Introverts at Risk

Each of the sixteen Myers-Briggs types is unique and different. Some types are outgoing and gregarious, while others treasure their privacy. Some are serious and others are fun-loving. Some are warm and giving and others are cool-headed and objective. A few of the types have similar descriptions. That’s because they have several traits in common. For example, the INFP is much like the INFJ because each is introverted (I), intuitive (N), and Feeling (F). They differ only in the Perceiving vs. Judging traits.

When under stress, each type has the tendency to overuse its strengths to the point where they sabotage their ability to cope. An example is the Introverted type. The person tends to withdraw when stressed out, avoiding the company of others. When this trait is carried to the extreme, the person becomes isolated and no longer enjoys feedback and support.

The Eight Introverted Types

ISTJ

For ISTJs, one way of losing out is to immerse themselves in too much detail. They may become so fixated on rules and minute details that they forget the overall meaning of an activity. A mother supervising a child’s birthday party may be so obsessed with a game and its rules that she forgets the purpose of the game—to have fun. In this way, she only communicates her stress to the children and no one has a good time. By focusing on the details of the game, she forgets the larger issue: fun.

In their effort to get the job done, ISTJs may overlook such niceties as “please” and “thank you.” By neglecting to make direct personal comments, they fail to show their appreciation to others.

Under stress, ISTJs may ignore the long-term implications of a project in favor of day-to-day realities. Because of their tendency to focus on short-term goals, they may lose sight of the overall purpose of their work. They rely too much on the standard way of doing things and neglect innovation, which is sometimes critical in this changing world. They also see errors more readily than successes, resulting in a doom-and-gloom attitude toward work.

ISTJs sometimes have difficulty recognizing their own emotions and values. As a result, they may be seen as insensitive and cold. As the stress from work situations heightens, so does the likelihood that ISTJs will explode, doing no one much good.

ISTP

Like all Myers-Briggs types, ISTPs under stress act in ways that depart from their usual style.

One of their problems is finding shortcuts when a project seems too long and difficult. By taking the easy way out, they can jeopardize successful completion, which makes them appear indifferent and unmotivated. When working on parts of a project that they enjoy, their work is usually competent and satisfactory. It’s the parts that frustrate or bore them that get them in trouble. If a homeowner is cultivating both a vegetable and flower garden behind the house, weeding the vegetable patmay be a much less gratifying job than tending the flowers. Later in the summer the family complains that they have fewer fresh vegetables than they expected, although the flower garden is lovely.

ISTPs may lose out when they keep important information to themselves, failing to inform others. When they do share they may focus on the faults and problems of the issue in question. As a result, others find themselves operating on incomplete information.

Because ISTPs are oriented to collecting new facts, they can get overwhelmed by all the information they have dug up. As a result, they may put off decision-making in order to keep their options open. This may give them the appearance of being indecisive and incompetent.

Finally, ISTPs may find themselves in trouble when they fail to complete old projects and instead move on to new ones. They sometimes have difficulty with perseverance and the ability to stay with undertakings until they have finished them. A boy who makes model airplanes loves having the final products but leaves many of the planes unfinished because the work gets too complex. His parents are disappointed that they’ve paid for so many kits and their son has so few completed airplanes to show.

ISFJ

One way ISFJs can lose out is by paying too much attention to the present status of problems and failing to seek options for a satisfactory solution. They can see the present clearly but not the possibilities for the future. Thus, they may get stuck in ruts and unable to find a way out. They focus on past negative experiences and apply them to the present problem. If, for example, the car is making a strange noise, they may remember a time when they threw a rod on an old automobile and assume that the same disastrous breakdown is about the occur, when actually a broken fan belt may be the only problem.

ISFJs attend to plan excessively. They want things to go a certain way and become discouraged if they turn out to be wrong. If things proceed satisfactorily, they may waste time looking for another potential problem. For example, they may get to an outdoor concert an hour in advance to find a good seat, and then, while they are waiting, worry about the chances of rain.

ISFJs may feel undervalued by others as a result of their quiet, self-effacing style. This may cause them to lose confidence when presenting their ideas in a group. They tend to minimize their own importance and contributions to an organization, so that everyone takes them for granted. They view their contributions as simply “doing their duty.” An employee presenting the progress of his project before a committee may minimizing her own contribution so no one realizes that she was instrumental in its success.

ISFP

In times of stress, ISFPs may overlook their own needs. Because they see others’ needs so clearly and they’re motivated to serve them, they may ignore their own requirements.

When a loved one is in the hospital with a serious condition, the ISFP is likely to put all his or her concerns aside in favor of staying with the loved one, keeping the spirits up of the rest of the family, and so on. If the hospitalization lasts long enough, the ISFP may get worn down and lose his or her positive attitude—becoming snappish and unhelpful.

Conflict is disagreeable to ISFPs and they try to avoid it at all costs. If they do engage in a confrontation, they may later feel like the disagreement was their fault. Even if the issues legitimately belong to the other party, they may feel hurt and withdraw rather than confront the person and “clear the air.”

ISFPs tend to accept the statements and opinions of others as valid. They are often gullible. Strong, manipulative, persuasive people may find them easy prey. Rather than buy into the views of others without question, ISFPs need to develop a more skeptical attitude and ways to analyze the words and actions of others more realistically.

Failing to appreciate their own contributions and accomplishments is another way ISFPs can lose out under stress. Because they are gentle types who focus internally, they suffer from self-criticism—which may not be apparent to the outside world. Without outside support from trusted friends and coworkers, their thoughts become negative and destructive. They need to appreciate their contributions more, although this may be difficult given their habitual modesty.

INFJ

Under stress, INFJs can lose contact with some of the unpleasant realities of life. They focus mainly on their idealist vision of how things should be, ignoring reality when it contradicts their views. Because of their single-minded, persistent view of how things should be, they don’t know when to cut their losses and move on. They may need help from supportive friends and coworkers in learning how to relax and let go of futile dreams.

Another way INFJs lose out is when they fail to act assertively and don’t share important ideas and insights with others. Because of their reluctance to intrude, many of their ideas are overlooked or underestimated. People who might have been able to support them have their hands tied because they were never included in the INFJ’s thinking process.

Another way INFJs can lose out is by focusing on facts that aren’t relevant to the situation at hand. They need to focus on which details are important and which aren’t. A female INFJ getting the house ready for a big party might find herself obsessing over everything. If, for example, she can’t find her embroidered guest towels she may enter a state of “melt down” until someone points out to her that no one ever uses them anyhow. The stress of her big party has made her temporarily unreasonable, prey to her drive for perfection.

INFJs hold their criticisms inside longer than they should because of their belief in the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” When the pressure mounts and their objections are stifled long enough, they can blow up. Trusted colleagues can help them focus on the overall concept in question and retreat from an attitude of blaming to one of acceptance and understanding.

INFP

One way that INFPs can lose out when under stress is by focusing on their dreams so intently that they’re blind to others’ points of view. They fail to adjust their unrealistic vision to the facts of reality. If they’re extremely out of touch, people might view them as almost mystical. An INFP who believe he has the solution to world problems can be brought back to Earth by questions regarding individual actions that can contribute to the goal.

Another problem for the INFP under stress is that they try to please too many people at once. They never refuse any one, with the result that they’re often overtaxed, sometimes to the point of being resentful. They also dislike conflict and will go to some lengths to avoid it. It’s not uncommon for them to give people the impression that they agree about an issue, when actually they are dead set against it. They need to get more tough-minded and assertive, learning how to give negative feedback tactfully but firmly.

INFPs may delay finishing projects because they’re holding out for a perfection that simply isn’t possible. They postpone action by focusing inward instead of reaching for resources outside themselves. Outside support can encourage them but also give realistic feedback concerning a project. Nothing has to be perfect.  Something to start with is better than nothing at all. An employee preparing a brochure for his company may try to do the proofreading, graphics and layout to perfection when there are other professionals available to do these jobs. As a result, the project may be late, much to the annoyance of his supervisors.

Finally, INFPs, although generally modest and gentle, can become overly critical about everything that bothers them. Everyone around them seems irresponsible and incompetent, as the result of the INFPs internal feelings of stress. They lose the ability to see the situation logically, step back, and let their natural appreciation come forward. A man throwing a party for his business associates may find himself criticizing what his wife is wearing, how the table is set, the noise the children are making, and other bothersome details when the real culprit is his own anxiety.

INTJ

Some INTJs have trouble letting go of their expectations when they aren’t based on facts or current reality. They imagine they have the ability to predict the future—when they don’t. Their impractical ideas and goals may be so impractical that the INTJs seem to be living in a dream. Sometimes they’re so private about their vision that they fail to communicate with other people who will be affected by it or are necessary to make it happen. They need to learn when to give up on unrealistic dreams and solicit the input of others to help get them back on track.

An employee planning a going-away party for a co-worker may try doing everything herself—the announcements, music, refreshments, etc.—instead of enlisting the help of others in the company who have the expertise she needs. As a result, the party may come off as a half-finished affair.

Some INTJs have a certain model or way of living that they approve of and then criticize those who don’t fit the model. For example, people who are Democrats may be so fixated on their line of thinking that they can hardly make themselves speak to a Republican. They find it difficult to tolerate choices that don’t conform to their own. They need to filter out the single characteristic that offends them and focus on the person’s general merit, of which they may actually approve.

INTJs can also lose out by focusing on unimportant details. Their need to control all possible outcomes prevents them from attending to what’s really necessary. If they have bought their son a new suit to wear for special family events, they may not be satisfied until the pants are lengthened (or shortened) one quarter of an inch and they’ve found the perfect tie to go with the suit. The son could care less about a suit he doesn’t want to wear anyhow, so his parents’ perfectionism is wasted. They could have spared themselves the nagging over the issue of the dress suit.

INTJs may ignore the impact of their style on others. With their impersonal, independent approach to life, they think that others function best in the same kind of environment. Others may see them as detached, inflexible and logical—so much so that they’re afraid to approach the INTJ. When they find out that their style is alienating others, many are surprised. They need to learn to foster their relationships and make sure they show appreciation others.

INTPs

Because of their tendency to focus on the shortcomings of others, INTPs may be perceived as negative and arrogant. They may appear to be aloof and fault-finding and are surprised when they’re not liked by others.

The man whose spouse has just come home with a new dress and is asked his opinion may say something like, “It’s all right but I think the hemline is a little high.” He may have made this remark with the best of intentions, wanting only to be helpful, but his partner thinks he finds nothing attractive about the dress (because he didn’t say so) or he objects to her showing so much leg. She takes his comment personally and feels criticized and unappreciated.

Another way the INTP can lose out if by focusing on the small inconsistencies in a project or plan. They may even prevent the project from moving forward because they stall progressing one small step. They need to learn when to let go of trivial details that are of little consequence. To others, this tendency may lead them to believe that the INTP suffers from convoluted opinions outside the understanding of ordinary people. A woman preparing wedding invitations for her daughter may become so focused on the font used in the announcement none of the printer’s efforts please her. As a result, the project is late and the guests have very short notice.

INTPs can be their own worst critics as they hamstring themselves looking for the exact way to present their ideas perfectly. They can’t listen to praise because they know they could have done so much better. Focusing on their own flaws without outside support can even end up making them depressed. They need to discuss their feelings with other people who can provide more realistic, candid opinion.

Because INTPs are usually so conservative and quiet, their emotions—the least accessible part of themselves—can stay bottled up until the pressure is too great. Then they may explode in an unmanageable outburst and appear hypersensitive. Bystanders can be so overwhelmed by this unexpected display of feelings that they come to regard the INTP as unstable.

INTPs are especially susceptible when they can’t identify an objective cause for their emotions, which shouldn’t be disregarded simply because they seem illogical. Exploration of the emotions with a trusted supporter can pave the way to potential areas for growth.

 

When these introverts get back on track, they can be enjoyable to work and live with and tireless in following through on their commitments. By keeping their Myers-Briggs traits in a healthy balance, they can make the best of their work, leisure, and relationships.

 

How the Eight Myers-Briggs Types Manage Their Free Time

As we gather information, make decisions, and deal with others in matters connected with our leisure, the personality types manage time in very different ways. This is probably the most obvious difference in the types. Extraverts manage their time so they can be in contact with others. Sensors are on a never-ending search for more information about possibilities, while Intuitives operate on less external data and make decisions about their free time based on their own hunches. Thinkers are logical and cool about their how to spend their leisure, focusing on their own goals more than those of others. Feelers depend upon the pleasure of others as well as themselves. Judgers look at the measurable aspects of free time, such as how many miles they have traveled in a day, while Perceivers focus on the enjoyable aspects of the trip.

Extraverts vs. Introverts

Extraverts like to spend their free time on external pastimes—that is, shopping, talking on the phone, attending parties, and so on. They enjoy activities that provide them with a lot of stimulation. On the other hand, Introverts gravitate toward activities such as reading, going for walks, and listening to music. Their favorite pastimes can generally be enjoyed in solitude and are more contemplative. While both types might enjoy attending concerts, their tastes run a little differently. The Extravert likes concerts that invite audience participation and excitement. The Introvert wants to sit quietly and take in the music.

Sensors vs. Intuitives

Sensors are literal in their interpretation of time and how they would use it. They talk in terms of minutes and hours, not weeks and months. Years may be defined as fiscal and calendar years rather than decades. They are not futuristic. They think of time as ticking away. On the other hand, Intuitives use more abstract words in their conception of time: fleeting, linear, flowing, internal, abstract, etc. The sensor is likely to think of free time as immediate pleasure to be enjoyed in the here and now. Intuitives think more in “far off” terms, such as next year’s winter vacation. When asked what they’d like to do for fun, the Sensor might answer, “Throw a party this weekend,” while the Intuitive might say, “Plan a ski trip to Aspen this winter.”

Thinkers vs. Feelers

Thinkers are more objective and literal in their use of time. Whatever activities they choose, they prefer having specific checkpoints to monitor their success or progress. The word “people” seldom appears on their list because they are concerned with their own satisfaction primarily, not the attitudes of others. For the Feeling person, the ideal ski trip might mean involve Aspen with several friends, taking ski lessons together, and finding mutual satisfaction in the trip. The Thinker might envision more solo activities on the ski trip. If ski lessons are on the agenda, they’re likely to be solo lessons with only the Thinker and the ski instructor present.

Judgers vs. Perceivers

Judgers will organize their time in objective activities and use their list for measurable accomplishments. Perceivers are more open-ended and prefer to spend their free time in activities for which they will be less accountable. If a Judging/Perceiving couple are looking for a cruise to take, the Judger will first go online for pricing, and then systematically visit websites showing cruises that match their budget. The Perceiver will prefer to “wing it,” visiting different websites on impulse. He or she will look at photographs and take pleasure in imagining what the real thing is like. The challenge is for the partners to meet on middle ground where they can make a decision that satisfies them both. The Judger will probably want to make a decision on the first or second day of looking at websites. The Perceiver would be satisfied to look for a longer, open period—enjoying all the options without closure on any single one.

Tips for Time Management

The experts have some time management tips for each of the eight types.

Extraverts: Avoid having to share everything. Extraverts can be so distracted by outside social interactions that they lose sight of their goals.

Introverts: Don’t stay inside. Introverts should sense when the time is ripe to emerge from their privacy and seek support and guidance from outside sources.

Sensors: Remember that there’s more to time than minutes. Sensors need to see beyond the exactness of time. They can be nitpickers when it comes to deadlines and time, to the detriment of a plan or project when flexibility is appropriate, such as sailing.

Intuitives: Be realistic. Most Intuitive have an unrealistic perception of how long it will take to perform certain task, usually on the side of underestimation. This is where the Intuitive could profitably borrow from the Sensors perception of time.

Thinkers: Consider others’ time. Thinkers tend to overlook the human, subjective elements of time, forcing others to conform to their needs. They should learn to consider the schedules of other participants in a plan or project.

Feelers: Define your boundaries. Because Feelers often put the needs of others before their own, they can be imposed upon easily. Whoever is most needy gets their attention and time. Feelers must learn to say no without feeling guilty.

Judgers: Keep in mind that time is not always of the essence. Although Judgers are often masters of time management, making the most of every minute, they are sometimes in danger of executing their decisions prematurely just to reach a decision. Going too fast can sometimes endanger the outcome of a plan or project.

Perceivers: Try to focus. Perceivers often jump from one project to another, failing to focus on any single one. They may even see this as a form of time management, not realizing that some of the projects may be left unfinished.

Time is a resource that can be used or abused. By making optimal use of Myers-Briggs traits, individuals can make the best of their time, finishing projects in a timely manner while maintaining the good will of collaborators—or enjoying the progress of a project without focusing on measurable checkpoints.

 

Career Distribution by Myers-Briggs Type


A 14-year study of thousands of Americans in various careers shows that different Myers-Biggs types have different preferences and skills relating to the jobs they take. When the data were analyzed at the end of the 14 years, researchers found that people of various Myers-Briggs categories held the following jobs listed below.

Career Distribution by Myers-Briggs Type

     ISTJ: Administrators in schools, industry, and health care, dentists, police and detectives, auditors and
accountants
    ISFJ: Nurses, clerical supervisors, preschool teachers, librarians, health technicians
    INFJ: Education consultants, clergy, physicians, media specialists, teachers (English, art, drama)
    INTJ: Lawyers, scientists, computer systems analysts, chemical engineers, university teachers
    ISTP: Farmers, mechanics and repairers, electrical technicians, engineers, dental hygienists
    ISFP: Storekeepers and stock clerks, nurses, dental assistants, bookkeepers, mechanics and repairers
    INFP: Psychiatrists and psychologists, writers, artists, and editors, teachers, social workers, musicians and composers
    INTP: Writers, artists and entertainers, computer programmers, social scientists
    ESTP: Marketing personnel, police and detectives, managers and administrators, retail salespeople, auditors
    ESFP: child care workers, receptionists, salespeople, religious workers, teachers (preschool)
    ENFP: Rehabilitation counselors, teachers (art and drama), writers, artists, entertainers, psychologists, clergy
    ENTP: Photographers, marketing personnel, salespeople, journalists, computer systems analysts
    ESTJ: Teachers, school administrators, surgeons, factory and site supervisors, lawyers
    ESFJ: Medical secretaries, clergy, nurses, home economists, hairdressers and cosmetologists
    ENFJ: Clergy, teachers, actors and entertainers, writers and artists, consultants
    ENTJ: Lawyers, managers, mortgage brokers, administrators (computer systems and education), scientists

The study data do not indicate which careers are best for certain types. The information simply reflects what jobs people were holding at the time the study was in progress. It serves mainly to provide helpful information about the demands of each career. When evaluating potential careers, it’s best to consider how your preferences relate to the demands of certain professions. Every career uses some of each of the eight preferences.

Public contact vs working alone: Introversion/Extraversion
Jobs that involve mainly working with others are better for extraverts, especially if they involve selling, persuading, and motivating. While Introverts are often capable of doing these things, too, they may find themselves drained in the long run.

Hands-on activity vs. abstract speculation: Sensing/Intuition
A hands-on profession  appealing to Sensing types is one where “doing” and “bottom line” are the main goals, as in accounting, trial law, and civil engineering. Jobs with short-term, measurable objectives are more attractive to them. In contrast, jobs that require foresight and planning are better suited to Intuitives. Examples are architectural engineering, teaching law (professors), and financial planning.

Objective vs. people-oriented decisions: (Thinking/Feeling)
Thinking jobs are attractive to those concerned mainly with logic and objectivity. They don’t want to be embroiled in personal relationships or human welfare decisions. Careers in the Thinking category include stockbrokers, high-tech research, and military positions. Feelers are attracted to careers involving interpersonal dynamics, such as the clergy, counselors, teachers, and nurses, among others.

Structured demands vs. flexible innovation: (Judging/Perceiving)
Judging types do best in careers that require scheduling and established procedures—everything from bus driving to orthopedic surgery. Jobs that are more open-ended, requiring flexibility and ability to adjust, include journalism, strategic planning and entrepreneurs.

It’s a Personal Decision

When you consider your own type, such as ISFP, the key is not to choose a career that theoretically belongs on a list, but rather to consider the various facets of your type and how they relate to the job possibilities. A bus driver who travels a short downtown route every day is different from a bus driver transporting senior citizens through the city and acting as their tour guide.

The goal is to find a career that fits your preferences rather than force yourself into a job that theoretically suits your type. The better the personal fit, the less job stress and the more satisfaction you’ll experience in the long run. If you have an opportunity to practice law you might find that the job in question involves representing low-income clients, about whom you feel personal concern. if you’re an INFP you may be tempted to rule out the possibility because the career is not on the master list. Yet the job may be a perfect fit for your type, with its tendency toward compassion and flexibility.

Are You a Perceiver or a Judger?

The last pair of eight Myers-Briggs preferences are Perceiving and Judging. They relate to how people organize their lives. Perceivers are more spontaneous and adaptive than Judgers, and Judgers are more structured and organized.

People have some misconceptions about Perceivers and Judgers because of the labels they wear. Perceiving has little to do with perception of events; everyone possesses this ability. Judgers are not necessarily judgmental (although they may be). Both traits have their advantages. Which trait the individual chooses for any given situation depends upon the circumstances.

The Perceiver, although often late for appointments, may be spot on time for an airline flight—knowing that the doors will close if they don’t arrive by the deadline. The Judger, although normally on time for all events, may decide to arrive late at a party that promises to last all night. Their orientation all depends on the circumstances.  The Perceiver is capable of meeting deadlines without last-minute frenzy, and the Judger is capable of missing one from time to time.

This discrepancy between the two types is often the cause for resentment. Judgers who have made social arrangements with the habitually late Perceiver may come to see the person as disrespectful of his or her time. The Perceiver may see the Judger as compulsive and picky for no good reason. They have different views of clock time. On the same note, Judgers may start assignments early, scheduling time for the work so that it’s done in plenty of time. Perceivers are likely to stall on the project, resulting in a bind as the deadline approaches. Yet, by some miracle, they are almost never late. They make it just under the wire. The two types can make each other crazy.

Perceiving and Judging are just one pair of opposites among the four pairs that comprise the Myers-Briggs Inventory. The others are Introvert (I) vs. Extravert (E), Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N), and Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F). Everyone exhibits one of each pair of traits. For example, you might be an INFJ. That means you’re Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.

Below are some of the differences between Perceivers and Judgers:

Perceiving Types

  • Perceivers get distracted easily. They can run to the garage for a screwdriver, and then halfway down the driveway forget the purpose of their errand.
  • They get bored with routine. Rather than take the same route home very night, they may experiment with new routes. They love to explore the unknown.
  • They don’t plan their tasks. They wait to see what the job demands. For this reason, they’re often accused of being disorganized.
  • Perceivers have to depend on last-minute surges of energy to make deadlines. Usually they manage it, but the chaos they create tends to frustrate others.
  • They believe that creativeness and spontaneity are more important than tidiness. They would prefer to have the materials around them organized, but flexibility and responsiveness are more important.
  • They make work seem more like play than work. If it isn’t fun to do, it probably isn’t worth doing.
  • In conversations, Perceivers easily change the topic by going off on tangents, changing the subject to anything that enters their minds.
  • Perceivers like to keep their options open, not pinning themselves down about most things. After all, something better might come along and then they’d be regretful.

Judging Types

  • Judgers feel like they’re always waiting for others to show up. They seem to be the only people who respect appointments.
  • They know that the world would be a better place if everyone would shoulder their responsibilities without shirking.
  • Judgers like closure on issues. They don’t dawdle making purchase decisions and feel best when they’re pulling out a credit card to close the deal. Perceivers like to look at all the options first, enjoying the feeling of open-endedness.
  • In a discussion, Judgers may be accused of being angry, when they’re just expressing an opinion.
  • They like to finish assignments in plenty of time, even though they realize they have to do parts over to get them right.
  • Judgers try to work and live in an orderly environment. Messiness interferes with their competency. Everything has a place in their homes and offices.
  • They thrive on lists. They often make to-do lists first thing in the morning. Then if something comes up that must be done, they add it to the list just so they can cross it off.
  • Judgers have a place for everything and they feel uncomfortable unless everything is in its place.

Differences in the Perceiving vs. Judging function may cause more interpersonal tension than any of the other preferences. The following words describe the Perceiver: flexible, adaptive, open, tentative, spontaneous, and tardy. The Judger is resolved, decided, controlling, structured, definite, and scheduled. It’s no wonder they can grate on each other’s nerves in close quarters.

Procrastination: An Equal Opportunity Trait

A key element of time management relates to procrastination—putting off until tomorrow the things you could do today. Everyone procrastinates. Sometimes we get the impression that it’s the Perceivers who are most guilty—with their laid-back, flexible approach to life and their tendency to be late for deadlines, etc. Not so. There are ways and times when all types put off tasks.

The Eight Types

Extraverts

Extraverts procrastinate when something needs to be done that requires privacy and time for reflection. An extroverted student may find it difficult to study a sociology assignment, which requires thoughtful perusal of the course text and time alone to study. They may also put off preparation of documents that require careful thought. They’d rather meet friends and postpone the assignment.

Introverts

Since Introverts dislike group activities—particularly getting up before people to share—they’ll do what they can to get out of it or put it off to the last possible minute. This is true of participation in group activities, too. They favor the company of only one or two friends and are reluctant to sign up for groups.

Intuitives

Intuitives put off tasks that require their Sensing trait. Sitting down to collect data and then assembling it in a report is the last thing they want to do. Yearly taxes are a good example. Sensing types dig in long before April 15, almost with pleasure. Intuitives dread the day they have to unravel all their expenses of the previous year.

Sensors

When it’s time to think about the future, Sensors don’t indulge in fantasies about what “might be,” They are not at their best when it comes to long-term planning. They are here-and-now people. If a partner wants to reflect on all the possibilities for a winter vacation, the Sensor feels at a disadvantage. He or she would rather talk about their plans for the weekend.

Thinkers

Thinkers procrastinate when it comes to expressing themselves about personal issues. They’re slow to say, “I’m sorry,” even when they know they’ve hurt someone and are in the wrong. It’s much harder for a Thinker to say “I love you,” than it is for a Feeler. Many of them think that being “touchy-feely” is a sign of weakness, and that it’s better to be logical and neutral about everything.

Feelers

Feelers are reluctant to get engrossed in tasks where there’s no one else to talk to or get feedback from. They also dislike conflict and will avoid or postpone it whenever possible. They want to be involved with people in positive ways, where everyone ends up with good feelings. Negative confrontations are extremely distasteful to them.

Perceivers

When a deadline looms or a decision must be made, Perceivers put off final actions as long as possible. In their opinion, there’s always more information to be collected and examined. Perceivers are often tardy for appointments. They postpone being stressed by clock time. Their attention wanders to other things and, as a result, they’re late.

Judgers

When it comes time for fun and relaxation, Judgers procrastinate because they can always think of things that should be done before indulging in pleasure. Because Judgers may have an endless to-do list, many never get around to the reward of having fun alone or with others.

Solutions to Procrastination

Extraverts need to discipline themselves so they don’t routinely run for feedback about whatever has occurred to them. One way to do this is to schedule “work alone” periods, interspersed with scheduled breaks.

Introverts need to discipline themselves to do just the opposite—get outside their private sphere when it would be objectively useful. Even going to a public place like the library can be a challenge for the introvert who prefers the solitude of his or her study.

Intuitives, with their future-oriented perspective, may be come up short when it comes to estimating the amount of time needed to accomplish something in a given amount of time. If they are building a sandbox for a child’s birthday, for example, they may run into construction hang-ups that mean the job can’t be done on schedule. This needn’t be a cause for self-criticism. It’s simply one of those things that happen in life for no foreseeable reason.

Sensors need to see beyond clock time when they know that foresight or flexibility are required. They tend to do well with minutes and seconds but fall short when a vision of the future is required. Sometimes they need to act when those around them affirm that the time is right, not when it’s on the Sensor’s schedule.

Thinkers have a tendency to set schedules or follow time lines that are compatible with their own needs, without considering the needs of others. Offending people is one problem with the Thinkers’ practice of basing decisions on objective outcomes rather than considering the impact on others.

Feelers must learn to say “no” without feeling guilty. They sometimes have trouble setting firm boundaries for themselves—instead focusing on the impact of their decisions on others. While Thinkers more readily impose themselves on others, Feelers more easily take on the responsibilities or consequences of decisions themselves, resulting in their feeling taken advantage of.

Perceivers need to recognize their predisposition to procrastination, flitting from one project to another. Ironically, they often see this as time-saving effort, juggling more than one project at a time. The result may be several projects left uncompleted. The would do better to limit themselves to one or two projects at a time.

Judgers naturally work well with schedules and deadlines. They risk reaching conclusions prematurely, however, resulting in a suboptimal outcome. They should be ready to listen to the ideas of their more-flexible counterparts, the Perceivers. When Judgers feel a strong need for a decision, such as buying a car, they’ll do well to listen to a Perceiver’s feedback about the details of the decision. They may uncover valuable information that they’d neglected.

Procrastination is an equal opportunity trait.

Are You an Introvert or an Extravert?

Are you attracted to people of different Myers-Briggs types? This is natural. The novelty is appealing, even seductive. Over time, however, you (an Introvert, let’s say) may find that the gregarious, outgoing person you met and have started to date now gets on your nerves. These Extraverts, you think, spill all the beans the moment they meet someone. You hear yourself saying, “Do you have to tell your life story to everyone on the street?” The insult gets you nowhere, of course. The person is just following the mandates of his or her Myers-Briggs type.

It’s interesting to consider that as much as we think we prefer the novel and unique in other people, we wish later on that they’d be more like us. In the long run, we may find our attraction soured by people who insist on “doing their own thing,” especially when it departs from conformity. In a family, business, or community organization, such nonconformity may even be regarded as disloyal or slightly dangerous.

Introversion and Extraversion are traits that reflect how we deal with the outer world and where we get our energy. Introverts get their inner renewal from private time—time spent alone in their minds. They don’t socialize much compared to Extraverts, who thrive on the company of others. Being with people is the source of the Extravert’s energy.

Introvert Type

  • Introverts often rehearse what they’re going to say and prefer that others do the same. When someone proposes a course of action, they’re likely to say, “I’ll think about that.”
  • Introverts enjoy the peace and quiet of their own company. They often feel that their privacy is being invaded by others. Many develop the skill of tuning out noises from the social world, such as conversations in the other room. Some shut off the radio and TV in the house when they want to be alone and uninterrupted.
  • They are often seen as great, empathic listeners, but feel that others take advantage of their willingness to listen rather than talk about themselves.
  • Others often perceive them as reserved or shy because they don’t talk much when with people outside their social circle (which tends to be very small).
  • Introverts like to share special occasions with one other person or a couple of close friends. They hate surprise parties.
  • They avoid blurting their opinions out forcefully, but then get annoyed when someone else comes out with just what they were about to say.
  • When they share feelings and thoughts they don’t want interruptions from others, just as they don’t interrupt others when they are sharing.
  • They need to “recharge” alone after they’ve spent some time socializing with others.
  • Introverts get suspicious or annoyed when others chatter away, repeating things others have said, or are too effusive in their compliments. They believe in the old saying, “Talk Is cheap.”

Extravert Type

  • Extraverts tend to talk first and think later. They often don’t know what they’re about to say until they hear themselves say it. They sometimes berate themselves for talking too much.
  • They know a lot of people and tend to count them as close friends. They try to include as many people as possible in social activities.
  • They don’t mind distracting noises in the background when reading or trying to hold a conversation. They’re good at tuning out irrelevant noises.
  • Extraverts are very approachable, whether it’s by strangers or friends. They enjoy conversation for its own sake, although they do have a tendency to dominate the content.
  • They find telephone calls to be welcome distractions. Often they’re the first to pick up the phone when it rings. They often call people on impulse when they just want to communicate some interesting bit of news.
  • They enjoy parties and like talking with many different people, including strangers. They tend to reveal personal information even with people they’ve never met before.
  • When faced with a task or assignment, extraverts prefer bouncing ideas off others to reflecting in solitude. Prefer generating possibilities in a group to doing it by themselves.
  • Frequently extraverts ask for help from others when doing mundane tasks. When Extraverts lose their glasses, for example, they’re likely to ask everyone in the room to help look for them rather than tackle the search on their own.
  • They need affirmations and compliments from others about who they are, how they look, and just about everything else. They may think they are doing a good job, but they don’t believe it until they hear others say so.

If you’re an Introvert, that means you’re introverted most, but not all, of the time. People move back and forth slightly in the Myers-Briggs preferences, depending on the situation. There might be a group meeting of a fellowship you’ve belonged to a long time, where you find the social interactions stimulating. The chances are, though, that you’re glad to home again afterward. If you’re an Extravert and have been in business meetings all day long, you may feel worn out and want only to go home and listen to some classical music. It’s normal for the preferences to be modified according to different situations. The balance between the two traits on each of the four pairs depends on a number of factors, but the overall tendencies are usually stable.

 

Same or Opposite Types?

Do you prefer people who are the same as you, or people who are different? If you’re like most people, you’re originally attracted to individuals who are different. Over time, however, you may find that the very traits that appealed to you, now get on your nerves. If you’re an American from San Diego attracted to a person from the Bronx, you may think the New York street accent delightful at first. Within six months, a New York accent may be the last thing you want to hear. You might even go as far as demanding the person modify his or her way of talking. If that demand seems too much for you or your friend, you may just wind up feeling alienated.

It’s interesting to consider that as much as we think we prefer the novel and unique in other people, we wish later on that they’re be more like us. In the long run, we may find our attraction soured by people who insist on “doing their own thing,” especially when it departs from conformity. In a family, business, or community organization, such nonconformity may even be regarded as disloyal or slightly dangerous.

When you’re more respectful of all the different types of people in the Myers-Briggs spectrum, you may be more tolerant of the differences among various people. You can identify the differences between you and other folks and watch the attachment grow or diminish with the passage of time—without feeling the need to change the other person more to your way of thinking and behaving. It requires insight and patience to allow other people to develop in a relationship in ways natural to them.

Self Awareness

It all starts with self-awareness. By recognizing your own tendencies, strengths and weakness you can acknowledge the justification for all individuals to live according to their own lights. if their behavior is not aggressive or destructive, you can view them the same way you view your own personality, with interest and tolerance. You can see where personality differences and similarities can be used for the purpose of harmony, not discord. If, for example, you are a Myers-Briggs Judging (J) type and your friend is a Perceiving (P) type, you might find that his or her inclination to be tardy for appointments is simply a trait that comes naturally. Waiting in a restaurant for your luncheon date might be okay on one or two occasions but after that it becomes irritating. You begin thinking about how irresponsible and thoughtless the person is—how negligent of your busy schedule.

How to Manage

There are several options. One is to bring a book with you, knowing that you’re destined to wait in the restaurant for 15 to 30 minutes. Another is to announce that after a 10-minute wait, you’re going to cancel the lunch date and move on. A third approach is to explain the negative effect their tardiness has on you and how it lowers your estimation of them as friends or partners. In other words, ask for compromise. It may be that your argument persuades the friend to at least be more prompt some of the time. If this is the case, their positive behavior should earn positive reinforcement from you to encourage repeat performances.

A compromise option is to tell them how important it is to you that they be on time; you feel disrespected when they’re not. Give them a 15-minute leeway and ring along something to occupy yourself in that vacuum. Then, let them know politely, if they can’t manage that, you’ll leave the restaurant after 15 minutes and go some place else to eat.

Framing your behavior and that of others in terms of Myers-Briggs traits is one way to make your relationships function more smoothly, and give you greater peace of mind. You no longer need to go through your life being aggravated at half your family, friends, and co-workers.

Introverts in Retirement

Senior Couple Sitting On Outdoor Seat Together Laughing

As people grow older, their Myers-Briggs personality scores can change, but not much. Those whose scores were extreme on one or more traits tend to soften and move toward the middle. The ISTJ who had a strong thinking (T) score is likely to move a little toward Feeling, with stronger emotional elements in their personality than previously. This blog describes the eight Introverted (I) types in their retirement ears. Every combination of traits is represented, making eight in all—Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N), Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) vs. Judging (J).

ISTJs in Retirement

Because ISTJs have been responsible, loyal employees all their lives, they’re likely to be enjoy corresponding financial rewards. Thus, most of them enter retirement with investments in place and can look forward to having enough money through the years ahead. Their habits of taking responsibility never end, either in the home or in the community. The main thing is, they get the chance to enjoy hobbies, relationships, and time with friends and family that formerly were unrealistic because of all their work commitments.

ISTPs in Retirement

For ISTPs, retirement is a time they’ve long looked forward to. In their working lives, there was never opportunity to pursue all their hobbies and other pursuits. A few postpone retirement if they get a great deal of satisfaction from their paid employment. Many have volunteer “careers”, which support their strong work ethic. Whatever ISTPs take up to pass the time, their absorption is so complete that they often forget to attend to mundane matters such as eating meals or meeting commitments they’ve made to friends and family.

ISFJs in Retirement

ISFJs have usually done retirement planning in advance. Since they’ve made a habit of saving money most of their adult lives, it’s likely that they have enough to carry them through the years ahead without paychecks. During the years of retirement, ISFJs mostly focus on their children and families, taking part in their lives and helping out wherever they can. They enjoy customs and projects that emphasize the family heritage. Service work continues to be an important theme for them.

ISFPs in Retirement

ISFPs continue to enjoy their friends and families. In their last years of employment, they look forward to retirement and spending more time with the people close to them. In retirement, ISFPs often find that they are loved and valued by the people who know them well. It’s a welcome time for them to enjoy the fruits of many well-tended relationships. They take pleasure in the simple activities of life—gardening, walking, reading, and so on. When grandchildren are being difficult they deal with them in a smooth, friendly, and encouraging way.

INFJs in Retirement

Because of their idealism and commitment to whatever career they’ve chosen, INFJs are likely to enjoy important positions of responsibilities by the time they retire. Financially, they may find their incomes and reserves in good shape without any previous careful strategic planning. They look forward to nurturing family relationships in the years ahead and seeing the foundations they have built for themselves to flourish. They treasure the increased leisure to reflect and pursue their hobbies without interruption. They can also become further involved in interests they’ve developed but haven’t had much time for, such as writing.

INFPs in Retirement

INFPs in retirement need to look back and feel that their years of employment were worthwhile and had value for the people around them. It’s a time of life when they look forward to a variety of activities, such as travel. They may also strengthen their bond with family members and enjoy the opportunity to spend more leisure hours with them. Some grandparents enjoy special projects designed just for their grandchildren, such as writing stories about them, building a sandbox, and so on.

INTJs in Retirement

The life of the mind is always important to INTJs, during their years of employment and beyond. Some are so involved in their work that they don’t leave their jobs at age 65. If circumstances permit, they stay on, doing the same activities that engrossed them over the years.  They have no time for frivolous pastimes or frivolous people. Scientists and others often continue to attend meetings relevant to their work and stay in touch with colleagues.  INTJs with clear focus but few opportunities to socialize on the job may get lonely during retirement if they haven’t nurtured relationships with people who stimulate them.

INTPs in Retirement

As INTPs mature, they continue their quest for logical purity. Their hobbies reflect their intensity and purposefulness. Each hobby is thoroughly explored and its nuances worked out before the INTP moves on to the next activity. They are strongly cerebral, so whatever they do is matched by deep concentration and much thought. While their external world may have changed, their minds remain the same. Just because they no longer go to work doesn’t mean that their minds aren’t busy. Some onlookers may find that the INTP changes very little upon moving into retirement. They often continue activities that were previously important to them.

 

 

 

Are You a Sensor or an Intuitive?

More confusion probably exists regarding Sensors (S) and Intuitives (N) than any other type. Extraverts (E) and Introverts (I) are easy to tell apart. So are Thinkers (T) and Feelers (F). The labels themselves are giveaways. Perceiving (P) and Judging (J) require a bit of observation to figure out. Is the person usually late for deadlines and appointments? Does he or she avoid making final decisions on things as long as possible? That’s typical of a Perceiver. Judging types rarely miss deadlines and are seldom late for appointments. They verge on compulsive. They make decisions easily because they prefer closure to open-ended situations. You don’t have to know the Judger or Perceiver for long to figure out which type they are.  The Sensing and Intuitive types are more elusive.

Sensing Type

• Sensors prefer being involved in the here and now rather than thinking about what’s next. They would rather do things than think about them.

• They like tasks with tangible outcomes rather than vague promises. They’d rather pressure-wash the driveway themselves than look around for a budget-friendly handyman to do the job.

• They believe that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If the toaster isn’t working the way it used to, it’s better to improvise to get the desired outcome than take it apart or to an appliance repair person.

• Sensors prefer dealing with facts and figures, not abstract ideas and theories. They like to hear about things in a logical order, not randomly.

• They read magazines from front to back rather than diving into them anywhere.

• They dislike it when people give them vague instructions rather than stepwise details. “Here’s the overall plan. We’ll discuss the details later,” is the type of communication that frustrates them.

• Sensors are literal in their use of words. If they say, “Be careful. The coffee is boiling hot,” it probably is. The Intuitive might mean that the coffee is just uncomfortably warm.

• At work, Sensors focus on their own jobs and responsibilities rather than their importance to the overall organization.

Intuitive Type

• Intuitives can think about several things at the same time. They’re often accused of being absent-minded.

• They’re usually more concerned about where they’re headed than where they are. Future possibilities interest them more that present realities.

• Intuitives like to figure out how things work as much for the fun of it as anything else. Toaster broken? The Intuitive is right there to take it apart and fix it.

• They’re prone to making puns and playing word games. They enjoy language for its own sake.

• They’re good at seeing the interconnectedness between things. They don’t just want to know the facts. They want to know the meaning behind the facts. Reading the newspaper is an entirely different experience for the Intuitive and the Sensor.

• Intuitives tend to give general answers to questions rather than specific details. If the intuitive is asked how far it is to Jacksonville, he or she might answer, “about a 2-hour drive” when what the Sensor wants to hear is, “86 miles.”

• They’d rather fantasize about how they’re going to spend their next paycheck than sit down and balance their checkbook.

A Little of Both

If you’re like most people you’re neither 100 percent Sensing nor 100 percent Intuitive.  One trait will tend to be dominant, however. Myers and Briggs specified that the traits are “preferences” suggesting that it’s possible to modify them some of the time. This is particularly obvious in the Thinking and Feeling preferences. While the Thinker may be logical and dispassionate about decisions most of the time, he or she may  turn almost entirely to the Feeling preference if the family dog is injured. The Thinker will engage Feeling preferences for the occasion, putting everything aside, including finances, for the welfare of the pet.

It’s normal for the preferences to be modified according to different situations. In most social circumstances you might be an Extravert, but it’s natural that you should need some private time as an Introvert now and then. The balance between the two traits on each of the four pairs depends on a number of factors, but the overall tendencies are usually stable.

Extraverts in Retirement

With advancing age, their Myers-Briggs personality scores of people can change, but not by much. Extreme scores on one or more traits tend to soften and move toward the middle. The ESTJ who had a strong thinking (T) score is likely to move a little toward Feeling, with stronger emotional elements in their personality than previously. This blog describes the eight Extraverted (E) types in their retirement years. Every combination of traits is represented, making eight in all—Extraverted plus Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) or. Judging (J).

ESTPs in Retirement

ESTP elders continue to have the same characteristics they did when younger. Many of them choose to retire early so they’ll have more time to do the things that are fun. They like activities which require solving problems that are often difficult and tense. While they may take part in various organizations, they avoid leadership positions. Taking charge is not in their repertoire. They become involved mainly for the activities. When grandchildren arrive, the elders take pleasure in outings to the zoo, sports events, and so on. Children love their spontaneity and ability to improvise games on the spot.

ESTJs in retirement

Because ESTJs often have a long history in of employment, their financial needs may be taken care of. However, they’ve become so accustomed to work that the idea of full-time leisure may intimidate them. Unless they’ve developed personally during their younger years to include activities that are flexible and rewarding, they may find retirement difficult. Many compensate by learning to think in terms of priorities and start making lists. Removing the spontaneity factor and therefore absolved from dealing with the emotional content of activities is more comfortable. ESTJs are efficiency devotees. It something is not on their list, they forget about it even though it may be of immediate importance and others may try to sidetrack them.

ESFPs in retirement

In retirement, ESFPs continue their people-oriented life, keeping old friends and continuing to provide the amusement and comradeship of years past. They have an optimism that is contagious and draws others to them. When ESFPs have unfortunate experiences, they’re often able to look at the sunny side. While some nursing home residents despair about their futures, ESFPs are likely to enjoy new friends, freedom from responsibilities, and new activities to participate in. Because their friends of the past have enjoyed them so much over the years, they’re unlikely to abandon the friendship. The want to help out where they can.

ESFJs in retirement

ESFJ elders don’t change much in their relationships after retirement. They keep doing nice, thoughtful things for others, and their company is a pleasure. They continuing scheduling lunches and other outside activities with former colleagues. They make follow-up calls and send notes. If they have grandchildren, they’ll help the parents in any way they can—baby-sitting, picking up the children at school, taking them on outings, and so on. Whatever they can do for others around them to make experiences more enjoyable, they do. It makes them feel good that others appreciate their efforts.

ENFPs in retirement

ENFPs remain young in spirit as they age, maintaining characteristics from their youth such as a zestful enjoyment of life, curiosity, and enthusiasm. As a result, people of all ages, including children, enjoy their company. They look forward to retirement as a time when they’ll be free of the restrictions and boundaries of the work world and can take pleasure in activities for which they’ve never had enough time when employed. Because they look for possibilities before realities, some of their activities may not be considered age-appropriate, such as joining the Peace Corps. However, if they become disabled or suffer from lack of money, they may get depressed because of all the opportunities missed.

ENFJs in retirement

ENFJs leaving full-time employment often look for places to live where they have family and friends or other close personal ties. Relationships and values were always important to this type, but they become even more so in retirement. Many ENFJs who previously did service work on the job, look for similar opportunities on a volunteer basis. They do this gladly, believing that an important goal in life is to help others. One of the lessons many need to learn is to let others help them some of the time. They are so used to giving help that it’s hard for them to imagine accepting it. ENFJs go out of their way to encouraging their grandchildren, reading to them, helping them with homework, etc.

ENTPs in retirement

ENTP have many inspiring ideas and projects during their working years, and these continue into retirement. While they may not have planned financially for these years, they have certainly given a lot of thought to the types of things they dream of doing. However, money may be a problem. Since it’s likely that they’ve changed jobs a number of times, they may have no stable retirement income to depend upon. However, they remain enthusiastic about their ideas and may find other lucrative means of earning a living that use their ingenuity. Some start new businesses that generate enough income to support their interests in old age. The desire for challenge, newness, variety and change don’t disappear as the years pass.

ENTJs in retirement

All their lives, ENTJs have been rewarded with leadership positions at work and in community organizations. They have always had a strategy in which potential for future gain outweighs risks. Because they are hard drivers with strong goal orientation, the prospect of retirement and long lazy days may be daunting to them. Inactivity makes them restless and the thought of filling their time with nothing of consequence dismays them. The chances are that finances are no problem because their careers have been so successful. Many continue to work as consultants to the same firms where they were previously employed. Maintaining autonomy is one of their major retirement goals. They need to learn to rely on others some of the time even though it’s difficult for them.