If you have already had a chance to read some of the personality type descriptions, you may have noticed that we keep referring to certain type groups, e.g. SJs, NTs etc. This is because all types can be categorized as belonging to one of these groups:
Each group has several distinctive traits which are somewhat reflected in the title of the group. I will explain this in greater detail below, but suffice to say that all four personality types covered by that group will share certain characteristics and this makes it easier to determine someone’s personality type or explain what traits several individuals have in common.
SP – “Performers”
Let us begin with SP personality types (ESFP, ESTP, ISFP and ISTP) – “Performers”. All these types share S and P traits – the former traits means that these individuals are very good at using their five senses and the latter implies that they are spontaneous and tend to “live in the present” rather than plan and stick to a strict schedule.
SP types are usually creative and open-minded, love action and enjoy seeking new experiences.
NT – “Intellectuals”
The next group is “Intellectuals” or NTs (ENTP, ENTJ, INTJ, INTP). These personality types have strong intuitive (N) and logical (T) traits, putting intellectual ability and reason above everything else. They tend to be very analytical, inventive and inquisitive, shunning emotions and sensual pleasures.
If you are arguing with an NT, keep in mind that there is no point in appealing to their emotions – try presenting a logical counter-argument instead.
SJ – “Guardians”
SJs (ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ), or “Guardians”, put security and stability first. They respect traditions, authority and law, following the rules or putting them in place. People with this personality type are likely to have very strong principles, especially when it comes to existing traditions and structures.
SJs also tend to see themselves as “model” citizens, the guardians of existing order. These traits make such personalities excellent leaders, but their subordinates, colleagues or family members are likely to complain about their stubbornness or inflexibility.
NF – “Idealists”
The “Idealists”, or NF types (ENFP, ENFJ, INFJ, INFP) share N (intuition) and F (feeling) traits. People with these personality types tend to be very idealistic, insightful and imaginative. NFs tend to establish themselves as empathic visionaries, whose intuition helps them see patterns and links that may not be clear to other people.
“Idealists” strongly dislike conflict and criticism, but also share a very strong core of principles and ideas. These traits usually mean that people with these personality types are quite enigmatic and sensitive, despite the fact that even introvert NFs tend to be quite popular.
This is a very brief description of these type groups and we will be taking a closer look at each of them in the future – but we hope that this article will give you a basic understanding of these four distinctive temperaments. This topic is covered in much greater detail in the following book – Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding Your Results on the MBTI Instrument by Isabel Briggs Myers.