What You Love More Than Presents, Based On Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
For ENFPs, the spark of a new idea or possibility is usually more exciting than a material gift. Talk to them about their passions and what inspires them and they’ll be thrilled to bits. Chances are if you throw in a few “what-ifs” and go along with their creative vision, you too can be inspired by their spontaneous brainstorm.
- Plan a trip you want to take someday and look up pictures/lodging/adventures online
- Get in the car and go on an impromptu road trip with no clear destination
- Camp out in the backyard and ask each other thought-provoking questions
- Read an inspiring book together by candlelight. Take breaks to discuss, draw pictures, or theorize
- Think of an effective way you could improve the world whether that be making bags of essentials for the homeless, helping out at an animal shelter, or creating a bee and bird-friendly garden
Read This Next: Understanding ENFP Intuition
For ENTPs, the thrill of learning something new will usually trump getting something new. Most ENTPs have an insatiable curiosity and love to explore new ideas, concepts, possibilities, and theories. Find out what their latest fascination is, ask questions about it, and actively listen. This will be a treat they’ll appreciate much more than a new tie or Amazon gift card.
- Go on Wikipedia or Youtube and find out random facts about people, places, or things
- Make up riddles together and see who can stump the other person first
- Solve a complex puzzle game together
- Discuss something about society that drives you crazy and vent/argue about it together
- Watch documentaries together on topics you know nothing about. Then discuss them afterwards
- Take an unplanned road trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Just throw a bunch of stuff in the car and go (for better or worse)
For INFPs, a gesture that shows you “see” them or see something that matters to them means the most. INFPs don’t expect to be catered to or fussed over. Creating a mix-tape with songs that remind you of them, taking them on a drive to a location that holds some meaning, or giving money to a charity they care about – these are all things that make them feel “seen” or acknowledged. Any gift that inspires imagination is also valued. Make art out of fallen sticks and stones. Daydream together about all the places you want to go someday. The ideas are endless. Speaking of which…
- Draw a portrait of them or a picture of something they love
- Gather items from nature and make a collage together
- Pick out a book you’ve never read (or a movie you’ve never watched), sit down together, and read/watch it
- Go on long drive or walk and talk about each other’s passions and dreams
- Binge-watch their favorite TV/movie series
- Volunteer for a cause together
Read This Next: The Top 7 Gift Ideas for INFPs
Knowledge is more important than gifts to this personality type, though I’m sure most won’t complain about receiving presents. The best way to surprise an INTP is by exploring ideas, theories, or information together. If you’re able to relate it back to something they’re passionate about, they will be even more impressed.
- Find a documentary on Netflix or YouTube and watch it together
- Experiment or play with technology (for example, make a stop-motion Lego video together)
- Take a trip to your local library and go on a “research date”
- Join an online class together
- Make something that honors one of their interests/hobbies. For example, if they love Star Trek and you can embroider, you could embroider a favorite quote on a pillow
Read This Next: 21 Hobbies That INTPs Love
Experiences and authentic connection matter more to ENFJs than gifts ever will. In fact, according to this survey by Heidi Priebe, gifts were ranked last as their preferred love language. Instead, an ENFJ wants to have deep conversations with you. They want to hear your opinions on the world and how it works. They want to talk about their passions with you. If they can do this while taking a drive through a beautiful landscape or listening to their favorite songs, even better!
- Have a very in-depth conversation about something they’re passionate about
- Read poetry or listen to songs that are meaningful to you
- Take a drive through your favorite neighborhood or hike through your favorite park
- Watch their favorite movie and then deep-dive into why the characters and plotlines connected with them so much
- Eat at a favorite restaurant and talk till it closes (there’s nothing better)
- Volunteer for a cause together and do work that really matters
For the ENTJ, respect and meaningful connection matter more than gifts. In fact, they tend to feel awkward receiving presents, so it’s better focus on more intellectual gifts. Show an interest in their goals (and find a way to help out) or talk about their long-term pursuits or the interesting ideas they’ve had lately. Even better; work together at a shared dream or vision.
- Pay attention to a need they’ve expressed. Are they struggling with back pain? Give them a massage. Do they hate mowing the lawn? Step in and do it for them when they don’t expect it.
- Talk about your shared interests and goals over a delicious dinner.
- Do something practical to help out!
- Read a non-fiction book together and discuss how you can apply it to your lives
- Actively listen when they’re discussing they’re thoughts
To INFJs, knowledge and understanding will always matter more than gifts. They hunger for something more than tangible items. These abstract future thinkers want to understand their place in the universe and unlock mysteries about the meaning of life itself. Being part of a beautiful and thought-provoking experience helps them to feel alive and inspired.
- Get lost in a library for hours. Find books that mean something special to both of you, then curl up together somewhere quiet and read until the sun comes up
- Take a trip somewhere with lots of history, and talk about what it might have been like to be alive during those time periods. Think about what the past means for the future.
- Watch YouTube videos in order to learn something new together
- Attend a lecture or take a class together
- Watch a film that makes you think deeply about life and discuss it afterward
- Volunteer for a meaningful cause together and work as a team to improve the world
Read This Next: Why INFJs Feel “Weird”
Overcoming a challenge and discovering a new insight about life itself is the most inspiring thing to an INTJ. Anything that sparks their imagination and simultaneously feeds their hunger for wisdom will get them excited. Sometimes, experiences that challenge them physically can open up insights into the intuitive world as well. Many INTJs have told me they enjoy recreational adventures like white water rafting, rock climbing, or hiking. During these physical pursuits, their mind comes alive with insights and thought-provoking ideas.
- Go on a hike through your favorite wilderness area and don’t push for conversation the whole time
- Take a bike tour around the city with the most beautiful views
- Peruse a library together and grab some non-fiction books to read and analyze together. Then get coffee!
- Challenge yourself intellectually by taking classes in subjects that interest you (take turns sharing new ideas)
- Help them with a practical task so that they can have more time for their own interests
Read This Next: 21 Hobbies That INTJs Love
For the ESFP, nothing can compare to the thrill of a new adventure or the excitement of freedom. If you want to give an ESFP a gift that will blow their mind, open up a new possibility in life or loosen the boundaries of what they think is possible. Take them somewhere they’ve never been, go out and do something that makes the world better. Spend time outside where there are no walls to feel caged in.
- Plan a trip to meet friends in another city, then explore the area together and try new things
- Make an escape plan for when life gets too routine or stressful. Tell them you’ll get up early one day in the week, pack a bag, and leave for the day. It can be anything you want it to be, so long as it’s spontaneous!
- Explore a new city or country together
- Get lost in nature somewhere beautiful and freeing
- Offer to do the dishes or other household chores so they can do something fun
- Listen to music while cooking delicious food together and dance in the kitchen whenever there are breaks!
- Do something real to help people (or animals). Volunteer, find random acts of kindness to do, etc,
For the ESTP, excitement and discovery make them feel like life is worth living. When they are presented with new opportunities or physical challenges they can’t wait to try them out. They want to experience life as fully and immersively as possible. Life experiences that get them out of the house and challenge their tactical abilities will always be preferred over gifts.
- Go skydiving, skiing, white-water rafting, or take on some other thrill-inducing challenge
- Take a spontaneous road trip to the nearest big city just for the fun of it!
- Go camping for a week in a challenging location and try to make it without modern conveniences
- Try to build something that will make your lives easier in some way
- Challenge each other to a video game marathon, complete with snacks, good food, and good drinks
- If you’re a significant other, give them an hour-long massage and lots of cuddles afterward
Creative, meaningful experiences will always be more important to ISFPS than gifts. If you want to consider what they like, try to give them an experience that lets their artistic side take flight. Some ISFPs enjoy photography; so you could go somewhere meaningful to them (like a childhood neighborhood) and take photos with them. Others enjoy singing, dancing, painting, crafting, or just relaxing and watching something that inspires them. Doing something to honor their creative curiosity will mean a lot to them.
- Plan a trip to somewhere beautiful and meaningful to take pictures
- Go on a hike together, then paint nature scenes based on what you see
- Take them blueberry picking, apple picking, mushroom hunting, etc. for the fun of it!
- Acknowledge their values by contributing to them in some way. For example, if they care about the environment, grow a wildflower garden with them that will attract bees and butterflies. Or pick up trash at a local park or beach!
- Take time to appreciate all the small details of life that you wouldn’t normally notice (e.g. find shapes in clouds, take a shower and revel in the heat, make shadow animals with your hands)
- Find a way to honor their specific tastes. (For example, make them their favorite breakfast for dinner, watch their favorite movie with them, or grow a lavender plant at their house because you know they love the smell)
Read This Next: 24 Signs That You’re an ISFP, the “Virtuoso” Personality Type
ISTPs want to know how things work and to unlock mysteries that haven’t yet been revealed. Their minds are always working, studying, analyzing, wondering. On top of that, they love delectable experiences in the natural world. Tasting, smelling, and immersing their senses in the richess of life is something they all strive for.
- Take them hiking and surprise them with a picnic on top of a hill
- Give them a relaxing massage
- Surprise them by cooking dinner or baking some delicious goodies
- Learn a new skill with them (like scuba diving, chemistry, or woodworking), or teach them something new (like a dance)
- Take a camping trip together in an out-of-the-way location. Immerse yourselves in the natural world and try to avoid modern-day conveniences.
For ESFJs, a sense that they are contributing to something greater than themselves is deeply meaningful. They also find joy in the little details of life that bring comfort and a sense of tradition. Being tapped into the timelessness of life and the beauty of generosity brings them pure joy.
- Watch their favorite holiday movies with them in a marathon around the holidays. Prepare delicious snacks that they’ve always loved.
- Work on a family tree together.
- Volunteer with them for a cause that matters deeply to them.
- Record yourself reading one of their favorite poems or books and gift it to them
- Write a list of all your favorite memories with them and give it to them
- Throw a party and invite all their favorite people to it and manage all the planning and details yourself so they can relax and just enjoy the people they love
- Take all the videos on their iPhone and compile them into a “Memories of 2021 (or whatever year)” file that they can watch anytime they want to
ESTJs are hard workers who often go the extra mile to take care of practical needs. Their generous, sentimental side is often overlooked because so many people see them as “all about business” or getting things done. People who honor and actually see the underlying generosity, dependability and caring nature of the ESTJ are deeply appreciated. Loyalty, respect, and inner strength, and compassion matter more to ESTJs than gifts ever will.
- Make them a cake that represents their work or interests (for example, if they’re into sports, you could make a team logo)
- Help them with practical chores so that they can relax and do something carefree
- Write them a thank you note where you list specific ways they’ve helped you in your life
- Make something by hand that honors something specific about them. For example, if they’re always cold, knit them a blanket. Paint a portrait of a family member they loved and lost. Put together a collage of their favorite memories of the year.
- Say “thank you” for their hard work and efforts
Acknowledgment and a sense of belonging and purpose matter more to ISFJs than gifts. These types spend a great deal of time helping others and paying attention to others’ needs. To feel appreciated and valued for their efforts is a blessing to them. Some examples of meaningful gifts might be:
- A handwritten letter that includes specific things you appreciate about them
- A playlist of songs that you’ve loved throughout your friendship together (or songs that remind you of them)
- A photo album or scrapbook comprised of digital photos that you printed for them
- A coupon book full of services you can offer them any time they ask. For example, “Full body massage,” “One hour of alone time while I watch the kids,” or “Grandma’s best chocolate chip cookies”
- Some kind of symbolic, hand-made gift that acknowledges the loyalty you have for them.
Read This Next: What It Means to be an ISFJ Personality Type
ISTJs love having all their responsibilities taken care of so that they can totally relax when they’re home. Having integrity and being dependable matter to them a great deal. These types don’t like a lot of attention, so sometimes gift-giving can feel awkward to them. That said, they appreciate the thought itself more than the gift alone. Being loyal, dependable, and considerate are things ISTJs value more than gifts.
- Surprise them by picking up their favorite groceries and bringing them home for them after work
- Meal-prep a week’s worth of lunches or dinners for them
- Help around the house with daily chores so that they can enjoy their time at home
- Print out your favorite family photos together and put them in a photo album for them to keep
- Ask them about their hobbies or interests and actively listen and ask questions so that they can talk about what they love in detail
Read This Next: 24 Signs That You’re an ISTJ, the “Detective” Personality Type
What Are Your Thoughts?
What are some gestures and things that you love more than gifts? Let us know in your comments (and leave your type so other readers can find ideas!).
This is only the beginning. Explore even more about your 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!
“taking them on a drive to a location that holds some meaning
giving money to a charity
a picture of something they love
long drive or walk – talking about each other’s passions and dreams
Binge-watch their favorite TV/movie series
Volunteer for a cause together”