The Most Important Values of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type

Have you ever wondered what truly matters to the people around you? Do you ever feel like there’s a widening gap between your values and the values of others? Today we’re going to take a look at the most important values of each Myers-Briggs® personality type. It’s important to remember when you’re reading this that each individual is unique. Your preferences may not 100% match up with every detail listed here and that’s okay! The research for this article comes from the MBTI® Manual. In 1996, a survey was conducted among 3,036 individuals. Each individual selected their five most important values. While there were some major similarities among all the types, there were also some interesting differences.

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The options that respondents had to choose from for their most important values were:

  • Home/family
  • Financial security
  • Health
  • Autonomy
  • Achievement
  • Friendships
  • Spirituality
  • Learning
  • Creativity
  • Community Service
  • Prestige

Similarities Between Types:

  • All 16 types listed “Home/family” in their top five values.
  • All 16 types listed “Financial security” in their top five values.
  • All 16 types except for ENTPs listed “Health” in their top three values.

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The Most Important Values of Every Myers-Briggs® Personality Type


As an ENFP you are extremely committed to your family and friends. People are what make the most vital difference to you and you value having emotional integrity, authenticity, and kindness with others. You want to feel connected to others, and talking to people tends to inspire you and ignite ideas and possibilities in your mind. You believe that each individual is responsible for leaving the world a better place than they found it. You also deeply value creativity and learning. You want to find new, unexplored pathways of potential and meaning. In fact, your type, along with ENFJs and ENTJs, were the three types most likely to rank creativity and learning as “very important”.

“ENFPs are characteristic in their pursuit of the novel, their strong sense of the possible, and outstanding intuitive powers. At the same time, they have a warmth and fun with people and generally are usually skilled in handling people.”
– David Keirsey, Please Understand Me


You’re someone who greatly values autonomy and personal freedom. In fact, autonomy was your second-highest ranked value according to the MBTI® Manual. The highest-ranking value for you was home and family (which isn’t surprising considering 14 out of the 16 personality types ranked this first). While you care deeply for your family members, you will also go to extreme lengths to make sure you never feel caged in or overly-controlled. You’re an explorer, an idea-generator, and extremely independent. Your third-highest value was “Achievement”, followed by “Health” and “Financial security”, which tied. You want to transform the world around you and improve things. You see everything as a starting point for a hundred or more wondrous possibilities.

“Work that allows the ENTP to be challenged and stimulated will be highly attractive. Work that binds an ENTP to standard operating procedures will be ultimately frustrating and, quite possibly, stress-inducing.”
– Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, Type Talk


You crave meaningful relationships with your family. In fact, home and family was ranked most important by people of your type. But no matter how much you prioritize family it’s also necessary for you to have a great deal of autonomy (your second-highest ranked value). Being able to have agency over your own decisions and the freedom to stand for what you believe in is vitally important to you. As an introverted feeling dominant personality type, you want to have the independence to pursue your own subjective ethics and values without feeling pressured to conform to society’s agenda or rules. The other four values that were important to you were creativity, health, friendships, and financial security. In fact, your type, along with ENFPs, ENFJs, and ENTJs were the ones most likely to list creativity as a very important value.

“They (INFPs) care deeply – indeed, passionately – about a few special persons or a cause. One word that captures this type is idealistic.”
– David Keirsey, Please Understand Me

Read This Next: 10 Things You’ll Relate to if You’re an INFP


Of all 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, your type and the INTJ type were the only two to list a value above home and family. For you, autonomy took the #1 position. If you’re like most INTPs, then independence and freedom mean a great deal to you. Having your space invaded, being tied to someone else’s wishes, or being pressured and micro-managed are all things that make you stressed and anxious. After autonomy, home and family was your type’s second-most-important value. Even though you can be a lone wolf you still care deeply and strive to take care of those closest to you. Health, financial security, and friendships were the other three values that ranked most highly for you. While you prioritize financial security, this doesn’t mean you necessarily play it safe. Your type actually ranked lower than all the other 16 personality types in wanting a career with job security. Most INTPs would forego job security if it means they have a chance at earning higher amounts of money.

“People with INTP preferences are independent problem solvers who excel at providing a detached, concise analysis of an idea or situation. They ask the difficult questions, challenging others and themselves to find new logical approaches.”
– The MBTI® Manual – A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Instrument

Read This Next: 3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About the INTP


Taking care of your family is extremely important to you, which is why your type ranked this as your most important value. You believe in being responsible for your loved ones and making sure their emotional, as well as physical needs, are met. You also ranked health, friendships, financial security, and learning among your top five values. In fact, you are the only personality type who consistently listed “Learning” as one of your top five most important values. ENFJs tend to prioritize personal growth and many times believe that taking classes, reading, and absorbing more information is an important way to improve themselves. ENFJs were also over-represented in choosing “Education/learning” as a leisure time activity (MBTI® Manual, page 259).

“ENFJs love human dynamics both in the practical and abstract sense. They have a natural talent for understanding how a group of people needs to feel in order to create change. When at their peak, ENFJs create and foster supportive culture across families, communities, and other groups of people.”
– Joel Mark-Witt and Antonia Dodge, Personality Hacker


ENTJs feel very responsible for the people around them. While they may not appear to be the “touchy-feely” types, they tend to show their dedication to others through imparting knowledge or creating effective plans and systems. According to the MBTI® Manual, ENTJs place the highest value on “home/family” of all the eleven options they were given. After home and family, they prioritized health, financial security, friendships, and achievement. Of all the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types, ENTJs were one of four types who most often endorsed achievement, learning, and creativity as a “very important” value. One of the signature qualities of ENTJs is their tendency to absorb information, to challenge themselves, and to try to reach higher and more progressive goals. They like to do things in new ways, confront unjust social standards, and avoid mediocrity and stagnation at all costs.

“ENTJs look at the world with intuition rather than sensing, so they are mainly interested in the possibilities beyond the present, obvious, or known. Intuition heightens their intellectual interest, curiosity about new ideas (whether immediately useful or not), tolerance for theory, taste for complex problems, insight, vision, and concern for long-range possibilities and consequences.”
– Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing


As an INFJ making sure your loved ones and family members are safe and cared for is your utmost priority. Your type chose “home/family” as your highest-prioritized value, and this comes as no surprise. INFJs frequently mention that if their family isn’t in a good space then they find it hard to be in a clear mental space as well. INFJs, along with ISFJs, ESFJs, and ESFPs were the types most likely to rank “spirituality” as very important value in a national sample. In fact, INFJs are over-represented in religious career fields! Other values that INFJs ranked as extremely important were learning, friendships, financial security, and autonomy. While you crave meaningful relationships, like all introverts, having a sense of your own space and the freedom to explore your own unique interests and values is highly important.

“Healthy INFJs care passionately about people and desire to put everyone at ease in their presence. Because of this, they are sometimes mistaken for extroverts. They may have a hard time keeping still during an awkward silence or ignoring someone who seems left out. They want to make sure everyone feels comfortable, listened to, and accepted….They simultaneously feel a need to be alone to process information and recover after being in social situations. This can create confusion for people who know them because after spending much time with others, the INFJ might need to retreat into their own environment for days or even weeks.”
– Susan Storm, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic

Read This Next: 3 Weird and Wonderful Secrets About the INFJ Personality Type


Interestingly, INTJs were the only Myers-Briggs® personality type who ranked “Health” over “home/family” in a national sample. When I asked an INTJ I know about this, she said, “It makes sense. Without your health how can you take care of your family in the first place?” You can certainly count on an INTJ to keep the big picture in mind no matter the situation! After “Health”, INTJs chose home and family, achievement, autonomy, and financial security as their most important values. In fact, INTJs, along with ENTPs, ESTJs, and ENTJs, were the types most likely to rank achievement as “Very important” in the national sample. INTJs like a challenge, they are extremely goal-oriented and for this type, it’s not surprising that achievement was such a strong motivator for them.

“INTJs have an inner world rich with endless possibilities that, when combined with their Thinking-Judging preferences, gives them a drive toward constant improvement of everything. Indeed, these are the “better idea” people of the typological world. Everything – words, plans, designs, ideas, even people – has room for improvement. In the INTJ’s eyes, even the best can be made better.”
– Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, Type Talk

Read This Next: The Shadow of the INTJ Personality Type


As an ESFP making sure your family and friends are cared for is of the utmost importance. Your type ranked “Home/family” as your highest value, followed closely by “Health” and “Friendships”. You believe that everyone is part of a bigger community and has an impact on the world around them. Taking care of your loved ones, tending to their physical and emotional needs, and showing them the positive experiences to be had in life is something that gives you joy. You also ranked “Financial Security”, “Achievement”, and “Prestige” as very important values. ESFPs like you tend to be opportunistic and ambitious, looking for ways to maximize each moment. In fact, many ESFPs are drawn to entrepreneurship (Richard Branson, Larry Ellison, and Howard Schultz are all entrepreneurs who are rumored to be ESFPs).

“ESFPs radiate attractive warmth and optimism. Smooth, witty, charming, clever, voluble, and open to the environment…They are great fun to be with and are the most generous of all the types.”
– David Keirsey, Please Understand Me


Like most of the other Myers-Briggs® personality types, you ranked “Home/family” as your most important value. “Friendships” were also listed as one of your five most important values. While you may not be the most emotionally expressive personality type, your loyalty and dedication to your loved ones is a strength that many come to admire. You tend to put your feelings for others into action – helping them in practical, tangible ways. Other values your type listed as extremely important were “Health”, “Financial Security”, and “Autonomy.” In fact, your type, ENFPs, and ENTPs were the only extroverted types who ranked autonomy in their top five most important values. You were also one of four types, (the others being ESFP, ESTJ, and ESFJ) who ranked prestige as a “Very important” value.

“ESTPs see the value in high-energy shared physical experiences. They recognize that people want to feel connected and enjoy an active life, so they often find themselves in roles where they are avatars for others like politicians, athletes, or performers.”
– Joel Mark-Witt and Antonia Dodge, Personality Hacker


Independent but devoted, your type listed “Home/family” as your most important value. While you may crave alone time and personal freedom a great deal (evidenced by your ranking of “Autonomy” in your top five values), you also have a depth of caring that is prized by your loved ones. Other values that your type ranked highly were “Health”, “Financial security”, and “Friendship”. These five values were ranked higher than values like prestige, achievement, community service, spirituality, learning, and creativity. This doesn’t mean the other six values aren’t important to ISFPs, it simply means that they will take a backseat to independence, physical well-being, and the well-being of family and friends.

“They (ISFPs) continually weigh the situational worth or importance of everything. They approach matters first from the point of view of what is really important and of value. It is as if they have a whole range of values in mind and see subtle distinctions in the relative worth of different actions, people, projects, commitments, and so on.”
– Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi, Understanding Yourself and Others® An Introduction to the Personality Type Code


Your type, along with INTPs, INFPs, and ENTPs, were the Myers-Briggs® types most likely to rank “Autonomy” as an extremely important value. But even as much as you value your independence and freedom, you still ranked “Home/family” as your most important value. Other important values for you were “Financial security”, “Health”, and “Friendships”. What does this mean for you? Quite simply, most ISTPs will prioritize family and friends over prestige or achievement (values that they didn’t rank as highly). While you might not seem to be the most emotionally demonstrative and sensitive personality type, this doesn’t mean you care any less deeply than other types. You tend to show your dedication to others through action rather than words – helping people in hands-on, tangible ways.

“ISTPs are egalitarian and can be fiercely loyal to their “brothers,” but they can also be fiercely insubordinate, seeing hierarchy and authority as unnecessary and even superfluous. It is not so much a matter of going against regulations as it is simply ignoring them. The ISTP must do his or her thing, free to vary each next move. And ISTPs are, or want to be, proud of their ability to make the next move skillfully.”
– David Keirsey, Please Understand Me


Your type, along with ESFPs, ENTJs, and ENFPs, were the ones most likely to rank “Home/family” as a “very important” value. Your type is well-known for putting family first, and you tend to show this in obvious ways, from tending to physical and emotional needs, to managing practical care and organizing the home. Other values you ranked highly were, “Health”, “Friendships”, “Financial security”, and “Achievement.” These values were consistently given a higher priority than things like prestige, community service or autonomy. To you, life is about connection and support. You believe in doing your part for people, realizing that the good you put into the world often comes back to help future generations.

“Generous and loyal, ESFJs tend to be very traditional people who value their family and friends above all else. They give freely of themselves, often committing large amounts of time to work in programs sponsored by charity, community, or religious organizations that serve their communities.”
– Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger, The Art of SpeedReading People


Taking care of your home and family is extremely important to you, and this is evidenced in your choice of values. ESTJs ranked “Home/family” as the highest priority in their lives. This was followed closely by “Health,” “Financial security,” “Achievement,” and “Friendships.” In fact, ESTJs were one of four types (the others being ENTJs, ENTPs, and INTJs) who were the most likely to rank “Achievement” as a very important value. This shows up in the workplace, where ESTJs are consistently the highest-earning of all the Myers-Briggs® personality types.

“The ESTJs solve problems by expertly applying and adapting past experience. They like work where they can achieve immediate, visible, and tangible results. They have a natural bent for business and industry, production and construction. They enjoy administration and getting things organized and done.”
– Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing


Of all the Myers-Briggs® personality types, ISFJs (along with ESFJs and ESFPs), were the three most likely to rank “Health” and “Spirituality” as very important values. But even these two values took a backseat to “Home/family” which was consistently listed by ISFJs as their most important value. ISFJs tend to prioritize family, tending to both physical and emotional needs and striving to create an atmosphere of harmony and comfort in the home. ISFJs will often put the needs of their loved ones ahead of their own, and this is evidenced in their values. Family and friendships were both ranked higher than achievement and prestige. Other values that ISFJs listed as important were financial security and autonomy. In fact, every introverted personality type chose autonomy as one of their top five most-prized values.

“Quiet and reserved, ISFJs are loyal and devoted to family members, friends, and coworkers who take their responsibilities towards others very seriously. Sensitive and sympathetic, they are good listeners, eager to help people in real and practical ways, which they do best by drawing on their own personal experience.”
– Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger, The Art of SpeedReading People


As an ISTJ the most important value to you was “Home/family”. This comes as no surprise considering ISTJs are known for being loyal and dedicated to their loved ones. They may not show it through frequent words of affirmation, but this doesn’t mean they don’t care. ISTJs tend to show their affection for others through their actions, whether that means troubleshooting a problem, organizing solutions, or fixing something that’s broken. ISTJs were also one of four types (the others being ESFP, ESFJ, and ESTJ) who were most likely to list “Financial security” as very important. Other values that made your type’s top five were “Health”, “Autonomy”, and “Achievement”.  In fact, all Thinking-Judging personality types prioritized achievement, which may be why they are consistently the top-four highest-earning Myers-Briggs® personality types!

“ISTJs are reliable, steady, and supportive. Focused on procedure and structure, they help us track our world and keep things moving. ISTJs help us maintain life by creating accountability and templates we can rely upon. Whether they are teachers, engineers, managers, or police chiefs, ISTJs often show up with high levels of competency and professionalism.”
– Joel Mark-Witt and Antonia Dodge, Personality Hacker


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  1. As I age, I am leaning from INFP to almost equal with INTP. When I read the article above, I clearly identify with INFP. Very interesting article. Thank you

  2. So, how does one know their type when fitting into more than one category and getting different results from the test?

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