Connecting on Father’s Day by Personality Type

For many of us, Father’s Day is quickly approaching. Not everyone has a father in the strict sense – some of us may have fatherly figures whom we appreciate for their contributions to our lives, biology notwithstanding. This holiday is a chance to recognize those special people who fill the role of father, and we at 16Personalities would like to offer some suggestions for how to do that, based on personality type.

TV and movies have historically portrayed stereotypes of fathers as authority figures, bumbling at best when it comes to empathy. Put that claptrap aside – you know your dad. If this Father’s Day seems like a good time to share deeper feelings, then dive in. But Father’s Day doesn’t need to be emotional to be meaningful. Anything that makes your dad feel special and creates positive moments together is a good goal.

Let’s look at some ideas for ways to make that happen.

Analyst Fathers

Analyst fathers can seem less sentimental than most. They don’t always show their feelings, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be deeply gratified by the caring, loving gestures of others. Analyst dads often have zany wit, inspired ideas of what is fun, and endless creative projects. If your dad is always tinkering with some grand, imaginative plan and regularly fills the air with complicated thoughts and logical opinions, then you know what we mean.

Practical gifts can be a big hit with Analyst personalities, if they meet a genuine need. A fancy gadget that rarely gets used (think pasta maker) might be fun at first, but a functional tool that becomes a part of his everyday life (think high-quality chef’s knife) will be appreciated for years to come. Here are some good ways to engage Analyst fathers.

Something New

Introduce your father to something unfamiliar that relates to his interests. Consider giving intellectually stimulating gifts (like a new book or documentary on a favorite subject), visiting an exhibit or tradeshow, or even taking a class together. Analyst personality types are curious, rational thinkers and lifelong learners, so your dad will appreciate enlightening information and experiences, especially if he can share them with you.


Find a way to help your dad advance a current pet project or passion. Offer to lend a hand with a project as a fun way to spend time together. You could contribute tools, supplies, or instructional materials, or you could simply let your energetic, cheerful assistance be your gift. Just keep in mind whenever you’re helping an Analyst with a personal project that they’ll probably have very specific methods and particular preferences.

Somewhat Subdued

Analysts have vividly active imaginations, and they sometimes appreciate a chance to let their busy minds rest. This could mean anything from a backyard barbecue and lawn games to going to the movies. If you think your dad could use a break, offer some low-pressure time to chill out together in a way that’s suited to his tastes but doesn’t include a lot of intellectual stimulation – he’ll probably end up generating that, anyway.

Diplomat Fathers

Diplomat fathers have big hearts, and they appreciate sentimental gestures at least as much as practical ones. Family tends to be very important to Diplomat personalities, so almost anything sincere that you do for a Diplomat dad is likely to be well received.

Gifts don’t need to be functional, but something that will be seen or used often can serve as a frequent reminder of your love. Handmade gifts wrought with thoughtful care are a big yes. Small keepsakes symbolic of a shared experience (like a key chain from that fun beach trip together) will bring smiles for years. Consider inscribing your gift with a loving message as an added touch. Be as creative as your dad is.

Something New

Diplomat personality types are often interested in people and culture. A unique experience that lets your dad use his imagination to engage these things can make Father’s Day lively. An art fair, concert, or open-mic night at a comedy club are just a few examples of ways to immerse your dad in positive social vibes that you can share together – and with other members of your family too.


Father’s Day is a great time to directly communicate your appreciation – gestures from the heart resonate deeply with Diplomats. You could give your dad a beautifully framed photo or perhaps create an ongoing collage with pictures from every Father’s Day you’ve spent together. Paint a picture, write a poem, or share a heartfelt conversation together. For Diplomat fathers, simply being told that they’ve made a difference in your life may be the greatest gift of all.

Somewhat Subdued

Diplomat dads are all about connecting, so spending time together doing something simple can be a good way to have a relaxed Father’s Day. Going for a walk together somewhere beautiful or preparing a special meal in your father’s honor are good possibilities. Opting for something soothing, like setting up a hammock and making him a big fruit smoothie, could help him de-stress. Whatever else you do, make sure to get a nice photo of the two of you together.

Sentinel Fathers

Sentinel fathers appreciate tradition. These personalities often enjoy conventional pursuits and appreciate reminders of family bonds. They tend to be family-oriented and proud of their children’s accomplishments, so your own successes in life are among the greatest gifts you can give.

Don’t worry about being too ordinary when gift-giving to a Sentinel dad. He’ll likely be happy with useful presents, such as a pack of his favorite socks or a subscription renewal to a publication or online service. It’s important to let a Sentinel father know how much you care for him, but you can do that in many different ways.

Something New

Sentinel personality types don’t always appreciate the unfamiliar, but new things please Sentinel dads when they make life better. This could be something as simple as researching pruning techniques and helping your dad maximize his landscaping, or something as extravagant as upgrading a worn-out grill to a fancy new model. Any functional item can make a good gift, but avoid gimmicky devices that might seem dubious. Letting your father pick a lunch spot that neither of you has tried is also a simple way to step into the unknown together.


The classic family gathering can be a great way to make your Sentinel father feel special, particularly if it keeps an old tradition going or creates a new one. It can be based around a meal, a favorite local event, or even a trip to visit other family members. Planning something that doesn’t require your dad to be in charge can provide a nice break from the responsibilities that so many Sentinel personalities take on for their loved ones – it’s a fitting way to give that love back to them.

Somewhat Subdued

Any respite from responsibility, however short, will likely be appreciated by a Sentinel father on his special day. Consider taking your father away from chores so you can relax together or helping with those chores instead. Something as utilitarian as jumping into an annual cleaning project can be a major gesture, because it lets him know that you’re always there for support. A relaxed afternoon of bargain-hunting together at his favorite stores can be a fun way to appeal to his sensible thriftiness – not to mention a great time to buy a gift.

Explorer Fathers

Explorers tend to be unbound, and this can make them exciting fathers. Showing your love can simply mean supporting your dad in his own path, whatever that may be. On the other hand, Explorer personality types tend to appreciate new experiences that allow them to share the fun with those they love.

Explorer fathers may also enjoy gifts that carry social cachet, brand status, or a sense of elevated worth. Make any gift fine, even if it’s something small. Your father will appreciate it because it came from you, and he’ll proudly show it off (“Check out the designer wallet I got for Father’s Day!”).

Something New

An unexpected adventure could make for an ideal Explorer Father’s Day getaway, whether for a few hours or a whole weekend. Come up with a plan that you can both enjoy together (or with other family members), preferably out of the house. Anything from paintball to fishing to an outdoor festival could be an option. Tailor the experience to your father’s normal energy levels and comfort with social situations, and after that, almost anything goes. It could even be a surprise: ask your dad to clear his calendar, but don’t let him know what you’re up to.


Explorers appreciate novelty and new experiences, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have favorite things in life. Our research shows that Explorers like to indulge more than other personality types, and Father’s Day is a good excuse to spoil your father with a luxurious treat. A fancy bottle of wine, a meal at a fine restaurant, or a fashionable shirt can help your father feel regal. Who doesn’t like a little VIP (Very Important Parent) treatment now and then?

Somewhat Subdued

Pleasurable experiences don’t always need to entail spending a lot of money or doing something wild. Explorer dads appreciate good times in any form, especially if they’re shared with their favorite people. Setting the stage for your father’s fun is a great idea, at any scale. A family visit to a retro arcade with a bag full of tokens might be novel and lighthearted fun, or you could host a poker party at home for your father and his friends.

The Most Important Thing

Keeping your dad’s needs and preferences in mind can make Father’s Day joyful, and understanding your dad’s personality will help greatly. We hope that you’ll take some time to read our personality type descriptions as you craft your Father’s Day plan. If you’re not sure what your father’s type is, you can encourage him to take our free personality test – it might be a good opportunity for both of you to learn more about each other.

That said, don’t be afraid to use any of the above suggestions if they seem like a good fit, regardless of your father’s personality type – you know your dad better than we do.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that the most important thing is the connection you can share. No matter how comfortable your relationship with your father is, this is an opportunity to slip in some sunshine. When it comes to family, the greatest gifts are intangible: love, respect, and support. Think about how you can give these things to your father – and not just one day a year.

Do you have any other suggestions for celebrating Father’s Day? Share your ideas below!

If your dad is likely to be interested in learning more about his personality type, consider gifting him one of our premium profiles. Here’s a discount code for 20% off: FORMYDAD. The code will be valid until Monday, 18 June.
8 months ago
This was cute :)
Scio Nihil
8 months ago
My Analyst father enjoys it when I make treasure hunts for him full of little rhymes, references to inside jokes, and the occasional code. It's mentally challenging AND fun.
8 months ago
What a fun, creative thing to do, definitely sounds like a great idea for an Analyst dad!
8 months ago
I do that for my Sentinel mom a lot
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