The Most to Least Mysterious Myers-Briggs® Personality Types, Ranked

Have you ever wondered which of the 16 personality types is the most mysterious? Many people have asked me this question, and I’ve been pondering it for a while. I’ve been an MBTI® practitioner for nearly seven years and that has put me in touch with thousands of people who want to know more about their personalities. I’ve also studied type for two decades and had my own experiences during that time. With that in mind, I decided to create this post based on my experiences working as a practitioner and as a personality-focused content creator. I also asked some other experts in the field for their opinions to get a little more accurate in my ranking. Granted, there is no definitive case study showing which types are *objectively* the most mysterious. If you have a different opinion be sure to let me know in the comments!

Let’s get started!

Find out which of the 16 Myers-Briggs® personality types is the most mysterious. #MBTI #Personality #INFJ

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What is the Definition of Mysterious?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “Mysterious” is defined as: “Strange, not known, or not understood. Of, relating to, or constituting mystery.”

In my understanding, people who are mysterious are more private, hard to read, and leave you wondering what’s really going on their minds. They may be difficult to get close to, unusual in expression, and with a bit of an enigmatic quality about them.

The Most Mysterious Myers-Briggs® Personality Types, Ranked

#16 – ESFJ

The ESFJ Defender

While everyone can have an air of mystery regardless of their type, in my experience ESFJs are the least mysterious. This doesn’t mean they leave all their cards on the table, though. They are just fairly open about what they believe, why they believe it, and how they’re feeling. As extroverted feeling types, they naturally express themselves, their feelings, and their values about things. As Sensing-Judgers, their language tends to be matter-of-fact and easy to follow. Gregarious and warm, their talents lie in supporting others and caring through practical effort and emotional understanding. These are types that truly go the extra mile for their communities and loved ones.

Discover more about ESFJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ESFJ, the Defender Personality Type

#15 – ENTP

ENTP 15th most mysterious personality type

These ingenious, inventive personality types can certainly be intriguing, but they don’t generally keep an air of mystery around them. ENTPs love sharing ideas, interests, and possibilities with other people. They have a gift for connecting with people, troubleshooting, debating, and helping. Psychologist Linda Berens says that ENTPs are the only Thinking personality type with the Get-Things-Going™ interaction style. This means that they have a drive to get others involved and enjoy exploring options, sharing insights, facilitating, and catalyzing. While not necessarily mysterious, I think we can all agree that their energy and inventiveness is indispensable.

Find out more about ENTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ENTP, the Trailblazer Personality Type

#14 – ESFP

ESFP champion. 14th most mysterious personality type. #ESFP

These types are known for their zestful, spontaneous outlook on life. They’re naturally curious, extroverted people who love interacting with others and experiencing new things. They tend to use humor and down-to-earth banter to encourage others to relax and be their most true and honest selves. And while they may not be one of the most mysterious personality types, people often think they know them better than they actually do. ESFPs have a sense of depth and privacy around their deeper emotions that isn’t always easy to access.

Find out more about ESFPs: 7 Ways That ESFPs Make an Impact

#13 – ENFJ

ENFJ the 13th most mysterious personality type

Known as the “Mentors,” ENFJs are full of warmth, empathy and understanding. They often prioritize others’ needs over their own and make it a point to connect with individuals on an emotional level. Learning how people “tick” is one of the most enjoyable hobbies to this type, and they usually prefer to do this one-on-one. While they’re not the most mysterious personality type, sometimes their insights and predictions can seem almost supernatural or uncanny. They have an ability to conceptualize an end result or outcome and then work backwards towards it. This can lead to thinking that seems ahead of its time, or at least far beyond what someone would have thought “normal.”

Find out more about ENFJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ENFJ, the Mentor Personality Type

#12 – ESTJ

ESTJ captain is the 12th most mysterious personality type

The ESTJ “Captains” are known for their commanding, organized, and reliable approach to life. They have a natural drive to accomplish goals and will organize their lives around productivity, stability, and community. While they can be talkative in the workplace and naturally take charge, they are more guarded about their feelings and emotions. You may work with an ESTJ for many years and not really feel like you know them on a deeper level. They value being composed and in-control and it can take a while for them to let down their guard and express their true selves.

Find out more about ESTJs: 24 Signs That You’re an ESTJ, the Captain Personality Type

#11 – ENFP

ENFP visionary

The ENFP “visionaries” are known for their friendliness, creativity, and imagination. As one of the Get-Things-Going™ personality types, they are naturally expressive, energetic, and engaging. They have a drive to involve people and include them in their ever-expanding set of ideas and possibilities. While this energy can be captivating, ENFPs do have a tendency to keep some parts of themselves hidden away. Because they have introverted feeling in their function stack, they can be very private about their inner values and beliefs. They often need to know someone for a long time before they open up about their deeper feelings.

Find out more about ENFPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ENFP, The Visionary Personality Type

#10 – ESTP

ESTP Daredevil

ESTPs are often called the “Doers” due to their love of action and passion for adventure. They thrive in fast-paced environments, can think quickly on their feet, and have a knack for seizing opportunities. While they’re not necessarily mysterious, sometimes their energy and charisma can make them seem larger than life. ESTPs tend to be more private about their emotions and feelings except with people who are very close to them; like significant others. They also don’t externalize their thoughts as rapidly as many other types; preferring to process their thinking through action rather than through lectures and long-winded dialogues.

Find out more about ESTPs: The Flirting Style of the ESTP Personality Type

#9 – ENTJ

The ENTJ Director

Like ESTJs, ENTJs have a drive to accomplish goals and make quick decisions. Yet unlike ESTJs, ENTJs are intuitives who can often sense the potential of a situation before there is any tangible proof. Their out-of-the box thinking allows them to go beyond the here and now, envisioning future prospects that often seem perplexing to others. These abstract predictions can sometimes appear mysterious as it is not always clear how they came to their conclusions. On top of that, getting an ENTJ to talk about their feelings can be like trying to coax a tiger out of the jungle. It’s fairly common for ENTJs to know a lot of people but only really open up to one or two.

#8 – ISFJ

The ISFJ Protector

Supportive and private, ISFJs are often the defenders of their communities and relationships. They have an aura of gentleness and patience about them, and often reflect and consider rather than blurting out their thoughts. As introverts, they need a lot of alone time to recharge; and in conversation they may turn the topics back to the other person rather than sharing details about themselves. Although they are community minded, many times they work in the background rather than taking charge or leading (of course, this is not always the case). In their closest relationships they can be open and vulnerable, but they tend to be highly selective about who they allow into this inner circle.

Find Out More About ISFJs: A Look at the ISFJ Leader

#7 – ISTJ

ISTJ The Detective

As the “detectives” of the Myers-Briggs® personality types, ISTJs have an eye for detail and a quiet, observant aura. They believe in outlining a plan, managing logistics, and giving guidance. Others often see them as sources of quiet strength and wisdom, but they are notoriously difficult to get to know. ISTJs are private, analytical individuals who may not always speak up or share their feelings; leaving them somewhere between mysterious and unapproachable. It can take a long time to get to know an ISTJ on a deeper level, but the highly selective process is worth it when you do. I did rank ISTJs as one of the less mysterious introverted personality types, because as Sensing-Judgers they have a fairly grounded, matter-of-fact outlook on life. While they are indeed quiet and reserved, it is usually easy to grasp what they are trying to express in a straightforward manner.

Find Out More About ISTJs: 7 Things ISTJs Experience in Childhood

#6 – INTP

The INTP Prodigy

As the “prodigies” of MBTI®, INTPs are often seen as cerebral and philosophical. They enjoy learning about how the world works and uncovering the truths of the universe. While they can be quite talkative when exploring theories that interest them, in day-to-day situations they tend to be quiet and unassuming. While others make chit-chat, they tend to observe and analyze instead. This can often leave them seeming mysterious to their more outgoing counterparts. It can take a while for them to open up about deeper feelings, and as intuitives, sometimes their theories and interests seem unconventional and especially complex.

Find Out More About INTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an INTP, the Prodigy Personality Type

#5 – ISTP

The ISTP Vigilante type

I ranked ISTPs as more mysterious than INTPs simply because they tend to be far less talkative (and INTPs aren’t that talkative to begin with). Myself and other typologists I’ve known have noticed that ISTPs and ISFPs seem to be the least talkative of all the personality types. And because ISTPs love to be concise, they can boil down a one-hour lecture into several brief sentences. Their drive is to understand the world, nature, and objects and figure out how they work. Far more analytical than expressive, they tend to internalize their thought processes and express themselves more through action than words. When they do speak, they say only what’s needed and rarely extrapolate or ramble. This can make them hard to get to know and give them an enigmatic, mysterious quality.

Find Out More About ISTPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISTP, the Vigilante Personality Type

#4 – INFP

The INFP Dreamer

As the “dreamers” of the Myers-Briggs® personality types, INFPs can be hard to understand. They tend to be very passionate people who are driven by their own internal values and ideals. While they can be talkative when abstract topics are at the forefront, they tend to clam up during most day-to-day discussions. They’d rather explore the meaning of altruism or geek out about their favorite books than discuss the weather or the latest fashions. INFPs are also private, tending to keep their innermost thoughts and feelings to themselves. Due to their individualistic nature and their intuitive bent, they enjoy thinking outside the box, exploring unconventional topics, and dreaming up possibilities that many would find too “outlandish.” But this same imaginative quality is what makes them so interesting and mysterious; they’re not like most people you meet, and they (usually) have no desire to be.

Find Out More About INFPs: 24 Signs That You’re an INFP, the Dreamer Personality Type

#3 – INTJ

The INTJ Strategist

Known as the “Strategists” of the world, INTJs have a reputation for being mysterious and hard to get to know. Like INFJs, they are fixated on patterns, insights, and symbolic imagery. They can sense ripple-effects and discern how various events will play out in time. Some people are startled by their perceptiveness, while others may be put off by their dry and sometimes cutting humor. I chose INTJs as one of the most mysterious type because, not only are they driven by a function that many struggle to understand (introverted intuition), they are also deeply private about their personal feelings and emotions. It can be extremely difficult to know how an INTJ feels about things, even if you have known one for quite a while. While they can be excellent guides and mentors, especially when it comes to strategic planning or understanding abstract concepts, there always seems to be a cloak of secrecy surrounding their feelings. It’s no wonder that so many people are both intrigued and intimidated by INTJs!

Find Out More About INTJs: 24 Signs That You’re an INTJ, the Strategist Personality Type

#2- ISFP

The ISFP Virtuoso

I’m picking ISFPs as one of the most mysterious personality types because they are simply so darn…quiet. Time and time again I’ve noticed in profiling sessions that ISFPs are the hardest individuals to get to communicate about anything. However, I don’t mean this as a criticism. Sometimes the quiet, observant nature of the ISFP is refreshing. But there’s something so enigmatic about these types that you can’t help but want them to open up more. As introverted feeling types, they exude a quiet conviction about what they believe is right and wrong but they are less likely to verbalize it. While FJ personality types verbally express their values and aim to give a lot of verbal feedback and affirmation, ISFPs can be satisfied staying quiet for long periods of time, even when surrounded by people. And while ISFPs are sensors, they don’t verbalize the details of their day in the same fashion that Sensing-Judgers typically do. They enjoy observing the world in a quiet, intense way that leaves one wondering about the mysteries going on inside their minds. They see more than anyone realizes and often pick up things about people that are uncanny. And while ISFPs are sensors, they are also deeply in touch with their intuitive side. They often have a unique interest in mystical or spiritual things (this can vary from one ISFP to the next of course). Overall, ISFPs don’t mind being a mystery, in fact they often prefer it.

Find Out More About ISFPs: 24 Signs That You’re an ISFP, the Virtuoso Personality Type

#1 – INFJ

The INFJ Mystic

Often referred to as the “Mystics”, INFJs are fascinated with the world of the abstract and the intangible. As introverted intuitives they convey a sense of knowing and insight that can be almost otherworldly. Someone might be struggling with some private torment, thinking they’re hiding it quite well, and the INFJ will seem to magically know what’s wrong without the person having said a word. Because of their introverted intuition, INFJs often think in symbols and metaphors, using abstract language that can be hard to follow for those not accustomed to it. They are also private and hard to get to know, preferring one-on-one relationships with intimate friends than large social gatherings. Although INFJs wish to be understood, it can be difficult for them to articulate their thoughts because they are so abstract in nature. Many INFJs appear to be mysterious and even secretive, as if they are holding something back. It’s not that INFJs are deliberately hiding things, but rather the way their minds work – it often appears that there is more going on beneath the surface than meets the eye.

Find Out More About INFJs: 24 Signs You’re an INFJ, the Mystic Personality Type

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you agree with my rankings? Disagree? 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 TypeThe 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!

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  1. I’m a Sigma male, INFJ and a Capricorn/Aquarius. I could walk into a room and everything would stop. I could go to a company gathering or a party and would always find myself alone. I guess I just see things that others don’t. I actually saw the entire world as we know it disappear into lines of pure energy and a door at the center of it. I was 9 years old. I’ve always seen the other side and when I was young it wasn’t pretty.

    1. Aquarius with Scorpio rising, ruler of Ascendant Pluto in Leo in the 10th retrograde both opposition square the Scorpio Ascendant. I’m female, and pretty sure sigma female, not very sure of INFJ but have a lot of similarity with the description of the INFJ. My mother said I never cry when I was an infant, felt like she has no baby in the house. I was first born. Never felt lonely when I’m by myself. Very spiritual and very strongly intuitive.

  2. I’ve guessed out that INFJ comes first (they are “the Mystic” after all!) but I can’t believe ISFP are more mysterious than INTJ and INFP. In my general impression they are quite expressive (maybe it’s because I’m a sensor).

  3. Hi Susan,

    As is true of anything you write, this was brilliant. I was already listing the order in my head before I read the article. I was pretty sure which type would be in the number one spot. Yep, there I was along with you. So true!

    Friends have always described me as “private” and in reading a thank you card from a resident in my apartment building whomI hardly knew at all, she used that word, too. “Friendly but private” along with other adjectives.

    I am going to copy this list and then observe people I know.

    Thanks so much. Keep ‘em coming.

  4. I think of mystery in terms of predictability (or lack thereof), and so the more mysterious types to me are those who seem to change personalties from one day (or one moment) to the next. One day such a person might be congenial and outgoing, and the next dark and moody; or even on a “good” day he/she might explode at a seemingly small provocation. Many people seem to accept this fickleness and roll with it, but I don’t enjoy having to guess or walk on eggshells for not being able to divine their reactions.

    1. Ooof…that type of mystery is very difficult for me as well. I hate never knowing what to expect with someone or feeling like I have to subject everything I say to the most intense analysis for fear of potentially offending someone. Thank you for bringing this up! It gives me food for thought.

      1. 100% agree with worrying about what I say now. By the time I overthink a proper comment, it is too late to say it anyway. As an outgoing INFP, I have become extremely introverted and pretty much just an observer now. Kind of boring, but oh well, I’m 63 and kind of enjoy the freedom and silence. Love your work! 🙏 🤗 ❤️

  5. I was so sure INFJ would end up first… and that people would comment they’re INFJ and it’s so true x) Not much mystery about that

  6. After reading the headline I knew at once what the #1 type would be. Me. INFJ.

    I learned about types a few months ago. Everything I have read is like someone writing about me. Uncanny.

  7. I have an ISFP friend. She is very quiet, but I wouldn’t call her mysterious. She’s very normal in her thinking of what should be and shouldn’t be. She doesn’t question things or think outside the box or seem to have any of her own ideas on anything. She’s honest and doesn’t hide anything about herself when asked.

  8. I’m an INFJ and was not surprised to see your ranking. It’s rare that I actually feel ‘seen’ or understood by anyone.

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