Personality makes up everyone’s unique characteristics, temperament, and traits. Because it is so individual and subjective, personality and behavior are often extensively studied. Psychologists have developed several personality theories over the years, which can offer insights into why people might act the way they do.
The personality category page contains articles about personality, personality types, and theories to help readers reconnect with themselves and learn more about the science of being human.
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Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Personality is a subjective experience but can also be considered based on how you present yourself to the world. Various personality theories, including the MBTI, are available to learn more about your personality. Identifying with these labels and finding one that fits you may be helpful. You can also check out the FAQs on personality below.
Understanding The 16 Personality Types
There are 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, each defined by a four-letter acronym describing how someone might think, feel, or interact. To find your type, take the Myers-Briggs personality test.
Before looking at the types, it can be helpful to understand what the four-letter acronym stands for. It’s divided into four parts, including the following.
Extraversion (E) Vs. Introversion (I)
If someone is extraverted, they may be talkative and outgoing. An introverted individual may try to keep to themselves. These two personality types often exist on a spectrum, and some people may change over their lifetime.
Sensing (S) Vs. Intuition (N)
A person with the sensing trait may attempt to consider all details of a situation and learn from what they see. They are fact-based and prefer approaching the world through logic. Meanwhile, someone geared toward intuition may see patterns, think about the future, and imagine scenarios. They may also have a sense when a situation is unhealthy and can connect with the feelings of others.
Thinking (T) Vs. Feeling (F)
A person with the “thinking” trait may look at the data and facts before examining their emotions. They may try to look at the most logical approach to a situation.
A person with the “feeling” trait may use their emotions more. They may trust how they feel or how another person feels when making their decision. Their empathy can help them relate to others they might not understand completely.
Judging (J) Vs. Perceiving (P)
This category looks at how someone handles the outside world and its structure. A person with the “judgment” trait may prefer an organized and justified world, judging people by their actions and behaviors. Meanwhile, a perceiver tries to go with the flow and adapt in life, seeing their environment as it is in the moment.
The 16 Types: What Do They Mean?
There are 16 combinations of the MBTI type, including the following:
The Inspector: ISTJ
The Crafter: ISTP
The Protector: ISFJ
The Artist: ISFP
The Advocate: INFJ
The Mediator: INFP
The Architect: INTJ
The Thinker: INTP
The Persuader: ESTP
The Director: ESTJ
The Performer: ESFP
The Caregiver: ESFJ
The Champion: ENFP
The Giver: ENFJ
The Debater: ENTP
The Commander: ENTJ
The 16 personality types in the Myers-Briggs list can be interesting to consider when trying to understand your personality. However, note that they are part of a theory and may not connect with everyone. Personality is vast and can be considered in more than four categories of personality traits.
INFP: The Mediator
The Mediator, also known as the Healer, is diplomatic and follows their beliefs. A mediator may try to see the positive potential in everyone, and their personality results from their ever-growing imagination.
INTJ: The Architect
Also known as the Mastermind, the Architect is constantly innovating. They are people who try to invent new projects and continuously improve their lives. They may also take a problem-solving approach to life to find as many solutions as possible.
INFJ: The Advocate
The Advocate is also known as the Counselor. These people may constantly try to support others through their solutions and ideas. They may see growth through the growth of others, trying to help people see how they could grow and change. They may also constantly consider their self-growth and how they can be healthier for the people around them.
INTP: The Thinker
People with the INTP type may be considered philosophical and spend significant time thinking about what life means and why people act in specific ways. A Thinker may have a philosophical reason that explains what they believe but may also be a scientific thinker, wanting to study personality and the universe or find the ultimate truth through evidence.
ENFP: The Champion
The Champion helps others grow, somewhat similarly to the Advocate. However, they are extroverted, allowing them to connect more socially with those they love. They may encourage others to follow their dreams and succeed as team leaders. A Champion may view the potential of every person and try to find ways to help others connect.
ENTJ: The Commander
The Commander can also be a leader-type, but they lead in a way not as focused on emotions. When they see a problem, they may know how to problem-solve it. They are logical and can speak well to a crowd. While not every commander is necessarily a leader, they may inspire others to get tasks done.
ENTP: The Debater
Also known as the Visionary, Debaters are people who innovate and look at solutions for common problems. The Debater’s psychology of personality is ever-growing. It may be common for them to challenge others on what they believe and have intellectual discussions. If you’re a Debater, you may be open to new ideas but ready to defend your core beliefs.
ENFJ: The Giver
Also known as the Teacher, Givers want to educate and see others grow. They have a vision and may think they know what is best for the world. They tend to spread that vision through education and giving. Careers for this personality type might involve teaching, psychology, or nursing.
ISFJ: The Protector
Protectors want to protect the world and the people they love. They may do so by caring for others and raising them to be the healthiest people possible. In some cases, a Protector may be traditional and want to protect those traditions alongside their identity.
ISFP: The Artist
Also known as the Composer, Artists are mindful of the world around them and like to go with the flow of life. As the name implies, an Artist may love art and have a handbook of personality traits and skills to help them create. These people are often unique, engaging, and reserved.
ISTJ: The Inspector
The Inspector may attempt to be organized and enforce that organization. They may come across as authoritarian to some, but may appreciate the simplistic nature of logical patterns.
ISTP: The Crafter
ISTPs are the Crafters of the MBTI. These people may be mechanical artists and look at everything in their environment with a strong sense of logic. They may be skilled with their hands and at conceptualizing situations.
ESFJ: The Caregiver
Also known as the Provider, Caregivers may strive to support others. They can be highly empathetic and attempt to give their all to ensure the safety and happiness of those they love. In some cases, they may struggle to do the same for themselves.
ESFP: The Performer
The Performers are people who want to entertain others through performance and humor. They may also easily find entertainment in their environment and spend life laughing and having fun. The Performer can also change their personality depending on the situation.
ESTJ: The Director
Also known as the Supervisor, a Director works hard and enjoys taking control of projects. They may strictly follow their own methods when leading a team and enjoy following the rules and being flexible.
ESTP: The Persuader
The Persuader may be open to as many thrills as possible and enjoy living in the moment. With how much energy they exude, they may attempt to excite the people in their lives and connect with those who want to take healthy risks. The Persuader may help you escape your shell and try new activities if you're fearful.
Other Personality Types
The “Big Five” personality theory outlines five main traits that most people have. The level you have in each attribute may determine your personality.
Openness is how willing someone is to try a new experience. Someone with a primarily open personality may be willing to eat new foods, travel to new locations, and make new friends. People who are not open may struggle to try new activities, travel, or consider different viewpoints than their own.
The more extroverted someone is, the more talkative and energetic they are. An extroverted person may enjoy spending time with as many people as possible. Meanwhile, introverted people may become drained in social situations and prefer having fewer social connections.
Conscientiousness involves planning over spontaneity. Someone who doesn’t like making plans and cancels them at the last minute may lack this trait. Meanwhile, someone on the opposite end may make plans ahead of time and become irritated when people don’t hold up on their commitments.
Agreeableness refers to helpfulness, kindness, and sympathy. This trait means people can look past their judgments and biases to be kind to others. People with this trait may also be kind to authority and appreciate social norms. People without agreeableness may struggle to accept instruction and may rebel against authority.
A person with high neuroticism may have high anxiety, worry, and emotionality. They may be prone to mood swings and vulnerability. This trait may be higher in people with a mental illness, which does not necessarily reflect their personality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about personality that you may encounter in the above articles.
What Defines A Personality?
Personality is a complex internal process often broken into three factors, including the following:
Behaviors: How you act around others and alone
Cognitive Processes: How you think and perceive the world
Emotional Patterns: How you react to the world and people around you
What Is Personality?
Personality is how you and other people describe your behaviors and actions. Personality makes up the self and is often more “set in stone” than your behaviors. However, if you continuously struggle with behaviors that cause unhealthy personality patterns, you might be living with a mental illness, like a personality disorder. Personality disorders are often treatable with professional support.
How Can I Identify My Personality?
To identify your personality, you might try taking an official personality test. For example, the Myers-Briggs personality indicator can be quick and gives users a personality type in about ten to 20 minutes. Some people may also identify their personality through hobbies, such as finding DND personality traits they relate to.
You may benefit from taking a personality test with a licensed therapist for an accurate personality analysis. Professionals who have studied personality and social psychology can help you find your type and may be able to assess you for a personality disorder.
You could be living with an underlying mental illness if you believe you have an unstable thinking pattern and inconsistent behaviors. However, personality disorders are treated and diagnosed by a professional. Try not to self-diagnose these conditions, as they are serious and can be rarer than others, like depression, which may temporarily change one’s behaviors.
Why Is Personality Development Essential?
To explain why personality development matters, it can be essential to understand its definition. Personality development refers to how the personality changes as you age. When you’re young, you may not have a unique personality. You may base your behaviors and ideas on your family and friends. However, with time and a healthy childhood, your personality can grow.
Personality development is essential because it helps people understand their behaviors and cognitions. Nature and nurture go into making a personality, so understanding personality development may help you make healthy decisions when exploring who you are and choosing how to raise your children.
What Makes A Person Unique?
Each person may have their own definition of "unique.” Some people may see being unique as trying to be different, whereas others may believe being unique means being “strange.” However, most people are unique. They may have similar personalities or beliefs, but their life experiences make them unique. For example, someone who shares a similar lifestyle to another person in a different country may still have a completely different personality and outlook on life, perhaps due to their culture and the unique genetic makeup that makes them who they are.
What Makes A Beautiful Personality?
A “beautiful personality” is subjective. Each person looks for different traits in people they love. However, the below characteristics may be considered beautiful:
Confidence: Confidence can give someone high self-esteem.
A Sense of Humor: People with a sense of humor may make funny jokes.
Emotionality: People who can express their emotions openly and honestly may be considered beautiful by others.
What Does It Mean To Have No Personality?
When someone says someone has no personality, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have no personality traits. It is a subjective definition and opinion but may suggest the following:
Traits deemed as “basic” or “bland” by others
Saying someone has “no personality” is often an insult and is not a scientific term. Everyone has a personality, and there is no one definition of what makes a personality “interesting.”
What Is A Strong Personality?
A strong personality type may be one that shows up to others and makes an impact. However, “strong” can also be subjective. Below are a few personality traits that may be noticeable to others:
What Is A Fluid Personality?
A fluid personality is a personality type that changes according to situations or over time. All personality can be considered fluid, as people do change over time. However, some people may be more fluid in this area than others.
What Are The Four Types Of Personality?
Depending on where you look, different sources may claim different personality types regarding the main four. Some people classify personality into the following four categories:
Normal: A person who is extroverted and neurotic but not open to themselves.
Reserved: A person who is not open to themselves or neurotic but stable.
Leader: A person who is open to themselves and others, extroverted, and reliable.
Self-Centered: A person who is closed off and disagreeable but extraverted.
What Are The Five Main Personality Traits?
According to the Big Five theory, the five main personality traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Are Melancholiacs Romantic?
Someone with a melancholic personality measures every detail. They tend to be the ones lost in thought and can be self-reliant. Because of this trait, they may not be openly romantic, even if they feel deeply for someone. If you’re unsure if you're melancholic, consider taking a personality test to learn more.
What Is A Good Personality?
What makes a “good” personality is subjective since everyone may have a different definition of it. Cultural, personal, and familial differences can change one’s opinions of a personality. For example, a person who enjoys rules may dislike a person who lives life based on adventure or a lack of planning. They may see rule-based personalities as “good” and adventure-based personalities as “bad.” However, these labels are personal and don’t reflect whether someone is healthy.
What's A Good Personality For A Girl?
Personality does not discriminate based on gender. Anyone of any gender can have any personality trait. Assigning specific attributes or adjectives to a particular gender can perpetuate stereotypes that genders must act differently. For example, some might say girls “should be humble.” However, this trait comes from the patriarchal idea that women can’t stand up for themselves. Some women are humble, but those who are not aren’t “less than” those who are.
How Does Your Personality Affect Your Life?
Your personality can affect every aspect of life but most often impacts social relationships. For example, if you’re an extrovert, you may have more friends or find it easier to spend time with others. If you’re an introvert, you may enjoy your alone time and require time to recharge after an event.
The ways you express your emotions can also have an impact. As a logical person, you might excel in science, debate, or reasoning. If you’re emotional, you may be able to appeal to others by empathizing with them. There are hundreds of personality traits, so finding ones that fit you can help you see how you interact with the world.
Personality is a complex subject, and there are many different theories to consider when trying to find your personality type. If you want to learn more about your personality, speaking to a licensed professional may be beneficial. You can meet with a therapist in your area or talk to a personality specialist online through a platform like BetterHelp.
Online therapy can benefit those with busy schedules, allowing them to set up appointments from home and meet with a therapist via phone, video, or live chat sessions. In addition, online platforms allow individuals to match with a therapist based on their unique needs, so you can specify if you want to talk to someone about personality or a personality disorder.
Studies also back up the effectiveness of online therapy for personality disorders. One review that looked at a few studies of online therapy found that all studies reported a reduction in symptoms and satisfaction with treatment for those with personality disorders, comparable to in-person studies.
Personality is multifaceted and can change over time. There are many theories on personality types to consider when looking to understand yourself or others. However, you can also read the above articles on personality or reach out to a mental health professional to learn more.