Animal bonds are extremely important to many people, rivaling their relationships with friends and family members alike. While any personality type can enjoy animals, there are certain types that find they are especially competent at bonding with them.
To determine which types have an aptitude in animal relationships, we asked our community to agree or disagree with the statement, “You are good at bonding with animals.”
The data showed that a majority of all personality types (78%) agreed with this statement. Differences were most noticeably influenced by individuals’ Energy and Nature, with Intuitive types agreeing at 83% versus Observant types at 74%, and Feeling types agreeing at 81% versus Thinking types at 75%. Prospecting types (81%) were also slightly more apt to agree than Judging types (77%), rounding out the top traits that played a significant role in responses to our research question. Hold on to your leash as we dive into this data in greater detail below.
Diplomats (85% agreeing)
Harmony and compassion go beyond the human realm for Diplomat personality types. Both Intuitive and Feeling, their interactions with animals come instinctively. Diplomats are natural crusaders for a cause, often “walking their talk” to fight for causes that both protect and promote the animals they care about.
Deeply Intuitive, Mediators (INFP) (87%) have a natural ability to bond with animals. They may even prefer the company of animals to that of other people. Sensitive daydreamers that they are, many Mediators may feel that they can relate to animals at a deeper level than certain people who they believe are too focused on the rational and material.
The bond that Campaigner personalities (ENFP) (86%) have with animals may become a key component in their campaigning efforts. Whether running for office or just volunteering, Campaigners can easily transform their relationships with animals into a personal or political cause as well. Advocates (INFJ) (83%), though more soft-spoken than their Extraverted counterparts, may also view their bonds with animals as a call to action. For this personality type, however, the true benefit of friendship with animals may be having another creature that they can connect with while they’re taking the time they need to recharge from their human interactions.
Animal training may require structure and logic, but relationships with animals are often significantly influenced by emotions and compassion – things that are felt rather than merely communicated. Unable to interact with humans in a humanlike way, animals communicate through sensing our moods and responding with their own verbal and nonverbal methods of communication. It makes sense, then, that the types who most agreed that they are good at bonding with animals would have Intuition and Feeling as their dominant traits as well. Some Diplomats may even have a seemingly psychic bond with animals, like the Dragon Queen Daenerys Targaryen, a Protagonist (ENFJ) personality type (82%), from Game of Thrones.
Analysts often get a bad rap for their interactions with other human beings, but this clearly doesn’t translate into their relationships with animals. As with Diplomat personality types, it is Analysts’ Intuitive trait that allows them to form bonds with their animal comrades.
Interestingly, Assertive Analysts were more likely to agree than Turbulent ones, except when it came to the Turbulent Architects (INTJ-T) (81%), who were the most likely of all Analyst personalities to believe that they are good at bonding with animals. Architects are a generally confident type, but those with a Turbulent Identity may experience increased vulnerability that they find easier to alleviate with animal companionship.
Debaters (ENTP) (80%) are not always the most emotionally intelligent personality type, preferring a good argument to sentimental interaction. While that can strain their relationships with people, it may work out just fine for furry, scaly, or feathered friends, who are unlikely to be offended by Debaters’ sociopolitical perspectives. It’s hard to offend an animal (except for cats – they are always offended) based on your opinions, and the friendliness of a neutral party may be exactly what makes Debaters good at bonding with animals.
Explorers and Sentinels (74% and 73%)
Although a majority of both Explorers and Sentinels indicated that they are good at bonding with animals, their Observant trait may make it a bit more difficult for them to respond at the same level as their Intuitive counterparts (Diplomats and Analysts). Explorer personality types live for the moment and often dislike being tied down, which may make them reluctant to take the time to build strong relationships with animals in the first place. Sentinels, on the other hand, thrive on structure, stability, and logic, which may make them slightly inflexible when it comes to the unpredictability of animal behavior.
Entertainers (ESFP) (77%) and Adventurers (ISFP) (75%) are emotionally in tune with those around them, humans and animals alike. Their sensitivity and curiosity will allow these personalities to connect with animals, but once the novelty wears off, boredom could get the better of them and prevent true bonding from taking place.
Virtuosos (ISTP) (70%) detest commitment and stability, which are two key components in building relationships with animals. It takes time and effort to create a meaningful bond with an animal, especially when interaction is based on Observant qualities more than Intuitive ones. This may hinder Virtuosos’ ability to be proficient at creating meaningful bonds with animals.
Similarly hampered by the Observant trait are Logisticians (ISTJ) and Executives (ESTJ) (69% each), who thrive on order, facts, and stability. While successful animal training does rely on structure and communication, bonding with animals is often a much more Intuitive venture. Animals are not logical (at least, not by human standards), and anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that they are more inclined to create a mess than anything resembling order. Understanding animal behavior in a technical way will absolutely benefit these personality types and their furry, scaly, and feathered friends. Positive and regular interaction with animals will almost certainly assist them in uncovering their own Intuitive and emotional sides, perhaps helping them in their nonanimal relationships as well.
Constant Improvement, Social Engagement, and People Mastery (80%, 79%, and 79% agreeing)
Due to their Turbulent Identities, respondents belonging to the Constant Improvement and Social Engagement Strategies were (slightly) more apt to agree that they are good at bonding with animals than were the Assertive types belonging to the People Mastery Strategy. While individuals with Turbulent Identities are more prone to stress and lower self-confidence, the ability to understand and express their emotions plays a crucial role in how they interact and bond with animals. This especially holds true for the Intuitive and Feeling personality types.
Constant Improvers such as Turbulent Mediators (INFP-T) (the most likely of all personality types to agree with our research statement at 87%), Advocates (INFJ-T) (82%), and Architects (INTJ-T) (81%) rely on their Intuition to connect with animals. Animals communicate in ways that are not always straightforward or logical, and these Intuitive types have the ability to look beyond logic to determine the needs and desires of animals.
Social Engagers and People Masters have a natural ability to communicate well and make connections with other human beings that may translate into a capacity to relate well to animals. Animals – especially intelligent animals such as dogs, horses, and octopuses – have unique personalities and traits just like human beings. They can be playful, mischievous, sullen, or domineering, and personality types with exceptional people skills can pick up on these similarities between species and use them to their advantage.
Social Engagers such as Turbulent Campaigners (ENFP-T) (84%) and Protagonists (ENFJ-T) (81%) use a combination of their social prowess and Intuitive and Feeling traits to build relationships with animal companions. Turbulent Executives (ESTJ-T) (65%), on the other hand, were the personality type least likely to agree with our research statement. This type may think that bonding with nonhumans is not a particularly important activity – at least not compared to their busy leadership roles in their careers and communities – making them less inclined to engage with the empathy and time necessary to truly connect with an animal.
While People Masters may benefit from the confidence that their Assertive Identity provides, their propensity for emotional stability may actually hinder their ability to bond with animals. Animals are driven by their instincts, focusing their energy on meeting their basic needs for food, shelter, and companionship. Most cannot communicate their needs or frustrations linguistically, but rather express themselves through body language. Emotional intelligence and high levels of empathy are required to communicate effectively with nonhumans, and People Masters, such as Assertive Entrepreneurs (ESTP-T) (70%), may be less adept in these areas, making it harder for them to connect with animals.
Confident Individualism (76%)
The Assertive personality types belonging to the Confident Individualism Strategy are not only self-confident, but also very independent. These types are often more interested in completing tasks than engaging with others, including animals. As with People Masters, emotional intelligence and empathy are not strong suits for Confident Individualists, which translates into their lower likelihood of agreeing that they are good at bonding with animals.
Assertive Logisticians (ISTJ-A) (69%), Architects (INTJ-A) (71%), and Virtuosos (ISTP-A) (71%), have a tendency to be insensitive when interacting with others. These personality types are highly independent and very focused on all things rational and able to be analyzed. While they may value animals, they are more likely to see them as just that – animals. Confident Individualists may believe that animals have their purposes, and should certainly be respected, but “bonding” with them is perhaps an unnecessary human construct.
For some, nothing is more valuable than their bonds with animals. The companionship that many individuals receive from their animal friends is deeper and more meaningful than some of their human relationships. It is clear, since a majority of every personality type in this study agreed, that most people find that they are capable of bonding effectively with animals.
Intuitive and Feeling traits have a profound effect on our communication styles, allowing individuals with these traits to interact more effectively with animals. Empathy and an ability to think outside the box allow Intuitive and Feeling personalities to engage with animals in a more primal capacity.
The benefits of human and animal bonds are very important for both parties. The companionship that animals provide is immeasurable, and much can be gained from learning more about them. In turn, a better understanding of animals will help humanity to better steward this planet. It’s truly a win-win situation.
Do your relationships with animals rival your human relationships? Do you feel that bonding with animals is important? Sound off in the comments below.