Summing It Up. What ISFJs Need:
- A stable, dependable routine.
- Plenty of alone time to reflect, imagine and pursue hobbies.
- Kind, sensitive friends, and family members.
- Opportunities to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
- Affirmation for your feelings, values, and efforts.
- A sense of order and structure in your daily life.
- Calm, stabilizing routines that help you feel healthy and peaceful.
Read This Next: Here’s What it Means to be an ISFJ Personality Type
What ISTJs Need in Life
Responsible and detail-oriented, you’re someone who values competence in yourself and others. You crave a life that is stable, dependable, and reliable. You also desire facts and information that you can trust and logical people who you can reason with. You’re a careful, thorough individual who prizes preparedness and knowledge. Because of this, you like knowing that there’s a plan for the future and contingency plans in case your original plan falls through. You enjoy the peace you get in your soul when your loved ones are cared for, the details in your life are wrapped up, and you can rest. Establishing comfortable routines and a healthy lifestyle is vital to your well-being.
Summing It Up. What ISTJs Need:
- A sense of order and structure to your day.
- A reliable routine as well as reliable friends and family members.
- Logical reasons for decisions, especially long-term decisions.
- Freedom to organize and achieve objectives in an efficient way.
- Healthy lifestyle habits – enough sleep, healthy food, exercise. ISTJs tend to feel physical sensations very strongly so health is a major impact on your well-being.
- Respect for your background, experience, and reasoning abilities.
Read This Next: 10 Things That Excite the ISTJ Personality Type
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you agree or disagree with this article? Share your thoughts and insights 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, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!